Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Breakthrough on German roots

One of my most difficult brick wall lines has been the family of my third-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Hais (also spelled Haise and Hise). She married English immigrant Samuel Oyler in Dearborn County, Indiana on Christmas 1850, and died on 15 April 1872 while traveling to Chillicothe, Ohio for the marriage of her daughter Elenora (Ellen) Oyler to Johan Schiffer. Given the different spellings for Mary Ann's last name, I had been unable to find a link to Germany or the names of her parents. But, a breakthrough finally happened while researching the freeview of Ancestry's international collection during Labor Day weekend. I have now found the parents of Mary Ann Hais Oyler, otherwise known by her maiden name as Marianna Haiss of Hausen im Killertal, Hohenzollern, Prussia.

Covington, Kentucky Connection
The first connection which led to this breakthrough occurred back in May 2013, when I looked into Mary Ann's daughter Mary Francis Oyler. She appears in the 1880 US Census in Covington, Kentucky as a servant in the household of Charles Lang, and must have moved there after the death of Mary Ann.

Charles Lang was a brewer in the Lewisburg neighborhood of Covington (I'll have more on his brewery in a future post). After some digging online, and found a page showing a list of German surnames for Lewisburg. The Hais surname was listed (http://www.nkyviews.com/kenton/text/kenton_txt_lewisburg_names.htm, visited as recently as today). Using this clue, I next turned to the City Directories of Covington, Kentucky.

The 1861 City Directory for Covington, shows a butcher named Sebastian Heis. In the 1860 US Census, this master butcher is referenced as Sebastian Hies.
1860 US Census, Covington, Kentucky
Sebastian died on 13 July 1861 in Kenton County, Kentucky (see his Findagrave entry). But Sebastian's wife Theresa kept the butcher shop going with son Charles Hais. The 1884 City Directory for Covington shows the family living at 10 Montague in Lewisburg. In that same year, there was also a young immigrant named Joseph Lux living in the Hais household, working in the butcher shop.
Source: 1884 US City Directory, Covington, Kentucky

Mary Francis Oyler married Joseph Lux about 1884. In the 1900 US Census, the occupation of Joseph Lux was listed as butcher, and he learned his trade from working in the meat packing business operated by Charles Hais. I do not have a copy of his obituary, but apparently his employment at the meat packing business is referenced there.

After finding out this potential connection to the Hais family I ran into the brick wall again. Largely halting the search until the weekend breakthrough.

So who was Sebastian Hais? Sebastian was the older brother of Mary Ann Hais Oyler. I was able to confirm this through the German records. Thank you Ancestry for the freeview!

The German Connection
Using the names of Hais family members who were in Covington, Kentucky and connected to Sebastian, I ran some searches and found matches to a Haiss family from Hausen im Killertal, Hohenzollern, Prussia. Sebastian Haiss was baptized on 19 June 1825. His parents are listed as Karl Haiss and Barbara Henkel. Then I ran a search for Marianna Haiss, born in 1827, for the same town. The records returned a match for a Marianna Haiss, born on 1 November 1827, to Karl Haiss and Barbara Henkel. Confirming Sebastian and Marianna were brother and sister.

I had a few more names from Covington. Josephine Hais, born about 1840. This returned a match for a Josepha Haiss, born 14 November 1839. Parents Karolus Haiss and Ursula Kraus.

Searching again, I looked up Barbara Haiss, born about 1838 (she appears in the 1860 US Census in Covington living in the household of Sebastian and Theresa). This returned a hit for Barbara Haiss, born 29 June 1838 to Karl Haiss and Ursula Kraus.

A bit more digging and I uncovered the rest of the Haiss family. Karl Haiss (baptized as Carolus Haiss on 22 April 1798 in Hausen im Killertal) had first married Barbara Henkel on 21 November 1824. They had the following children:
1. Sebastian Haiss, baptized in June 1825 (his Findagrave entry says his date of birth was 18 February 1825)
2. Andreas Haiss, born 16 November 1826
3. Marianna Haiss, born 1 November 1827
4. Josefa Haiss, born 24 July 1829
5. Kaspar Haiss, born 2 March 1834, died 12 March 1834

My suspicion is that Barbara Henkel Haiss died after childbirth about 1834, as Karl married Ursula Kraus in June 1836. The couple had at least the following children:
1. Barbara Haiss, born in 1837
2. Barbara Haiss, born 1 June 1838 (she married Leonard Weindel about 1865)
3. Josepha Haiss, born 14 November 1839 (she married August Schuler and later moved to New Jersey)
4. Agatha Haiss, born 17 January 1841
5. Moritz Haiss, born 1 April 1842
6. Christian Haiss, born 23 April 1843
7. Antonia Haiss, born 8 May 1844

I don't know yet if Karl Haiss, Ursula and family immigrated to America. I do not yet know how Sebastian and Marianna arrived in the US, so I'm still searching for this information.

The trail on Karl's family goes back quite far. In the limited time I had left to search Ancestry's records, I was able to push the Haiss family backward in time to Karl's grandfather, my 6th-great-grandfather Matheis Haiss. He married Christina Lang. I'll have more on the Haiss and related families in further posts.

For now it's great to have this connection to the German side of the tree. I do want to know how Marianna arrived in the US and made her way to the suburbs of Cincinnati to meet and marry Samuel Oyler. So the search continues.


  1. Hi Pat, Great write-up! I enjoyed reading about your search.Yes we have come a long way tracing Maryann. I recently viewed the original Hohenzollern records for her baptism. I found the Haiss on the original films was also written with what looks like a "besset" which would be Haiß. Write me if you would like my original photo.
    The Haiß line does go back a long ways. In the church books, I was unable to locate any baptism record for Maryann's mother Barbara Henkel. She may have come from another town. Another mystery to solve.
    Thanks again,
    Susan Heuchert

  2. Hi Susan, yes if you have an image of the original records that would be great.



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