Tag Archives: 1887

The Rebmanns migrate to the United States of America

Niederbronn, Alsace, France
Gundershoffen, Alsace, France

(June 1, 1919) One of my great-grandparents on my mother’s side was Henry Rebmann, born 1865 in Gundershoffen, Alsace-Lorraine, France. The Rebmann family had been living in this area just north of Strasbourg since the 1600s at least, and then in the late 19th and early 20th century, all of the younger generation  migrated to the United States over a period of 17 years.

Alsace had been part of France since the 17th century, but in 1871, France lost the territory to the newly united Prussian Germany after the Germans defeated the French in the Franco-Prussian War. The language of Alsace became German instead of French, and 12,000 Germans came to occupy Alsace. I think these events may have been an influencing factor in the Rebmanns decision to leave Alsace.

Salomea (Sally) Rebmann was the first sibling to come to the United States. She arrived in New York by herself, at age of 17, in 1887, and she settled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. There she married Frederick Guenther in 1891. Frederick died in 1910 after their family had grown to 4 children. After Frederick’s death, Sally moved to San Francisco and lived near her son Fred and her daughter Rozzina. While in San Francisco she married a 2nd time to Joseph Gamble. She died at the age of 86 in San Francisco and is buried along with her son Fred in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California Anna and I recently visited her grave.

Dick in May 2019 at Salomea Rebmann Guenther’s grave in Colma, California

The second Rebmann to arrive in the US was my great-grandfather Henry, who was the oldest sibling. He migrated in 1888 and settled in Buffalo, New York. He worked in Buffalo as a stone cutter and wagon maker. He died in 1912 at the young age of 47. My grandmother Louise was only 14 at the time.

The third to arrive in the US, in 1886, was Carolina (Carrie) Rebmann. Carolina arrived at age 16 in 1902 and joined her sister Sally in Pittsburg.  In 1907 she married Frederick Berckmann in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carrie died a sad death in 1930 in the Longview Mental Hospital in Cincinnati. She and Fred had 5 children.

Carolina (Carrie) Rebmann

The last Rebmann to arrive in the USA was Peter, who was born in Niederbronn, Alsace. Peter was the third sibling and the fourth to migrate: he arrived in the United States in 1905. He settled in Buffalo, New York, where his brother, Henry, was also living. In fact, according to the 1910 US Census, Peter was living at that time with his brother and his family. Peter married Emma Wenske in 1919, and they raised a family of 4, all in the Buffalo area. Peter died in Buffalo in 1945.

Peter Rebmann and a child who is probably one of his own

All of these Rebmann siblings left their parents Henry and Marguerite behind in Alsace. As far as I can determine, the parents and children never saw each other again after they migrated. My mother knew of her great uncle Peter, but never mentioned either Sally or Carrie.

We are looking forward to floating past the Rebmanns’ former home, Alsace-Loraine, during our Rhine River cruise with the Livengoods this coming July!

For more information

Rebmann family page