02 August 2017

Descendants of Henry Abel (1817-1895)

According to his tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery, Henry Abel was born 15 February 1817 at Ebertzheim Rhein, Bavaria, Germany.  He immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York in late Spring of 1834 – listed as age 18 on a ship manifest.  About 17 months later, Henry came to Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  Approximately 4 years after his move, Mr. Abel married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Follendore.  She, born 20 October 1826 in Baden, Germany, was just 16 years of age at the time.  Elizabeth is possibly the sister of Catharine Follendore Russell (1828-1895), also buried in Rose Hill.

Henry and Elizabeth Abel as a couple were a fixture in the city of Macon for more than fifty years.  I have documented more than 240 of their descendants, concentrating primarily on the first 3 generations – through their great-grandchildren.  While the branches of their tree are far-reaching, I would also expect to find "a descendant or two" still in Macon today.

In census records, Henry's occupation was sometimes noted as farmer or gardener.  He seemed to support his family, however, as a merchant – generally in the "grocery and provision" sector.  As early as 1861, we see a reference to this noted in the local newspaper.  Richard W. Iobst recounted in his book, Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City (pg. 100) --

Another spectacular fire occurred early on Saturday morning 25 May in a row of wooden buildings on Cotton Avenue, opposite City Hall.  The fire burned half a block on Macon's most important business thoroughfare. Occupied by several tenants, the structures consisted of eight one-story wooden tenements which were used as grocery and provision stores.  The rear portions of the buildings were occupied as living quarters.  Henry Abel, in whose store the fire began, lost most of his goods.  The tenement occupied by Krutz's Bakery also burned.  The fire spread quickly because many of the buildings were old, and of little value…

By 1880, Henry had narrowed his wares to meats.  He and a couple of his sons maintained a butcher business, which carried on after Henry's death in 1895.  Following is an advertisement from a March 1892 edition of the Macon Telegraph (via GenealogyBank).


The number of children attributed to Henry and Elizabeth Abel ranges from 19 per his obituary, to 22 per hers. I can account for the 17 listed below. An asterisk (*) denotes individual also buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

- Frederick "Fred" T. Abel* (b. 1844 Georgia; d. 1909 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- William "Willie" Abel* (b. 1845 Georgia; d. 1920 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- John Henry Abel* (b. 1846-7 Bibb County, Georgia; d. 1892 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- Ella Eliza Ann Abel* (b. 1848; d. 1856)
- Charles Edward Abel (b. 1849 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia; d. 1926 Morgan County, Alabama)
- George F. Abel (b. 1852; d. bef. 1920)
- Mary Elizabeth Abel* (b. 1854; d. 1856)
- Catherine V. Abel* (b. 1855; d. 1856)
- Aurelia Abel Stubbs (b. 1858-9 Georgia; d. 1901)
- Louis A. Abel (b. 1859-60 Georgia; d. bef. 1920)
- Louisa Abel Brooks Rathe (b. 1860-72 Georgia; d. 1917 Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida)
- Ella F. Abel Ruhl Rathe (b. 1863 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia; d. 1939 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- Josephine "Jo" P. Abel* (b. 1864-78 Georgia; d. 1931 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- Julia F. Abel George (b. 1865 Georgia; d. 1927)
- Milo Freeman Abel (b. abt 1867 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia; d. 1920 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia)
- Kathleen Abel Kilburn (b. 1868-77 Georgia)
- unnamed female Abel (b. abt 1870 Georgia; d. bef. 1880)

anoldcitizenpassesawayHenry's obituary appeared on page 6 of the Tuesday, 19 March 1895 edition of the Macon Telegraph (Georgia):


After a Useful Life of Seventy-Eight Years Mr. Henry Abel Is No More.


He Was the Father of Nineteen Children, Forty Grandchildren and Five Great-Grandchildren -- The Funeral Tomorrow.

Mr. Henry Abel, one of Macon's oldest and best known citizens, died at his home on Adams street, Tattnall Square, last night at 10 o'clock, after an illness of three weeks.

For more than a week the watchers by Mr. Abel's bedside expected each breath to be his last as he grew weaker and weaker, so that when the summons came last night his loving and family and friends were not surprised -- it was the sad ending they had hourly expected, and yet so sorrowfully dreaded.  In his death the community has lost a valuable and highly respected citizen and his family a loving father and husband.

Mr. Abel was born in Erberzein, Bavaria, February 15, making him 78 years of age.  He arrived in New York from Germany May 20, 1834, and came to Macon October 18, 1838, and has been here ever since, not even having been outside of Bibb county since he first came here.  In 1842 he married Miss Lizzie Follendore in this city, who still survives him.  To them nineteen children were born, eleven of whom are still living, together with forty grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all of whom reside in Macon except two.  The living children are Messrs. Fred T., William, Charles, Louis and Milo Abel, Mrs. Aurelia Stubbs, Mrs. Louisa Brooks, Mrs. Ella Ruhl, Mrs. R. E. George, Mrs. L. J. Kilbourne and Miss Josephine Abel.

