Searching for Joseph Bernard Friedman #courland #latvia


Friedman, H George
 

My great grandfather was Joseph Bernard Friedman.  I cannot get any further back than about 1870.  Please bear with me through this long plea for help.

I have two levels of information about him: family lore, and documented.

Family lore is that he emigrated to New York before the Civil War, enlisted in the Union Army, and eventually mustered out in the south, where he lived the rest of his life.  I have been able to verify some of this.

Documentation begins with his first marriage in 1870 in St Louis to Tillie Peiser.  They settled in Holly Springs, MS (1870 US Census).  By early 1871, they settled permanently in Boutte, St. Charles Parish, LA, where he was appointed Postmaster in 1872, and held several parish (county) offices from time to time.  They had five children: an infant who lived only a few days, then Miriam, Ettie/Esther, William/Willie, and Eva.  Tillie died in 1878, apparently in childbirth (the inscription on her tombstone implies that there is an infant buried with her).  Joseph (J. B.) married Bertha Reichenberg in 1880; I have her genealogy well documented, including collaboration with other Reichenbergs both in the USA and in Germany.  They had four more children, including my grandfather, Harry Friedman.

J.  B. was assassinated in 1888, an event which is well documented in newspapers and other sources.  He, both of his wives, and his eldest daughter Miriam are buried in Gates of Prayer Canal Street Cemetery in New Orleans.

The census reports of J. B. claim he was born in Prussia c. 1840 (1870 census) and Kurland c. 1841 (1880 census), which makes sense.  His birthday is given on his gravestone as 21 Jan 1841, and in several primary records (e.g., his marriage license with Bertha, his second wife) as 1841.

I have searched for his military records, but am frustrated by the fact that there were numerous Joseph Friedmans in the Union Army, with no way to distinguish among them.

I have searched SteveMorse.org for his emigration to the USA, which yields four hits in ancestry.com in 1857 and 1858 for a Joseph Friedman, one from Bremerhaven, one from Hamburg, and two from Le Havre.  But again, there isn't enough information to decide which, if any, is my GGF.

Thank you for reading this long message.  Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.

George Friedman

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