Marriage of Abraham Wilhelm Ecker and Hannah Elizabeth Squire, 1864

From Church Records in Newark, New Jersey

The full page-view and detail below are photographs of the actual church books from the German Evangelical Protestant Church of Newark, also known as the Mulberry St. Church. I found these in the Lutheran Church Archives Center at Philadelphia on the campus of the Lutheran Seminary on Germantown Avenue. The date on the page is 1864. The dozen or so books were much the worse for wear, but beautiful to look at: much more satisfying than microfilm. Looking at these books was exactly like looking at church books in Old Germany!

The records are written in a careful and detailed German script. I think it is interesting to see that when the minister wrote the names of Americans, here and elsewhere in the books, he used Roman (American) handwriting!  It does not appear that William and Hannah used this church as frequently as their brother, as judged by entries for baptisms and the like. No doubt the service was conducted in German. In addition, Hannah's family appears from her father's obituary not to have been Lutherans in the first place.

I am still familiarizing myself with the handwriting and always wrestling with the language. On October 15, 1864, Wilhelm Ecker, single, whose occupation may have something to do with files, who was from the district of Calw in Würtemberg, who is 24 years old, and whose parents are Jakob and Regina Ecker; marries Hanna Elizabeth Squier, single, from a place (probably Irvington) in Essex Co. NJ, who is 19 years old, and whose parents are Henry Nathan and Mary Squire. The witnesses to the marriage are brothers Friedrich Ecker and Christian Ecker. The last column contains a reference to place, but I do not know what the two words mean. (They are frequently used in the record.)

The minister spells Hannah and Squire differently than Hanna herself does, but we forgive him because he gives us her middle name of Elizabeth, the only known mention known to me! These spellings crept into the official state record presented elsewhere on these pages, no doubt because they were reported by the minister himself, Friedrich Lehlbach. Note also that William's mother's name is given as Regina. The German church records abundantly tell us that her given name was Rosina. Was this an error of writing the spoken word, or did William actually give a different name: I do not know.

If someone can help with these translations and fill in the missing words, step up to the plate and contact me.

Peter Hasselbacher
Feb. 26, 2008

[Addendum: Jan 29, 2012.  I returned to this page in response to someone who thought he might be a descendant.  I saw the record with new eyes.  I must confess that I have not attracted the amount of help I hoped for in terms of translations and new material.  In the interim, I have been trying to learn German, and I can this time begin to tackle the old German script.  Here is my transcription and translation of the Willhelm-Hannah marriage. 

15. Oktobr. [1864]
Wilhelm Ecker, le-
dig feilenhauer dahier,
aus Unterreichenbach, Ober-
amt Kalw, in Wurtem-
berg; alt 24 Jahrn.
Elterh: Jakob und Regi-na Ecker.

Hanna Elizabeth
Squier, ledig dahier, von
Irvington, Essex Co. NJ
alt 19 Jahrn.
Eltern: Henry Nathan
and Mary Squire.

Friedrich Ecker,
Christian Ecker

by me.

15th October
William Ecker, single, filemaker from here, out of Unterreichenbach, district of Kalm in Wurtemberg. 24 Years old. Parents Jakob and Regina Ecker. [Witnesses] Friedrich and Christian Ecker. [Notes:] by me.

I am stunned that I can do this!  I need to go back and review all these old reords again for new clues.  PH]