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father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

Posted: 3 Aug 2011 3:48AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Beach, Beitsch, Bietsch
Dear Readers,

My Great Great Grandmother's name was Ernestine Bietsch (b. approx 1849) in Germany and immigrated circa mid 1850's on her way to North America. More specifically, she and her sister Elizabeth became orphans and were placed into the Quebec Church of England Orphanage in Canada when they were very little. As the story goes, both her parents died on the immigration ship. I feel sad that everything about her life is nearly a mystery...I have photographs of her but I have no idea what the names of her parents were or whether she had any other siblings. I know her name was anglicized to BEACH and I am told that her name may have been pronounced as the swear word we all know begins with a B...therefore, the German of her surname confuses me!

Please let me know if you can help with any information!

Re: father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

Posted: 7 Aug 2011 11:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
Not much help but the pronounciation of Bietsch would be almost Beach/Beech so the anglicisation would be obvious I think - especially if the parents were no longer around to continue any Germanic influences. Just one small point cleared up, but it is not a very common name, there are only 87 (79 private) entries for the name in the whole German telephone book (dastelefonbuch.de) so perhaps it might be worth considering writing a polite letter to some of them and asking if anyone connects with the story. Surely the orphanage archives must be somewhere and would give a clue to why they were there and possibly where they had come from? That could help with the idea of contacting any of the Bietsch' Good luck anyway.

Re: father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

Posted: 7 Aug 2011 6:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 8 Aug 2011 1:27PM GMT
Thank you Hal, this is very good advice! I am so glad I asked because I never would have thought about writing a polite letter, etc. Two days ago I did contact the archdiocese of Quebec and the librarian will make a trip out to the library to look for any register rolls from the orphanage where I know they were placed in. My fingers are crossed! Thanks for the good luck.

Re: father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

Posted: 7 Aug 2011 6:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
I hope your library enquiries are successful - there would have to be a record of which ship they were taken from. I am almost sure that if both parents died at sea the Captain would have had legal responsibility for them until he handed them over at Quebec(the almost really means if it was not a British ship regulations could have been different!) and it would have had to be entered in the ship's log, as would the deaths, but there should also be a ship's manifest which would have said who was on board and where they had come from - whether they arrived or not. I think the name of the ship could be the most important - if you get where they came from you could look at the telephone directory and try to see if any places match up - but do remember there have been two world wars and endless land and population shifts so there may not be any Bietsch' left in the original place.

Re: father and mother death at sea (Germany to Quebec)

Posted: 7 Aug 2011 7:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Beach, Beitsch, Bietsch
This is true regarding the displacement of Bietsch people. For all I know they could be in Poland if they were from Prussia. A genealogist did manage to find a report that looks like it matches up with my Bietsch/Beitsch ancestors. It's a report from the Harbour Master in which he indicates that the two Bothe girls mother disappeared and relations were not where to be found so, he placed them in temporary lodgings and then the Protestant Orphanage in Montreal. However, I have a census from 1861 Quebec East that indicates 'E' Beitsch and 'Eliza Beitsch' from Germany who are in the Church of England orphanage in Quebec. Confusing, huh? Thus, the librarian is looking into the latter orphanage.

Thanks again for your help...hopefully it will shed light!
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