Saturday, March 21, 2015

Adam Kolker's Ordeal in 1853


I apologize for having been remiss in not posting on this blog for sometime. I have been involved in Thomas MacEntee’s “Genealogy Do-Over” project. In my case, it has not been an actual “Do-Over”; it’s been more of a “Go-Over”. I went back to the start to check my source citations and, as Thomas MacEntee said, many start out in genealogy and fail to do a good job of source citation. He was so very right! So, I have been going back and developing more accurate citations for ALL of the documents and information that I have come across so far. That has taken a lot of time and effort. But while I was at it, I also filled out research logs and made To-Do lists for each family. That has taken just as much time and effort. But I have to say, I’m a heck of a lot better organized now!

Back in August, 2013 I had a blog about Adam Kolker, my two-times great grandfather who was born near Fulda, Germany about 1835 and as an eighteen-year old came to America in 1853. He was aboard a ship called the New Era which had between 300-400 German immigrants aboard. On the night of November 13, 1853, the ship ran aground on the coast of New Jersey near modern day Asbury Park. Only 160 survived the ordeal with many just being washed overboard during the stormy night. Adam recalled in a Quincy newspaper, that he had survived by clinging to one of the ship’s masts. What a harrowing night that had to be.

I was fortunate enough to find an account of Heinrich Weckesser, who was also a survivor. He was also age 18 and, like Adam, survived by clinging to a mast. His story below must be very similar to what Adam experienced- who knows…. perhaps they were clinging to the same mast!