Two Articles for PSGS Backtracker

A Brief Encounter with the Horstman Family of Port Orchard, WA
Decmeber 2001

Romance At The Veterans Home: Mary Ann (Rossiter) Horstman Baker Wilber
December 2003

Ancestry of Bertha (Horstman) Haller

Granddaughter of August Horstman and Mary Ann Rossiter

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson

Family Tree Branches

August Horstman Marker

The HORSTMAN plot is bordered by a concrete curbing with the marker centered on west side facing east. A simple footstone is marked A. H. The monument has a cross on top, the words "GONE HOME", and a stylized harp and branches below. The base of monument has HORSTMAN on the reverse.

Born Feb 18 1844
Enlisted in Company E
4th Infantry
Aug. 1862
Died Apr 11 1912

Knights of Pythias Cemetery
Port Orchard, WA

A Brief Encounter with the Horstman Family of Port Orchard, WA
by Stephen M. Lawson -

An off-hand comment by my brother's wife, Colette (Haller) Lawson, that her grandmother Bertha HALLER was born in Port Orchard led to a search for available records concerning her origins. Colette had obtained a copy of her father's birth certificate, showing he was born in Seattle, King Co., WA on Aug. 7, 1927 when his father Walter HALLER was age 24 and his mother Bertha HORSTMAN was age 18. So, the initial information was that Bertha (HORSTMAN) HALLER was born about 1909 in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA, and it was recalled that Bertha HALLER died about 1960.

A visit to the library of the Puget Sound Genealogical Society was in order. Since the Washington State Death Index is listed in Soundex order with a number of years on each microfilm roll, viewing only a couple rolls was required to locate the death of HALLER BERTHA on 3-27-60 at Bremerton, Kitsap Co., WA, although her normal place of residence was Snohomish Co., WA. Her age at death in 1960 was given as 53, which conflicted with her being age 18 in 1927 - not an unusual situation. In such cases, the information provided closest to the date of the event is opften more reliable. Sure enough, the Washington State Birth Index microfilm revealed that Bertha Myrnietta HORSTMAN was born Mar. 24, 1909 at Port Orchard to William HORSTMAN and Carrie L. MOORE.

Having the names of Bertha's parents provided the key needed for a review of the PSGS library's film of the 1910 Census of Port Orchard. The family was found on Roll T624-1662, Sheet 13B, Dist. 232, Dwelling and Family number 81, with William HORSTMAN age 39, wife Carrie age 31, and five children, the youngest being Bertha age 1. Additional family details came from the Census listing. The names of Bertha's parents gave cause for re-visiting the WA State Death Index, providing the death dates and ages for both William and Carrie HORSTMAN. Death certificates were ordered through the VitalCheck service at

Bertha's mother Carrie (MOORE) HORSTMAN died at Port Orchard in 1911, so the wait for the Death Certificates to arrive (less than a week) provided time to check the Cemetery Records books for Kitsap County published by the PSGS. The listing for Port Orchard Cemetery included Carrie HORSTMAN and August HORSTMAN in the same plot. A visit to the Pendleton-Gilcrest Funeral Home revealed that records for that early date had been destroyed by fire, so the cemetery was walked and the August HORSTMAN plot was located - but with no marker for Carrie HORSTMAN. The Death Certificates arrived confirming the suspicion that August HORSTMAN was the father-in-law of Carrie, and providing much additional information.

The death date and place for August HORSTMAN was confirmed by the WA State Death Index, and VitalCheck received another order. His parents were given as F. HORSTMAN and Lucy by the informant, Mrs. August HORSTMAN. From their son William's Death Certificate, Mrs. August HORSTMAN was identified as Mary ROSSITER. No death record could be found for Mary HORSTMAN - an apparent impasse. But a PSGS publication provided the needed information. On page 92 of the 1994 volume of the PSGS journal was a Jul. 24, 1913 marriage record for Joe BAKER, 68, of Port Orchard, a native of Germany. Joe's bride was identified as Mary HORSTMAN (form. ROSSITER), 63, daughter of Samuel ROSSITER and Mary BLY, resident of Port Orchard and native of IN. [See Dec 2003 article below for death and burial data.]

