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Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany side

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Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany side

Postby Nick1 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:43 pm

A bit of background. My great, great grandad was born in I think 1860, and was born in Germany. Family stories have always said he fled German persecution because he was Jewish (but may have been to avoid conscription?), and his surname at the time was possibly Muchau, which he changed to Muchan after he fled.

The first mention of him is a marriage certificate to his wife, Mary Dearden, in 1888, Lancashire. After that he appears in an 1891 Isle Of Man Census where he is a waiter working in a hotel. On his marriage certificate it mentions his fathers name, bit hard to read because of the hand writing, but it looks something like Auguste Muchau, his profession was a book keeper.

I've hit a block about 9 months ago trying to trace further back into Germany (ie, his parents) to see whether I have German ancestors, and also to try researching my blood line further back. I'm still no closer to figuring this out hence now reaching out to the community here wondering if they could point me in some new research directions?

I've predominantly used Ancestry for it all, but have tried searching German websites, Jewish websites, all to no avail.

Very frustrating and I would love to crack this puzzle!

Thanks
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby ianbee » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:24 pm

His name is Paul
Marriage is on ancestry, and also here
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903 ... cat=838374

Does look like father is Auguste (Muchan)
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby Nick1 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:09 pm

Thanks ianbee. Yes, thats as far as I can get as well. What I can't truly discover is who his dad is, I really need Paul Muchans (Muchau?) German birth certificate I guess, but this is the wall I'm up against.
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:06 pm

Your problem - he said with the vast (not!) experience of researching one family in Hamburg - is that in the era that you are talking about for Paul's birth, there was no such thing as Germany and the start date of the various civil registration records varies from state to state. (You may know all this and what follows already - if so, apologies).

Some thoughts...

The LDS Wiki article https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Germany_Civil_Registration might guide you, or not. It would suggest to me that for Paul, there is little chance of a civil record of his birth, unless he were born in Anhalt. So church records would seem the way to go - I know nothing of them but I guess you can use the LDS Wiki to find stuff about them.

Unless there's been a radical change recently, I don't think more than a small fraction of German records are online. Certainly Hamburg is very recent - I talked to someone from the Anglo-German FHS at the last but one WDYTYA? Show and they were not optimistic about my intended research into Hamburg records - they were pretty much inaccessible to non-relatives at that time - German privacy laws have only just relaxed enough to put this stuff online (the Hamburg records are brilliant, by the way). The A-G FHS may be able to help with research strategies?

You need to be certain that you have everything about Paul from the UK's records. Have you got all the UK census records for him? While a simple statement of "Germany" for his birth is all that was necessary, finer detail is not unknown.

What about naturalisation records in the UK? I've forgotten who has them - TNA I think - though again, you may have already been down his route.

Are there any other Muchan or whatever in the UK censuses in his area who might be relatives?
Adrian
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby ianbee » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:40 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:Are there any other Muchan or whatever in the UK censuses in his area who might be relatives?

Maybe Fritz, age 25, in 1891. Also a waiter. Found on the Lancashire coast. Perhaps he also popped over to the Isle of Man at some point! Paul had a son Frederick/Fritz
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:77LC-P3Z

He seems to have died just before the 1911 census, where of course we can see the original schedules. Including as they sometimes do info given that wasn't asked for.
March 1911 Chorlton 8c 528
Meechan, Paul
Muchan, Paul
Muchau, Paul
all three of them aged 50!

I think that the Muchan/Muchau thing is just the reading of the letter n as u that you get with writing back then. Rather than an indication of a change of name.
Only Muchan comes up in the new index.
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby junkers » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:57 am

I am not sure about the Jewish persecution in the 1880s, he is as you probably know buried (he died in 1911) in a common grave in Gorton, Lancashire where the family seem to have lived and there is a person who has put information on the family (unless that is you) on an ancestry family tree. I can't see any records at The National Archives. You are right that his father was Auguste on his marriage certificate. I assume you have searched on the internet for Auguste. As has been said you need to know part of Germany (as was at that time) to have any chance of finding records.
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Re: Ancestor fled Germany - brick wall researching Germany s

Postby Paparico » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:57 am

Please note that prior to 1911, Germans usually wrote a line above the "u" to distinguish it from "m" and "n", making it clear to Germans, but not to interpreters of German handwriting.
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