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Hamerschlag and Michael Families

My grandmother, Edith Selma Michael Buyer, daughter of Anna Kate Hamerschlag and Bernard Michael

On the Hamerschlag side

Hamerschlag and Brummel families in Bohemia and New York

On the Michael side

Michael and Abrahams families in Wrzesnia, Posen and New York

Four Hamerschlag Brothers in Bohemia

To date we know of four brothers who were born in northern Bohemia in the Sudetenland. According to William Hamerschlag's death certificate, their parents were Albert Hamerschlag and Regina Mayer. They were from Friedland(now known as Frydlant, Bohemia, north of Liberec).

Adolph Hamerschlag was born in 1829. He lived in Reichenberg, now Liberec, NNW of Prague. At some point he moved to Vienna. Aunt Dot's memoirs speak of "Uncle Adolph" as the family patriarch in Vienna. He was married to Anna Pick, and died in 1915. His descendants live in Austria, England, and France.

Ernst Hamerschlag remained in Reichenberg where he was successful in the textile business. Aunt Dot (Dorothea Michael) spoke of his daughter Thekla in Vienna in her memoirs. Aunt Dot said that Thekla's son Fritz Pick came to the U.S. and was a successful businessman.

Wilhelm, the third brother, lived at some point in Libosovice, near Sobotka, Jicin district, northern Bohemia, according to his Heimatschein (residency document). Libosovice is almost due south of Liberec. There is some question about his date of birth. The Heimatschein lists him as 15 years of age. This document was originally issued in 1850, which would suggest that Wilhelm was born in 1835. However, the Heimatschein was renewed in 1856, and subtracting 15 years from 1856 yields a birth date of 1841.
It is possible that the error stems from the hurried reading of the Bohemian document, mistaking the date of the renewal for the original date of issue, or perhaps Wilhelm swindled a bit, thinking younger was better for immigrants.

Joseph appears in the Baltimore city directories and census 1878-1880, living with William in 1880 and listed as a brother. A Joseph Hammerschlag from Reichenberg appears in Germans to America; he emigrated from Reichenberg to New York in 1866. A Joseph Hammerschlag is also listed in the 1910 census in Baltimore and in Baltimore city directories in 1913-1914. This person was born in Austria, came to the U.S. in 1864, and was living with his wife Bertha Rosskopf Hammerschlag (a widow) and 3 children by her first marriage.

Wilhelm's Emigration to New York

Wilhelm emigrated to Baltimore from Bremerhaven (via Antwerp) on the ship Helene on August 15, 1864. The passenger list of the Helene gives his age as 23, lending further weight to a birth date in 1841.

Hammerschlag, Wilhelm Age : 23
Country of Origin : U???
Arrival Date : Aug 15, 1864
Final Destination : New York
Last Residence : Kellner
Port of Embarkation : Antwerp
Ship's Name : Helene
Gender : Male
Captain's Name : Henry Raschen
Purpose for Travel : Staying in the USA
Mode of Travel : Cabin
Manifest ID Number : 00015285

William made another trip to Europe in 1873, returning on August 23 from Bremen to New York on the ship Deutschland. His age on the Deutschland manifest is listed as 32 which is consistent with an 1841 birth date. Of course, if a mistake had been made earlier, or William had a particular reason for misstating his age, this would simply have been a continuation of the earlier misstatement.

Hammerschlag, Wilhelm Age : 32
Country of Origin : United States
Arrival Date : Aug 23, 1873
Final Destination : United States
Last Residence : NY
Port of Embarkation : Bremen
Ship's Name : Deutschland
Occupation : Merchant
Gender : Male
Captain's Name : Ladewig
Purpose for Travel : Citizen of USA
Mode of Travel : Cabin
Manifest ID Number : 00033080

Other Hammerschlags in Germans to America from Bohemia and Austria.

A Franzisca Brumel, Theresia (or Franzisca???) Hamerschlag, and Henriette Hamerschlag traveled from Bremen to New York on the same ship in 1866. Were they traveling together? Was Fannie Brummel en route to New York to marry William Hamerschlag? Did she perhaps meet him through his sisters or cousins who happened to be on the same ship?

