Sunday, March 4, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 9 "Where there's a Will..."

Guardianship paper from the will of Hermann Burbach[i]

This is the guardianship paper which is part of the probate packet associated with the will of Hermann Burbach. According to Hermann’s Last Will and Testament, his wife Eva was to be his executor. 

Hermann died 12 April 1896 at the age of 44 years. He immigrated with his parents arriving from Villmar, Nassau, Hesse, Germany in 1856.[ii]  The family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Hermann’s father Georg worked at various jobs until Georg became a cattle drover in 1863. This was the beginning of the families connection to the meat industry.

In 1872 George became a cattle dealer while sons John and Herman held jobs unrelated to their father’s occupation. In 1874 John became a butcher while Hermann worked as a bookkeeper and they both lived with their parents at 1830 Walnut St in Milwaukee.[iii]

In 1876 Hermann had a butcher shop at 1530 Walnut where he also lived. He was working with his father Georg who lived nearby at 1830 Walnut. 1876 is also the year that Hermann married Eva Schmitz in Gesu Catholic Church in Milwaukee.[iv]

As the years passed Hermann and Eva became the parents of six children who survived infancy, and his butcher shop flourished with the addition of his brother John to the team. The family continued to remain on Walnut St over the years often seeming to trade residences. The business stayed at 1530 Walnut.

Hermann and Eva's son John tragically died by drowning in the Milwaukee River on 12 May 1893.[v] He had been rafting on the river with friends when the raft capsized, and he was trapped underwater.

Unfortunately, when Hermann died on 12 April 1896, he and John had just entered into a real estate contract with Herman Frey for the sale of property in the amount of $16,000.00 ( $465, 150.36 in current value[vi] . This sale had not yet closed and was one of the reasons for the delay in closing probate.

At the time the guardianship papers were filed, 21 April 1896, Hermann’s net worth was established as $3,500.00 ( $101,751.64 in current value[vii])

It is of note that in 1896, Hermann and Eva’s children Katie 19, George 17, Peter 13, Charles 11, and Henriette 9 were considered infants by the court and appointed a guardian ad litem.

It wasn’t until 9 July 1896 that Eva Schmitz Burbach was finally given permission to complete the real estate contract thus adding closure to Hermann’s estate.

Hermann Burbach is buried in a family plot in Calvary Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

[i] Wisconsin, Wills and Probate Records, 1800 – 1987 for Hermann Burback, Probate Packets, 1850-1910; Author: Wisconsin. County Court (Milwaukee County); Probate Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Packets, No 11740-11761 Ii, 1896, datebase online, images 146-1560
[ii] Struck Wolf-Heino, "Die Auswanderung aus dem Herzogtum Nassau 1806-1866," passenger and immigration lists index,, ( : 28 February 2004), immigration of Georg Burbach and family page 141; Gale Research Company.
[iii] Milwaukee City Directory (Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:n.p., 1874), page 88; digital image, ( : online 8 March 2016).
[iv] Marriage, , Marriage Register of Gesu Church (English), Roman Catholic, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Gesu), Wisconsin.
[v] Wisconsin Death Records 1867-1907 Wisconsin State Historical Society,, database ( : online database 11 March 2016), John Burbach.
[vii] ibid