To the United States.
Franz Liebhart sailed into New York harbor aboard the S/S Ems on 1 July 1887. The Emigrant Landing Depot at Castle Garden was a noisy, crowded facility where scoundrels lay in wait to prey on confused and exhausted immigrants. The 34 year old farmer, traveling alone in steerage with a single bag, had left his wife and children behind until he could establish a foothold in America. He claimed to be of the German race.
Anna Marie, 39, followed two years later with their five children. Having traveled from Erdberg, Österreich (Austria) by train, they boarded the S/S Wieland in Hamburg, Germany. They left port on 7 July 1889. Two hundred passengers booked first class but she and her children were among the 800 who found berths in the family section in the Zwischendeck. The children included Marie, 9; Anton, 8; our ancestor Elisabeth, 7; Franz, 3; and Bertha, who at 2 had never met her father who left the year she was born. The family's possessions were packed in a single piece of luggage. They arrived in New York at five in the morning of 19 July 1889 where they boarded a transfer boat to take them into the docks at Castle Garden. The process required a few hours as officials plied the steerage passengers with a series of questions to weed out the poor, the sick and suspected criminals or anarchists. Those individuals would be herded to a separate section and were often sent back at the expense of the steamship company. Anna and her children were allowed to pass through to be reunited with their husband and father.
Franz's mother Christina Hammermuller Liebhart came to the United States in 1889 after her husband Martin died. In Bremen she boarded the ship Weser with her son Louis, 27. They sailed in April and landed in Baltimore. From there they joined her son Lazarus in Missouri. The young men were farmers. Louis married Anne Theile on 9 September 1896 and lived in North Salem, Linn, Missouri. They had twin girls reported in the 1900 census and his mother was living with them. Lazarus married Mary Sattman on 14 November 1894. In 1900 they were living in Drake, Macon, Missouri with their four young children. Lazarus lost his wife in the following years and Christina moved in with him to help take care of the family. In the 1910 census there were five children in the Lazarus household. Christina, 79, reported that she was widowed, had had six children, all still living. She passed away the following year on 15 October 1911 and was buried the next day in the New Boston Cemetery, Missouri.
Johnstown, New York
The family settled for a time in Gloversville, New York where Frank was a laborer in 1890. They lived at 7 Swan. Son Aloysius was born 4 October 1891. Frank filed for naturalization in Johnstown on 17 December 1894. There, they attended Saint Patrick Catholic Church where 15 year old Mary and 13 year old Elizabeth were confirmed on 12 June 1893.
The couple had moved to East Montgomery Street in Johnstown by the 1900 census. Frank, 45 and Annie, 50 asserted they were from Austria. He was a leather dresser whose job it was to prepare the deer and other hides that would be stitched into gloves. From this it is learned that Anna had nine children, though only five survived. Little Bertha and Aloysius are not mentioned and apparently died before this census; leaving two others who perhaps died in Austria. Granddaughter Catherine recalls that they lost some children during the diphtheria epidemic that ravaged the area in the 1890's. Daughter Elizabeth, 19, was a machine operator, sewing gloves. Their son Frank, 16, was a paper box maker. Another son had been born in New York, William, who was age 9 and in school. It is noted that all members of the family could speak English and were able to read and write. Their two older children were married. Mary married John Lochmayer around 1894 and for a time worked as a laundress and later did glove work. Anton married Anna Flynn and would eventually end up in San Francisco, California where he painted buildings.
Frank, 55, and Anna, 60, were living in the Town of Mohawk on the New Road to Johnstown in the 1910 census. He was a gardener and truck farmer bringing fresh produce to the local markets. Their son Frank, age 25, was a housepainter and William, age 20, was employed in a shirt factory. They lived in one of two towns called the "Glove Cities" [Johnstown and Gloversville] so it is not surprising twenty-nine year old Elizabeth was in that industry. A large number of women toiled from their homes, but the census record states Elizabeth worked in a glove shop. There were numerous ones in the area producing hundreds of thousands of glove pairs over the course of the year. Men tanned the deer hides in the factories. They traced the glove shape on boards and then cut them out. Women operated foot-peddle sewing machines to stitch the skins into gloves. But working in a glove shop was not Elizabeth's only form of employment.
The State of New York conducted its own census in 1915. Frank, 61, Anna, 65, and son Frank, 30, all state they were born in Austria. In the US 23 years, the men worked as farmers and Anna did housework. Son William had married Emma (or Irma) Storrin on 8 July 1910. He was a deliveryman while she was a dressmaker. They had a two year old son and lived in Johnstown on Collinswood Street. The couple later moved to San Francisco, California.
Elizabeth married the man next door. Charles Bettinger and Elizabeth lived on neighboring farms and she was his housekeeper. They were married on 1 January 1915 in Saint Patrick Catholic Church.
Frank and Anna continued to live on the farm next to their daughter on Albany-Bush Road. In the censuses taken in 1920, 1925 (New York State) and 1930 they consistently report their birthplace as Austria or Germany and that they spoke German. Their son Frank married Martha (Matt) and resided at 14 South Chase Street in Johnstown with their two daughters. He had his own print shop. Frank senior and Anna would live to bury three more of their children: Anton in 1925, Elizabeth in 1928 and Mary in 1933. Frank passed away on 6 December 1933 at the age of 80 and is interred in Saint Patrick Church Cemetery. Anna died at the age of 85 on 2 February 1935 and is buried next to her husband.
- http://stevemorse.org; Weser image from: http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum%20Ships/Old%20Ships%20W/slides/Weser-01.jpg; Wieland image from: http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum%20Ships/Old%20Ships%20W/slides/Wieland-01.jpg
- Image of Anton and Anna provided by Colleen Friedberg
- State of Missouri Death Records
- US Census Records