Sunday, July 03, 2011

July 4, 2011 - Independence and Intrigue


My grandfather, Fred Herzog, was born on July 4, 1882 in Reinwald, Russia. He gained his independence on April 9, 1907 when he arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Haverford. He traveled alone and his destination was Wisconsin. Like many immigrants, he came to live with other German Russian families on Erie Ave. in Sheboygan.

He lived with the Reimer's who were also from Reinwald. In 1913, he married their youngest daughter, Sophie, who was widowed in 1912 and left with two small children. He accepted the children as his own which tells us much about his character. He and Sophie are in the picture above, one of the three photographs I have of him.

Fred was always a mystery to me. His death certificate shows his birthplace was in Reinwald, Russia and lists his parents as Casper Herzog and Marvin Kauger as does his obituary in The Sheboygan Press. Yet, I could never connect him directly to the 1857, 1850 or original settler's Censuses for Reinwald. There are plenty of Herzog's listed, I simply never got close enough to 1882 to build the complete line.

The ship’s manifest lists Fred’s birthplace as Haviza, Russia. I assumed this was a mistake, but one can never be certain with these records. I searched for Haviza and found nothing that matched. Could it have been a temporary place he stayed in Russia while he earned enough money to travel to America? Or, could it have an illegibly written version of Starista, the Russian name for Reinwald?

Fred died in 1941 when my mother was only fourteen. She was so young she never asked for details about his life in Russia. I do know she was his “little angel” as he called her that the last time he saw her when she was in her beautiful white confirmation dress.

On Saturday when I chatted on facebook.com with my friend Ale Müller of Argentina, he mentioned the village of Rosenfeld. Ale and I share family ties to Reinwald. We have known each other online since my trip to Argentina. Ale told me some of his family moved from Reinwald to the daughter colony Rosenfeld as families grew and needed to expand to new land. He shared a copy of the 1862 Rosenfeld census* with me. Could this census be my link back to the Herzog's in the 1857 census? I skimmed through the pages and saw Herzog's and Reimer's among the recognizable Sheboygan family names.

On page 7, there are three Herzog families listed as follows:


Household # 20
Name.............Relationship to Head of Household.....Age
Peter Herzog.......Head..........................30
Margaretha Wagner......Spouse............29
Magadelena ...........Daughter..................5
Anna Katherina......Daughter.................3
Christina..................Daughter................½
Georg Andreas.........Brother...................23
Margetha Enders.....Sister-in-law..........21
Kaspar......................Nephew.....................1

Household # 21
Name...................Relationship to Head of Household.....Age
Friedrich Herzog........Head....................43
Magdelena Gauger.....Spouse.................40
Karl..............................Son.......................21
Maria Elisabeth Gauger....Daughter-in-law......19
Jakob...........................Son........................18
Katharina....................Daughter...............13
Maria Katharina.........Daughter................7

Household # 22
Name...................Relationship to Head of Household.....Age
Kaspar Herzog............Head.............39
Christina Knaus..........Spouse..........37
Friedrich......................Son................19
Jakob...........................Son.................15
Katharina....................Daughter.......13
Gottlieb........................Son.................11
Martin..........................Son..................9
Maria Elisabeth..........Daughter.........7
Margaretha.................Daughter.........4
Kaspar.........................Son...................3

I focused on the two younger Kaspar boys, ages 1 and 3, who would perhaps be the one to have fathered a child born in 1882 since they would have been 21 and 23 years old respectively. Kasper Herzog, age 39, would be 59 years of age in 1882, which certainly makes him a possibility but not the most likely candidate.

I also noticed there is a pattern of Herzogs marrying Gauger women. By the way, Gauger, when written in Russian, begins with a K. Am I on to something here?

Well, it is back to the Reinwald Censuses for a comparison of the Rosenfeld household numbers to the Herzog household numbers. The intrigue continues and my research begins anew. Today in honor of my grandfather’s birthday, I will celebrate the friendship of people like Ale who keep the momentum of family research flowing. I will celebrate Independence and thank my grandfather for coming to America. And, I wish my grandfather a blessed anniversary of his birth wherever it actually took place.



*1862 Census of Rosenfeld am Nachoi in the District of Samara, Russia, Dated January 10, 1862. Translated by Brent Mai, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon.

3 comments:

Ashley said...

Very Cool!

Frank said...

Wow!!! What a great post. It is so true that family and village names are often misspelled in different documents. Whenever I read your posts like this one, I am ready to jump back into my research with both feet (which you know is difficult since I usually have at least one foot in my mouth). Great writing, as usual.

Anna said...

Thank you. It was one of those posts that I knew I wanted to write for the 4th of July. Ale tied it all together for me when he shared the Rosenfeld census. I am amazed how much I continue to learn.