Marriage to Fannie Brummel

Wilhelm became known as William and married Fannie Brummel from Neu Wallisdorf, Bohemia, in New York. Fannie had emigrated in 1866. (NY 1900 census says 1868).

At some point after they were married, William and Fannie moved to Baltimore and eventually to Omaha. Aunt Dot said that he was full of wanderlust. According to The Jews and Europe by Elena Romero Castello and Uriel Macias Kapon, Nebraska was chosen as a settlement site by Jews from Germany, Alsace-Lorraine, and Bohemia. William evidently wanted to join them, but after some time in the "wilderness," Fannie insisted on going back to New York where she spent the rest of her life.

We know that the Hamerschlag and Brummel families kept in touch in the U.S., as evidenced by Annie Hamerschlag Michael's witnessing of the 1899 marriage of cousin Frances Brummel, and also some business transactions between Joachim Brummel and William Hamerschlag and Bernard Michael.

William's Occupation

William was in the liquor business. He is listed as a distiller on Annie's birth certificate, and various NYC directories listed him as "liquors", clerk, refiner. It is not clear whether he worked in a distillery, sold liquor, tended bar--or some combination.

The Michael and Abrahams families were from Wrzesnia, Poland (German spelling is Wreschen). Solomon Michael and Esther Abrahams were the parents of Bernard Michael. The Bebarfald family is another Wreschen family related to the Michaels through the marriages of two Bebarfald sons to two of Solomon Michael's daughters.

Michael Family

Solomon Michael, son of Pincus and Rebecca Michael, emigrated to NY in the early 1850s. He was a tailor in New York, at 9 Peck Slip (adjacent to today's South Street Seaport). He married Esther Abrahams before 1854. His son Bernard owned a printing business that printed programs and tickets for the Metropolitan Opera.

Solomon had 4 brothers and sisters, all of whom were born in Prussia and lived in New York. Louis (1839-1901) and Abraham (abt. 1850-aft.1910) were tailors and in business together. Louis lived (and married) in California before settling in New York by 1966. Louis' first child Rebecca was born in California abt. 1865 (according to the 1870 census). Sarah (abt. 1827-1903) married Mendel Kempe, a tailor from Prussia. Hannah married Louis Corn or Cohn, a tailor from Poland/Russia.

I have been particularly interested in tracing Solomon's siblings because I thought that their father Pincus might have resided with one of them at the time of the 1880 census.

Pincus was born in 1799 or 1809, according to various sources, and may be found in the 1870 census living in New York with son Louis. He was buried at Salem Fields Cemetery (Solomon Michael's plot) on September 27, 1892. I am still looking for his death certificate and listings in other censuses or directories. He was probably in the U.S. in 1880 but I have not found him. I have not found evidence that his wife Rebecca ever came to the U.S.

Abrahams Family

I have found what appears to be the ship's passenger list for the Abrahams family to New York. If so, Esther Abrahams and Ernestine Abrahamczyk were the same person.

Samuel Abrahams was apparently also a tailor.

Ship Leibnitz

Hamburg to New York

4 May 1850

65 Samuel Abrahamczyk 50 man tailor Wreschen New York 3

66 Pauline Abrahamczyk 22 girl seamstress Wreschen New York

67 Hanna Abrahamczyk 19 girl seamstress Wreschen New York

68 Ernestine Abrahamczyk 17 girl seamstress Wreschen New York

69 Louis Abrahamczyk 16 boy clerk Wreschen New York

70 Isao Abrahamczyk 10 boy clerk Wreschen New York

71 Roschen Abrahamczyk * 7 girl seamstress Wreschen New York

72 Johanna Abrahamczyk 5 girl Wreschen New York


Linked toNew York, NY; Wreschen, Posen, Prussia; Bohemia; Family: Hamerschlag/Brummel (F49); Family: Michael/Hamerschlag (F28); Family: Michael/Abrahams (F54); Michael, Edith Selma M.D.
AlbumsBios and Histories, Edith Michael Buyer, M.D., Jewish Communities of Bohemia: Boleslavsky

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