The 1850 Census Index for IN includes only one ROSSITER or variant: Samuel Rositer Harrison Co. page 304 45th District. Household 311 includes, among others, Samuel Rositer age 42, Mary Rositer age 24, and Mary A. Rositer age 4/12. Thus the ROSSITER ancestry saga begins - but that's a different story.

Beginning with minimal information about Bertha (HORSTMAN) HALLER, the resources of the Puget Sound Genealogical Society permitted the identification of three generations of her ancestors, as briefly summarized in the following Ahnentafel. For a very detailed presentation of the Bertha's ancestry, see Haller Person Sheets

Further information is always welcome. Nothing is known about F. HORSTMAN and Lucy, parents of August HORSTMAN. Company E, 4th Infantry, the unit August HORSTMAN enlisted in during the Civil War, has not been identified. The location of the August HORSTMAN property in Port Orchard has not been determined. For whom is Horstman Road named?

Horstman Ahnentafel

First Generation

1 Bertha Myrnietta Horstman. Born on Mar 24, 1909 in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA. Died on Mar 27, 1960 in Bremerton, Kitsap Co., WA. She married Walter Ervin Haller, abt 1924 in Seattle, King Co., WA. Children: Walter; William Douling; Earl; Lawrence Elmer 'Larry'; Edward 'Eddie'.

Second Generation

2 William Horstman. Born on Jan 29, 1869 in KS. Died on Aug 11, 1950 in Renton, King Co., WA. Buried on Aug 14, 1950 in Evergreen Cem. Seattle, WA. He married Carrie L. Moore, abt 1895 in KS. Children: Nellie; Waunita; William Earl; Myrtle; *Bertha Myrnietta; and Frank.
3 Carrie L. Moore. Born on Nov 22, 1879 in KS. Died on Feb 17, 1911 in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA. Buried on Feb 21, 1911 in Knights of Pythias Cem., Port Orchard, WA.

Third Generation

4 August Horstman. Born on Feb 18, 1844 in KY. Died on Apr 11, 1912 in Port Orchard, Kitsap Co., WA. Buried in Knights of Pythias Cem., Port Orchard, WA. He married Mary Ann Rossiter, est 1869 in KY. Children: John A.; *William; Joseph; Mary Annie; Augustus; and Albert Stafford.
5 Mary Ann Rossiter. Born abt Jan 1850 in IN. Died Apr 24, 1931 in Retsil, Kitsap Co., WA.

6 Henry Clay Moore. Born in KY. He married Emlie Grigsby. Child: *Carrie L.
7 Emlie Grigsby. Born in Oct 1853 in Washington Co., KY.

Fourth Generation

8 F. Horstman. Born in Germany. He married Lucy. Child: *August
9 Lucy. Born in Germany.

10 Samuel Frederick Rossiter. Born on May 13, 1814 in Chester Co., PA. Died Aug 11, 1881, Pullman, Whitman Co., WA. He married Mary (Bly) Miller, on Jul 11, 1848 in Harrison Co., IN. Children: *Mary Ann; Samuel T.; Elizabeth; Stephen Elton; Eliza Jane; Emma; Laura; and George.
11 Mary Bly. Born in 1825 in IN. Died bef Aug 1881, Pullman, Whitman Co., WA.

12 ? Henry Moore. He married Jane. Child: *Henry Clay.
13 ? Jane.

14 ? James Grigsby. Born abt 1830 in KY. He married Mary J. Graham, on Apr 8, 1852 in Washington Co., KY. Children: *Emlie; Charlotte; Sallie M.; and James F. M.
15 ? Mary J. Graham.

Romance At The Veterans Home: Mary Ann (Rossiter) Horstman Baker Wilber
by Stephen M. Lawson -

In the The Backtracker for December 2001 was an article about "A Brief Encounter with the Horstman Family of Port Orchard," presenting information on the family gathered from the resources available in the PSGS Research Library. The focus was on the family of William and Carrie [Moore]  Horstman, and his parents August and Mary Ann [Rossiter] Horstman. The record for the second marriage of Mary Ann identified her parents as Samuel Rossiter and Mary Bly. No further information was found for Mary Ann [Rossiter] Horstman Baker, but it was conjectured that she may have been the Mary Baker who died in Tacoma in 1927. However, the Death Certificate for Mary Baker of Tacoma revealed that this conjecture was in error.

