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Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter,
Brother of My Grandfather
Adolph Schlatter

 

My examination of documents in my mother's possession at time of her death lead me to conclude that my grandfather Adolph Schlatter had two brothers:  Alfred Schlatter, and, Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter.  I do not know the provenance of these documents except that they were in my mother's possession for years, stashed away in her collection of family "stuff" -- photos, photo albums, folders, envelopes, and boxes of "stuff."

Evidence of Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter, brother of Adolph Schlatter

 Documents pertaining to Heinrich Schlatter are:

  • A Swiss “Family Origin Certificate” Heimatschein.  This document was issued by the regional government where an individual was born.  People were required to carry this document with them and use the document to register with local authorities when moving from one region to another.

  •  A Swiss military service book, Dienstbuchlein.  All male Swiss citizens are required to undergo military training and to be available for military service.  They are required to attend regular drill and training and this book is used as a record of a Swiss citizen’s military service.

  •  A ship manifest recording the entry of Reinhold Schlatter into the US on 3 April 1892.

  •   A bank account book


Reinhold Schlatter's "Family Origin Certificate,"  Heimatschein.

Check out these photos.

The document titled Heimathschein, also spelled Heimatschein – Certificate of Family Origin -- measures 9 X 14, is very fragile, has been folded into quarters. 

Written on the front of the document, in German:  

Heimathschein
fur
Reinhold Schlatter ?????
???
Oberglatt ??? 1866
??? D. 11 Dezember
1883

The entry indicates this document is the Family Origin Certificate for Reinhold Schlatter, born in Oberglatt, 1866; certificate issued 11 December 1883.

Here is a view of the inside of the document.  This document is slightly over 14 inches long and is too long for my scanner, so, this photo cuts off the bottom of the document where there are seals and stamps.  I studied two years of German in college 40 years ago and I'll try to translate some of this.

Start at the top of the document with the printed word  Heimatschein and count that as Line #1.

The following is written on Line 7ledigen Standes, geboren im Jahre eintausend achthundert ?????? ?? ?????  1866.D.13. September.   This translates to:  “ledigen Standes, born in year one-thousand eight-hundred _________”.   Thus, this document states that Reinhold Schlatter was born 13 September 1866.

 Written on Line 15 is:  “Gegeben zu Oberglatt den 11 Dezember 1883.”  This translates to:  “Given at (or to) Oberglatt 11 December 1883.”  This probably means that the document was completed on 11 December 1883 at the town of Oberglatt.  Reinhold would have been 17 years old in December 1883.  He may have applied for this document so he could travel to another part of Switzerland for work or school.


Reinhold Schlatter's Military Service Record

In Switzerland, all males are required to undergo military training with regular drills and training to keep their skills current.  At some point there was a system whereby a male citizen would pay a fee or fine if he did not attend regular drills.  Here is Reinhold Schlatter's Dientsbuchlein -- military service book.

This is a 64-page booklet with front and back cover, measures 4-1/2 X 7-1/2 inches.  The pages from inside front cover to page 34 are blanks to be filled in wiht various information -- personal data, drill record, equipment issue, and the like.  Beginning at page 35 and continuing to the end of the book is a section titled:  XIII. Organisation der schweizerischen Armee -- Organization of the Swiss Army.  

 

On the left is the slip cover that holds the book.  The label on the slip cover reads: "Dienstbuchlein fur Adolf Schlatter ????." However, the cover of the book itself reads: 

Dienstbuchlein
fur
Schlatter Reinhold
??? Oberglatt in Ganderswil 1866
Zurich

 I cannot explain the entry on the slip cover that identifies this as Adolph Schlatter's book -- all information in the inside of the book appears to pertain to Reinhold.  I guess this will have to be a mystery.  Now, let's look inside the book.

On the right-hand page in this photo, we find the following.  The first four lines seem to identify the military unit.  Then, about one-fourth of the way down the page is the heading:  I.  Personalien -- Personal Information.

