Maria Katherine Fuhrmann and the Presidential Proclamation of April 19, 1918

Early on in the United States’ involvement in WWI, non-naturalized citizens, or “enemy aliens”, were required to register with U.S. authorities in the interest of national security. A presidential proclamation on November 16, 1917 included all non-citizen males over the age of 14, and their wives, even those women born in the United States but married to non-citizens. The registration focused primarily on non-citizen German residents, but included Italians and other nationalities, as well. The information derived from this registration included immigration, birth and parentage, names of family members, address, occupation and employer; residents were also asked if they were sympathetic to the enemy and the names of any relatives serving in enemy forces. Registrations included a physical description, fingerprints and a photograph. An act of Congress on 16 April 1918 changed the definition of “alien enemy” to include women age 14 and older, and a presidential proclamation followed on April 19, 1918.

My 2nd great grandmother, Maria Katherine Michels, was born in Germany on April 13, 1842. She came to the United State in 1856 and, according to the 1920 US Census, became a naturalized citizen in 1869. On June 19, 1860, Maria married Anton Fuhrmann. He was also born in Germany and became a citizen – this according to the 1910 Census.

Once an “enemy alien” had registered, “After the date fixed by the Attorney General for such registration, an alien enemy shall not be found within the limits of the United States, its territories or possessions, without having his registration card on his person.” Penalties for not carrying the card could include imprisonment.

This is the “Registration Card of Alien Female” issued to Maria K. Fuhrmann on June 25, 1918. What is a little confusing to me is that, according to the census, both she and Anton were naturalized citizens. If this was the case, I don’t believe she was required to register. But, then again, the census could be wrong.

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Marie and Anton were farmers in Marshfield Township, Fond du lac Co., WI. After Anton died in 1912, Marie moved to the city of Fond du Lac to live with 3 of her children. She passed away in 1923 and is buried in Johnsburg, WI.

Backgrounds of My Families

This is some background information for the eight families (mine and my wife’s) of my grandparents’ generation.

Harris

Our Harris family is of English decent. Their ancestry can be traced back to the earliest days of our country. John Earl Harris was born in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY in 1798. He married Nancy Ormsbee in 1820. The Ormsbee family originally came to America in the 1630′s, settling in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Nancy’s father Joshua fought in the Revolutionary War and travelled to Greenfield with his family around 1796. John Earl, Nancy and their descendents moved on to Pierpont Ohio, Town of Morgan Indiana, and eventually Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. There, they engaged in the mill business. Related families include Seybold, Protz, Cleveland, Ormsbee, Benjamin, Newcomb and Bradford.

Harvey

George Harvey and his wife Elizabeth (Louden) were married in England in 1859. Soon after, they came to America and settled in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Their son and grandson farmed on Harvey Road in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. Related families include Musbach, Louden, Notten and Kruse.

Hau

Came to America from Prussia in the early 1860′s. According to family stories, Wilhelm Hau was a land owner in Prussia. He settled in Russel Twp., Sheboygan Co., Wisconsin. He married Kathrine Tuepper in January of 1869. Her family was also from Prussia and settled in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, where they farmed. Wilhelm and Kathrine’s descendants remained in the county, with our family owning a restaurant in Fond du Lac. Related families include Fuhrmann, Tuepper and Michels.

Heim

Our Heim family came to America in the 1840′s. Damian Heim was born in Steinbach Germany in 1815. His wife, Regina, was from the same area. They settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., Michigan. Related families include Gage, Hoppe, Parker, Knight and Lombard.

Hela/Heller

Laurentius Hela, his wife Elizabeth (Fleming), and their five children arrived in America from Prussia/Poland in May of 1866. They settled in Princeton, Green Lake Co., Wisconsin. Their grandson, Francis (Frank) married Catherine Jackowski in 1905. Her family was also from Prussia/Poland. Frank worked in the granite quarry in Montello, WI. Related families include Jackowski, Soda and Swiderski.

LeVan

The LeVan family was among the German-speaking French Huguenot refugees who fled from France to Holland, probably after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Family tradition says they were manufacturers of brocade and taffetas in their native country, and that they were of considerable wealth.

Jacob LeVan was born about 1702 in Amsterdam. Records indicate he came to America around 1717. Jacob married Mary about 1725 in Maxatawny Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. The family lived for many generations in Berks Co. They moved to Logan Co., Ohio and eventually to Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Related families include Robison, Winner, Leymaster and Leidigh.

