Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where Should I Go from Here?

I started this blog with the stories of Moritz and Marie Beyer because I had a lot of information, thanks in large part to my Grandpa Rudolph Beyer and Great-aunt Ella Beyer Hardi, whose notes and writings made up the most important parts of my posts.  I merely filled in the blanks and lined everything up by date.  It was a lot of fun.

Now I have to choose my next project and I'm a bit stymied.  There are several ancestral lines from which I can choose.  I don't have a wealth of personal stories for most of them like I do with Moritz and Marie Beyer, but I find them interesting anyway.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beyer: Family Group Sheet

Moritz & Marie Beyer: The Senior Years

About 1925 – Back row: Olga & Fritz Becker, Sam Hardi, Emil Beyer, Rudolph & Augusta Beyer
Seated: Ella Hardi with daughter Elfrieda, Moritz & Marie Beyer & Ewald.
Ella's daughter Marie Hardi & Rudolph's son Hugo Beyer in front. 
On December 18, 1920, just three days before his son Rudolph and daughter Ella celebrated their double wedding, Moritz Beyer's land acquisitions were completed when he purchased 158 acres from Herman Schmidt, in the southeast portion of the Rutersville College Survey. He now had a total of about 400 acres of farmland.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beyer: After the War

Rudolph came home from the Army and adjustments needed to be made. The Veterans Bureau gave him the choice of learning sign language or lip reading. Since none of his family knew sign language and would have to be trained, he chose to read lips. That way, he could communicate with his family and nearly anyone else without having to teach them a new skill.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beyer: Oldest Son is Drafted

On April 6, 1917, the United States was formally entered the first World War by declaring war on Germany.  Since 1914, a brutal, grinding war had been raging between the "Triple Entente" - Great Britian, France and Russia - and the Central Powers - the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.  The U.S. Congress passed a selective draft law on May 18, 1917, and the first American troops arrived in France on June 26, 1917.

My grandfather, Rudolph Ernest Beyer, was drafted into the Army of the United States on August 8, 1918, at Taylor, Texas.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Guess What I've Been Doing Instead of Family History

"In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments."

From:  "Brief History of IRS", Internal Revenue Service, last modified March 8, 2011,,,id=149200,00.html.

Therefore, my Great-grandfather, Moritz Beyer, may have had to file a 1913 Form 1040 income tax return.  If so, the filing deadline was March 1, 1914. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beyer: Raising a Family in Beyersville

Get togethers for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations were important among Beyersville families
Standing: Flora Wolf, Ella Beyer, Minnie Wolf, Olga & Fritz Becker
Kneeling: Otto Wolf, Rudolph Beyer [date unknown]
A new census was taken in 1910.  On April 18th, the census enumerator visited Moritz and Marie's farm and recorded the following:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beier Buy a Farm at Beyersville

First home on the Beyersville farm
Working in the cotton gin and renting at Noack, Texas, during most of the decade beginning in 1890, Moritz Beier saved enough money to buy a place that he and Marie could call their own.  Williamson County records show that Moritz purchased a 75 acre farm in the Robbins Pasture survey at Beyersville, on October 1, 1901.  This was the first of several purchases Moritz Beier made over a period of several years.  [Note: Robbins Pasture is occasionally refered to in this blog as "Robinsons Pasture"]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beier: Settling in Their New Homeland

US Flag with 43 stars.  In use 4 July 1890–
3 July 1891.  Created by jacobolus using
 Adobe Illustrator, and released into the public
At Noack, Texas, Moritz and Marie Beier and their daughter Olga first lived at Ernest Poldrack's farm.

On November 1, 1890, in the Bastrop County, Texas, courthouse, along with his brother Carl Lewis Beier, E. Moritz Beier became a citizen of the United States of America.  By extension of law, their wives and children became entitled to the benefits of citizenship as well. 

In 1891, the Beier family move a short distance from the Ernest Poldrack farm to the Peter Zieschang farm near Noack, Texas. 

