Frank's Photography Site

Welcome to my "family" page...

I made this long page up to document some of my family history, and to get it in internet form, rather than remaining in some old dusty boxes which eventually will be lost.
As with any family, there are 4 sides to the story, and I have the least information about my father's side. In the charts and pictures, my name shows up as "Frank Florianz, 1954-".
My father's father's side is the Florianz family, from the Graz, Austria area. I have the least to go on in this lineage, as we only knew as far back as my great-grandfather Jacob (or Jakob), and that he probably had a sister. After that, there was only one son per generation (no sisters), and being that I have no children, the Florianz name may soon be extinct in America. I met (via the internet) two other gentlemen by the name of Florianz still living in Austria, but our common ancestor would have to go back at least to around 1850, if not earlier. For this branch, I may decide to enlist the help of certain agencies in Austria by mail, as any further information is not most likely available on the internet.
My father's mother's side was the Brandstätter family (with an umlaut over the "a"). They were from the Wels area in Austria, near Linz. My dad's cousin Brigitta is still alive, as are her brother and sister Gunther & Dagmar. Brigitta has lived in the USA since the 1960's, but her siblings are still in Austria. She has been able to provide me with a bit more family information.
My mother's mother's side is the Steis family, from Blickweiler (Saarland), Germany, and her father's side is the Loher family, originally from Kaufbeuren, Germany for several generations. These two branches had the most children and large families, are doing very well, and are quite spread out across the United States. We all do not keep in touch very well, so I am still waiting on some names and dates from the youngest generation of the Loher/Steis family.
The third diagram below, shows the members of this family in the United States. The fourth diagram is of the Loher family, originally from Kaufbeuren, Germany. From Gustav & Ottilie and lower down, the family is identical to that represented in the third (Steis) diagram, and is not included in the Loher diagram. I have drawn this fourth (Loher) diagram to focus on the earlier generations about which quite a bit is known, thanks to a distant relative from Germany who did extensive research on the "historical" Loher family, and shared his results with me back in the 1980's. I'm only posting information here relevant to our immediate family tree.
There is little or no additional information online in Europe, so if I ever wanted to fill in more blanks I would probably have to travel there and look into the old municipal and library archives, something which I will probably never have a chance to do.
Please view these charts if they are of interest to you, then continue further down for the historical and photo sections of this (long) page.

Father's father's side:

Father's mother's side:

Mother's mother's side, the Steis family (+ includes the entire Loher family in America):

Mother's father's side, showing only the European generations and members,
up to Gustav and Tillie (bottom right), who started the American branches.

The first historical information I would like to share, is that all 4 of my grandparents came over from Austria & Germany on steamboats across the Atlantic in the early 1900's. These facts are well documented, due to the records made at Ellis Island, New York (near the Statue of Liberty), where all arriving passengers were screened and documented, and can be found for free at:

Ellis Island Port of New York Passenger Records Search

According to the records, it seems my father's father, Franz Florianz, came over with his mother Anna Florianz (maiden name: Mild) on the "Pennsylvania" which arrived in New York on June 16, 1904. The port of departure was Cuxhaven, Germany, and their origin was Graz, Austria. Here's a picture of that ship and its description:

Built by Harland & Wolff Limited, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1897. 12,891 gross tons; 579 (bp) feet long; 62 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 13 knots. 2,724 passengers (162 first class, 180 second class, 2,382 third class).One funnel and four masts. Steel hull, four decks. Crew 250. Built for Hamburg-American Line, German flag, in 1897 and named Pennsylvania. Hamburg-New York service. Interned at New York at the start of World War I in August 1914. Seized by United States Government, American flag, in 1917 and renamed USS Nansemond. US Navy transport service. Scrapped in 1924.

Apparently he returned to Austria without his mom a few years later to be with his dad, but soon was hoping again to come to America. That did not work out, as he was eventually drafted into the German Army and served there for World War I. However, his father Jacob Florianz came to America on the "Martha Washington", departing from Trieste, Italy and arriving in New York on November 12, 1912.

Built by Russell & Co, Port Glasgow, Scotland, 1908. 8,347 gross tons; 460 (bp) feet long; 58 feet wide. Steam triple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 17 knots. 2,190 passengers (60 first class, 130 second class, 2,000 third class).Two funnels and two masts. Two decks and shelter deck, steel. Built for Austro-Americana Line, Austrian flag, in 1908 and named Martha Washington. Trieste-New York service. Laid up at New York 1914-17 owing to World War I. Seized by US Government, in 1917. Troopship service. Sold to Cosulich Line, Italian flag, in 1922. New York to Algiers, Venice and Trieste, later South America service. Sold to Lloyd Triestino, Italian flag, in 1933 and renamed Tel Avi. Burned and scrapped in 1934.

Franz (Francis) finally came back to the USA to be reunited with his family on the "Nieuw Amsterdam", departing from Rotterdam, Holland and arriving in New York on October 12, 1920.

