Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday–Wallace Montgomery (1889–1977)


Wallace Montgomery marker

Wallace Montgomery
1889 [Mason Symbol] 1977
All are richer for having known "Monty"
Fuistes bondad nobleza siempre viviras en mi – Bertha


Wallace is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. He is the son of Wallace Theodore Montgomery and Mary Jane P. McCulloch. He was born 25 December 1889 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA. He married Violet Gertrude Johanna Holdsworth on 21 July 1915 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA. He became a mechanical engineer and traveled to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Brazil with the United Sugar Companies, where he served as a “sugar chemist”.  He lived in various places in the U.S. including Louisiana, Texas, California, and New Jersey.


wallace 1918

Wallace 1919




Wallace Montgomery passport application photos.



  Wallace 19451951 Brazil immigration card photo.


Through all this traveling, I was not able to confirm any children being born to Wallace and Mary.

After his wife died in 1962, I could not locate any records for Wallace and thought that he might have retired in Mexico or some other place where he worked. After much searching, I recently located his death certificate.


Wallace Death cert

Wallace Montgomery died 17 August 1977 in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, USA. He is buried at Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, USA.

His marker is tells me that he was a Free Mason as it bares the Square and Compasses symbol. It also has two lovely inscriptions, the first tells me that his nickname for at least some of his life was “Monty”. (I was unaware of either of these things before seeing his marker photo.)

The second inscription is in Spanish and is roughly translated as “You were goodness and nobility. You will always live in[side] me – Bertha”.

So who is Bertha?  If Bertha is his daughter, it is possible that Bertha was born in one of the many countries where Wallace traveled for work. (I know that Mary went abroad with him at least once.) Or was she a child of Wallace and someone other than his wife, Mary? Or was Bertha born in one of the many states where he lived in the US? Or alternatively, was Bertha a second wife? So far the answer is unknown.

Rest in blessed peace, Wallace!

 Happy Hunting!!

Copyright © 2015 Regina De León. All rights reserved.


  • Thank you to Find A Grave contributor, Bob Young, for taking Wallace’s marker photo.
  • Passport photos are from Ancestry.com.
  • Brazil immigration card photo is from FamilySearch.org

Friday, June 19, 2015

Marriage and Divorce of Caroline Hauser and John W. Payton


This is the first marriage of John W. Payton, my 1st cousin 4x removed by marriage to Hannah Hicks.  I located these newspaper articles while searching for information on John and Hannah.

What I find the most interesting about the divorce is that it appears Caroline was given alimony a few years before the divorce case was in court. Was this something that happened often, as a matter of course?


Marriage – 30 April 1892 in San Francisco, California.

payton Hauser marriage 1892 

Alimony Payment Ordered – 10 February 1893 in San Francisco, California.

Divorce John Payton 1893


Divorce Suite Begins – 28 August 1895 in San Francisco, California.

Payton divorce suite begun


Divorce Granted – 8 October 1895 in San Francisco, California.

Payton divorce granted


Happy Hunting!

Copyright © 2015 Regina De León. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Recent Discoveries–Bickel / Spangenberg murders–Part 2


Doing some further digging I found another listing for a Johanns Bickel. This seems to be the Bickel family that was murdered in August of 1868.


New Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1813-1963

Ship Name: Hermann
Port of departure: Bremen, Germany
Arrival Date: 16 October 1855
(image from ancestry.com)

Bickel New Orleans






Country in which they belong

Country of which they intend to become inhabitants

Johannes Bickel


Mann (Man)

Schafer           Shepherd



Anna Bickel


Enefrau (Wife)

His wife

Catharina Bickel




Martha Bickel



Heinrich Bickel

11 months


Elisabeth Hesspel


Mädchen (Maiden/girl)

Magd            Servant

(This is an old-fashioned word.)



Heinrich Spangenberg


Mann (Man)

Schneider      Taylor (Tailor)



It is clear that the names of this Bickel family match the family that was murdered.

After looking at several online family trees, I see that many have taken this Bickel family and the one that I mentioned in my previous post as the same John Bickel. Let me address that.

The John Bickel that arrived in Texas in 1845 was listed as 44 years old. His wife, Caroline, was listed as 43. The John Bickel that arrived in Louisiana in 1855 is listed as 41 years old and his wife, Anna, is listed as 40. While I understand that John Bickel and wife could have returned to Germany and had children there and then returned to Texas, it seems unlikely that these two are the same people.

