Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Apolonia Heil

We do not know Apolonia Heil's birth date but according to the christening records she was baptized on 8 March 1820 at Roemisch-Katholische in Bossweiler, Pfalz, Bavaria. She was born to Henrici Heil and Christinae Neuhaueser. Many children died before they were a few days old therefore the majority of children were baptized within a few days of their birth. Often parents would have two names picked out before the birth. By the end of the 1600's most children were given three baptismal names in the Eastern part of Germany. Usually the second and / or third name was the name that the child was called by his family and village. Apolonia might have been named after a grandparent, godparent or parent. It was not unusual to use the same name as a previously deceased child.

Children were born at home with the help of a midwife and the women in the village. The women would sit with the mother while she was in labor distracting her with gossip and jokes. As it got closer for the mother to deliver the midwife would set up the birthing chair and help prepare the mother for birth by lubricating her with chicken fat and messaging her stomach. When the baby was born the midwife would take care of the baby while a neighbor would clean the new mother and help her into bed. Then the new father would be called into the room to meet his new child. Forty days after the birth of the child the mother would attend church for the first time and this was called churching

Bossweiler is situated in the Rhineland district on the southern slope of the Mountain Barley. Bossweiler was inhabited since the Roman era. During the 30 Year war the village disappeared but they preserve some of the houses and ancient shrine, Saint Oswald (as seen in the photo to your left). After 1672 Bossweiler joined with Quirnheim to form a mini-state. Quirim Merz was the bishop since 1651 and received both towns as a reward for converting Count Eberhard Ludwig von Leiningen-Westerburg from 1624 thru 1688. The French occupied the territory until the treaty of Luneville was signed in 1801. In 1816 after the fall of Napoleon the Kingdom of Bavaria was formed and lasted for 130 years until theformation of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946.

Apolonia Heil married Antonous Koffler on 28 May 1840 in Kleinbuntenbach bei Zweibrucken. A village close to were Apolonia was born. They had six children all were born in America. Antonious and Apolonia immigrated to America prior to the birth of their first child, Henry, my great, great, great grandfather in 1842. Antonous and Henry are listed as jewelers in the 1860 United States Census.

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