Families of Alfred Henry Wiedhofft

Alfred Henry Wiedhofft was born on the 4th October 1831 and baptised at the Church of St George the Martyr, Holborn as had all his elder brothers. The parish records show 1 Jan 1832 (born Oct 4 1831) Alfred Henry son of Frederick Gotleib Wiedhofft of Duke Street. Chaser.
(It would seem from later records that he celebrated his birthday on the 10th October)

Alfred Henry Wiedhofft christening 1832

Sister Louisa Ann Wiedhofft was born about 1834, but interestingly although the 1851 census has her dittoed as being born in Middlesex, the 1881 census shows her as a British subject born in Paris, France. (91 - Paris & '71 looks like France)

Sister Mary Wiedhofft was born about 1837 in Bloomsbury, London.

1841 Census Hyde Street, Holborn, London 1841
Frederick Wiedhofft 45   Ormolu M   F
Mary do   40   Y  
Frederick do 15   Furrier Y  
George do 15     Y  
Charles do 14        
William do 12     Y  
Alfred do 10     Y  
Louisa do   7   Y  
Maria do   3   Y  

25th December 1848 brother Frederick Augustus married Amelia Pike at St Marks Church, Clerkenwell.
12th May 1850 niece Amelia is born to Frederick Augustus and Amelia.

1851 Census 47 Devonshire St. Holborn (St George the Martyr ) Holborn
Frederick G Wiedhofft Head M 55 Chaser Germany
Mary E Wiedhofft Wife M 51   Middlesex
William Wiedhofft Son U 22 Brazier Middlesex
Alfred Wiedhofft Son U 19 Cabinet Maker Middlesex
Louisa Wiedhofft Daur U 17   Middlesex
Mary Wiedhofft Daur U 14   Mddx (see later)

Brothers Charles and Johann George were not shown in the 1851 census and may have been making their way across the Atlantic or going in different directions.

The following from the database: Irish to America, 1846-1865 proves that Alfred went with brother William to settle in America.
Wiedhofft, Alfred  Age : 20  Country of Origin : England   Date of Arrival : Apr. 28, 1852
Final Destination : USA    Gender : Male    Occupation : Cabinet Maker
Port of Debarkation : New York   Ship's Name : Hibernia  Manifest ID Number : 900085
Port of Embarkation : London   Purpose for Travel : Staying in USA, but not a citizen of USA Mode of Travel : Steerage

4th January 1862 Brother Charles married twenty four year old Ellen Jenmla Caine at Lake, Illinois.

The following information has been extracted from:-

A. H. WIEDHOFFT, carpenter and builder, was born in London, England, October 10, 1834. He learned his trade and served an apprenticeship in London and Paris. Coming to America in 1852. he settled in New York City for two years, and engaged as a ship-joiner and in cabinet-making business. He then went to Baf-falo and worked as a cabinet-joiner on the steamboat "Queen of West," and came with it to Cleveland, where he apprenticed himself for one year with Cubin & Collott, contractors and builders. He then went to Chillicothe in the interest of that firm, and then to Cincinnati and Memphis. In the fall of 1856 he came to Chicago, and in 1857 started in business for himself, which he continued up to 1871, when he settled in Lake View Township, carrying on his shop in Chicago up to 1880. Closing this out he built his present shop in Lake View Township. He married Miss Isabella Turner, of Preston, England. She died in 1875, leaving three children--Mary, Alfred and William. He again married Miss Bertha Nelson, of Sweden. They have one child, George.

From the above I assume that he married Isabella Turner (born in Preston, Lancs, England) at some point in his travels through the USA. Note AKA Isabla Mayer Turner Wiedhofft & Isabala Mayor Wiedhofft (re Kerry Richardson)

2nd March 1863 daughter Mary Louise (Mamie) was born in Chicago, Illinois.

An Illinois State Census in 1865 shows A Wiederoft (a white 20-30 year old male) living with a white female under 10, a white female under 20 and a white female aged 50-60.

Alfred's father died on the 19th December 1865 in Camberwell (England).

Son Alfred H was born on the 1st January 1866 in Chicago, Illinois.

Nieces and nephews of brother Charles living (up the road) in Warren Township, Illinois in the 1860s are Sophronia Charlotte Wiedhoft born about January 1861 but she died in Jul 1861.Charles Wiedhoft was born about 1863. Frederick Wiedhofft was born in July 1866. Walter Wiedhoft was born about 1869 Arthur A Wiedhoft was born in April 1869 (he died on the 6th October 1870).

Brother Charles divorced Ellen (Caine) about 1872, and on the
30th December 1873 he married New York born Sarah Ann Wallace in Lake County, Illinois.

