My paternal 2 times great grandfather was named Ludwig Villhauer. He was born February 22, 1855 in Baden Germany. I am excited to share this microfilm image of the original Bible record from Germany. I wish I could actually read it, but not only is it hard to read because of the handwriting, but it’s also in German-so doubly hard to try to read. I can make out names, but it’s hard to see the rest. The record states his birth date as well as his Christening date of February 25, 1855. His parents are listed as Michael Villhauer and Elisabetha Stief.
I was able to order this roll of microfilm through family search, and I picked a roll of film that had several generations of my father’s ancestors on it. I’m glad that they stayed put for a few generations!
On November 14, 1878, Ludwig married a woman named Susanna Askani. She was also from Hockenheim, Baden, Germany and was born on February 3, 1853 (according to her birth record found on family search) Her birth record lists her parents as Abraham Askani and Sophie Ruder. Their marriage record also lists her birth date and her parents as well as Ludwig’s who were named Johann Michael Villhauer and Eve Elisabeth Kief. Ludwig and Susanna were married in Hockenheim, Baden, Germany.
On May 24, 1879 Ludwig and Susanna had a son named Adam who was Christened on Jun 2, 1879. He was also born in Hockenheim, Baden, Germany. I found his birth record on family search as well.
Shortly after Adam’s birth the family emigrated to the US. My best guess is that Ludwig came over before his wife and young son as the only record of them coming to the US only shows Susanna and Adam, Ludwig is not listed on the manifest, and I have not found another record of his arrival in the US. Susanna and Adam arrived in the US on July 3, 1880. Little Adam was only about 11 months.
Several years later, Ludwig and Susanna had a second child named Elisabeth, she was born March 8, 1883 who was born in New York, according to the 1900 census, however what is strange is that I have found two birth records for her on family search that saw she was born and Christened in Hockenheim, Baden Germany (same birth date). I’m really not sure why this would be. Did they go back to Germany for a little while, and she was born during that time. I’m just not sure! Then they had a third child named Sophie in 1890.
On September 30, 1889, Louis becomes a naturalized citizen of the US. His naturalization papers show him living at what looks like 223 Rivington Dr, in NY City.
By 1900, Louis is married to a woman named Barbara. They are living on what looks like it says either Riker Ave or River Ave in New York. The children in the house are his original children Adam, Elizabeth, and Sophie, also listed is a stepson Emile Walter who is 13. It says that Louis and Barbara have been married for 17 years, which would be before Susanna died. But you can also see where there is a number 2 that looks like it was written over. That would make more sense if they had been married 2 years which would mean they got married in 1889, which is the year I believe Susanna died. Another confusing fact is that on the 1930 census where Barbara is living on her own after Louis’ death, it says she came to the US in 1900, which would make even a 2 year marriage hard to figure, unless Louis went to Germany and married her and then she later came over. I found a death record for a Susanna Villhauer who died in New York, NY on March 7, 1898.
I have located a birth record on family search for an Amil Frank Walter who was born April 2, 1887 to a Frank Walter and Barbara Lambert. This matches his census record for 1900 which states he was born in April 1887. I can’t find any other record of Frank Walter, so I do not know what became of him.
I have located Ludwig and Barbara on the 1910 census, 1915 NY state census, 1920 census, and 1925 NY state one living in Hampstead, Nassau, New York. By the 1910 census Ludwig is listed as “Louis” so a more American-ized version of his name.
On January 25, 1930, Louis died. I found a newspaper article for a woman named Barbara Villhauer who committed suicide on November 3, 1934 in Quens, NY. She is the same age as Louis’ wife would have been. The part that doesn’t match up is that in the newspaper article her son is named as Francis and on the 1900 census he is Emile. So that I’m not sure about.
So still some questions to try o figure out.
Some fun Ludwig Villhauer findings!
I love this newspaper article about Louis! I love to picture him with his three gian Saint Bernards walking around the city of New York late at night and discovering all these lost items. I found an article printed several years after his death that talks about how one of his daughters also bred dogs as an adult. The article mentions how her father, Louis, bred horses, Saint Bernards, Dachshunds, and Cocker Spaniels! His daughter bred Dachshunds as well, from a pair he had given her.
Here are his scrapbook pages: