Wednesday, January 8, 2014

John Ernest Hübsch 1838-1909 (52 Ancestors #1)

I typically don't make New Year resolutions but I've decided that 2014 is the year I become more paperless particularly with personal papers like decades-old mortgage documents.  Now, I'm taking on another challenge from Amy Johnson Crow on her blog No Story Too SmallThe challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor to write about an ancestor a week. 

used with permission No Story Too Small

John Ernest Hübsch was my paternal great-great grandfather.  He was born about 1838 in Prussia.  Clues indicate that he may have been from a village called Mankelwitz [Makolice] in Silesia, a large province of Prussia (pictured below).  Geographic boundaries changed over the years due to wars leaving this area now in Poland.

He and his family came to America in the early 1870s.  The family story was that he, his wife Christine and children, Caroline, William C., and a baby made the voyage.  The baby died on the way.  Well, emigration records have been elusive.  A glimmer of evidence may be from a passenger list, pictured below, for the ship Hammonia.  The ship departed Hamburg, Germany on April 24, 1872 for New York harbor.  The date of arrival is unknown but probably three to four weeks later.   

The surname fits as does the child named Caroline but the other names are iffy.  More research needed.  But it's a start.

I found my family in the 1880 U.S. federal census for Stockbridge, Calumet County, Wisconsin.  Named for the Stockbridge Munsee Indian Tribe, the town was known for dairy and cheese-making more than wheat when my ancestors lived there.

The Hübsch family had grown considerably by 1880 compared to the ship passenger record if it is to be believed.  The umlaut over the 'u' in the surname was absent or just not recorded by the enumerator.  The wife's name is Christiana instead of Christine.  Lena was the eldest child, probably short for Caroline.  In fact, my uncle referred to his Aunt Lena which I later discovered was her nickname for Caroline.  The eldest son was William (my great-grandfather) which didn't match the ship passenger record.  His middle initial was "C" in many other records.   Lena and William were both born in Prussia.  Lena/Caroline matched the passenger record but who was "Aug"?   Short for "August?  William's nickname?  Other records indicated that August was Herman's middle name.  The other children, Charlie, Herman and John, were born in Wisconsin.  Charlie was five years old in this census so the family may have arrived in Wisconsin around 1875. So where were they between date of arrival in New York and Wisconsin? 

In 1891, John Ernest filed his intent to become a U.S citizen in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  There's helpful information on this document to cross-check other records such as age and emigration dates and location.  Ah, and the prized signature!

Sadly, on April 10, 1909 John Ernest was struck and killed by one of these trolley cars as he crossed the street.  I visited his grave, pictured below, located at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, an historic cemetery.  Someone remembered John Ernest's roots as his last name includes the umlaut over the 'u'.

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