Adventures in Genealogy

The Family Tree of Amber Dawn Buchholz

Category: Germany

Johann Gottlieb Mueller

Johann Gottlieb Mueller
My 3rd Great Grandfather

Born: 23 June 1825 in Saxony, Germany
Died: 4 October 1896 in Buffalo, Nebraska

Father: Johann Adam Mueller
Mother: Maria Christiana Schreiter

Wife: Anna Maria Stuber
Children: Oscar Ludwig Miller

Johann Gottlieb Mueller

Although he never became fluent in English, upon settling in the United States, Johann Gottlieb Mueller anglicized his name to John George Miller.

This photo shows Johann/John with his second wife, Mary, not my ancestor. I am descended from his third wife, Anna.

Notes foundĀ on -

According to notes by Josephine Schwab Miller, John G. Miller (originally named Mueller) grew up in Prussia, though born in Saxony. He first married a woman whose name is unknown, and had one son, Ludwig Oscar Mueller, born near `Bitterfield, Prussia`, who died at nine months of age.

This couple immigrated to America in a sailing vessel, taking 90 days. The wife `took cholera`, was homesick and died before arrangements could be made to return to Germany. John G. Miller `finally landed in Michigan`. He then married Mary Lohrer, with whom he had 5 children. His third wife was the widow Anna Maria Stuber, whose first husband, Charles Herr, was killed in the Civil War. Five children were born to this marriage. The family farm where most of the 13 children grew up is still in Clay Center, Nebraska.

Additional notes in the Miller Family book by Sandy Davis quote a granddaughter, Enid Miller VanLuven Nicodemus: “John George Miller migrated from Germany and settled in Flint, Michigan. …His wife and the baby Oscar got the Black Plague and both died. The Health Authorities came and took the bodies and buried them in Potter`s Field. Grandfather never saw their graves. He was at a disadvantage because he couldn`t speak English. Grandfather later married Anna Maria Stuber. When their first child was born, he looked so much like the baby Oscar that died, that the new baby was named Oscar Ludwig, my father.”

Herman Heinrich Buchholz

Herman Heinrich Buchholz
Born: 1882, Germany
Died: unknown

Father: David Hermann Friedrich Buchholz
Mother: unknown
Siblings: unknown

Wife: Sophie Bordels
Children: Dora A Buchholz, Sophie M Buchholz, William R Buchholz, Anna C Buchholz

In researching the life & times of Herman Heinrich Buchholz, I have uncovered some mysterious documents that may or may not be attributable to my great great grandfather.

Firstly, the 1910, 1920, & 1930 US Censuses all say that Herman was born in 1882 and arrived in the US in 1908 from the Port of Bremen…

Secondly, there is also a Bremen Sailor’s Registry that lists Herman Heinrich Buchholz as a sailor in the German Navy, town of residence is listed as Brake, Germany. There are two towns called Brake in northwestern Germany, one is quite close to Bremen and another is near Bielefeld…

Next, note that Herman’s first two daughters, Dora & Sophie, were born in 1904 & 1906 respectively. Presumably Herman was already married to his wife Sophie by 1904…

However, in April 1908, there is a marriage record in *London* for a certain Heinrich Antonius Hermann Buchholz, approximately the same age as my great great grandfather, who married a woman named Lillian Ethel Peare…

And back we come to the arrival of Herman and Sophie in the US in 1908…

I have no idea what to make of this paper trail. My overly dramatic brain paints a picture of Herman away from his family, in London on business, swept away by a whirlwind romance with Lillian. Then Herman goes home to his wife & kids, picks up the family & moves to America before his indiscretion is discovered. I have no evidence of this whatsoever, it’s just hard to imagine two people with almost the same name, born in the same year – and since we know Herman was a sailor, it seems like he would have the means to be in London for a time.

On closer inspection of the marriage certificate, it lists Herman’s address as 11 Housmannsk, Hannover. Profession is listed as “Representative” … Hmm…

Sophie Bordels

Sophie Bordels
Born: 1884, Germany
Died: unknown

Father: unknown
Mother: unknown

Husband: Hermann Heinrich Buchholz
Children: <unknown child>, Dora A Buchholz, Sophie M Buchholz, William R Buchholz, Anna C Buchholz

I know nothing about Sophie Bordels, except what I found listed in the 1920 & 1930 US Census, which shows that she arrived in the US in 1908.

A passenger list from the SS Rhein confirms this as well.

It seems that Sophie and her family emigrated from the Port of Bremen, but the home town on the passenger list appears to read “Luderalde” – which doesn’t seem to exist as a place name today!

The passenger list also says that the Buchholz family has no relatives or contacts in Germany, and final destination is written as San Francisco. I am so curious to know how the family formulated the plan to travel to the new world, and then come all the way out west once they arrived in the States.

I remember hearing my mom talk about Tante Anna & Tante Sophie, but I never heard about Dora until finding her name on the census & passenger list. The name of the oldest child on the passenger list is illegible to me, and does not appear on the 1920 census – another mystery.

Here is a photo of the SS Rhein, the ship on which Herman & Sophie traveled from Bremen to New York: