Friday, November 7, 2008

Hohnke Line- Introduction to First Generation

I created the Hohnke Family Tree exhibit shown above and set it on an artist’s easel at a recent gathering of the STEMPFLY descendents. Specifically, I showed it to the descendants of William Stempfly, whose mother was Amelia STREICH, who in turn was the first-born child of Henrietta Hohnke and Karl Streich. The point here is not to read the detailed charts in this exhibit, unless you have the vision of a hawk. (Click on the image to enlarge). Rather, I wish to emphasize that there were 3 siblings making up the three major branches of the first generation, HOHNKE Line. I have documents which mention that the parents of the first generation were Frederick Hohnke and Augusta (maiden surname unknown). Little is known of Frederick, but Mrs. Augusta Hohnke apparently immigrated to America. She was enumerated as an 83 year old, widowed mother-in-law in the 1900 U.S. Census in the household of her daughter, Wilhelmina, and her son-in-law, Fredrick SCHROCK or SROCK. According to the Kirchenbuch of St. John’s German Lutheran Church in Houtzdale, PA, Mrs. Augusta Hohnke, was born 1814; died in 1907, and buried in the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) cemetery in Brisbin, Clearfield Co. Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, her grave was never marked and attempts to obtain her death certificate from PA Vital Statistics have been futile. The state began registering Deaths in 1895. After 1905, Death Certificates can be ordered from New Castle, for PA.

The three children of Frederick Hohnke and Augusta were:

i. Julius Hohnke, born 1840 in Prussia; died 1908 (age 68) in Clearfield Co, PA. He married Ottilie “Tillie” SUNBURG, d/o Adolf, and they had six children, five of whom were born in Germany. I found a Passenger List for Tillie and four of her children: they arrived Oct. 6, 1884, at New York Port, on S.S. General Werder. The oldest daughter, Bertha, who would have been about 15 years old, was not listed, and may have sailed separately with other relatives. The youngest child, Lewis H. Hohnke, was born in America in 1885.

The images above are presumably Julius Hohnke and his wife, Ottilie Sunburg. The photos were presented in a twin frame which was found in the attic of the former home of the Hohnke’s late son, Lewis H. Hohnke (1885-1940). The picture is definitely not of Lewis and his wife. There were no identifying markings on the photos or frames. Julius died in 1917 aged 68 years, but he appears much younger here. The original pictures are in the hands of a great granddaughter, Margaret WEBSTSER, nee. Hohnke, who allowed me to take these photographs in 1995.

ii. Henrietta Hohnke, born 1842 in "P. Posen" (probably the Province of Posen rather than the city), Prussia (now, Poland); died 1924 aged 82 years, in West Houtzdale, also known as West Moshannon, Clearfield Co, PA. She was married first to Karl? STREICH or STRIKE (?-1885), and secondly in 1888, to Charles Michael WAGNER, or WEGNER (1849-1926) from Lauenburg, eastern Pomerania. Henrietta had at least 4 children by her first husband: Amelia, Otto, Julius, and Martha. All but the last child were born somewhere in Prussia, but most likely in West Prussia. Henrietta and Charles had no issue. They died at the Wagner farmhouse in West Moshannon, PA; were buried in IOOF cemetery, Brisbin, PA; and had tombstones placed over their graves. Mrs. Henrietta Streich, born Hohnke, was my great grandmother.

The scanned images above are two separate photos made into a collage. The upper photo is Mrs. Henrietta Striech-Wagner, born Hohnke, with her second husband, Charles Wagner; they are identified as “Grandpa and Grandma Wagner”. Unfortunately, it looks like the picture was used as an ashtray at one time. The original is owned by a great grandson, Samuel Shugar. Henrietta was first to pass away, in 1924; and therefore, I believe this picture was taken several years before that time.

