John Christof Meyer and Descendants

John Christof Ertman Meyer (second generation) and Anna Schnoor Meyer's family.

I think this is taken at the funeral of their son John F. Meyer, in 1897; the clothes date the photo to right about then, and everyone looks terribly sad (especially Anna.) But it is good that their descendants have this photo and that Mom (Betty Lou) is able to identify them from her childhood memories.

In front are John C. E. and Anna, flanked by William and his wife Ida. In the back, left to right, are: Lottie, Henry, George, Lena, Freddie, Anna Sophia. Click photo for a larger view.

Meyer mother and daughters with son Freddie

"The Meyer Girls and Freddie" (date to be determined.) Sitting on the milk can with white stockings on is Lottie, more a wild little girl than the elegant creature seen in other photos! She is being held by sisters Lena (married Asa Potter) and Anna Sophia (with glasses on; married JM Ernst.) Freddie looks like he just came in from the fields. In the back are their mother, Anna M. "Maggie" Schnoor Meyer, and Ida E., William's wife. I don't think Maggie Schnoor Meyer's hair ever turned grey.

More photos:

Meyer family get together, 1922
Meyer monuments at Prospect Cemetery

    John Christof Meyer emigrated from from Ehrenburg, Hannover; b. Feb. 2, 1813 d. Aug 19, 1898 (85 years) m. Sophia Pahl b. May 21, 1813 probably in Hannover as well; d. Feb. 23, 1899 (86 years.)
    Farmers in the Radnor Township area (Alta, Dunlap) of Peoria County, Illinois, where they arrived circa 1859 (as far as I can tell, still looking for info.) Buried in Prospect Cemetery, with a fine Prospect of the cornfields & among many decendents. Their children--
  1. Meyer relativeA daughter, mentioned in JCE's obituary. We believe that it is Justina Smith, age 27 in 1860, wife of Peter Smith, with whom John C. and Sophia are living in the 1860 census (plat maps show Peter as the owner. JCE is not in the census that I can find, perhaps working elsewhere.) The census lists JC, Sophia, Justina, and Peter as all being from Prussia. We are pretty sure this is her photo, taken by the same photographer and at the same time as the rest of Anna Sophia's wedding photos. The right age, beautiful and dignified. Mom (Betty Lou) identified her from the facial similarities to the family. Photo taken at Erler Sunbeam Gallery, 1216 S. Adams St., Peoria (1891).
  2. John C. E. Meyer (from Ehrenburg, Hannover) b. August 5, 1839 d. March 12, 1908 married Anna Margareta Schnoor b. Nov. 10, 1845 in Holstein; d. April 18, 1932. She came from Holstein to Illinois at age 11, in 1856. See more about the Schnoors on her page. A biography of JCE and a copy of his obituary in the German language newspaper are on his page. (Click their names to see their pages.)

    The "John C.E." is for John Christof Ertman (Christof or Christoph, alternate spellings; Ertman may have one or two 'n's or be spelled 'Erdmann'. Spelling was constantly varying in those days, especially as people moved to new countries and tried to keep the spelling of their name phonetic in a new language or dialect.) John C. E.'s grandson was given the same name. 'Christoph/Christof' was a very popular man's name at the time, after the protector of travelers; a good name at the time when so many were emigrating from their homelands. I've wondered where the Ertman name came from, possibly the name of an an ancestor, or the name of someone they admired. I haven't found Ertmans in the Peoria area (there are some in MO.) But after researching the Thompson legend, I know that names can linger as middle names for many generations. There is usually some reason. Is there a story here, too? John C. E. and Anna Margareta are both buried at Prospect with the elder Meyers. They had eight children:

