HISTORY FROM GERMANY TO BIRMINGHAM & EVENTS OF THE TIMES
Research commenced 1988 by Paul GEBHARD after "prompting" by his great aunt Edna Griffiths (nee Gebhard). I am really pleased that she did, at the time myself and all of my living relatives knew very little, we knew of Martin James GEBHARD my Great Grandfather who died in August 1956 when I was almost 2 years old but little more; having now unearthed what in the 1880's was probably a hugely delicate "skeleton in the cupboard" it becomes obvious why my father and his father knew nothing about their ancestor Johann Jacob GEBHARD - the subject was a taboo.
As well as learning about my own family tree the additional benefit is that I have learned a lot about Birmingham's and Germany's history along the way.
When I eventually proved after a lot of work (and also by having the good fortune to make contact with Jean Alexander - nee Gebhard) that my Great Great Great Grandfather was a Johann Jacob GEBHARD who came to England in the late 1840's I then started to think not only about "who begat who" but more about the lives and times of these people; why should a German male migrate to England? I did discover that its likely that the reason would have been one of the following:- Germany had national service and some of the males left to avoid it, the well to do Germans came to England as it was fashionable to do so because there was a German family on the English throne, conversely the German crops failed for a couple of years in the early 1840s and there were a lot of poor people in Germany who took their chances and got on a ship to another country (mainly the USA and England).
* Last Revised April 2005 *
Johann Jacob GEBHARD (my Great Great Great Grandfather) was born at noon on Monday 22nd November 1819 in Praunheim now a district of Frankfurt, at the time of his birth it was a village; his father was Martin GEBHARD a Gardner and his mother's name was Catharina DUCHMANN Johann's eldest sister Lischen Marion GEBHARD was born in Frankfurt on the 12th May 1814, he had another sister Johanna Sara Maria GEBHARD born 9th January 1815 and a brother George Heinrich GEBHARD BORN 23rd September 1816. By no later than 1831 Catharina DUCHMANN had died (Johann was 12).
1819 Johann Jacob GEBHARD was born at noon on Monday 22nd November in Praunheim Frankfurt; he was christened on the 28th January 1820.
1847 First knowledge of Johann Jacob GEBHARD in England is as a witness to the marriage of his elder sister Lischen GEBHARD (aged 34) to Thomas ISLIP (aged 20) in Gloucester on the 5th August (Thomas ISLIP later became a very successful Pearl Button Manufacturer in Birmingham). Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is published in this year.
1849 Johann GEBHARD is a "Master Tailor" at 156 Broad Street Birmingham (source: - Kelly's Commercial Directory of Birmingham). The population of Birmingham in 1849 is circa 230,000.
1851 On the day of the census the 30th of April Johann GEBHARD lives at 132 Islington Birmingham; under the same roof are Johann's sister Lischen, his brother-in-law Thomas ISLIP plus their 2 kids Gertrude ISLIP and Lischen Marion Gebhard ISLIP; Johann's future wife Elizabeth ISLIP is listed as a visitor on the night that the census is taken 30th March 1851. Therefore Johann and Elizabeth knew each other for at least 2 years before they married and probably longer - I would guess that it's very likely that they met at the above mentioned marriage of 1847. St. Martins market opens - in Jamaica Row.
1852 Johann GEBHARD is a Tailor at King Edwards Road (Kelly's Directory). Napoleon becomes Emperor this year.
1853 On Monday the 21st of March Johann Jacob GEBHARD is married to Elizabeth ISLIP at St. Martins in the Field (this is the church that overlooks Trafalgar Square) this is only 29 days before the birth of their son (Have copy of marriage certificate, Johann gives his father's name as being Martin GEBHARD a Gardener). Johann was 33 years of age.
1853 Johann Jacob GEBHARD and his wife Elizabeth travel to Germany where their son Johann Martin GEBHARD (but always known as Martin) is born in Mainz on Tuesday 19th of April (why Germany for the birth? and why Mainz and not Frankfurt?).
1854 Crimean war begins. New Street Railway Station opens. St. John's Church Ladywood completed.
1855 The GEBHARD family lives at 187, Camden Street Hockley; daughter Marie Katherina GEBHARD born there 7th February 1855 (birth certificate).
