In my last Blog about Bob, I got his father’s side back to the early 1800’s or earlier in Nottingham, New Hampshire. I was able to do that with some pretty scanty information, as I didn’t even know who Bob’s dad was. Now I have more information on his mom’s side and will see what I can do with it.
Bob’s Mom’s Side
This side of the family sounds interesting. Family lore is that his mom’s dad jumped ship while traveling from Denmark to Stamford, CT. I told Bob, my mom’s dad also jumped ship. He was a Latvian sailing from Archangel to New York City. I now also know that Bob’s dad’s name was Virgil. So I’m excited to get started. The first record I found for Bob’s mom was the WWII Draft registration for her husband Virgil. This said he was born in Stamford, CT, instead of Maine as I had, but I’ll ignore that for now as I’m looking at Bob’s Kessler side.
Kesslers of Denmark
This little tree is the start. The leaf for Dorothy was for her husband’s WWII Draft Registration. No other leaves are showing up. I don’t like looking for women in the Census due to name changes, so I’ll start with Lewis. Bob said he saw the name also as Lorin in a Census. I like starting with the Census as they cover everyone and have a lot of information in them. My first try for Lewis didn’t get me what I was looking for. Then I added that he lived in Stamford, CT. This helped.
Even the summaries of the search results are helpful. Now we have an idea when Louis was born and when he arrived. There is also a new middle initial.
Here is the family in 1920:
This is just some of the information. Louis had a mortgage and was a millwright at a furniture factory. It looks like Louis was 37 and his wife was 45.
Let’s jump forward 20 years:
Louis and Elizabeth are living by themselves. I forgot to mention that Louis was listed as an alien in 1920 and he appears to be one also in 1940.
Here is Louis’ WWI Draft Registration:
This was from September 12, 1918. The next page shows he had medium height and build, black hair and green eyes. I think that a non-declared alien meant that he hadn’t filed any papers to become a citizen. I’m not so clear on the middle name – either Henwick or Henrick. The transcriber went with Henwick.
I didn’t know but there was also a Connecticut Military Census in 1917. Here Louis lists some of his skills:
The Louis Kessler Family in 1930
This is the record Bob mentioned. The transcriber has Louis’ name as Lorin Kessler or Loris Keasler. Watch out for transcriptions. The transcriber also has Louis speaking “Jewish” but I see it as Danish. Louis owns his own $6,000 home by now and is working as an auto mechanic. Handy guy. The Kessler family look to be on Givens Ave, Stamford, CT. Now his immigration is listed as 1904 rather than 1900 as per the 1920 Census. One obscure fact about the 1930 Census is that there was information on whether there was a radio set in the household. There was. Dorothy and Raymond are there, but Raymond went on to a new page, so I won’t copy the record.
Danish or jewish?
So far, I see a hard working Danish man that came to the US and was able to buy a house and raise a family. He was had skills in different trades and willing to try different occupations. I’m fresh out of easy hints except for a family tree hint. I tend to be wary of those as they can be either accurate or inaccurate.
North Omme, Denmark
The information is trickling in on Bob’s maternal grandfather. Louis’ World War II Draft Card shows he was from North Omme, Denmark:
By 1942, it appears that Louis Americanized his middle name to Henry. According to Google Maps, this is Omme. I didn’t have much luck with North Omme. [Edit: I show later in the Blog that Louis actually lived in the Parish of Norre Omme in the area of Ringkobing to the North of Esbjerg.]
Lewis or Louis?
Bob tells me that his grandfather moved to Florida after his wife died:
Louis Keseler in MA?
I tried searching at FamilySearch.org and found a Louis Keseler in Agawam, MA:
This ‘Keseler’ seems to meet all the right requirements. Agawam, MA is on the border of Connecticut and on the Connecticut River. This Louis was working on a horse farm in 1910. [Edit #2: I show later in the Blog that Louis’ family name in Denmark was actually Kæseler.]
Louis’ Brother Chris
Bob tells me that Louis/Lewis had a brother named Chris:
his brother Chris ran a large junkyard in Camden NJ – I think i have the right town, may have been Elizabeth NJ
A brief search did not reveal anything. On to Frick(e).
The Frick(e) Family
The information appears to be a bit sketchy here also:
Wife Elizabeth, I found a reference once to Lizzie Frick(e), may be in an old bible. Pretty sure she is German. Was married and had Joseph ? a cop in Fordam, NY. Remarried Lewis.
Sketchy, but specific, so that part is good. In genealogy, it is good to go from more recent to less recent. Here is the death record for Eliza Kessler:
That’s a start. It would be nice to have a marriage record. I actually did take a peek at one Ancestry Tree for the family and that tree had the ‘Eliza’ above listed as Lizzie Fricke. A search at ancestry came up with the important 1880 census that I was looking for.
It looks like Lizzie’s dad Henry was a Copper Smith. All the children except for Antonia were born in New Jersey. Antonia was born around 1867 in New York. Both parents were from Prussia.
