You may have gotten here through a link from Genealogy.com. There's a link at the bottom of this page to get back to Genealogy.com, where I have posted pictures and other information on my Mother's side of the family, The Stephensons, the Joyces, the Forresters. I will be continuing to add pictures on that page and to this one.
This site is the ONLY one with the family tree information for both the Meyer/Gerdes' AND the Stephenson/Joyce/Forresters. If you find any information that may be in error, please let me know and I will correct the data. If you have any old pictures or documents, please send copies to include on our site.
You will also notice that we can post pictures of individuals on the tree itself, so send your pictures.
Update May 24, 2002 - I added a link at the bottom of this page (Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston Immigration Database) to the site were I found the ship that Vincent Meyer and family came over on. When you get to the site, you must register(free). Sign up, get your password via e-mail, then do a search on a ship named "Fried. Grosse", which is actually "Friedrich Grosse". You will see the following names listed as having arrived on 10/18/1853; Abelt and 6 others (Frank Appelt and family), J. Elsterer and 5 to 7 others (Joseph Elstner and family), Fr. and J. Hausmann (Frank and Joseph Hausman and 2 others - (probably Knabel and Beshge Hausman), K. and F. Schaefer (Joseph and Frank Schaefer, and W. Meier and 6 others (Vincent and family).
Please scroll down to the "Photo" section of this page and find the image of the Joseph F. Meyer Obituary, which was typed to be published in the Schulenburg newspaper that Gilbert "Gibbo" Gerdes, my 1st Cousin Once Removed, sent me so you can see the original of the 1929 information that furnished all the clues to assure that we had the correct ship.
Also, I have posted an image from a book that was referenced from the Seaport Museum website, by Ethel Hander Geue, 1970, "New Homes In a New Land - German Immigration to Texas". That book contains an image of a part of a newspaper article that was published 24 October, 1853 in the Neu-Braunfelser Zeitung (New Braunfels). The book has an index with the names in alphabetical order, with dates and ships that arrived in Texas between 1847 thru 1861.
I recently secured an image of a painting of the ship. As an interesting fact, I found that a painting of the Bark Friedrich Grosse was sold in Hamburg, Germany on 12/14/2001 for approximately $12,000.00. I have added a link to the news release at the bottom of the page. Another interesting fact that I learned was that the Artist of that painting, Fritz Muller, came to America in about 1864, served in the Civil War and was killed in battle.
Update April 21, 2005-We HAVE found information on the arrival of Henry (Heinr.), Mary Frances (Franziska), Casper (Caspar), Henry Jr., and Elizabeth Gerdes to New Orleans in 1867. As you may know, two hurricanes ravaged Indianola (Their final destination) in 1875 and 1886.
Update April 12, 2005-I recently received some additional information on the Podsim (furnished by Wanda Kaiser and Mary Margaret Meyer) and Schaefer (furnished by Quentin Schaefer) branchs of the family plus some additional info on other individuals in the Meyer line.
Update June 22, 2005-Yesterday I found a burial record at the Clayton Library in Houston for Henry Gerdes in a Victoria cemetery listing. He is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery #1 in the city. Florian Meyer and son are also found in LaGrange in 1867 and more information on the Joseph F. and Benjamin F. Gerdes families have been added. See the Tree for additional information. I also added the picture of the S.S. Bavaria.
Update July 20, 2005-I have added additional information on Elizabeth Gerdes and her family line plus more details on many other individuals.
- The Meyer Girls (25 KB)
This photo was sent by Cousin Gibbo Gerdes. He recently found it among his Dad's things. The girls are: back row, left to right, Julia and Antonia (my grandmother), and front row is Barbara and Helena (Aunt Lanie). The picture was taken in about 1878. Antonia and Helena married Gerdes brothers (Antonia/Casper Sr. and Helena/Benjamine Sr.) Refer to the tree at the top of this page for more information.
- 1949 Article about "Dilly" and "Dick" Gerdes (194 KB)
This article was published in the Corpus Christi Caller about my Dad, Hilary "Dilly" Gerdes and his brother Gaylord "Dick" Gerdes.
- Friedrich Grosse-A listing of the Ship's Manifest (373 KB)
This is an image I found at the Dallas Library from a book that shows where the ship's manifest was published. We still have not found an original. See the information on Vincent and Joseph Meyer, Frank Appelt, Joseph Elstner, Frank Schaefer, Frank Hausmann, and K. Schroeder and their families.
