This was chapter 2 of my booklet, “Unwinding the Mystery of Johann Hermann from the Land of Transylvania to the Shores of Baltimore:
Documenting the Hermann Lineage,” which was an early Father’s Day present in June 2017. I still have a lot of questions about this Johann Hermann fellow, so I thought I’d reprint it here.
Johann Hermann is a figure who has never been talked about in this history. In fact, I have never heard, from what I can remember, of Michael’s brother by name. The Family Bible mentions a man named “John Hermann” as Michael’s father, with his first name Anglicized and obviously being Johann originally. But, this Johann figure is not mentioned although he is part of Hermann family story. Why?
As mentioned in the previous chapter, Michael was going to East Pittsburgh to join his half-brother, with Sara/Jara Wenzel, his cousin (it seems) was going to the same address. As I noted before, they may have planned this trip in advance together and even traveled by train together. This would not be a surprise. Johann was well established in the US by the time Michael and Sara/Jara got there. He had
come over four years before Michael and was born in 1878, making him 10 years older, or age 28 by the time they arrived.  On the manifest of the passenger ship which left from Bremen, he is described as a married laborer who can read and write, with his last residence called Neudorf (Neudorf in Deutsch), which is in Western Romania. Like Michael, he also landed in the port of Baltimore, possibly
at Locust Point, but was bound for New Castle, PA. It is no stretch to say that he could have still gone down to East Pittsburgh from 1902 to 1906. This is a possibility. Other aspects are clear: He paid his own passage and had only had $8 on him. Other realities however, are even more fascinating.
Johann was planning to, when he arrived on the Frankfurt steamship, visit a cousin named Andras/Andreas Bruckner, with Andras the Hungarian name for Andrew, who lived in New Castle.  There was another man named Michael Gassner whose last residence was also Neudorf and was also going to New Castle, PA, by rail, just as Johann would have done in 1902. As it turns out, Andras was a brother-in-law of Simon Suiker or Sniker, age 32, who last lived in Hungary. In 1905, he traveled to visit Andras, who was living in New Castle, on the Cassel passenger ship which left from Bremen and arrived in Baltimore. Adding to this, there is a man named Andreas/Andras Bruckner who was born in 1905 and applied for US passport in Bucharest in 1923, with his father Andras, who had emigrated from Hungary to the US in 1899. Both had been born in Hoghilag (Halvelagan in German and Holdvilág in Hungarian), Romania. The Andreas born in 1905 later was baptized at the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Castle on January 28, 1906. While some say that I should look into the records of that church, especially if it was the only Lutheran church in New Castle at the time, this seems to be like falling down the rabbit hole.
Other records on Johann are unclear. There are records of a Johann Hermann marrying in Ohio in November 1906, but there is no proof this is him.  There are scattered records of a “John Herman” and “John Hermon.” They relate to a man living in Somerset, PA, in 1910 and in Carnegie, Allegheny, PA, in 1942, with the birth date on a WWII draft card saying March 31, 1878, and that he was born in Austria. These could be Johann, but this cannot be confirmed. Even so, there are other records that point to his inhabitance in New Castle. The New Castle directories provide some information. The city directory in 1902 lists a Felix Herman and John Hermann, laborers, living in New Castle.
John Hermann could be Johann. By 1903, four individuals with the surname of Hermann are living in the same town, on Scioto (Sciota?) street, just like Felix and John in 1902, and three others (Kate, Michael, and Mike), two of which also live on Scioto.  John is not listed here, so he may have moved. After all, the 1904 and 1906 directories list no one with the Hermann surname. Other records seem to indicate that he may have not moved until after 1905. These records are other city directories showing that this John Hermann was living with a woman named Sarah (his wife) on Scioto Street in New Castle in 1905, along with others showing that someone with the Hermann surname still lived in the city (not John) 1908-1909, and ten with the Herman surname living there by 1909, but none living there in 1901. This indicates that Johann (or John as his Anglicized name seems to be) would have been the first Hermann to establish their roots in the United States. There are many other sources which could have been consulted, but this still sheds light into the life of Johann.  Still, some questions remain about Johann, but this a start in learning more about our collective past.
 Johann Hermann, 1902, “Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948,” database with images, FamilySearch, Immigration, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, NARA microfilm publications M255, M596, and T844 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL film 1,454,812. Accessed June 2017.
 The following paragraph comes from research conducted by maryfamilyresearch, a reddit user who describes themselves as “Native German, Prussia.” It has been summarized and condensed here.
 Johann Hermann and Susanna Elsasser, 17 Nov 1906, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States, reference 145 p; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 886,219; Johann Hermann and Susanna Elsasser, 17 Nov 1906, “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch, citing Cuyahoga County, Ohio, reference 2:3ZPW21J; FHL microfilm 886,219; John Hermon in household of Gabriel Trucsang, Quemahoning, Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States, “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch, enumeration district (ED) ED 156, sheet 13B, family 242, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1420; FHL microfilm 1,375,433; John Herman, 1942, “United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” database with images, FamilySearch, NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); New Castle Directory, 1902, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA, page 269. Accessed June 2017.
 New Castle Directory, 1903, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA, pages 83 and 272. Accessed June 2017; New Castle Directory, 1904, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA; New Castle Directory, 1906, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA. Both were accessed in June 2017; New Castle Directory, 1905-1906, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA, page 278; New Castle Directory, 1908-1909, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA, page 53; New Castle Directory, 1909-1910, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA, page 292; New Castle Directory, 1900-1901, New Castle Public Library, Image was scanned by Backstage Library Works in Bethlehem, PA. All accessed in June 2017.
 Sources consulted include the New Castle Public Library. Other possible sources are Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy hosted by family search or the Lawrence County Historical Society, among others.