Built by Harland & Wolff Limited, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1906. 16,967 gross tons; 615 (bp) feet long; 68 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 16 knots. 2,886 passengers (440 first class, 246 second class, 2,200 third class).One funnel and four masts. Built for Holland - America Line, Dutch flag, in 1906 and named Nieuw Amsterdam. Rotterdam-New York service. Last major liner to be fitted with auxiliary sails. Broken up in Japan in 1932.

Maria Brandstätter, my father's mother, was not connected to any of these people or events at the time. She came independently, and met her future husband, Francis (Franz) Florianz after being in New York for a bit of time. She came on the "Mount Clay" which departed Hamburg, Germany and arrived in New York on July 25, 1921.

Built by A/G Vulcan Shipyard, Stettin, Germany, 1904. 8,865 gross tons; 488 (bp) feet long; 55 feet wide. Steam quadruple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 15 knots. 1,306 passengers (6 first class, 1,300 third class). Built for Hamburg-American Line, German flag, in 1904 and renamed Prinz Eitel Friedrich. Hamburg-New York service. Laid-up 1916-17. Seized by US Government, in 1917 and renamed USS De Kalb. Troop transport service. ID SP 1628. Transferred to United American Lines, in 1920 and renamed Mount Clay. Hamburg-New York service. Laid up 1925-34. Scrapped in 1934.

That covers my father's side of the family, as far as arriving in America. For my mother's side, it was much simpler. My mother's mother, Ottilie Steis, came along with her brother Jakob Steis for the trip. They were the only 2 of the 13 siblings to leave Europe. She met her future husband, Gustav Loher while traveling on the ship. So all of them are included on just one ship and voyage. The ship was the "Thuringia", which departed from Hamburg and arrived in New York on February 5, 1923.

Built by Howaldtswerke, Kiel, Germany, 1923. 11,343 gross tons; 473 (bp) feet long; 60 feet wide. Steam turbine engines, triple screw. Service speed 13 knots. 830 passengers (150 second class, 680 third class). Built for Hamburg-American Line, German flag, in 1923 and named Thuringia. Hamburg to New York service. Transferred to Hamburg-South American Line, German flag, in 1930 and renamed General San Martin. Seized by British Government, British flag, in 1946 and renamed Empire Deben. Scrapped in 1949.

This covers the arrival of my four grandparents from Austria & Germany to the United States.
A distant cousin from Germany visited the German emigrant tourist site at Bremerhaven, Germany, and sent me these pictures (among others), which depict some of the "feel" for what is was like to travel abroad in those days. Their interesting website is:

Deutsches Auswandererhaus Bremerhaven

Next, I have some old documents from my family, which may be of interest for their age. The final section will be some photographs.
The first document is apparently a copy of my father's mother's birth certificate, from Wels, Austria. She was born on February 11, 1896, and this document seems to be a duplicate copy requested later, dated 1920. Her name was Maria Brandstätter.

The next scan is of the US Naturalizaton of my great-grandfather Jakob Florianz, dated December 29, 1921. The "Anna" described here is not his original wife Anna, due to her age of 55, making her older than his first wife. He later married this second Anna (Anna Gallo), who was American. He is buried with his original wife, however, in the Mount Pleasant Cemetary, Center Moriches, NY, shown on the headstone with their life dates being Jacob (1874-1959) and "Annie P. Florianz" (1873-1950). I'm fairly sure he divorced his first wife at some point, but I have no clue as to what she did or where she was during her entire time in the United States from 1904-1950. My grandfather documents his mother as being "Anna" (maiden name "Mild" and also from Graz according to the history), so they both definitely had the same first name. My mother can vouch for his second wife being Anna Gallo, as she knew her personally. I have other naturalization documents for other family members, but this will serve as an example, we don't really need more than one here.

Here's my great-grandfather's marriage certificate to Anna Gallo, dated 1934. He was already 59 years old when he married her, and she lived until just before I was born in the early 1950's:

Finally, we have some "letters of recommendation" from their home towns in Austria, which seemed to be of good help when arriving in the United States:
There are 3 for my father's father (Franz Florianz). As mentioned, he wanted to come back to the United States as early as 1913 since his first visit in 1904, but never made it back until 1920. The first scan is dated 1913 and shows the city of Klagenfurt, Austria:

The next one is dated 1919, showing his hometown as Hitzendorf (near Graz), Austria.
I guess this one can be considered a legal birth certificate as well.

And the last two are dated 1920, from Graz, Austria. I removed the very top of the second document during the scan, as his picture had fallen off, and did not contain more information.
The second document also has the information shown in Spanish, perhaps common at the time.

And lastly, I have two of these for my father's mother, Maria Brandstätter,
who came from Wels, Austria. The first is dated 1912, and the second dated 1920.

Now for the photo section of this page...