- S.S. Bavaria (10 KB)
This is an image of the S.S. Bavaria, the ship on which Henry, Mary Francis and children immigrated. The "Bavaria" was built by Caird & Co, Greenock in 1856 as the "Petropolis" for the Hamburg Brazilian Steam Navigation Co. She was a 2,405 gross ton ship, length 282.1ft x beam 39.4ft, clipper stem, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a speed of 10 knots. There was accommodation for 50-1st, 136-2nd and 310-3rd class passengers. Launched on 30/10/1856, she left Hamburg on her maiden voyage to Southampton, Lisbon, Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro on 20/2/1857. She commenced her last voyage on this service on 20/11/1857 and was then sold to Hamburg America Line. Renamed "Bavaria" on 21/10/1858, she started her first Hamburg - Southampton - New York voyage on 1/11/1858. In October 1867 she inaugurated the company's first Hamburg - New Orleans voyage and in 1871 was fitted with compound engines by C.A.Day & Co, Southampton. Her last Hamburg - New York voyage commenced on 25/10/1873 and she subsequently sailed between Hamburg and the West Indies. Purchased by the Dominion Line on 1/11/1876, she sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans on 7/12/1876 but was destroyed by fire at sea on the homeward passage on 6/2/1877 with no loss of life. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P. Bonsor, vol.1, p.388] [South Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P. Bonsor] - [Posted to The ShipsList by Ted Finch - 31 July 1998]. Additional information about the ship is at:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ariepe/SHIPS/A-C.htm
- Hilary Paul Gerdes, My Dad, The Aggie (69 KB)
Dad attended Texas A&M in about 1937. In this photo, he looks remarkably like my nephew, John Michael Gerdes
- Friedrich Grosse - A PICTURE of THE PAINTING (388 KB)
This picture, as I understand, is copyrighted, so please don't publish it anywhere. It was painted by Fritz Muller, who was also a sea captain, immigrated to America, joined the Union, and was killed in battle. We don't know if he ever captain'ed this ship, how many crossings it made, or the fate of the ship. Stay tuned. We'll find out some of this information sooner or later. It was e-mailed to me from an Art Gallery in Germany on 5/31/2001. The text from the sales brochure reads as follows: "Capt. Fritz Mueller (1814 Blumenthal/Bremen - 1865 USA), Bark "Friedrich Grosse" from Bremen, Oil on canvas 57 x 82 cm, signed and dated 1850. This quality painting show the bark under full sail off a harbour town with hills in the distance, the vessel is flying the ensign of Bremen (on the last mast) and on the second mast the flag of the shipping company (J.E. Grosse of Bremen). On the right side the same vessel is shown in a second view. The painting is in good condition (slight crackle) and in the period frame."
- Elizabeth Gerdes with Aschbacher Grandchildren (111 KB)
I found this photo on an "Old Texas Photo" Website. I do not know who submitted it, as it seems that the website is "inactive". The childred are the grandchildren of Elizabeth Gerdes; the girl on the left is Imelda Aschbacher, the Girl on the right is Marie Aschbacher Morton, and the boy is Charles Frederick Aschbacher, Jr.
- Gerdes Family Photo - About 1934 (edited) (238 KB)
Left to right, back row; Hilary Paul "Dilly" (my Dad), Helen Genevive, Francis Leo "Leo", Gaylord Adolph "Dick", Casper Lawrence Jr., Winfred H. "Top", Hulda S., Hubert Charles "H.C.", and Victor Ben Gerdes. On the porch behind them is Mildred Marie Gerdes. In a recent conversation with Mildred, she related to Gibbo that she remembered when the picture was taken, and believes that the occasion was for the birthday of Casper Lawrence Sr. Seated with him is his wife, my Grandmother, Antonia Frances Meyer.
This photo has been edited (a very nice total stranger pulled the photo off the website and colorized it and sent it back). Then I thought it'd be nice to get that tree out of the way, so I did a little surgery on the picture to remove the tree that was in front of Victor and H.C. in the original photo.
- Hilary Paul Gerdes - My Dad (6 KB)
Hilary Paul Gerdes, Son of Casper Lawrence Gerdes Sr. and Antonia Frances Meyer. Dad's life was cut short; he was remarkably talented in "figuring things out"; he could build anything, and was very kind.
