From Orphan to Pharmacist and Then?

In two recent posts I shared the sad story of Charles Hamberg and his life in Columbia, South Carolina, which ended with his suicide in 1879.  His son Samuel was only eleven when his father died.  Samuel’s mother Lena had died two years earlier.  Charles’ cousin Amalia Hamberg administered his estate, and then somehow Charles’ son Samuel came to live in western Pennsylvania where he was adopted by his second cousin, my great-grandfather’s brother, Henry Schoenthal.

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

 

In 1886 when Samuel was then eighteen years old, he was working as a clerk at 5 East Beau Street in Washington and living at the corner of Beau and Lincoln in that town, according to the 1886 directory for Washington, Pennsylvania.  According to that same source, my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal, who had arrived in Washington in 1881, was living at 203 East Beau Street that same year; looking at Google Maps, I see that 203 East Beau Street is located at the corner of Lincoln and Beau.

[Thanks to Lara of Lara’s Jewnealogy, I now know how to use Google Maps more effectively.  See her great post here.]

Thus, Samuel Hamberg was probably living with my great-grandfather.  I imagine that they lived and maybe even worked together, my great-grandfather watching over his younger second cousin.  Perhaps Samuel helped my great-grandfather learn English and adjust to American ways.

By 1889, Samuel, now 21 years old, had moved to Philadelphia.  He is listed in the directory for that year as Samuel T. Hamberg, a manager, residing at “134 E. Orthodox, FKD.”  FKD stands for Frankford, a neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia about six miles from the center of the city.  I wondered what had taken him there.

It took me a very long time to find out, but when I finally decided, after exhausting traditional genealogy sources, to Google “Samuel T. Hamberg” as a last ditch effort to learn more, I found these two entries in Google Books:

P.W. Bedford, Pharmaceutical Record and Weekly Market Review, Volume 10, April 21, 1890, p. 163, found here (list of graduates of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy).

26th Annual Report of the Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1890), found here.

Class of 1890, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Report, p. 194

Class of 1890, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
Alumni Association Report, p. 194

Samuel T. Hamberg, the boy who had lost both his parents before his twelfth birthday, had graduated from the four-year program at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1890 when he was 22 years old. The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was the first pharmacy school in the United States and still exists today.

Not only had Samuel graduated from this prestigious institution, but a further search into both of the above sources revealed that his middle name was Tilden,[1] that he had written his thesis on nitroglycerin, that he had played the guitar to open the commencement exercises as part of a musical ensemble (perhaps his musical adoptive brother Lionel Schoenthal with whom he’d lived in Washington had given him music lessons), and that he had been selected to be the Class Poet.  The poem he read at the school’s commencement exercises in 1890 is filled with references to professors and specific memories of the school years, but this particular verse seemed a more personal statement:

Sorrows and losses may be borne,

Be baffled and dismayed,

Feel the sharp pang of many a thorn

By our own follies made.

But hope and effort may improve

And help us to thankful be,

It surely did in this case

It helped us—in a degree.

(Samuel Tilden Hamberg, 1890, as published in the Alumni Report, cited above, p.124.)

Samuel Tilden Hamberg certainly had suffered sorrows and losses, though not by his “own follies made.”  But it seems with the love of his family in Washington, Pennsylvania, he had in fact borne those sorrows and losses and succeeded in coming through them as a grateful and successful young man.

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel stayed on in Philadelphia after graduating. In the 1892 directory for Philadelphia, Samuel T. Hamberg is listed as a clerk, living now at 6933 Hagerman Avenue.  Two years later in 1894 he lists his occupation as druggist, living at 824 Somerset.  In 1895 and 1896 there are numerous advertisements listing Samuel T. Hamberg as a pharmacist in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Samuel T. Hamberg married Jane E. Tracey on November 20, 1898, at the Zion Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  At the time they married, Samuel had been residing in Camden, New Jersey, according to the marriage record.  His wife had been living in Philadelphia where she was born in December, 1869.  Jane, or Jennie as she was generally identified on most records, was the daughter of Edwin Tracey (often spelled Tracy) and Jane Irwin.  Edwin was a Philadelphia native and a shoemaker according to the 1880 census; his wife Jane was born in Ireland.  Jennie was the seventh of nine children.

