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Information On Anna Baldinger

Information regarding the Galveston passenger arrivals lists.

Information On Anna Baldinger

7 Sept 1989 - Harold Mueller

For what it may be worth to any of the recipients of this note, the following information on Anna Baldinger is reported. I came across this minor bit of information while searching the Galveston passenger arrivals for missing dates of my own family.

Albert J. Blaha, 9174 Westview, Houston, Texas 77055, now deceased, in Vol. I of his Passenger Lists for Galveston, 1850-1855, lists an Anna Baldinger and daughter on Ship No. 29, the Bremen bark, Neptun, with 161 passengers, which arrived in Galveston Dec. 29, 1852. The date of departure from Bremen is not given. Galveston is shown as Anna's place of origin, and it can be assumed that this was the end of a return trip to Europe. Mary H. Baldinger (McKee) was born Oct. 30, 1846, the only daughter born before 1853, so she must have been the daughter to whom the entry referred. No other known family member appears on the list, nor are there any other residents of Galveston. Most of the passengers seem to have been immigrants. There is no evidence that the Anna Baldinger on the Neptun was Andrew's wife, however, the possibility of there being two Anna Baldingers in early Galveston seems somewhat remote! From other records, Anna Wild Baldinger, 1823-1877, was born in Switzerland and came with her family to the U. S. in 1830.

The simple fact of Anna's return from a visit to Europe may have no importance, but coupled with other dates and events it might be more significant. Clara Verona Baldinger (Appell) was born Jan. 17, 1853, less than a month after her mother and sister's return! There is nothing to indicate that Anna's husband went with her, nor is there anything to indicate that he did not. The firm of Durst and Baldinger had been dissolved only a few years earlier, in 1848, and Andrew had started his new business the same year (History of Texas, 1895, p. 320). It would seem unlikely that he went along, but more likely that he remained behind to "mind the store," and look after Henry, who was 10 years old in 1851. Another interesting date is the death of Anna's mother, Verona Wild, on July 6, 1851. Anna's only brother, Samuel Wild,died in 1849.

The west bound ships from Germany to Texas usually took a minimum of two months for the voyage. (In 1853, the Neptun was at sea from Oct. 1 to Nov. 28 on a similar voyage from Bremerhaven to Galveston. Geue, New Homes, p. 40) If we assume the east bound crossing took approximately the same amount of time, Anna would have been at sea for perhaps four months of her pregnancy. Conditions aboard the immigrant ships were anything but pleasant, from contemporary accounts (see illustration in Geue, New Homes). It does not appear that the trip to Europe could have been for pleasure, all things considered.

What urgent reason necessitated Anna's trip? We can only speculate, but I would guess some matter(s) related to her mother's death, perhaps a property settlement in Switzerland, or something similar, may have required her to return to Europe. Perhaps the will of her mother might provide a clue.

I saw the Blaha publication at the Sophienburg Archives in New Braunfels during a brief visit there on Jan. 24, 1989. The title page lists the volume as available from Bernard Kneuper, 1203 Brooklyn Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78212. (However, in a letter from Mr. Kneuper, he stated that no copies were available at present.) I did not find an entry for the Bleickes, but I did not check for other spellings of the name. The Bleicke family should be included, since they arrived in Galveston on Nov. 29, 1850, according to Geue, (New Homes In a New Land, pp. 40, 55).

The passenger list from the National Archives confirms this date (National Archives, Microcopy 575, Roll 3, Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of Galveston, Texas 1846-1871, 1964.). The Nov. 20, 1850 arrival date stated in the 1895 History of Texas, p. 275, is incorrect. Anna Baldinger's arrival is not listed in the Geue books, nor is this voyage of the Neptun included, probably because the list of passenger arrivals for this quarter is missing from the port's list.

In the German-Texan Heritage Society Newsletter, Volume IX (1987), No. 1, pp. 34-39, there are several items that relate to travel from Germany to Galveston in the 1850's. There are two accounts, by the same anonymous traveler, the first, "From Bremen to Galveston," describes the voyage from Bremen to Galveston on the Neptun, which arrived in Galveston Dec. 10, 1856. The second, "Twenty Days in Galveston," is a fascinating description of Galveston during the Christmas season of 1856. The author briefly mentions the "grand dimensions" of the new Catholic church being built. Perhaps this was the church for which Joseph Bleicke was architect. (St. Joseph Church Death Records: "Bleicke, Joseph, June 15, 1860' origin, Westphalia, Germany. 'First funeral--architect of church'".) The articles originally appeared in a German publication of the time for German immigrants (Allgemeine Auswanderer Zeitung).

The articles are by the same Blaha/Kneuper combination. There is a slight discrepancy in the arrival date which is shown as 1852 in the second article. The Neptun arrived on Dec. 29, 1852 (Blaha Ship No. 29, above), but in 1856, it arrived on Dec. 10. I wrote Mr. Kneuper about this discrepancy and other matters. In his reply, Mr. Kneuper indicated that he was "stunned" to discover the error and had not been aware of it. In checking his sources, he found that the second article also referred to the 1856 arrival of the Neptun. (Geue, New Homes, p. 40, does not list any voyages for the Neptun after 1854. There are many other omissions in the Geue books.)

There are also reproductions (and translations) of two advertisements of travel agents that arranged transportaion for German emigrants. The first, on page 33, from Thuringia in 1850, and the second, on page 36, by an agent in Coblenz in 1852.

In the same vein, I have recently read some other descriptive accounts of early Galveston life. I found these in The Cypress, and Other Writings of a German Pioneer in Texas, by Hermann Seele (translated), Univ. of Texas Press, c. 1979. I had known of the publication, but assumed it was entirely fictional, which it is not. There are short, interesting accounts of the author's first Christmas in Texas (1843), life in Galveston in 1844, travel along the coast, and other subjects.

Owner/SourceHarold Mueller
Date7 Sept 1989
Linked toAnna Catherine WILD

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