Friday, October 10, 2014

52 Ancestors: #39 Mary Gertrude Resslein, the Ship's Cook

"Scene Between Decks", The Illustrated London News, July 6, 1850.
In the summer of 1850, my great-great-great grandmother, Mary Gertrude Resslein, left her homeland of Bavaria and boarded the ship Marathon at the Port of Le Havre, France.   Captain Henry S. Tyler commanded the 890-ton ship, which was built in 1849.  A thorough study of the ship manifest reveals that she was 28 years old and had brought 2 chests with her. A family story is that Gertrude worked as a ship's cook to earn her passage. There were 408 passengers listed on the ship manifest; two young women died from a fever during the voyage.

Gertrude's granddaughter, Stella McCammon, wrote a letter to her sister Bertha describing the
voyage. The wind blew the ship off course, and they ran out of drinking water. According to Stella, Gertrude slipped food to a stowaway from Luxembourg on the ship.  His name was George Holzlider.   Gertrude and George disembarked from the Marathon at New York on July 26, 1850. Less than a month later, they were married in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Hamilton County, Ohio Marriage Certificate

At some point, the Holzliders moved to Decatur County, Indiana and eventually to North Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana. They raised five children, including my great great grandfather, William. Gertrude died at North Vernon sometime between 1880 and 1897.   It is not known where she is buried, but she may have been buried at a Potters Field in North Vernon.

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