McConnell

Our McConnell family can only be traced back to the early 1800′s. Charles Russell McConnell was born in New York in 1828. He married Sophia Laib in Kent Co., Michigan in 1859. She was born in Ohio in 1837. They farmed in Carmel Twp., Eaton Co., MI. Related families include Bradley, Laib, Blackmer, Kimball and Lankton.

Voiland/Weller

Originated from the town of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. Charles Xavier (Jean Baptiste) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children arrived at Castle Garden in New York City in December of 1857. His son Joseph Voiland and wife Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond arrived in New York City in May of 1857. Sadie’s family was from the town of Urcerey, also in the Territory of Belfort. Joseph and Sadie traveled to Buffalo, NY, and then settled in Little Wolf Twp., Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

The family name was changed to “Weller” when their children started school in Wisconsin. Their German school teacher couldn’t pronounce the French name “Voiland” and so it was changed to reflect the German pronunciation “Weller”. Their descendants remained in Waupaca County, with our family living in Clintonville and owning a hardware store. Related families include Heinke, Romond and Eglin.

There was also a Voiland family that came from Cravanche, another small village in the Territory of Belfort, France, in the 1850’s. Thibeau (Tebo) Voiland, his wife Marie (Frossard), and their eight children arrived in America on October 15, 1852, and settled in Macomb Co., Michigan, just north of Detroit. The homestead was located a short distance west of Gratiot Avenue between what is now Fourteen Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard.

We are unable to connect the Michigan Voilands to our Wisconsin Voilands. Since both families came from the same region in France during the same time period, we are hoping to find a connection!

Today’s Tidbit | Seamstress Sisters

Ursie and Mary Fuhrman worked as seamstresses at the Albert E. Isaac Co. in Fond du Lac, WI in 1928. The sisters, my 2nd great aunts, never married and lived together their entire lives. Both were about 50 years old at the time.

Ursie and Mary dressed for their sister Elizabeth's wedding in 1900

Albert E. Isaac, Co. - Fond du Lac, WI

Tuesday Treasure | March 16, 2010

When my Grandpa and Grandpa Hau passed away several years ago, I was lucky enough to receive many of their things. Among them was my grandpa’s high school yearbook. Raymond Christian Hau was raised in Fond du lac, WI. His father, John, was in the restaurant business, a business that Ray would eventually join. Ray graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School in 1926.

The 1920′s in America was an era distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The city of Fond du Lac was no exception. It was a classic American mid-western small town, highlighted by its bustling main street. After his graduation, Ray attended Lawrence college in Appleton, his being the first generation of the Hau family to attend college.

Yearbooks from this era are far different from the color photo laden, current events filled books of today. They contain pages full of  poetry and song; pages detailing highlights of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes; and in-depth descriptions of the accomplishments of the Service Club, Glee Club, Commercial Club, Peptimist Club, etc. The class motto for the Senior Class of 1926 was “Character is All!”

The class president described their senior year as follows: “…it was our senior year that we must look to appreciate truly our high school life. The hopes of years were at last realized. Early in November the school addition, containing the new combined gymnasium and auditorium, was finally completed. What senior has not experience a sincere thrill of pride and of satisfaction as he has entered the gymnasium for programs, pep meetings, parties, and basketball games? We are equally proud of our cafeteria where we have enjoyed hot dinners on cold winter days and appetizing lunches after organization parties. Our school life has been further rounded by the new courses of home economics, manual training, auto mechanics, and physical education….”

It’s hard to imagine our ancestors as high school kids. My only memory of my grandpa is as…a grandpa. I’m grateful to have these treasures. They really help me to know him better.

Surname Saturday | FUHRMANN, FUHRMAN

My 2nd great grandfather on my mom’s side, Anton Fuhrmann, came to America from Germany in about 1845. Anton and his wife, Maria Katherine Michels settled in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, where they farmed. They had ten children together. Their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married John Hau in 1900.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | April 12 – April 18, 2009

Maria Katherine (Margaretha?) Michels – Born April 13, 1842 in Germany. She died on August 14, 1923 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI and is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co. Maria is my 2nd great grandmother and Anton Fuhrman’s wife (see below).

Anton Fuhrman – Born April 15, 1831 in Germany. He died December 17, 1912 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI and is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co. Anton is my 2nd great grandfather and Maria Michels’ husband (see above). They married on June 19, 1860 in Johnsburg.

Andrew Newcomb and Grace Ricks – Married April 15, 1662 in Boston, Suffolk Co. in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They are by 9th great grandparents.

The above information is based on information from several sources and isn’t fully verified at this time.