Person:Karl Wackes (2)

Karl Louis WACKES, I
m. 1841
  1. Ferdinand Oswald WACKES1860 - 1932
  2. Karl Louis WACKES, I1862 - Abt 1920
m. Abt 1884
  1. Annie WACKES
  2. Frieda WackesAbt 1885 -
  3. Karl Louis WACKES, II1887 - 1951
  4. Rose WACKES1891 - 1964
  5. Florence WACKES1895 - 1979
  6. Helen WACKES - 1912
  7. George William Wackes1897 - 1970
  8. Gustave WACKES1899 - 1946
Facts and Events
Name Karl Louis WACKES, I
Gender Male
Birth? 15 Oct 1862 Suhl, Thuringen, Germany
Christening? 9 Nov 1862 Hauptkirche Luth, Suhl, Erfurt District, Thuringen
Marriage Abt 1884 Baltimore, Marylandto Emilie Augusta GRAF
Occupation? Weaver until abt. 1900. Then established Charles Wackes and Son Dairy Products in order to give son a vocation.
Death? Abt 1920 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Religion? Lutheran

A handwritten note with official seal from Suhl, Erfurt District, January 12, 1885, signed by the Registrar of the district, indicates that: 1 – According to the birth and baptismal records of the hauptkirche, Karl was born on October 15, 1862. 2 – He was baptized in November of the same year. 3 – His father died prior to his birth. His father was older and had children from a previous marriage. Karl and his brother were the only children of mother, father’s second wife.

Karl’s certificate of confirmation indicates the following: 1 – He was born October 15, 1862. 2 – Was baptized November 9, 1862 in the Hauptkirche (Marienkirche) in Suhl. 3 – He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Erfurt, March 25, 1877 at the age of 15.

A certificate of innoculation for Karl, dated August 10, 1863, lists his father as “J. Michael Wackes” and confirms his birth date as October 15, 1862. This would perhaps indicate that his father went by the name of Michael.

Karl Louis‘s mother died in 1880 when he was 18 years old. His father had died prior to his birth. He went to Bremen in 1884 at the age of 22 and set sail for Baltimore on the ship “Salier” on October 22, 1884, one week after his 22nd birthday, and landed in Baltimore on November 15, 1884. He listed his occupation as “waiter.” (Copy of ship ticket is in Ken Wackes’ possession)

Four lines of Wackes families emerged in Suhl. Those are present today as represented by Eckhardt in Hamburg, Rudolph in Stuttgart, Werner in Suhl, and Fritz in Suhl. The Johann Heinrich line, our line, is represented by Frtiz and his brother in Suhl. Their great-grandfather was the brother of our great-grandfather, Karl Louis.

Marriage and birth records from Wackes households in Suhl indicate that many of the men in the Rudolph Wackes line were weavers. (Records sent to me by Rudolph Wackes, Stuttgart) In attempting to trace the family Wackes’ origins, a story told by Rudolph Wackes in Stuttgart indicates that his father, an amatuer geneologist and motivated by the necessity under Hitler to prove one’s lineage to be truly Arian, stated that the Wackes family perhaps came originally from England. This is probably a result of his access to the Red Book, mentioned in the Wack Family records, but probably not factual.

According to this story received from Rudoph Wackes in Stuttgart, the family perhaps came originally from England. According to Rudolph’s story during the Thirty Years War in the 17th century, much of the German economy was destroyed. The Duke of Saxony brought several weavers and their families from England to rebuild the weaving industry. One of those families was Wackes. (Letter from Rudolph 1989) All of the records dating back to the mid–18th century, show the Wackes families to have lived in the Suhl area in Thuringia.

However, records examined in Salt Lake City at the Mormon center by Ken Wackes (1996) show that there were Wackes families in Suhl as far back as 1565, which preceeds the 30 Years War by at least several generations. Thus, the story from Rudolph is unlikely.

