The Jergens Family of Dayton, Ohio

Jergens photo



Our JERGENS family has its roots deep in Ohio. The German immigrant ancestors started out in Hamilton County, farming in Delhi Township just west of Cincinnati. Later they moved to Montgomery County, primarily to Mad River Township and the city of Dayton. Related families include these surnames: ABELE; BREEN; DESSECKER; EDEMANN; HECHT; HECKLER; KLEINFELDER; LEYES; LOGEL; MATUSOVIC/MATHEWS; MEYERS; REDIESS; STEFFEN; and ZINK.


divider another Jergens photo





Jergens Immigrants

Philipp Jergens was born in Hitdorf, a village on the east bank of the Rhine River, not far from the city of Köln (Cologne) in Germany. On January 13, 1781, his parents, Maria Christina and Johann Peter Goergens, brought him to St. Aldegundis, the Catholic church in neighboring Rheindorf, to be baptized. (We invite you to read our article “The German Origins of Philipp Jergens of Cincinnati, Ohio.”)

Philipp was 69 years old when he was enumerated in the 1850 census in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. The name following Philipp’s on the 1850 census is that of Monica Jergens, aged 68, who most likely was Philipp’s wife. She also was born in Germany, probably in Baden. A comparison with data from the 1830 census suggests that Monica Jergens may have been younger than the age assigned to her in 1850.

Philipp Jergens died in or after 1850, most likely in Montgomery County, Ohio; he is not found in census records after 1850. Philipp is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in section 15, lot 16, grave 2NE. The interment record gives no dates of birth, death, or burial for Philipp. Monica died in or after 1850, most likely in Montgomery County, Ohio. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in section 15, lot 16, grave 1NE. Monica’s interment record gives no dates of birth, death, or burial.

Calvary Cemetery’s records do indicate, however, that both Philipp’s and Monica’s remains were transferred to Calvary from St. Henry’s, an older, defunct cemetery in Dayton. The tombstone marking Philipp and Monica Jergens’ graves in Calvary Cemetery has been made illegible by the ravages of time and weather. Now fallen to the ground, the stone is partially overgrown by grass.

Philipp Jergens appears in U.S. federal census data for the years 1830, 1840, and 1850, in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. (More about Philipp Jergens in the U.S. federal census....) Two families lived in the 732nd dwelling house enumerated in Delhi Township in 1850: Philipp & Monica Jergens; and Phillip & Mary Jergens and their three young daughters. The Jergens family essay tells us that the Jergens immigrant ancestor “followed the occupation which nearly every one of his relatives, living before and after him, followed, that of gardening.” The occupation of the Jergens men as noted in the 1850 census was “farmer.”


obituary for Anna Maria “Mary” (Jergens) Steffen

Philipp and Monica had at least two children:

  1.   Phillip Jergens (1823‐1907) [note the slightly different spelling of the son’s given name]
  2.   Anna Maria “Mary” (1825‐1899) married Mathias Steffen.

Daughter Anna Maria “Mary” (Jergens) Steffen’s obituary in the Dayton Herald newspaper for May 29, 1899 (shown at right) confirmed what we already suspected from a variety of sources and records – she was the younger sister of our Phillip Jergens. (To read more about Anna Maria “Mary” (Jergens) Steffen, click here.)

While the Jergens family essay names Phillip Jergens’ immigrant father as Andrew, we know the father’s name was Philipp. The fact that Philipp and Monica are buried in Dayton agrees with the essay, which states that Phillip Jergens’ parents moved from the Cincinnati area to the Dayton area around 1850 and died there in the years following. They were buried in Mathias and Mary (Jergens) Steffen’s cemetery lot.

Mary (Jergens) Steffen’s 1880 census record reflects the same information provided by her brother Phillip Jergens. They both named their own birthplace as Ohio, their father’s birthplace as Prussia, and their mother’s birthplace as Baden. These census data indicate that Philipp met and married Monica in this country.

As of this writing, Monica Jergens’ maiden name remains unknown. Monica may have been an older woman at the time of her marriage, which could explain the small number of offspring. If she had children from any previous marriage, federal census records do not show them living in the household of Philipp Jergens.


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The First Generation

yet another Jergens photo

Phillip Jergens was born on September 7, 1823 in Ohio, most likely Delhi Township in Hamilton County, just west of Cincinnati.

In his civil death record, Phillip’s year of birth was recorded as 1825, yet his age was given in years, months and days that indicate a birth year of 1824. Census data consistently support a birth year of 1823 – especially the 1900 census, which specifically notes Phillip’s month and year of birth as Sept. 1823, and states his age as 76 – he hadn’t yet celebrated his birthday for that year.

Phillip married German-born Maria Steffen on January 21, 1845 at Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. (The Jergens family essay preserved Maria's maiden name as "Stephens.")

Maria Steffen, whose name was recorded in every census as “Mary,” celebrated her 26th birthday just prior to her marriage. She was born January 6, 1819 in Niederlosheim, Kr. Merzig, Saarland, the daughter of Peter Steffen and his second wife, Anna Bone. Peter and Anna (Bone) Steffen emigrated in 1841 with their large family (including Maria) from Saarland in southwestern Germany, to Campbell County in Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati. Maria’s father is mentioned in the History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, accessible online:

Mrs. Philip Jergens, Sr., was the daughter of Peter Steffin, who had come to this country from Germany, when he was about forty years old. He purchased land in Campbell County, Kentucky and was one of the early settlers in that locality. A long and useful life of ninety-seven years was allotted to him, and his death resulted from an accident – the kick of a colt.

Maria (Steffen) Jergens was a first-cousin-once-removed to Mathias Steffen who wed Anna Maria Jergens. An article by Don Baumann at the Camp Springs, Kentucky, "unofficial" website mentioned a couple named Peter and Mary Steffen (quite possibly Mathias Steffen's parents) who sold property in Campbell County to Peter and Anna (Bone) Steffen not long after Peter and Anna arrived in this country. (See Sources for additional information on the family of Peter and Anna Steffen.)


Phillip and Maria (Steffen) Jergens had the following children:

      i. Helena (1846-1924)

     ii. Mary (1847-1909)

    iii. Margaret (1849-1908)

    iv. Jacob. This son was born circa 1851 and died at age 20 circa 1871. Jacob appears as an 8-year-old in the 1860 census and as an 18-year-old in the 1870 census. In the essay, Jacob is confused with son William. The interment records of Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, where Jacob is buried in Section 1, Lot 284, give no dates; they state only his name and age at death. No record of Jacob’s death was found in a search, in October 2009, at the Montgomery County (Ohio) Archives in Dayton.

     v. Elizabeth (1853-1934)

    vi. Phillip, Jr. (1855-1937)

   vii. Peter Joseph (1857-1948)

  viii. William. This son (born circa 1859) died at one month of age. He may have been named for his grandfather Jergens, whose full given name was Peter Philipp Wilhelm Maximilian. In the essay, William is confused with son Jacob. The interment records of Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, where William is buried in Section 1, Lot 284, give no dates, stating only his name and age at death.

    ix. Joseph (1860-1924)


(More about Phillip and Maria Jergens and their family....)

Maria died in Mad River on July 6, 1899, after being sick for a week with acute dysentery. Her burial record from Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton names her as “Maria,” ascribes her passing to “old age,” and notes that she had received “all sacraments.” Maria was buried on July 8, 1899 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 1, Lot 284. Calvary Cemetery also recorded her given name as “Maria.”

Phillip died in Mad River on May 21, 1907, aged “82 years, 8 months, and 14 days” (we think Phillip was a year older than this, for reasons cited earlier). The city of Dayton recorded Phillip’s chief cause of death as “interstitial nephritis” (an inflammatory disease of the kidneys); a contributing cause was “tuberculosis of the throat.” He was buried on May 24, 1907 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 1, Lot 284.


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The Second Generation

Census records show that Phillip and Maria Jergens’ children married German immigrants or the children of German immigrants. When I mentioned this to Margaret Jergens, she said that when her parents wished to talk privately around their kids, they spoke German.

Helena Jergens was born on January 2, 1846, most likely in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. On January 12, 1869, at Holy Trinity Church in Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio, 23-year-old Helena married Jacob Zink, a butcher. Jacob, the son of Frank Joseph Zink and Theresa Nann, was born “at the old Four Mile House in [Montgomery] county” exactly one year earlier than Helena, according to History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, as well as the date of birth listed on his death record. In her brother Phillip’s biography in History of the City of Dayton, Helena is mentioned as “Lena.”

Helena and Jacob had twelve children (surname ZINK):

      i. Mary Frances.

     ii. John J.

    iii. Mary Helen.

    iv. Daniel J.

     v. Benjamin.

    vi. Samuel.

    vii. Elizabeth.

   viii. Lawrence.

    ix. Theresa.

     x. Phillip.

    xi. Anthony Joseph ("Andy")

   xii. Viola.


Here’s what Jacob Zink’s biography in History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, published in 1909, had to say about him:

Jacob Zink, a wholesale and retail butcher of Van Buren Township, where he owns about three acres of land and one of the finest homes in that part of the county, was born January 2, 1845, at the old Four Mile House in this county. His parents were Joseph and Teresa (Nann) Zink. The father came from Baden, Germany, when he was a boy and attended school both in the old country and in the new world, being afforded good opportunities for acquiring an education. He afterward learned the brick making trade and later turned his attention to the butchering business, with which he became connected in Dayton. He always lived near the city and in the conduct of his business affairs met with substantial and gratifying success. When death claimed him his remains were interred in a cemetery on Main Street but later were removed to Calvary. He was the father of ten children: Frances; Jacob, of this review; Joseph, a resident of Ohio; John, living in Indiana; Frank, of Dayton; Charles, of Tippecanoe; Edward, deceased; William, of Indiana; August, living in Springboro, Ohio; and Emma, whose home is in St. Louis. The family comes of good old German stock, the grandparents being Jacob and Regina Zink, who came from Germany and located in Pennsylvania. Subsequently they removed to Ohio and resided with the subject of this review.

Jacob Zink was reared in the usual manner of farm lads and in his youthful days attended the Kiser School. When twenty-four years of age he embarked in business on his own account, having up to this time worked for his father save for two years which he spent in the employ of a brother-in-law. He first started in the butchering business for himself on West Third Street and later removed to North Dayton, where he remained for some time. Subsequently he made his way to the section of the county in which he now lives, having here made his home for the past twenty years. He conducts a successful business as a wholesale and retail butcher, having a large patronage which makes his business one of importance and also a gratifying source of revenue.

On the 12th of January, 1879, Mr. Zink was married to Miss Helena Jergens. Unto this union twelve children have been born: Frances, the wife of Clifford Espy; John, who married Rhoda Hurless and has five children, John, Edna, Harry, Ralph and Charlotte; Helen, who is living at home; Dan, a resident of Dayton; Benjamin, who married Mrs. Laura (Wollenhopt) Muth and has a son Norbert; Samuel, who married Myrtle Bellmar and has a son Frederick; Tressa, the wife of R. J. Lehman, by whom she has three children, Geneva, Cecelia and Clarence; Lawrence, at home; Elizabeth, the wife of Joseph Hirish; Anthony, Philip and Viola, all at home.

Mr. Zink and the members of his household are all communicants of the Catholic Church and are prominent in church affairs. He has led a busy, active and useful life and has won success by his unfaltering diligence and perseverance. In 1904 he erected a fine residence, which is one of the best in his part of the county and in the rear stand large and commodious outbuildings, while upon his place are all modern equipments. The house is at the corner of East drive and Lebanon pike and is celebrated for its warm-hearted hospitality.

Jacob died at age 67 on February 28, 1912, of “acute indigestion,” apparently brought about by ptomaine poisoning. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio, on March 2, 1912 in Section 14, Lot S119, Grave 1NW. Helena died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 78 on January 24, 1924, in Dayton, Ohio. On January 28th she was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 14, Lot N119, Grave 3NW. Helena’s interment record lists her name as “Helen.”


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Mary Jergens was born November 27, 1847, most likely in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. On May 5, 1868, at Holy Trinity Church in Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio, she married Franklin Joseph Zink (known as Joseph). Joseph Zink was born March 20, 1847 in Ohio. He was a butcher like his brother Jacob (who married Mary’s sister Helena). Mary and Joseph Zink had twelve children, ten of whom survived to adulthood. Mary died in West Milton, Miami County, Ohio, on December 5, 1909. Joseph died March 31, 1923, also in West Milton. Both Mary Zink and her husband Joseph are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua, Miami county, Ohio.

Joseph and Mary (Jergens) Zink had twelve children (surname ZINK):

      i. Franklin Joseph, Jr. (1869-1921)

     ii. (Infant Zink)

    iii. William Anthony (1872-1943)

    iv. Lewis H. (1874-1940)

     v. Minnie Alice (1876-1952)

    vi. John Isaac (1878-1929)

    vii. Mary Catherine (1880-1953)

   viii. Walter Clements (1882-1952)

    ix. Charles Lawrence (1885-1956)

     x. George Albert (1887-1949)

    xi. (Infant Zink)

   xii. Mary Louise (1890-1972)



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Margaret Jergens, known as “Maggie,” was born on August 22, 1849, most likely in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. On November 25, 1873 she married John Kleinfelder, a blacksmith, born in January 1845 in Germany. Census records indicate that this family also lived in Mad River Township. The essay states that Maggie “raised a family of ten children.” In the 1900 census Maggie is listed as having given birth to ten children, eight of whom were then living. John Kleinfelder died suddenly of “heart failure” on April 26, 1899 at age 54 years, 3 months, 20 days (per the records of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton). He was buried on April 30th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 13, Lot 152, Grave 2NE. Maggie died at age 59 on December 30, 1908. Her cause of death was recorded as “ovarian cyst.” She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton on New Year’s Day 1909, in Section 13, Lot 152, Grave 1NE.

John and Maggie (Jergens) Kleinfelder had the following children (surname KLEINFELDER):

  1.   John Joseph was born July 20, 1874. On April 20, 1920, at age 45, John married Bertha Vaubel of Fryburg, Auglaise County, Ohio, born September 1, 1880. They had one child, a daughter. John died September 6, 1944 at age 70 of complications from a fall. He was buried September 9th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 9, Lot 20, Tier 9H. Bertha (Vaubel) Kleinfelder died August 15, 1968 at age 87. On August 19th she was buried next to her husband John in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 9, Lot 20, Tier 9H.
  2.   Clara M. (1876-1951) married Jacob Dibley; according to the 1920 census, they had five daughters and two sons.
  3.   Elizabeth “Lillie” (1880-1963) married Jacob J. Worhner [Worner]. Jacob and Lillie had two sons and a daughter.
  4.   Peter Frank (1883-1947) never married. Frank lived with his sister Clara and her family during the last years of his life.
  5.   Rosa “Rose” (1885-1975) married Alva J. Kimble; per the 1930 census, they had three sons and three daughters.
  6.   Joseph Louis (1887-1956), known as Louis, married Maude J. (--); they had one child, a daughter.
  7.   Walter Joseph (1889-1928) never married. He served in World War I; we are told Walter was exposed to mustard gas during the war. When he died at age 39 in Dayton, he was employed as a “pipe tapper” for the City of Dayton Water Works.
  8.   George H. (1892-1965) married (1st) Emma O. Duckro (1892-1918), the daughter of Joseph and Odile (Fehr) Duckro. We have no information about any children George and Emma may have had prior to her early death. Emma is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton. George married (2nd) Viola Stachler. George and Viola had five children. The 1920 census lists George and Viola with son Edward, aged 2 years, 2 months. This child, Edward George, died in Dayton on March 1, 1925 at age 7 of tubercular meningitis. In the 1930 census George and Viola were listed with three more children, two daughters and a son. Another son may have been born to this couple after 1930. A reliable source has told us that George Kleinfelder is the only one of his siblings not buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton (a Roman Catholic cemetery) because he joined the Lutheran church subsequent to his (2nd?) marriage.

Two of Maggie and John Kleinfelder’s ten children died either at birth or soon after. One was a daughter named Katherine, the other a son named Benjamin. This son may have been the “Peter B. Kleinfelder” whose obituary appeared in the August 15, 1879 issue of the Dayton Daily Journal. Benjamin and Katherine were buried in the old St. Henry Cemetery in Dayton. When this cemetery closed, they were reinterred under the chapel in Calvary Cemetery.


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Elizabeth Mary Jergens, known as “Liz,” was born August 6, 1853, most likely in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio.

Elizabeth first married George Logel on May 21, 1872. Because George was not yet 21 years old at the time, his mother Barbara Logel gave her consent to this marriage. Elizabeth and George had two children (surname LOGEL):

      i. John Jacob (1873-1940)

     ii. Anna Maria (“Annie”) (1877-1894), who died in her teens.


Elizabeth (Jergens) Logel married a second time, on August 2, 1911, to Charles J. Heckler, a man younger than her son John.

Charles Heckler, enumerated as a boarder in the Jergens household in the 1900 and 1910 censuses, was born August 5, 1879 (despite the fact that his headstone has a birth year of 1875 carved on it). Charles’ interment record gives Celina (Mercer County), Ohio, as his place of birth. We found Charles Heckler in the 1880 census in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio, the 10-month-old son of German immigrant Joseph Heckler, a farmer, and his Ohio-born wife Catharine.

Elizabeth (Jergens) (Logel) Heckler died at age 80 on July 12, 1934, in Dayton. She was buried four days later in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 12, Lot 21, Grave 3SW. On March 25, 1948, Charles Heckler died in Dayton at age 68. He was buried next to Elizabeth on March 30th in Calvary Cemetery in Section 12, Lot 21, Grave 2SW.


