Sunday, February 25, 2018

Who Was Mary (Margaret) Robin Bentz?

One of my maternal 2nd great grandmothers was Mary Robin Bentz.  There are definitely some missing pieces in my information about Mary.  One of the first questions is her first name.  I have seen her listed as Mary or Margaret or Marie. 

1862 Mary (28 years old) Immigrated to America from Luxembourg with her husband John (42 years old) and children John (6 years old), Clara (4 years old), and Catherine (infant).image

I first find Mary Robin Bentz in the United States in:

1870 US Federal Census for Cascade Township, Dubuque County, Iowa 22 June 1870.  Mary (36 years old), born Luxembourg as well as her parents, is listed as the wife of John Bentz, (42 years old) living with children John (14 years old-born Luxembourg), Clara (10 years old-born Luxembourg), Catherine (8 years old-born Luxembourg), Nicholas (7 years old-born Iowa), Nicholas (5 years old-born Iowa), Jacob (11 months old-born Iowa).  Mary is listed as not being able to read or write.  The children, with the exception of Jacob, are all listed as being in school.  There is also a 60 year old laborer from Luxembourg living with them-John Deutcher.  Yes, there were 2 listings for Nicholas on the census.  My guess is the younger Nicholas was really Jacob. 

There would be 2 more children, Mary and Francis born in the mid 1870s who would die shortly after their births.

1880 US Federal Census for Worthington/Dubuque, Dodge County, Iowa 14 June 1880.  Mary (46 years old), born Luxembourg and husband John Bentz (59 years old) are living with son Jacob (10 years old) and daughter Suza (age 3).

For a period of time they lived in Remsen, Iowa.  Not sure of the dates.

1900 US Federal Census for Emery Village, Hanson, South Dakota 27 June 1900.  Mary, now a widow, 64 years old, birth Luxembourg, living with her unmarried son Jacob J. Bentz who was a Mason.  Mary is able to read and write but unable to Speak English.

1910 US Federal Census for Emery Village, Hanson, South Dakota 17 May 1910.  Mary, age 75, birth year 1835 born Germany, Can read & write, Native tongue-German, is living with her son Jacob (40 years old) and his wife of 9 years Julia (age 33) and their children Clara (7 years old), Joseph (5 years old) and Vircine (4 years old) and a boarder Julious Bruecker (27 years old).  The children are all listed as being born in Iowa.  Mary’s Immigration year is listed as 1862.  Did Jacob and Julia marry and live in Iowa for a few years before returning to South Dakota?

22 October 1911 Mary passed away at the age of 79 in Hanson County, South Dakota. 

Oh, how I wish I could find a photo out there somewhere of Mary.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

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