Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Passage to America, S.S. Bulgaria from Hamburg, 1898

The Schmicks, according to family lore, originated from Budingen, near Frankfurt, and between 1763-1764 moved to what became Jogodnaja, outside of Saratov, Russia (60 miles northwest), on the Volga River. It was from Jogodnaja (Jagodnaja Polyana, Pobochnoye, or a daughter colony of Schaental). It was from Jogodnaja that Johannes Schmick (February 9, 1865-February 24, 1943) and wife Catherina Schadt Schmick ( December 24, 1866-1956), and their children: Alexander 1886-1957), Phillip (1890-1969), John (1894-1972), and Peter (March 12, 1898-10/1977; he was only weeks old when he made the passage!) immigrated to the US via Hamburg.
In addition, Conrad, Johannes' full brother (1862-1938) is also listed as a passenger. On the manifest (fragment below) it says both Johannes and Conrad Schmick's destination is their stepbrother Conrad Schmick in Pine Island, NY.  Also, accompanying the brothers is Maria (Mary?) (1861-1945?) and her children Peter, 11, Heinrich, 9, and Anna, 20. There is some confusion about whether Maria is mother or sister to the two men, as an age for Maria is listed as 53 years? It is also known that Johannes married Catharina in 1883 in Yagodnaja, Russia. Johannes served in the Imperial Russian Army. 
There is speculation that because army service was often a lifetime commitment ( he would have been conscripted) Johannes may have been able to buy his way out of service with the death of his father who likely owned farmland. The death of the elder Schmick would support the idea that Maria, the mother to the two Schmicks on the S.S. Bulgaria, came to America as a widow with her eldest sons Johannes and Conrad; Maria was likely a second wife to the elder Schmick (name unknown---possibly "Conrad"as this name was used quite often and multiple times in one generation). The "Conrad Schmick" to be met by Johannes and Conrad in Pine Island, NY was likely a half brother from their father's first marriage.
Any insights are welcome?    

S.S. Bulgaria From Hamburg

April 28, 1898

Johannes Schmick
Catharina Schmick
Peter Schmick

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