Saturday, July 07, 2018
Thursday, July 05, 2018
My 3rd great-grandfather was Christian Schneider, born most likely in the area around Tadten, Burgenland, Austria around 1790. He married prior to the earliest (1826) Roman Catholic church records for Tadten. His wife’s name was Eva and they resided in Tadten, House #94, at the time of Christian’s death at age 73 on 14 January 1864. As of 1864, his wife’s name is listed as Maria Berger, so Eva must have passed away earlier.
According to my 2nd great-grandfather, Paul’s marriage record, Christian Schneider was a “kereties” or a wheelwright, and his mother’s name was Eva. Paul’s baptismal record has not been located, so I believe he was born prior to 1826.
Paul Schneider’s marriage took place on 26 January 1845 and he is listed as 20 years old, so indeed he was born prior to 1826. His bride is Theresia Haberl, age 16, daughter of Andrew Haberl and Susanna. Both families are listed as residents of Tadten. This information comes from the Tadten Roman Catholic church records.
My 2nd great grandmother, Theresia Haberler, was baptized on 15 March 1829 in the town of Frauenkirchen, Burgenland, Austria. Her parents, my 3rd great-grandparents, are listed as Andrew Habala (Haberl/Haberler) and Susanna Lahaas (Labhaala?). Notice that the record above lists her mother as Eva, while the record below lists her mother as Susanna Lak. Perhaps her birth mother passed away, and this indicates her step-mother.
Below are some photographs of the Frauenkirchen Basilica of “Maria auf der Heide,” built in 1695 by Prince Esterhazy. The spiritual and religious focal point on the east shore of lake Neusiedl is this Baroque basilica and pilgrimage church of “Maria auf der Heide”. The Frauenkirchen basilica is regarded as Burgenland’s most beautiful Baroque church and most important pilgrimage church because of its style, interior design and decoration. The baroque church was built by the architect Francesco Martinelli between 1695 and 1702. Construction was initiated by Prince Paul Esterházy, because the previous church was destroyed in the Austro-Turkish Wars.
Paul and Theresia Haberler Schneider set up housekeeping in Tadten. Paul was a wheelwright following in his father’s trade. The couple had 14 children born to them in Tadten between their 1845 wedding and their departure for the United States in 1875. Their first born, a daughter, Barbara, was born/baptized 1 Nov 1846 in Tadten. This child sadly died in infancy.
My great-grandmother, Mary Katherine, was born/baptized 17 Apr 1848 in the Tadten Catholic church. She was the eldest and was, no doubt, in charge of her younger siblings as the remaining 12 children were born.
Mary Katherine Schneider’s baptismal record from the Tadten RC church, 17 Apr 1848.
The city of Tadten today and the Esterhazy church built in 1904, after the Schneiders left for the USA.
Mary, christened Maria, already had three sisters (Therese 1850, Susanna 1852, and Barbara 1854) and was only 7 years old when the twins, Catherine & Elizabeth, were born in 1860. I couldn’t find the death records for the twins, but they both died young – before 1865.
In 1858, Anna was born, followed by Eva (1861) and the only son, Anthony born in 1863 and died shortly thereafter. The next two daughters born in 1865 and 1867, were named Catherine (1865) and Elizabeth (1867) after the twins. Following Elizabeth’s birth was Magdalene (1868-1869), and another Magdalene (1870-1874), and lastly, Rosalie (1873). The Schneider family lost five of their 14 children to early deaths, which must have been extremely difficult for the entire family. We can also assume that historically, the times were very difficult. The family did not own any land to farm, but their father, Paul, did have a steady craft of wheelwright – making and repairing wooden wheels and other things such as carts, carriages, and gates – following in his father’s footsteps.
By 1874, the family was contemplating moving to America. One can imagine what a difficult decision this must have been for this family. The five eldest daughters each were married, most with children. These families were settled on their own and did not choose to leave the country at that time. However, Paul, Theresia and their five youngest daughters departed from Hamburg, Belgium in March or April of 1875, arriving in Philadelphia in April 1875. The journey to the departure port was difficult enough, but the ocean journey was bound to have been extremely uncomfortable for all. None were experienced with sailing on the ocean, and their extreme poverty made their passage in steerage quite uncomfortable.
Below are excerpts and photographs from Maggie Blanck’s web page detailing immigration/emigration. Ms. Blanck has an extensive collection of images and material, of which the following is but a sample. Go to her website, listed below, for more detail.
Getting from Home to the Port of Departure:
“The first step for the emigrant was getting from the village (or town) of origin to a major port. This leg of the journey was often done on foot. But many traveled by cart, train, or river boat. Emigrants traveling by river boat could take the Rhine river to Rotterdam, the Elbe to Hamburg, or the Wesser to Bremen/Bremerhaven. The first step of the journey, going from home to a port of departure, could take quite a long time. Once the port was reached a potential emigrant may have spent some time in the port area before actually shipping out.
“The immigrants who came on the Mayflower were looking for greater religious freedom and they came with the intention of settling. Jewish immigrants fled persecution in Germany and Russia.
However, the most common reason was that there were better opportunities in the new land. Large families could only support so many daughters with dowries and so many sons on the family farm or in the family business. The best opportunity of the remaining children was emigration. American, Canada, Australia had plenty of open land and more job options than Europe.
As emigration increased it was fostered by the shipping companies who sent agents all over Europe seeking passengers.
As the shipping trade developed most of the cargoes going from America to Europe were bulky — lumber, cotton, raw wool, tobacco, etc. Cargoes from Europe to America were lighter — finished cloth, spices, etc. Consequently, the shipping companies found themselves with cargo space on the west bound voyage. The solution was to carry human cargo and the major companies advertised their fares in many cities and towns throughout Europe. Shipping companies made hugh profits on transporting immigrants.”
“Before the 1850's immigrants from Europe came by sailing ships. The length of the crossings varied according to the winds, tides, and other factors. The estimates for crossings under sail range anywhere from four to twenty-four weeks with an average trip of 8 weeks.
Later ships, still under sail but fitted with paddle wheels and steam engines, took about six weeks.
Steamships started crossing the Atlantic in 1850. The length of a voyage from Bremen to New York by steamer took about seventeen days. By the mid-1860's most immigrants were coming by steamer. However, up until the 1870's many people still traveled by sail. Steam ships up until WWI took 2 to 3 weeks. By 1920 the trip across the ocean took one to two weeks.
The overwhelming majority of immigrants traveled in steerage where there was no lighting and passenger were packed in as tightly as space would allow. Steerage passengers had to provide their own bedding. Each passenger got a berth that was 18 inches wide by 6 feet long. The berths were often in tiers up to four rows high. Frequently they were poorly build and rickety. Men and women who were strangers to each other before the start of the journey were berthed together. In 1852 a new law required that men be berthed separately.
The trip was not a dry one. Water seeped into the steerage through holes that were supposed to be for ventilation. Most passengers were sea sick the first few days out and only in rough weather afterwards. It was impossible to come on deck in bad weather. The hatches would be battened down and passengers in steerage would have to remain below in the dark and rocking ship. There was on average one toilet for every hundred passengers. Frequently the toilet was on deck, where they could not be reached in rough weather. Because of the close quarters in which they lived, passengers often suffered from illnesses like trench mouth, body ulcers, and lice. Conditions were frightful. Immigrant ships were recognized by the smell.
Early ships were often called "coffin ships" because of the frightful conditions and the numbers of people who died during the crossings. In 1847, 1,879 immigrants died on the voyage to New York. Eventually government supervision of sanitation regulations improved conditions.
While French and British shipping companies made their passengers cook their own meals, German shipping companies provided meals for their steerage passengers. The menu: Sunday---salt meat, meal pudding and prunes. Monday--- salt bacon, pea soup and potatoes. Tuesday---salt meat, rice and prunes. Wednesday---smoked bacon, sauerkraut, and potatoes. Thursday---salt meat, potatoes and bean soup. Friday---Herring, meal and prunes. Saturday---salt bacon, pea soup and potatoes.
