My great grandmother Frieda Behrman Cross hand wrote a family tree years ago. I somehow got a copy of it. I think she may have written out the family tree from memory. She may have used an old Family Bible as a resource, but if so, no one knows where that Family Bible was, or where it is today.
Of course, there were no sources. It was just a list of families, mother and father with children, for several generations.
But the Lucky Find was this; she wrote when her father’s family immigrated to America. She was born in America, and so was a natural born US Citizen. But her father sailed to America when he was only 6 years old, when the family all came together. She wrote the year of immigration as 1857. Somehow, the family had forgotten about this nice little fact. We knew German ancestors were part of our family tree, but who came to America and when? No one knew.
Great grandma Frieda wrote the family all together, which would have been her grandparents, her father and his siblings, as coming to America in 1857. That’s the only detail I had.
I did a search online, and on ancestry I found this little gem: the family sailed to America from Germany and arrived on 3 Oct. 1857.
[Ancestry.com, New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), Ancestry.com, Year: 1857; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 179; Line: 38; List Number: 1173.]
And there we are, beginning on line 38, we get the listing of the same family that great grandma wrote in her family tree. Line 38 is Johann Behrmann, also known as John, Frieda’s grandfather, and a few lines below at the age of 6 is another Johann Behrmann, the father of Frieda, born in 1851 and so 6 years old in 1857.
They left Hanover, Germany, and their point of departure by sea was Bremen, Germany, and they arrived in New York on 3 Oct. 1857 aboard the Adonis, quite a name for a ship! With a little searching online, I can find other information about the Adonis here. A few years later, the Adonis was shipwrecked with a shipment of coal. Thankfully, my ancestors were safe in America by then! There is also an online site with a list of German immigrants and the ship they sailed on! Much more information can be found with some online searches!
Great grandma’s family tree was a little gem, that contained a Lucky Find. Her simple fact of immigration in 1857 lead to finding a passenger list, information about the ship, which verifies her fact with documented sources, and their hometown of Hanover in Germany.
I love these types of Lucky Finds!