Allow me to introduce you to Catherine Caroline Geißler

Catherine Caroline Geißler, c 1883
Catherine Caroline Geißler, c 1883

Catherine Caroline Geissler was born 12 May 1863 in Franklin County, Ohio. She probably was born in Prairie Township where her father and mother had lived since 1856.

 According to the Holy Cross baptism records, Catherine Caroline Geissler was born May 12, 1863.  She was the daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Mack) Geißler.

She was the fourth and final child born to the couple as it is believed her father died in July 1863. Caroline would have been around 2 months old. The only father she knew was her step father Michael Billman who had married her mother on 19 September 1863.

Her step brothers John L Billman, was born in April 1869, and Thomas George Billman born in December 1874. In the 1870 and 1880 US Census records, Caroline was referred to as Caroline Billman, rather than Geissler. Perhaps the census takers was simply keeping the records in the household simple. Or perhaps, Caroline used her step-father's last name rather than her birth father's name. Or did she know there was another father?

Caroline married Allen C Bricker in September 1881 and they settled in Pleasant, Franklin, Ohio. Caroline used the name Gisler on her marriage record. Thus, by this time she must have known she was the daughter of Joseph, rather than Michael, if she hadn't known throughout her life.

Throughout her adult life, Catherine Caroline became known as simply Lena Bricker. She was difficult to find until this connection was made.


  1. What an beautiful photo of Catherine. It's wonderful that you were able to find her. I wonder why she went by Lena in her adult life.

    1. I'm thinking because her preferred name was Caroline rather than Catherine. Her mother was also Caroline. So, perhaps Lena was a nickname to help differentiate the two. That's my guess.


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