FREDERICK FERMAZIN and CAROLINA HARTWIG
Origins of Family Names:
"What's in a name." to quote Shakespeare. The study of family names
can give insight into family heritage and history. Surnames were not
common in Europe earlier than 1000 A.D. People were identified by what
we now call nicknames. These nicknames identified the person to the
satisfaction of the people who knew him locally. A man named John with
a white beard or hair might be called John le White. John's son would
be called just that, "John's son." If his name were David then his son
might be called David's son or Davidson.
The Norman's carried the practice of retaining a family name to
England at the time of the Norman conquest in 1066. The practice grew
slowly; however, and really did not become common practice until
required by more extensive government records. Family names most
commonly derive from four sources:
First is Patronymics or
derivation from the fathers name, such as McJunkin and McClanahan, or
O'Carney. The Mac and O' prefixes are used in Scotland and Ireland to
mean "son of" and "grandson of" or "descendent of."
The Welch used "ap" so that a name such as "ap Harry" meaning "son of
Harry" might eventually become "Parry." Endings such as "er", "y","ey",
"ie", or "ley" were diminutives meaning "little" so a son might be
called "Bailey" or "Crumley" or "Gregory." Eventually the "son" suffix
became simply "s" in some cases such as Stephens
A second major source are names derived from
occupation or office. For example, Wheeler for a man who made wheels.
A Lentz meant a peasant-soldier or "lance man," "Smith" from a
A third source of family names was from places. A cairn is a "pile of
stones" so Carney--"One who lives near a mountain of stone." Briggs is
a corruption of Bridge for someone who lived near a bridge. Ledford
from a path leading across a stream. Cheyne, Duchesne, MacChesney and
eventually Chesney come from the Norman-French for an Oak Grove or a
series of French towns with these names. They would have come to mean
"strong as an oak" or "stout of heart."
are many names we cannot fit into any of these categories. Perhaps
because we cannot follow the development of the name from its original
meaning. Names also changed with locations as people moved. In some
countries, particularly in Scandinavia, each farm had a name that the
residents adopted so that a man moving from one to another would
change his surname to fit the farm where he currently lived.
The lack of education among the common people also led to a wide
variety of spellings of names. Officials wrote the name as they heard
it on various documents, each one spelling the name as he interpreted
it. In tracing family trees we find that most family names stemming
from common ancestry are spelled in several different ways.
Many people on immigrating to a new country changed their names to fit
new circumstances. For example, many dropped the "Mac" or "O'" before
their names on entry into the American colonies. Some simply changed
to English words meaning the same as their name did in the old
country. White for Blanc or Brown for Brun or Broun, for example. Of
course others changed names to leave behind an unsavory past or to
avoid being found in their new country. Some simply adopted names they
liked. Others adopted English sounding names to avoid ethnic
discrimination. All in all coming to a new land offered a chance for
a new beginning in many ways and many immigrants felt a change of name
would improve opportunities in their new home.
Keep in mind early census takers accepted information only
on a household from any available sourceóa neighbor, a landlord, a
child. Language barriers and foreign names added other discrepancies
in names, ages, and places of birth. And some households were missed.
Not much is known about
the origins of the name FERMAZIN. In my search, I have come across
spellings of Farmazan, Fermazin, Fermazine, Fermacin, Fermasson,
Fermazan, Formazin. Currently around the world it is spelled as
Fermazin. Many people think it is either German or French yet on the
same hand some donít believe it is either ! A good explanation is
that it came from the Alsace region between France and Germany, which
has roots in both cultures. France and Germany fought countless wars
and one of the spoils was the area between them, Alsace. Therefore,
whoever won a given war annexed Alsace and that is why that area has a
heavy German/French culture. It is hypothesized that the Fermazin
family were French Huguenots and left France for religious reasons and
settled in Posen (Prussia). Eventually this family found its way to
present day Bremen, Germany and the United States. According to the
New World Book of Fermazins , the largest concentration in the
world today is in Germany and the United States of America. The total
Fermazin households identified were 7 in Germany and 7 in the United
States. There are a few Formazin households in Germany located
near the Saarland which may be related to Fermazin, since this area is
close to Alsace. There are also Formazin Families who settled in
Hammermuehle, and Lindebuden which are close to where the
Fermazin's were in Schubin, Prussia.
beginning Ö as far back in my Fermazin family as anyone has gone thus
far, was my great great grandfather Frederick and his wife Carolina.
Frederick Fermazin was born circa 1824 in Schubin,
approximately 1899 in Kane County, Aurora, Illinois. We
have not found his official death certificate or his burial place.
