Search for content in message boards

Identification of uniform

Identification of uniform

Posted: 4 May 2013 10:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: HESSE
Hi

I'm researching my husband's great grandfather Johannes (John)HESSE from Birkenbringhausen, Germany - migrated to Australia 1861.

Family still in Germany have given me a copy of a photo taken by E. Thibodeau, No 28 Nicollet Island, Minneapolis. They thought this was John in an Australian military uniform - which it isn't - nothing so splendid here.

I believe the gentleman in the photo is another brother - probably Carl/Karl/Charles HESSE.

Can anyone identify the uniform he is wearing or suggest another board that might help?

Regards

Julie
Canberra, Australia
Attachments:

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 4 May 2013 9:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
Do you have an approximate birth year for his brother? Do you know that his brother lived in Minnesota?

There is another board you might post to. Under message boards you will find Military. Within that United States and then maybe post on the general category

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 1:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hesse, Pfuhl
Thanks Leslie

My husband's ancestor Johannes (John) Hesse was born in 1842 (father Johannes Hesse and mother Elisabeth Pfuhl). His father died in 1849. He had an older brother Heinrich who stayed in Germany. So I think Carl/Karl/Charles was the youngest son so possibly born 1843-1850.

The original of the photo is held by the German branch of the family. On the reverse is the pencilled name Chas Hesse. The photographer was E. Thibodeau. The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) has a Directory of Minnesota Photographers online. The entry for Edward Thibodeau shows him as a photographer in Minnesota from the 1880s through to the 1920s. For the period 1890-1894 he was operating from 28 Central Ave Minneapolis. Reading up on Nicollet Island suggests that this address is a later version of the address on my photo, 28 Nicollet Island. Therefore I suspect the photo was taken in the 1880s.

Going with a birth date 1843-1850 would make the man in the photo about mid 30s.

I only assume he was in Minnesota because he had his photo taken there. I checked the Minnesota Census Index on the MHS site but could not pick any likely candidates. One name did leap out - Ferdinand Hesse. John who came to Australia named one of his sons Ferdinand - never could understand where that came from but maybe there is a connection somewhere.

I was hoping that identifying the uniform might give me some clue about where to search next.

Sorry for rambling on - I'll post to military as you suggested.

Regards
Julie

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 3:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi

This is only a guess on my part, but it seems to me the photo shows him in a Civil War uniform which is why I asked when he might be born. I did a Google search and I'm thinking it was a Calvary uniform. If you look closely you can see the number 8 on the hat. I searched the site below and there is one possibility from Pennsylvania who served in the 8th, but I have no idea if that could be him:

http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm

If it was the Civil War there is probably more information out there for him. I wasn't able to come up with anything good in Minnesota at this point, but I suspect someone from the Military message board can probably add more information. If you do get more post that information and maybe we can fill in more pieces for you

Leslie

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 3:39AM GMT
Classification: Query
Another idea is that the uniform is not his, but a costume provided by the photographer. Many immigrants wanted to send a photo home to their families, and photographers sometimes has costumes or dress up clothes to help impress the folks back home. One of the generalizations that I havea read about Germany at that time was that uniforms were very impressive.

Here are three Hesse - maybe brothers? on the 1870 census, in Minneapolis, it says they are born in Prussia - a part of Germany today.
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MDHD-Z2T

Fervinant Hesse in household of Willielas Stark, "United States Census, 1870"Name: Fervinant Hesse
Birth Year (Estimated): 1846
Gender: Male
Age (Original): 24y
Race: White
Birthplace: Prussia
Event Place: Minnesota, United States
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Willielas Stark M 53y Prussia
Albertine Stark F 48y Prussia
Ernst Hesse M 32y Prussia
Charles Hesse M 26y Prussia
Fervinant Hesse M 24y Prussia

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 4:09AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks Leslie

Might have to bone up on my American history.

I'll post again if something more turns up.

Cheers
Julie

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 4:40AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: HESSE
Hi Taryn

Thanks so much.

I was just wondering the same thing when your email arrived. The uniform is certainly impressive and the photo did go back to Germany. Unfortunately it wasn't impressive enough for anyone in the family to recall who he was.

I find it significant that you turned up 3 male Hesses living together, including Ferdinand (as this name was used by the Australian family) and Ernst which doesn't ring any bells. Seems a bit too co-incidental and suggests some relationship - brothers or cousins at least. The ages all seem to fit as well.

I will try to get some more info from the German end. The German relatives don't seem to be as interested in tracing ancestors - probably because they still live in the same village which is virtually unchanged from the mid 1800s.

As I said to Leslie, I'll need to brush up on US genealogy as to date my interests have been Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany. Oh for ancestors who stuck close to home :-)

Regards

Julie

Re: Identification of uniform

Posted: 5 May 2013 1:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
try using the search site familysearch.org if you want Minnesota records. They have census records for 1870, 1880, 1885, 1895, 1900, 1905, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940. There are also death records for deaths after 1900. There might be naturalization (citizenship records).

The belt of the uniform does say US, and maybe it is a legitimate uniform - many immigrants from all over the north, including Minnesota did join the army in the civil war. Then after the war, those soldiers were able to homestead land in Minnesota, and had an advantage. Instead of having to firm up their homestead (free farm land) by staying on the land and making improvements for the required 5 years, they could count their years in the army towards that five year requirement, and own the land much sooner. I do see from searching that there were also Hesse families living in New Ulm Minnesota area in that time frame, which was a big German settlement too, although German settlements were all over the state. The spelling Hessie could also be used.
per page

Find a board about a specific topic