The Horstman article was placed on the web site [see Dec 2001 article above], together with the  family information available. In April 2002, an email was received from Daniel W. Bly, which began: “I happened upon your Haller-Rossiter web site and was especially excited to find a reference to Mary Bly -- Your information solved a problem for me. I have record of Mary Bly marrying Valentine Miller in Harrison County, Indiana 1 May 1845, but I could find no record of them in the 1850 census.  Once I found your web site, I rechecked Indiana marriages and found marriage of Samuel Rossiter to Mary Miller, 11 July 1848." The 1850 census for Mary Bly was included in the Backtracker article. She had married second Samuel Rossiter and their first child was Mary Ann. Dan had published A HISTORY OF THE BLY  FAMILY (Baltimore, 1992) ISBN 91-78386, which includes six generations  of Mary (Bly) Miller Rossiter's ancestry.

Extensive Rossiter family information was discovered and shared between Dan Bly and this compiler over the next year. Mary Ann had lived in IN, KS,  IA, NE, MO and WA since 1860, and other family members were located in  ID, OR, PA and WY, also. Then in mid-March 2003, Dan advised that he had found the 1910 census record for August Horstman and Mary Ann Horstman -- they resided at the Washington Veterans’ Home (WVH  hereafter), Port Orchard, Kitsap County, Washington.

The Inmates' Record at the WVH included August Horstman and wife, who  entered the home on March 21, 1910. The record included information correcting and expanding the Civil War service record for August Horstman, and permitting the ordering of his pension file from the National Archives. The file arrived in mid-May, with a surprising cover sheet: File 973254 was for "Pensioner Mary A. Wilber former widow of veteran August Horstman."  Obviously, another visit to the WVH was in order.

Over the next few days, much information was gleaned from the WVH records. Mary Ann [Rossiter] Horstman Baker Wilber had lived at the Home from March 1910 to July 1910 and again from October 1915 to April  1931. Her husbands, August Horstman, Joseph Baker and Walter Wilber were also residents of the Home. The following records were located: File Cards for August Horstman and Mary A. Horstman. Inmates' Records for August Horstman, Mary A. Horstman, Joseph Baker (two records), Mary A. Baker Wilber, and Walter Wilber. Death Records for Joseph Baker, Walter Wilber and Mary A. Wilbur. Cemetery Records (computerized) for Joseph Baker, Walter Wilber and Mary A. Wilbur.

The Inmates' Record book includes name, age, residence, nativity, occupation, War record (enlisted, discharged, Company and Regiment), pension, and Home record (admission, discharge, death, cause, remarks). The Death Record includes some repeat information and adds length of residence at the Home, and burial place. If burial was in the WVH Cemetery, the Cemetery Record may identify the section and lot. The Cemetery sections and lots were re-numbered sometime after 1931, so the Cemetery Records, with the new numbers, differ from earlier records. But a Cemetery map is available numbered in agreement with the Cemetery Record. The File Cards are a summary of basic data from the other records.

Wilber Marker

Washington Veterans Home Cemetery
Corner of Horstman Road & Olney Ave.
Retsil, WA - Sec. 34, Lots 9 & 10

Of course, even the wealth of information obtained from the WVH records did not fully satisfy the desire for information about Mary Ann [Rossiter] Horstman Baker Wilber. So, at the end of May, a trip was  made from Port Orchard all the way north to Poulsbo to visit the PSGS  Research Library (which was formerly two blocks from the compiler’s home). Here the 1910 census record was read from microfilm (Dan Bly had provided a summary), the Washington Death Index microfilm provided confirmation of  the death dates for Mary and her last two husbands, and the 1995 PSGS  publication KITSAP COUNTY, WASHINGTON PROBATE INDEX 1861-1944 revealed  that there was Probate No. 3857, dated April 29, 1931, for Mary A. Wilber. The Death Certificate for Mary A. Wilber was ordered through VitalChek on the web. The next trip seeking records would only be two blocks from home -- the Kitsap County Courthouse at Port Orchard.

At the Office of the Clerk of the Kitsap County Superior Court, the microfilmed Probate File 3857 included twenty-eight pages of documents, with  about half of them very difficult reading, including the Will of Mary  A. Wilber. However, a number of significant documents were readable, including the Petition for Probate, Tax Certificate, Final Account and Petition for Distribution, and Order Approving Final Account and of  Distribution. At the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office, it took all of about twenty minutes to obtain a copy of the Marriage Certificate for Mary  Baker and Walter Wilber.

