Help need to solve the mystery of the child left behind #general

K Beach <proteantime@...>

I have a mystery on my research into our great great grandfather and his
wife and their emigration to England.

This is what I know:

Siegmund OPPENHEIM was an African Merchant boarding with a Cotton Spinner's
family in Cheshire on the 1861 census. It says he is 26 and >from Germany.

In 1871 he is a Commission Merchant and a naturalised British Subject who is
single and boarding with a Widow in Moss Side Lancashire.

Then in 1881 we have him not only married to Adele >from Schwerin Mecklenburg
in Prussia, but also with 4 children all born in Chorlton Medlock in
Manchester and living at East Beach in Lytham Lancashire.

There is no mention on this census of his first born son Eugen who would
have been born around 1873 and in Germany. In fact, we don't see any
records of Eugen in England until he is married in 1899 (aged 26)and then
when he is naturalised in 1911.

I've also not been able to find any record of Siegmund's marriage to Adele
in England and I'm assuming they were married in Germany (possibly Hamburg).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why Eugen may have been left behind
(in Prussia or Germany) and not at a later stage joined the family in

There is a record of an Eugen OPPENHEIM arriving at Castle Garden
immigration point in New York in 1886 which gives a probable match due to
age and last address being Prussia. But other than the fact that he was
listed as a Paper Merchant/Stationer on his wife's death certificate we know
nothing else about him. We do have of course the link to Siegmund and Adele
OPPENHEIM as his parents >from his marriage certificate.

Many thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

Kirsten Beach

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

Kirsten Beach has sent us an interesting conundrum.
Her gt-gt-grandfather Siegmund OPPENHEIM and his wife
Adele settled in Manchester, UK >from Germany. Kirsten
tells us that you can see Siegmund OPPENHEIM [German
aged 26] an African Merchant on the 1861 census [see
footnote]. By 1871, he is still single, Commission
Merchant and a naturalised British Subject in Lancs,

In 1881 he is married to Adele >from Schwerin
Mecklenburg {Prussia} and has 4 children all born in
Chorlton Medlock. Then Kirsten tells us: "there is no
mention on this census of his first-born son Eugen who
would have been born around 1873 and in Germany. In
fact, we don't see any records of Eugen in England
until he is married in 1899 (aged 26) and then when he
is naturalised in 1911.

Furthermore Kirsten has not been able to find any
record of Siegmund's marriage to Adele in England and
naturally wonders why Eugen was left behind in Germany
as he never appears on any census listing in 1881 or

At first I really wondered if Eugen is the son of
Siegmund and *Adele*. They have a son called Frederick
born in 1873 in Manchester.

Eugen is listed in the 1901 census and is still
German; Kirsten tells us he married in 1899 and the
names Siegmund and Adele are on the wedding
certificate as his parents: This is the 1901 listing:

Eugen Oppenheim abt 1873 German, Germany Head Lambeth London
Winnie Oppenheim abt 1875 Rotherhithe, London, England Wife Lambeth London

If he is indeed the the son of the Manchester Siegmund
- he could be the son of a first marriage. After all,
he was also born in ca 1873 - perhaps 1872. Siegmund's
first wife might have died and baby Eugen was left
with her family as he could not look after him.
Siegmund might have married again soon afterwards and
baby Frederick arrived in 1873/74 in Manchester.

Alternatively - Siegmund and Adele had Eugen in
Germany and Adele found herself pregnant soon after
his birth and due to leave for Manchester. She, a
young wife and mother, could not cope [post-natal
depression, panic etc] so she left Eugen with her
family. Eugen too might have been ill.

Thirdly, Eugen might have been born out of wedlock and
left behind because of the prevailing mores of the
period and then "reclaimed"!

The fact that Eugen does not appear in the censuses of
1881 and 1891 does not mean he did not stay with his
family at other times. The census was taken at one
point in time. Eugen may have stayed there many times
-but not on census day. Sometimes things like this do
happen; all this is obviously just guess work, but as
it is not so long ago, there may be descendants of
Eugen, or relatives of his wife, Winnie, who know the
true story - if he ever knew it or told it to them!
His birth certificate hopefully holds the clue - or
his naturalisation certificate, if it can be
retrieved. Siegmund, it is stated on the UK census was
from Hamburg.
One person who probably knew the full story is his
co-lodger in 1871 in Manchester, Leopold SCHLOSS.
Leopold was also a merchant >from Germany. In 1861 he
is a listed as a 19 year old shipping clerk. So what
became of him?

Celia Male [U.K.]

Footnote: I had great difficulty finding Siegmund
OPPENHEIM in the 1861 census. Find the 1861 England
and Wales census on a well-known genealogy site: Enter
"Cheshire" as a *county* and *Germany* as a birthplace
and leave all other fields *blank* - then scroll down
the 104 entries - you will find many wonderful
mistranscriptions and, believe it or not, our Siegmund
appears as ***S??mund Sp??***.
I have sent in a correction.

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

Ann Rabinowitz has also stepped in to try and help
Kirsten Beach solve the mystery of Eugen OPPENHEIM
left behind in Germany. Ann has found an immigrant of
that name arriving in NY in 1886 aged 16. However,
from the evidence we have, **our** Eugen OPPENHEIM was
born in Germany in 1873 and died in England in 1930:

A: England and Wales Census 1901:
Eugen OPPENHEIM abt 1873 German, Germany Head
Lambeth London
B: Death listing - UK
OPPENHEIM, Eugen (57) Brentford 3a 136 Apr-Jun 1930

The Eugen OPPENHEIM who is listed as a *Merchant* on
the Castle site arrived on 23 April 1886
aged 16 ie born 1870. I have check the site - he
appears to be the only OPPENHEIM arrival on that date.

I doubt very much he would have arrived aged 13 on his
own, listed as a *Merchant*, so he must have been 16
or older. I think we have a *doppelganger case* here -
ie two people of the same name but not identical.
Their dates of birth differ by three years, at least.

When I entered Eugen OPPENHEIM on the EIDB [Ellis
Island Database] I found 3 entries, birth dates were
1857 and 1874 [arrivals 1915, 1915, 1916] - and the
first name was Eugene, not Eugen. The first Eugen
living in London and listed as ethnicity "UK/German"
could be our Eugen travelling on a business trip.
There are also two younger Eugen OPPENHEIM with SSDI

So one has to be very careful to jump to conclusions
with a name which is not unique.

I agree Eugen could be the child of a first marriage
[see my earlier posting] but had he lived with his
family in Manchester, he would certainly have applied
for naturalisation before 1911 - after all his papa
Siegmund had been in England since 1861 and was, no
doubt, very proud to be British!

Celia Male [U.K.]

Ann Rabinowitz <annrab@...>

I had suggested to Kirsten Beach that Eugen Oppenheim may have been >from a
first marriage and that the wife had died leaving the child to be brought up
by his grandparents or other relatives whilst his father travelled on

The reason Eugen is not found in the British Census is that he was found
coming to New York >from Germany in 1886 at the age of 16.

Apparently, he travelled about for economic opportunities and business
reasons as other young people did in those days. It is not unusual that he
would have been away >from his family as family dislocations happened.

Many children were apprenticed too and lived with those they worked for. An
example is my grandfather whose father had died when he was a baby and who
was apprenticed in Vienna shortly after his bar mitzvah. This was some
distance >from his home in Drohobych, Ukraine.

Another example of a family dislocation is in my Yodaiken family where the
parents lived in northern Ireland whilst the eldest son cared for his
siblings in Dublin in southern Ireland.

Why these family dislocations occurred may never be known, but they were
common enough due to financial and other reasons.

Ann Rabinowitz