Wahl Genealogy America (1847)

WAHL...Christian Wahl Sr. fled Bavaria to Milwaukee in 1847 with his 5 grown children to escape assassination because he was a influential liberal sympathizer and family friends with Robert Blum, the leader of the liberal party in Germany. His two sons, Christian and Louis, became very wealthy businessmen in Chicago and one of his daughters, Louisa, married Franz Falk, and was the mother of the famous Falk men of Milwaukee. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

Location: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Vietnam Veteran 5 children and 9 grandchildren I am happy and at peace!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Christian Wahl Sr. (1802-1871)

Christian Wahl Sr. emigrated to America (Milwaukee) in May of 1847 with his five adult children at the age of forty-five...In today's lingo, that would be the politically correct description of "running for his life"...

The Encyclopedia of American Biography (New York, 1943) states:

"He was a man of substance and intellectual leanings, being interested in music. He enjoyed a wide acquaintance among German composers as well as men of letters and was closely associated with the poet Schiller with whom he corresponded.
He received a fine education in Germany and also spoke French fluently. Mr. Wahl lived in a spacious home and associated himself with highly educated liberals in German politics whose activities led to the political upheaval preceding the German Revolution in 1848 with which he sympathized."

Now for a more accurate story as to why Christian Wahl Sr. "fled to Milwaukee":

"So critical was the political situation for those liberals that while Mr. Wahl was attending a great ball given on a social occasion for him, a friend came and warned him of intended harm that was imminent and advised him to immediately leave in his dress suit and silk hat, with money furnished by friends who spontaneously made up a purse. Thus, Christian Wahl Sr., became an exile to America..."

I am going to take a moment to briefly explain the political climate in Germany during this time period. Germany was an oppressive monarchy and in the 1840's the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the working class was fed up and there was a powerful middle class forming.

The ideals of our America (1776) were the goals of the educated liberal socialists (they wanted to democratize Germany). When the German Revolution 1848 (actually a social revolution) failed, the mass exodus from Germany (emigration) began.

Christian Wahl Sr. was very active in his support for the democratizing of Germany and had "family traditions with Robert Blum, the recognized leader of the liberal party from Saxony" (who was subsequently arrested while under amnesty protection and tried and shot for treason and is considered Germany's greatest political martyr).

I have been told that Christian Wahl Sr. may have worked for the government in the tax office while he lived in Germany. However, I haven't spent any time researching the time period before 1847. My plate is full just attempting to chronicle the American born Wahl's.

His son, Christian Wahl Jr., who came to America with him, married the daughter of the brother-in-law of Robert Blum, and he also served as the vice-counsul of the United States at Berlin during the Franco-Prussian War.

This short war was a convincing victory for Germany over France and many historians agree that this victory in 1871 launched Germany to its quest towards World domination and directly led Germany to World War I (1914) in which 9,000,000 people died.


March 18, 1802: Born Pirmasens, Rhenish Bavaria (Germany)

May 1847 : Fled Germany to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his five children:
Christian Jr., Louis, Margaret, Catherine, Louisa

1847--1850 : Established Wahl Glue Works and slaughter house,
pioneering the great packing industry.

1850 : Founded Milwaukee Musical Society

1850's : Obtained an interest in the Suhm Tannery and through this
latter association met Mr. Suhm's niece and soon married her.

1852 : Married Caroline Schopbacher (second wife) from Baden,
Germany, age 15. Their six children (Herminia, Albert,
Fred, Dr. Robert 1858, Emile, Paula).

1865-1867 : Served as President of the Milwaukee Musical Society,
oldest Musical Society in the city, which he founded in 1850.

He also was appointed public school commissioner of Milwaukee,
serving three years.

July 9, 1871 : Died in Milwaukee, leaving a wife and eleven children.

He was one of the most active and public-spirited citizens of his time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Roger W. Wahl (writer of this blog...Pictured Below)

I am listing my direct ancestors below...men only...and as I progress I will tell the family stories which should include the women ancestors of note as well. My Mom's genealogy has already been chronicled superbly by her sister Marian and brother-in-law Uncle David Elkinton in two volumes (Dunham and Grove) complete with indexes...WOW!.

Aunt Marian worked on her ancestry for eighteen years (1977-1995) without the aid of a computer and the relatives from my mom's side were traced 270 years further back than the Wahl's to 1577 and Thomas West (Lord de la Warr). You may not remember him, but you have heard of the river that bears his name and the first State that also bears his name...Delaware!

My effort, of less than 3 years, also traces the American side of our family, but we did not flee Bavaria (Germany) until 1847. My Mom's family came over 200+ years earlier. Thomas West arrived in 1610 (we already had ancestors here before him) and met the "Patience" and the "Deliverance" in the mouth of the James River. The settlers had packed up and were leaving Jamestown.

Thomas West was the commander of the fleet of several ships, filled with supplies, He alone convinced the exiting Jamestown residents to turn back and instead of the Virginia Colony being abandoned...the new First Governor of the Virginia Colony of Jamestown, Thomas West, got them to stay...and you all know the rest of the story. In 2007, America will be celebrating the 400 year anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Colony for the entire year. This first colony that was abondoned and then saved by Lord Delaware. Our famous ancestor!

I will certainly tell about my Mom, Margaret Dunham Wahl (1914-1982), the first woman in America that had a Woman's Television Show (the first Oprah). The show began in 1950 in Philadelphia and she was awarded the equivalent of an Oscar for her efforts. She was also the mother of six kids and president of the PTA in every school that we ever attended and was extremely active in the Stamford, Connecticut community right up until her death.

In any case, my genealogy will be much shorter and not nearly as concise as Aunt Marian's.

Christian Wahl Sr., Manufacturing Pioneer (Born March 18, 1802 Pirmasens, Rhenish, Bavaria) (Died July 9, 1871 Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Robert Wahl, Ph.D.: Chemist, Brewing Technologist, Instructor, Teacher, Writer, Statesman (Born May 20, 1858 Milwaukee, Wisconsin) (Died June 11, 1937 Chicago, Illinois)

Arnold Spencer Wahl: Chemist, Brewing Technologist, Baking Technologist, Publisher, Teacher, (Born January 16, 1892 Chicago, Illinois) (Died November 18, 1975 Chicago, Illinois)

Robert Arnold Wahl, Advertising Executive, Television Producer, Writer:
(Born August 12, 1917 Wheaton, Illinois) (Died October 31, 2000 Naperville, Illinois)

His six children: Roland D. Wahl 5/5/42, Christine Wahl Billone 1/15/44, Roger W. Wahl (me) 2/8/47, Karen Ariel Wahl 4/14/48, Robin Wahl Withers 2/24/51, and Candelin Wahl Thabault 5/22/53.