This photo from Brooklyn, New York, has had quite a trip around the world – before it came to me, it made a stop in Spain. I bought it from @old_magazines_and_books – obviously – because it is identified :).
It shows the siblings “Adolph G. Fingerle Jr. and Louise F. Fingerle (mother of Elinor Lindemann Houston and Elvira Lindemann Wolff“
With so much information, I couldn’t wait to start digging! I found out that the siblings’ father Adolf Fingerle Sr. was a German immigrant who set sail towards the New World in 1887 at just 15 years of age (he had been born in 1871 in Esslingen in Württemberg). Guess what his profession was going to be? Well, what are some of the things Germans are really good at? Making cars, beer… and bread! Adolf Sr. set up his bakery in the Bronx at leats as early as in the 1890s. In May 1897, he married Albertine née Schulz, a fellow-German-immigrant.
The couple’s first child Louise F. Fingerle was born on September 24th, 1899. On September 10th, 1902, Adolf Sr. and Albertine had a son Adolph Gustav Jr. – the sweet siblings in our photo.
According to the Census of 1910, the Fingerle family was living at 401 E 144 St , in the Bronx, NY, at the time. The house still stands today! Do you think Adolf Sr.’s bakery was downstairs too?
Adolf Sr. became a US citizen in 1894. In 1905, he applied for a passport and looks like he needed it for a much due trip to Germany, which he embarked on in the following months from what looks like with his brother Fred (Friedrich in German). I bet it was their first trip back to visit relatives in Esslingen after almost 20 years. I bet he was boasting and proud that he had made it in New York!
By 1916, Adolf Sr. had moved his bakery to Mount Vernon, New York. He passed away in 1922, and his wife Albertine in 1958.
But now about the children in the photo and what became of them:
Adolph Fingerle Jr.
Looks like Adolph (*both Adolf and Adolph are used in official records) Junior did not follow his father’s career path at first. By 1920, at the age of 17, Adolph Jr. was working as a clerk at a broker’s office in Port Chester, Westchester, New York. But by 1940, Adolph had become a baker in Rye, Westchester, New York. I have a theory how it maybe came to that. I’m sure that with fresh German-style bread on the family’s breakfast, lunch and dinner table every day, Adolph Jr. knew everything there was to know about the excellent quality of bread. (Fun fact: Germans have a word for late-evening snack – “Abendbrot” which translates to “evening bread” which usually is bread with some sausage or cheese or sausage spread). Perhaps Senior taught Junior everything he knew about making that excellent bread. By 1922, Senior had unfortunately passed away, and I find Junior and mom Albertine on a passenger list travelling to Germany. I have a feeling, this is when Adolph learnt the rest he needed to know about becoming an excellent baker. By 1930, he had opened his bakery in Port Chester.
Adolph Junior married Frieda née Steding in November 1927. Frieda had been born in Bremen, Germany, on April 18th, 1902, and according to the passenger list bringing her to the United States, she had blond hair and blue eyes. The 1940 Census shows the couple to have had a daughter Dorothy, aged 10. Dorothy L. Fingerle had been born on June 17th, 1929.
In 1935, I find the whole family on a passenger list travelling to Bremen. I assume this is when Dorothy finally got to meet her maternal grandparents and relatives.
In 1942, Adolph was drafted to serve in WWII. His draft card says that he had brown hair and brown eyes. I don’t know if he was called to action. And I wonder how he felt about probably battling against his own relatives in that horrific war.
Adolph Jr. was widowed in 1982, and as is often the case with couples who have been married for decades, he followed his beloved Frieda in March 1985.
Dorothy Fingerle married Douglas McKenzie in May 1950. I wish I knew more about Dorothy, but nothing else comes up on her.
Louise Lindemann née Fingerle
The girl in our photo, Louise Fingerle, was born on September 24th, 1899. In 1920, Louise was working as a stenographer with a rubber company. She married Frederick William Lindemann in October 1920 in Mount Vernon, New York. Frederick had also been born in Germany. He was 6 years older than Louise and worked as a stock market broker in New York. But guess what Louise’s father-in-law’s profession was – a baker! This family surely appreciated good bread!
The couple was still living in Mount Vernon in 1930, but by 1940, they had all moved to St. Petersburg in Florida, and now Frederick was working as a security (officer?) with a loan company. Was their move motivated (forced?) by the Wall Street Crash in 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, I wonder?
Louise passed away in 1973, and Frederick in 1983.
I was thrilled that the photo lists the names of two of Louise’s three daughters as well as their married names! Louise and Frederick had altogether three daughters – Miriam, Elinor and Elvira.
Miriam Katherine Lindemann, (1918-2007), married Henry J Kammann in March 1946. The couple had a son, William F. Kammann.
Elinor Louise Lindemann, born in 1923, married one Robert C. Houston in December 1947 in Manhattan, New York. Looks like the couple had at least one child, Stephen C. Houston. I was also able to find a yearbook photo of Elinor from 1941.
Elvira Fredricka Lindemann, born in April 1931, married one Gunther Wolff in 1951 in Bronx. Unfortunately I know nothing else about her.
Let’s hope with all this information we’ll be able to find the descendants of the Fingerle’s. Do let me know if you are related!