Sons Carl and Henry Batke with friend, Jacob Link

Sons Carl and Henry Batke with friend, Jacob Link
Sons Carl and Henry Batke with friend Jacob Link, St. Joseph, Michigan, c 1941, Photo courtesy Don Fredrick

About Martin Batke and Anna Lock

About Martin Batke and Anna Lock

Martin Batke and Anna Lock(?) are parents to at least five children. In their son Henry's death notice in The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan, dated April 7, 1949, four brothers are named: John of Canada; Peter of Germany; Carl of Fresno, California; and, Fred of Stockton, California. To my knowledge Martin never came to North America. Anna traveled with her sons John and Henry and their families from the Port of Bremen on the ship Pallanza to Quebec, Canada and eventually settled in Saskatchewan. She homesteaded at Queen Center, Saskatchewan and became a British citizen in 1919. It is believed, but not proven, Anna died on October 31, 1939 in Saskatchewan and may be buried in the Elim MB Church Cemetery, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fred Batke, Declaration of Intention, 1921

In the Superior Court of Fresno County, California, Fred Batke, brother of Henry Batke, completed his Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen on July 5, 1921.

On the application he says he is 32 years old, a painter, 5 foot, 5 inches tall and weighs 148 pounds.  He states he was born in Chortitz, Russia on December 26, 1888 and now resides at 2181 Bardell Street, Fresno, California.  He emigrated to the United States from Le Harve, France on the vessel La Touraine.  However, prior to his emigration, he lived in Chortitz, Russia.  He states he is single and that it is his intention to renounce all allegiances "to Russia or any independent state within the boundary of the former Russian Empire."

He arrived at the port of New York on or about the 18th of October, 1913 and he states it is his intention to become a citizen of the United States of America.

To view a larger image, double click on document. 
Image from Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, MF# 1666770, Item 2  from material at the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Fresno, California.

1 comment:

  1. Fred arrived on SS La Touraine, but that’s not the ship he originally left Europe on.

    Fred was one of 657 passengers and crew that sailed from Rotterdam for Halifax (the Canadian-bound Fred’s likely endpoint) and New York on the Uranium Steamship Company’s SS Volturno on 2 October 1913. One week later, on the morning of 9 October, a fire broke out on Volturno during a raging gale. Almost immediately seeing the extent of the damage, Volturno’s captain ordered lifeboats to be launched and sent out SOS signals. The six lifeboat launches were disastrous, resulting in the loss of everyone on board them—some 100 or more people. The captain stopped any more launches, and concentrated on containing the fire to the front end of the ship. In the mean time, the wireless operator was able to reach several ships, and eventually eleven steamers arrived in the afternoon and into the night. As the ships arrived, each tried to launch lifeboats to reach Volturno in the stormy weather, but most were unsuccessful, rescuing only handfuls of those venturous enough to jump overboard to reach the boats. (Fred may have been one of those brave and/or foolhardy souls.)

    By dawn on 10 October, the seas had calmed enough that lifeboats could come alongside and everyone who had endured the stormy night on the deck of the burning ship was taken off by 7:30. Sailors from SS La Touraine rescued 42 passengers and crew, while the other ships saved the rest of the 521 survivors. Each ship resumed its original course, with La Touraine headed to Le Havre. Some survivors had had enough and went back home, and eight children who’d been separated from their parents during the rescue were sent back to Rotterdam. But the majority—including Fred—remained in Le Havre and sailed for New York on La Touraine’s next voyage.

    So, yes, Fred *did* arrive in New York on La Touraine, but there’s a little bit more to the story than that.