The Problem No conclusive records (such as birth or immigration) have been found for Catherine prior to her marriage in Cincinnati, Ohio. None of the U.S. records found provide a name of her hometown, but consistently show her birthplace as France. A census record for one of her children shows her birthplace as Alsace-Lorraine.
Alsace-Lorraine "Alsace-Lorraine (French: Alsace-Lorraine; German: Elsaß-Lothringen) was a territory disputed between the nation states of France and Germany. ... The territory, composed of Alsace and parts of Lorraine, originally belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation since the year 921, but was gradually annexed by France since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648." (http://www.dvhh.org/research/alsace-lorraine.htm)
" ... Alsace-Lorraine, an ethnic German enclave that is, today, in France, but has at times been ruled by Germany. The history of the region is complex, so for the purposes of genealogy, it might be best to simply consider it a "country" in and of itself, without placing it in either Germany or France. If a formal country must be used, then its current location dictates that it be placed in France, not Germany. ... 1648-1871 ruled by France. ...
"ALSACE ... consolidated into provinces of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin [France] after 1789 and under Napoleon; LORRAINE ... permanently French from 1766; its chief cities Metz and Nancy; a province in revolutionary France, divided later into departments of Meuse, Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and Vosges." (http://dgmweb.net/Ancillary/Geog/Europe/Alsace-Lorraine.html)
Catherine (Baer) Parma's Family Catherine and Francesco Parma were married 1 Jun 1841 in Cincinnati, Ohio (Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Cincinnati, Ohio Parish register for 1841). For Francesco's information, see Francesco Parma Research Notes. For their children, see Children of Francesco and Catherine (Baer) Parma.
Catherine Baer As with her husband, there are several versions of her maiden name.
|Parr:||baptism of son Daniel (one of his sponsors was Joseph Parr); her children's death records [B is often P in German. http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php]|
|Baer:||her marriage record|
|Beer:||baptism of daughter Cecilia|
|Behr:||baptism of son Francesco|
|Pere||baptism of daughter Rosena|
|Père:||baptism of son Charles|
|Usually spelled Baehr or Bähr on Bas Rhin records, but may also be Baer|
After her husband's death in 1865, Catherine remained in Covington where for a time she continued in the confectionary business (Covington City Directories). She died 5 Nov 1880 in Covington KY, Cincinnati Daily Commercial 6 Nov 1880 - Pg 5:1:
PARMA - In Covington, Ky, November 5, 1880, Catharine Parma, aged 59 years. Funeral Monday at 9 AM from her late residence, corner Eighth and Scott streets, with Requiem High Mass at St mary's Cathedral. Friends respectfully invited.
There is a lot in the St. Mary's Cemetery in Covington that is in her name. Several of her children are buried there, but no record has been found of Catherine's burial. On 29 Jul 1881 the Daily Commonwealth reported that "Mary M. Parma was appointed and qualified as the administratrix of Catharine Parma, deceased."
Relatives in Cincinnati? Several records have been found that may all be the same person. He has not been found in the 1850 census.
- Josephus Parr, one of son Daniel Joseph's baptismal sponsors in 1847
- Joseph Bahr, Hamilton County Ohio Citizenship Records 1837-1916 Age: 25 [b.c.1824], Country: Baden, Departure Port: Havre, Arrive Entry: New Orleans, Declaration: T (Declaration of Intention to Naturalize) 12/??/1849, Naturalization: F (Vol 23, Page 35, Folder F). I had no success with the site's search engine and had to use the browse feature. Joseph is record 627. There are others with similar surnames (records 601-625, 1101-1125), but all German, as is Joseph. Baden, Germany is just across the border from Bas Rhin, France.
- Joseph Bahle, 1849-50 Cincinnati City Directory: lab. s. w. c. I5th and Liberty
Possible Immigration Records Some possible immigration records for Catherine were found on Ancestry.com. Results from a "Baer" surname search:
- Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Catharine Beer, Arrival Date: 8 Sep 1827, Age: 6 [b.c.1821], Female, Port of Arrival: Philadelphia, Port of Departure: Havre de Grace, Place of Origin: France, Ship Name: Benjamin Morgan (Family Number: 205261, National Archives' Series Number: 425, Microfilm Number: 41)
- Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Catharine Beer, Arrival Date: 8 Sep 1827, Age: 2 [b.c.1825], Female, Port of Arrival: Philadelphia, Port of Departure: Havre de Grace, Place of Origin: France, Ship Name: Benjamin Morgan (Family Number: 205249, National Archives' Series Number: 425, Microfilm Number: 41)
- Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Catherine Bauer, Year: 1838, Age: 13 [b. abt 1825], Place: Baltimore, Maryland (Source Publication Code: 7247, Primary Immigrant: Bauer, Catherine, Annotation: Date and port of arrival from Bremen. Country of origin and occupation also provided., Source Bibliography: Reichart, Constance M. "Passenger Ship List of the Brig Apollo." In Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal (Columbia, MO), vol. 4:3 (Summer 1984), pp. 128-130. Page: 128 [977.8 D25m v. 4])
One source was ruled out: Reichart, Constance M. "Passenger Ship List of the Brig Apollo." In Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal (Columbia, MO), vol. 4:3 (Summer 1984), pp. 128-130. Page: 128 [FHL US/CAN Book 977.8 D25m v. 4]) (Catherine Bauer p.128). She was the wrong age, was from Bavaria, and her destination was Osage Co., Missouri.
The Alsace emigration book [944.38 W2s v.1&2], Vol.1, p.7: Three families from Keskastel are listed: Adam Baehr, Joseph Baehr, and Catherine Elisa Baer. Catherine was ruled out - she was born in 1819 and was accompanied by two children. Adam and Joseph were probably cousins or brothers of the Catherine born 1821. She probably traveled with one of them, perhaps to help with small children. Her mother, Sophia Margaretha Reeb, died 27 Jan 1836, which may have been the impetus for her immigration.
Possible Births From the ages in census records, we learn that Catherine was born in France about 1821 or 1824. In the 1920 census for some of her daughters, her birthplace is Alsace Lorraine. Her age at death was 59, i.e. born 1821, but her gravestone says 1819.
Several records that possibly were our Catherine were found in the old IGI, but are not in the current FamilySearch:
- Catharina Baer, Birth: 22 Dec 1821 Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France; Christening: 25 Dec 1821 Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France; Father: Johann Philipp Baer; Mother: Sophia Margaretha Reeb
- Catherina Elish Baer, Birth: Before 1819 Neewiller-Pres-Lauterbourg, Bas-Rhin, France
Since almost all of the U.S. records show an age that calculates to 1821 for her birth, the Keskastel record was deemed more likely. Records for Keskastel were examined in detail (Keskastel Civil registration). Two other births for a Catherine were found, one in 1814 and one in 1817. All marriage or death records for a Catherine were the wrong age. None were found for a Catherine born in 1821.
The Keskastel Lineage Book ended before her birth, so was of no help.
Summary The information supports the conclusion that Catherine Baer, wife of Francesco Parma, was the daughter of Johann Philipp Baehr and Sophia Margaretha Reeb