This information is gleamed from city directories, immigration
records, and from census records. Frederick was listed
as a milk dealer in the Aurora City Directory in 1897. His wife Carolina is listed in the city
directory of 1908. Frederick married Carolina Hartwig in Schubin,
Prussia. Carolina was born circa 1838.
history of the Fermazin family says that the Fermazin's originally
Alsace Lorraine and emigrated to
Prussia circa 1700's to escape religious persecution. Some say they
French Huguenots escaping the
French Catholics. This will need to be proved.
age 55 arrived in the USA on December 12, 1879. His Manifest ID
number was 15789. His daughter Emilie age 22 accompanied him on this
crossing. They embarked at Bremen, sailing on the ship, Ohio with
Captain Meyer at the helm. This information was obtained from Germans
to America, Volume 13 by
Ira Glazier and P. William Filby.
The "Ohio" was built by Caird & Co, Greenock for
[North German Lloyd] in 1868. She was a 2,394
gross ton vessel, length 290.2ft x beam 39ft, clipper stem, one
funnel, two masts, iron construction, single screw and a speed of 10
knots. There was accommodation for 84-1st and 600-3rd class
passengers. Launched on 18/12/1868, she made her
maiden voyage from Bremen to Southampton and Baltimore in March 1869.
On 6/9/1871 she commenced her first sailing
from Bremen to Southampton and New York, making
11 round voyages on this route, her last in 1883. In 1880-1 her
engines were compounded at Stettin, and on 3/10/1883 she sailed from
Bremen on her last voyage to Baltimore. She was then transferred to
the Bremen - South America service, commencing her final voyage on
25/11/1893. In 1894
she was sold to Sir
W.G.Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. (shipbuilders) in part exchange for new
ships. She then went to the Argentine government who renamed her "Amazzone".
In 1897 she was again renamed "Rio Santa Cruz" and in 1903 was hulked.
[North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor,
40 arrived on the ship Wieland, manned by Captain Hebich in
9/10/1878. Her manifest ID # is 34914. The Wieland embarked from
Hamburg and La Havre. Caroline had two of the children with her on
the voyage. Reinhard age 9 months and Bertha age 9 years.
The "Wieland" was built in 1874 by A.Stephen &
Sons,Glasgow for the Adler Line of Hamburg but didn't sail for them.
She was a 3,507 gross ton vessel, length 375.3ft x beam 39.9ft,one
funnel, two masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw
and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 90-1st, 100-2nd
and 800-3rd class passengers. Launched on 16/6/1874 for Adler, she was
bought in 1875 by Hamburg America Line, and on 7/7/1875 sailed on her
maiden voyage from Hamburg to Havre and New York. In 1882, she was
rebuilt with two funnels and on 29/8/1894 commenced her last voyage
from Hamburg to New York. On 6/10/1894 she commenced a single round
voyage from Hamburg to South America and was then sold to another
German company. She was damaged by fire in Shanghai on 15/10/1895 and
was scrapped the following year. [North Atlantic Seaway by
N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1, p.392] [Posted to The ShipsList by Ted Finch - 14
November 1997] The steamship WIELAND was built by Alexander Stephen&
Sons, Glasgow (Ship No. 171), and launched on 16 June 1874 for the
Adler (Eagle) Line of Hamburg. 3,504 tons; 114,4 x 12,2 meters/375 x
40 feet (length x breadth); straight bow, 1 funnel, 2 masts; iron
construction, screw propulsion, service speed 13 knots; accommodation
for 90 passengers in 1st class, 100 in 2nd class, and 800 in steerage;
crew of 110. The WIELAND never ran for the Adler Line. The Adler Line,
which had been founded in 1873 in direct competition with the Hamburg
American Line (HAPAG), was purchased by the latter company for
11,400,000 Reichsmarks on 7 May 1875, and on 25 June 1875, the WIELAND
was transferred to HAPAG control. 7 July 1875, maiden voyage,
Hamburg-Havre-New York 1882, rebuilt; higher superstructure, 2
funnels. 29 August 1894, last voyage, Hamburg-New York. 6 October
1894, 1 roundtrip voyage, Naples-New York. 1895, sold to Ph. A.
Lieder, Hamburg and Shanghai; transport in the Chinese-Japanese War.
15 October 1895, seriously damaged by fire at Shanghai. 3 January
1896, sent to Singapore for scrapping.
Carolina entered the U.S. at New York City prior to 1890, they
probably came through Castle Garden rather than the commonly known
Ellis Island. From August 1,1855 to April 18, 1890, Castle Garden
served as the entry point for New York City and was America's
first immigrant receiving station. The Ellis Island immigrant
receiving station did not open until January 1, 1892, almost two years
after Castle Garden was closed.
Frederick settled in Aurora, Illinois. In the 1887-1890 city directory
Frederick is listed as a milk dealer living at W S Ohio 2S Sixth Ave. As far as I can
determine the children of Frederick Fermazin are: Augusta, Charles, Emilie, Reinhard, and Bertha.
Later in the City directory circa 1880-1884 they lived at 34 Second
Street. (see gedcom)