New Zimmerman Family Information

One of the very nice things about the internet and posting family information on a website is the sharing  of information it makes possible. Below is some information from other descendants of Heinrich H. & Maria Dyck Zimmermann I’ve learned since finishing the book.

I. Names: The middle initial for Maria and Heinrich’s surviving sons was DHenry D. Zimmerman & Jack D. Zimmerman. I have been curious about that because the naming practice among Russian Mennonites was to use the first letter of the father’s name as a middle initial for all their sons. For example, my father’s middle initial was J, as was the middle initial of all his brothers because their father’s first name was Jacob. Then last October I met the son of Jack D. Zimmerman, (also named Jack), at the pre-publication launch of my book in Reedley, California. He mentioned that his father’s full name was Jack Dyck Zimmerman! Jack and his brother Henry carried their mother’s maiden as the middle name. I’ve not come across that before, and to me it speaks tender things about the relationship between Heinrich and Maria.”

*A note re spelling: the German spelling of the family name is “Zimmermann,” with two ‘n’s’. Sometime after Maria Dyck Zimmermann’s death in 1905 and Heirich’s subsequent marriage to Elisabeth Boldt Willems, the spelling was anglicized. The final “n” was dropped. I have used the German spelling when referring to the years before Maria’s death and the English spelling in all subsequent references to the family.
> II. The immigration ship. Recently, a Canadian descendant of Heinrich H. and Maria Dyck Zimmermann, Norain Baldwin, posted a Comment about the Zimmerman’s Atlantic passage and arrival in Halifax that contained information I did not have.
> According to the information Norain received from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax,NS, the ship the Zimmermann family sailed on, was the Adria. It was built in 1896 for the Hamburg American Line by Palmers Co Ltd, Jarrow-on-Tyne. The ship accommodated 20 first class and 1,100 third class passengers and could travel at a speed of 13 knots.
>Image (33)

> > The ship did not have a long life. The Zimmermanns arrived in Halifax in August 1903. In 1905 the ship was sold to the Russian Navy and renamed the Narva. In 1906, she was again renamed when she was taken into the Russian Volunteer Fleet as the Khazan. On April 19, 1906 the ship wrecked after going aground in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
> Norain also emailed photos of immigration records she received from Pier 21 that relates to the Zimmerman’s arrival. She points out a notation that they were “held for treatment” on arrival. That could have been Maria, the mother, but could also been another member of the family.



3 thoughts on “New Zimmerman Family Information

  1. I have recently come upon the journals of Anna Janzen Neufeld (her husband Kornelius Neufeld was one of the owners of the Janzen/Neufeld factory in Sergeyevka) in which she refers several times to ‘Zimmerman’ as preacher in the MB church in Sergeyevka. The entry for March 2, 1902 says ‘Zimmerman has to preach every Sunday now’ because so many people have left and preachers no longer come to S. from the other villages. As a child I her the name Zimmerman as though perhaps our families had intermarried. Do you know anything about this? Kornelius Neufeld was the uncle of my grandfather, Johann Abraham Neufeld (married Anna Enns; her mother was Maria Janzen, sister to the other factory owner Jakob Wilhelm Enns). Last summer my brother and I and our two daughters visited Sergeyevka; my father was born there in 1917. Your ‘Chapter Eight’ is wonderful ‘flashlight’ in a quest of mine to discover more of what day to day life was like in the Russian Mennonite villages. Thanks!!!


    • How interesting! Thank you for letting me know about the Anna Janzen Neufeld diary entry. The Zimmerman’s life in Sergeyevka is so sketchy. To have this written by someone in the village when the Zimmermans were living there is wonderful. Anna’s comment about “so many people” having left is especially interesting. It sets my great-grandparents decision to migrate in fuller context.
      Unfortunately I’m not able to help you with establishing a Neufeld-Zimmerman family link. I’ve been able to track back HHZ’s direct ancestry a bit hrough the Zimmerman parentage as well as the Dever/Defehr line, which very helpfully links with Tim Janzen’s pedigree. But I have essentially no extended ‘tree’ of lateral family relationships. Again, thank you for writing. This is a real treasure.


  2. Harold again; sorry, corrections to the above are necessary; Mary Janzen was sister-in-law to Kornelius,
    and earlier in my post … As a child, I heard the name Zimmerman


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