Zierke / Hardow Family: A Discovery in the 1900 Census

My cousin Doris from Germany was asking me about my Zierke family members, so I was putting together a synopsis of the most important information about the four Zierkes who came to America from Prussia.  I have written about this previously, so I refer you to my previous post on Zierke Family Origins for more details, but basically four members of the Zierke family came to America [via Québec] in 1865:

Friedrich Zierke was born in Prussia about 1806 according to the passenger list for his voyage to the US.  We have no other record of him except that he died before 1900 because his wife was a widow in that census.

Dorothea “Dora” Hardow was born in Prussia on 7 July 1814, according to her death record.  The 1900 census says “Aug 1814”.  We have no record of her whereabouts between her arrival in 1865 and the 1900 census where she appears living alone in Harris, Wisconsin next to her son Friedrich Zierke.  She died on 2 Mar 1901 and was buried in Harris in a private cemetery.

Friedrich “Fred” Zierke Jr. was born in Prussia on 16 Dec 1835.  He purchased the 40-acre Zierke homestead in Harris, Wisconsin within 10 months of his arrival, and married Wilhelmine Schulz in November of either 1866 or 1867.  They had nine children, four of which died in infancy.  Fred lived on the farm in Harris until his death from intestinal problems on 12 Sept 1912.

Anna Rosina “Rosa” Zierke was born in Prussia on 7 Aug 1846.  After arriving in the US she married Heinrich A. L. Thalacker, a Civil War veteran from Hanover, Germany, on 17 Jul 1867.  They had 13 children.  Four of them (Mary, Ida, John, August) died of Diptheria in 1882.  Their little tombstones are still visible in the Hallman Cemetery near Harris, Wisconsin.  “Rosa” died 10 Jan 1927.

Specifically, I was writing to Doris to mention that three of Friedrich Sr’s and Dora’s kids died in Prussia before the family came over here.  I wanted to double-check that, so I checked the 1900 census, which does indeed say that Dora had 5 children, of which 2 (Friedrich and Anna Rosina) were living in 1900 [click to enlarge].  You can also see that she’s living near her son Friedrich, who is just two entries down from hers:

1900 Census for Harris, Marquette, WIsconsin

1900 Census for Harris, Marquette, Wisconsin

That’s when I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before.  Two entries up from Dora is an entry for Michael Hardow and his wife Rosalie Hardow.  Micheal was born in August of 1821 in Prussia, and his wife was born in May of 1823.  That makes a difference of about seven years between Dora and Michael.  Prime candidates to be her brother and sister-in-law, if you ask me!

After a trip to Harris to get many records, it turns out this family is actually Hadow, and not Hardow.  This is, in a way, good news.  Hardow is, from what I understand, a Dutch name.  It was hard to find any records for Hardow.  Hadow, on the other hand, is a name that is more easily found in Prussian records.  I’ve still not found a “smoking gun” linking the two families, but there are some promising signs that the family of Michael Hadow could be the same as Dorothea “Hardow” from my Zierke family.

About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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