1856 Crimean War ends.
1858 Johann & Elizabeth Gebhard's second daughter Elizabeth GEBHARD is born.
1858 Johann GEBHARD a Tailor at 275, Bellbarn Road (Kelly's).
1860 My Great Great Grandmother Alice Maud GRETTON is born in Birmingham (daughter of James GRETTON and Mary Ann YERL). Abraham Lincoln is elected U.S. President this year.
1861 On the day of the census the 7th of April the Gebhard family lives at 57 Vittoria Street, Hockley; Johann & Eliza and their children: - Martin aged 7, Marie Katherina aged 6 and Elizabeth aged 3 (1861 Census) I have discovered that this property was built in 1851 for the BRAGG family who were buckle-makers. The corner and the rear of the property (where the manufactory was) were both rebuilt in 1910, however, if you go there today the left hand side of the building which is marked 55-57 and the inside with its wooden staircases have not been altered i.e. it's the same as when these ancestors of mine lived there 143 years ago! If you are in the area do go to Vittoria Street and have a look (The Jewellers Arms is O.K. for a beer afterwards or the Rose Villa Tavern - both relatively unspoilt).
1861 Johann and Elizabeth's last child Agnes Johanna GEBHARD is born on 14th November at 57, Vittoria Street, Hockley.
1862 Johann Jacob GEBHARD has a Tailors Business at 14, Belmont Row; his brother-in-law Thomas ISLIP lives at number 15 in the same street (Kelly's).
1864 to 1866 Johann Jacob GEBHARD is a Tailor at 138, Sandpits Parade (Kelly's).
1865 Antiseptic surgery is introduced.
1866 Johann Jacob Gebhard's niece Lischen Marion Gebhard ISLIP (aged 18) is married to Charles Frederick SMITH (aged 21) on the 23rd of June at St. Bartholomew's at Edgbaston (more commonly known as Edgbaston Old Church).
1867 Johann Jacob GEBHARD lives in Spring Hill (1867 Burgess Roll - it does not, however, give a specific house number).
1867 to 1869 Johann is a Tailor & Draper at 36, Bath Street off Loveday Street (Hulleys & Whites Directory).
1871 On the day of the census the 2nd of April Johann GEBHARD and his family live at 30C Hospital Street (1871 census); they would move to 30B Hospital Street and Johann finally to 67 Hospital Street. Stanley meets Livingston this year.
1872 Johann Jacob GEBHARD is a Tailor at 30B, Hospital Street (Kelly's)
1873 Blondin famous for walking on a tightrope over Niagara Falls does the same thing at Edgbaston Reservoir to the delight of thousands of onlookers!
1874 On the 5th of September Johann's daughter Marie Katherina GEBHARD aged 19 is married to George Dean MORRIS at Birmingham Register Office (she gives her address as 30B, Hospital Street. George's address is 53 Summer Lane).
1876 Johann Jacob GEBHARD still a Tailor at 30B, Hospital St. (Whites).
1878 Johann's son Johann Martin GEBHARD (always known as Martin) is married to Alice Maud GRETTON (Annie) on the 21st of December at St. Saviours in Saltley. Johann Jacob GEBHARD has property at Sherborne Place, Albert Road, Aston.
1879 Martin & Alice's first child Martin James GEBHARD (my Great Grandfather) is born at 109, Rupert Street, Aston on Tuesday the 15th of July.
1880 Frederick GEBHARD (son of Martin & Alice Maud) is born on 23rd November at 6, Trafalgar Road, Aston.
1881:- On the day of the census the 3rd of April Johann Jacob GEBHARD is still at 30B, Hospital Street, now living not with his wife but with Catherine PEARCE a widow 20 years younger than Johann (1881 Census); Catherine PEARCE was born in Painswick Gloucestershire, her maiden name was BIRT.
Eliza GEBHARD (Johann's wife) and the two daughters Elizabeth (aged 23) and Agnes (aged 21) are living at 35, Belgrave Square Erdington (1881 Census).
At 39 Princess Rd. Balsall Heath (a property owned by Wilhelm Conrad Gebhard) are:- Mary Stokes married aged 53 born Ludlow her daughter Louisa Stokes aged 17 born Birmingham and an Anne PEARCE aged 12 born Birmingham - a coincidence? (1881 Census). The Birmingham Council House is opened.
