Update: Cupid has been having a busy time…

During the FREE ACCESS weekend of Newspaper.com, I found this article and wrote about it in my last post.

Clipping courtesy of Newspaper.com

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

I shared the post in the private Poppelreiter Family group on Facebook. Many US descendants of the PÖPPELREITERs of Mürlenbach, Germany, are members of the group as well as Werner LICHTER, my distant PÖPPELREITER cousin who reached out to me after reading my post 52 Ancestors: #36 Bubelreiter, Boppelreuter, Peppelreuter, Pöppelreiter.

Jennifer Spirik, an administrator of the group, quickly caught a mistake I’d made in the post.

She wrote:

Great post! I do have a question. For John A. Poppelreiter you have his wife listed as Gussie Jane Wilson. I have him being married to Elizabeth Seiler. I have no marriage source only that there are two census records on which John is listed with wife Elizabeth. Do you have anything at all to prove this? I certainly don’t want to have my tree incorrect. 

I had mentioned in my post that the marriage date was found on the FamilySearch Family Tree and not sourced. I followed the link I’d saved and found the marriage date was for Elizabeth SEILER. I corrected the error without mentioning the update as Jennifer had caught it within minutes of my posting. Here is the corrected paragraph:

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.

John did not marry Gussie until sometime between 1930 and 1940. This second marriage has not been documented. John, for some reason, dropped the POPPEL from his name and went by John A. REITER from the time of the 1940 census until his death. To further confuse researchers, he had a son who used POPPELREITER and then changed his name to POTTER. Both of these men’s Social Security Applications (per index) indicate the different names they used.2

Some discussions went on in the group about the marriage dates and where the information was found. Several members were looking through their information and sharing.

Today, Carlene Marie Mogavero, another member of the Poppelreiter Family group, shared an image and wrote:

The following is a single page from the church books of St. Alphonsus in Lemont. I’m calling it the Alphonsus Poppelreiter Marriage Extravaganza!

St. Alphonsus marriage register 1902-1903 page 183 courtesy of FamilySearch

Five of the six marriages of the POPPELREITER siblings were recorded on one page! 

The religious marriages that took place on 18 June 1902 (John to Elisabeth M. SEILER), 3 September 1902 (Mary Elizabeth to Charles Paul FINLEY), 1 October 1902 (Katherine Magdalena to Peter Jensen RICKEN), 14 January 1903 (Peter N. to Mary Louise SEILER), and 10 February 1903 (Frank to Margaret HEINZ) are listed above.3

Only William Henry who married Mary P. ZINK on 2 September 1902 was missing as they married in Barton County, Kansas.

The Alphonsus Poppelreiter Marriage Extravaganza! also solves the problem I had concerning who was the last to marry. The marriage records clearly show Frank was the last of the six to marry and not Peter as the writer reported in the article. 

I’d like to thank the members of the Poppelreiter Family group for inviting me to join them, for taking the time to read my posts on the family, and for jumping in and helping with the corrections.

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


  1. Newspapers.com, database with images, Palatine Enterprise (Palatine, Illinois), Saturday, February 28, 1903, Page 1. (https://www.newspapers.com/image/81730064 : accessed 16 February 2020). 
  2. “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” (index only), Ancestry, citing original data: Social Security Applications and Claims. 
  3. “Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch, St. Alphonsus Parish (Lemont) > Baptisms, marriages, deaths, communions, confirmations 1879-1912 > image 96 of 142. Page 183 with entries for five Poppelreiter marriages that took place in 1902 and 1903. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DY27-FMC?cc=1452409&wc=M66L-6WL%3A39668701%2C39688101 : accessed 22 February 2020). 

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 Newspapers.com 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 Newspapers.com 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 Newspaper.com

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 Newspapers.com?

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


  1. Newspapers.com, database with images, Palatine Enterprise (Palatine, Illinois), Saturday, February 28, 1903, Page 1. (https://www.newspapers.com/image/81730064 : 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). (https://www.ancestry.com/ : 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. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 21 December 2019). 
  5.  “Will County, Illinois, Saint Dennis Catholic Church Vital Records, 1852-1951,” database with images, Ancestry.com, Roll Number: 8. 1860 Poppelreiter-Stumps marriage (right page, 2nd to last entry).(https://www.ancestry.com/ : 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. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 21 December 2019). 
  7. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : 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. Newspapers.com, The Barton County Democrat (Great Bend, Kansas), Friday, August 15, 1902, page 1, column 5. (https://www.newspapers.com/image/161577086 : 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.