Members of an area family were able Monday morning to close a chapter of their shared lineage with dedication of a monument placed at their ancestors’ current — and hopefully final — burial grounds.
The dedication took place at the San Geronimo Cemetery where a monument was placed in a corner of the cemetery that tells some of the history of his great-great-great grandparents Friedrich and Friedericke Voges, said Andy Crews.
Crews, who works in the genealogy department at the San Antonio Public Library, said he had been searching for his ancestors’ resting place but had no luck. Once he found them with some help, he did a little more digging and came up with an inscription placed on a monument erected where his family members are now buried, Crews said.
“I had been looking for them for my own personal genealogy,” he said. “My grandfather told me that his grandfather had come from Hortontown. He was born there but he moved to Clear Springs. Their whole story is on the monument.”
His quest was leading nowhere until he received a message from an area woman who also had been searching.
For about a century, her family owned the property where Crews’ family members were buried, Kreschendalyn Elley Backus said. The land is located off Elley Lane near State Highway 46 in Clear Springs, Elley Backus said.
Her family tried for many years to locate descendants of the Vogeses, to no avail, Elley Backus said. They found Voges descendants but never the right lineage, she said.
“We never found the line because their family dispersed the area after their parents died,” Elley Backus said.
Her family sold the property in 2017 to a developer. The property owner relocated the bodies buried on the land.
The remains went to San Geronimo Cemetery, where a reinterment ceremony took place in February.
Eventually, she sent a message to Crews, his mother and some other kinfolk, and found Friedrich’s and Friedericke’s living relatives, Elley Backus said.
Friedrich Voges was born Jan. 19, 1820, and died in 1899. Friedericke Voges was born Oct. 30, 1819, and died Oct. 10, 1911. They married Aug. 15, 1850, in Comal County and purchased the Voges homestead in 1878 after previously living in Hortontown, a town settled in 1847 in Comal County.
Friedrich and Friedericke had eight children together, according to Crews’ research inscribed on the monument. The children were Heinrich, Friedrich Ernst “Eritz,” Wilhelm, Ludwig “Louis,” Ernst, Wilhelmine “Minnie,” Caroline and Emma.
Louis, who died in 1876 at the age of 20, has a headstone next to his parents’.
Some members of their family moved to the Boerne area, and relatives still live there today, Crews said.
An assortment of them attended Monday’s ceremony, including Susanne Wilmeth, of Boerne, who is Friedrich’s and Friedericke’s great-great-great granddaughter; Anna Voges, of Dripping Springs, who is their great-great granddaughter; and Walter Voges, also of Boerne, who is the couple’s great-great grandson.
Walter Voges said he knew they had deceased family in the Seguin area, but he and other family members weren’t sure where they were buried. It was great to finally unravel the mystery.
“I knew they were from over here but didn’t know where they were,” Walter Voges said. “I had two uncles who came over here looking for their grandparents. They couldn’t find anybody who could tell them where they were.”
The uncles eventually grew old and died, ending their search.
Though the family has known about the reinterred remains since March, they waited until Monday to hold a special ceremony, dedicating the marker including Friedrich’s and Friedericke’s history, Crews said.
“They waited for me to write the text,” he said. “It took me a little while to do all the research and get it right.”