Thursday, November 6, 2014

German Obituary: November 6, 1887

My great-great uncle, Jacob Nehren, died today more than 125 years ago. I know from his death registration and his veteran burial card that he was 44 years old. He died of cirrhosis of the liver, which I assume was a hazard of being a tavern owner.

Jacob served in the Civil War, apparently under the alias William Cline, before he married my great-grandfather's sister. When he was 19, he first enlisted in the Maryland Infantry and was shot in his left forearm 18 months later. After he mustered out, Jacob then enlisted in the Navy. He was honorably discharged almost 4 years later in 1869.

Although Jacob spent time in Maryland both before and after his military service, he ended up in Pittsburgh sometime between the 1870 census and his marriage in 1872. He ran the bar that was previously owned by his father-in-law and was the father of 2 boys who both died before they reached their fourth birthdays.

Jacob's obituary appeared in a German newspaper, Pittsburger Volksblatt, on November 7, 1887. Unfortunately, I don't know what it says. I can make out bits and pieces but am curious as to whether it may contain any clues about him that I don't already know. I see that it says something about Baltimore near the end, which is where his brother Frank Nehren lived.

If you can translate any of this obituary, please leave me a comment. Thank you!


  1. My German is plenty rusty, but here's what I can make out: He was 44 years, 2 months and 6 days old, he appears to have lived on Carson Street, and they asked the newspapers in Troy, N. D., Baltimore, and Washington to please copy. Are you familiar with the Pittsburgh chapter of DANK? They have some people who do German genealogy.

    1. Mike, thank you so much. I have no idea how he's connected to Troy, ND so it looks like I have some work to do. And I have heard of DANK but didn't realize they were that involved with genealogy. You've been very helpful!

    2. I don't think the national organization has any any specific involvement with genealogy. What happened was that what had been WPGS's German study group moved over to the local DANK chapter after the WPGS dumped all its ethnic study groups to concentrate on its First Families organization. (sour grapes alert)

  2. After doing a little digging, I found a Nehren family living Troy NY, not Troy ND. I looked at the obituary again, and I still can't figure out the lettering! Anyway, I hope to find more information on this Nehren family and how they're connected to my uncle. I'll write a new post when I know more.


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