Cupid has been having a busy time…

Over the years I’ve often used newspapers to add to the stories of my ancestors as well as their collateral lines. I didn’t drop everything because was offering FREE ACCESS to all papers over the weekend. However, I did do a few quick searches for one unusual surname.

Recently, while searching for PÖPPELREITER immigrants in the US, I bookmarked the search result for Matthew Peppelrite in the Obituary Index, 1800s-current on Ancestry. At the time, I was seeing an offer for a 7-day free trial but didn’t want to activate it just for the one article I needed. I decided to start a list of things to look up later.

With the FREE ACCESS over the weekend, I downloaded the article and continued to search for POPPELREITER in the newspapers.

I’d like to share this very interesting article which led me to further research the family of my 2C4R.

Cupid has been having a busy time…

Clipping courtesy of

Cupid has been having a busy time of it the past eight months in the family of Mrs. Nick Poppelreiter, who resides on a hundred-acre farm in the southern part of Downer’s Grove township. One year ago a family of six children, four sons and two daughters, made their home with their other. One by one they married until only one son was left, Peter Poppelreiter, and during the past week he, too, led his affinity to the altar, making six marriages inside of eight months, or an average of one marriage every forty days.1

Nicolaus “Nick” POPPELREITER (1833-1893) was my second cousin four times removed. Our common ancestor was my 5th great-grandfather Peter BUBELREITER (1741-1793). Nick descends through Peter’s son Wilhelmus b. 1763 while I descend through Peter’s son Johann b. 1782. The sons were half-brothers from two marriages.

In 1857 following the death of his mother Anna HAU (1794-1857), Nick and his father Mathias (1798-1870) traveled on the British bark Alberti from Antwerp, Belgium, to New York arriving on 3 June 1857.2 They were the only survivors of the family as three other children had died in infancy.3

In 1860 Nick and Mathias were living in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois.4 Two households away was a young Cathr. STUMP born in Germany and working as a servant. Two months later on 3 September 1860, Nick and Catherine married at Saint Dennis Catholic Church in Lockport, Will County, Illinois.5

Catherine “Kate” STUMPS likely arrived in America on the same ship as her future husband. She was listed with her family just before Mathias and Nikolaus POPPELREITER on the passenger list.6 Families who were related and/or from the same town usually emigrated together. I haven’t followed the STUMPS family. Descendants of Nick and Kate may likely have a better idea of the possibility of Kate being the same person as seen on the passenger list. Also, there is a chance that Nick and Kate were close or distant cousins as Nick’s maternal grandmother was a STUMPS.

Nick and Kate were the parents of ten children, all born in Illinois between 1862 and 1887. It is believed that three of these children died soon after the 1880 census of diphtheria leaving a family of seven children: five boys and two girls.

Nick died on 28 November 18937 at the age of 60 years, leaving his widow Kate with the seven children. The youngest son had turned 6 on the first of the month and the oldest son turned 29 the day after his father’s death.

Six marriages inside of eight months!

I was able to document four of the six marriages mentioned in the newspaper article.

John Aloysius POPPELREITER (1883-1955) married Elizabeth M. SEILER (1881-1958) on 18 June 1902. The marriage date was found on the FamilySearch Family Tree and not sourced. In 1910 the couple is listed as having been married 7 years.

William Henry POPPELREITER (1876-1963) married Mary P. ZINK (1875-1909) on 2 September 1902 in Barton, Kansas. I found a tiny mention in the newspapers that they applied for a marriage license in August 1902 but nothing to support the date.8

Mary Elizabeth POPPELREITER (1879-1969) married Charles Paul FINLEY (1876-1956) on 3 September 1902 in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois.9

Katherine Magdalena POPPELREITER (1880-1969) married Peter Jensen RICKEN (1880-1948) on 1 October 1902 in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois.10

Peter N. POPPELREITER (1872-1905) married Louise Mary SEILER (1884-1944) on 14 January 1903 in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois per trees on Ancestry. I was not able to find proof for this date.

Frank POPPELREITER (1864-1956) married Margaret HEINZ on 10 February 1903 in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois.11

From the first marriage in June 1902 to the last marriage in February 1903, we can count eight months as noted in the article. However, who was the last to marry? Frank as seen in the list above or Peter as stated in the article?  The article published in the February 28 issue of the newspaper clearly states Peter married during the past week. This would be after February 10 when Frank married. The January 14th date for Peter is questionable. I would estimate between February 10-28 until proof of the marriage can be found.