 German Heading Entry Translation
Familienname Schlatter Family name:  Schlatter
Vorname Heinrich Reinhold First name:  Heinrich Reinhold
Vorname des Vaters* Josef Father's first name:  Josef (Joseph)
Beruf Cannot read the entry Beruf =  Occupation
Burgerort Oberglatt  Kanton Zurich  Birthplace:  Oberglatt, Zurich Canton
Wohnort Ganterswil Sektion Gantersswil Residence:  Ganterswil (town in St. Gallen Kanton where my grandfather Adolph was born)
Geburtsjahr 18____ 66 Birth year 18 66

Written next to this entry, in pencil, is Sept 11  -- looks like Sept 77 but there are three instances in the book where the number 7 was written and the Swiss use the slashed 7 , typical of European annotation.  This entry, then, reads "Sept 11."  Reinhold's family certificate (above) lists his birth date as 13 September, this document says 11 September.  I cannot explain this discrepancy.

From this information we learn that his full name is Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter and his father's name was Josef (Joseph). 

Pages 20-21 appear to be a record of his drills, training, or other military activity.  Note on page 20, VIII.  Dienstleistung oder Bezhalung, there are annual entries from 1886 to 1892.  The annual entries indicate he attended annual drills between 1886 (20 years old) to 1892.

 

Under the Swiss military system, anyone who does not attend annual drills is required to pay a fee.   The word Dienstleistung has something to do with  service.  The German word “to pay” (as in pay a fee, or pay a bill) is “bezahlung.”  So, this seems to be a record of his attending drills, or, paying the fee for not attending.

Note the entries made annually, listed in the far left column, starting in 1886 and ending in 1892. 

Here's one more page from Reinhold's military service book.

The heading on this page -- Wohnorts -- may have something to do with Reinhold's residence -- the German word wohnen means to live (as in a residence -- I live in Zurich would be Ich in dem Zurich wohnen.)  This may be a listing of Reinhold's residences.  Note the first entry -- upper left corner -- is 29 September 1885 and the last entry is 21 March 1892.

Now -- check out the next document.


Reinhold Schlatter arrives in the U.S.

This is a screen shot of the Ellis Island ship manifest showing Reinhold Schlatter's entry into the US, 3 April 1892, from LeHavre, France.  I assume this man is my grandfather's brother Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter.  The information on this document states:

  •  Reinhold Schlatter
  •  26 years old.  The date of his arrival was 3 April 1892, placing his birth date in 1866 -- same as Reinhold's birth date.
  •  Occupation is farmer.
  •  From Switzerland.
  •  Destination is New York.


Reinhold Schlatter's bank account book

And now we come to Reinhold Schlatter's bank account book.

Account book from the Southwestern Building and Loan Association of New Orleans, Brunswick, GA, Branch.  Note the following:

  •  Account holder is Reinhold Schlatter

  •  The vertical notation written in red is: "Duplicate."

Now, let's look inside the account book.  There are only two pages of entries.

Read the entry at the top left, first line:  "Feby 1/93."  In the same column, seven rows below the Feby 1/93 entry is the date 1894 Jany 17 -- 17 January 1894.

On the left-hand page is an entry written vertically.  This entry reads:  "Entered according to account in Ledger 4, Folio 1764. Jany 20/94. by Gabriel Fernandez, Jr."

I interpret the dates Feby 1/93 and Jany 20/94 to be 1 February 1893 and 20 January 1894, respectively.  These dates would fit with a ship manifest indicating that someone named Reinhold Schlatter entered the US in April 1892 -- see below.


Reinhold Schlatter Died of Yellow Fever, November 1893

His gravesite

On 7 March 2010 I decided to try to track down more information about Reinhold Schlatter.  I happened upon a website, www.findagrave.com .  The website provides a place for people to enter information about gravesites -- names on headstones, information on the headstone, location, photos, and other information.  On this website are records of over 26 million gravesites with more being added -- looks as though the work is done by volunteers or cemetery offices.

Because the last location I had for Reinhold was Brunswick, GA, I searched for gravesites for last name = Schlatter and state = Georgia.  I really did not expect to find much -- was I surprised.  There is one entry for a Schlatter grave in Georgia:

  • Reinhold (or Reginald) Schlatter; b. 11 Sep 1866, d. 20 Nov 1893
  •  Palmetto Cemetery, Brunswick, GA
  • Entered by a volunteer, Don Woody

This must be my grandfather's brother because:

  •  Same birth date -- 11 September 1866
  •  According to Reinhold's bank account book, he was in Brunswick, GA, in late 1893.