Marriage record of Samuel Hamberg and Jane Tracey November 20, 1898, Zion Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 978

Marriage record of Samuel Hamberg and Jane Tracey November 20, 1898, Zion Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 978

 

In 1900, Samuel and Jennie were living in Philadelphia in the household of Jennie’s brother Albert Tracy along with Jennie’s mother Jane and her three sisters.  Samuel was working as a hospital supplies salesman.  I know this is the correct Samuel Hamberg because his birth place is given as South Carolina, his father’s as Germany, his mother’s as South Carolina.  (I found it interesting that Samuel reported the birth places of his birth parents, Charles and Lena, not those of his adoptive parents.)

Samuel Hamberg 1900 census Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1472; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0748; FHL microfilm: 1241472

Samuel Hamberg 1900 census
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1472; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0748; FHL microfilm: 1241472

 

On September 4, 1900, Samuel and Jennie had their first child, a son named Charles, presumably named for Samuel’s father Charles.

The family must have soon thereafter moved to Camden, New Jersey, for Samuel is listed as a salesman in the 1901 Camden directory.  Samuel and Jennie are also listed in the 1902 and 1903 Camden directories at 3010 Westfield Street; Samuel is still listed as a salesman.  A second child was born that year, Frances D. Hamberg, born in January, 1903, in New Jersey.  Samuel and Jennie were still living at the same address in 1904 and in 1905.

Then things start getting a little confusing.  In 1906 Samuel T. Hamberg is listed in the Philadelphia directory as a salesman residing at 27 North 60th Street in that city.  There is no listing for him in the Camden directory for that year.  But the following year Samuel is listed as a salesman in the Camden directory, residing at 126 Dudley Street.  Then in 1908, the listing is only in Jennie’s name—Jennie Hamberg at 126 Dudley Street.

Meanwhile in October 1907, a third child had been born to Samuel and Jennie—Edwin F. Hamberg.  Had Samuel and Jennie separated in 1906, reconciled and had a third child in 1907, and then separated again in 1908? Jennie is again listed alone at 126 Dudley in Camden in 1909, this time with an occupation, dressmaker.

But where was Samuel in 1908 and 1909? He is not listed in the Camden directory.  There are two Samuel Hambergs listed in Philadelphia in 1909, but they are father and son and listed as pawnbrokers, so neither of them seems to be the right Samuel.  There are no Samuel Hambergs listed in the directories for those years for Pittsburgh or Washington, Pennsylvania, or Baltimore.

In 1910, Samuel reappears on the 1910 census in Baltimore, Maryland, living as a boarder and working as a pharmacist in a drugstore.  I know this is my Samuel because he is Samuel T. Hamberg, born in South Carolina, father born in Germany, mother in South Carolina.  But why is he in Baltimore?  He is still listing himself as married, so maybe he went to Baltimore to find work.   Since he had been working as a salesman while living in Camden, maybe he wanted to return to being a regular pharmacist.

Samuel Hamberg 1910 census Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 4, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_553; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1374566

Samuel Hamberg 1910 census Line 85
Year: 1910; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 4, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: T624_553; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1374566

Jennie and the three children were still living at 126 Dudley in Camden in 1910.  According to the census, they were living with Jennie’s sister Clara Campbell and her mother Jane Tracy.  Like Samuel, Jennie still reported herself as married.  Although Jennie reported no occupation on the 1910 census, the 1910 and 1911 Camden directories list her as a dressmaker.

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

Jennie Hamberg and children 1910 census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Camden Ward 12, Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T624_874; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374887

 

Samuel is listed in the 1911 Baltimore directory, but then he again disappears.  I couldn’t find him in any newspaper article or any directory after 1911 during the decade of the 1910s.

Jennie, however, continued to be listed in the Camden directories from 1910 through 1916.  In 1915, she and her children are listed on the New Jersey census, once again living with her sister Clara and her mother Jane; Samuel is not part of their household.