Lastly, the Heinrich Spangenberg listed on this passenger list must be addressed. He is listed here as 22 years old and in seven years, when the Henry Spangenberg enrolled in the Texas Infantry, he would have been 29. I still believe that the enrolled Henry Spangenberg is my relative and NOT this Henry Spangenberg either.

I wonder if the listed Elisabeth Hesspel eventually became Henry’s wife and would be the mother of the Spangenberg baby.

The 1860 US Federal Census for Boerne would be extremely helpful but it appears that census was lost. (Boerne would have been in Blanco County until 1862 when Kendall County was formed.)

I am extremely interested in the John Bickel biography from the Texas State Library. I wonder which John Bickel this bio is about?

Until the information arrives…

Happy Hunting!

Copyright © 2011 Regina De León. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Recent Discoveries–Bickel / Spangenberg murders


Back is 2011, I wrote a Tombstone Tuesday post about the Bickel / Spangenberg murders. You can find the post here. About two weeks ago, Marjorie Hagy, a local history writer, left a comment telling me about an article she wrote about the Bickel / Spangenberg murder. (See the original post comments for links to her article.)

From her article, I was able to glean some new information about the the Bickels and Henry Spangenberg.

  1. John Bickel came to Texas from Germany.
  2. In 1868, John Bickel was a widower with three children, two daughters and a son. One daughter, Martha, was married and living in the “American West”.  Catherine (or Katherine) was a young woman and John was 12 years old.
  3. Henry Spangenberg was a friend of John’s, possibly living in John’s house with Henry’s three year-old daughter.
  4. Henry served in the Texas 3rd Infantry.

Given these new clues, I set out to see if I could find any information linking Mr. Spangenberg to my Spangenberg family living in about the same area in Texas.

First, I did an Ancestry search on the names John Bickel and Henry Spangenberg. I found via the Texas, Index Card Collections, Colonial Ship Lists both Mr. Bickel and Mr. Spangenberg.

Colonist: Bickel, John
Fisher-Miller Colony
Ship: Birg Dethardt
Master: Ludering
Date: June 24, 1845
Departed from Nassau
Occupation: Farmer
Remarks: not given
Page: 9A-3-1
Also on that same page is Bickel, Caroline

Colonist: Spangenberg, Henry
Fisher-Miller Colony
Ship: Brig. Everhard
Master: Not Given
Date: December 18, 1845
Departed form Germany
Occupation: Farmer
Age: 36
Remarks: Single
Page: 9A-23-1

Seeing that they were both part of the Fisher-Miller Grant, I looked at my copy of A New Land Beckoned.  I found two entries for Mr. Bickel.

Bickel, Johann - 44 and Caroline 43; Johann Dethardt, 1845

Beckel, Johann George Christian - 44; from Wiesbaden; wife - Caroline nee Strauss - 43; Johann Dethardt, 1845

And one for Mr. Spangenberg, giving a different name.

Spangenberg, Friedrich - single, 36; from Nobiskrug, Hannover; Everhard, 1845

Also in the Texas, Index Card Collections there is a card for a biography on John Bickel.

Bickel, John
Sketch of his life:
American Biographies, 348

Since the original data from the Index Card Collections comes from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, I contacted them and am awaiting the ships lists and the biography. (Will have to post the results when they arrive.)

With regard to Henry Spangenberg serving in the Texas 3rd Infantry, I do not believe that this is the Henry Spangenberg that was murdered with Mr. Bickel. I believe that the Henry Spangenberg that served in the Texas 3rd Infantry is actually my 4th great-uncle Heinrich Henry Spangenberg who came over from Germany with his siblings and my 4th great-grandfather, Christoph Spangenberg and settled New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas.

The only information we have on Henry Friedrich Spangenberg comes from the above data. He is listed as 36 years old. And we know he was in Boerne, Texas when he was murdered in August of 1868.

I looked up the Civil War Service Records for the Texas 3rd Infantry on Fold3. There is a record of Heinrich Spangenberg in the Third Infantry (First Infantry, Luckett’s Regiment). His age is listed as 25 and he was enrolled on April 1, 1862 in New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas. Several cards list him as being sick at home in Comal County, Texas.

Heinrich Fredrich Spangenberg would have been 53 years old in 1862. My Heinrich Spangenberg was born in August 1836 per his tombstone, making him 25 in April of 1862. The age and the place matches for the Civil War soldier matching my Heinrich Spangenberg.

For now, I await the information from the Texas State Library.

Happy Hunting!

Copyright © 2015 Regina De León. All rights reserved.


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