A second story from Eckhardt in Hamburg that the family came origianlly from the French/German border area was also mentioned by the Helmut Wackes family in Dusseldorf, that the family came from France. The latter mentioned names in Strassbourg, DeWackes. This story probably arises from the use of the name “Wackes” as a derrogatory name used for the Germans living in Alsace-Lorraine in eastern France. Always loyal to France, but caught in the often switching politics of the area, by which the area was at this time German, at that time French, and thus caught in frequent wars, the Germans in Alsace-Lorraine were viewed as low life. They were referred to as “Wackes.” A restaurant in Cologne, “Der Wackes,” specializes in Alsace-Lorraine cuisine.

Studies done by researchers in the Wack (not Wackes) family indicate that the name Wack and/or Wackes probably is of Latin derivation, meaning “vagabond, wanderer, foreigner.” It might also have to do with cattle, from the Latin for “cow,” “vaggas.”

The Zabern Affair of 1913 involved the disciplining of a German Army officer for his mistreatment of troops from Alsace-Lorraine and his demeaning of the entire area by referring to them as “Wackes,” which, according to the military records of the event, meant in that period of time, “screwball.”

This use of the name as a derrogatory term, and its usage when referring to Germans living in Alsace-Lorraine is documented in the book, State, society and mobilization in Europe during the First World War, edicted by John Horne, Cambridge University Press, 1997. See section two, “Solidarities and minorities,” chapter 7, “Wackes at war: Alsace-Lorraine and the failure of German national mobilization, 1914-1918,” by Alan Kramer. In that discussion the following statement is made. “In the years after 1905, the rediscovery of re-invention of Alsace-Lorraine culture contributed to the formation of regional identity. Newspapers and weeklies in French or Alsation dialect were founded, the concept of a unique ‘dual culture’ was popularized, and Alsace-Lorraine was seen a ‘bridge’ between France and Germany. Increasingly, discontent with German rule was expressed: in 1912 the number of men who evaded military service rose for the first time since 1874. This ambivalence of Alsace-Lorraine opinion towards the Reich presented a major challenge for the plitical and cultural mobilizatrion of German society for war. In effect, it posed the question of whether a strong regional identity displaying apparent affinities with what was now an enemy state could be successfully incorporated into that process. Germany’s ruling elite indeed saw the war as an opportunity to ‘germanize Alsace-Lorraine once and for all’ (Bethmann Hollweg) and ‘teach the Wackes a good lesson’ (former General Staff member Lieutenant-Colonel von Gleich).” (page 106)

Sometime in 1884 or early 1885 Karl Louis married Augusta Marie Graf. Marie was born in Eisleben, just to the north of Suhl, on August 6, 1863. She shares the same birthplace with Martin Luther.

Karl , who had listed his vocation as “waiter” when purchasing his ticket on the Salier, worked as a weaver after arriving in Baltimore. It was reported by his daughter Rose, and she to her daughter Florence, that Karl did not like the city of Baltimore nor the living or housing conditions. He moved his family to 432 Dufor Street in Philadelphia probably around the year 1893. That is the first year his name appears in the Philadelphia registry. (The 1893 Phila. registry shows his address as 442 Dufor Street) Later he bought the row house next door and combined both houses into one. His children attended the John H. Packard School. From 1893 through 1906 Karl’s occupation is listed in the directory as “spinner”. In 1909 the directory then lists his occupation as “Milk” and his address as 2800 Cambridge Street. The directory also indicates that sometime after arriving in America, Karl Americanized his name to “Charles.”

In 1909 Charles, Jr. is also listed in the directory, and both are listed in a third line of the registry as, “Charles L. Wackes and Son, Milk.” Charles, Jr. had married Annie Ahrens, the daughter of one of his customers, in 1907. Their separate residence is not listed until 1910.

The 1910 directory lists Charles, Jr’s address as 3010 N. 4th Street. The listings for father and son remain the same as in 1910 until the 1913 directory when the listing changes. Charles, Jr. is now listed as “Driver” and his address is 1738 N. Hollywood Street. In 1914 Charles, Jr’s address changes to 1743 N. Hollywood Street. In the 1915 directory Charles, Jr’s name is not listed again until the 1919 and 1920 directories, when it reappears and reads, “Charles L. Wackes, 2800 Cambridge Street; Charles L. Wackes, Jr., Milk, 2724 Master Street.” By this time all of the six chldren of Charles, Jr. and Annie Wackes (nee Ahrens) were born. The youngest, Paul George, was born in 1918.