    1. William F. Meyer Jan. 1864-1933 m. Ida E. Feb. 1869-1935 (probably grandparents of Grampie's first cousin, William F. Reynolds 1912-1991, m. Margaret E. Stroman, 1918-1999. William F. Reynolds' parents were Wiley Reynolds 1882-1970 m. Margaret E. 1887-1969, is she William's daughter? They are together at Prospect.) In the 1900 census they have two daughters, Maggie E. b. Nov. 1887 and Nellie A. b. Oct. 1891. At Prospect, there is a stone for Ida E. Stroman, Feb 11 1918 - Nov. 27 1999, "dau of Wiley and Margaret Reynolds". Ida is in all the family pictures and appears to have been like another daughter to the Meyers. Children--
      1. Margaret (Maggie) E. Nov. 1887-1969 m. Wiley Reynolds 1882-1970. Children:
        1. William F. Reynolds 1912-1991, m. Margaret E. Stroman, 1918-1999
        2. Ida E. Stroman, Feb. 11 1918 - Nov. 27 1999
      2. Nellie A. Oct. 1891-? (wait, is this Nellie Shaw?)
    2. Henry C. Meyer b. Dec. 1867 d. Dec. 27, 1948; m. Lettie H., b. April, 1873 d. Oct. 27, 1952. All buried together at Prospect. In the 1900 census, Henry and Lettie are farming in Akron township and there is a seven year old son, Wallace O. b. Aug. 1892. Children:
      1. Wallace O. 1892-?
      2. Thelma M. 1903-1991 m. Philip G. Howard 1901-1995. Child:
        1. Char-lou H. 1923-Aug. 30, 1983 m. George E. Morgan 1924-2000. Mom knew Char-lou as a cousin. Char-lou and her husband are buried at Prospect in a line with her parents and grandparents; between the two stones is a lovely little statue of a sleeping dog.
    3. John F. Meyer, b. Nov.13, 1876, d. Feb. 11, 1897 (age 21; large monument at Prospect next to his parents.)
    4. Lena (Augusta Helena) Meyer b. July, 1865 d. Dec. 27, 1935 m. 1885 Asa Ellsworth Potter Oct. 1864-1929, one son John W. Potter b. Jan. 1886 and one grandson, John S. Potter. Living in Akron Township in 1900 near the Meyers and Ernsts. Mom remembers Uncle Asa as shorter than Aunt Lena. Albert and Jack and John Potter were cousins and friends. Odd how the Meyers seemed to be dying within a few years of their mother's death. At Prospect (near an infant daughter of JW Potter and CY Potter.) Their marker is almost hidden behind beautiful peonies.
      1. John W. Potter 1886- ? m ? Children:
        1. John S. Potter
        2. infant daughter
    5. Fred A. Meyer April 14, 1878-Oct 4, 1944; wife Ellen M. August 4, 1879 - Oct. 13, 1961. "Uncle Freddie" is in St. Clement's near Philomene and William Ernst. In the 1900 census, he is single and farming for his parents; Lottie and George are still at home too.
    6. Anne Sophia Meyer born 1873, died 1935 buried in Prospect Cemetery. Married John M. Ernst (wedding photo) in 1891. See the Ernst page for more (our ancestors.) Children:
      1. William m. Philomene Ernst (cousin, same family name)
      2. John Christof Ertman m. Bessie Hazel Sturm
      3. Albert Dewey m. Edna Pierson
    7. George Meyer and Maggie
    8. George Rudolph Meyer b. 1881 d. March 21, 1962 m. April 20, 1904 Margaret "Maggie" Grey d. March 26 1953; Mom (Betty Lou Ernst Hartzell) has a funny story about Aunt Maggie being aghast when they (Mom & Dad) served "liquor" - champagne - at their wedding! George was a farmer, and the sexton for the Prospect Cemetery for 21 years.
      New, thanks to John Melton (2010) -- click the photo for a link to a page with a marvelous newspaper clipping, a long article about George and Maggie's wedding (no champagne noted!) Gifts are listed, including those from children - twins John and Albert Ernst (Joni's and my grandfathers) gave a "water set". The article also notes that Lottie Meyer played the music for the wedding, "under a beautiful arch of evergreen and roses."
      Their daughter was Mable I. Meyer 1905-1971. (She had something wrong with her leg; polio? She was very small.) Son Erle R. Meyer 1907-1972; together at Prospect. Children:
      1. Erle R. Meyer 1907-1972
      2. Mable I. Meyer 1905-1971
    9. Charlotte Irene Meyer (Brauer) "Aunt Lottie", b. June 21, 1884; d.Nov.22, 1962; pianist and traveler; m. Edward G. Brauer b. July 9, 1888, d. Aug 23, 1959; Aero Sq/WWI, a dashing pilot. Buried in Prospect Cemetery in a line with her parents and grandparents. She left her silver to her nieces Char-lou and Betty Lou; half to each. No children.

See Ernst for more pictures.


Census wierdness: In the 1900 census, in Akron township next to the Albert (2) Ernsts; parents not legible, then there is...
Meyer Frederick A. Son Apr 1878 age 22 Farm laborer (must be Freddie)
Meyer Leonard R. Son Feb 1881 19 (???? should be George)
Meyer Hattie I. Daughter June 1884 15 (that's Lottie)

Our Meyer also shows up written as "Meyers", just as Sturm is sometimes Sturms and there are 8,000 ways to spell "Leasen". I notice on census lists for some families the children spell their names differently from the parents AND different from other siblings. All this seems like it might mean something, but it doesn't. Spelling in English just wasn't regularized for a long time. I found this somewhere --"The name Myer is an anglicized form of the German name Moyer. Moyer is a very common German name meaning farmer." Some alternate spellings are Mair, Mayer, Meyer, Moyer, Meir, Mier... and any of those might have an "s" appended, sometimes an "es."