Wilhelmine Hespeler

ID # 6856, (1818-1850)
FatherJohann Georg Hespeler (1784-1840)
MotherAnna Barbara Wick (1791-1881)
ChristeningWilhelmine Hespeler was christened on 11 January 1818 at Eningen, Baden (Baden-Wurttemburg), Germany. 
BirthShe was born on 11 January 1818 at Eningen, Baden (Baden-Wurttemburg). 
MarriageShe married John Chapman on 17 November 1849 at Preston and Berlin, Canada West.
The evidence below strongly suggests that John Chapman and Wilhelmine Hespeler had two marriage ceremonies.

First, see Marriage Notices of Ontario, William D. Reid, Hunterdon House, Lambertville, N.J., 1980, page 349. The extraction is taken from the 26 November, 1849, edition of The Gazette, Hamilton, Canada West. This states:

At Preston, in the Roman Catholic Church, on Saturday, 17th inst., John Chapman, merchant, New Hope, to Wilhelmina Hespeler, of Preston. (Rev. Mr. Holzer).

There are one or two problems with the above. Rev. Mr. Holzer was at least to a degree an itinerant priest who probably regularly served his congregation at Guelph. There was not a physical church building per se at Preston at the time, services being held in available homes or halls, but the point need not be belaboured.

Also, and this from the text of the notice is entirely arguable, New Hope became such with the establishment of a post office there on May 6, 1851. Hitherto, it was known as Bergeyville, though there was never a post office under that name (see Floreen Carter's Ghost and Post Offices of Ontario, 1986.) New Hope became Hespeler in 1858.

Which brings us to the other, undated, marriage ceremony. And for this, please see The Marriage Registers of Upper Canada / Canada West, Wellington District, Vol. 9, part 1, 1840-1852, compiled by Dan Walker & Fawne Stratford-Devai, Global Heritage Press, 2000, page 81.

This presents us with a list of marriages performed by Rev'd Frederick W. Bindemann, Minister of the United Lutheran & German Reformed Protestant Church at Greenbush (Berlin, now Kitchener), between October 1, 1849, and January 1, 1850. Other than this, the marriages str shown as undated.

Near the end of the list, we find:

John Chapman, 25, Merchant of New Hope, Waterloo, to Wilhelmine Hespeler, 24. By licence. Rev. Bindemann.

That there were two marriages for the couple may strike the reader as unusual, and was, though certainly not unheard of. There is some evidence that at least some members of the Hespeler family were dedicated Lutherans. We must believe John Chapman to have been a dedicated Roman Catholic, especially when we note the separate burials for John and his two Hespeler wives, woman who were sisters.

The date of marriage shown here is that which appears in Reid's extraction from the Hamilton Gazette, namely November 17th, 1849. Was the Lutheran marriage ceremony as performed by Fredrick Bindemann held on the same day? For the moment, this is unknown.

Beyond this, and not to suggest that Bindemann couldn't deliver an impressive marriage ceremony, but he was known betimes to be terse. It is said that on occasion his idea of a marriage ceremony amounted to:

You want each other? You got each other. Two dollars.

DeathShe died on 28 November 1850 at New Hope, Waterloo Co., Canada West, at age 32. 
BurialShe was buried at Sec. B, New Hope Cemetery, Hespeler. 
NoteAncestry has a database (transcription only):

Germany, Select Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898

Germany, Select Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898
Wilhelmine Hespeler born 11 January, 1818, baptized 11 January 1818, at Eningen, Wurttemberg.
Parents Johann Georg Hespeler and Anna Brbra Wikin

Per FHL film nbr. 1569112.

We take our information for Wilhelmine's death from a transcription of her gravestone as it appears in Section B, of New Hope Cemetery, in present day Hespeler, which is a part of the City of Cambridge.

Wilhelmine Chapman is buried with her sister Ferdinande Hespeler Chapman and two nephews. Her date of death is shown as 28 November, 1850. The inscription also places her death in New Hope (Hespeler). It's probably a technicality, but a post office was established at Bergeyville in 1851 and named New Hope. (Bergeyville never had a post office.) The village does appear to have been known as New Hope before the establishment of the post office, however. See marriage notes for John and Wilhelmine.

Your researcher had not found direct evidence that John Chapman and Wilhelmine Hespeler had children. See page 15, however, in the Waterloo Historical Society's volume 102, 2014. Mr. Kenneth McLaughlin writes an excellent history of the Hespeler family entitled Hespeler's Hespelers. This tells that Wilhelmine died in childbirth and that she was delivered of a daughter, also named Wilhelmine, who died at age 4. With this information, a simple search of the 1851 census shows in Waterloo Township a widow, age 66, by the name of Johanna Chapman, a Roman Catholic. With her is a Willhelmine, age 2, and shown as Johanna's adopted daughter. At a guess, Johanna is some relation to John Chapman and Willhelmine is the daughter of John Chapman and Willhelmine Hespeler.

With this information, we find that John Chapman, a merchant of Galt, indeed lost a daughter on 27 February, 1854, by the name of Wilhelmine Charlotte, age 3 years and 4 months. This will be the child of his first wife, Wilhelmine Hespeler.

This information appears in Dumfries Reformer Death, 1853-1859, as extracted from the paper by Rosemary Ambrose. This was available at least at one time from the Waterloo branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. The edition of the paper as quoted by Mrs. Ambrose was 1st March, 1854. 

Child of Wilhelmine Hespeler and John Chapman

Last Edited28 Mar 2019