John Herscher - 1842 - 1885
John Herscher was born in Vogelgrun, Alsace France on 24 May, 1842. John and his mother, Catherine, arrived in the US (as well as 2 of his 3 siblings) around 1852. One brother, Frederick, came 2 years later. Interestingly, John’s father and step-father were both named Andreas Herrscher (which made for interesting research puzzles!)
John was the founder of Herscher, Illinois, although his brother, Frederick had more of a leadership position within the town government. John and his wife, Caroline Wesemann, had no children. John’s sister, Mary, was my husband’s great-great-great grandmother. All three brothers served during the Civil War. The third brother, Jacob, was killed during that war.
John’s tombstone is located in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church cemetery near Herscher, Illinois.
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Last summer, I was incredibly lucky to be able to travel to several countries in Europe along with my husband, who was on a business trip. For 1 day, my wonderful husband shuttled me wherever I wanted to go to see the area that I had spent so much time researching. We went to 2 small towns in Alsace, France named Vogelgrun and Volgelsheim. We were able to locate 2 cemeteries in the area that had burials for families from my husband’s line – Herrscher. It was an incredible feeling to know that I was standing in the same location as the people I had been researching! They were REAL!
The interesting tradition for European cemeteries is that families “rent” their space and renew the lease after a period of years. Family members are buried together in the same plot.
When our trip was over, my husband commented that he could finally understand why genealogy had captured my heart.
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