14 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2020 9:45 AM by Joyce Ehrbar

    Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert

    Joyce Ehrbar Newbie

      Julius Gerbert, born on 18 May 1870, is my great-grandfather. His immigration is shown as 1880 on U.S. Census records from 1900, 1920, 1930 and 1940.  I was always told that Julius was a young boy who arrived in the United States without his parents. There are records for his entire adult life (after marriage), residing in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and his year of immigration was identical on every census record (1880), but I don’t know where in Germany that he was born, or where he arrived in the States.  I’ve never had any luck finding any immigration records.  Can someone help me in my quest to discover why such a young boy arrived alone, or if he arrived with other family? He was just too young to be alone.  Thank you!

        • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
          Alice Lane Adventurer

          Hi Joyce,

          I found your family's family tree on familysearch.org. It appears that they are from Baden, Baden, Germany It is a free website but you will need to join to search. Here is a link to family tree.



          Did not find immigration record yet.

          Good luck

          and Best wishes


            • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
              Joyce Ehrbar Newbie

              Dear Alice,



              I greatly  appreciate your response, but the FamilySearch record is not accurate.  Johann Gerber and his wife are NOT the parents of Julius and I’m surprised they were part of the tree at this site.  Johann’s birth is 1866; my great-grandfather was born in 1870... to a 4-year-old father?  His marriage record also indicates that Johann and Theresia were married in 1894... by 1880, Julius was in the United States.  I always thought the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints was a superior source for accurate genealogy records, but apparently the information being posted by their contributors is not being checked for accuracy... a major disappointment.  I honestly don’t know where else to look.


              Most sincerely, Joyce Ehrbar

            • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
              Alice Lane Adventurer

              Hi again,

              I tried another search, but unfortunately, like you was unable to find any other information.

              A real mystery.

              Good Luck

              Best Wishes


              • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                Michael Palmer Newbie

                If Julius entered the United States through Boston in or about 1880, you will not find a record of his arrival, as the passenger arrival lists for the 9 years from 31 March 1874 and to April 1883 no longer exist.


                Several genealogies on Ancestry state that Julius was born in "Boden", but I cannot find this word in any of the documents to which this statement points. Does this, or a similar, word appear in any document (and if so, can you post an image, or URL) or is this just "noise"?


                Also, (1) what religious affiliation is Julius, and does the church record (not the "Town Record) of the marriage list any family particulars (date/place of birth, names of parents); and (2) do you have a copy of Julius's original registration with Social Security?

                  • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                    Joyce Ehrbar Newbie

                    I wasn’t aware of the missng Boston records.  I can’t thank you enough for your interest in helping me.  Even though my Dad, his grandson, grew up in the same town as his father’s family, he was raised by his maternal French grandparents and was never allowed to associate with “those Germans.”  It’s sad to think about how deeply that prejudice hurt so many in the family.  Julius’ son, Edward, a WWI veteran, and the keeper of the family records, died at age 103 and his files were destroyed... his daughter-in-law told me, “No one wanted those old papers.”  I do know the family was Lutheran, so I will write to the church in Holyoke.  The only mention of Julius’ parents was on his marriage certificate, but since Julius was illiterate, the clerk apparently tried spelling by what she heard (and he had a heavy German accent)... Gerbert was changed to Garbot, and his parents were listed as John and Theresa.  The FamilySearch site listed a Johann and Theresia Gerber, but that was incorrect info, since the father listed was only 4 years older than Julius and the couple were married years after Julius was in the States.


                    I guess I may never know where he immigrated from, but I was always more interested in learning his personal story... why he arrived alone at such a young age.


                    My heartfelt gratitude for your responses, Joyce Ehrbar

                  • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                    Nalia Warmack Newbie



                    I tried running 'Julius Gerbert' and alternate spellings of his name through the Ellis Island passenger search - unfortunately without any results. Spelling mistakes not being uncommon, he could still have come through New York so I am afraid it does not add much knowledge.


                    I do know of a resource that might prove useful in identifying where in Germany Mr. Gerbert was from. If you know the names of his parents you can try running it through this sight: http://www.adressbuecher.net/addressbooks

                    It is essentially a collection of historic address books. If you can find a round about location you could then search here: http://data.matricula-online.eu/en/  for further records. It is an archive of digitized baptismal, death, birth, and marriage records - mainly Germany with surrounding European countries. Unfortunately, it is only searchable by location not name.  


                    Wish I could help more. Best of luck!

                    • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                      Rebecca Collier Ranger

                      Dear Ms. Ehrbar,


                      Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                      In each of the U.S. Census records, his citizenship status is noted as “alien.”  According to the Massachusetts Death Index on Ancestry, he lived until 1948.  Therefore, he would have been required to submit an Alien Registration Form (AR-2) between August and December 1940 per requirements of the Alien Registration Act.  On the AR-2, immigrants had to provide details about their entry to the US (date, port, name of vessel, etc).  The information recorded on his AR-2 should be helpful in tracking down the formal passenger arrival record. 


                      The AR-2 form (and any other existing documentation created by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)) may be requested through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Genealogy Program (www.uscis.gov/genealogy).


                      We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


                      [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]


                      2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                          Joyce Ehrbar Newbie

                          I honestly don’t know how to adequately express my gratitude for the outstanding information you provided.  I’ve visited the site and gladly paid the $65 fee to obtain the Alien Registration Index, required to begin a records search.  This information has given me a genuine ray of hope that I might actually find Julius’ place of birth :-). 


                          I’m overwhelmed by the kindness of the individuals on this site who were willing to help me, and the number of responses that offered such an incredible wealth of knowledge about researching an immigrant relative. 

                          If this avenue works, I’ll definitely let everyone know.  THANK YOU!!!  THANK YOU!!!

                        • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                          ellimac Newbie

                          Hi Joyce,

                          I came across your post and i researched on Ancestry.com . Do you have an account there? I happened across a family that lists Julius J Gerber i came across the following:


                          Julius J Gerbert

                          Birth: 18 May 1870 Boden, Amberg-Sulzbach, Bayern, Germany

                          Marriage :11 Oct 1890 Holyoke, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA

                          Residence: 1940 Holyoke, Hampden, Massachusettes, USA

                          Death: 16 Mar 1948 Holyoke, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA


                          Parent as Johann Gerbert and mother as Mary Emma Dressel (1869-1952)

                          ?? This is all i could find dear..I wish you the best... i will ck periodically Good day,

                          Catherine E

                            • Re: Seeking 1880 German immigration record for Julius Gerbert
                              Joyce Ehrbar Newbie

                              I‘ve had an account on Ancestry for several years.  Although the dates (birth, marriage, death) are accurate, the other information is not.  Julius’ mother was not Mary Dressel, she was his wife.  If you click on any of the trees with location information for Julius (other than the country, Germany, which can be verified with census recirds), you won’t find any with a source.  I’ve often wondered why people post locations without any valid documentation (just blindly accepting info found on someone else’s tree).  I know someone mentioned FamilySearch indicated his father was Johann Gerber, but that individual was only 4 years older than Julius...  very doubtful about the paternity :-).


                              I deeply appreciate your interest in helping me.  I’m still hoping I’ll eventually obtain some factual records with his birth information.... but after all these years, I’m quite certain, I won’t find this information with an Ancestry search.