Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hamburg Manifest



I joined a newsserver called the Germany Passengers List about a year ago. The members of the list often go to great lengths to assist people looking for information about ancestors or relatives who emigrated by ship from what is now called Germany to other parts of the world.

A month or so ago the list ran a message from someone with a relative who made the crossing from Hamburg to New York on the Ann Washburn in the summer of 1856. The listowner, Ursula Adamson, replied to that message, indicating she has access to microfilm records of the Hamburg passenger manifest for that voyage. I sent a message to the list indicating that my ancestors were also aboard that ship. A week or so later I got an e-mail from the listowner with a record attached, a microfilm copy of the page on that manifest where my ancestors are listed.

If you click your mouse once on the manifest image above you can see the image in its actual size. And if you scroll to the bottom you can see that my great grandfather, Wilhelm, age 0, is listed on the 10th line from the bottom, directly below his brother Carl, age 2, his mother Marie, age 26, and his father Wilhelm, age 29.

After the Name column and before the Age (Alter) column there are three other columns, Geburts oder Wohnort (Birth or Home Village), Landes (Country), and Gewerbe (Occupation). In 1856 Landes referred to whichever of the many hundreds of small kingdoms, duchies and principalities that were eventually unified as Germany. An attempt had been made in 1848 to unite all of the many small kingdoms under the banner of a German state, but that effort failed. Greater Germany as a nation-state wasn't realized until 1871.

No birth or home village is listed for Wilhelm and Marie, but there is a locality listed for Carl. The handwriting isn't easy to decipher and it is in German, but it looks to me like what is written could be the name Carlsheim. I haven't been able to locate any villages by that name online, but I have found a literary reference.

Benedikte Naubert was a popular author in Leipzig at the beginning of the 19th century. She wrote more than fifty books, some of them fairy tales later adapted by the Brothers Grimm. Her works included a number of historical romances, some of which were translated into English by Matthew (Monk) Lewis shortly after their publication in German. One of those romance novels was entitled Feudal Tyrants: The Counts of Carlsheim and Sargans. The story was set near Zurich in Switzerland, probably so it wouldn't be confused with any actual places in what eventually became Germany.

I don't know if the emigration officials in Hamburg had a policy about passengers listing fictitious places for their points of origin. I suspect it was permissable if it came from a book they hadn't read. Marie listed what looks like Greufsen for her country. I've located a small town in Thuringia by that name, although now it seems to be spelled Greussen. Until fairly recently Thuringia was part of the former East Germany. The town is about 30 miles north of Erfurt and fifty miles west of Leipzig. Frederick von Hardenburg's poem Novalis seems to be associated in some way with this locality.

I haven't had much luck deciphering what Wilhelm and Marie listed for their occupations. I'm willing to entertain educated guesses.

9 comments:

Craig said...

Sehr geehrter Herr Craig,

die Namen der Stadt Greufsen und Greußen, Greuszen oder Greussen sind identisch. Die Schreibweise der Stadt Greußen war in den letzten 800 Jahren sehr unterschiedlich.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Steinmetz
Bürgermeister

Anonymous said...

Dear Craig.

Can you deciphering the surnames of people who listet of landes Greußen? Perhaps I can help you at your quest.

Andreas
Greußen

Anonymous said...

Craig.

I know about the existence of old church register's in our town. If your ancestor left Greußen in the middle of the 1850's, I suppose that it exists an entry about this.

Regards
Andreas

Craig said...

Andreas,

Thanks for your comments. I would look for Marie's father, Wilhelm EBERT, born approximately 1803. His wife Dorothea was two years younger and I would guess they were married between 1825 and 1830. I think Marie was their first child, born about 1830, followed by Sophie in 1834, Louise in 1839, Wilhelm in 1844 and August in 1846. I'll post this information to your Forum on the Greussen website.

Craig

Anonymous said...

Craig.

I guess that there are some little mistakes in your part. I have veryfied the german passenger list on your website and determined some deviation of your description.

Column three in the passenger list (Landes) describes the duchies (for example Holstein, Schleswig) and single states (such as Kurhessen, Nassau, Preussen, Hannover..) which exists at that time. Only in 1871 the old states and duchies conflated to german empire. Therefore I think it means "Preussen", not our little town Greussen. In line 16 I recognized the word "Holstein" in passenger list. This aspect fortifies my guesses.

In column two (Geburts/Wohnort), the passenger list describes the towns where the emigrants came from. Here I've recognized the towns Carlstein, Lohne, Albersdorf and Carlshoff. Today this towns are already excists in the north of Germany. Carlstein is located within federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and is part of the little town Klein-Lukow.
People of this town can help you at your quest maybe.

Greussen is not the right track at your search I think. The name Ebert is not public in our town.

Good luck on your quest!

Andreas

Craig said...

Andreas,

Danke sehr for what I am sure was several hours of scrutinizing this document to decipher enough of the place names to formulate more plausible explanations of the localities specified by my ancestors.

What looked to me like Carlsheim could well be Carlstein. And Preussen certainly makes more sense to me than Greussen. I will commend your efforts to the members of the Germany Passengers List. Let me know if you'd like future referrals.

Gratefully yours,

Craig

Anonymous said...

Craig,

I'm glad that I could help you. I think your quest in Mecklenurg-Vorpommern will be successfully.
On your Website I'll follow your progress. Or let me now your future funerals on other ways if you like.

Best regards

Andreas

Anonymous said...

Craig,

I am 100% sure, that the hometown of your Lubach is Carlshoff, which is clearly written for the Gebert family above the Lubach family. A lot of the locations in the ship-list are in the Oderbruch. Therefore I am absolutly positive it is Karlshof, which today is part of Neulitzegöricke. I am researching a village called Zaeckerick and some of its emmigrants are on the same list.
Regards
Tom

Craig said...

Thanks for your comment, Tom. I wish I could be 100% certain. The first five letters on the manifest are definitely C-a-r-l-s and the sixth is probably the letter h, but after that it's difficult to decipher. Carlshoff in Oderbruch certainly makes sense as the family registered to emigrate in Wrechow about eight or ten miles away on the other side of the Oder.

I also have to consider what looks like four generations of Lubach men attending or teaching at the Orphan School at Halle in Saxony Anhalt. The second generation, Godoffroy Lubach, was born in 1713 in Wriezen, the nearest real town in the area, about five miles west of Carlshoff. Godoffroy is listed as an instructor in the Latin Schule and the Deutsche Schule at Halle in 1736. I think it's reasonable to suppose that my ancestor, Wilhelm Lubach, born in 1827, could have been a descendant of Godoffroy Lubach. It's a fairly uncommon surname.