In 1889, the family lived at 38 Pine St., in Jersey City:
If the family had arrived at Ellis Island, they could have walked to Pine Street. However, Ellis Island was built out about 30 years after the family arrived in the US.
New Jersey had an 1895 Census:
This family, transcribed as ‘Frecke’ goes on to the next page:
August is apparently now Gustav.
Searching for Hermine/Minnie, I found the 1900 Census at FamilySearch.org. The family was transcribed as Fricker there. Now they are at 114 Pine St., Jersey City. Hopefully, this Census will yield some important information:
This answers some questions I had. First, Lillian was a late arrival daughter, born March, 1888. Now I have a birth of Henry on December 1834. This should be helpful as there were many Henry or Heinrich Fricke’s born in Germany.
Hermina has been married 34 years, so that brings us to 1866 – probably after they arrived in the US. However, that would be cutting it close. Hermina had 8 children, but only 6 are living in 1900. The Census further shows that Henry and Hermina arrived in the US in 1866. Henry is listed as NA which I believe means naturalized. He is shown as a cooper smith (copper smith?). Herman is a laborer. Lottie(?) is a boxmaker. Her twin Gustav is a blacksmith and Lillian is at school.
Unfortunately, within 5 years, Hermine would be a widow. New Jersey had a well-documented populace. Here is the family in 1905 at 285 Pine Street:
The family is transcribed as Friche this year. Now Hermine is shown as being born in Germany which reflects changing country borders over time. This Census gives some more precise birth months and years. This census says that Hermine entered the country 45 years ago. That would be 1860.
Ancestry gives me a hint for ‘Minnie’ in 1920:
She is living as a widow at 548 Jackson Ave, Jersey City with her single son, Herman. This also shows she arrived in the US in 1865 and that she did not speak English.
Perhaps Hermine and Herman lived in and rented one of these houses in 1920. If I’m reading the Census right, it looks like there were 8 families living at this address. Can that be right? Perhaps addresses changed over the years?
Go Hermine: 1930
I was surprised to see Hermine in the 1930 Census at age 85. She is still at Pine Street, but now living in the suburbs of Cranford, NJ with her youngest daughter Lillian:
A Fricke Summary
So far, we have a lot of information about the Fricke family in the US, but not so much in Germany or Prussia. I don’t have a maiden name for Minnie aka Hermine/Herminia. I don’t have there marriage record or death records. All this would be helpful. It appears that the family pulled together to help out their mom Hermine in her late years. Herman who never married apparently spent his time with his mom from when his dad Henry died around 1903 to when Hermina died around 1933 or so. Also the youngest daughter took in both Hermina and Herman.
Spotlight on Lizzie Fricke
It looks like I got a bit side-tracked following Lizzie’s Fricke family. The last single record I have of Lizzie was in 1895 when she was about 21 years old. Here are the missing years for Lizzie:
They are between when Lizzie was about 21 and 42. A search for a marriage for Lizzie found this:
Note that Elizabeth has a C for her middle initial. Bob says she was married before. Perhaps C is the start of her first married name.
A Foray Into Danish Geneaolgy – Kessler
It turns out that Danish Genealogy is online. The problem is that it is mostly in Danish. I thought that I would take a look and see what I could find. It helps to know what parish the Kesslers were from. I took a wild stab that Louis Kessler was from the Norre Omme Parish. Remember on his draft registration, he said he was from North – Omme. Sound similar, right? Here is what I found on the second page of the Norre Omme Parish Records under births 1881-1882:
Turns out the Norre Omme Parish is in the Ringkobing District, a bit further North than I had before:
Here is Norre Omme Parish in the Ringkobing District in case Bob wants to visit (kind of in the middle):
This looks to be the Church:
If you were buried at the Norre Omme Churchyard, you would have a well maintained plot:
I think I see why Lewis/Louis was having trouble with his name:
None of his names would be familiar with people in the US. I’m guessing at Lavrids Henrik Kæseler. [Note: the census transcription below is Laurids.] I like the use of exclamation point. Imagine yourself being born in Denmark with different names, letters and a language that people don’t understand in the US. Yikes. I’m thinking there is one of those funny stuck together ae’s in the name Kæseler. If I can find two parents in this record, I’ll be happy.
Is there a Danish handwriting specialist around? I see three names and then probably Kaeseler. I don’t have good feelings about the first name, then Theodor, Wilhelm or Vilhelm. I’m afraid I don’t have a good point of reference for the mom’s name. This is where a good transcript would come in handy. The good news is I found the parents. The bad news is I can’t read a lot of what is there. I suppose the rest of the names on the right (seen below) are sponsors:
Norre Omme, Denmark Census
The Danish online Census is pretty cool. They have a button for viewing and searching for surnames. In the 1890 Census there are 14 Kaeselers and one Kaeisler. I’ll go with the Kaeselers. Here is Laurid’s family:
Teodor is listed as a tomrer. My online dictionary has that as a carpenter which was one of Laurids’/Louis’ skills. Here there were two boys and two girls in the family. I’m guessing that the mother kept her maiden name and in this case it looks like it got passed down to the eldest daughter. Teodor was born in Tyskland and Jensine was born in Tvis. The place they lived in 1890 appears to be Fjalde By. It looks like Teodor and Jensine had a small window in which to get married. That being right around 1879. However, here is Teodor in 1880:
It looks like Teodor was living with his older sister. There is also a subtle difference unless there was a transcription error. The sister’s last name is Kaeselev with a ‘v’.