Back in England Alfred's mother died on the 18th March 1874.

We next find a marriage in Cook Co. Illinois on the 16th February 1876 between Alfred H Wiedhofft and Bengtta Oerson (this was anglicised to Bertha Nelson in some records). She was born in Myelby, Sweden in December 1849 and had immigrated two years previously.

Their son George W Wiedhofft was born in the December of the same year (1876)

Sister-in-law Sarah Ann Wiedhofft died from an epileptic seizure on the 11th November 1881.

8th February 1882 Daughter Mary (more commonly referred to as Mamie) married John Plumly Robinson.

Brother Charles married again on the 26th February 1883 to Mary G. Perry in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. USA

Alfred H Wiedhofft's Seed Dropper
In 1886 Alfred H applied for a patent on his seed dropper (assumed this was Alfred the father rather than his 20 year old son)
Nephew Walter died on the 24th of a month in 1892 and was buried in Gurnee Lake Village township, Illinois. He would have been about 23.

1900 Census. Lake View Town, Cook County, Chicago, Illinois
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Wiedhoff A.H? Head W M Oct 1835 64 M 25     England At Sea England 1852 48 na Building Contractor 0 Yes Yes Yes O H
---- Bertha Wife W F Dec 1849 50 M 25 1 1 Sweden Sweden Sweden 1874 26          
---- Geo. W Son W M Dec 1876 23 S       Illinois England Sweden       dentist 0 Yes Yes Yes
KEY 1=Name: 2=Relation: 3=Colour of face: 4=Sex: 5&6= Month & year of birth: 7= Age: 8= Married,single, widowed or divorced: 9= Years married: 10=Mother of how many children: 11How many of those children still living: 12= Place of birth: 13= Place of birth of father: 14= Place f birth of mother: 15= Year of immigration to United States: 16= Number of years in United States: 17= Naturalisation: 18= Occupation: 19= Months not employed: 20= Can read: 21= Can write: 22= Can speak English: 23= Home owned or rented: 24= House or Farm

The 1900 Census of Warren township, Lake County, Illinois shows brother 73 year old Charles Wiedhofft with his wife of 17 years, Mary.

1st September 1901 son Alfred H married 25 year old Mae Nifnecker in St Joseph, Michegan.

4th September 1901 son George W married Mayme England in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Nephew Charles died aged about 39 on the 17th January 1902 in Cook County Hospital. He was buried in Oakdale Cemetery Newport Township, Lake County. Illinois.

Brother Charles James died on the 4th December 1905 in Gurnee, Illinois, USA and was buried in Warren Cemetery.

Son George W married for a second time on the 14th of February 1907 in St Joseph, Berrien, Michegan. He married 32 year old spinster Clara M Schleifarth. However just 2 months later.....

Clara M Wiedhofft female white born Illiinois age 32 years 7months lived in Illinois since birth died 22 April 1907 about 1pm married housewife place of death 23 Airdrie Place (usual residence same) Burial Graseland Cemetery Cook. Cause of death Shock & hemorrhage due to a bullet wound to right side of head self inflicted while temporalily insane. Signed Peter F Hoffman Coroner or Coroners Physicians

10th April 1911 Alfred Henry died. His obituary in the Chicago Tribune of the 12th April 1911 page 16 reads:-
WIEDHOFFT -- Alford H. Wiedhoff; beloved husband of Bertha Wiedhofft, father of W. M. B. and Dr. G. W. and Mrs. J. P. ROBINSON. Services at Rosehill chapel, April 12 at 2pm.
(note. no mention of son Alfred H)

1920 Census Residence: Bertha Wiedhofft. 73 Precinct Chicago City 25, Cook, Illinois. Age: 73 Birthplace: Sweden. Marital Status: Widowed.

Bertha died on the 24th of February 1932 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Aged 86 born Myelby, Sweden (Father: Nelson Father's Birth Place: Myelby, Sweden Mother: Anna Mother's Birth Place: Bletruky, Sweden. Occupation: Houeswife Residence: Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Spouse: Alfred H. Wiedhofft) Burial Date: 26 Feb 1932 Burial Place: Chicago, Cook, Ill.Cemetery: Rosehill Cemetery

Alfred Henry Wiedhofft
b. London 1831,
m. Isabella Turner
Lake, Illinois 1862,
m. Bengtta Oerson1876
d. Cook Co. Illinois 1911
St George the Martyr
 Recent picture of St George the Martyr Church (close to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital)


Simon Wiedhoefft & Anna Christina Bissinger.