Jennie Tracey Hamberg died from heart disease on March 4, 1917.  She was only 47 years old, and she left behind three children.  Charles was not yet sixteen, Frances not yet fourteen, and Edwin not yet ten years old.  Like their father Samuel, they lost their mother at a young age.

Jennie Tracey Hamberg death certificate

Jennie Hamberg burial record Fernwood Cemetery, Yeardon, PA Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

Jennie Hamberg burial record
Fernwood Cemetery, Yeardon, PA
Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Collection Name: Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records

So where was their father? I could not find him on the 1920 census or anywhere during the 1920s until I searched for “Samuel T. Hamberg” in Google.  And along with the links noted above relating to his education as a pharmacist, I found several links indicating that in 1920 Samuel was in Pittsburgh working for the state of Pennsylvania as a temporary investigator doing fair price work.  Even knowing this additional information, I could not locate Samuel on the 1920 census or in any directory in the 1920s.

Samuel Hamberg investigator 1920

Herman P. Miller, Snull’s Legislative Handbook and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania, 1920, p. 144, found here.

But Samuel T. Hamberg does reappear on the 1930 census.  He is listed as Sam T. Hamberg, 62 years old (the correct age), married at age 30 (the correct age), widowed (Jennie was dead), born in South Carolina, father born in Germany, mother in South Carolina (all correct).  Clearly this is the right person.  He was now living in Philadelphia, working as a novelty salesman, and living with his “sister” Cecelia Link. What had happened to his pharmacy career? His work as a state investigator? And who was Cecelia Link?

Samuel Hamberg 1930 census Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0777; Image: 969.0; FHL microfilm: 2341859

Samuel Hamberg 1930 census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2125; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0777; Image: 969.0; FHL microfilm: 2341859

Samuel did not have any sisters except for his adoptive sister Hilda Schoenthal, the daughter of Henry Schoenthal.  Cecelia was twenty years younger than Samuel, according to the 1930 census, born in Pennsylvania, single, and working as a telephone operator.  Cecelia answered the enumerator’s questions as indicated by the H on the line where her name is. Who was she, and why was she living with Samuel?

I found a Celia Link living with her mother and two sisters (and a brother-in-law) in Pittsburgh on the 1920 census.  Celia was forty years old, single, and working as a telephone operator.  It seemed like an unlikely coincidence that there were two women with just about the same name, both born in Pennsylvania, and both working as telephone operators.  (Remember that Samuel was living in Pittsburgh in 1920.)

So I looked for more about this Celia Link.  The 1916 Pittsburgh directory had her listed as Cecelia Link working as a telephone operator, so now we had the exact same name.  The 1910 census has her again as Celia, living with her parents, working as a telephone operator, and 33 years old.  Going back yet another ten years, the 1900 census lists her as Cecilia, age 22, with a birth date of March 1878, and no occupation.

Then I found her death certificate.  Cecelia Link died of chronic myocarditis on May 6, 1934, at “abt age 48,” according to her sister, the informant.  Assuming that Cecelia was 22 in 1900, she would have been 56 in 1934.  Even in 1920, she reported to be 40, making her 54 in 1934.  She was therefore only about ten years younger than Samuel, not twenty.  Note also that she was born in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Cecilia Link death certificate Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Cecilia Link death certificate
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I assume that Samuel met Cecelia when he was working in Pittsburgh as an investigator. And that they were more than “brother and sister.”  I think Cecelia lied both about her age and her relationship to Charles.

But Cecelia died in 1934 back in Pittsburgh.  What happened to Samuel before and after her death? And where were his children?

More questions to answer.

 

 

 

 

[1] There is no earlier indication that Samuel’s middle name was Tilden.  Did he adopt this middle name himself? In 1868 when Samuel Hamberg was born in Columbia, South Carolina, Samuel Tilden was probably not a nationally known figure.  He was from New York State and a supporter of the Union during the Civil War.  After the war he was active in reforming the Democratic party.  Would Charles Hamberg have known of him and named his son for him? Unlikely.

