Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ignatz Lang's Life in Historical Documents

Ignatz Lang and his wife, Franziska Lang (Eigner). Circa 1908.

Ignatz Lang Sr. was born in Poiana Micului, Bukovina which was a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at that time. Today his birthplace is apart of Romania. The nickname of the Lang family was `Maurer` Lang, this appears to be an aberration of the hometown of the Langs, `Maurenzer` The family immigrated in 1901.

Ignatz (age 32); his wife, Franciska (age 28); daughter, Katharina (age 4); and sons, Ignatz, Jr. (age 9) and Ludwig (age 11 months) arrived on Ellis Island on 6 July1901. They were passengers on board the Konigin Luise which left from Port Bremen, Germany. They listed their ethnicity as `Bukowrina` and place of residence as `Pojana Victuli`. Their destination was Ellis, Kansas. 1

From 1901-1908 the family flourished in Ellis, Kansas. Four more children were born to them during this time: Frank (1901), Franziska (1903), Joseph (1905), and Anna (1907). In January of 1909 a horrible diphtheria outbreak resulted in the deaths of little Franziska, Joseph, and Anna all within 9 days of each other. Family legend states that shortly before the childrens deaths, Ignatz Jr. was going to the well to get some water. He needed to pass by the barn to get there. As he walked passed, he thought he heard a rushing wind noise. He looked up and and saw three angels `dancing` around the barn steeple. It was shortly after this, that the three siblings died. Because of the epidemic, people were not allowed to attend the funeral, but Ignatz Lang Sr. refused to follow the rule and went. 2

According to the 1925 Kansas state census, the family was naturalized in 1910. I haven't been able to find these records, nor could I find the family in the 1910 federal census. 

In the 1915 Kansas state census, the family is found in Riverside, Trego County, Kansas.

Ignatz (age 46), Francis (age 43), Ludwig (age 15), Frank (age 13), John (age 5), Mike (age 3), and Rosa (age 6 months) 3

I was unable to find the family in  the 1920 federal census, but by 1925, the family had moved to the town of Ellis, Kansas. They lived at 506 Madison St.

Ignatz (56), Frances (53), John (16), Mike (14), and Rosa (11) 3

 The 1930 federal census would find the family living in the same house 5 years later. Now they are listed as owning their home, which was worth $1500.

 Ignatz (61), Frances (58), Mike (19), and Rosa (16). 4

 In 1938, Franziska passed away at the age of 66. In 1940, Ignatz went back to Poiana Micului, Bukovina to find another wife. His grandson, Joseph G. Lang was asked by Ignatz to go along with him because he was of marrying age; but Joe declined the invitation. Ignatz' initial plan was to marry his brother`s widow, but she didn't want to go to the United States, so he married a woman by the name of Rosalia. His son, Ignatz, Jr. sent `ssmeargeld` (money used to grease palms) over to him in Poiana Micului help him pay the border guards to smuggle him out of Europe.  Ignatz caught the last ship out of Italy before the ports closed. 1, 5

1. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.
2. Edward "Al" Lang, Barbara Ruth Herbst, email, 18 September 2002, "RE: 3 Lang children in 1909".
3. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.
4. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.
5. Edward "Al" Lang. Barbara Ruth Herbst, email, 23 July 2002, "RE: Ignatz Lang",

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