Biography of Edward Schreiber

Edward Schreiber

Edward Schreiber is my great-grandfather through my mother's (Dorothy Delaney - nee Abbott) branch of the the family tree. Born in Germany in October of 1846, Edward immigrated to the United States in about 1880. Some uncertainty about the year of his birth exists. Information in the records of the cemetery where he is buried indicates that Edward was 60 years old at the time of death, which would place his birth around 1849.

There is no indexed listing for Edward Schreiber in the 1880 U.S. Census. Since he immigrated about 1880, it is possible that he arrived after the inumeraton took place. The first trace of Edward, although inconclusive, is an 1881 New York City directory listing placing him on the lower east side of Manhattan.1 In that directory, Edward is listed as a carver by occupation, with both his home and residence at 118 Sheriif Street. This directory listing may or may not be the Edward Schreiber to whom I'm related since there is no other evidence as to his whereabouts during that period of time. For the moment, I have assumed that the listing is for the Edward Schreiber in our family line, pending more research and the development of additional evidence.

The next sighting of Edward is in the New York City directory for 1890, although the surname is spelled "Schriber".2 Despite the difference in the spelling of his surname, that listing is almost certainly for our family member because the address and occupation are both consistent with information provided on the 1893 birth certificate for one of his children, Charles Schreiber. In 1890, Edward was residing at 340 East 38th Street in New York City and was employed as a laborer.

The 1900 United States Census provides significant information about Edward and his family.3 By the turn of the century, Edward and his family had taken up residence at 322 East 39th Street in Manhattan. The family consisted of his wife of 20 years, Barbara Schreiber, and four of the couple's children: Lena Schreiber, age 15; Ella Schreiber, age 14; Antoinette Schreiber (my grandmother), age 10; and Charles Schreiber, age 7. While Barbara and Edward are listed has having been born in Germany, all of the children recorded in the 1900 census were born in the United States. Although only four children are listed in the census, Barbara Schreiber was the mother to seven altogether. Because of a lack of information about the family members, other than Edward, between 1880 and 1900, it is not clear whether some of the children had simply moved out of the household or if some of them did not survive to that point in time. The census indicates that Edward was an alien, but by the time that the New York State Census was taken in 1905 he was listed as a citizen of the U.S. At this point, I have no evidence to support Edward's acquisition of citizenship.

We do know when Edward Schreiber and Barbara Wiegand were married based on data in the 1900 U.S. Census that indicates they had been married for 20 years, but we do not know if it took place in Germany or the United States. Using that census data, we can conclude that the couple married in about 1880, which seems to be either just before Edward immigrated or just after his arrival. Complicating matters is what seems to be contradictory information in the 1900 census: Barbara supposedly was born in Germany, but the columns for immigration (year and years in U.S.) as well as the column pertaining to citizenship are blank. Actually, there seems to be some evidence that Barbara was born in the United States rather than Germany. Even if Barbara was born in the U.S., it is possible that she traveled to Germany and the couple married there.

Of the three children not recorded in the 1900 U.S. Census, we can place the births of two of them between about 1880 and the birth of Lena Schreiber in September 1884. Although we do not have Lena's birth certificate, we do have one for her sister Ella Schreiber, who was born in 1886. Ella's birth certificate indicates that she was the fourth of Barbara Schreiber's children. Her sister Lena, born two years earlier, would have been the mother's third child. From that information, it is possible to conclude that the second child was likely born about 1882 and that the first child may have been born in 1880 or 1881. As far as the other child not recorded for in the 1900 U.S. Census, there are two gaps in known birth dates of the children that could account for the birth of that child. A child could have been born about 1888, between the birth of Ella Schreiber in April of 1886 and the birth of my grandmother Antoinette Schreiber in August of 1889. The time between those two births is relatively short, but a couple of Barbara's children were born only about eighteen months apart. Another possibility is the almost four year gap between the birth of Antoinette and Charles, who was born in April 1893. Finally, there is a seven year period from the time of Charles' birth to the point the census was recorded that could account for the third child not recorded in the 1900 U.S. Census. Regardless of when that child was born, it would appear that death came at quite a young age, if one rules out that the child simply wan't present in the house on the day when the 1900 census was taken.

Answers to the questions raised by the information presented here will hinge on more information coming to light about the couple's early years, including their marriage date and birth information about the children for whom I can't currently account.4

Five years later when the 1905 New York Census was taken, Edward and three children -- Ella, Antoinette and Charles -- were living at 337 East 43rd Street in New York City.5 Edward Schreiber is a junk dealer and his son Charles, who is twelve years old, is at school. The other children are employed. Ella, age 17 according to this census, has an occupation listed as "electric." My grandmother Antoinette Schreiber is working as a packer and is fifteen years old. Lena Schreiber is married by this time to William Henry Ziesse and they are not living in the Schreiber household. William and Lena (Schreiber) Ziesse already have a child, Evelyn Ziesse, who was born about 1904.6

Barbara Schreiber predeceased (1902) her husband.7,8 Edward Schreiber lived another seven years, dying on March 13, 1909 at his residence, 563 9th Avenue, New York, New York.9 "Ulcus laryngis (tuberculosis?)", "[indecipherable word] due to inability to swallow" and "asthenia" were the causes of death listed on the death certificate by the attending physician. Burial took place on March 16, 1909 at Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery in Ridgewood, New York.10, 11 The undertaker was William F. Coester, the same firm that oversaw arrangements for many other members of our families, including the Abbott and Ziesse families.

1 1881 Trow's New York City Directory (for the year ending May 1, 1881), p. 1390.
2 1890 New York City Directory. This source is a transcription of the directory, not actual images, availalbe at (accessed October 29, 2005).
3 1900 U.S. Census - T623 Roll 1106 Page 147A ED 571 Sheet 14 Manhattan, NY. Note: The family surname is incorrectly spelled "Schrieber."
4 None of the Schreiber individuals in this family were found during search performed in February 2011 of the 1892 New York State Census.
5 1905 New York State Census - Page 23 ED 11 AD22 Block 4 June 1, 1905, Manhattan, New York, NY.
6 1910 U.S. Census - Ziesse Family (William,Lena and Evelyn) - T624 Roll 996 ED 1410 Page 9B, Bronx, NY.
7 Burial Record Card for Barbara Schreiber - Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery, 323 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 - December 6, 1902, Row 56 Section 1-E Grave 40, Burial Number 10359.
8 Death certificate for Barbara Schreiber - Certificate and Record of Death, The City of New York, Department of Health, Certificate Number 34263. Certificate dated December 4, 1902.
9 Death certificate for Edward Schreiber - Certificate and Record of Death, The City of New York, Department of Health, Certificate Number 7869. Certificate dated March 13, 1909, and signed by Gustavus Schlegel, M.D., 151 West 91st Street, New York, NY.
10 Ibid.
11 Burial Record Card for Edward Schreiber - Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery, 323 Woodward Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 - March 16, 1909, Row 56 Section 1-E Grave 40, Burial Number19686.

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Page created: February 13, 2011