1882 Birmingham gains its first electricity supply.
1883 Clifford GEBHARD (son of Martin and Alice Maud) is born at 100, Herbert Road, Aston on the 20th of April. On Saturday 17th of November Johann Jacob GEBHARD dies of a heart attack 5 days before his 64th birthday, he had changed address in the same street, he died at 67, Hospital Street; Catherine PEARCE the informant (death certificate). Johann GEBHARD was buried in Plot 27L at Key Hill Cemetery Hockley; at the time of his death his son Johann Martin GEBHARD ("Martin") was 30 years of age. The electric light bulb is invented this year. The population of Birmingham is circa 410,000; an almost 100% increase since Johann GEBHARD arrived in the city in 1849.
1885 Evaline Laura THOMAS (known as Eva) is born on Wednesday 10th of June in Belgaum India (my Great Grandmother); the daughter of John THOMAS a professional soldier in the 1st Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and Margaret KIRWAN who was born in Dublin. She would marry Martin James GEBHARD (my Great Grandfather). Ethel May GEBHARD (known as "Cis") is born (daughter of Martin GEBHARD and Alice Maud - she died of the Spanish Flu shortly after the First World War, she married a Jack COVERLEY).
1888 Marie Katherina MORRIS (nee GEBHARD) dies aged just 33 in Sheffield leaving 4 children; (daughter of Johann Jacob GEBHARD and Elizabeth ISLIP). Alice GEBHARD (known as "Bas") is born in Birmingham (daughter of Martin and Alice Maud). In August of this year Jack the Ripper would murder his first victim. Edison's phonograph is manufactured for sale to the public.
1889 Kate Gertrude GEBHARD is born (daughter of Martin and Alice Maud); Mary Ann GRETTON dies (Alice Maud's mother) she is buried at St. Mary's Handsworth (Plot J272). On the 14th of January Birmingham becomes a City.
1890 First electric tram runs on the Bristol Road, Birmingham.
1891 The census is taken on the 5th of April and Martin & Alice Maud GEBHARD and their first 6 children live at 49, Villa Street, Lozells (1891 Census).
1891 onwards Elizabeth GEBHARD (Johann Jacob Gebhard's widow) and the two daughters Elizabeth and Agnes Johanna now live at 1, Springfield, off Fentham Road, Erdington.
1893 Spring Hill library opens. Labour Party founded.
1894 Howard GEBHARD is born in Birmingham (son of Martin and Alice Maud).
1896 Thomas ISLIP Pearl Button Manufacturer dies aged 69 on the 6th of March at 151, Bristol Road, Birmingham (Johann Jacob Gebhard's brother-in- law). The first public trial of a "horseless carriage" or motor car takes place at Cannon Hill Park.
1897 John Gretton GEBHARD (son of Martin and Alice Maud) is born on Monday the 29th of November at 81, New Spring Street, Hockley. Coverage of all homes by postal delivery is commenced. Aston Villa F.C. moves to Villa Park.
1899 James GRETTON dies aged 62(Alice Maud's father). Lischen Marion ISLIP (nee Gebhard) dies on the 15th of March aged 84; she is buried at St. Nicholas Kings Norton (she was Johann Jacob Gebhard's elder sister). The Second Boer War commences.
1900 Agnes Johanna GEBHARD (aged 39) is married in Chelsea to John Vickerman T. LILL (aged 23) a Concert Pianist.
1901 Frank GEBHARD is born (son of Martin and Alice Maud) he died in infancy. On the day of the census the 31st of March Johann Martin GEBHARD ("Martin") and the first 8 of their 9 kids live at 45, Spring Hill Passage, Hockley (1901 Census). Within a year of his marriage to Agnes Johanna GEBHARD John Vickerman T. LILL dies of T.B. at the age of 24. He is buried at St. Barnabas, Erdington. At back of 210, Lister Street Aston, the 15 year old Evaline Laura THOMAS (my Great Grandmother) lives with her parents the 46 year old John THOMAS born Chelsea and Margaret THOMAS aged 38 born Dublin along with her three sisters and one brother. Eva THOMAS is a Dressmaker and so is her 19 year old sister Henrietta THOMAS (Census). Queen Victoria dies this year.
