Category Archives: Civil War Veteran

George “Eugene” Heald, 1844-1930. The 4th great grandfather of my grandson.

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find ancestry documents on the 4th great grandfather of my grandson.  His name was George Eugene Heald, but he used his middle name “Eugene.”

Eugene was born on August 27, 1844, in Antwerp, Jefferson County, New York. His father, Nathan, was 29 and his mother, Adelia (Hoard) Heald, was 25 at the time of his birth.

Eugene was 21 years old when he married Agnes Hitt (the 4th great grandmother of my grandson). They had seven children together. It was their first born, Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald, who would continue on my grandson’s direct ancestry.

The picture below is of Eugene’s 1st wife, Agnes Hitt Heald.

Agnes Hitt Heald portrait

Agnes Hitt Heald seated

Later, Eugene would marry again to Angeline “Angie” Berriault. There were no children as a result of the 2nd marriage.

In a 1928 news article, Eugene is an elderly man and reflects and describes himself, “I am a regular down east Yankee.” He was describing the place of his birth and his origins. This wonderful news article from 20 August 1928, Green Bay Press-Gazette, gave me much of my information about Eugene. Here we find out that his father was part of the gold rush to California in 1848.”  This made Eugene’s father absent for some time during Eugene’s early childhood. After his family moved to Missouri for a period of 4 years, they finally moved to Clay Banks, Wisconsin.

part 1 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press

part 2 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press

part 3 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press


One way to piece together part of Eugene’s life is to study the U.S. Census records.  In 1870 (age 25), he is living with his wife Agnes in New York and is employed as a teamster. The only children listed on this census record are Fannie (my grandson’s 3rd great grandmother) and Hattie. Sadly, Hattie died young.  See news article:

Hattie Heald death

In the 1870 census, Eugene is living in Clay Banks, Door County, Wisconsin.  In the 1880 census, Eugene describes his occupation as  a farmer. By the time of the 1900 census, he is married to his 2nd wife, Angeline. His first wife Agnes had died the year earlier in 1899.

Eugene was a soldier in the Civil War, but I have not found military records at this point.

News clipping below is from 20 May 1926 – Green Bay Press Gazette.

20 May 1926 Eugene Heald from Green Bay Press Gazette

He died on August 10, 1930, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 85, and was buried in Door, Wisconsin.  The tombstone marker lists his name, his first wife Agnes, their young child Hattie who died when she was only 2 years old, and also listed is his second wife.

Heald family tombstone

Here is the order of descendency from Eugene to my son-in-law (the 3rd great grandson of Eugene Heald).

George “Eugene” HEALD (1844 – 1930)
3rd great-grandfather of son-in-law
Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald (1867 – 1937)
daughter of George “Eugene” HEALD
Zebina Eugene Shaw (1888 – 1939)
son of Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald
Joyce Lucille Shaw (1922 – 1990)
daughter of Zebina Eugene Shaw
Eugene Norbert Wiesner (1944 – 2012)
son of Joyce Lucille Shaw
Andrew Jacob Wiesner (1974 – )
son of Eugene Norbert Wiesner
G Eugene Heald Obit
G Eugene Heald Obit part 2
G Eugene Heald Obit part 3

Jacob Wiesner 1842-1936

In a news article from 16 April 1936, we learn that Jacob Wiesner had 19 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.  So, now I ponder how many great great grandchildren can also claim a direct ancestry link to Jacob Wiesner, Sr. ? I don’t know the answer to that exact question, but I do know that my son-in-law is one of Jacob’s great great grandsons. What do you know about Jacob?  Are you also a direct ancestor?  Please write and let me know!  Any family photos, documents, links, or stories would be welcomed.

Jacob’s story started in 1842.  He was born in Bavaria and arrived in the US at approx. age 2.  The fact that he had a foreign birth must not have been a popular story for this family and therefore in later accounts (including a 1936 news article) there is a claim Jacob was born in New Jersey.  I don’t think so.  Most of the  U.S. census records point to a different story and a birth in Bavaria.  Why would this fact be “re-written”? That is an open ended question!

According to census records, I believe that Jacob Wiesner was born on June 28, 1842, in Bavaria. At the time of Jacob’s birth, his father, Michael “May”, was 25 and his mother, Margaretha Stehren, was 24.

Jacob’s father Michael “May” is laid to rest in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin.

I believe that Jacob would have been the oldest of six children.

What can I discern about his childhood? There is so very little information on his family that might help to answer that question.  The 1850 census shows the Michael Wiesner family living in Milwaukee. Jacob would have been 8 years old at the time of this census and he is not checked off as attending school.  I don’t know if this is because he did not attend a school or because the census taker simply did not check this off.

