Aloysia “Louisa” Gamers (also spelled as Garms, Games, Garmers, Garmess, and Gambers) was born on 2 June 1852 in St. Louis, Missouri, and baptized on the same day at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11th and Biddle. She was the daughter of Joachim Gamers and Bartholomea “Elizabeth” Zadelaer/Verheyen. Both parents had tragically lost their first spouses in the summer of 1850 and remarried within three months.

In the 1860 census, eight-year-old Louisa is shown in the household of her sixty-three-year-old father, Joachim “Games” and her forty-five-year-old mother, Eliza along with her half-brothers, seventeen-year-old Herman and fifteen-year-old Frederick living in the eighth ward of St. Louis.

On 7 March 1865, Aloysia’s father, Joachim, died. Aloysia and her mother probably were supported by her half-brother, Herman Verheyen, with whom they lived. That spring, Louisa was among the sixty-five boys and sixty girls (one of whom was Mary Dumler) who made their First Communion and were confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on 7 May 1865.

After this, she presumably worked for another family in St. Louis as she is not found under her maiden name in the 1870 census. However, in this census, she may have been the Louisa “Harmer,” an eighteen-year-old domestic working in the house of tobacco manufacturer, George Rucker, who lived in Subdivision 14 in the City of St. Louis.

On 6 August 1871, Aloysia was the baptismal sponsor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for Herman’s son, Boniface Frederick Verheyen.

Aloysia married John Baptist Dumler at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on 14 January 1873. Interestingly, there were six witnesses (three men and three women) at their marriage ceremony at a time when most marriage records only listed two witnesses. Their children followed shortly thereafter. Franz Xavier Joseph was born 12 December 1873 but died 20 August 1874. Theresa Agnes was born 3 January 1876.

On 9 July 1876, Louisa was the stand-in baptismal sponsor for her half-sister, Margaret (Verheyen) Braun, at the baptism of their niece, Maria Verheyen, daughter of their brother, Herman Verheyen and Mary Crancer at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Louisa gave birth to John August on 17 October 1879. The 1880 census shows the family living at 1428 N. 10th Street in St. Louis with their two living children, five-year-old Agnes who died on 25 October 1892 and six-month-old John, who died on 22 October 1938. The father was a salesman who was born in Bavaria, as were his parents.

Aloysia’s other children followed afterwards. Frederick William was born on 22 August 1881 and died on 29 July 1908, and Joseph Aloysius was born on 10 March 1886 and died on 24 August 1915. All the children were baptized at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. While living at 1442 N. Sixteenth Street, Louisa died from consumption at the age of thirty-six on 10 September 1888. The funeral service was held the following day at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with burial at Calvary Cemetery.

Written by Joe Armour
March 2020

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Last Modified: 26-Jun-2020 11:30