Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Clementine Hork

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

C is for Clementine Hork

My great grandfather, Johan Anton Hork was the first to immigrate to the United States in the early 1870.[1] He married and had a slew of children. Two younger siblings also immigrated. Johann Albert, who later became known as Albert M Hork, came in the 1880s. Maria Clementine immigrated in 1891.

It was aboard the ship SS Belgenland, which arrived in Philadelphia Antwerp, Belgium on 9 November 1891.[2] Clementine traveled with her brother, Albert in second class. A nice color drawing of the ship is here. Clementine was 40 years old, having been born 9 August 1851 in Oberhundem, Westfalen.[3]

Her brother, Albert was a Roman Catholic priest and he continued on to Nebraska where he served in several parishes. Her other brother, Anton, was living in Portland, Oregon and would later move to Montana. I really doubt she ever saw either of them again.

So what brought her to America where she lived alone in Brooklyn until she died in 1928? I don’t know yet what was going on in her hometown in Germany. In Brooklyn, she worked as a dressmaker. That would coincide with her brother, Anton, being a tailor. For many years she was listed in the city directory as a dressmaker and living on DeKalb Avenue.[4]

At this time in history, there were many dressmakers listed in the city directories. It was a respectable job for women. It is unclear whether she was doing piecemeal work for someone else or making complete clothes for women on her own. Many immigrants worked in clothing factories and sweatshops where they got low wages for long hours of work in harsh conditions.

She continued to live alone until about 1920 when she lived in a home for the aged run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic religious institute for women.[5] They took care of women who were poor and over the age of sixty. She lived there until her death on 5 Sep 1928.[6] Her death certificate reported she would be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. Someday I would like to visit there.

Her named lived on. Her brother, Anton, named his youngest daughter, Urselle Clementine, most likely after his sister.

We have no photo of Clementine but here is a drawing of a woman sewing by Julian Alden Weir, a print maker. Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

[1] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," digital images, (, film 336, 5 Nov 1870, SS Idaho, line 39, no. 1030, Joh Hork.
[2] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," digital images, (, "Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945" ( : accessed 10 Dec 2010), manifest, S.S. Belgenland, 9 Nov 1891, Miss Cl. Hork.
[3] Baptism of Maria Clementina Horoch, Intl 1257843, Taufen 1848-1878, pg 16, 1851.
[4] Lain & Healy, Lain & Healy's Brooklyn Directory, digital images, (, 1900, p 709, Clementine Hork; 1903, p 129, Clementine Hork.
[5] 1920 U.S. census, Kings Co, New York, Brooklyn, ED 1244, sht 2a, p 134, line 8, Clementina Hoag, digital images, (, citing National Archives and Records Administration.
[6] Clementine Hork, death certificate 18531 (1928), City of New York Municipal Archives, New York City, New York.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. How sad that her family was separated after that long journey. I like that you found an appropriate image for your post. I'll have to remember to do this.

    1. Thank you. The images at the New York Public Library are free to use!

  2. I had a number of Irish ancestors in Brooklyn. I wonder if they ever met your Clementine Hork. I enjoy looking at New York census records because the ethnic neighborhoods seem so alive and busy. Most of my Virginia ancestors were farmers, and so the county census records list farmer after farmer after farmer. So little variety. But New York! Peddlars. Cooks. Dressmakers. Fruit vendors. Pretzel makers. Music teachers. On and on.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Jollett Etc.

    1. I know what you mean. City censuses are much more interesting. Thanks for stopping by.


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