An 1860 census states that Jacob (now 18 years old) is a farm laborer and that leads me to believe that he might have been working his father’s farm. That is only my hunch. This same 1860 census shows that the family now lived in West Bend, Washington County, Wisconsin.  Clearly, the family had moved during the 10 years time from the time of the previous census when they had been in Milwaukee.

In the 1870 census for Michael Wiesner (Jacob’s father), Michael was then age 53. Jacob is not listed in this census record as he no longer lived at his father’s home.  Michael lists his occupation as farmer. Jacob’s siblings George and Catharina were still at home and recorded to be in school. The value of Michael’s real estate was 3,000 (higher than most in the area they lived).  Michael still resided in West Bend, WI.

It is finally from the 1900 census that I am able to tell when Michael immigrated to the United States.  There he lists his date of immigration as 1844 and we know that his son and the study of this blog, Jacob Wiesner, was born in 1842.  Thus, I conclude that Jacob was born in Bavaria and brought to the states at a very early age.

I chanced upon some newspaper articles that help tell a story about Jacob and contain the only photographs that I have found of him.  From an article in 1936 we learn that as a youth, Jacob ran away from home to join forces with the Union army in the Civil War.  His parents found him and brought him back home, but he would later re-enlist and served (mostly with the 48th Wisconsin) until the end of the war.  ” With Sheridan he helped hold Missouri in line with the Union cause”  He was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth.

Jacob Wiesner buried 1936
Jacob Wiesner photo
Jacob Wiesner from 11 Jul 1932 with photo Green Bay
Jacob Wiesner dies on Tuesday from door county news 1936 April.JPG

Jacob and Wilheimme “Minnie” had 8 children.  I have accounts for only 5 of those children.  In Wilheimme’s obituary it says, “five of eight children survive their mother.”  This causes me to think that there may have been child or infant deaths of  the 3 children that I cannot account for in my research. So, to review the relationships to our family, Jacob and Wilheimme were direct ancestors and great great grandparents of my son-in-law.  It was their child Jacob “Jake” Wiesner, Jr. who would be the great grandfather of my son-in-law.  Yes, Jacob was a very popular family name!

death of Wilheimme Wiesner door county advocate 04-16-1920

The children of Jacob and Wilheimee “Minnie” Wiesner were:

CHILD 1  (Our direct ancestor)Jacob “Jake” Wiesner, Jr. 1879-1953 married Emma Wilhelmine Caroline Bork

Jacob Wiesner, Jr with Joyce and Dorothy
Jacob Wiesner, Jr. death 1953
28 May 1940 Emma Bork death

CHILD 2 Christine Wiesner 1873-? (no other information available)

CHILD 3 Johanna Wiesner 1876-1957 married John Sperber

Mrs. Sperber death from Green Bay Gazette 2 May 1957

CHILD 4 William Wiesner 1880- ?  Married Mary Petersilka

CHILD 5 Minnie Wiesner 1884-1948 married Fred Sperber (she married a brother of her sister Johanna’s husband)

Minnie Wiesner

Jacob was 77 years old at the time of his wife’s death.  He lived until age 93 and became one of the oldest living Civil War veterans of his time.

In the 1910 census we find Jacob and wife Minnie living with son William (a farmer) and William’s family in Door County, Nasewaupee, WI.  Jacob was 67 years old at this time and now lists his birth place in the census as New York (in other words, he changed the story).  Perhaps, in the sense of an immigrant, this was a type of “birthplace” for him.  Jacob does say that the birthplace of his parents was Germany.

In the 1920 census Minnie and Jacob are in their 70’s and now reside in a rented home.  Once again, Jacob lists his birthplace as New York while Minnie lists hers as Germany.  At this time, Jacob lists his occupation as “retired.”

In the 1930 census, Jacob is a widower and lives with his daughter Johanna “Hanna” and her husband John Sperber in Door County, WI.  Finding this census was confusing as all other written news accounts say that from the time of Minnie’s death in 1920, Jacob Sr. had lived with his son Jacob “Jake” Jr. Another question to explore…

It does appear that Jacob died at the home of his son Jacob, Jr. with a legacy of being one of the first pioneer farmers and a Civil War veteran of the Union Army.  Also, a direct ancestor of our family line.

It has been a pleasure to explore Jacob’s life.  I hope that this story will reach out to others who share Jacob as their direct ancestor!

Jacob Wiesner death Racine Journal April 16 1953
The couple seated in the center of the photo are Jacob Wiesner and his wife Minnie Erdman Wiesner