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Phillip Jergens, Jr. Phillip was born September 22, 1855 in Mad River Township. Phillip’s occupation was that of butcher. He and his family lived on the Old Troy Pike in Mad River Township, about a mile and a half from his parents’ homestead property. On April 29, 1879, Phillip married Mary Abele, born November 22, 1860 in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of German immigrants John and Barbara Abele. Mary (Abele) Jergens was the older sister of Magdalena (Abele) Jergens.

Mary and Phillip Jergens, Jr. had two children (surname JERGENS):

      i. Phillip Peter (1881-1931)

     ii. Ida Mary Magdalen (1887-1967)


The History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, has a biographical section about Phillip Jergens, Jr.:

One of the most comfortable and most modern homes in Mad River Township is that of Philip Jergens, Jr., a wholesale and retail butcher, who has a stand at No. 17 Central Market, Dayton. He is also the owner of four acres of land on the Old Troy pike, which he uses in his business. He was born September 22, 1855, in Montgomery County, at a place called Brushtown, which was the site of the old homestead, and is the son of Philip and Mary (Steffin) Jergens. His grandfather, William Jergens, a native of Baden, Germany, was a carpenter by trade and came to this country when a young man, becoming one of the early settlers of Cincinnati. Later, after he had retired from business, he came to Montgomery County, where he lived with his son Phillip, Sr., to an advanced age.

Philip Jergens, Sr., was born in Warsaw, near Cincinnati, and in his early manhood, he bought twenty acres of land in the vicinity of his home, upon which he engaged in truck gardening, finding a market for his produce in Cincinnati. After a few years, he removed to Montgomery County and bought the old homestead, which is now valued at one thousand dollars an acre because of its proximity to Dayton. On this were all his family of nine children reared. Three of these, Margaret, Jacob and William, have died, while the others, Lena, Mary, Elizabeth, Philip, Jr., Peter and Joseph, are all living in Montgomery County.

Mrs. Philip Jergens, Sr., was the daughter of Peter Steffin, who had come to this country from Germany, when he was about forty years old. He purchased land in Campbell County, Kentucky and was one of the early settlers in that locality. A long and useful life of ninety-seven years was allotted to him, and his death resulted from an accident — the kick of a colt. Philip Jergens, Sr., is a man of means and a citizen highly respected for the fine qualities of his character, which he has transmitted in no small degree to the son who bears his name.

Philip Jergens, Jr., received his early training for life under the parental roof and in the schools of Dayton. During this period, he made good use of the opportunities at hand and since has let no chance for self-improvement slip by him, so that he is a well educated man. In his youth, he combined school work with the duties of the home and farm, on which he worked until he was seventeen. He then started to learn the butcher's trade, which he followed for three years. The next period of an equal number of years, he spent at home, after which he entered the butcher business for himself, opening a shop at Bride and Monroe Avenue. A few years later, he removed to No. 17 Central Market, where he is now established.

On the 29th of April, 1879, Mr. Jergens married Miss Mary Abele, a daughter of John and Barbara (Finkmeyer) Abele, of Dayton. Her father was a cooper by trade and, like his wife, was a native of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Jergens are the parents of a son and a daughter. Philip Peter Jergens married Miss Viola Blazer and is now the father of two children: Philip Andrew and Mary Catherine. He is in business with his father and lives in a very pretty home which the latter built for him in his own yard. Ida Mary Magdalen, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jergens, lives at home but has all her social interests in Dayton. She is a young woman of many attainments, for besides being a graduate of the high school, she holds a gold medal in music and was the recipient of honors when she completed her course at Notre Dame. She takes an active part in the work of the young people of the church of the Holy Rosary and is a charter member of the sodality of that body. Mrs. Jergens is also identified with the interests of the church, for she is a member of the Woman's Society, of the Orphans, and of the Tabernacle Society of Notre Dame.

Like the rest of his family, Mr. Jergens takes an active part in the affairs, both social and business, of the church of the Holy Rosary, of which he has for the past year been a trustee. The several organizations connected with this body, the Orphans, St. Joseph's Society and the Knights of St. Joseph, No. 115, have his name upon their roll-call. As a member of the Young Butchers Society, he keeps abreast with the interests of his fellows in that line of work. He is a man of wide experience; his name is well known among those engaged in butchering and those who have come in contact with him in a business way have never had reason to complain of his treatment of them, for he is a man who holds to a high code of honor in all his dealings.


an undated photo of Phillip Jergens, Jr., and his wife Mary

We confess to developing a special affection for Phillip Jergens, Jr., after finding mention of him in the local newspapers. Not only did he sue two of his siblings in a dispute over his parents’ property; he also operated an extensive distillery on his own land during Prohibition. In 1923, he was arrested for violation of the liquor laws, fined, and sentenced to sixty days in the Miami county jail. In 1932, he got busted all over again for the same offense (but on a smaller scale). Because Phillip was 78 years old by that time, his sentence was suspended.

We also rather enjoyed the Dayton Daily News’ description of the 1932 raid on Phillip’s backyard still:

Claim Woman Tried to Kill Liquor Raider

During a raid at the home of Phillip Jergens, New [sic] Troy Pike, R. R. 3, a woman leveled a revolver at Officer Busch and snapped it four times, it was reported. Only the fact the revolver was loaded with rim fire shells while the gun was designed to shoot center‐fire shells saved Busch, according to reports.

The woman was not arrested. A 40‐gallon still, 18 gallons of whiskey, and 250 gallons of mash were found on the premises, police said. Jergens was arrested.


Could “the woman” have been Phillip, Jr.’s wife, Mary? We can’t think of who else it might have been, given the location and the circumstances. Likely there was more to the story than reported here; but we are in awe of Mary (Abele) Jergens’ steely resolve, even if the gun was loaded with the wrong ammo.

Stories like these bring folks to life in our imaginations, and move us to embrace them with all their flaws and foibles.

Phillip, Jr., outlived three of his four grandchildren as well as his only son. In their old age, both he and wife Mary went to live with their daughter Ida and her family at 159 Oxford Avenue in Dayton, which is where both Phillip and Mary died. Phillip passed away first, on October 27, 1937 at age 82. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 1SW, on October 30, 1937. Mary (Abele) Jergens died at age 83 on August 21, 1944 and was buried three days later near her husband in Calvary Cemetery, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 2SW.

To see photos of Phillip Jergens, Jr., his wife Mary, and their family, click here.


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Peter Joseph Jergens was born November 6, 1857 in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Peter was a “gardener” like his father, Phillip, Sr., which is to say he planted, grew, and sold a variety of flowers in the springtime, and then all different kinds of vegetables as they matured and ripened for harvesting throughout the summer and early autumn.

Peter got his own biographical section in the History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio (though it listed his year of birth incorrectly):

Peter Jergens, a gardener of Mad River Township, Montgomery county, and the owner of fourteen acres of land on the old Troy pike, about two and a half miles from the courthouse, was born on the old home place on the 6th of November, 1858. He is the son of Phillip and Mary (Steffin) Jergens, some account of whose lives is given in another part of this volume. Peter Jergens has passed all the years of his life in Mad River Township, on his garden plot in fact, for during his entire school period he worked here, helping his father to win from the soil the desired products. The union of outdoor work and school lessons was not a bad one in his case, however, for he always stood among the first in his class and received as good an education as the schools of this locality afforded at that time. In hard, persistent labor his days have been spent, but his toil brought its own requital in increase of substance, and the satisfying knowledge that the neat appearance of the garden bespoke a man of real worth.

Shortly after entering into manhood Mr. Jergens married Miss Magdalena Abele. She was the sister of his brother Phillip's wife and the daughter of John and Barbara (Finkmeyer) Abele, of whom mention is made in the sketch of Phillip Jergens. Three children, a daughter and two sons, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Jergens. Mary, the eldest, has died, but the sons, Henry and Peter, Jr., have been spared to the couple and assist their father in his business. Mr. Jergens is a member, as are the rest of his family, of the Church of the Holy Rosary, and is not only punctilious in his fulfillment of all his religious duties, but is also a conspicuous figure in all the activities connected with the congregation. All his life he has known what it was to work hard; he has also learned that great lesson of self-reliance, and these two things, the capacity to devote himself diligently to the task before him and the power to recognize and seize his opportunities, have combined to win for him his well deserved success among the gardeners of Mad River Township.

On August 6, 1889, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, Ohio, Peter Jergens married Magdalena Abele. Magdalena was the youngest child of German immigrants John and Barbara Abele, and the sister of Mary Abele who wed Peter’s brother Phillip, Jr. (see above). Born circa February 1871, Magdalena was considerably younger than her husband.