- Gerdes Family Photo - About 1934 (unedited) (103 KB)
This is the original photo that has been on the website since the beginning. See the "new version" - Gerdes Family Photo - (edited)
- Casper Lawrence Gerdes, Sr (18 KB)
Casper, son of Henry and Mary Frances Gerdes, was born December 8, 1865 in Westphalia, Germany; immigrated to Indianola, Texas in June 1867; settled in Halletsville/Koerth and was a ginner at 12 years old. In 1916, he moved his gin and his family to Sinton. He died in 1936 and is buried in Sinton Cemetery.
- Casper Lawrence Gerdes, Sr. when he was younger (68 KB)
This photo of Casper Gerdes was probably taken in Hallettsville, Texas.
- My Grandmother Antonia Frances Meyer (26 KB)
Her parents were Joseph F. Meyer and Helana Jackel (or Jaeckel). She was born December 1870 and died in 1955. My father and mother supported her, as she lived with us from the mid-forties until she died.
- Grandmother Antonia Meyer Gerdes and her new radio (92 KB)
This was taken in Sinton at Christmastime, probably in 1957. That's when we bought our first window unit air conditioner. Me and my buddies STAYED in the living room to enjoy the cool air and eat mints. Grandma always wanted to listen to her favorite programs on the console, while we would go out back and turn off the circuit breaker, then explain to her the radio must have broken. She would go take a nap and we would then switch the breaker back on and listen to THE LONE RANGER. Anyway, Mom and Dad bought a radio just for her so she could enjoy anything she wanted to listen to. What a life !
Oops...Looks like that radio is upside down. By the way, I still have that sofa.
- Four Generations of Meyers/Gerdes’ (41 KB)
This picture is of my Great-Grandfather Joseph F. Meyer, his daughter, my Grandmother Antonia Frances Meyer, her first son, Victor Ben Gerdes, Sr, and Victor's son Gilbert “Gibby” Gerdes, Sr., the father of Gilbert “Gibbo” Gerdes, Jr.
As the family stories go, Joseph owned the "Last Chance Saloon" in Hallettsville. He was born in Germany and immigrated on the Bark Friedrich Grosse from Bremen thru Galveston/Harrisburg, to LaGrange, arriving on October 18, 1853 when he was 11 years old. He died in Shiner. and is buried in the Meyer/Pagel Cemetery off FM530 on county road 134 in Lavaca County, Texas. Refer to the image of his obituary.
- Uncle Winfred "Top" Gerdes with his mother Antonia (49 KB)
This picture was probably taken in Edroy, Texas, where Uncle Top and Allie Magness Gerdes lived and owned a cotton gin, later sold to the Brough family. They are standing in front of what appears to be a 1949 or 1950 Ford Sedan.
- Casper Lawrence Sr. and Antonia Meyer Wedding (48 KB)
This picture was taken at their wedding, about 1890. Boy, are they having a good time or what ?
- Joseph, Frank, and Anthony Gerdes, sons of Bernard (53 KB)
These photos were downloaded from a historical photos website and are listed as having been taken in the 1890's. These three are sons of Bernard and Mary Bernadina Wurm Gerdes. Left to right are Joseph, Franklin S. (or Francis Xavier) and Anthony Martin Gerdes.
- 1936 Article-the passing of Casper Sr.-Page 1 of 2 (406 KB)
This article was sent to me by my cousin Robert "Bob" Gerdes, who now coincidentally lives in Beeville. It contains a lot of information about Casper's early life
- Joseph F. Meyer, My Great-Grandfather's Obituary (119 KB)
This was sent to me by my cousin, Gibbo Gerdes. It was written in December, 1929. It furnished the clues to find and verify the "Friedrich Grosse" ship that brought them to Galveston/Harrisburg. Refer to the link at the bottom of the page to the Texas Seaport Museum and the link to a news release about the sale of a painting of the ship.
- Winfred, Gaylord, and Casper Gerdes in about 1905 (106 KB)
I believe the individuals are: Left to right; Winfred "Top", Gaylord Adolph "Dick", and Casper Lawrence Gerdes.
- 1936 Article - passing of Casper Sr.-Page 2 of 2 (73 KB)
The bottom of the page of the article.
- Two photos of Casper Jr., Casper III, and Clyde (92 KB)
These two photos were taken in about 1935 of Clyde "Coot" Hollingsworth Gerdes, Casper Lawrence Gerdes Jr., and Casper Lawrence Gerdes III. Unfortunately, Casper III died not long after these photos were taken.