We Hear from Another Hohenadel: Great Grandmother Adopted Jacob’s Orphans?

East Falls House joins forces with another Hohenadel — this one keenly interested in her family background.  So far we’ve only made first contact, stay tuned as our story develops to present a clearer picture of these German immigrants who built a small local empire with their native brew.

Our recent email exchange bodes well:

October 22, 2014:

Dear East Falls House,

My name is Bridget Fichera. I am an amateur genealogist living in Connecticut and have traced my family back to the Hohenadels of East Falls, Philadelphia. This is a family line previously unknown by my family and for the last six years I have been trying to piece together the history of my Hohenadel ancestors and their possible connection with the Falls Brewery/John Hohenadel Brewery.

 I wrote the “Gertrude Hohenadel” article on ancestry.com which you reference in your article “Great Moments in ‘Hoh-Story’ — A Timeline of Hohenadels in East Falls.”

I apologize for my articles clumsiness but in reality it is just a working draft of my family research as I discover it and try to piece it together.

I am hoping you might be interested in exchanging information/research on the Hohenadel family. I am very excited about the work you and the East Falls Historical Society have been doing on the Hohenadel Brewery and family! Thus far I have been working alone on this project with very few resources at hand. I have been very excited lately to come across your articles.

In case you are wondering exactly how I am related to the Hohenadels, my 3rd great-grandmother Gertrude Hohenadel Biermaas is the person who welcomed Elizabeth and Joseph Hohenadel into her home after their father (Falls Brewery founder Jacob Hohenadel) died.

Gertrude was the daughter of Jacob and Gertrude Hohenadel (born in Darmstadt-Hesse, Germany) who immigrated to Philadelphia before 1850 and were tavern keepers. Her father died in 1875 in Philadelphia. She also had a brother named John (born 1845?) and a brother named Jacob (born 1839?) who were bakers and ? hotel/tavern keepers.

My guess is that Gertrude was a cousin to the Jacob Hohenadel who founded Falls Brewery and John Hohenadel who founded the City Park Hotel. Jacob Hohenadel the brewer immigrated to America on the same boat as her brothers and mother.  They also all attended the same church in Philadelphia.


October 24, 2014

Hello, Bridget so nice to hear from you!

So good that we’ve tracked each other down cause I agree we have information to share that’ll help us both!  Documentation back then was spotty at best, and then on top of that the Hohenadel family used the same names, again and again, over generations. Maddening, for those of us trying to trace personal histories…

One thing you wrote that immediately catches our eye:  You say your 3rd great-grandmother Gertrude Hohenadel’s father Jacob died in 1875 — which is about the same year have it that “our” Jacob Hohenadel died. He’s the one we have pegged as the guy who was born in Germany, came to the US as a young boy, worked on a Lancaster farm for some years and then moved to Philly with his brother John in the mid 1800’s.

BUT! Looks like there were TWO Jacob Hohenadels who died in Philadelphia in 1875/76:  one was born in 1796 in Germany, and the other in 1838.

This explains SO MUCH confusion. We’d been saying amongst ourselves it felt like there were two Jacobs running around but we couldn’t quite figure out how they fit in with the family tree as we understood it. Thank you so much for a missing puzzle piece!!!

Clearly, we need to chat!

If you have the name of the family church,  for instance, we’d love to start there and search for weddings, funerals, baptisms etc. We’re also trying to track down family photos, as well as images/advertising of the brewery in its heyday. If you have any interest in urban history, we’d be happy to fill you in on what the “brewer branch” of your family was up to in 19th century Philadelphia!

Thank you so much for reaching out, hope to share info & learn more!


mary head of household IQL 1900 PM who are these people








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