Ella Beyer Hardi wrote:  After moving to Zieschang’s in a little house, not far from Zieschang’s Gin my Dad worked in the Gin for Mr. Zieschang and got Paid good.  Mother got her first sewing machine.  They had no money left after they had spend it all just for the trip to America and Mother could sew our clothes.  The Zieschangs were a big family and kind.  They helped my Parents a lot. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beier: Move to Noack, Texas

Rudolph Beyer (1969):  Finally he [Moritz Beier] bought 2 horses, one a mare, & raised a mule colt.  Moritz also had a brother name Carl Beyer, who came to the U.S. earlier and seems he too landed at Paige, but soon drifted to Beyersville Texas, & lived just East of where the Bachmayer Brothers Gin is now. . . . 

After Moritz & Marie had 2 horses and a cheap wagon, they made a trip to Beyersville Texas to visit his Brother, Carl & his Wife Annie & Family.  The next day being the 4th of July, as Father often mentioned, he joined Carl for a trip to Taylor, 7 miles from Carl’s home.  The Taylor Fire Department were Celebrating the 4th and a few were waving $1.00 bills.  This was something Moritz never saw before, and he turned to Carl & said, "It looks like this is a prosperous place to live.  How is chances to find a place to live & farm near Taylor?"  Carl answered, "Next fall, load your belongings on the wagon & come on, and there is always a plot of land with an old house.  If you & Marie care to start off farming here, we’ll find some thing."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Moritz and Marie: Hardship in Paige, Texas

From New York, Moritz and Marie Beier traveled by train to Paige, Texas, in Bastrop County.  The U.S. rail systems was growing rapidly.  They could have chosen routes through Chicago or St. Louis to connect with the Houston & Texas Central Railway.  The H&TC Railway came through Paige every day on its way to Austin.

My grandfather Rudolph Beyer and his sister Ella Beyer Hardi wrote much about Moritz and Marie's life near Paige.  Both were born at a later time, so Moritz and Marie must have talked a lot with their family about the hardships they experienced.

Some of these notes are pieced together from the manuscript photocopies I have been given.

Rudolph Beyer wrote in 1969:  A former close friend August Thiele had left Germany earlier & had started on his own near Paige.  Also August Thiele was first to meet them at the train & took them to his house for their first meal at Paige, Texas.  Father soon landed a job with a farmer, Mr. Highsmith, who could talk the English language only.  This farmer had Father to cut up trees for stove wood & clear land.  The pay was very small, but could take home a hog free for meat any time he needed meat.  Hogs were running wild in pastures & lived on acorns.  They, Moritz & Marie, did not find the new country as they had expected, and would have returned to Germany if they could have made enough money to return. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moritz & Marie Beier: Coming to America

As much as I can with this blog, I want to allow my ancestors' voices to be heard.  For most of them I do not have writings, letters or memoirs.  The few that I have provide a wealth of information.

My grandfather Rudolph Beyer wrote in 1969, "As best as I can remember & reading records Moritz Beyer & Marie Kluge were married some where near Zschopau (Pronounced Joe Pau) Germany or Saxony Germany.  Father was born near above place on Nov. 22-1851.  Mother talked of Wald-Kirchen as her maiden home and was born near there Sept. 6-1859.  They were married in 1880 and 4 years later, being 1884 they sailed on a ship to the United States.  They had heard the U.S. was a free Country and people were doing better.  How-ever they came to New York by ship & then to Paige Texas by train."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moritz Ernest Beier and Marie Kluge

My mother's father's parents were Moritz Ernest Beier (1851-1926) and Marie Kluge (1859-1951). My great-grandparents were from Zschopau and Waldkirchen, in the Kingdom of Saxony in what is now Germany. Zschopau and Waldkirchen (now incorporated into the Erzgebirgskreis district of Saxony) are small towns near the city of Chemnitz, not far from the border with the Czech Republic. The industrial revolution was in full development when they lived there and Moritz worked in the textile mills as a spool maker. Saxony was in political turmoil at the time, with shifting alliances and threat of revolution in the air. In 1871, the small kingdom became a part of the newly consolidated German Empire. Moritz and Marie were married in 1880, and immigrated to the United States for a better life in 1884.