There is also an omission in the article. There were seven living children at the time. The youngest son Simon Lawrence POPPELREITER (1887-1980) was too young to marry and was not mentioned. My initial read-through led to my questioning whether Simon was actually a child of Nick and Kate. In the end, I reckoned the writer of the article deliberately omitted the fact that there was still another child living at home.

What interesting articles did you find during the weekend of FREE ACCESS on

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1., database with images, Palatine Enterprise (Palatine, Illinois), Saturday, February 28, 1903, Page 1. ( : accessed 16 February 2020). 
  2. “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” database with images, Ancestry, citing records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36, National Archives at Washington, D.C., Microfilm Serial M237, Microfilm Roll 174, List Number 618, Arrival: New York, New York, Year: 1857, British bark Alberti, page 3, lines 43+44, Mathias Poppelreiter (58) and Nicolas (24). ( : accessed 21 December 2019). 
  3. Heinrich Theodore Weber (+) / Thomas J. Schmitt, compilers, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei St. Lucia in Mürlenbach 1803-1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Bd. 177, Köln 2003), pg. 287-289, Family #1221, Poppelreiter-Hau. Note: The scanned pages I have in my possession may be from an earlier version of the book as page numbers do not correspond with the page numbers in the book from 2003. 
  4. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_170, History Library Film: 803170, Illinois, Cook County, Lemont, page 376, lines 39-40, HH#2918-2708, Matus Poppelreiter household. ( : accessed 21 December 2019). 
  5.  “Will County, Illinois, Saint Dennis Catholic Church Vital Records, 1852-1951,” database with images,, Roll Number: 8. 1860 Poppelreiter-Stumps marriage (right page, 2nd to last entry).( : accessed 21 December 2019. 
  6. “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists 1820-1957,” Microfilm Serial: M237, Microfilm Roll 174, List Number: 618, Arrival: New York, New York, Year: 1857, British bark Alberti, sheet 2, line 36-40 and sheet 3, line 41-42, Stumps family. ( : accessed 21 December 2019). 
  7. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 21 December 2019), memorial page for Nicholas Poppelreiter (16 Nov 1833–28 Nov 1893), Find A Grave Memorial no. 51941849, citing Saint Alphonsus Catholic Cemetery, Lemont, Cook County, Illinois, USA; Maintained by moisom (contributor 47143156). 
  8., The Barton County Democrat (Great Bend, Kansas), Friday, August 15, 1902, page 1, column 5. ( : accessed 15 February 2020). 
  9. “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920,” index, FamilySearch, citing Illinois Department of Public Health records, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois. Mary E. Poppelreiter, 23, married Charles P. Finley, 25, on 03 Sep 1902 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. 
  10. Ibid., Katherine M. Poppelreiter, 21, married Peter J. Ricken, 22, on 1 Oct 1902 in Lemont, Cook, Illinois. 
  11. Ibid., Frank Poppelrester, 31, married Margaret Heinz, 30, on 10 Feb 1903 in Lemont, Cook, Illinois. 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

20 thoughts on “Cupid has been having a busy time…”

  1. Cathy, Newspapers are pretty valuable. I just recently helped a woman clear up some maiden names she was looking for. It is critical that you use many forms of search tricks to get what you are looking for. I’ve been practicing since I started it. Gotten some good stuff over the years. Great post as always! Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My brother-in-law (my husband’s brother) was married two weeks before we were, and I thought that was exhausting! Yikes—imagine planning all those weddings over eight months. But probably weddings did not entail all the craziness we have these days.

    I subscribe to so didn’t bother searching over the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been awesome if they’d reported on these weddings in the newspaper. I found out after I posted that Lemont is a village in three counties (DuPage, Will, and Cook) and on the outskirts of Chicago.
      I knew you wouldn’t be sucked down a rabbit hole, Amy. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, not THAT rabbit hole, but I go down rabbit holes with newspapers ALL the time!

        Does that mean that there are three Lemonts or one that happens to overlap into three counties?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I signed up as a guest to in January to check something and they now send me email notifications. It’s good to be a guest user of sites. I also get notifications from Fold3 and MyHeritage. If you follow othre genealogy bloggers on FB they share these FREE ACCESS weekends.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina, he may have been “left out” just for dramatics. Kate was 45 years old when he was born – still in childbearing years. Simon could not have been a grandson through any of the daughters as the older two were deceased and the two youngest too young. The oldest son’s obituary names Simon as his brother so he was not Frank’s son. The other sons were 15 years old or younger so unlikely candidates. In 1900 Simon was listed on the census as the son of the widowed Catherine Poppelreiter. I’d say Simon was Nick and Kate’s youngest son. Of course, his birth or death record with his parents’ names would clinch it! Thanks for stopping by, Tina.


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