Bartholomea Zadelaer was born around 1815 in Kekerdom, Netherlands, to Fredericus Zadelaer and Margaretha Thunison. At the age of twenty-six, she married Johann Verheyen in Materborn, Rheinland, Germany, on 3 May 1841. (Information about the birth/baptisms of their children and the family’s immigration to St. Louis are in the biography of Johann Verheyen.)

The family arrived in St. Louis shortly after the Great Fire, which began on 17 May 1849. They survived the cholera epidemic, but a year later, on 14 August 1850, her husband Johann died. Faced with providing for herself and her three surviving children in a yet unfamiliar city, she remarried six weeks later. After two proclamations, she married Joachim Garms, a widower of two months, at St. Joseph’s, the German Catholic Church at 11th and Biddle on 1 October 1850. He was from Rees, Germany, which was less than fifteen miles from Qualburg, Germany, where Bartholomea’s first husband and her children were baptized.

On 2 June 1852, Bartholomea gave birth to a girl whom they named Aloysia after her husband, Joachim’s, first wife and one of his previous daughters. In the 1860 census, Bartholomea is listed as Elizabeth living with her husband Joachim. Interestingly, there is no occupation shown for her husband. However, her seventeen-year-old son Herman’s occupation is listed as laborer. Herman may have been the breadwinner of the family. Bartholomea’s daughter, Margaretha, was not listed in the household and so may have been working as a maid to another family in St. Louis. She and her fifteen-year-old brother, Friederick, may also have contributed to the family income. In the census, Herman and Friederick’s last names were shown as Garms instead of Verheyen.

On 7 March 1865, Bartholomea’s second husband, Joachim, died. Afterwards, Bartholomea evidently lived with her son Herman and his family for the remainder of her life. Herman Verheyen, married Mary Crancer on 1 November 1865 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The 1870 census shows her in Herman’s household with his wife and two young children in the tenth ward, eighteenth subdivision of St. Louis.

In the 1880 census, she is listed as Bartholomea “Gaumers,” grandmother, living with Herman’s family at 1516 Cass Ave., although Gould’s City Directory for that year shows Herman’s address as 1518 E. 20th.

On 18 November 1866, Bartholomea Verheier was the baptismal sponsor for Herman’s first child, her first grandchild, Frederick William, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Elizabeth Gamers was also the baptismal sponsor of her granddaughter and namesake, Charlotte Elizabeth Braun, at St. Liborius Catholic Church in St. Louis, on 2 April 1882. Charlotte was the daughter of Margaret (Verheyen) Braun. In the 1886 and 1887 Gould’s City Directory, Bartholomea is listed as Elizabeth, widow of John, living at 5229 Conde, the same address as Herman.

According to the burial notices in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Bartholomea Gainers, seventy-three, was living at 5229 Conde Street at the time of her death. She died of pleurisy in February 1887 and was buried on 17 February 1887 in the public section of Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. Due to the “medical marvels” of the time, she lived as a female but was buried as a male. Bartholomea became Bartholomew and was listed as male on the burial records.

Submitted by Joe Armour
February 2019

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Last Modified: 17-May-2019 12:05