Now, there is a small discrepancy that I believe is not a problem.  According to the cemetery data -- which I assume was copied from his headstone -- Reinhold died on 20 November 1893.  However, his bank account book shows entries as late as January 1894.  This is not a problem because, after his death, someone would have settled his estate.  In the process of settling his estate, his bank account would have been closed and the proceeds sent to his relatives, heirs, or disposed of in some manner.  The January entries probably were related to closing his estate.

Note in the bank account book that deposits were made through 16 September 1893, then four deposits were made in January 1894 -- two each on 3 January and 17  January.  I suspect these deposits were earnings due him before his death and the account was brought up-to-date then closed after his death.  I have no idea who would have settled his estate.  However, my grandfather Adolph came to the U. S. in August 1890; his brother Alfred arrived earlier in April 1890; finally, his brother Reinhold arrived in 1892.  It seems as though the brothers would have been in contact with each other, thus, Alfred and Adolph probably knew of their brother's death and one or both of them settled Reinhold's estate or had someone in Brunswick, GA, settle the estate.

Cause of death:  Yellow fever

After I found the gravesite information, I contacted my brother to tell him about this discovery.  My brother got busy with Google and found Reinhold's cause of death.

http://www.glynngen.com/newspapers/obits/S.htm

SCHLATTER, R.
Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003; The Atlanta Constitution; 21 November 1893

ONE CASE AND ONE DEATH—The Weather Growing Colder and Hopes Are Entertained of Frost.

            Brunswick, Ga., November 20—Only one case of yellow fever reported today.  Miss Hattie Mock, white.  There was one death, R. Schlatter, white.  Eight patients were discharged, three of them being whites, as follows:  Elizabeth Gale, E.H. Peterson, Joseph Luke.
            The weather has been growing colder since early morning, with a light northeast wind, which now seems veering toward the north.  Some entertain hopes of frost.  The thermometer at 7 o-clock p.m. registered 31 degrees.

 

This article suggests the Brunswick, GA, area experienced a yellow fever epidemic that was abating in November.  We see that on 20 November 1893 only one death was reported -- R. Schlatter.  The date of death on Reinhold Schlatter's headstone is 20 November 1893.

I also found a webpage for the Palmetto Cemetery, Brunswick, Georgia, that contains an index of all burials up to 2002.  Reinhold Schlatter is shown in this listing with birth date of 11 September 1866, date of death 20 November 1893, buried in "Yellow Fever Lot 36-1."
   http://www.glynngen.com/cemetery/glynn/palmetto.htm

Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter's gravesite -- separate page.


Conclusions

From the foregoing, I conclude:

  •  Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter was born 11 or 13 September 1866 in Oberglatt, Switzerland.

  •  His father’s name was Josef.

  • He was a brother of my grandfather, Adolph Schlatter, born 1863, Ganterswil, Switzerland.

  •  He came to the US on 3 April 1892.

  •  In 1893 he worked in Brunswick, Georgia.

  •  He died on 20 November 1893 of yellow fever and was buried in Brunswick, Georgia.  He was a few months past his 27th birthday when he died.

Now, here is an interesting sideline.

My grandparents John Adolph Schlatter and Emma Waldner had three sons:

  • John A. Schlatter, born 1911, died 1960

    • It is possible that Adolph named his first son after himself – John Adolph Schlatter.

  • Joseph Augustus Schlatter, born 1915, died 2005 (my father)

    •  Adolph named his second son Joseph Augustus.  The “Joseph” could have come from Adolph’s father, Josef (Joseph).  Joseph’s mother, Emma, told my mother that she selected the name Augustus because he was born on 1 August 1915. 

  • Frederick Reinhold Schlatter, born 1921, died 2010

    • Frederick Reinhold Schlatter, the third son, may have been named for Adolph’s two brothers – Fred (Alfred, Frederick ) Schlatter and Heinrich Reinhold Schlatter.  (And -- we are not certain that my Uncle Fred is named Frederick Reinhold Schlatter -- on his citizenship application, Adolf listed his third son's name as "Alfred" -- which makes sense because Adolph's brother was named Alfred.  That's a project for another day.)


 

 

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