People, Place, and Time

Telling my family's stories

The Berlandis of Milwaukee

On 24 July 1843, Bernhardt and Anna (Rosche) Berlandi and their infant son Philip landed in New York after spending several weeks on board the Frederick from Antwerp.  They made their way to southeastern Wisconsin, a very popular destination for German immigrants at the time (here), where they settled and raised several children:

  1. Philip Berland, b. 11 Sep 1842
  2. William Berlandi, b. 1845, d. 17 Sep 1907 (m. Margaretha Martin)
  3. Mary Berlandi, b. 1846
  4. Anna Maria Berlandi, b. May 1849, d. 9 Oct. 1916 (m. Francis Wettengel)
  5. Elizabeth Berlandi, b. 1855 (m. John Ludwig)
  6. Katharine Berlandi, b. 1857 (m. Friedrich Braun)

Although they originally settled as farmers in the Germantown area of Washington County, by 1860 the Berlandis were living within the city limits of MIlwaukee and Bernard was a saloon keeper, an occupation he kept until his death in 1896.  The house next door had been renovated as a saloon and was most likely the saloon he worked in.

The Berlandis were Catholics.  I don’t know what church they attended, but both Bernard and Anna Maria were buried in Calvary cemetery in MIlwaukee (just down the street from where Miller Park is!).

In 1869, Bernard applied for a passport to return to his home country – what is now Germany, but at the time was always listed as Prussia.  Since we still don’t know who any of his family – siblings, parents, etc. – were, let alone anything about them, it’s hard to know exactly why he went, but my guess is probably his one of his parent’s funeral.  Anyway, his application features a lovely description of him: 5’6″, with a prominent forehead, grey eyes, dark hair, a common (whatever that means!)nose and mouth, a round chin, oval face and fair complexion.  If only we had a description of Anna Maria as well, but alas, it appears she was not travelling with him!

From the children’s marriage records, we learn that Anna Maria’s maiden name was Rosche.  In fact, on the same ship the Berlandis sailed on, we find a Rosche family as well: Christoph, the patriarch (age 60), Christoph, his son (age 20) , Elisabeth (19) and Josephine (13), his daughters and Carl, the youngest at age 8. Other than Christoph Jr., I know little about what happened to this family, since by 1850, Christopher was living alone, and then died.  I would guess the daughters married?  This turns out, via Anna Maria’s death record, to be her father and siblings.

Berlandi is an uncommon name.  There are records of the name in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Italy.  Records for Bernhardt in the US all indicate he was from Prussia, which doesn’t narrow it down much; more about his (immediate) origins in the next post!  There is a region of the Netherlands called Baarland (here) that may well be where the family was from.

Sources used:

  • 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 Federal Census records
  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries online databases
  • NY Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1850 (online at Ancestry)
  • US Passport Applications database (online at Ancestry, originals with NARA)
  • Wisconsin marriage records (film of originals at Wisconsin Historical Society, index at
  • Google Maps

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 14, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: