Thursday, February 23, 2012

Louis Thomser of Goetzenbruck and Brooklyn

Louis Thumser was born in Goetzenbruck, Moselle on January 3, 1842, son of Jean and Marguerite Burgun Thumser. Jean was a miller in this glassmaking part of France. Jean's grandfather, Jean-Thomas, was a miller in Bohemia. Jean-Thomas and wife Anne-Marie Schneider, migrated to Werenfels, Bavaria, where Jean-Thomas became the town miller. Two sons were born there, Antoine and Willibald. In adulthood, both of the sons continued on to Moselle. Antoine settled in Siersthal and Willibald in Soucht.

In the glassmaking regions, you had to be a member of the family of a glassmaker enployed by that same company, to go into the business. Louis wanted very much to follow his godfather, Louis Reitz, into that profession. In order to do that, Louis had to leave Goetzenbruck and travel to New York. He traveled with an aunt and cousins. He arrived in New York in 1854 and moved in with his godfather who was already here and employed in a glass factory in Brooklyn. The family lived in the company tenement at 98 Meserole Street. Louis became an apprentice at the factory and, by 1860, he was a glass blower.

The Civil War cut short that career. He enlisted in the 68th New York Volunteers on 16 August 1861. The unit was also called the Cameron Rifles and the 2nd German Rifle Regiment. He rose through the ranks from private to lieutenant. He was injured in 1865 and later received a pension. By 1870, he was again working at the glass factory but now as a packer. He married a young woman named Appolonia Koferl, whose family also lived 1t 98 Meserole Street. The couple had two daughters and one son. The son died in infancy. Appolonia died in 1879, leaving Louis with two small daughters. He subsequently married Magdalena Zimmer and they had two children, a boy and a girl. He was still employed at the glass factory in 1880.

By the 1890s Louis Thomser was the president of the Ellsworth Social Circle. He and his family were then living on Scholes Street in Brooklyn. In a city directory, his occupation was listed as porter.

Louis died 4 September 1911.

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