The (short) lives and times…

My good friend Lynne, who’s also a genealogist, was visiting this weekend and she’s also got Bremen ancestors, so we took a virtual walk through a Bremen website I looked at some time ago. Then I only found a few things of use to us on the website, but BOY have those Bremen folks been busy. They now have funeral records for 1875-1906 for two big Bremen cemeteries online… and those happen to be the right years and the right place for the family of Marie Nuckel Geissler, wife of Hugo Ernst and mother of Hugo Hermann Geissler. (Short form: grandmother of the old farts like me, great grandmother of the whippersnappers)

I knew her father’s and mother’s names from her 1924 visa application: he was Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel, she was Juliane Margarethe Smidt. Handwritten notes suggest he lived from 1860-1940; she was dead before the Geisslers came to the US. And Marie had two sisters that I knew of, Adelheid and Gretel.

Now we know more.

Carsten and Juliane were married before 1889, because a son, Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel [I] was born around March 1889. And he didn’t make it to the age of three. He died 24 Jan 1892.

Six months later, in July 1892, another son was born and given his brother’s (and father’s) name: Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel [II] was born about 1 Jul 1892. His fate however was no different. He died 19 Aug 1893.

Henrietta Johanna Nuckel, born 16 Jul 1895, died 1 Mar 1896.

Johann Friedrich Nuckel, born about 10 May 1897, died 22 Apr 1898.

An unnamed infant girl, stillborn, 10 Dec 1904.

And Juliane herself, age 42 years and two months, dead on 27 Jan 1907.

I know Bremen was a big, dirty, ugly industrial city and shipping port, wet, cold, with lots of disease. But burying five children — babies and toddlers —  is simply incomprehensible to me.

We also picked up some broader info. Carsten was a crate maker (probably for shipping). He likely had brothers named Gerhard and Johann Friedrich, who also made crates, and their father was probably another Gerhard who was also a crate maker. They were all born, lived and died in the area of Bremen called Neustadt, just south of the Weser River within walking distance of the Friedhof Buntenthor (Buntenthor Cemetery) where so many of these babies were buried.

Working class folks with lives so very different and so much harder than ours…

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