14 August 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Charles Eckman

Charles Henry Eckman is my husband’s great grandfather. He and his wife Rosa Kirchner are my elusive couple. They lived in Lancaster City on
Manor Street
throughout their married life. They had five children together. One died a toddler. I have yet to find their burial information. However, I have found lots about his parents – John Henry and Catherine Kezia Cresswell Eckman.

His parents lived across from the Zion Reformed Church in Providence Township in Southern Lancaster County. Counting Charles, they had 11 children.  John and Catherine are buried there with everyone except Charles. One other sister, Margaret Estella Eckman is buried in the same cemetery but with her husband, Lewis Eckman. The family was well know – still is – in the church and played a large active role in it. The church is now Zion UCC.

The story goes that the family had a huge picnic one Sunday afternoon. Charles and Rosa came down from Lancaster with her parents – John Kirchner and Barbara Kuhn. The Eckmans – at least this branch – were very into the whole Temperance Movement. The Kirchners were evidently not. They – including Charles – brought beer with them to the family picnic. It was the last time they were invited down and the last anyone heard from them.

What I do know …
Charles was born 1 February 1860. He was, according to the 1880 Census, a telegraph operator in the City. He married Rosa 24 August 1881. They had five children: John Charles (my husband’s grandfather), Mary, Victor, Irene and Mina. Mary married a Charlie McCaulley. Victor died a toddler. Irene married a Paul Massing. I know nothing of Mina. John Charles married Mabel Florence Eckman. Her family is buried at Zion and the Clearfield UM Church near Smithville. Charles died 26 April 1886, according to the Eckman Family Bible.

Rosa was born 4 September 1859 in Lancaster. She passed sometime after 1924. She was Catholic.

At some point, I may just pack a picnic lunch – my kids think this is a hoot! – and we may just go visit the Catholic cemeteries in town for any Kirchners. Problem is though that in Lancaster County, Kirchner is a pretty popular name!

What I hope to find …
I want to know what came of them, where they are buried, how they passed, if Rosa remarried or remained a widow.

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