For many years Mr. Abel was a prosperous merchant and to business saved a competency that has given himself and family comfort during his old age.  He was a man who was never heard to speak ill of any one, and if he could say nothing good would say nothing.  He was a staunch Democrat -- one of the bourbon stripe -- and an ardent admirer of President Cleveland.  Of late years the only times he left his home was to vote the Democratic ticket, and he let no party election pass without voting.

Mr. Abel was one of the oldest members of Franklin lodge of Odd Fellows, and his funeral will be conducted with the ceremony of that order.  The exact time for the funeral has not been set, but it will be tomorrow.  A funeral notice will appear later announcing the time.  The interment will be at Rose Hill.

Elizabeth Follendore Abel outlived Henry by almost ten years.  Her obituary appeared on page 3 of the Tuesday, 10 January 1905 edition of the Augusta Chronicle (Georgia):


Mrs. Elizabeth Abel Passed Away in Her Seventy-ninth Year.

Macon, Ga., Jan. 9 -- Mrs. Elizabeth Abel, relict of Mr. Henry Abel, died yesterday at her home on Adams street, Huquenin Heights.  She was in her 79th year, and was the mother of twenty-two children, a number of whom now reside in Macon.  She was born in Boden-Boden, Germany.

Among the surviving children who reside in Macon are Messrs. Fred and William Abel, Mrs. J. A. Ruhl, Mrs. J. L. J. Kilburn, Mr. Louis Abel and Mrs. Charles Abel.

All of the family have been successful in business and have wielded a strong influence in the business of the city.

Some Additional Sources:

  1. Rose Hill Cemetery (Macon, Bibb County, Georgia), Grave Marker Transcription by Stephanie Lincecum, Acquired between 2003 - 2013.
  2. 1860 census of United States, population schedule, Macon, Bibb, Georgia, Page No. 98, dwelling 699, family 723, Henry Abell household, accessed May 2017. Includes Elizabeth; Frederick (age 17); William (age 15); Henry (age 13); Charles (age 11); George (age 7); Amelia (age 2); and Louis (age 1); digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org).
  3. "Georgia Deaths, 1914-1927", database, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org), death certificate image for Lovick Askew Abel, d. 11 August 1925 at Bibb County.
  4. 1850 census of United States, population schedule, 716th Dist G. M., City Macon, Bibb, Georgia, Dwelling & Family 53, Henry Abel household, accessed 18 May 2017. Includes Elizabeth (age 24); Frederick (age 6); William (age 5); Henry (age 3); E. A. (female, age 2); and C. E. (male, age 8/12); digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org).
  5. Friends of Rose Hill, "Historic Rose Hill Cemetery Directory", database, Historic Rose Hill (http://www.rosehillcemetery.org).
  6. F.H. Terry, Decatur City Cemetery; FindAGrave, 2017. FindAGrave memorial #55094166 -- Charles Edward Abel -- includes transcription of obituary. http://www.findagrave.com/.
  7. 1870 census of United States, population schedule, Macon, Bibb, Georgia, Page No. 189, dwelling 1353, family 1663, Henry Abel household, accessed May 2017. Includes Elizabeth (age 43); John H. (age 25); Charles (age 20); George (age 17); Amelia (age 12); Louis (age 10); Louisa (age 10); Ella (age 7); Josephine (age 6); Julia (age 5); Mylo (age 3); Catherine (age 2); and an unnamed female (age 1/12); digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org).
  8. "Superior Court: The Trial of George Abel," issued 28 July 1874, accessed 27 May 2017, name of interest: George Abel, Macon Weekly Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).
  9. "Milo F. Abel Dies Suddenly," issued 7 February 1920, accessed 7 July 2017, name of interest: Milo F. Abel, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).
  10. "An Old Citizen Passes Away," issued 19 March 1895, accessed 28 May 2017, name of interest: Mr. Henry Abel, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html).
  11. 1880 census of United States, population schedule, Fourth Fire Ward, Macon, Bibb, Georgia, E. D. No. 16, page no. 39, dwelling 298, family 352, Henry Abel household, accessed May 2017. Includes wife Elizabeth; sons Louis A. and Milo; and daughters Aumelia R., Ella, Josephine, Julia, and Catherine; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
  12. "Charles H. Stubbs," issued 24 April 1932, accessed 21 June 2017, name of interest: Charles Herbert Stubbs, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).
  13. "Mother of Twenty-Two Children Died in Macon," issued 10 January 1905, accessed 25 May 2017, name of interest: Mrs. Elizabeth Abel, Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).
  14. "Deaths and Funerals: Mrs. J. H. Rathe," issued 21 September 1917, accessed 25 June 2017, name of interest: Mrs. Louisa Abel Rathe, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).
  15. "Georgia Deaths, 1928-1940", database, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch, (http://www.familysearch.org).
  16. Crestlawn Cemetery (Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia), Image of tombstone provided by RrrrrGrrrr (2015) via FindAGrave memorial #141696747 -- Julia Frances Abel George. http://www.findagrave.com/.
  17. "Deaths and Funerals: Abel," issued 12 September 1909, accessed 25 May 2017, name of interest: Mr. Fred T. Abel, Macon Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, online image (http://www.genealogybank.com).

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