What I do know is dwarfed by what I don't know, and what I haven't been able to solve.
The story of the man who was my great-great-great grandfather begins with Jacob T. Feitner, a young German immigrant who came to New York City in 1860 when he was 21. Five years later, he marries Anna Brenzel, also a German immigrant, and becomes a naturalized citizen. Living on Cherry Street in lower Manhattan, Jacob is a barber by trade and works on Cathedral Street. They have two children: a son Jacob Theodore and a daughter, Anna. By the mid 1870's, the family moves out of Manhattan to a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn along with other up-and-coming families. He would die there on the first floor of his home on September 11, 1878 of tuberculosis, leaving his wife to raise the children alone.
|The Feitner family plot at Lutheran Cemetary.|
Who were his parents? Did he have any brothers or sisters? Was he any relation to John Feitner, the marble monument maker who had his business just a few blocks from Jacob's home in Brooklyn?
I visited Lutheran Cemetery and was no closer to finding any of these things out after my visit. The family plot was bare, not a stone or monument to be seen; a victim of cemetery "modernization" in the 1950's.
His only son Jacob would also see an early grave. And so would his grandson.