German Roots? Or not? Can You Help Johann Philip Ernst Thomas? Rhineland-Palitinate Proj. & Collab. PRoW.

+9 votes

The Rhineland-Palitinate Project and Collaborative Profile of the Week Present:

Johann Philip Ernst Thomas (1838 - 1913)

Johann Thomas was a German whose son, Daniel (my Great Grandfather), emigrated to the U.S. in the late-1800’s. Otherwise, Johann remains virtually unknown. Even less is known about his father. I was provided Johann’s name by a cousin in Germany trying to connect me to the correct family, but he has been unreachable the past several years and has not answered e-mail. -- Michael Thomas

Joahnn's profile has sources, but they are minimal at this point.

Johann needs:

  1. Verify his parents and add sources.
  2. Information about his spouse, any other children, and brothers or sisters.
  3. A biography. What, when, where, why, and how did he make a living and raise his family?
  4. Categories beyond current – he is a member of the Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate Sub-Projects.
  5. A connection to the global tree.
  6. Anything else you would like to add to aid future research?

Please post an answer here, to let us know what you’d like to work on. This prevents duplication of effort and it keeps the question on the front page of G2G.

     Rhineland-Palatinate Project    

German Roots is an upper-level project “for those who have family with German heritage, working together to trace the roots back to the original ancestors from Germany”.

The Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate Sub-Projects focus on ancestors from those regions of Germany. They are based on the current political boundary alignments of the German States.

Thank you


WikiTree profile: Johann Philipp Ernst Thomas
in Requests for Project Volunteers by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Chris Whitten
Probably the son's birth record:
Thank you, Jamie and Anne! Now featured on the home page.

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
I don't think Johann Philipp Ernst Thomas is the father of Daniel Thomas.

First, Daniel (and a bunch of other children) are born in Homberg to Johannes Thomas and Elisabetha Kerr.


Around the same time, Johann Philipp Ernst Thomas from Kaiserslautern is having children with Anna Maria Christina Thomas.

 So which Johann are we supposed to be working on? The one from Kaiserslautern or the one that is the father of Daniel?
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (639k points)
selected by Anne B
Good question. Let me take a look and contact Michael
For the moment, I've created a dual biography on the page, one for Johan Ernst Thomas and one for Johannes. Eventually we'll just create another profile. It looks as though we're going to run into information on them both as we work anyway. So work on both I guess.
First, thank you for taking an interest in this project.

Second, you have made me feel better, now that I know it wasn't just me having trouble with Daniel. I spent a lot of time on this a long while back and simply put it on the back burner when I kept getting hung up.

I had to go back to some old records I originally used to create the profiles in Wikitree. I don't where Daniel's birthplace of Giesen came from, but it IS near Hamburg in Northern Germany. Daniel is the ONLY German in my paternal line (both sides) that wasn't from Kaiserslautern, but no one could ever say why.

The dates of Daniel's birth and his christening are within a month, so I can accept those. I can't explain the name difference, however, between the mother I have, Christina Kerr, and the one found, Elisabetha Kehr.

The cousin I got Johann's name from lived in Kaiserslautern, supposedly in Johann Thomas' original house, hence the photo in the profile. Not being able to contact him obviously is disturbing. As I said before, all my Germans, except Daniel, are from the Kaiserslautern area, so I would like to believe that's the direction to go, EXCEPT that Johann becomes a contemporary of Daniel, based on Daniel's birthdate and the date found for Johann Ernst.

We have two Johanns (one Johann Philipp Ernst, the other Johann Ernst) with parents Johann/Johann Philipp Ernst and Anna Maria Christina/Anna Maria Schneider, but they are a generation apart. My Johann was born in 1838, the other in 1863. I can understand the name issues, but the dates are still wrong.

These are two separate lines that probably need to be studied apart from each other. If that can't be done here, I understand and will simply have to figure something out. If study can proceed with both, maybe something can be found that I missed way back when and can now give me a direction to go.

What has always made Daniel difficult to research is the fact that no one I ever talked to that knew anything about him had anything positive to say - he was an ***hole, a mean person, a selfish person, a bully, etc. - and that tends to color what people think and remember. All this from nearly 25 years ago when I first started researching. All those people are long gone now.

I'm writing this at breakfast. We are on the road trying to get back home, so it will be later today before I can make another response. I'll leave it up to Anne B. to determine the ultimate direction to take. Thanks again.

Some quick lunch-time research:

Hmm I don't know why the transcription on family search doesn't show the birth date, but it does on the Ancestry one: 

Name: Johann Daniel Thomas
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 9 Feb 1862
Baptism Date: 2 Mrz 1862 (2 Mar 1862)
Baptism Place: Evangelisch,Homberg,Oberhessen,Hesse-Darmstadt
Father: Johannes Thomas
Mother: Elisabetha Kehr
FHL Film Number: 1195723

9 Feb 1862 is the same birth date as your Daniel. His passport application lists Giessen as his birthplace and that is very near Homberg. I'm fairly certain that this birth record is for him?


Marriage record for Johannes Thomas and Elisabetha Kehr:


 Do you remember where the name Christina Kerr came from?


I think researching Daniel some more might turn up some new clues... is it ok if I work on his profile a little?

Go Jamie, I've been niggling at it also, and fell asleep.
Michael have you got a death certificate for Daniel?
I don't know if this will help, but it looks like the Johann Thomas / Elisabetha Kehr line is Evangelical, and the Johann Philip Ernst Thomas line is Catholic.
I don't have a death certificate for Daniel, but I did find his naturalization papers, confirming his birth in Giessen. The Hamburg connection seems to be the way to go. My maternal line was Catholic, but my Germans were purported to be Huguenot descendants, although that's another brick wall I can't climb.

My grandfather, Daniel John Thomas, Daniel's son, had two brothers. All I ever heard growing up was how Daniel favored them over my grandfather, so he was more or less blacklisted and never talked about. It's tough to retain facts, details, anecdotes, and the rest when you hate a person. I think that was the case here, so anything discovered will be of value.

I'm leaning more and more toward the idea I was put onto the wrong father by the cousin I conversed with, and should have pursued the non-Kaiserslautern link, instead.

Again, thanks to all who are spending time on this. I know you have other things to do, so I really appreciate the assistance.

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