My great-great grand aunt Helene Johanna Kamrath was born on 29 Jul 1866 near the city of Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia.
She was the third child of my 3x great-grandfather Carl Kamrath (1831-1900) and the first child Carl had with his second wife Auguste Henriette Sense (1841 – 1892). She completed an 8th grade education in Prussia, then when she was seventeen years old Helene came to the US aboard the “SS Bohemia” with her 15-year-old sister Anne. They left from the port of Hamburg, Germany on 14 October 1883 and arrived in New York harbor on 29 October 1883.
Their older sister Auguste had come to America before the two girls, and probably arrived early in 1883 since Auguste married her first husband Simon Wimmer in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin in June of 1883. In May of 1885 the rest of the Kamrath family came to Wisconsin to join the three sisters in the US. They arrived on the “SS Hammonia”.
Helene married Johann Tisch (1858 – 1930) on 2 November 1888 in Marathon County, Wisconsin and they settled in the town of Wein in Marathon County, Wisconsin.
In the 1900 Census for Wein, Johann is listed as a day laborer and Helene is listed as a cook in a lumber company boarding house. She is also listed as the mother of five children, three of whom are alive.
Apart from the two children who died in infancy, the Tisches had six children: Arnold Carl Herman Tisch (1889 – 1919), Alfred Heinrich F Tisch (1892 – 1988), Edwin A Carl Tisch (1897 – 1978), Alexander Johann Tisch (1901 – 1983), Ira Edwin Tisch (1901 – 1995), and Amy E Tisch (1904 – 1981).
According to her obituary, the Tisch family moved from Wein, Wisconsin to the town of Roy in Pierce County, Washington that same year of 1900. Many Prussian immigrants from Wisconsin who had been working directly or indirectly in the logging and timber industry moved out to Washington state when the forests of Northern Wisconsin began to be depleted. Virgin timber stands in Washington meant new job opportunities for those with experience in the industry.
Once they got to Washington, however, the family seems to have settled into farming. In the 1910 census for Tanwax Precinct [Roy], Washington, Johann is listed as a farmer, and his wife and three oldest children are also listed as working on the family farm. This remained the case, more or less, for the 1920 census for Lacamas Precinct [Roy], Washington.
Helene’s sister Auguste had moved to Roy in 1890 and in the 1920 census the two families appear on the same page of the report, so it’s probable that Helene wanting to be near her sister was a factor in the Tisch family decision to move to Washington state.
In 1926 the family moved to nearby Pullyup where Johann continued to farm until his death on 26 October 1930 at the age of 72. He was buried in the Roy Cemetery.
In the 1940 census, Helene is living alone at 1105 9th Avenue in Puyallup, Washington.
Helene died of liver cancer 11 years later on 26 November 1941 at the home of her son Edwin.
She was buried next to her husband in the Roy Cemetery.