But Samuel Tilden was the Democratic party’s nominee in the 1876 Presidential election; the results of the election were disputed when several states turned into multiple sets of return.  The Presidency was determined by a partisan commission established by Congress, and Tilden lost to Rutherford B. Hayes, even though he had won the popular vote.  I think it is more likely that Samuel Hamberg adopted Tilden’s name as his middle name sometime as a young adult after Tilden was more of a household name.  Tilden died in 1886, and the first use I’ve seen of the middle initial T by Samuel Hamberg was while he was in pharmacy school in the late 1880s.  For more on Samuel Tilden, see here and here and here.

The Tragic Story of Charles Hamberg: Gun Violence in South Carolina

Last week I wrote about Samuel Hamberg, the twelve year old boy who appeared in the household of my great-great-uncle Henry Schoenthal in 1880 as his adopted son.  As I described in that post, I had determined that Samuel was the son of Charles Hamberg of Columbia, South Carolina; he appeared on the 1870 census living in Charles Hamberg’s household along with a woman named Tenah Hamberg and a servant also with the first name Tenah.

Through my research, I concluded that Charles Hamberg was in fact born Baruch Hamberg, the son of the first Samuel Hamberg, my great-great-grandmother Henriette Hamberg Schoenthal’s uncle, her father’s younger brother.

Relationship of Henrietta Hamberg and Charles Hamberg

Baruch had left Breuna, Germany, in 1852, with his first cousin Abraham, who died in Savannah, George, in 1854.  Baruch, I postulated, became Charles and had married a woman named Mary E. Hanchey in New Hanover, North Carolina, in March, 1853.

Charles Hamberg and Mary Hanchey marriage record 1853 Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Charles Hamberg and Mary Hanchey marriage record 1853
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

But why did Samuel end up with my great-great-uncle Henry in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1880? What had happened to his father? His mother? And who was his mother? Was it Mary Hanchey, the woman Charles married in 1853 and with whom he was living in 1860? Or was it “Tenah,” the woman he was living with in 1870?

First, I focused on Mary, the first wife.  Searching on Ancestry, I found this entry:

Record of Deaths in Columbia South Carolina page 80 [p.80] Mrs. Mary A. Hamberg , wife of Charles Hamberg died in Col’a So. Ca. Novr 18, 1866, having been shot [page 166] by a man, Toland A. Bass, a few days previous.

Unfortunately, the database had no further information about this terrible incident, but I was determined to learn more about Mary’s death.  Was it accidental? A murder? What happened to Toland Bass?

After much searching, I found this article from the November 20, 1866 issue of The Daily Phoenix, the Columbia, South Carolina, daily paper (p. 2):

Daily Phoenix article 11 20 1866 p 2

 

Coroner’s Inquests.—On Friday last, a difficulty occurred between Toland R. Bass and C. Hamberg.  The latter went into the house to get his pistol, but on coming out, was stopped by Mr. Jos. Burdell, when Mrs. H. took the pistol away from him and went to the door, holding the pistol in both hands, but not attempting to use it, and said to Mr. Bass, “Do not shoot Mr. H.; if you want to shoot any one, shoot me.”  Bass attempted to take the pistol from her, but failed.  He then stepped several paces from her, presented his pistol three times and the fourth time fired, the ball taking effect in the abdomen of the unfortunate woman. 

She called to a friend near by to take care of her, as she was shot and ready to faint.  Mrs. H. was taken into the house apparently suffering greatly.  Dr. Talley was called in and rendered all possible medical assistance.  She lingered until Sunday afternoon, when she expired.  A jury of inquest was empannelled by Coroner Walker on Sunday afternoon, and after a full and careful investigation, rendered the following verdict: “That Mrs. Mary E. Hamberg came to her death, on the 18th of November, 1866, from the effects of a ball fired (willfully and maliciously) from a pistol by Toland R. Bass.” Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Bass.

Who was Toland Bass, and why did he kill Mary Hanchey Hamberg? Why did Mary suggest that he should shoot her, not her husband?

The only thing I could find about Mr. Bass was that he served as a private in the Confederate Army during the Civil War in Company H of the South Carolina Cavalry Regiment.

