Ackermann Family History & Genealogy

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Ackermann Last Name History & Origin


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Early Ackermanns

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Ackermann Biographies & Family Trees

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  • Anna 2.5%
  • John 1.6%
  • Marie 1.6%
  • William 1.5%
  • Carl 1.4%
  • Joseph 1.3%
  • George 1.3%
  • Mary 1.1%
  • Charles 1.1%
  • Louise 1.0%
  • Paul 0.9%
  • Jacob 0.9%
  • Henry 0.9%
  • Robert 0.8%
  • Johann 0.8%
  • Maria 0.8%
  • Bertha 0.8%
  • Frank 0.7%
  • Franz 0.7%
  • Harry 0.7%

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Dean Thomson Hesse-Darmstadt to the USA November 1865!!! And more!
The life of Michael Ackermann

A young man, 24 years of age, left Hesse-Darmstadt in what is today South-central Germany and traveled to the port of Le Havre, France.

Michael Ackermann was born in Hesse-Darmstadt and both parents claimed Hesse as their birthplace also.

Families in Germany sometimes stay in their ancestral villages for generations, even today there are some families who have lived in the same village for 700 years, so perhaps, this was the situation with the Ackermanns until our ancestor broke with tradition. Michael hopped on board a barge and sailed down the Rhein-Marne canal to France and climbed on board the VanCluse at LeHavre. “Guten Morgen, Kapitan Hennes,” said Michael, and trusting his life and future to Captain William Henes* they began to cross the stormy North Atlantic that late fall morning in October. The cheapest fares on ships were obtained by coming steerage* (which was 3rd class & which is the way most immigrants came) Michael also thought it best to save a few Deutchmarks, so this became his mode of travel also.
Successful the voyage was, and on the 13th day of November in the year of Our Lord, 1856, Captain Henes and passengers arrived in New York.

It is not known exactly what he worked at or what his travels were but in 1860* he is found living with the Shuffer family and working as a shoe dealer in the 3rd ward of Pittsburgh and still not married.

The shoe business continued to be his way of life as he became a journeyman bootmaker* and by 1870 Michael had moved to the 9th Ward of Pittsburgh where he was supporting his family through this occupation. Michael probably was married in approximately 1862. Michael was wed to a young Fraulien he met in Pittsburgh by the name of Eliza. Wittmer was her family name and she too, was an immigrant from Germany.

Eliza at an early age had her childhood days cut short and marred by deaths cruel dart hurled at her dear mother. Her school and play days were soon over and she left at home, her sister and brother and faced the world in a brave effort to earn her way and help maintain the family at their humble cottage in Dettighofen * Baden-Wurttenberg.
Her parents birthplace and home had also been Baden-Wurttenberg but Eliza soon turned to the setting sun, a better home to find, knowing it was time to leave family and friends and blaze the way to a better life for the sake of all.
1857 found Eliza, Xavier her brother and sister Kunigunda leaving the Fatherland for America.
This new, strange land so far, far from home held many trials, lonelyness, homesickness and more but they were faced and conquered one by one.
Michael and Eliza had born to them 8 little ones* both boys and girls.
Many evenings were spent singing this little Lullaby to the children while they were very small:

*Guten abend, gut’ Nacht, Mit Rosen bedacht
Mit naglein bestecht, schlupf unter die Deck,
Morgen fruh, Wenn Gott will, wirst gewecht.

Guten abend, gut’ Nacht, Von Englein bewacht,
Die Zeigen im Traum, der Christkindellein’s baum,
Schlaf’ nun selig und suss, schau’ im Traum’s Paradies.