In 1921 Charles, Sr. disappears from the registry and is replaced by his wife, “Augusta, Widow of Charles: 2800 Cambridge Street.” Charles, Jr. is listed as “Foreman, 2842 Master Street.” A new name appears, Gustave, Charle’s younger brother. He is listed as “Driver” and his residence is the same as Augusta.

In the 1923 listing is found: Chas. L., Jr. Foreman, 2842 Cambridge Street; Gustave, Milk, 1327 N. Marston Street; Marie (Widow Gustave) 2626 N. Wendel Street.

Charles, Sr. died of influenza in 1918 or 1919 during the severe world-wide flu epidemic. He was 56 or 57 years of age.

According to the story given to Florence Hipple from her mother, Rose, after Charles, Sr. (Karl) died his widow Augusta (who prefered the name Marie) had to sell the business to Turner and Wescott Dairy, the firm for which Charles, Jr. subsequently worked as a delivery man. She moved to River Road in Delair, New Jersey, next to her oldest daughter, Frieda. There she died at about the age 67.

This was at the outset of the Great Depression. Although she had been left much furniture, rentals, and properties by Charles, Sr., the people renting the properties could not pay their rents. She died holding title to properties, rentals and mortgages, but died without leaving a will. Many of the properties had to be sold in order to divide the assets among the children. Many of the properties were worthless due to the Depression. A feud developed among the children over the disposition of the property and Charles, Jr. separated himself from the family.

An additional cause of this separation, according to Florence, and affirmed by Annie herself to me, was the fact that his family considered Annie, his wife, to be “too religious.” His family probably saw him entrapped in some kind of cult, for Annie, her mother, Karolina, and sister Carrie, were very verbal in their practice of the Christian faith. They had departed from the nominal Lutheranism of the Wackes family, which, per Florence, was confined to baptism, confirmation, and little else.

In 1935 Charles, Jr., and Annie, decided to leave the urban areas of Philadelphia in order to provide a healthier environment for their youngest son, Paul, who was entering his senior year of high school. They moved to a new home at 812 North York Road in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Charles, Jr. resided in that home until his death in 1951. He continued his employment with Westcott Dairies as a delivery man until his retirement. He then took a position as a watchman for a ball bearing manufacturing company in Willow Grove.

Questions: Was there any relationship between Johann Michael and Karl Louis, and the other Wackes families of record who were in Suhl at this time? No linkage can be found. I have traced the lineage records of the Rudolph Wackes in Stuttgart, Werner in Suhl, and Eckhardt in Hamburg.

There is a Karl Frederick Wackes (1841–1887) and his wife Maria Louise Muller (1840–1887). Karl and Maria were married on February 9,1862 in the Church of the Cross in Suhl. Karl Frederick was a plasterer in Suhl. Johann Michael, Karl Louis’ father, was a plasterer. Karl Frederick and Maria Louise would have been married for eight months when Karl Louis was born. Is it possible that Karl Frederick was the younger brother of Karl Louis’ father, Johann? Young Karl might even have been named for Karl Frederick. Both Karl Frederick and Maria died in 1887, in their 40’s and within three years of Karl Louis’ departure for America.

Another family of record is Wolfgang Heinrick (1797–1867) and Johanna Dorothea Minsch (1799–1853) who were married on February 2, 1844, Were they related to Johann Michael? Were they his parents? Johanna died in 1853. More likely, Wolfgang Heinrick and Johann Michael were of similar age and perhaps cousins?

The family of Hugo Wackes (Stuttgart) trace their family line back through Karl Frederick, who could have been Johann Michael’s step brother or cousin. However, such a matter would not preclude the earlier speculation that Karl Frederick was uncle to Karl Louis.