Sophia Melahn

She’s the shortest branch on my mother’s side of the family tree. Most parts of her side of the tree extend back well over 250 years. Sophia, however, is the only person on the Faxon side for whom I’ve been unable to track down 4th great-grandparents. Part of this stems from the fact that she was a first generation immigrant, and this is where I most frequently run into a dead end. She was born on April 1st, 1830 in Germany. According to census records, she arrived in America 1854 and later married Henry (Heinrich) Suhr. They ultimately had 6 children. I’ve been able to track down pictures for most of them, including my 2nd great grandmother, Louisa Suhr (McFall), shown below.

Louis Suhr and Levi McFall

I’ve been checking every now and then for German birth records or passenger lists that may be hers, but so far nothing has come up that looks like a good match. The marriage date given by several people on is November 12th, 1855, in Milwaukee. If I were able to track down their marriage certificate, it would more than likely contain her parents names. However, the 1855 marriage date and location is suspect for a variety of reasons.

  1. Milwaukee started recording marriages in 1852, and theirs does not show up in the Milwaukee database.
  2. If she were married in 1855, that would mean she immigrated, met Henry, settled in Milwaukee and married him all in one year. Possible, but not likely.
  3. Their first child was born in 1861, so if the 1855 date is true it would also mean that after the above sequence of events, they then decided to wait 6 years to start having children.

There could be likely explanations for any one of those things, but taken together, it seems more likely that they married somewhere closer to 1859-1860 in a state that was not keeping very good marriage records. Will just have to keep looking, something will turn up eventually…


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