1902 First Edgbaston test match takes place - England v Australia (it was a draw!). Boer War ends.
1903 Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show visits Birmingham.
1906 On the 14th February (hence his middle name) Edward Valentine GEBHARD is born at 36, Heaton Street, B18. On the 30th September the last horse drawn tram runs (in Nechells).
1907 On Monday the 29th of April my Great Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth GEBHARD (widow of Johann Jacob GEBHARD) dies aged 86 at 1, Springfield, Erdington (death certificate). She is buried at St. Barnabas Erdington. Later that year on Saturday the 26th of October Martin James GEBHARD and Evaline Laura THOMAS (my Great Grandparents) are married at Aston Register office; their address at the time was 12, Vauxhall Grove, Duddeston.
1907 On Thursday the 22nd of December my Grandfather Clifford John GEBHARD ("Jim") is born at 52, Bacchus Road, Winson Green; the first child of Martin James GEBHARD and Eva.
1908 Alice Maud GEBHARD ("Bas") married Herbert SEABORN in Aston.
1909 Agnes Margaret GEBHARD is born (a sister to my Grandad "Jim").
1910 The Electric Theatre in Station Street, the first cinema in Birmingham opens for business.
1911 On the 3rd of March Alice GEBHARD is born, a sister for my granddad "Jim". Warwickshire Cricket Club win their first County Championship.
1912 Polly PEARSON ("Mary") is born on 13th March at 7, St Helen's Place, Church Lane, Aston (my Grandmother). On the 15th of April the Titanic sinks.
1914 The commencement of the First World War in September. Johann Martin GEBHARD ("Martin") born Mainz 1853 was 61 years of age at the outbreak of the First World War, he had never been naturalised. On the 29th of September Arthur Claude GEBHARD is born in Elkington Street Aston (younger brother by 7 years of my grandfather "Jim"); his father Martin James GEBHARD had already gone off to war.
Martin James GEBHARD enlisted at the outbreak of the war, he was put in charge of two horses (these horses pulled a gun carriage - this probably helped to save his life as it kept him a little back from the trenches) he "christened" these horses Eva and Etta - the names of his wife and her sister!
1916 The Battle of the Somme.
1917 Kate GEBHARD is married to Ernest FRANKLIN in Aston District.
1918 English women get the right to vote.
1920 Martin James GEBHARD and his family (including my grandfather Jim aged nearly 13) live at 4, Court 14, Bracebridge Street, Aston (Electoral Roll). Polly PEARSON aged 8 still lives at 7, St. Helens Place, Church Lane, Aston; her mother Mary (nee MACDONALD) is reputed to have been deaf and dumb.
1921 On Saturday the 14th of May Johann Martin GEBHARD ("Martin") dies aged 68 (my Great Great Grandfather). He is buried at St. Barnabas, Erdington; at the time of his death his eldest son Martin James GEBHARD is 41 years of age and his youngest son Edward Valentine GEBHARD is only 15.. There are two million unemployed in Britain.
1923 On the 27th of January Clifford GEBHARD (son of Martin Gebhard and Alice Maud) dies at the age of 39 in Leicester.
1924 Early in the year Alice Maud GEBHARD is married to John G. BROOKS (at St. Saviours - again); later in the year Alice Maud BROOKS (formerly Gebhard nee Gretton) dies aged 64. The first talking pictures are released.
1928 Edna GEBHARD born (youngest child of Martin James GEBHARD and Eva). Penicillin is discovered.
1929 Jean Edna May GEBHARD (now Jean ALEXANDER) is born, daughter of John Gretton GEBHARD (he was an 18 year younger brother of Martin James GEBHARD).
1930 Clifford James GEBHARD (my uncle) was born on Tuesday the 18th of February.
1931 Roy Albert GEBHARD (my father) was born on Monday the 27th of July in Heathfield Road Hospital. Joan GEBHARD is born on the 29th of May in the North London Hospital (daughter of Edward Valentine GEBHARD and Lilian RALPH). The 1931 census would be destroyed.
1932 There are three million unemployed people in Britain. The infamous Body Line Test Cricket series takes place in Australia.