The principle ports from Germany were Bremen (later Bremerhaven), Hanover, and Hamburg. In the early 19th century Le Havre was also a major port of embarkation for many Germans. Others used a complicated but competitively priced route from Holland to England, crossing England by rail and embarking at Liverpool.”
Arriving April 1875 in NY aboard the Pomerania, Paul Schneidre (50), his wife, Theresia (46) & daughters Anna (17), Eva (14), Catherine (9), Elizabeth (6) & Rosalie (2) – all from Tadten, Austria.
In the 1870 a passage to America cost a German laborer about three months wages. And in 1873 an immigrant did not need a passport or visa to enter the US. The problems upon arrival were many, of course. First, everyone had to be healthy and pass a doctor’s examination. The family also needed some destination and perhaps, a sponsor, depending upon the year of arrival. Some ship manifests list the immigrant’s sponsor and/or destination, as well as their departure and their home town.
We do not know where the Schneider family had planned to live after arriving in the US or if they had a sponsor. What we do know is that they ended up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee where they lived for several years prior to moving to St. Paul, MN by the 1880 census. At that time, Paul, Theresia and their youngest daughter, Rosalie (7), resided at 45 Duke Street, St. Paul. It is documented that there was a small German settlement there of Roman Catholics, many of whom came from Ohio to establish a community there. For further information, this website has more details: http://home.lorettotel.net/~lcarchives/germigration.htm
The two oldest girls were married in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Anna married Peter Abel (1856-1910) on 14 Nov 1876. This family then moved to Rochester, Pennsylvania where the couple’s six children were born between 1877 – 1889. By the year 1900, the family was living in Anderson, Madison, Indiana where other Schneider daughters were living.
And Eva Schneider married William Besch (1861 New York – 1885 MN). The couple had their first child, William T. Besch in 1879 while still living in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. However, their remaining two children were born in St.Paul, MN after moving there in late 1879 or early 1880.
Family lore has it that the Schneider clan left Tennessee due to an outbreak of malaria. It’s also possible that they knew of other Burgenlanders who had already settled in Minnesota, quite possibly due to the similarity of the countryside to that of their home country. Theresia Haberler Schneider was listed in the 1880 census living at 45 Duke Street, St.Paul, with her youngest daughter, Rosalie. Theresia died about the age of 66 in St. Paul around 1895. We have no death record for her, but she was dead prior to the 1895 census. There is no burial record located as of this time for Theresia Haberler Schneider. It’s possible she is buried in Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul, MN – however, that may be difficult to discover – especially if there is no headstone. Most of the Catholic Burgenlanders are buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Paul Schneider lived at many different locations in St. Paul – a different address in each census. In the 1895 census, Paul was living with his youngest daughter, Rosalie, her husband, John Hasslinger and their family in Minneapolis. He died at the age of 72 on 6 Apr 1898 and is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN.
The following chart documents the basic information on the children of Paul & Theresia and their husbands, the births and deaths, death locations, and the number of children each family had. Click on the image to read it!
The numerous descendants of Theresia Haberler and Paul Schneider have spread far and wide. I am grateful for having been able to track this entire family back several generations. This couple did not have an easy life, nor did most of the children and/or grandchildren. Yet, as immigrants do, they learned new trades, adjusted to new culture and climate, and have contributed greatly to this country.
My great-grandmother, Mary Katherine Schneider Tischler Gangl's headstone in Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul, Minnesota.
I am a great-granddaughter of their daughter Mary Katherine Schnieder Tischler Gangl. Mary’s life was far from easy, with the sudden loss of her husband as they approached Philadelphia aboard the Nederland. Yet she brought her children to St. Paul, where some grew and prospered. Others also had tragic lives, one ending in suicide and the husband of another also committing suicide. Mary married my great-grandfather, John Gangl, and gave birth to my grandfather, John Paul Gangl. That marriage wasn’t easy, either. Yet most Schneider descendants have made good lives for themselves and their children. I thank all the family genealogists who have provided much needed information, so I could provide the story for the Schneider family.