265701_10150220856439806_7764206_oThis is the first document my grandfather ever showed me. The calligraphy fascinated me, the ornateness of such an official document. I’d never seen anything like it!

My great-great grandfather, Ignatz Frohmberg, emigrated from Germany between 1890 and 1892.

It is unclear if he came ahead of his wife (Lena), young daughter (Helene Margaretha), and infant son (Kurt) or if they came later.

They settled in Cleveland, Ohio where their youngest son, Paul, was born (pictured above with his parents sometime around WW1, I think).

Ignatz was a trained stone mason and was able to land a good job. I was told that the chief reason he and Lena left Germany was to escape Bismark’s wars. The irony? Ignatz lived to see his son and grandsons serve in both world wars.

Two more generations of Frohmbergs were born in Cleveland, but only Lena and Ignatz are buried there.

In-laws stayed in the area through the 1960s at least, but the Frohmbergs all eventually moved to Southern California.

More on Lena and Ignatz later.