Norre Omme in 1870
This brings us a new set of parents:
Back 10 years to 1860:
I suppose Elisa’s husband was away in 1860. That would mean that Elisa Kæseler was the same as Margrethe Elisabeth Johanne Beise. At any rate, there are now two older brothers for Teodor or Theodor: Joahann and Erik Christian. I don’t see any Kæselers in the 1855 Census. So I would have to look elsewhere. As the place of birth is given in the census, it would not be too difficult to trace these families back.
More Kæselers in the Danish Census
I wanted to check on the family in the 1901 Census, but that Census has not been indexed, so it would be too difficult to find them. I did a search at the Dansk Demografisk Database
I found many Kæselers there. However, in order to search on the name I had to enter the correct ‘æ’ symbol which on the keyboard is alt 0230. When I searched for Kæseler in Norre Omme, I got 30 matches.
Danish Census 1906
Most of what I did not have was the Danish Census of 1906. This would be after Louis aka Laurids emigrated to the US. One surprise is that Laurid’s grandfather is still alive at age 91. Another good thing is that birthdays are listed in 1906:
He is listed as tenant [Logerende]. Enkemand means widower. Ane Margrete may look familiar from above. She would be Jakob’s daughter. She shows as married, but Soren is a widower also, so perhaps she is there to help out. Landmand means farmer. A Hyrde is a shepherd or herder.
Can I get back before 1860 with the Kæseler name?
Here are the details for Jaob Henrick Kæseler in 1870:
The most important information as far as going back is his birth place. Slesvig would be in English – Schleswig. There was a Schleswig war in 1864 fought between Prussia and Austria. This resulted in Denmark losing its land to the South:
By this time the readers will fully understand Danish, so no further explanation of the map above is needed. I assume that 1864 was a bad year for Denmark. Fortunately Jakob moved his family North before the War began. Hertugdømmet means Duchy, so I just need to find Heiligenhafen. Here it is below:
If it wasn’t for that war, perhaps Bob would have been boating out of Heiligenhafen today.
I found that searching on a site called https://www.danishfamilysearch.com was the most helpful. I found out that Heiligenhafen is in the area of Ostholstein which has 96 Parishes. Four of those Parishes are in Heiligenhafen. The fourth Parish is Heiligenhafen Stadt which I think is the downtown area. Stadt is a German word.
Heiligenhafen Stadt Census 1803
It appears that the only indexed Census for Heiigenhafen Stadt is for 1803. I was hoping to find a later Census as 1845 is the first year where people’s place of birth is given.
The other unfortunate aspect of the 1803 Census is that we have skipped a generation. However, as Baldric from Blackadder said, “I have a cunning plan”. If I can find the birth record for Jakob Henrik Kæseler b. 1814, then I should be able to link him to his parents. It appears there should be a link to from our early 1800’s Jakob Henrik to these Jacob Hinrich’s from the 1700’s. This is almost too much fun.
As expected, Jacob Hinrich was the son of Jacob Hinrich. What a surprise.
I suppose that Christian could have been Jacob’s brother in this other Heiigenhafen Kæseler household:
It looks like the Census is now in German as weber is weaver in German.
Into the Parish Records 1814 for Heiligenhafen Stadt
When I look for Church Books at www.danishfamilysearch.com I come up with nothing. That means I go back to the Danish web page which is /www.sa.dk/en/. I didn’t have luck there either. I’m guessing that I will have to go to German records? At this point I’ve gone full circle and am back at the Ancestry Search. After many attempts, I found this record at Ancestry:
So here we have yet another spelling change. I don’t think that Anna Catharina was also a Käseler. It appears that Ancestry saves some work and time by giving the husband’s name to the mother. Here is the original record:
I see the two last names as similar but not the same. Her name looks more like Kolfin or something. Fortunately, I get another crack at her name. Here is the marriage record:
I have looked at this original record also and the name is clearly Kulsen.
The way it looks is that the Kaeseler family was in Heiligenhafen for at least 100 years.
- Thanks to Louis’ specific statement giving his home parish in his WWII Draft Registration, I was able to track the family back to Denmark.
- I have not yet been able to get back to Germany for the Fricke Family. That would take knowing some more Fricke parents or getting other information as detailed ship records, naturalization records or marriage or death records. Right now there is not an easy way to trace the Fricke family back to Germany.
- Is Bob part Danish or part Schleswigian?