We’ve been spending a lot of time on the Schellhardt part of our family – and for good reason, it’s the name of our website! But it’s time to meet the maternal side of the family – Nanny’s relatives. The best place to start is with her immediate family - her parents, Ludwig and Mathilda Wissmann, and her brothers, Alfred and Alphonse. Lucky for us, they just happen to be on the manifest that we’re looking at today!
This manifest is for the S.S. Vaderland which sailed from Antwerp via Dover (the English Dover, not the Delaware Dover, FYI) on September 23, 1905 and arrived at the Port of New York on October 2, 1905.
The Wissmann family is listed on Lines 8-11. The patriarch of the family, Ludwig, is first. He’s listed as a 34 year old married male carpenter from Eichenbiehl, Germany. His wife, Mathilda (or Mathilde) is listed next – a 32 year old married female with no calling or occupation. She, like her husband, is listed as being from Eichenbiehl, Germany. Their sons, 3 year old Alfred and 11 month old Alphonse, round out the list. They could all read and write – although I think this was an over-exaggeration when it came to the boys! The final destination for all – the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Why isn’t Anna Wissmann listed on this manifest?!
Let’s see how well you’ve been reading these posts.
The next two columns are intriguing – it’s kind of hard to make out whether Ludwig was previously in the United States but Mathilda was – and this will be important to remember when we meet her sister Ida in a few days. So, who are they joining in the States? According to the manifest, Ludwig’s brother-in-law, W. Pet. Parr at the Delanco Hotel in Philadelphia. I’ve never heard of the name Parr but where have we heard Delanco before? Anna Wissmann lived with relatives in Delanco, New Jersey after living in an orphanage as a child. Delanco Hotel. Delanco, New Jersey. Coincidence? Misunderstanding? Mistake? I ended up spending my lunch hour doing what archivists should never do – researching. I tried to track down the Delanco Hotel without any luck. So then I did what archivists really shouldn’t do – I started making conjectures. What if there was no Delanco Hotel? What if they were confused and meant Delanco, New Jersey? I haven’t found the answer yet but I will not rest until I get to the bottom of it!
The rest of the manifest is routine – nobody was an anarchist, a polygamous, or a forced child bride. They were all in good health and without any physical deformities. Ahh, the perfect immigrants!
Tomorrow – a more personal look at the Wissmann family.
Anyone figure out why Nanny wasn’t on the manifest yet? Come on #19, you know you’ve got this!
We’re celebrating another birthday today! #20, Karen Schellhardt Bade, is today’s birthday girl! Happy birthday Karen! We’re so glad you’re a part of our family!