Magdalena and Peter Jergens, Sr., had three children (surname JERGENS):

      i. Mary. Born December 3, 1889, Mary died shortly after birth. She was buried December 5, 1889 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 1, Lot 284.

     ii. Henry Peter (“Harry”) (1890-1958)

    iii. Peter Joseph, Jr. (1893-1979)

Our curiosity is piqued by the proximity of Peter and Magdalena’s wedding date to the birth of their first child. Mary, born exactly seventeen weeks after her parents’ marriage, probably was born prematurely. The Jergens family essay states that “she died about an hour after her birth.” We think Magdalena may have been expecting this child prior to her wedding day, because a fetus of only four months’ gestation probably wouldn’t have survived for even an hour. Whatever the case may have been, we view this sort of thing as not uncommon and appreciate the interest it adds to the family history.

Magdalena (Abele) Jergens died of tuberculosis on October 19, 1895 and was buried on October 23rd in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 2NW. Harry was only four years old, and little Peter not quite two, when their mother died. Following Magdalena’s death, Elizabeth (Jergens) Logel took care of the boys. The 1900 census shows Elizabeth Logel living in her brother Peter Jergens’ household with Harry and Peter, Jr.

Peter Jergens, Sr., never remarried. In the 1920 census he is listed as living with son Peter, Jr., and family; in the 1930 census, he is shown to be residing with son Harry and family. He died at age 90 on February 15, 1948 at Harry’s home. Peter’s civil death record noted his cause of death as “arterio sclerotic heart disease.” Peter Jergens, Sr., was buried on February 19th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 3NW, next to Magdalena.


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Joseph Jergens, the youngest of Phillip, Sr. and Mary (Steffen) Jergens’ children, was born July 17, 1860 in Mad River Township, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Early in life, Joseph worked as a butcher; he is listed in an 1888-92 Dayton, Ohio, directory as being located on the Springfield Pike, east of the corporation line. On May 18, 1882, in Dayton, Joseph married Louisa Barbara (“Lucy B.”) Dessecker, born November 17, 1861, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the daughter of German immigrants John and Regina (Henizer) Dessecker. The 1900 census tells us that the family lived at 9 Brandt Street in Dayton.

By 1910 Joseph Jergens’ occupation was no longer that of butcher – he was employed as a machinist, apparently making “Automobile parts.” His son John, who lived next door on Grove Street in Dayton, also worked as a machinist, in an “Auto Factory.” The 1900 and 1910 censuses tell us that Lucy Jergens had borne seven children, four of whom were then living. One of the lost children was daughter Anna Alberta, born March 15, 1891. Calvary Cemetery in Dayton has no details regarding Anna’s age at death, only that she was buried in Section 1, Lot 284. Son Edward died March 19, 1899 at age seven months (of “brain fever,” per Our Lady of the Rosary Church records; the city of Dayton listed the cause of death as “spasms”). Edward Jergens was buried near his sister Anna. Between Anna and Edward is another infant burial, Julia Jergens, who also might have been the child of Joseph and Lucy. Calvary Cemetery has no dates of birth or death for Julia.

The four surviving children of Lucy and Joseph Jergens were (surname JERGENS):

      i. John Philip (28 Aug 1882 – 4 Dec 1918) married Lucille Saunders on May 8, 1905. They had at least two children, daughters named Alberta and Mary Lucille. Lucille (Saunders) Jergens died at age 26 in 1913. Little Mary Lucille Jergens died at age 8 in February 1917 in a Catholic orphanage in Cincinnati. John P. Jergens died in 1918 at Dayton State Hospital for the Insane in Van Buren, Montgomery county, Ohio, of general paresis brought on by syphilis. They are all buried (but not together) in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio. (Alberta L. Jergens is buried there also, but the death info doesn’t match the 1910 census info.).

     ii. William J. (5 Oct 1884 – 7 Dec 1948) married Mary A. Disken. It appears that this couple had no children.

    iii. Helen Mary (4 April 1889 – 17 Dec 1952) married Otto Richter. They had one child, Harold Otto Richter (born 2 Dec 1912, died 3 Aug 2009).

    iv. Regina May (18 July 1893 – 29 Oct 1974) married Edward A. Reese around 1915. In the 1920 census, this couple and their child were shown to be living with Regina’s older brother William and wife Mary. They had at least one child, a son named Edward A. Reese, Jr. Apparently Edward divorced Regina: Dayton city directories prior to 1930 show Mrs. Regina Reese living alone and Mr. Edward A. Reese with a new wife. In both the 1930 and 1940 censuses, Regina was enumerated in Gallipolis, Gallia county, OH, as a patient at the Ohio Hospital for Epileptics. The Social Security Death Index indicates that Regina Reese died in Gallipolis, suggesting that she spent more than half her life hospitalized. Regina (Jergens) Reese is buried in St. Louis Catholic Cemetery in Gallipolis, OH.

Lucy B. (Dessecker) Jergens died at home, which was 160 Grove Street in Dayton, on April 27, 1914, of “broncho-pneumonia.” She was 52 years old. Lucy was buried two days later in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio in Section 6, Lot 22, Tier 7C. Joseph Jergens died in Dayton at age 62 on May 13, 1924, of acute pericarditis. His death record notes his occupation as “sand blaster.” Joseph was buried on May 16th with his wife in Section 6, Lot 22, Tier 7C.


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The Third Generation

John Jacob Logel (Elizabeth2, Phillip1, Philipp0 )

John Logel was born September 1, 1873 in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, the first child and only son of George and Elizabeth (Jergens) Logel. We knew that John’s middle initial was J; and we appreciate that he spelled out his name in full on his World War I draft registration.

On May 25, 1898, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in North Dayton, John Logel married Elizabeth Mary “Lizzie” Edemann, born March 7, 1877 in Greene county, Ohio, the daughter of German immigrants Henry and Gertrude (Aman) Edemann. They had thirteen children (surname LOGEL):

      i. Leo Joseph (1899-1973)

     ii. Henry John (1900-1985)

    iii. Gertrude M. (1901-1921) died of pulmonary tuberculosis.

    iv. Anna Marie (1903-1971)

     v. Helen Elizabeth (born 1904, died 1907 at 2 years, 7 months of age.)

    vi. Josephine Marie (1906-1985)

    vii. Eleanora M. (1907-1998)

   viii. Catherine M. (1909-1995)

    ix. Louise M. (1910-1910)

     x. Rose Mary (1912-1920).

    xi. Elizabeth M. (1914-1966)

   xii. John J., Jr. (1916-1978)

  xiii. Lucille M. (1920-2003)


Elizabeth (Edemann) Logel died at age 62 on June 19, 1939. She was buried June 22, 1939 in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Section 9, Lot 18, Tier 6, H. Her husband, John Logel, Sr., died the following year, on January 29, 1940 at age 66. John was buried on the 1st of February with his wife Elizabeth in Section 9, Lot 18, Tier 6, H, in Calvary Cemetery.


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Phillip Peter Jergens (Phillip2, Phillip1, Philipp0 )

Phillip P. Jergens, the son of Phillip Jergens, Jr. and Mary Abele, was born on April 25, 1881 in Mad River Township, Montgomery county, Ohio. We have gleaned from Phillip’s draft registration the exact date of his birth, his middle name, and the fact that his eyes were blue. Initially, Phillip worked as a butcher, like his father. By September 12, 1918, when Phillip completed a draft registration for World War I, he listed his occupation as “assistant chief inspector” for Platt Iron Works in Dayton. Phillip’s 1931 death record noted his occupation as “plumber.”

On January 20, 1904, at Our Lady of the Rosary church in Dayton (also known as Holy Rosary), Phillip Peter married Viola M. Blaeszer, born July 1, 1884, in Dayton, the daughter of Henry and Kate (Kuntz) Blaeszer. They had two children (surname JERGENS):

  1.   Mary Kathryn (December 9, 1904 - February 23, 1931)
  2.   Philip Andrew (July 22, 1906 - November 29, 1918)

Phillip and Viola Jergens endured the tragic loss of both their children. In 1918, twelve-year-old Philip A. Jergens died of shock and hemorrhage from a gunshot wound to his right lung. The accident occurred on November 28th; young Philip died early the next morning. Thirteen years later, Mary Kathryn Jergens was working as a domestic when she developed blood poisoning (septicemia) following a bacterial infection of the lymph nodes of her neck (cervical adenitis). Her illness lasted nearly two weeks; she died at home at the age of 26 on February 23, 1931. Both Mary Kathryn and Philip Andrew Jergens were buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 14, Lot 83.

On the day Mary Kathryn died, the doctor who had tended her now turned his attention to her father, who had chronic heart problems. On March 9, 1931, two weeks after Mary Kathryn’s death, Phillip died at age 49; the loss of his last surviving child probably broke his already ailing heart. Phillip P. Jergens was buried on March 13th in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 3SW.

