Monday, July 14, 2014

Who Is Werner Frommann - Mystery Monday & 52 Ancestors

Werner Frommann is my mystery man of the moment.  Who is he?  Where is he?  But he's not the only mystery man:  several other Frommanns travelled with Werner from Hessen on board the ship, "Julius," destined for Greenville, arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 4, 1856.

Werner and the other Frommanns who appear on the ship's manifest are 
  • Werner Frommann, 54, male, weaver
  • Maria Frommann, 21, female
  • Johannes Frommann, 16, male, weaver
  • Anna Frommann, 12, female
  • Elisabeth Frommann, 7, female
  • Heinrich Frommann, 5, male
  • Caspar Frommann, 4, male
  • Christiane Frommann, 23, female

I believe my John Froman (of the intestate court file) is the Johannes on this passenger list.  I was ready to claim Werner as his father -- because certainly the age was within range for him to be John's father -- but realized that doing so would be assuming too much:  no relationships are stated on the manifest.  However, I do assume these individuals knew each other since they are grouped together on the manifest, and I think they are probably related.

Based on the ages on the manifest, the birth years of the individuals would be:
  • Werner, born ~1802
  • Maria, born  ~1835
  • Johannes, born ~1840
  • Anna,  born ~1844
  • Elisabeth, born ~1849
  • Heinrich, born ~1851
  • Caspar, born ~1852
  • Christiane, born ~1833

To which Greenville were they headed?  There are Greenvilles in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Alabama.  I'm certain they were headed to Greenville, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

Several of the travelling companions, the males, with Americanized given names, appear in the 1860 U.S. Census in Pennsylvania.  Werner, John, Henry, and Casper Fromann, all the appropriate age, are there.  They are living in Hickory Township, Mercer County, rather than Greenville.  Hickory Township is south and slightly west of Greenville.

But where are the females from the ship's manifest?  I've been unable to locate them.  Little 7-year-old Elisabeth would not yet have been married in 1860 at the age of 11.  Young Anna, 12 in 1856, could possibly have married at 16.  But what about Maria and Christiane?  It was too early for marriage records in Pennsylvania.  They could appear in a church marriage record.  Or one of their children could appear in a death certificate which identifies their mother by her maiden name. 

After the 1860 U.S. Census only John, Henry, and Casper can be found in other records.  What happened to Werner, Maria, Anna, Elisabeth, and Christiane?  Will I ever find them? 

The search for the surname Froman in newspaper archives does not return "clean" results when searched with OCR.  It finds "from an island in Greece" or "from an early age" or "from an" followed by any number and variety of words.  The results for Frommann searched with OCR are not much better.

Search results on FamilySearch and Ancestry are interesting.
  • Frommann yields these variations:  Friedman, Freeman, Freyman, Freedman, Fremont, Frauhman, Freemount, Frieman, Freiman, Freeseman, and Fruman.
  • Fromann variations include Frontz, Vroman, Vronn, Fromm, Vroom, Vrooman, Fromme, Froman, Frohm, and Frum.
  • Froman returns Fromann, Froemke, Fromm, Fromme, Frum, From, and Frohm. 

It's possible I'll eventually find some document to support the relationship between John and the others on this ship's manifest.  I return to Werner Frommann every once in a while, always with hope. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's call to her readers to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  Thank you, Amy.


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