Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Henry, Heinrich, Henri...Still a Haessig!

Henry, by any other name, is still a Haessig, right? (To slightly paraphrase Shakespeare! Lol) 

I think that I have procrastinated researching this side of my family tree, because I thought it might be a little harder than some of the others.  Honestly, who wants to start with doing the hard work!

But I am so glad that I have started looking into the Haessigs.  Although, first, I had to start by looking into a little bit of German history, and specifically the Alsace-Lorraine, area. Today's post will focus more on the Haessig family. But, I do plan on getting into more of that in a future post, because it is quite interesting.  It kept changing hands between France and Germany, and this affects some key details in your research.

I have to apologize a little here for just a moment. I have just moved, and have much of my paperwork still in boxes. But I can fill you in on what I have in one handy binder that I kept close to me in the move.  

The following picture is of my 2x-great grandfather, Heinrich, Henri, or Henry, Haessig (depending on what records you find!) and his family.  He was born in the Alsace-Lorraine area, and imigrated to the United States in 1871.  

The Haessigs-(seated) Sophia Anna Kuntz Haessig, Heinrich (Henri) Haessig. Standing - (L. to R.) George Philip Haessig, Caroline H. Haessig, Henry George Haessig, Emile Salome Haessig, George Jacob Eperle (stepson).
I was lucky enough to not only find the passenger list from when he landed in New York, but also from his departure in Hamburg, Germany.

Henri Haessig in the Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, for Henri Haessig

"Henri's" info from N.Y. Passenger List
In these records, he is listed as Henri. In other records that must still be tucked into my boxes, I have found him listed as Heinrich. Later, after living in Indiana for several years, census records will list him as Henry. I am so very glad that they chose to name their son (my great-grandfather) Henry!

I am also very fortunate that my research has lead me to other descendents of Heinrich "Henry" Haessig that I had never met until just the last few years. 

  • Charlie Haessig ~ son of George Philip Haessig. Among many accomplishments, Charlie was also a survivor of the bombing at Pearl Harbor. I was lucky to get to know this man at one of our Haessig Family Reunions.
  • His four children are all wonderful, too. One of his sons has delved much deeper into the Haessig family history, and has been a godsend as I research our shared history.  (These are living relatives, and I will only add there names as I have permission.)
  • I was also introduced to another of George Haessig's grandchildren recently because of this blog.  The "Haessig Researcher" cousin mentioned just above had told his first cousin to check out my blog.  I am glad that she did.  She has written me about some wonderful memories she had of her grandfather, and also filled me in on our family's quilting heritage.
As I started this blog, I had hopes of meeting new relatives as I discovered my heritage.  It looks like I am starting down the right path!  I hope that I meet many more!!

(As I unpack my other papers, and am in touch with more of my Haessig researchers, I will hopefully fill in a few more of the blanks within this post.

Next up, a quick lesson on general German history, and specifically the Alsace-Lorraine area!  Stay tuned!!