Frederick Gottleib Wiedhofft & Mary Elizabeth (Ruppersburg)


Frederick Augustus 1823
Johann George 1825
William Louis 1829
Charles James 1834

Louisa Ann 1835
Mary 1837


Mary Louise (Mamie) 1863
Alfred H 1866
William B 1869
George 1876


Jennie Alice Robinson 1883

"Queen of the West" in Civil War

Queen of the West in the Civil War

At 19 years old, Charles Rivers Ellet was one of the Union Army’s youngest colonels. In a Feb. 2, 1863 report, Rear Adm. David Porter characterized him as “ the kind of man I like to command,” a “gallant and daring officer” who “will undertake anything I wish him to without asking questions.” But, Porter added, “The only trouble I have is to hold him in and keep him out of danger.” That same day, Porter had ordered the Queen of the West, a steam-powered wooden ram under Ellet’s command, south past the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg to reconnoiter the lower Red River and destroy any Confederate ships he encountered. The young colonel, who had been a medical student when the war broke out, could be said to have inherited the family business. The fleet of Union rams that included the Queen of the West was the brainchild of his father, Charles Ellet Jr., a Paris-trained civil engineer who had spent the antebellum years designing some of the nation’s earliest wire-cable suspension bridges, including spans over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, the Ohio River in Wheeling, W.V., and a 770-foot suspension footbridge at Niagara Falls. He also oversaw the construction of canals and railroads and surveyed both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in anticipation of improvements to navigation and flood control. Ellet also had an abiding interest in the history of the naval ram as a weapon, and the advent of steam-powered vessels convinced him that this ancient tactic might once more prove effective. His attempts to interest official Washington in his theories proved futile until early 1862. On March 8, the Confederate ironclad Virginia, in a prelude to her encounter with Monitor the next day, rammed and sank the 50-gun frigate Cumberland off Newport News, Va. Despite the success of the Monitor in stopping the Virginia, some members of the Lincoln administration quickly conjured up frightening scenes of Confederate warships shelling the nation’s capital city from the Potomac. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, one of the panic stricken, quickly engineered a meeting with Ellet and within days appointed him a colonel in the Union Army and authorized him to purchase and outfit steam vessels for use as military rams. He “has more ingenuity, more personal courage, and more enterprise than anybody else I have met,” wrote the usually skeptical Stanton. The cabinet officer’s action trumped any interest the Navy might reluctantly have displayed in Ellet’s ideas, and set up an inter-service rivalry that produced considerable confusion over the coming months. Ellet went to work immediately, purchasing seven of the fastest vessels he could find on the Ohio River and setting about converting them for military use. He also enlisted 12 members of his family, including a brother Alfred and his son Charles, to serve aboard the newborn fleet. The Queen of the West, built in Cincinnati in 1854 and retrofitted there under Ellet’s direction, was one of the larger rams: the side-wheeler measured 181 feet in length and displaced 406 tons. Shipwrights used iron rods to attach three solid oak bulkheads, each 12 to 16 inches thick and up to seven feet high, to the keel, the hull and the decks. A central oak beam stretched from the bow to the stern; iron stays held the boilers and engines in place, and two-foot-thick oak timbers surrounded them. The ship carried four guns, but its greatest offensive threat was as a ram: the structural changes concentrated the entire vessel’s weight behind the iron-reinforced bow of the boat. Ellet’s decision to paint the ship black gave it a sinister quality. By June 1862, Ellet’s squadron was ready to join a fleet of Union gunboats intent on capturing Memphis. Bridling at the caution displayed by the commanding flag officer, Charles H. Davis, Charles Ellet and his brother Alfred took matters into their own hands, steaming through the line of gunboats to attack the Confederate flotilla. The Queen of the West and the Monarch together destroyed all but one of eight enemy ships, a fact later acknowledged by a surprisingly gracious Charles Davis. The capture of Memphis gave the Union control of the Mississippi as far south as Vicksburg, but the victory proved costly. Two weeks later Charles Ellet succumbed to wounds received during the engagement. In the ensuing months the Queen of the West participated in the Union campaign against Vicksburg, joining an attack on the Confederate ironclad Arkansas in July and at year’s end working to clear Confederate torpedoes from the Yazoo River. In October Gideon Welles reorganized what had been known as the Western Flotilla, rechristening it the Mississippi Squadron and naming Commander David D. Porter to lead the Union fleet. Porter was, in Welles’s opinion, “impressed with and boastful of his own