I still am mulling over the recent discovery that my 3rd great-grandfather Ferdinand Hermann Hachez’s oldest brother — Heinrich Joseph Peter Hachez — was a Catholic missionary to Diocese of Paderborn. He served in the town of Plettenberg in the Märkischer Kreis in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He is often referred to as J. P. Hachez or H. J. P. Hachez in German records online.
Their father Johann Ferdinand Dominikus was a Kaufmann [buyer or merchant in English] like own his father, according to background on the Hachez family of Bremen. Another relative was Joseph John Arnold Hachez (1828-1901), manager and part-owner in the shipping company D. H. Wätjen.
One of Ferdinand’s younger brothers was Hermann Constantin Emil Philipp Hachez — called Emil Hermann Hachez (1820-1875), buyer and partner of the Cigarrenfabrik Hachez and Mueller, according to his son’s biography on Wikipedia. That son was Joseph Emile Hachez who, after training in Antwerp, returned home to start the Hachez chocolate firm that exists yet today in Bremen. The firm started in the old part of town, selling chocolate, cocoa, and sweets.
So there was a strong entrepreneurial and merchant tradition in the family. My Ferdinand Hermann Hachez had a career in agriculture, first managing Hachez family farms, near Bremerhaven I believe, and then managing estates including farm lands in Holstein and Mecklenberg, according to his obituary. In New Holstein, Wisconsin, where he migrated in 1854 with wife and son, he was able to buy and manage his own farm.
Then his son Ferdinand Hachez, my 2nd great-grandfather, chose not to stay on the farm. Instead, in 1872 when the railroad arrived, he chose to own and manage the Farmers and Mechanics Tavern in the Town of New Holstein — going back to his family’s merchant ancestry. Only later in life, when his granddaughter Lucille was born, did he return to farming at the urging of his wife Elise.
This is how the children in a family disperse into different occupations, following their own talents and ambitions. Each has his or her own niche in many cases.
And there was a tradition of one son to the priesthood in Catholic families, described very well in a New York Times article from 19 Nov. 2000: “In generations past, when Roman Catholic families were large and devout, behind almost every Catholic priest was a Catholic mother who had encouraged one of her children to commit his life to a career in the service of God.”
Ferdinand Hermann Hachez — who was a member of the Turnverein and said in his obituary that he “followed the principal of liberalism” — clearly cared about his elder brother. He made references only to him and to his own married son in New Holstein in his obituary in 1874. Interesting insights into the family and background of an influential ancestor — insights that perhaps help explain why he migrated to America.
NOTE: A special thanks to Susanne, a genealogist in Minnesota born in Germany, for translating snippets of online books in German that mention J. P. Hachez or H. J. P. Hachez.
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