 

Charles Hamberg, on the other hand, appears to have been a private citizen in Columbia, South Carolina, during the Civil War, selling provisions to the Ladies Hospital.  Here is an example of an invoice he submitted:

Page 15 Confederate Citizens File - Fold3 https://www.fold3.com/image/31347220?xid=1945

Page 15 Confederate Citizens File – Fold3
https://www.fold3.com/image/31347220?xid=1945

 

I don’t know what might have precipitated this altercation between Bass and the Hambergs; all I can do is speculate.  Columbia, South Carolina, had suffered much damage during the Civil War.  The Union Army occupied the city during the last months of the war in 1865.  As described in Wikipedia:

On February 17, 1865, Columbia surrendered to Sherman, and Wade Hampton’s Confederate cavalry retreated from the city. Union forces were overwhelmed by throngs of liberated Federal prisoners and emancipated slaves. Many soldiers took advantage of ample supplies of liquor in the city and began to drink. Fires began in the city, and high winds spread the flames across a wide area. Most of the central city was destroyed, and municipal fire companies found it difficult to operate in conjunction with the invading army, many of whom were also fighting the fire. The burning of Columbia has engendered controversy ever since, with some claiming the fires were accidental, a deliberate act of vengeance, or perhaps set by retreating Confederate soldiers who lit cotton bales while leaving town. On that same day, the Confederates evacuated Charleston. On February 18, Sherman’s forces destroyed virtually anything of military value in Columbia, including railroad depots, warehouses, arsenals, and machine shops.

English: The Burning of Columbia, South Caroli...

English: The Burning of Columbia, South Carolina, February 17, 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can read more about the Columbia fires here and here.  In the aftermath of the war and during Reconstruction, places like Columbia struggled to rebuild their economy and their infrastructure.  There was widespread poverty.  Perhaps Toland Bass was an embittered Southern veteran; perhaps he resented Charles Hamberg as a merchant who not only didn’t serve in the war but made money during it.  Or maybe it is something much more personal that created the animosity that led to the gruesome murder of Mary Hanchey Hamberg. I don’t know.

After the murder, Toland Bass ran off to avoid arrest, and the governor of South Carolina, James L. Orr, issued a proclamation offering an award of $200 for his arrest and delivery to South Carolina for trial. Charles Hamberg offered a separate award of $500 for his arrest. (Thank you to Ann Meddin Hellman of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina for helping me locate some of these articles

Proclamation about Mary Hamberg's murder

Thursday, November 29, 1866 Paper: (Charleston, South Carolina)

 

Bass eluded arrest for four months until he was finally found and arrested in New York in March, 1867.

Arrest of Toland Bass

 

I could not find any record of a trial or any other proceeding involving Bass, but I did find this news item announcing his death from cholera on July 15, 1867.

Death of Toland R Bass

 

Meanwhile, Charles Hamberg had moved on.  Thanks to my blogging friend Cathy Meder-Dempsey, I know that Charles married Lena Goodman on April 6, 1867, in Charleston, South Carolina.

I believe that Lena was incorrectly entered as “Tenah” on the 1870 census and that she was the mother of Samuel Hamberg, the boy later adopted by Henry Schoenthal.  Although I do not have an exact birthdate for Samuel, the 1900 census reported that he was born in February 1868, that is, about eleven months after the marriage of Charles Hamberg and Lena Goodman.

Even after remarrying, Charles seemed to have troubles in Columbia.  In September, 1869, he was involved in another rather unpleasant altercation:

Charles Hamberg assault

There was also a dispute at his store:

CHarles Hamberg unruly customer

Charles also charged a police officer with inappropriate conduct (public drunkenness) and engaged in a citizen’s arrest.  He seemed to have a tendency to get involved in conflicts.

In the 1870s, Charles advertised his wood and coal business regularly in the Columbia newspaper, The Daily Phoenix.

Charles Hamberg coal

 

He also participated in a Purim celebration in Columbia, dressing up as Jocko the Ape.  (Purim is a Jewish holiday where children and adults dress up in costumes and celebrate the triumph of the Jews over the evildoer Haman who sought to kill the Jews in ancient Persia.)

The Daily Phoenix, March 26, 1872, p. 2

The Daily Phoenix, March 26, 1872, p. 2

 

So whatever his troubles, Charles seemed to be living a somewhat ordinary life in Columbia.