The large volume of information compiled prohibits a detailed presentation, but a time line summary and family group report will follow. Even with all the material, or perhaps because of it, there still remain many questions. Why were August Horstman and Mrs. Mary A.  Horstman re-married Mar. 20, 1901 in Jackson County, Missouri, when they had been married April 25, 1867 at Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas (Pension File)? Why was the recording of the 1901 marriage delayed until 1911 (Pension File)? Where is grave of Joseph Baker (WVH Cemetery Record)? Who was Walter Wilber’s first wife; any children (WVH Inmates' Record)? Why was Mary Wilber at Kirkland, Washington when she broke her leg in 1931 (Death  Certificate)?

And then there are questions concerning Mary’s two youngest sons, Bert and August.  Bert is called "mentally incompetent" in the 1931 Probate File, but in the 1910 census he was single and a school teacher, and on June 29, 1910 he married Rose Adelia Welch. What was he doing living in Florida in 1931 when his brother August, living in California, was advanced $200 "for the purpose of going to Larned, Kansas and having Bert S. Horstman  re-committed to the asylum?"  Did either Bert or August have families?  But that’s another story.

Time Line for Mary Ann (Rossiter) Horstman Baker Wilber

 August Horstman born at St. Louis, MO. Death Cert. has birth 1844-02-27
 Joseph Baker born between 1845 and 1847 in Germany
 Walter Wilber born
 Mary Ann Rossiter born in Harrison Co., IN; date from Death Certificate
 Mary Ann, age 4/12, in home of Samuel and Mary Rossiter, Harrison Co., IN
 Mary Ann at age 9 residing with parents at New Amsterdam, Harrison Co., IN
 August Horstman entered Co. E, 4th Reg't U.S. Reserve Corps Mo. Vols.
 August Horstman honorably discharged as Pvt.
 Mary Ann and August Horstman married Olathe, Johnson Co., KS
 Son John A. Horstman born in Iowa
 Horstman family with one son living in Jefferson Co., NE
 Son William Horstman born in KS
 Son Joseph Horstman born in NE
 Daughter Mary Annie born in NE
 Horstman family with 4 children living at Fairbury, Jefferson Co., MO
 Son Augustus 'Gus' Horstman born
 Horstman family residing at Armourdale, Wyandotte Co., KS
 Son Albert Stafford 'Bert' Horstman born in KS
 Horstman family census record not located
 Horstman family in Wyandotte Co., KS; some census details unreliable
 Mrs. Mary A. Horstman and August Horstman married in Jackson Co., MO
 Mary Ann first entered WVH #25 with husband August Horstman #109, age 66
 Mary Ann and August Horstman at Washington Veterans Home, Kitsap Co., WA
 Mary Ann discharged from WVH
 Husband August Horstman discharge from WVH at own request
 The 1901 Marriage License and Certificate recorded in Jackson Co., MO
 Joseph Baker, single, entered WVH #190
 Husband August Horstman died at Annapolis, Kitsap Co., WA; age 68-1-12
 August Horstman buried in Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Port Orchard
 Mary Ann applied for widow's pension at age 62; file  WC973254
 Mary Ann, age 63, married Joe Baker, age 68, with her  parents named
 Mary Ann re-entered WVH #297
 Mary Ann and Joseph Baker at Washington Veterans Home
 Walter Wilber, widower, entered WVH #1666
 Husband Joseph Baker died at WVH #1081 at age 79
 Joseph Baker buried in Home Cemetery
 Mary Ann Baker and Walter Wilber married at Port Orchard
 Husband Walter Wilber died at WVH #1319
 Walter Wilber buried in Home Cemetery - Sec. 34, Lot 9
 Mary Ann at Washington Veterans Home
 Mary Ann died at WVH #1427
 Mary Ann buried in Home Cemetery - Sec. 34, Lot 10 - $225.00
 Petition for Probate of Will of Mary A. Wilber filed
 Mary Ann dropped from pension rolls; last paid $40 to 1931-04-04
 Mary Ann's estate Accounting and Distribution approved - $1,325.63
 Mary Ann's estate re-opened when another $453.37 bank account located

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Modified: 8/1/04