Tuesday, March 10, 2015


            I have been working to clean up old handwritten notes from the past 20 or 30 years of genealogical research and happened upon one regarding a Ch F. Stark who performed the marriage ceremony of my maternal great grandfather and great grandmother, Charles (Carl) Stark and Wilhelmine Catherine Schwarz, in St. Louis, Missouri.  The curiosity is that my great grandparents traveled from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to St. Louis to be married by Rev. Stark.  Are the two Stark males related?

            Finding Rev Ch F. Stark and his wife, Rosetta, who was the witness to the marriage was as easy as letting my fingers do the walking on ancestry.  The minister’s full name was Christopher F. (Frederick) Stark and Rosetta’s maiden name was Sauer.  Pastor Stark was the minister of the Evangelical Bethlehem Church, 2844 Morgan (now Delmar), St. Louis, Missouri when my great grandparents were married in 1878. 

            From a review of census reports, Christopher and Rosetta, probably newly married were enumerated in the 1860 Illinois Federal Census living in Carlyle, Clinton County, Illinois.  Christopher is listed on the census as a minister.  Relocating to St. Louis by 1870, Christopher, continued to be listed as a minister, was living with his family in a sub division #16 of the 9th ward.  He continued to be listed as a minister and living in St. Louis, MO from 1870-1910.

            Christopher F. Stark was born on March 31, 1834 in Germany and died July 22, 1918 in St. Louis, Missouri.  He was buried at Bethania Cemetery (now known as Bethany Cemetery) on July 25, 1918.  (Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, File Number 25046, Registered Number 7110).  I have seen Württemberg listed as his place of birth.  The 1900 Missouri Federal Census provides his immigration information—40 years in the United States, immigrated in 1860 and naturalized.  Obituary:  STARK, (Rev.) CHRISTOPHER F. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1918 7/23, Burial permit 7/26.

            Soon after Christopher’s arrival in America he married Rosetta Sauer.  Rosetta was born February 23, 1834 in Germany, the daughter of John G. and Elizabeth Sauer.  The Sauer family is enumerated in Hennepenn, Putnam County, Illinois.  That is probably where Christopher and Rosetta married.  Their first two children were born in Illinois.  Rosetta died in St. Louis, Missouri on November 10, 1920 and was buried on November 13, 1920 at Bethany Cemetery.  (Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, # 35341).  Oddly the 1900 Missouri Federal Census lists her as mother of 6 children with 6 living.  So far I have identified eight children born to this marriage, all before 1900.  Obituary:  Stark, Rosetta Sauer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1920 11/11 p39, Burial permit 11/15 p12.

Known children of Christopher F. Stark and Rosetta Sauer:

1. Lydia L. Stark born about 1861 in Illinois.

2.  Cornelius G. Stark born July 28, 1863 in Illinois, died December 14, 1924 at home in St. Louis, Missouri.  Cornelius is listed as divorced on his death certificate and living in the Stark Family home, 4579 Page Avenue in St. Louis.  His occupation at the time was a traveling salesman dealing in millinery.  Cornelius was buried on December 17, 1924 in Bethany Cemetery, Wellston, St. Louis County, Missouri. (Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Number 36329).  The 1920 Missouri Federal Census lists Cornelius as widowed.  Obituary:  Stark, Cornelius G. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1924 12/16 p36, Burial permit 12/18 p45.

3.  Roland Michael Stark born June 20, 1867 in St. Louis, Missouri, died June 12 1949 at the home he shared with his sister, Ida Louise, 413 South Dade Avenue, Ferguson, St. Louis County, Missouri.  At the time of his death, Roland was employed with the City of St. Louis Water Department.  The death certificate lists that he never married.  Roland was buried on June 14, 1949 in the Stark Section of Bethany Cemetery, Wellston, St. Louis County, Missouri.  (Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Number 22034).

4.  Clara S. Stark born about 1870 in St. Louis, Missouri.

5.  Ida Louise Stark born about June 16, 1872 in St. Louis Missouri, died July 1, 1954 at the Manchester Nursing Home, Manchester, St. Louis County, Missouri.  This lady’s name is a confusion.  Her death certificate lists Elouise, her burial stone lists Eloise, various census records list Ida Louise and she signed her brother’s death certificate as Louise Stark.  It is anyone’s guess!!  It appears that she lived with her younger married sister, Salome Stark Bush at 7365 Arlington Drive, Richmond Heights, Missouri before her death. Eloise was buried on July 3, 1954 in the Stark Family area of Bethany Cemetery, Wellston, St. Louis County, Missouri. (Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Number 25864).

6.  Catherine R. Stark born about 1876 in St. Louis, Missouri.

7.  Salome Stark born March 29, 1882 in St. Louis Missouri, died July 4, 1957 in Orange County, California. (State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics).  Married George Bush.  Mother of a daughter, Lisette Bush born about 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri.

8.  Mary Stark born April 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri.

            Three additional Starks are buried at Bethany Cemetery.  An Infant Stark who died, June 1872, Rosetta Stark who died June, 1890 (Stark, Rosetta K. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1890 Burial permit 6/3 p5) and Felix B. Stark who died February 7, 1902.  Felix does not appear to be related to Christopher F. Stark; however the infant and Rosetta could be additional children of Christopher and Rosetta Sauer Stark. 

            My maternal great grandmother’s marriage certificate indicates that she was from Württemberg.  Family stories tell of her coming to America and living with a family (possibly her relations) in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh to be a bride.  Is the connection a Stark/Swartz connection from Württemberg?  All documents I have been able to locate regarding my maternal great grandfather’s German roots appear to stem from Westphalia; Düsseldorf and Elberfeld, a municipal subdivision of the German city of Wuppertal.  Both are located in Westphalia. 

            Death certificates on the Stark men does not give any information as to their parentage and it is clear that they are not from the same area in Germany.  My conclusion—their relationship is still a mystery. 

            If google search brought you to this blog and you relate to the St. Louis, Missouri Stark family, I would love to hear from you.

Additional research on the family:
-John G. Sauer, listed as grandfather on the 1880 Missouri Federal Census and living with the Stark family in St. Louis.  Born about 1796 in Prussia.

-Bethany Cemetery (Also known as: Bethania Cemetery)
6800 St. Charles Rock Rd.
St. Louis County
Missouri  USA
Phone: 314-385-0841

-From a website of the St. Louis Genelogical Society (https://stlgs.org/research-2/congregations/clergy-by-name)

Clergy by Name
Stark      Ch. F.               St. Peter’s Evangelical     1864-1865
Stark      Christoph         Holy Ghost Evangelical     1866-1867
Stark      C.F.                  Bethany Evangelical         1867-1878

-From a website http://stlouis.genealogyvillage.com/earlychurches.htm

Bethany Evangelical Church was located at Red Bud and Rosalie Avenues for many years, and was organized in 1867 in a hall at 22nd and Franklin. It later worshiped in a small chapel at 24th and Carr, and in 1875 dedicated its own church at 23rd and Wash Streets. Rev. Christoph F. Stark was pastor in 1875. In Fairgrounds area. 1867

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2015, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. Linda, welcome back to blogging again. You've been missed.

  2. Is there a William Nelson Stark in Your family history? He was my maternal grandfather, and had a Uncle Christopher Franklin Stark. I believe that my grandfather was born in the 1880's.