Charles Bischoff Emigrates, landing September 25, 1875
on the steamship Ohio, Bremen to Baltimore
his return trip -- our only ancestor to return to Germany


The steamship Ohio at the dock in Bremerhaven (Bremen)
The OHIO was built by Caird & Company Greenock in 1868 for North German Lloyd of Bremen. This was a 2394 gross ton ship, length 290.2 feet, by beam of 39 feet, with a clipper stem, one funnel, two masts (rigged for sails), iron construction, with a single screw propulsion and a speed of 10 knots. There was accommodation for 84 First class and 717 Third class/steerage passengers, with a crew of 79.

Launched on 15 December 1868, the OHIO sailed from Bremen on 8 March 1869 on her maiden voyage to Southampton and Baltimore. From 1871-1883, she made 11 Bremen—Southampton—New York voyages. By 1881, her engines were compounded, with her service speed increased to 11-12 knots, and she commenced her last Bremen-Baltimore voyage on 3 October 1883. On 24 March 1884 she was transferred to the Bremen—South America service and started her last voyage on this route on 25 November 1893.

The OHIO was sold in 1894 to Sir W. G. Armstrong, Mitchell & Company (shipbuilders) with the FRANKFURT in part payment for two new ships (PFALZ and MARK), resold to Italian interests and was renamed AMAZZONE and placed in service to Argentina. She was seized by the Argentine government for unpaid debts, and auctioned on 7 April 1896 to the Argentine Navy for £30,000 and renamed RIO SANTA CRUZ. She was used for Patagonia service and as a floating prison after several revolutionary uprisings, and was finally hulked in 1903.

Local Marine News—Baltimore Sun,
September 27, 1875

From Europe. Arrival of the Ohio. The steamship Ohio, Captain Meyer, of the Baltimore Bremen Line, from Bremen 8th and Southampton the 11th instant, reached Locust Point Saturday morning, with 44 cabin and 169 steerage passengers. She had generally good weather, but on the 17th encountered a southeast storm and high seas. Among her cabin passengers were … Of the 213 passengers, 73 are citizens of the United States, 113 of Germany, 26 of Austria, 1 of Switzerland, 1 of France, and B. Boldemann is a merchant from Australia. On the 19th Marianne Reitz, aged 11 months, daughter of German parents in the steerage, died and was buried at sea. The cargo of the Ohio consisted of toys and notions, 50 bags coffee, 550 kegs herrings, and assorted merchandise from Bremen; 50 casks beer, 98 cases wine, 2787 boxes tin plates, and general merchandise from Southampton and Havre. She will sail hence on Saturday at 2 P.M.

Carl Bischoff's second passenger list -- 1875 (click on picture for larger view)
#179 Charles Bischoff, age 29, German, Residing in-USA/Washington, allegiance-USA, occupation-tailor

There were a total of 215 persons who boarded: 113 Germans, 26 Austrians, 1 Swiss, 1 French, 1 Australian and 72 Americans, but 1 child died on board, and one passenger was left ??, for a total of 213 persons.

This is Charles' second trip. And how different to come in to Baltimore instead of Castle Garden in NY. The newspaper had a much longer article, mentioning several of the more important people on the trip. The total return visit to Germany was less than four months, based on the date of his naturalization papers filing.

On May 31, 1875 Charles filed his intent (the first papers in the naturalization process), and he is found on this September 1875 return passenger list (outbound lists were not maintained) just less than four months later. Six months after this return trip Charles marries Justina Voehl in Washington. Since Charles names two daughters Alma (one born 1876 to Charles and Justina, dies 1878), and our grandmother (born 1882), it is assumed that his mother’s name may have been Alma. His father’s name (as listed on his death certificate) was Heinrich. I have not been able to find his birthplace, even though I have checked passenger lists, church records at Concordia Lutheran Church in Washington, naturalization records (no passport), court records (no will), newspapers (no obituary), death and marriage certificates, and even contacted the Germania Masonic Lodge to which Charles and his brother-in-law Hermann Stiebeling belonged. I do know he was from the duchy of Braunschweig, but not from the city of Braunschweig, based on Braunschweig city directories (no Bischoff’s at all in 1875 in the city). There are emigration “Auswanderer” directories -- however, the Auswanderer duchy directory, listing all emigrants from the entire duchy and not just the city, was only compiled through 1871, the year before Carl emigrated. (There was a female Bischoff in it from Zorge, but I wrote the church there, and there was no Henry with son Carl.) Church records from Brunswick have not been microfilmed, however, I have enlisted some help in Germany, and have a few more leads, so more information may turn up.

Charles' naturalization followed 15 years later on July 14, 1890.

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There is also an overview of some of the reasons why our ancestors emigrated, a list of the sources used in data collection and summaries, and a summary of the history of Germany in the middle of the 19th century.