The Mussmann Family of Witzenhausen

The Request

To research the parents of Anna Rose Mussmann who was born in Nurenberg, Germany to Carl Christian and Rosina Mussmann. The family immigrated from Germany to the US through Ellis island in 1928.

The Mussmann Family

I find it’s easiest to explain family history going from back to front so this post starts with Theodor Mussman and his wife Sophie Hofmann, grandparents of Anna Rose Mussmann. Theodor was born on November 20th, 1863 to Christian and Marie Mussmann. Sophie Hofmann was born to Carl Christian Hofmann and his wife Louise on March 21, 1864. It’s unclear the exact location of the couple’s birth but by the time of their marriage on February 9th, 1889 they were living in Witzenhausen, Kassel, Bayern, Germany.

Theodor Mussmann & Sophie Hofmann Marriage Certificate

As a side note – one interesting struggle to researching documents that originate in other countries is that they are often written in foreign languages. I don’t read German, and I struggled to put the terms in a translator because the script of the text makes it difficult to distinguish individual letters. If you are a German whiz and have any notes or additions to add based on the documents in this post, please share in the comments.

Back to Witzenhausen, it is in the Hesse region of Germany. The town is known as the home of noted physiologist Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (1816-1895) who wrote extensively about bodily secretions. He initiated the practice of experimenting on excised organs. That’s not particularly important to our story, I just thought it was interesting. Today, Witzenhausen is known for high unemployment with many of the young people from the area moving away in order to find work.

This very German castle is near Witzenhausen

Now that we’ve set the scene, Theodor and Sophie welcomed their first daughter, Ernestine Caroline, on April 6th, 1889 just two months after their marriage. Their son, Carl Christian, named for Sophie’s father, followed two years later on January 31st, 1891. Our next section will dig into his life as Anne’s father. Theodor and Sophie had a second daughter, Marie Catherine, two years after that on January 22, 1893. Frederich Emanuel was born just over a year later in 1894. At least two more children were born, a girl in 1895 and a boy in 1901, but both died in infancy.

Ernestine married Friedrich Rudolph Wegener on July 16, 1910 in Witzenhausen. She died five years later in November of 1915.  Marie Catherine married Julius Dovidat and spent her life in Witzenhausen, passing away in 1950. Friedrich married Anna Martha Liphardt in April of 1925 in Großalmerode.

Theodor Mussmann died on February 10, 1944 in Witzenhausen. It’s unclear when his wife, Sofie, died.

Excerpt from Theodor Mussmann’s death certificate

Carl Christian Mussmann

Carl married Rosina (Rosa) Strehl on December 13, 1913 in Nurnberg. Rosa’s father was Joseph Strehl, but her mother’s name was not found.

Carl enlisted in the German military during World War 1 under his middle name. He was part of the Ersatz-Battalion, or Replacement battalion for the 6th Bayer Infantry regiment.

Carl Mussmann enlistment record

Carl and Rosa welcomed a daughter in August of 1918 named Anna Rose. At the time the family was living in Nurnberg. The next record for the family comes ten years later when Carl, Rosa, and Anna are all found together on the ship manifast of the Stuttgart. The ship departed from Bremen and landed in New York, New York on December 17, 1928.

Stuttgart ship manifest

The 1930 census shows Carl, Rosina, and Anna living at 1912 Race Street with a total of 7 families. The record shows that they immigrated in 1929 (though the manifest tells us it was actually late 1928) and received their naturalization papers in Pennsylvania. Carl was working as a Die Maker for a “Tool & Die Co”. The family’s home address is a stones throw from Over the Rhine’s historic Findlay Market.

In 1942, Carl submitted a WW2 draft card. According to it, he was living in Detroit, Michigan at 463 Marlborough street under the name Christian Karl Mussmann. He was working at Loeffler Tool and Die Co and his emergency contact was his daughter Ann, who was by then, married to Joseph Klus and living at 2912 Woodside Place in Cincinnati.

Carl Christian Mussmann died on his birthday, January 31st, of 1946 at exactly 55 years old, in Detroit Michigan. His wife Rosa died the same year on August 4th, also in Detroit.

Sources include the United States Census for 1930 and 1940, German Birth, Marriage, and Death records, Michigan Death records, Bavaria, Germany WW1 Personnel Rosters, U.S., WW2 Draft Registration Cards

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