Tag Archive | Thannhauser

Celebrating the birthday of the country that took us in

None of my great-grandparents were born in the USA and only one of my grandparents was. Why did my ancestors come here? What does this day mean to us? Does the next generation take the freedoms here for granted? I think I often do, but today I want to celebrate this great country that my immigrant ancestors came to with this blog post about my grandparents and how it happened that they became Americans.

OpaMeetsOma1908smllMy mother was born in Munich, Bavaria (Germany) to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. I was always told that they met at the 1909 automobile club ball in Munich, but I found this picture with the caption 1908 costume ball so I guess they met a year earlier than I had realized.

At the time they met, my grandfather Siegfried was 23 and a medical student from an extremely wealthy Jewish family. My grandmother Fanny was 19, from a middle class family. Her father was a contractor/brick layer who had run away from the seminary he had been sent to in his youth. He read Latin and Greek in his spare time for pleasure and had sent his only daughter to a convent school. She made the dress and headdress that she is wearing in this picture

For my Opa it was love at first sight, but neither family approved. Siggy and Fanny went to concerts, the opera, and hiked together in the Bavarian Alps. The courtship lasted for over nine years. First my Opa had to get his doctorate since his father refused to support a wife and family for him. Then there was World War I where he served as a medical doctor. Additionally Fanny had a small TB spot on her lung so she was sent to a sanitarium and then, before the war, au paired in France and the Isle of Wight, since she was advised not to winter in Munich. Her resulting fluent English (and French) was most useful later on.

When Siegfried’s father, my g-grandfather Josef, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1917, he finally gave his approval for them to marry, which they did in a civil ceremony a year later. Her parents did not attend. By the way, Josef died from the anesthesia during his operation in 1917, not the cancer.

Because my Opa was Jewish, he was dismissed or rather pensioned off from his Freiberg University professorship in 1933/1934. My grandmother was the one who insisted that they leave Germany; Opa, like many German Jews, thought it would all blow over. My Oma was not willing to risk the lives of her three lovely daughters when the family had many offers from overseas universities.

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100 years ago … my grandfather and World War I

On June 28, 1914 my grandfather Siegfried Joseph Thannhauser was celebrating his 29th birthday when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated commencing the countdown to World War I. What were your ancestors doing on that day?

S J Thannhauser on right, World War I

S J Thannhauser on right, World War I

When you are American and you have a German grandfather then you may have the feeling that he fought on the wrong side in World War I. My Opa was a medical doctor and he demonstrated his bravery by picking up the wounded under fire after his driver was killed; for this he received the Iron Cross. Funny how that was forgotten when he was dismissed from his professorship in 1933 for being Jewish.

He also had a hobby, photography, and took many photos during his time at the front. He made two albums of his war years which the family still has. One of his great grandsons showed them to a friend who was studying WWI. She had them digitized and then posted them on her blog, with the family’s enthusiastic permission. The picture on the left is from those albums.

So to honor this day and my Opa, I added a page on our family history site about his war service with links to those photographs on her blog.

I miss you my beloved Opa! Growlie, growlie … (what I used to say when I scratched the bald spot on his head for him for which I would be rewarded with a quarter!)

 

My Double 3rd cousin versus my brother and my Aunts as shown with my segment mapper

The results came in for my other maternal Aunt so now there are four of us to compare to my double third cousin and still no match on the X! In order to show the comparisons I used my new nifty chromosome segment mapping tool and also added in a bunch of known 5th and 7th cousins to the diagram.

Dbl3rdCOusin

Click on the diagram to go to the full size html page made from the segment mapper. Note that Shipley Munson is my brother.

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Results in from my Double 3rd Cousin!!

According to family lore, when their business needed money my great-grandmother Charlotte Langermann Thannhauser, on my German Jewish side,  fixed up her sister Lina with her husband’s half brother in order to get Lina’s dowry invested in the family enterprise. Not such an uncommon occurrance. I was able to convince Lina’s great-granddaughter on the straight maternal line to test at 23andme. She is almost doubly my third cousin, sharing DNA from the Thannhauser and Langermann lines but not Engel.Dbl3rdCousin

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