On Tracing the Hirschland Family Tree

Contributed by Victoria Hirschland Hess — October 2, 2010

I set up this Hirschland family group after meeting my second cousins here in Jackson Hole last month, I recognized that there was so many more Hirschlands than we realized, even with the almost 300 descendants of Isaac Hirschland that Henry Hirschland identified. I became inspired to track down lost Hirschlands, and learn their stories.

Two versions of the Hirschland Family ring. Do you have one too?

But we don’t know much about the broken branches Hirschland family. The descendents of Simon Hirschland’s siblings — Levi, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Goltchen — were not recorded on the available family trees. So imagine my joy (and sorrow) when Karrie Hirschland Sundbom wrote me after I started to find Hirschlands on Facebook. In her words:

Unfortunately I personally do not know which of the Essen Hirschlands we are descended from. My great grandfather was Otto Hirschland and he was married to Lily. They were taken into Dachau I believe the day before they were to emigrate to England and then America to meet their child, Walter (my grandfather) and sadly never made it out. Walter and his fiancee (my grandmother Ruth) made it to America sponsored by Frank or Franz Hirschland … I would love it if you knew how we could trace Otto into the Hirschland family. All we know is that they (we) are Essen Hirschlands!

These rings seem to have been designed from this seal on-line at http://www.deutsches-architektur-forum.de/

Franz, of course, is my grandfather, who came to the US in the early 20th century to develop the American factory for Goldschmidt Chemical. Because he was here, an American with an American family and a thriving business, he was in a position to sponsor many family members, including his immediate family, and others more distantly related, such as, I believe, Walter and Otto.

Sadly, with the Otto connection broken by the Holocaust, it may be difficult to complete the family connection. Still I am gladdened to know that Karrie and her family survived. With this letter from Karrie, the task became how to connect her family to mine.

Follow Up on Otto Investigation

Victoria Hirschland Hess — October 7, 2010

Tree:   Salomon Herz Hirschland (one of the three original brothers) >>Salomon Hirschland >>Levi Hirschland >>Otto Hirschland >>Walter Leo Hirschland (and Ruth).. >>Gerald  Hirschland >>Karen Hirschland Sundbom

Since I wrote the above, Karrie’s cousin got a hold of me (independently), and told me that Otto’s father was named Levi, and since the dates matched on the family trees we had (some of which are uploaded in Resources), we have tied Otto and progeny into the tree through Levi, son of Solomon, son of Simon. Karrie added the following note to me today:

I remember my grandpa telling me about when he arrived and met your grandfather…he said that he got 50 dollars from him and then Franz (Frank) said to them, “Good luck and do not contact me again.” I found that interesting but I suppose it may have been a concern that all of the immigrant Hirschlands he sponsored may have become dependent on him and just wanted them to get out on their own feet? Seems a bit cold but we are nonetheless grateful!

Karrie’s cousin recalled the same story, with a higher payment, but this disturbed me a bit. I don’t know what my half-sisters or cousins might have to say about this. They knew far better than I did. This didn’t sound quite right to my half sister, Joan, who recalled our grandfather as having worked very hard to rescue and help all the Hirschland he could, but it may be understandable if Walter and Ruth arrived when so many closer family members were also arriving.

Otto would have been a second cousin once removed to Papa, and his grandchildren are our fourth cousins once removed.

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