In the bottom photo, Henrietta stands in the middle of the group with her spouse Charles Wagner. On the right are Henrietta’s daughter, Mrs. Martha Kramp, born Streich, and her husband Robert William Kramp. If Martha is holding their first-born child, Richard, then the picture was taken about 1907. Judging from the clothes being worn by Henrietta and Charles, I believe both pictures were taken at the same time and in the same location- the Wagner Farm in West Houtzdale, PA. The couple on the left is yet to be identified.

iii. Wilhelmina “Minnie” Hohnke, was born 1847, in Germany; died 1937, aged 90, in Beulah, Clearfield Co., PA. She bore five children in Germany by her first husband August SCHESKIE or SHESKI (?-1884), and four children in Clearfield Co., PA, by her second husband, Fredrich SCHROCK or SROCK, from Neustadt, eastern Pomerania (1845-1917). The children of Minnie’s second family were born when she was 39, 41, 42, and 45 years old. Her second-born daughter died as an infant. Supposedly, Wilhelmina was buried in Beulah cemetery, Clearfield County, next to her second husband. However, Fredrich Schrock has a splendid tombstone; she has none.

Brick walls in my research came tumbling down when I found Wilhelmina’s obituary in the Clearfield (PA) Progress. Yet, it was still a challenge to fill in the genealogy as only 5 of her 8 children were mentioned in her obituary.

Shown below are two pictures of Wilhelmina Hohnke. The left-hand picture was only identified as “Grandma Schrock?”, as if the owner was not certain if she was his grandmother at a young age. Is it Wilhelmina, or if not, whose grandma is it? The pictures were found in an album belonging to the widow of Wilhelmina’s grandson, David Martin Steve. He was the youngest son of Wilhelmina’s oldest child, Clara Scheski who married Wilhelm Stuve. Eventually, Stuve was Anglicized to Steve. For now, it is reasonable to assume that these photos are of Wilhelmina as a young woman and at a mature age. The identity of “Emily” in right-hand picture is not known.
A Possible Fourth child in First Generation

As already mentioned I found a Passenger list for Julius Hohnke’s wife and their children but not for the families of Mrs. Henrietta (Hohnke) Streich or Mrs. Wilhelmina (Hohnke) Scheskie. Mrs. Henrietta Streich’s son, Otto, stated in his Naturalization papers, that he arrived in NY, on the SS Elbe, in the year 1884, on either Feb 26 (Declaration of Intention) or Mar 26 (Petition for Naturalization)- an obvious discrepancy. Realize that Otto filed his Naturalization papers in Cambria County, PA, when he was in his early thirties; however, he sailed to America when he was only seven years old in 1884. Otto’s memory of his arrival date had apparently faded. Nevertheless, I surveyed all the passenger manifests for the S.S. Elbe during April and May for 1884, plus or minus two years, with negative results.

On the other hand, I found a Passenger List with a match for Mrs. Henrietta Streich’s oldest child (see partial list below). Amalie (Amelia) Streich, age 18, arrived at New York port on the S.S. Elbe on 17 Dec 1883. Furthermore, her traveling companion was Pauline “Honke”, age 25 years. Pauline may be another child of the first generation Hohnke family. Estimated from her age on arrival, Pauline was born about 1855. Since her oldest presumed sibling, Julius Hohnke, was born in 1840, that would be a span of 15 years between them which is substantial but not uncommon in those days. There were no other passengers named Hohnke or Streich on the cruise. Thus, children and young adults sometimes did immigrate separately from their immediate families.
Passenger Manifest for SS Elbe arriving at New York on 17 Dec 1883. Pauline Hohnke, age 25 is Passenger No. 69; and Amalie Streich, No. 70. Unlike the other siblings in this first generation Hohnke family, I have been unable to find any information on the fate or whereabouts of the 25 year old Pauline Hohnke after she came to America in 1883. Incidentally, Julius Hohnke had a daughter named Pauline, but she was only 15 years old in 1883. Could the older Pauline have been a namesake for Julius’ daughter?
For orientation, my paternal great grandparents, Karl Streich and Henrietta Hohnke, can be seen on My Pedigree.
Obituaries for Julius Hohnke, Ottilie Sunburg (wife of Julius Hohnke), and Wilhelmina Hohnke, (wife of Fred Schrock) can be linked from the Obit index at my Father's branch web site.


Anonymous said...

hey, my name is Daniel Hohnke, from Germany. i interesting für the family...yind me >
oder email

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Would like to find the same passenger list for May 1884 on the Elbe as my ancestor arrived on that very ship. Any assistance would be appreciated.