Viola M. (Blazer) Jergens outlived her husband and children by many years. She died on March 12, 1966, at 81 years of age and was buried four days later in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 2SE of Calvary Cemetery, near her husband.


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Ida Mary Magdalen Jergens (Phillip2, Phillip1, Philipp0 )

Ida Mary Magdalen Jergens, the daughter of Phillip Jergens, Jr. and Mary Abele, was born on May 6, 1887 in Mad River Township, Montgomery county, Ohio. The 1910 census tells us that Ida was a music teacher. On May 12, 1915, at Our Lady of the Rosary church in Dayton, Ida married Frank Kramer Meyers, born November 23, 1874, the son of German immigrants Joseph H. Meyers and Elizabeth Kramer. Frank Meyers worked as a letter carrier for the US postal service.

Ida and Frank had two children (surname MEYERS):

  1.   Franklyn J. (March 26, 1916 - January 12, 1931)
  2.   Charlotte Louise (1925 - 2007)

Son Franklyn died of pneumonia a couple of months shy of his fifteenth birthday. He was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton in Section 6, Lot 17, Grave 1. Four-and-a-half years later, Frank K. Meyers died at age 60 on August 14, 1935; he was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Section 6, Lot 18, Grave 2.

The 1940 census shows three people in the Meyers household – Ida; Charlotte; and Ida’s mother, Mary Jergens. Both of Ida’s parents had come to live with her in their final years. Her father passed away in 1937; her mother, in 1944.

Ida’s daughter Charlotte Louise Meyers, born February 19, 1925, in Dayton, married Paul Donald Mathews. Paul was born in Czechoslovakia on February 4, 1905, the son of Paul and Susie (Petrick) Matusovic. The Matusovic family emigrated from Béld, Slovakia (then part of the Austro‐Hungarian Empire), arriving in New York City on May 10, 1912. They settled in Detroit, Michigan.

Note that, while Susie and Paul, Sr., stayed with the original spelling of their surname, Paul, Jr., chose at some point to anglicize it to Mathews. All of them anglicized their given names: Pál to Paul; Zsuzsanna to Susie. Paul, Jr. grew up to be a college‐educated architect, whose accomplishments included helping to design Main Street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Mathews family lore says that Charlotte Meyers and Paul Mathews met when both were working at Wright Field in Dayton in the early 1940s. Paul’s service start date with the US Army Air Forces during World War II was May 6, 1942, which may explain why he was at Wright Field.

When Paul and Charlotte moved to California, they brought Charlotte’s mother Ida with them. Paul & Charlotte Mathews and Ida Meyers appear in the 1946 voter rolls for Santa Monica, Los Angeles county, CA. They lived at 1423 24th Street.

Charlotte and Paul had three children (surname MATHEWS), all of whom are still living.

Paul Donald Mathews died on March 25, 1965, in Los Angeles. On March 31st, he was laid to rest in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, in Section Ps‐3, Site 379‐C. His headstone declares his military rank as Captain.

Charlotte married again: On July 1, 1967, in Los Angeles, she wed Robert J. Hering. Exactly five weeks later, Ida (Jergens) Meyers died at age 80, on August 5, 1967 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles county, CA. She had outlived her husband Frank by thirty‐two years. Ida was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio, on August 8, 1967, in Section 6, Lot 18, Grave 1, between her husband and son.

Charlotte (Meyers) (Mathews) Hering was 82 years old when she passed away on November 29, 2007, in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles county, CA. Her husband Robert Hering died soon after, on February 4, 2008. They are both interred at Woodlawn cemetery in Santa Monica.


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Henry Peter ("Harry") Jergens (Peter2, Phillip1, Philipp0 )

Harry Jergens was born on December 9, 1890 in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. Like his father and grandfather, Harry was a gardener. On May 8, 1912, when Harry was 21 years old, he married Bertha Mary Rediess, the daughter of German immigrants Edward F. and Rosa (Kliche) Rediess, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, Ohio. (The Rediess family is enumerated in the 1910 census at the top of the same page where the Logel families are listed.) Bertha was born on August 6, 1890.

Harry and Bertha Jergens had ten children, eight of whom survived infancy (surname JERGENS):

  1.   Henry Peter, born April 10, 1913. On Oct. 22, 1938, Henry married Mabel Elizabeth Bockrath, born Oct. 28, 1913, in Auglaize county, OH, the daughter of Henry G. and Julia A. (Schneider) Bockrath. Henry and Mabel had six children, including Thomas Henry Jergens (March 2, 1940 – May 28, 1996; buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Sec. 7, Lot 68, space 7); Paul Bernard Jergens, MD (Dec. 7, 1946 – March 29, 2022; buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH); and four others who may still be living. Mabel (Bockrath) Jergens died Aug. 25, 1996; Henry P. Jergens died Feb. 4, 2007. Mabel and Henry are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Sec. 7, Lot 68, spaces 8 and 9.
  2.   Joseph Herman, born December 1, 1915. On May 31, 1937, Joseph married (1st) Irene Rosella Heckman, born Sept. 15, 1915, in Fort Loramie, Auglaize county, OH, the daughter of Frank H. and Mary E. (Oldiges) Heckman. Joseph and Irene had three children, including Joanne Mary Jergens (July 30, 1940 – Sept. 27, 1942) and two others who are still living. This marriage did not endure. Joseph went to Colorado to live and work near his mother’s relatives, probably in the mid-1950’s. Around Sept. 1962, Joseph married (2nd) Clare Marie Breen, born Feb. 23, 1930, in Boston, MA. They had at least one child, a son they named William Joseph Jergens. This child was put up for adoption and raised by a family who gave him their own name. Joseph H. Jergens died in Boulder, CO, on March 11, 1969; he is buried there in Green Mountain Cemetery in Section B, Lot 591. Irene (Heckman) Jergens died Jan. 28, 2001 in Dayton, OH. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, Sec. 45, Lot 98, space 7. Clare M. (Breen) Jergens died Nov. 22, 2011, probably in Iowa, where she was a resident of West Des Moines.
  3.   Rose Mary, born Jan. 31, 1917. On July 4, 1939, Rose Mary married Stephen John Hammer, born Aug. 31, 1914 in Ohio, the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants Stephen and Julia (Frederick) Hammer. Rose Mary and Stephen, Jr., had two children, both of whom are still living. Rose Mary (Jergens) Hammer died on Sept. 24, 2005; her husband Stephen died soon after, on Dec. 5, 2005. They are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, Sec. 7, Lot 68, spaces 11 and 12.
  4.   Mary Marguerite Emma. This child, born two months prematurely on July 4, 1918, lived for only seven or eight hours; she died early in the morning of July 5th. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, Section 14, Lot 83.
  5.   Edward Peter, born August 30, 1919 (twin to Ernest John). On July 13, 1944, Edward married Reva Marie Barnes, born June 12, 1927, in Xenia, Greene county, OH, to Ora and Margaret (Butler) Barnes. They had three children, who are still living. Reva M. Jergens’s obituary says that she and Ed owned and operated Jergens Greenhouse in Dayton, OH. Edward P. Jergens died Sept. 6, 1997, in Coldwater, Mercer county, OH. Reva passed away Sept. 27, 2011, at her daughter’s home in Austin, TX. Reva and Edward Jergens are buried together in the “new section” of Our Lady of Guadalupe Cemetery, Montezuma, Mercer County, OH.
  6.   Ernest John, born August 30, 1919 (twin to Edward Peter). On August 16, 1944, Ernest married Gertrude M. Fenneman, “the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fenneman of Glencoe Avenue,” per the wedding notice in Dayton’s Journal Herald newspaper. Gertrude was born on February 13, 1925. Ernest and Gertrude had three children, two of whom are still living. This marriage did not endure; Gertrude subsequently married Richard James Holzen. An item in the Dayton Daily News for June 5, 1960, noted the marriage of Ernest J. Jergens, 40, of 112 W. Beechwood Ave., and Virginia M. Bowers, 35, of 134 Basswood Ave. When Ernest and Gertrude’s son Henry John “Harry” Jergens died on July 20, 1987, the obituary noted that Harry’s “father & step‐mother, Ernest & Pearl Jergens of CA,” survived him. We have no further information on Virginia M. Bowers or Pearl Jergens. On June 9, 1988, in Minden, Douglas county, NV, Ernest J. Jergens married Anna Radzikowski. This was Anna’s third marriage, her first two husbands having died. Ernest and Anna lived in Fremont, CA. Ernest died Oct. 15, 2005; Anna died Sept. 20, 2008. They are buried together at Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Hayward, Alameda county, CA.
  7.   Mary. This daughter may have been stillborn. Mary’s interment record gives both her date of death and date of burial as January 4, 1921. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, in Section 14, Lot 83.
  8.   Mary Louise, born July 10, 1922. Circa 1942, Mary Louise married her neighbor Harold Leslie Wise, born Jan. 16, 1920, the son of Leslie and Erma (Kley) Wise. They had four children, who are still living. On May 29, 1973, in Miami county, OH, Harold was granted a divorce from Mary Louise; they had been married for 31 years. Harold died at home in Huber Heights, Montgomery county, Ohio, on February 10, 1993. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, in Section 17, Lot 71, space 4. Mary Louise (Jergens) Wise died at home in Bonita Springs, Lee county, FL, on July 18, 2009. She is buried in Naples Memorial Gardens in Naples, FL. Mary Louise’s obituary noted that she “dedicated her professional life to being a florist.”
  9.   Leo Walter, born Sept. 23, 1925. On Jan. 25, 1947, Leo married (1st) Phyllis Joan Hauser, born Jan. 9, 1931. They had four children, who are still living. Leo and Phyllis divorced in 1968. Leo married again, at least two more times (possibly having a child with Wife #2). Leo Jergens appears to have been unmarried when he died June 11, 1985. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, near his parents in Sec. 7, Lot 68, space 5.
  10.   Irene Mary, born Sept. 6, 1926. On Jan. 5, 1945, Irene married Melvin E. Weedman, born July 15, 1924 in Meade county, KY, the son of Roy Henry Addison Weedman and his first wife Emma Lena Whelan. They had seven children, including Kenneth Lee Weedman (Feb. 6, 1950 – Feb. 27, 1987; buried in Evans Cemetery, Evans, Weld county, CO) and six others who are still living. Irene (Jergens) Weedman died March 28, 1995. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, OH, in Section 7, Lot 68, space 1, near her parents. Melvin Weedman died Feb. 9, 1996, in Lexington, KY. He is buried in Lebanon National Cemetery in Lebanon, Marion county, KY.