However, by her seventy-first birthday, “only one out of eight was left to comfort and to cheer”*

I do not know all of their names but 1880 saw the passing of Ida in January about the time that Michael had ventured into a new profession, a profession that was hopefully better able to support his family. Downtown Pittsburgh became the location for Ackermanns’ Cigar & Candy Store.*
Autumn of 1886 was a time of great excitement for all as Judge Sharpless Klinefelter became the new son-in-law of Michael and Eliza.
Emma, their daughter had just married the son of a Civil War veteran who was well established in the carpentry trade with his father Joseph. Judge and his father soon persuaded Michael to become involved in carpentry also. Michael was a carpenter from then until 1900.
All was going well with the birth of a granddaughter in September of 1887 and another baby due after Christmas of ’88. Childbirth was sometimes difficult in those days and sadly, Emma had a very difficult pregnancy and delivery. The first thing that the tall dark-haired young husband noticed when he burst into the bedroom where the birth had taken place was how pale and exhausted his young wife appeared. His eyes quickly glanced over to the cradle by the bed and saw the tiny infant lying there. Then he saw the blood soaked sheets.

You have a fine boy Mr. Klinefelter, “ the doctor said.”

Judge Klinefelter ignored him and moved quickly to his wifes’ side, sitting beside her and taking one of her cold white hands in his.
Emmas’ long black lashes fluttered as she slowly opened her eyes. Judge, she said faintly, did you see our son?
Yes, darling, he replied, leaning over to kiss her colorless lips. Oh, how sweet his face looks she murmured weakly turning towards the cradle and smiling. Just like the cherubs on the music box mother gave to me when I was younger. She smiled a further sad smile and then said in a voice so weak that he had to strain to hear “Play my music box for me, Judge.”
He sat it beside her on the bed and felt her hand grow colder in his, saw her breaths grow shorter till they ceased altogether.
The doctor had been watching and reached over to check her pulse and then closed her eyes as Judge laid his face on her shoulder and wept uncontrollably.
Michael Ackermann, Emmas’ father and Eliza her mother stood at the foot of the bed tears streaming down their face when the doctor turned to them once again and gently said ‘the baby has also breathed its last breath.”
“I’m sorry, I tried to save them both but I couldn’t stop the bleeding”.
We’re sure you did all you could, said Michael, we so hoped the baby would live.

Emma left to mourn her passing, her husband Judge Sharpless Klinefelter, one daughter, Blanche Mabel Klinefelter, 15 months old, her parents Michael and Eliza Ackermann, also Luisa her sister, and brother George.
Her parents-in-law Joseph and Caroline Klinefelter and a number of other relatives were also among the sorrowing.
Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh became the final resting place of mother and son until the resurrection.

Allegheny Cemetery also holds the body of Luisa Ackermann, another daughter of who was called into eternity in April 1898.

1900 had been witness to the death of Michael Ackermann, husband of 34 or 35 years, so truly her son George Washington Ackermann was the only one left of her immediate family to “comfort and to cheer”.
George saw to it that the last years of his mothers’ life were filled with pleasant memories as they traveled with her to many destinations far & near throughout her adopted homeland. George also speaks of going across the waters to distant lands. Perhaps this means going back to Europe!
Eliza passed away in 1910 having lived 53 years in America.
George Washington Ackermann married S. Belle Eader and had born to them no children.

1930 saw the passing of George Washington Ackermann, the last of the Michael Ackermann family.

*Ships manifest 00008773 names Wm. Henes as captain.
*Steerage: See full explanation on accompanying article at end of this story.
*1860 census of the city of Pittsburgh.
*Journeyman bootmaker: Documented in1870 census of Pittsburgh.
*Dettighofen: Staatliche Archivver Waltong Database of emigrants from Baden, Germany shows Xavier Wittmer from this town, emigration year 1857, so the rest of his family should be from Dettighofen also.
*Guten Abend, Gut’ Nacht: Brahms Lullaby
*Ackermanns Cigar & Candy Store: 1880 census of Pittsburgh.

Preceeding story based on factual evidence although the incidents within may not have happened exactly the way they are stated.
Written by Dean Ackermann Thomson—Great-Great –Grandson of Michael Ackermann. Dated: Lincoln, Nebraska 2005
Dec 04, 2005 · Reply