What happened to Susan Hingtgen?

Daughter of Luxembourgers Jean Hingtgen and Anne Marie Reuter, Susan appears on the 1870 census as born in 1864. Unfortunately, that’s the only time she appears. So what happened to Susan Hingtgen?

My usual starting point for hints, Luxembourg American Families didn’t provide any . There were plenty of Susans, just not one from that family. Arens’s database includes most Luxembourg Americans, so the omission is telling. The information in his database is usually provided by descendants. Susan must not have had any.

If Susan died as a child, that would also explain why she doesn’t appear on the 1880 census with her mother and brothers. By then, the family had moved from Iowa to North Dakota, likely to be close to the family of her oldest brother Theodore.

Think about what we know. Susan likely died as a child. She appears on the 1870 census but not the 1880. Her death, therefore, most likely occurred between 1870 and 1880.

Where do we look next? Now that we have an approximate year of death, we can start looking for her gravestone using the Find A Grave database and her death record in the Iowa databases on FamilySearch. Both are dead ends…

But don’t give up yet! Like most Luxembourgers, the Hingtgen family is Catholic – chances are high, her records are in the local church. Off to the hunt!


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