First, here is a photo from my mother's father's side of the family.
This was the Loher family, and this photo was taken in Kaufbeuren, Germany around 1875.
The gentleman at the very far left was my mother's grandfather (her father's father), Gustav Loher, born 7 Jul 1861, and who later ran his father's sawmill. The family sawmill business lasted until the 1940's during World War II. It seems also, that the business had begun in the early 1800's. To his right are his siblings, Fritz Loher (born 1856), Jakob Albert Loher (born 1855), their older aunt Susanne Loher (born 1819) and Oskar Loher (born 1857). Their 2 daughters are not in the picture, and one son had died (earlier, as a baby) of diptheria.
At the bottom are their parents, Katharina Wiedermann (born 17 May 1827)
and Bernhard Loher (born 29 Aug 1824) who was the sawmill/lumberyard owner (Sägemuller).

Here are two images of the birth certificates of the parents in the above photo.
These documents are duplicates made in 1937.

Next, I will add some photographs of my family from the early years in the United States:

First, here is a photo of my mother's parents, Gustav Loher and Ottilie Steis. This photo was taken probably shortly after 1930. They were married on February 9, 1924, when "Tillie" was already pregnant with their first child, Gustav, who was born on November 18, 1924.

The next two photos are of Gustav & Tillie with their four children. Since the youngest was born at the end of 1935, this could be around 1937.The oldest, Gustav, was born in November 1924, my mom Elsie (the girl in the photo) in July 1926, the next oldest son Edward in October 1930, and the "baby", Walter, in October 1935.

Here's another photo taken around the same time. This is my mother's mother Ottilie ("Tillie"), showing my mom and her 3 brothers in the mid-1930's:

Here's my mother's father, Gustav Loher, probably during the 1940's in New York.

Here's my dad (Francis Florianz) at age 6 (~ 1930), probably during a visit to Austria.

Here's my dad also around age 6 (~ 1930), taken at a professional studio.

And one taken in 1937, when he was 13 and ready to begin his High School (Gymnasium)
studies at Brooklyn Technical Institute for radio & engineering.

My dad about when he left for military service around 1943, after basic training.
"Til we meet again, Regards, Frank".

Here's my dad around the time he got out of the US Army in 1945.

My dad's best buddies from the "neighborhood" in Brooklyn, NY, both before and after the war.
The first picture was taken before the war, in 1941 or 1942.
Picture it as the "good boys" gang of the early 1940's in Brooklyn.
Front row: Walter Fermianuck, Robert Hanshe (my dad's best friend), followed by John Maglich,
and Donald King. Second row: Anthony Ciervo, Gunther Reiss, my father,
and Phil de Gerolomo. John Maglich and Donald King were killed in a boating accident
after the war while on recreation at home in 1947.

This second photo was taken after the war: back row is my father and Anthony Ciervo,
front row Phil de Gerolomo and Robert Hanshe.

Last picture of the 4 buddies together after the war, before they married
and all went their own separate ways, my dad is at the left.

Here's my dad with his parents, Franz Florianz & Maria
(maiden name Brandstatter) around 1947 in New York.

Here's my dad with my mother and his mother, around 1947 in New York.

Here's my dad with his father (far left), his mother Maria (front center), and my mom's mother Tillie (far right), around 1947 in New York, along with "Fido".

My dad & mom about a year before they got married (which was June 6, 1947).

Here are two pictures of my dad, shortly after he was married, circa 1950.
He quit smoking shortly afterwards, except for an evening cigar.

My dad & mom in 1963, when I was about 9 years old.

Here's a big picture of both the Loher & Florianz families, taken 10/11/53, at the wedding
of Edward & Doris. At the very front bottom is Linda Loher, the very first of "we",
the 10 cousins to be born as second generation Americans. She was born in May, 1949.
In the front row is my mother Elsie, her mother Tillie, her father Gustav, and my dad Francis.
In the second row is my mom's youngest brother Walter (born 1935), her next oldest brother
Edward (born 1930) and his bride Doris, followed by Jakob Steis (1896-1978)-(my grandmother
Tillie's brother), then Dorothy Clark (wife of my mother's oldest brother Gustav),
and lastly my uncle Gus (Gustav Loher), the father of the young girl at the bottom.
This is a complete picture of the family at the time, except for my father's parents
and his grandfather, who were not present the time.

And here are the only two photos ever taken of the 4 generations of the Florianz family.
These were from around 1957, when I was 3 years old. My great-grandfather Jakob (1874-1959),
my grandfather Franz (1900-1964), my father Francis (1924-1988), and me (1954-).

And finally, three photos when I was very young, this first with my mom in 1956
at age 2, probably at Bear Mountain State Park in New York.

And around age 3, 1957, probably back at the same park with my mom.

And lastly, with my dad at our home in Prospect Park, New Jersey, probably also 1957.

That's all I intended to post here, at least for now, our "roots" and early years. Other than that, the rest is history. I hope you enjoyed this collection, and a warm hello to all my family that see this, no matter where you are. Best wishes to all...

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