Albright (Albrecht) Family

Our shared connection to the Albright Family starts with Hazel Ethel (Albright) Phillips, wife of Wesley Fenimore Phillips.

Hazel’s father, Ferdinand Wilhelm Albrecht and his older brother, Hermann Julius, emigrated to the United States in 1869 from Klaushagen, a district of the town of Templin in Prussia, located north of Berlin. They sailed from Bremen, Germany on a sailing bark (an iron hulled ship with 3 to 4 masts), the Nordstjernen (which means North Star in Danish), and likely disembarked in Quebec City, Quebec in June of 1870. From there they traveled further up the St. Lawrence seaway to Port Sarnia (across the Detroit River from Detroit in Ontario, Canada) and from there moved to Monroe county, Michigan. They appear to have emigrated with the family of Martin and Christine (Block) Albrecht.

 The 1870 census shows Ferdinand and Herman living with Martin and Christine Albrecht in Summerfield Township, Monroe County, along with Charles, Minnie and Fredie Albrecht. It is tempting to believe that Martin and Christine Albrecht were Ferdinand and Hermann’s aunt and uncle, but in reality the relationship between Ferdinand, Herman, and the other Albrechts is unclear, as in the census all of the younger Albrechts are listed as servants.

The 1880 census shows Herman living in Whiteford Township, Monroe County, Michigan as a farm laborer. Ferdinand was living in Lasalle Township, Monroe County, with the William Kelly family also as a farm laborer. Since the Niswender family was also living in Lasalle Township (and given that they were in the same census enumeration district as Ferdinand within Lasalle Township, likely close by) this is how Ferdinand met and married Mary Niswender in 1881.

Ferdinand is listed in the 1887 Detroit Directory as living on Woodbridge street, with his occupation as carpenter. Although continuing to live in Detroit, Ferdinand and Mary’s address changed several times. In 1890 they lived on Champlain St. In 1894 it was St. Aubin Avenue. In 1910 Baldwin street. In 1920 and 1930, it was Seyburn Avenue. Although Ferdinand’s occupation was listed as laborer in the 1890 Detroit Directory, and as Railroad Car Repair in the 1894 Directory, the 1920 and 1930 Censuses give his occupation as Carpenter.

Ferdinand and Mary had four children between 1883 and 1894; Gertrude, Alfred, Otto and Hazel. Gertrude married Edward Ulber in 1904 and had one child, Edna, in 1905. Alfred married Lottie in 1912 and had one child, Edgar, in 1912. Either Lottie died, or she and Alfred divorced as Alfred was remarried in 1918 to Grace Soulier. Alfred and Grace had two children between 1920 and 1925; Alvin and Audrey. Otto married Mathilda Knab in 1911 and they had two children; Sylvia in 1913 and Norbert in 1919. Hazel married Wesley Phillips in May of 1918 and had four children between 1920 and 1931; Kempster (Bill), Marilyn, Mary Jane and Wesley (Skip).

Ferdinand did not become a naturalized citizen until 1927. Mary also regained her citizenship in 1930, which she appears to have lost by marrying Ferdinand.

Mary died in 1930. Ferdinand married Mary’s brother Charles’ widow, Susan (Mathias) Niswender. Ferdinand died in 1946, and Susan moved back to Ohio, where she died in 1964.

Herman, Ferdinand’s brother, appears to have remained in Monroe County. He is listed as living in Ida Township in the 1900 and 1910 Censuses, and LaSalle Township in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses. His occupation is listed as farmer in all of these censuses. He married Viola in 1883. They had three children between 1891 and 1895; Grace, Reuben (Benjamin L.) and Leon. Leon married Gladys in 1922, and they had three children between 1923 and 1925; Viola, Robert and Marjorie. Leon and his wife and children were living with Herman and Viola in 1930. Grace died in 1919. Benjamin married Minnie Kluck and had two children, Roy H. (b. 1921) and Lawrence R. (b. 1926). Herman died in 1952.


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