So what happened that caused little Samuel to be adopted by Henry Schoenthal? Tragically, both of Samuel’s parents died before 1880.  His mother Lena died in 1877 and is buried in the cemetery of the Columbia Hebrew Benevolent Society.  She was only 28 years old.  I’ve been unable to locate a death certificate or obituary yet, but will continue to look.  (I contacted the cemetery, but they did not have any further information.)

chbs1HambergLena

Headstone for Lena Hamberg at the Hebrew Benevolent Society cemetery in Columbia, SC http://jhssc.org/hebrew-benevolent-society-cemetery/

 

Two years later on October 16, 1879, Charles Hamberg ended his own life, apparently due to financial difficulties, although I would venture that having had one wife murdered and a second dying at a very young age might also have given him sufficient reason for some desperation.  His suicide made the papers even beyond Columbia.

Charles Hamberg suicide Charles Hamberg suicide 3 Charles Hamberg suicide 2

 

Can you imagine today identifying someone by their religious background for no apparently relevant reason?

Charles is also buried in the Columbia Hebrew Benevolent Society cemetery, next to Lena.

Charles Hamberg headstone

Headstone of Charles Hamberg at Hebrew Benevolent Society cemetery in Columbia, SC http://jhssc.org/hebrew-benevolent-society-cemetery/

What a hard life Charles Hamberg had once coming to the US.  He lost his cousin Abraham in 1854, his wife Mary was murdered in 1866, his second wife Lena died in 1877, and he suffered financial problems and took his own life in 1879.   I imagine that that was not the life he dreamed of when he left Breuna, Germany, in 1852.  For him the American dream did not come to be.

His son Samuel was just eleven years old and had lost his mother and his father.   He ended up in Pennsylvania with Henry Schoenthal, his second cousin.  How did he end up there?  That leads to the next mystery.

The Adopted Son: Who Was He?

As I move closer to closure on the family of Levi Schoenthal and Henriette Hamberg, my great-great-grandparents[1], I want to ask for your help regarding a mystery involving a boy I believe was part of Henriette’s family, the Hambergs. I need to know if my thinking about him makes sense.

His name was Samuel Hamberg (spelled Hamburg here), and in 1880 he was twelve years old and living in Washington, Pennsylvania, as the adopted son of my great-great-uncle Henry Schoenthal and Helene Lilienfeld.

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

Henry Schoenthal and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Washington, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1202; Family History Film: 1255202; Page: 596A; Enumeration District: 271

 

Who was he? Was he part of my great-great-grandmother’s family?  According to the 1880 census, Samuel was born in 1868 in South Carolina.  Henry Schoenthal, the first of Henriette Hamberg’s children to emigrate from Germany, hadn’t arrived until 1866, two years before Samuel was born.  Henry settled in Pennsylvania.  How would a boy born in a state so far away two years after Henry arrived  in the US have ended up with Henry unless there was a family connection?  The surname Hamberg couldn’t just be a coincidence, could it?

His first name also seemed unlikely to be a coincidence.  Henriette’s father was Moses Hamberg, my three-times great-grandfather.  Moses had a younger brother named Samuel, my four-times great-uncle. Young Samuel could have been named for him.  The name similarities added to my hunch that this Samuel Hamberg was in some way related to my great-great-grandmother and the other Hambergs from Breuna.  I had to figure this one out.

I was able to locate a two year old boy named Samuel Hamberg on the 1870 census living in Columbia, South Carolina, in the household of a Charles Hamberg, age 46, and a Tenah Hamberg, age 21.  Given the birth place, name, and age of the boy, I felt it quite likely that this was the same boy who ten years later was living with Henry Schoenthal in Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, the 1870 census did not include information describing the relationships among those in a household, but I assumed that Charles and Tenah were the father and mother of little Samuel.  If so, who were they?