Harry and Bertha Jergens’s children were educated through the 8th grade at Our Lady of the Rosary parochial school. After graduation, they all went to work for their father.

Bertha (Rediess) Jergens died in Dayton, Montgomery County, OH, on April 10, 1958, at 67 years of age, and was buried four days later in Section 7, Lot 68, Grave 3NE of Calvary Cemetery in Dayton. Little more than two months later, 67-year-old Harry died on June 19, 1958, in Dayton, OH, and was buried on the 23rd of June in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH, in Section 7, Lot 68, Grave 4NE.


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Peter Joseph Jergens, Jr. (Peter2, Phillip1, Philipp0 )

Peter Jergens, Jr., was born in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio on November 23, 1893. Like his brother, father, and grandfather, Peter Jergens worked as a gardener. Early on, Peter used a horse and wagon for his various transportation needs. Later, his occupation was more aptly termed “truck gardener,” when motorized vehicles came into common use.

On Thursday, May 10, 1917 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, Peter Jergens married Cecilia Margaret Leyes, born March 18, 1895, the oldest child of Anna Margaret Hecht and Henry J. Leyes.

In 2003 Peter's son Eugene wrote about why his parents were married on a Thursday: “The occupation of a vegetable farmer had restrictions on time, and limited free time in May. Also, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday were market days. Street markets in the downtown area [were] very important for income. So you can get a picture of why Thursday was logical -- it likely gave space for a twelve-hour honeymoon, because Friday was back to work in preparation for Saturday market.”

Peter and Cecilia (Leyes) Jergens had nine children (surname JERGENS):

      i. Rita Marie was born February 27, 1918, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. She was married to Cletus A. Schmidt for 67 years; he predeceased her in 2008. They have four children, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Rita died in Hemet, California, on July 6, 2009, at the age of 91. She and her husband are interred together at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.

     ii. Margaret Mary Cecilia was born June 5, 1919, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. Margaret was married to Elmer Ellsworth Watson, Jr. (known as “Doc”) for 68 years. They raised their family in South Windsor, Connecticut, where they resided for 55 years. Margaret died in Port Charlotte, Florida, on July 24, 2012, at age 93. Doc Watson died in Rotonda West, Florida, on July 27, 2016, at age 101. They were laid to rest together in Center Cemetery, South Windsor, Connecticut, on May 27, 2017, with military honors for Doc for his service in the US Army during WWII. They were survived by six children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    iii. Mary Ann Cecilia was born July 6, 1920, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. She was married to Earl R. Guntle for 38 years; he predeceased her in 1980. They had eight children, eighteen grandchildren, and twenty-five great-grandchildren. Mary Ann died at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH, on February 14, 2015, at the age of 94. She and her husband are interred together at Hill Grove Cemetery in Miamisburg, OH.

    iv. Joseph.   This child was stillborn on November 10, 1922 and buried the next day in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 12NE, Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

     v. Eugene Joseph, known from childhood as “Bud.” He was born August 16, 1924, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. During WWII, Bud served in the U.S. Navy. When Bud died February 23, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 80, he was survived by his wife of 60 years, seven children, thirteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson. Eugene J. “Bud” Jergens was buried with military honors in Dayton National Cemetery on February 28, 2005. Bud’s wife, Charlotte (Madascy) Jergens, died in Dayton on November 8, 2018.

    vi. Doloris Mary Bernadette was born January 27, 1926, in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. On June 24, 1944, in Kandiyohi, MN, Doloris married Wallace F. Stuhr. Wallace was born in Kandiyohi County, MN, on July 16, 1920. Wallace Stuhr died on July 24, 2004, in San Diego Co., CA; Doloris (Jergens) Stuhr died on July 12, 2019, in El Cajon, San Diego Co., CA. They were survived by their six children and eleven grandchildren.

    vii. Living Jergens (1929-)

   viii. Jerome Joseph was born April 6, 1931 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Jerome died on March 27, 2013, at the age of 81, in Dayton. He was survived by his wife of 59 years, nine children, thirteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    ix. Charlotte Mary Madonna, known as “Madonna.” She was born September 8, 1934 in Dayton, Montgomery Co., Ohio. On October 6, 1956, when Madonna was 22, she married John S. Goncey, born in Dayton on December 2, 1925. John Goncey died on September 3, 2009, in California; Madonna (Jergens) Goncey died on March 23, 2010, in La Mesa, California. They were survived by their daughter, son-in-law, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.


Peter and Cecilia Jergens’s children were educated at Our Lady of the Rosary parochial school, as well as at Kiser High School and Stivers High School, all in Dayton.

In February 1947, Peter, Cecilia, and family moved from Dayton to nearby Miamisburg. (The youngest members of this family probably graduated from the high school local to Miamisburg.)

In 1958, when Peter and Cecilia Jergens were visiting their daughters who lived in southern California, Cecilia became seriously ill and was hospitalized in San Diego. She died in the hospital on May 7, 1958, at age 63, just days before her 41st wedding anniversary. She is buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego, San Diego County, CA, in the section named “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Plot #1306, Grave #6.

Peter Jergens, Jr., married a second time, on November 28, 1959, to Hildegard Emma (Schmit) Helterline, born June 1, 1898 in Pearl Lake, Minnesota, the widow of George Andrew Helterline [Halterlein] of Plains, Montana. Hilda lived in southern California and worked as a housekeeper in a parish rectory. Peter met Hilda after Cecilia’s death, when he was again visiting his daughters in California. Peter and Hilda Jergens lived in Miamisburg, Ohio.

Hilda (Schmit) (Helterline) Jergens died August 27, 1979 at age 81. Hilda’s children from her previous marriage had her remains brought back to Plains, Sanders County, Montana, for burial in Plains Cemetery. Peter, aged 85, died weeks later, in Miamisburg, Montgomery County, Ohio, on October 14, 1979. He was buried on October 18th in Miamisburg Catholic Cemetery, Miamisburg, Ohio.


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Philipp Jergens in the U.S. federal census

Philipp Jergens appears in U.S. federal census data for the years 1830, 1840, and 1850, listed every time with a variant on the name Jergens. What makes us think we have the right man? The given name is always Philip or Phillip, he is listed each time in Delhi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, and he always has near neighbors surnamed Vaughan.

In 1830, Philipp was recorded as “Phillip Yerkins.” The two names listed immediately prior to Phillip Yerkins’ are those of James Vaughan and Liberty Vaughan. In 1840, he was enumerated as “Philip Yergan.” Written immediately prior to Philip Yergan’s name are those of Dana Vaughan, George Vaughan, and John Vaughan.

In two different indexes for the 1850 census, Philipp’s surname got transcribed as “Jerjus” and “Fergus” (the census taker’s handwriting was dreadful). One set of neighbors separated the Jergens household from that of John Vaughan, George Vaughan, and James Vaughan. We confirm that we have the right household in this census because of the presence of (son) Phillip Jergens, his wife Mary (Maria), and their three young daughters in the same household with Philipp and Monica Jergens.

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Anna Maria “Mary” (Jergens) Steffen (1825-1899)

Anna Maria Jergens, known as “Mary,” was born March 24, 1825, in Hamilton county, Ohio, most likely in Delhi Township, just west of Cincinnati. She was one of the two known children of Philipp and Monica Jergens.

