Sunday, March 29, 2009

Zimber Bros.

- From Schwarzwald to New Ross

Zimber Bros shop on the Quay in New Ross
This article is an attempt to put some shape on the movements of the Zimber family around the time of the families settled in Cornwall and South-East Ireland.

Vitus Zimber (of whom more elsewhere) was born in 1820 in the village of Siegelau in the then Grand-Duchy of Baden. His future wife Salome Hummel was born a few years earlier in 1817 (we presume in the village of Neukirch). Salome's father Joseph Hummel (who came from Rohrbach) was like Vitus a clockmaker. He was also a Tax-collector and sometime Mayor of Neukirch. He also held Bible hours at his house 'Zinkhausle' in Brennersloch and is given as the founder of the protestant parish in Neukirch-Furtwangen-Gütenbach in the predominantly Catholic Black Forest area. It is also recorded that in the upheaval around the 1848 revolution in Baden he was forced from his position as mayor presumably because of his religion.

Their first children Albertina (1845) and Lambert (1848) were born in Neukirch. Their marriage in Neukirch Catholic Church on 31st July 1848 post-dates the birth of both these children. This was not unusual in the area at that time as the cost of marriage was prohibitive. It is also interesting to speculate as to the impact the turmoil of the 1848 revolution which affected Baden had on the family. There is also the story of the Königenhof accident and an apparent part Vitus may have played in the events of the time (see elsewhere).

Zimberhausle in Hexenloch
In 1851 Vitus purchases the Zimberhausle in Hexenloch near Neukirch.

The other children Adolph (1849), Aaron (1851), Richard (1852), Rufina (1853), Karl Friedrich (1857), German (1860), Roman (1861) and Rebekka (1863) were all baptised Catholics. The church register of the time does have a derogatory note by the parish priest to the note that the entire family "apostatized" or converted to the protestant religion (apparently sometime after 1863). The family tradition is that the faith was "brought back from England by someone in the clock trade" - most probably Joseph Hummel (see above).

From 1868 we find records of Zimbers leaving Neukirch / Furtwangen and Siegelau (I've included Siegelau because of the family connection and the names that occur being the same though it is possible that some of these are cousins) for England or USA.
  • In 1868 an Adolf leaves Siegelau for England. In 1871 Aron and Richard also leave Siegelau for England.
  • In 1874 Richard marries Jane Binnions in Waterford.
  • In 1875 Adolf and Karl Friedrich leave Furtwangen for England. (It is possible that Adolf returned from his first trip to England). 1875 is also the year that their eldest brother Lambert takes over ownership of the Zimberhausle Clock Workshop. This may indicate the beginning of a Zimber Bros clock business trading clocks between Ireland, Britain and the Black Forest.
  • 1875 is the year of the Franco-Prussian War, German Unification and the establishment of the German Empire. It is tempting to see these changes as part of the background to the Zimbers leaving Baden.
  • In 1876 we have Aron leaving Neukirch for England. [Note: all this coming and going to "England" may have in fact been to Ireland as Ireland was part of the UK at that time and the German record takers may not have differentiated between the two].
  • In 1877 Salome Zimber died.
  • In 1880 Aaron Zimber marries Elizabeth Ashmore In Waterford. The shop at Quay, New Ross has been established as this is given as his address. Also in 1880 the Zimber Bros. firm in New Ross subscribe 2s 6d to the Parnell Defence Fund.
  • In 1881 Albertina Zimber my great-grandmother is born in New Ross. Karl Friedrich (later known as Charles Frederick) is in Liskeard, Cornwall living and working with Francis Joseph & Bridget Kaupp clockmakers.
  • In 1883 Joseph Henry Zimber is born in New Ross.
  • Zimber Bros, New Ross, Co. Wexford
  • In 1887 Richard Frederick Zimber (of whom more here) is born in New Ross.
  • 1891 sees Adolf Zimber working as a lumberman in Coalmine, Alberta, Canada.
  • In 1893 Vitus Zimber died in Gütenbach.
  • The following year 1894 Aaron's wife Elizabeth died in New Ross.. Her gravestone read:
  • "Zimber - Erected by Aron Zimber in memory of his beloved wife Elisabeth who fell asleep in Jesus Jan 8th 1894. Also above Aron died Jan 17th 1901. for if we beleive that Jesus died and rose again even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
  • In 1895 Aaron married to Isabella Crowley.
  • In 1900 Lambert sells Zimberhausle to the state.
  • In 1901 Aaron Zimber died in New Ross. His brother Richard , now living in Wexford St., New Ross was present at his death.
  • The 1901 census shows Lambert and Rufina Zimber living at the shop on The Quay. I'm not sure whether they had moved there on a permanent basis or simply in the aftermath of Aaron's funeral. Richard and Jane Zimber are living at 14 Wexford Street and Aaron's widow Isabella and his two sons Joseph and Fred living at 30 Cross Lane.
  • The 1901 census shows Charles Frederick and his family living in Fore St., Bodmin, Cornwall. His brother Roman is living there with them.
  • Aaron's second wife Isabella dies around 1904 in Waterford.  Also in  that year Joseph Zimber emigrates via Liverpool to Montreal, Canada where within a few weeks of arriving in August he marries Bridget Coady who had traveled with him from New Ross.
  • In February 1905 Joseph Zimber is killed in an accident in Montreal, Canada. In October of that year his sister Albertina marries John Holmes in Dun Laoghaire (or Kingstown as it was then called).
  • In 1908 Charles Frederick along with his son Rudolph visits New Ross and meets with Lambert, Rufina, Richard & Jane and Albertina Holmes. They are most likely on their way to the wedding of his son Charles Vitus who marries Margaret Molony in Bandon, Co Cork.
  • The 1911 Census has Albertina Holmes and family living at the shop which is now at 2 Charles Street and Richard Zimber whose wife died a few years previously lodging at a hotel at 1 Cross Lane.
  • Richard dies in Germany in 1911.
  • The outbreak of war in 1914 sees Aaron's son Richard Frederick (known as Fred) killed at the Second Battle of Ypres (see here).
  • In 1917 Adolf died in Montana, USA.
  • The 1926 register of electors shows Charles Vitus living in Killarney where he has a shop. The following year his son Douglas Thomas is born.
  • That same year 1927 Albertina Holmes died.
  • The Zimber Bros business in New Ross was still in existence up to 1938. The Bodmin shop was in family hands up until relatively recently.

I've updated the information above with main additions highlighted.

- Kevin Holmes (01/2011)