This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.
My great-grandfather, Johannes Anton Hork traveled a long distance in his lifetime. He was born 9 November 1843 in Oberhundem, Kreis Olpe, Westfalen (now Germany) to Joseph Heinrich Horoch and Maria Catherine Trösster. He died 15 August 1906 in Sheridan, Sheridan County, Wyoming. He was sixty-two years old.
He was the fifth child of ten and the fourth son. In early church records, the surname was spelled Horoch or Horock but by the 1870s the name was spelled in records as Hork.
His father was a tailor. Johan Anton was only fourteen years old when his father and two younger siblings died within days of each other of dysentery in 1857.
I don’t know much about his life after 1857 until the time he left for America in 1870. He probably worked as a tailor, perhaps having learned the trade from his father before his father’s death.
I believe I have found Johan Anton Hork on a ship list for the SS Idaho, arriving in New York City on 5 November 1870 from Liverpool. The entry doesn’t say much, only: “no. 213, Joh Hork, 27, male, Germany, USA” He is the right age, and I next find him getting married in 1872.
So how did he get to Liverpool? Europeans often traveled to England, crossed the country by train, and then left from Liverpool. There were several ports from which he could have left: Hamburg, Bremen, Rotterdam, Le Havre, and more. I did not find him listed on the Hamburg lists. The lists from Bremen were either destroyed due to lack of space or lost during WWII. I will have to investigate the availability of records from the other ports.
The next record I find of Johan Anton is his marriage to Julia Ann Sievert at St. John’s German Catholic Church on 6 June 1872. He gave his age as 28, only a year off. There is also a listing for him in the 1872 Joliet City Directory. He was a merchant tailor. The date indicates that he was living there probably in 1871 when the directory company canvased the town for the directory.
Did he go straight to Joliet from New York? What brought him there? Answers I’ll probably never know.
Below is a map of the states Johan Anton lived in the United States. I suspect that though he might have been a good tailor, he probably did something that necessitate him moving on to a new place.
|Numbered in order of residence|
They lived in Joliet and had two or three children. They moved sometime before 1876 to Aurora, Kane County, Illinois. By 1880, they had four children.
After that, they moved quite often. City directories document him bouncing around the mid-west. In 1881/82 they were in St. Louis, Missouri. A year later, he was living in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit. Then next year, he was in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
His children also document their moves. The first five were born in Illinois, either in Joliet or Aurora. The next son was born in Grand Rapids. Then two children were born in Stuart, Guthrie County, Iowa. The next to last child was born in Portland, Oregon, and the youngest child was born in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana, where Julia finally put a stop to their moving and she stayed put.
However, Johan Anton did not stay put. He wandered about the west until he ended up in Sheridan, Wyoming, where he died.
That was quite a distance to travel in a life-time. He is probably the ancestor who traveled the farthest.
|Distance traveled in the U.S. Need to add the 3800 miles from Germany|
 Kirchenbuch, 1649-1874, Katholische Kirche Oberhundem (Kr. Olpe), (Mikrofilme aufgenommen von Manuskripten im Bistumsarchiv Paderborn.Kein Verleih an europische Genealogie-Forschungsstell), Taufen 1826-1847, p 139, Johann Anton Horoch , FHL Intl 1257842.
 "The Carbolic Route," The Sheridan (Wyoming) Enterprise, 17 Aug 1906, p 3
 Ibid, "Toten 1848-1878," Joseph Heinrich Horoch, 1847, p 33; FHL microfilm 1,257,843, item 3.
 "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com), film 336, 5 Nov 1870, SS Idaho, line 39, no. 213, Joh Hork.
 “Bremen Passenger Lists,” Die Maus: Staats Achiv Bremen (http://www.passengerlists.de/).
 St. John's Catholic Church, Joliet, Illinois, Marriages, p 13, Anton Hork & Julia Sievert.
 Aurora (Illinois) City Court, Final papers, v. 59, old book 4, 26 Oct. 1872-22 Mar. 1888, p. 131, Anthony Hork; FHL dig film 007792617, image 902 of 1355.
 1880 U.S. census, Kane County, Illinois, pop. sched., Aurora, ED 73, p 43c (penned), p. 79a (stamped), dwelling 280, family 392, Antone Hark, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com); citing NARA T9, roll 217.
 St. Louis City Directory, David B. Gould, Publ., 1882, p 561, Anton Hork, digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
 Detroit City Directory, J.W. Weeks & Co, 1883, p 553, Anthony Hork, digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
 Grand Rapids City and Kent County Directory, R.L. Polk & Co, 1885-85, 294, Anton Hork, FHL film 1376887.
 "The Carbolic Route," The Sheridan (Wyoming) Enterprise, 17 Aug 1906, p 3.
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