On November 3, 1844, at Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mary Jergens married Mathias Steffen. Mathias was the son of Peter and Maria (Bodem) Steffen, born May 20, 1822 in Bergen, Kr. Merzig, Saarland, Germany. Mathias immigrated to the United States with his parents and four siblings on the ship Chevalier, which sailed from le Havre, France, arriving at the port of Baltimore on August 4, 1837. Mathias was also, as mentioned earlier, a first-cousin-once-removed to Maria Steffen (1819-1899) who wed Mary’s brother Phillip. (If you, gentle reader, are confused now as to which Mary Jergens was born a Steffen and which Mary Steffen was born a Jergens, don’t feel bad. These two women, sisters‐in‐law, died within weeks of each other in 1899, making it even more difficult to keep them sorted out.)

Mathias’ occupation was that of “gardening,” the work of growing vegetables and flowers. The first two of Mathias and Mary (Jergens) Steffen’s eight children, Mary and Peter, were born in Cincinnati in 1845 and 1846. Daughter Elizabeth was born in “Dayton” on February 14, 1848, so apparently Mathias moved his family there prior to that date. The censuses for 1850, 1860, and 1870 show this family living in Van Buren Township (their post office was Dayton). Presumably Elizabeth and the subsequent children – Martin, Catherine, Rosa, John, and Barbara – were born in Van Buren. By 1880, Mathias and Mary Steffen were recorded as living in Mad River Township.

Mathias Steffen died at age 60 on the 10th of January in 1883. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Dayton on January 14th in Section 15, Lot 16, Grave 3NW. Mary (Jergens) Steffen died sixteen years later, on May 28, 1899, at age 74. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Section 15, Lot 16, probably in Grave 2NW, next to Mathias. The Steffen family apparently owned the northern half of Lot 16, and Mathias Steffen appears to have been the first to be buried there. The other four burials include son Martin Steffen, who died at age 59 in January 1909; Mary (Maria Bodem) Steffen, Mathias’ mother, who died circa 1847 at age 52 and whose remains were reinterred from St. Henry’s Cemetery; and Philipp and Monica Jergens, whose remains, as mentioned earlier, were also reinterred from St. Henry’s.

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Phillip and Maria (Steffen) Jergens and their family

The Jergens family essay tells us that “Phillip and Mary established their residence on Price Hill [in] Cincinnati, Ohio.” In History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, in the biographical section for Phillip Jergens, Jr., it says that “Philip Jergens, Sr., was born in Warsaw, near Cincinnati.” The village in the northeastern corner of Delhi Township once known as Warsaw is the same general area as later-named Price Hill. That the Jergens household had essentially the same neighbors listed in three federal censuses suggests that this family stayed pretty much in the same place.

Phillip and Maria Jergens had five children while living on the family farm in Hamilton County – Helena, Mary, Margaret, Jacob, and Elizabeth.

The essay speaks of Phillip Jergens’ parents leaving the Cincinnati area to move to Dayton, “where they died in 1850 and 1852, respectively” and goes on to say that “when Elizabeth [born August 1853] was but a babe in arms, her parents moved to Dayton in a covered wagon, drawn by two horses [and] they made their home on the Old Troy Pike.” This implies that Phillip and Maria stayed in Delhi for a while after Philipp and Monica moved to the Dayton area, possibly with their daughter Mary and son‐in‐law Mathias Steffen.

“After they had settled in Dayton, five sons were born” to Phillip and Maria Jergens, the essay tells us. In fact, four sons were born in Montgomery County; eldest son Jacob was born while the family was still living in the Cincinnati area. The 1860 census records Phillip and Maria living in Mad River Township (with Dayton as its post office) in Montgomery County, Ohio. They now had seven children, sons Phillip, Jr., and Peter having been born in the “small brick house” that stood on Phillip’s land in Mad River.

By 1870, Phillip and Maria Jergens had lost an infant son, William (born circa 1859), and added son Joseph, born in the summer of 1860. Eldest daughter Helena (listed as “Lenny” in 1860, and as “Ellen” in 1870) lived next door with her husband, Jacob Zink, and their infant daughter Mary Frances. Second-oldest daughter Mary, her husband Franklin Joseph Zink (known as Joseph), and their infant son Joseph, Jr., also lived in Mad River. (Jacob and Joseph Zink were brothers.)

Phillip Jergens, Sr.’s occupation was “gardening.” The occupation of daughter Margaret (“Maggie”) was listed as “tends market,” while her mother Maria and sister Elizabeth kept house. Son Jacob’s occupation was “works on farm,” unlike his brothers Phillip, Jr. and Peter, whose occupations were listed as “works in garden.” Perhaps Jacob labored on someone else’s land. By 1871 or ’72, the family would lose 20-year-old son Jacob, whose cause of death never became part of the family lore.

In the years following, the rest of Phillip and Maria’s children married and made their own homes, most of them in the Dayton area. Phillip and Maria would live out the rest of their lives in Mad River Township.

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George Logel, first husband of Elizabeth Jergens

Elizabeth Jergens was married in name only to George Logel for over thirty years.

George does not appear with 26-year-old Elizabeth, 6-year-old John and 2-year-old Annie in the 1880 census; and Elizabeth’s marital status is marked “D” for divorced. It’s difficult to believe Elizabeth was divorced, given that the Jergens’ were devout Roman Catholics. We thought Elizabeth was more likely a widow in 1880.

Then we found another record in the 1880 census listing a “Geo. Logel,” born in Ohio, who was about one year older than Elizabeth and also marked as divorced. This George Logel lived in the town of Coldwater, in Mercer County, Ohio, about 80 miles northwest of Mad River. He was a butcher, enumerated as living alone. Could he have been Elizabeth’s husband? Good chance.

And then we found George Logel in other folks’ family trees. His personal data and timeline were in sync with the man who had married and left Elizabeth Jergens prior to 1880.

On February 22, 1881, in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, George Logel took another wife – Sarah Ellen “Sallie” Stahler – and had a second family with her. They moved at some point to Davidson county, Tennessee. The 1910 census records George as an inmate at the Central Hospital for the Insane in Nashville. George died there on November 26, 1910.

We don’t know if Elizabeth chose to live and raise her children apart from her husband, or if George simply abandoned her. We don’t know if George sought a formal divorce from Elizabeth. Given that George remarried in a different state, he may have left Ohio to start a new life as an ostensibly single man.

Honoring her marriage vows, Elizabeth waited until George died to marry again. On August 2, 1911, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, Elizabeth wed Charles J. Heckler, a man younger than her son John. (The church record lists John and Elizabeth Logel as witnesses to the marriage.)


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Anna Maria “Annie” Logel (1877-1894)

Annie Logel was born July 1, 1877, in Mad River Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. An on-line history of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton mentions Anna Logel among the twenty members of the First Holy Communion class “permitted to approach the Holy table on June 16, 1889” in the newly-built church.

Annie died on March 15, 1894. Her interment record from Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton noted her name as “Anna Maria Logel,” her age at death as 16 years, 8 months, and her cause of death as “diphtheria.” Annie was buried the next day in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH in Section 1, Lot 284, Grave 1NE. Interestingly, Annie’s headstone gives the year of her birth as 1878. This differs from her civil birth record, the church interment record, and the 1880 census, in which Annie was enumerated on June 21st as a two-year-old (if born in 1877, she would have celebrated her third birthday on July 1st).

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Magdalena “Lena” (Abele) Jergens (1871-1895)

Magdalena (Abele) Jergens’ untimely death prevented the passing down of much of her own family history. The essay states that Magdalena “was the daughter of John and Barbara (Finkmeyer or Funkmeyer) Abele. She had one brother, Joseph, and three sisters, Mary, Cynthia and Barbara.” Fortunately, we did locate the Abele family in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Their surname was recorded in variant forms.

John Abel, age 43, his wife Barbara, 41, and his family were enumerated in the 6th ward of the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio on August 5, 1870. Both John and Barbara were listed as having been born in Württemberg (Germany); John was recorded as a naturalized citizen. The birthplace of all five of their children was given as Ohio. John’s occupation was that of “journeyman cooper” and his wife Barbara was listed as “keeping house.”

John and Barbara’s eldest child, 16-year-old daughter Crescentia, worked in a tobacco factory. (In 1910, the household of Phillip Jergens, Jr., included his sister-in-law, Cynthia Underburger. Apparently Crescentia chose to anglicize her name.) The next two children – John, 13, and Maria, 11 – were “attending school.” The youngest children, daughter Barbara, 5, and son Joseph, 2, completed the listing for this family.

