Thursday, June 17, 2010


In Part 1 I discussed how I found  information on my Offinger ancestors.
Now I'm going to discuss  that information and what it tells me about the
family's history.

Charles Offinger and Johanna Luick arrived in New York City aboard
the Deutschland on 13Jun 1870.Whether they were already a couple or
met onboard is unknown, but both were in Massachusetts by the end of
the summer. Johanna was working as domestic servant in the Jamaica
Plain neighborhood of Boston on 4Aug 1870 for the John D Wester
family. Charles was enumerated on 29Aug in the Cambridgeport section
of Cambridge and apparently was living in an apartment building with
other young men from Wurtemburg, all but one under the age of thirty
and all giving their occupation as something connected with furniture-

Then Charles and Johanna  wed on 11Sep 1870. On 19Dec 1870 a
Charles Offinger is born to Charles and Johanna Offinger in Cambridge,
Middlesex, Ma. Did Johanna's pregnancy happen before they left
Wurtemburg or was Charles the product of a shipboard romance?
Either way, he must have died at a young age because he does not
appear as one of the Offinger children listed on the 1880 census.

"Charles Offinger, cabinet maker, h. Harvard near Weston" appears
in the Cambridge City Directory for 1871. In 1872 and 1875 his
address is given as "6 Portland"  but by 1878 he'd moved to a house at
"19 Vine". Something must have changed in the next two years as in the
1880 directory he's listed as  "Offinger Charles, laborer, h. rear 13 Vine".
This must be the house listed as 11 Vine St on the 1880 Cambridge
Federal Census. By this time he and Johanna had six children, ranging
from 12 year old Emelia to two year old Julia. His occupation is
however listed as a cabinetmaker.

Wait a minute! Twelve year old Emelia? Where did she come from?
That would put her birth two years before Charles and Johanna married.
Given the times, I doubt they would have had a child out of wedlock in
Germany so at the moment my theory is that Emelia was a child from a
previous marriage of either Charles or Johanna. This is the only mention
of her I can find so far so she might have died sometime shortly after
1880. Charles is listed a final time in the 1881 Cambridge City Directory,
once more as a cabinet maker. He died on 17 Jul 1881 leaving 36 year
old Johanna to raise their children alone.

I haven't found any trace of Johanna from 1881 until the Boston City
Directory of 1895. It was published in Oct 1894 and shows that
Johanna had now moved into Boston and living at a house on
"Metropolitan Ave near Washington". Son Albert is listed as a clerk and
as a boarder at the same address, as well as son Frederick, who was a
clerk at 105 Summer St, Room 14". They might all have been there since
1890 when the boys are listed at that address.Perhaps Johanna lived
there as well since  Albert and Frederick were only still in their late teens.
I found no mention of William, Pauline or Julia in the directories prior to

The year 1895 would hold both joy and sorrow for the Offingers. Son
Frederick died at age 23 on 26Jul 1895, and my great grandmother
Pauline married Edward J .White on 27Nov. Johanna and Albert were
now joined at Metropolitan Ave by third son William. He died young at
age 22 on 24Aug 1898 and now daughter Julia moved into the household.
On the 1900 Federal Census the household consisted of 56 year old
Johanna, 29 year old Albert, a curtain hanger, and 21 year old Julia, a
bookkeeper and saleswoman.

Albert married Hattie Heckman on 6Jun1905 in Boston. I've found no
record that they ever had any children.Albert appears in the Boston City
Directories as an upholsterer at 23 Metropolitan Ave right up until 1946
when he would have been 76 years old. I've yet to find a date of death
for him.

Julia married John W. McCarthy on 25Feb 1906 and had five children.
So far I haven't found any records of any descendants or of her death.

As for Johanna Luick Offinger, she may have moved out of Metropolitan
Ave when Albert married because when she died at home on 14Aug 1908,
her residence is listed as 32 Folsom Street. She'd been fighting cancer for
a year and a half.

And except for what little information I had about great grandmother
Pauline and her children, I  knew none of this until a week ago Sunday
when I entered Pauline's name in FamilySearch's Record Search!

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