Charles Hamberg household 1870 US census Year: 1870; Census Place: Columbia, Richland, South Carolina; Roll: M593_1507; Page: 140B; Image: 287; Family History Library Film: 553006

Charles Hamberg household 1870 US census
Year: 1870; Census Place: Columbia, Richland, South Carolina; Roll: M593_1507; Page: 140B; Image: 287; Family History Library Film: 553006

According to the 1870 census, Charles was born in Prussia 46 (or is it a 40?) years earlier or in 1824 or so. (Breuna was within the boundaries of Prussia from 1866 until the German Federation was created in 1871.)  Charles was working as a “ret gro” merchant, which I interpret to mean a retail grocery merchant. Tenah was born in South Carolina as was Samuel.

I was able to trace Charles back ten more years to the 1860 census, where he was also living in Columbia, South Carolina, but married not to Tenah but a woman named Mary.  According to the 1860 census, Charles was then 28, so born in 1832; according to this census, he was born in Germany and working as a merchant.  Mary was a North Carolina native and 27 years old.

Charles Hamberg and household 1860 US census Year: 1860; Census Place: Columbia, Richland, South Carolina; Roll: M653_1227; Page: 26; Image: 57; Family History Library Film: 805227

Charles Hamberg and household 1860 US census
Year: 1860; Census Place: Columbia, Richland, South Carolina; Roll: M653_1227; Page: 26; Image: 57; Family History Library Film: 805227

I then discovered a marriage record for Charles Hamberg and Mary Hanchey reporting their marriage in 1853 in New Hanover, North Carolina.

Charles Hamberg and Mary Hanchey marriage record 1853 Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Charles Hamberg and Mary Hanchey marriage record 1853
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

But that was the earliest record I could find for Charles Hamberg.  And I still didn’t know whether he was related to the Hambergs of Breuna, my great-great-grandmother’s family.

Fortunately for me, others, including the noted genealogist Hans-Peter Klein, had already done extensive research of the Hamberg family tree. You can find it here.[2]  There was no Charles Hamberg listed in the records in Breuna.  But there were other men in the family with the surname Hamberg who would have been about the same age as Charles Hamberg.  I had to find out whether any of them came to the United States and perhaps changed his name to Charles.

Moses Hamberg, my 3x-great-grandfather, had five sons:

Juda, who died in Breuna in 1863;

Seligmann, who died in Breuna in 1897;

Salomon, who married and had several children in the 1850s in Breuna (no death record has been located;

Marcus, who died in Breuna in 1846;

And finally, Abraham, born in Breuna in 1828 and for whom there was no marriage or death record in Breuna.

Of Moses Hamberg’s five sons, the only one who might have emigrated by 1853 was Abraham.

As for the sons of Samuel Hamberg, brother of Moses, there were three sons:

another Juda, who died in Breuna in 1863;

Baruch, born in 1824 and for whom there was no marriage or death record;

And Moses, born in 1829 and for whom there was also no marriage or death record in Breuna.

So it was possible that Baruch and/or Moses had emigrated.

The three Hamberg men from Breuna who could have immigrated to the US by 1853 were thus Abraham, Baruch, and Moses: no one named Charles.  All three of those Hamberg men were close in age to the Charles Hamberg in Columbia, South Carolina.  All were born between 1824 and 1829.  But had any of them actually immigrated to the United States? I decided to search for them on ship manifests and other US records and found that all three did in fact leave Germany for the United States before 1853.

Moses Hamberg arrived in New York from Breuna in August, 1846, when he was seventeen, according to the ship manifest.  This is clearly Moses, the son of Samuel Hamberg, who was born in 1829 and thus would have been 17 in 1846.  Moses was a shoemaker, according to the manifest.

Year: 1846; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 063; Line: 1; List Number: 680

Year: 1846; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 063; Line: 1; List Number: 680

Baruch and his first cousin Abraham arrived in New York together in September 1852.  According to the ship manifest, they were coming from Breuna, and both were 24 years old, meaning they were born in about 1828.  My great-great-grandmother’s brother Abraham was born in 1828; according to Breuna records, Baruch was born in 1824.

Despite the disparity in the ages between the Baruch on the manifest and the Baruch born in Breuna, I believe that the two men on this manifest were in fact Abraham Hamberg, son of Moses Hamberg, and Baruch Hamberg, son of Samuel Hamberg.  The ship manifest reports that their destination in the US was “Sevanna,” which I assume meant Savannah, Georgia.

Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 119; Line: 1; List Number: 1321

Year: 1852; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 119; Line: 1; List Number: 1321

 

So did any of these three young men become Charles Hamberg of Columbia, South Carolina?  And if so, which one? Since Abraham and Baruch were headed to a city in the South whereas Moses indicated that New York was his intended destination, my inclination was to focus on Abraham and Baruch as the ones more likely to have become Charles Hamberg.[3]

Searching for further records for Abraham Hamberg led me to the sad discovery that he died not too long after arriving in the US.  He died in Savannah, Georgia, his intended destination, on August 26, 1854, of yellow fever and was buried in that city.  He was my great-great-grandmother Henriette’s younger brother.  He was only 26 years old.

Abraham Hamberg death record 1854 Ancestry.com. Savannah, Georgia, Select Board of Health and Health Department Records, 1824-1864, 1887-1896 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data: City of Savannah, Georgia. Savannah, Georgia, Select Board of Health and Health Department Records, 1822–1864, 1887–1896. Subseries 5600HE-050 and 5600HA-010. Microfilm, 27 reels. City of Savannah, Research Library & Municipal Archives, Savannah, Georgia

Abraham Hamberg death record 1854
Ancestry.com. Savannah, Georgia, Select Board of Health and Health Department Records, 1824-1864, 1887-1896 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: City of Savannah, Georgia. Savannah, Georgia, Select Board of Health and Health Department Records, 1822–1864, 1887–1896. Subseries 5600HE-050 and 5600HA-010. Microfilm, 27 reels. City of Savannah, Research Library & Municipal Archives, Savannah, Georgia

Abraham Hamberg burial record Ancestry.com. Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery and Burial Records, 1852-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Savannah Georgia Cemetery and Burial Records. Savannah, Georgia: Research Library & Municipal Archives City of Savannah, Georgia.

Abraham Hamberg burial record
Ancestry.com. Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery and Burial Records, 1852-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data: Savannah Georgia Cemetery and Burial Records. Savannah, Georgia: Research Library & Municipal Archives City of Savannah, Georgia.

So what then happened to his cousin Baruch Hamberg? Had he made it to Savannah?

My guess is that somewhere along the way from New York to Savannah, Baruch and Abraham stopped in New Hanover, North Carolina, where Baruch met and married his first wife Mary Hanchey in 1853.  And by then, he had dropped the Hebrew name Baruch and adopted the much more American name Charles.  In fact, his full name was Charles B. Hamberg.  Perhaps that B was for Baruch.

What else supports this conclusion that Baruch Hamberg became Charles Hamberg? Recall that Baruch Hamberg was the son of Samuel Hamberg of Breuna.  And what did Charles Hamberg name his son born in 1868? Samuel.

If I am right, then Charles/Baruch Hamberg was Henriette Hamberg Schoenthal’s first cousin; their fathers Samuel and Moses were brothers.  Charles’ son Samuel was therefore a second cousin to Henriette’s son Henry Schoenthal, the man who had adopted him by 1880.

So does my analysis make sense?  Did Baruch Hamberg become Charles Hamberg?

And if so, why was his son Samuel living with and adopted by Henry Schoenthal in 1880? That question will be addressed in a later post.

 

 

 

[1] And while I wait to talk with my third cousin Betty, who is also their great-great-granddaughter.

[2] I wrote a little bit about the Hambergs of Breuna, Germany here when I described the remarkable story of how I learned that my fifth cousin Rob and I shared not only some DNA,  but had lived at one point just a few miles from each other, and, even more remarkably, were both close friends with the same couple.  We had a lovely dinner back in December hosted by Rob and his wife Ann where all of us—our mutual friends included—had a great evening.  I remain amazed by what a small world it is.   Rob and I are both the four-times great-grandchildren of Jeudah ben Moses, the father of Moses Hamberg and Samuel Hamberg.  Rob is descended from Samuel; I am descended from Moses.

[3] I will follow up on Moses Hamberg in a later post.