In the 1880 census, this family’s surname was recorded as “Obele.” They were living at 3 Bacon Street in Dayton; John was still working as a cooper, and his birthplace is listed simply as “Germany.” John, Jr., now 22, worked in a brewery, while 15-year-old daughter Barbara kept house. Both 11-year-old Joseph and 9-year-old “Lena” – Magdalena – attended school.

There is something poignant about the 1880 enumeration of this household: John Abele, Sr.’s marital status was noted as “widowed,” while his wife Barbara’s data were written at the very end of the family’s listing (not the usual order) and then crossed out with a single line. Barbara Abele died on January 11, 1880. Her civil death record gives her age at death as 50; the cause of death, consumption. The census taker included her data as someone who had lived in the John Abele household during the Census Year. Calvary Cemetery records Barbara’s burial under the name “Mary B. Abele” and gives her age at death as 48. She was buried on the 13th of January 1880, in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 1SE.

Barbara’s husband John followed her in death that same year. Calvary Cemetery lists John’s age as 52 when he died on September 26, 1880. John Abele was buried on the 28th of September 1880 in Section 14, Lot 83, Grave 1SE, the same grave in which his wife was laid to rest. (Mary and Magdalena [Abele] Jergens, their husbands, and a number of grandchildren and spouses are buried in this family plot.)

Lena Abele most likely went to live in Mad River Township with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Phillip Jergens, Jr., after she was orphaned by the death of her father. The fact that her wedding took place at Our Lady of the Rosary Church indicates that Lena was living in the area served by this parish.

The witnesses to Lena and Peter’s marriage were Joseph Abele (Lena’s brother) and “Franzisca Zink.” The marriage record, including names, was written in Latin by Father Frohmiller, the pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary Church. “Franzisca Zink” was probably Mary Frances Zink (she went by her middle name). Frances was the eldest child of Peter’s sister Helena (Jergens) Zink, whose family also lived in Mad River.

Magdalena’s burial record at Our Lady of the Rosary Church noted her age at death as twenty-four years and eight months, her birthplace as Dayton, Ohio, and the cause of her death as “consumption.”

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The Jergens family essay, “The Ancestors of the Present Jergens Family,” was written in 1936-37 by Margaret and Mary Ann Jergens of Dayton, Ohio, with contributions from numerous relatives alive in 1936.

History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio by Augustus Waldo Drury (1909). S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., Montgomery County, Ohio. This book is accessible and searchable online via Google Books.

Names, dates, and background information on the family of Joseph and Mary (Jergens) Zink were generously provided by a descendant in a January 2002 email exchange.

Dates of death for Maggie (Margaret Jergens) Kleinfelder and her husband John were obtained from interment records. The date of marriage quoted for Maggie and John was obtained from an anonymous source, who posted a query at the ZINK surname board at on October 17, 2003: “I am also in Dayton. Although I've not come across Helena [Jergens]. I am looking for Margaret (Margareth, Margaretha) Jergens, b. aug 1849, d 30 dec. 1908, who married John Kleinfelder (m.25 nov. 1873). Any chance this crosses your family lines?” I have tried without success to reach this person, who obviously had some concrete information that fit beautifully with the profile of this family, i.e., the birthdate of their eldest child, John, born July 1874. Letters of inquiry sent out in autumn 2004, to several individuals surnamed Kleinfelder living in Dayton, did not solve this mystery. The single response we received was from a gracious lady who married into an apparently unrelated Kleinfelder family.

Background on John J. Kleinfelder, Jr. and each of his siblings was provided via email in late May-early June 2005 by John’s now elderly daughter. We are indebted to this lovely lady for her generous and invaluable contribution to our family history!

Information regarding the family of Henry "Harry" Jergens and his wife Bertha was confirmed and clarified through the kind assistance of Calvin L. Timpe, who obtained his information directly from eldest son Henry Jergens in a letter dated 1993. Mr. Timpe's homepage links to his report on the "Descendants of John Rediess." Look near the bottom of page 3 and at the top of page 4 to find the family of Harry and Bertha (Rediess) Jergens.

We obtained a great deal of information regarding the family of Mathias and Mary (Jergens) Steffen in collaboration with Michael Fromholt. Mike has posted much of his data at RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project. Thanks for your help, Mike!

Background information and family history research on Peter and Anna (Bone) Steffen were obtained via the Camp Springs, Kentucky “unofficial” website, where a series of articles written by Donald Baumann chronicle the history of the area as well as the story of the Steffen family. Of particular interest is “Chapter Two” of the Steffen story. Don provides fascinating details about their journey to America, including the date they arrived in the port of New York [July 9, 1841] and an image of the ship Ville de Lyon’s manifest written with the names of the twenty-one Steffen family members who made this voyage together. Don has also provided information through email exchanges and put us in contact with Paul Weisenberger (see next entry). Thank you for everything, Don!

Family historian Paul J. Weisenberger, a Steffen descendant, has been researching the Steffen family for many years. He has documented and organized an enormous amount of data on numerous branches of this family tree over multiple generations. In Paul’s files we found background info for the immigration data for Peter and Maria (Bodem) Steffen and confirmed the cousin relationship between Maria Steffen and Mathias Steffen. Thank you, Paul!

We are thrilled to make the acquaintance of cousin Megan Plotkowski, whose father’s name showed up in a list of the author’s DNA relatives at 23andMe. The relatives we shared on that list pointed to likely Jergens genes, and it was true: They are descendants of Ida Mary Magdalen Jergens, the daughter of Phillip Jergens, Jr., and his wife Mary Abele. Megan and her parents graciously shared information about their branch of the family, along with a number of wonderful old photographs now displayed on our Jergens photos page. Thank you all so much!

Information regarding Hildegard E. (Schmit) (Helterline) Jergens was obtained from several sources: 1.) 1930 US federal census, ED #2, Jocko, Sanders County, Montana; NARA micropublication T626, roll 1261, page 8 – household of George A. and Hildegard E. Helterline; 2.) Plains Cemetery, Sanders Co., Montana; and 3.) “The Cameron & Paige Report,” a family tree posted by Patty LaPlante at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project.

The obituary item for Peter B. Kleinfelder was obtained via the Dayton Historical Obituaries Index, an online searchable database made available by the Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library. Viola M. (Blazer) Jergens’s maiden name was obtained in search of the same database; it was mentioned in an obituary for her daughter Mary Kathryn Jergens.

Photographs of many Jergens and Logel gravestones at Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio, were obtained in May and June of 2003 by two wonderful women who are related by marriage to the Jergens family.

Database: Ohio 1910 Census Miracode Index, Montgomery County, Ohio; Database: Ohio Deaths, 1958-2000; Database: World War I Draft Registrations,

International Genealogical Index® (IGI) records were obtained at the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Interment lists were obtained from The Calvary Cemetery Association, Calvary & Dixie Avenues, Dayton, OH 45409 (937) 293-1221; email: Calvary Cemetery now provides a fantastic new feature on its website that maps the location of burials. Using this feature, we are able to evaluate the likelihood of family relationships by observing the proximity of burials and comparing death dates. Thank you, Calvary Cemetery, for this marvelous research tool! (Note to researchers: Use Internet Explorer for best results.)

Ohio Death Certificate Index searchable database, available at the Ohio Historical Society’s website; 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus, OH 43211-2497

Numerous Ohio death records were obtained from the Family Search Labs website.


1830 US federal census, Delhi Township, Hamilton County, OH; NARA micropublication M19, roll #132, page 349 – Phillip Yerkins (Philipp Jergens).

1840 US federal census, Delhi Township, Hamilton County, OH; NARA micropublication M704, roll #400, page 373 – Philip Yergan (Philipp Jergens).

1850 US federal census, Green & Delhi Townships (District #68, Delhi), Hamilton County, OH; NARA micropublication M432, roll #686, page 485 –Phillip Jerjus (Philipp Jergens and son Phillip). In census indexes for 1850, the transformation of Jergens into “Jerjus” and "Fergus" is likely related to the handwriting of the census taker.

1860 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, OH; NARA micropublication M653, roll 1014, page 224B – Phillip Jergens & family. The surname got written down as “Carron.” All the given names, ages, and birth order are sufficiently accurate to identify this household as the family of Phillip Jergens, Sr.

1870 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, OH; NARA micropublication M593, roll #1248, page 639 – Jergens & Zink families.

1870 US federal census, Dayton, Montgomery County, OH; NARA micropublication M593, roll #1249, page 274, lines 24-30 – John Abel (Abele) household.

1880 US federal census, ED #155, Dayton, Montgomery County, OH; NARA micropublication T9, roll #1051, page 224D, lines 42-47 – John Obele (Abele) household.

1880 US federal census, Mad River Township, Montgomery County, OH; NARA micropublication T9, roll #1052, pages 637B-638A – Kleinfelder, Zink, Jergens, and Logel families.

1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 US federal censuses – data regarding Hecht, Heckler, Jergens, Kleinfelder, Leyes, and Logel families and individuals.




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© 2023 Elaine Schenot