powers,” and “given to exaggeration in everything related to himself.” But, Welles continued, he also “has stirring and positive qualities, is fertile in resources, has great energy” and “is brave and daring like all of his family” (his adoptive brother was Admiral David G. Farragut). The Federal Ram "Queen of the West" attacked the rebel gun-boat "Vicksburg" off Vicksburg on Feb. 2, 1863.Navy Historical CenterThe Federal Ram “Queen of the West” attacked the rebel gun-boat “Vicksburg” off Vicksburg on Feb. 2, 1863. A month later Welles won his administrative tug-of-war with Secretary of War Stanton when the president transferred jurisdiction over the ram fleet from the Army to the Navy. The fleet continued to act largely independent of naval control, however, and early in 1863 Admiral Porter added to the confusion when he formed the Mississippi Marine Brigade. Intended to combat Confederate guerillas, this 350-man unit was an Army command consisting of artillery, cavalry and infantry that were to be ferried about by the rams and operate under the direction of the Union Navy. Its officers nonetheless remained army officers: Alfred Ellet was appointed brigadier general and commander of the brigade. His nephew Charles Rivers Ellet received command of the Queen of the West. A Feb. 28, 1863, report in Harper’s Weekly vividly describes the Union ram’s brazen passage that month under the Confederate guns at Vicksburg: Rear-Admiral Porter had given orders that she should proceed down to Vicksburg, destroy the rebel steamboat City of Vicksburg . . . and then run past the lower rebel batteries. . . . When the ram had reached the proper position the Colonel turned her partly around, so as to face the city, and then made across the river straight for the fated steamboat. . . . She struck the rebel steamboat forward of the wheel-house. . . .Both steam-boats were thus ablaze at the same time [and] the flames spread rapidly. . . . Colonel Ellet had intended to strike the rebel steamboat in the stern [to] . . . finish the work of demolition; but the spreading flames on the Queen of the West made it necessary for him to . . .run down stream, and set all hands on board at work extinguishing the flames. Ellet’s successful foray past the Confederate guns at Vicksburg positioned the Union ram to wreak considerable havoc on Southern attempts to sustain the Port Hudson garrison, the southern anchor of the Confederacy’s increasingly tenuous hold on the Mississippi. After putting out the fires caused by his successful assault on the City of Vicksburg, Ellet destroyed three steamers carrying $200,000 worth of provisions to Port Hudson. Confederate vessels tied up at Natchez fled up the Red River, and after refueling from coal barges that Porter had floated down the river, the Queen of the West followed. Related Disunion Highlights Fort Sumter Explore multimedia from the series and navigate through past posts, as well as photos and articles from the Times archive. See the Highlights » On Feb. 12, Ellet steamed six miles up and back on the Atchafalaya River, a tributary of the Red River, destroying Confederate wagons and supplies as he went and burning houses at the mouth of the Red River as retaliation for the wounding of one of his officers. The following night, the Union ironclad Indianola also passed Vicksburg, with orders to protect the Queen of the West. At this juncture, Ellet displayed the youthful impetuosity that concerned Porter. On Feb. 13, he steamed 15 miles upriver to the mouth of the Black River (another tributary of the Red River) and the next morning captured the steamer Era No. 5 and its cargo of 4,500 bushels of corn. Upon learning that other Confederate ships were even further upriver, Ellet, whose pilot had fallen ill, took on board a new pilot and moved ahead. Almost certainly a Southern sympathizer, the new pilot ran the Queen of the West aground within sight of a powerful battery at Fort DeRussy. Confederate gunners forced Ellet and his crew to abandon ship and float down river on the cotton bales that had served as armor for the ram. This ignominious end to Ellet’s captaincy of the Queen of the West did not spell an immediate end to his or the ship’s wartime service. Confederate forces quickly repaired the ram and 10 days later the C.S.S. Queen of the West assisted in the capture of the Union ship Indianola below Vicksburg. On April 11, 1863, it engaged with Union gunboats on the Atchafalaya River, where a shell from the Union’s Calhoun set the ram’s cotton on fire. She drifted down the river for several hours before running aground and exploding. Charles Rivers Ellet went on to command the ram Switzerland, and then infantry from the Mississippi Marine Brigade. He died of disease on Oct. 29, 1863. Follow Disunion at twitter.com/NYTcivilwar or join us on Facebook. Sources: Harper’s Weekly, Feb. 28, 1863; Gary D. Joiner, “Mr. Lincoln’s Brown Water Navy: The Mississippi Squadron”; Angus Konstam, “Mississippi River Gunboats of the American Civil War, 1861-65”; James M. McPherson, “War on the Waters: The Union & Confederate Navies, 1861-1861”; William l. Shea and Terrence J. Winschel, “Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River.”