1933 Cynthia PRITCHARD (my mother) was born on Thursday the 13th of July at 171, Devonshire Street, Winson Green. Gerald GEBHARD (my uncle) was born on Thursday the 21st of December.
1934 On the 1st of June Lischen Marion Gebhard SMITH (nee Islip & Johann Jacob Gebhard's niece) dies aged 86 at 43 Caerau Road, Newport, Monmouthshire. She is buried at St. Nicholas, Kings Norton. In her will her effects go to her daughter Matilda Lischen SMITH; (my grandfather would have been 27 years old when Lischen Marion died and my great grandfather would have been 55 years old).
1935 Martin James GEBHARD was born on Wednesday the 8th of May at the Gate Inn, Saltley (son of Howard GEBHARD and his second wife Quilla CAUSIER - she was born in 1902 in Birmingham). Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister. On the 30th of May Alice GEBHARD marries George Henry MARKLAND.
1936 Frederick GEBHARD (brother of my great grandfather Martin James GEBHARD) dies at the age of 56. The first continuous television service commences, King Edward VIII abdicates.
1937 The Coronation of King George VI.
1939 My Grandfather "Jim" GEBHARD joins the 51st Highland Regiment and when later they became attached to the 8th Army he would see active service in the desert. Approximately 75,000 Birmingham schoolchildren are evacuated.
1940 On the 8th of August the first air-raid hits Birmingham - on Erdington.
1941 The census is not taken due to the war.
1942 The Battle of Alamein from the 23rd of October until the 4th of November.
1943 The Allies win in North Africa.
1944 On the 14th of June James Andrew GEBHARD is born (son of Arthur Claude Gebhard and Ann DRUMMOND) at 3, Gwalia Grove Erdington.
1945 The Second World War ends in May.
1946 Kate FRANKLIN (nee Gebhard) dies aged 55 (sister of my great grandfather Martin James GEBHARD).
1947 On the 4th of March Laurel and Hardy are on stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
1949 Agnes Johanna MOORE (formerly Lill nee Gebhard) dies on the 26th of January aged 87 at "Glenora", 3, Tamworth Road, Sutton Coldfield (the youngest child of Johann Jacob GEBHARD and Elizabeth). She is buried at Sutton Coldfield Cemetery Rectory Road (Ref: 7733). All of her nephews and nieces receive £1,000 each in her will.
1950 On the 23rd of July John Gretton GEBHARD dies aged 52 at Sidcup, Kent (brother of my great grandfather Martin James GEBHARD.) Earlier in the year the Labour Party wins the General Election and Clement Attlee is Prime Minister. Edna GEBHARD married Bill GRIFFITHS at St. Barnabas.
1953 On the 29th of May Hilary conquers Everest, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on the 2nd of June.
1954 Paul GEBHARD (me!) son of Roy GEBHARD and Cynthia (nee PRITCHARD) was born on Thursday the 30th of September at Dudley Road Hospital. On the same day Nautilus the first atomic submarine is launched, Frank Sinatra is top of the charts with "Three Coins In A Fountain". Earlier in the year Roger Bannister runs the mile in under four minutes. Food rationing finally ends.
1956 On Thursday the 23rd of August Martin James GEBHARD (my Great Grandfather) dies aged 77. He is buried at St. Barnabas Church Erdington; at the time of his death his eldest child Clifford John GEBHARD ("Jim") is 48 years of age but his youngest child Edna GEBHARD is only 28. Allied forces take control of Suez.
1959 The M1 Motorway is opened.
1960 On Friday the 1st day of the New Year Ian GEBHARD (my brother) was born in Dudley Road Hospital; on the same day Emile Ford & The Checkmates are top of the charts with "What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For". J.F. Kennedy wins U.S. Elections. Alice Seaborn ("Bas") nee GEBHARD dies on the 2nd of August; her address at the time was 33, Ismere Rd., Erdington (sister of my Great Grandfather Martin James GEBHARD). She is buried at St. Barnabas Erdington (Plot H291).
1961 In April the first man in space is Yuri Gagarin.
1963 Howard GEBHARD dies on the 20th of July aged 69; his home address was 38, Springhill, Erdington (brother of my great grandfather). On the 22nd November J.F. Kennedy is assassinated.