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From August 1, 1855 through April 18, 1890 immigrants from European ports came through Castle Garden ( also known as Castle Clinton). The State of New York opened the very first examining and processing center for immigrants on an island off the southwest tip of Manhattan (Castle Garden). Immigration remained purely an affair of New York State government until 1882.

Heraldry for Pommern

Joachim Tietb�hl was a 19th century immigrant from Pomerania from the Kreis or county of Demmin. Pommerania was situated along the Baltic seacoast of northeastern Germany, stretching from Stralsund on the west to Stolp on the east. The province once called Pomerania (or "Pommern" in German) is no longer part of Germany, having been overrun by the Russian Army and handed over to Poland at the end of World War II. The only reminder that this province once existed is found in the name of a northeastern province in modern day Germany called Mecklenburg Vorpommern.

Sophie� and August

Anna and Fred I

Mary and Fred II

Ruby and Fred III

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The name Tiedtb�hlen originated in Sweden in the 17th century. When King Gustavus Adolphus came south from Sweden to Pomerania during the Thirty Year�s War, some of his soldiers were of this name. After the Swedish king fell in the battle of 1632, these "b�hlens" remained along the Baltic Sea from L�beck on the west to Stettin on the river Oder to the east. Through the long years this name was shortened to Tietb�hl.

The Tietb�hl ancestors were mostly rural people: farmers, cattlemen, blacksmiths, and the like. One source indicates that the name "b�hlen" is equivalent to the German verb abharren meaning to remove hair from or a tannery worker.

In 1720 part of Pomerania was added to Prussia by King Frederick William I, father of Frederick the Great. In 1815 all of Pomerania became part of Prussia when the old Swedish territory was annexed. By the mid 1800�s the agricultural lands were taken by princes, dukes, and other nobility leaving the farmers in poverty and servitude. Falling grain prices through cheap imports by steamship from America caused unrest among the farmers. Failing farms forced rural populations into the cities where children were reared under unspeakable living conditions. King William I was also building his army by conscription, notably for the Franco- Prussian War of 1870-1871 and after. Word spread in Germany about peaceful living and good jobs to be had for the asking in America.

Joachim Tietb�hl was born May 13, 1815. He married Wilhelmina Wischmann born 1820, died in Demmin, Pommern (Prussia) about 1872. According to family tradition, Wilhelmina was of the nobility her father being a Prussian Cavalry officer. She was reserved for a person of higher rank. When she married Joachim, they were disowned because he was a farmer of common blood.

Of the union of Joachim and Wilhelmina came seven children all born in Kreis Demmin: Charles, Frederica, William, Lena, Frederick, Amelia, and August.

With the immigration of family members came documentation to verify their names and history. A photocopy of the ship�s passenger manifest shows that Joachim and the two youngest children Amelia and August traveled together to this country. These three departed the free port of Hamburg on September 25, 1881. They sailed on the S.S. Silesia with Ship�s Master A. Albers, Captain. This ship docked at the Port of New York on October 10, 1881. The full passenger complement was 926, all in steerage. Steerage being basically equivalent to a floating cattle car with a single fare about $10. The Tietb�hls were all listed as "farmers from Prussia."

The steamship SILESIA--the first of two steamships of this name owned by the Hamburg-America Line--was built by Caird & Co, Greenock (ship #150), and launched on 14 April 1869. 3,142 tons; straight bow, 1 funnel, 2 masts; iron construction, screw propulsion (single-expansion engines), service speed 12 knots; accommodation for 90 passengers in 1st class, 120 in 2nd class, and 520 in steerage; crew of 120. Captain: A. Albers. Voyages in 1881: 8 round trips Hamburg to New York, all steerage passengers. After numerous owners she was renamed MONTEVIDEO and on 2 December 1899, wrecked off Lobos Island, on the River de la Plata in South America.

After processing through Castle Gardens the three immigrants settled in Williamsport, PA. For many years there was a steady stream of German settlers into Pennsylvania. Settlements got started between the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers around fast- growing Philadelphia. As time passed, the newcomers moved west and north. Pennsylvania was the "promised land" due to liberal terms for land purchase, religious tolerance, existing German settlements, a countryside that looked a lot like Germany and a favorable economy.

August (1864-1941) was nearly 17 years old when he arrived from Germany. The 1900 census identifies him as Augustus W. from Pomerania. He and Sophie V�lschow (1870-1934) were married and living in Williamsport PA. He was an insurance salesman. Five children were living at home: William, Frederick J. Sr., Augustus, Charles, and Ralph. Irene and Leroy were yet to come.

Joachim remains a "shadow figure" because few details about his life are known. He never became a citizen of this country, didn't speak English and there is no record of his having had a will or his death recorded. He died in 1901 and is buried in Williamsport, PA.

Frederick J. Sr. (1887-1956) married Anna A. Auchmuty (1888-1953) June 4, 1910. They had seven children: Frederick J. II, Ruth, Viola, Mae, Pauline, June, and Cleo.

Augustus and his sons established a family restaurant business in Williamsport that lasted from 1915 to 1968. At one time the family was engaged in rental real estate as well as the Day and Night Restaurant.

Frederick J. II (1911-1996) married Mary E. Kilmer Miller (1910-2000). At the time of World War II, Frederick J. II became a painting and decorating contractor. Mary E. was a school teacher. Three children were born: Frederick J. III, Richard J., and Susan M. Frederick J. III was an Air Force Officer, Richard a school teacher and Susan lives at home. Frederick III married Ruby A. Holyfield.