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William & Josephine
Vital Documents

Birth, marriage, and death records of William and Josephine, and the only record, a list, with the names and dates of birth of their children that reached adulthood.

Wilhelm Böniz (William Benitz) born: 8 February, 1815

Missing German birth record.

Wilhelm Böniz - 8 February, 1815
Church baptism (15th for 1815)

(source: Peter Benitz, obtained from:
Sankt Petri-sankt Martin-katholisch
Endingen, Baden, Germany
)

15  On 8 February in the morning at four o’clock a boy was born at this location.  He was baptized the same day at twelve o’clock in the afternoon in the St. Martin’s church.  He was named Wilhelm Böniz.  Father: Anton Böniz master-cooper  Mother: Maria Ana Wagner.  Sponsors: Joseph Peintner master-saddler and M. Ana Müller Bürgersfrau (middle-class woman).  Witness: Anton Halbling master-butcher.  Endingen, 8 February 1815
Anton Wild chaplain performed the baptism
                Alexander Umber, pastor

Missing German birth record.

Wilhelm Böniz
Born 8 February, 1815

(source: Peter Benitz, obtained from:
State Archives (from church) baptism records, 1815
Staatsarchiv, Freiburg, Baden, Germany
)

Josefa Kolmerer (Josephine Kolmer) born: 6 January, 1830

Missing German birth record.

Josefa Kolmerer
Church baptism record, 1830

(source: Peter Benitz, obtained from:
Sankt Petri-sankt Martin-katholisch
Endingen, Baden, Germany
)

William & Josephine, marriage: 23 February, 1847

During the time of confusion while California was transfered from Mexico to the U.S., official acts of marriage (and resulting baptisms) were delayed.  William & Josephine had wed informally the previous year.  This is their formal marriage and is the third entry in the Sonoma County “Record of Marriages”.  William signed as a witness to the first entry, the marriage of Hügal, one of his Rancho Herman partners.  Witnesses James Black and Edward McIntosh were neighbors of Josephine’s father, Michael Kolmer, in Occidental, California.  Per historian Lynn Rudy, the marriage ceremony most likely took place in Santa Rosa for John Nash was somewhat rotund and would not have travelled to Occidental, and certainly not remote Fort Ross.

Missing marriage record.

Willaim & Josephine
Marriage record, 23 February, 1847

(restored by Peter Benitz, from original at:
Sonoma County Recorder's Office,
Santa Rosa, California, USA.
)

On the 23rd. day of Feb AD 1847 in the District of Sonoma Upper California William Bennet and Josephine Coleman both of the said District were married by me John Nash Chief Justice of the said District and Edward E McIntosh and Augustuna Black were present as witnesses of said marriage    John H. Nash J.P.
Witnesses
 James Black
 Manuel E. McIntosh
 Augusten Black

William & Josephine’s children

William and Josephine had ten children, all born at Fort Ross, California.  Their children’s births (and deaths) were not entered in any official record (county, state, or otherwise) and the only record we have of their names and birth dates is this list made by William.  The list is incomplete, for William did not include the unlucky first three who died as infants.

Wm. Benitz of Fort Ross
born Febr 9h 1815 come
   died 1876 June 27th aged 61 y.
to America 1832 to Californa
1842 Married 1847 to
Josephine Kolmer———→ children
      my father wrote this
Franz Joseph 22h May 1850
Josephine Sept 10h 1852
William Otto May 22h 1854
Charles Theodor July 2h 1856
Alfred Alexander Jun 15h 1859
John Edwart Augh 1861
Herman Vitalis Apr 28h 1863
———————————
Josefina C de Benitz
died Aug 20 - 1912 aged 82½ years.
My mother signature

Missing image

William Benitz death: 27 June, 1876

Missing - see Alfred Bz 1873 diary.

William Benitz
Died June 27, 1876 - 6:30 p.m.
Ea. “La California”, Cañada de Gómez, Santa Fé, Arg.
His last words: I am getting dizzy

As recorded in son Alfred’s 1873 diary
(source: Peter Benitz)


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)