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Henry (Heinrich) Bernard Blanck (Blank) (1849-1911), a Brief Biographical Sketch

Heinrich Bernard Blanck was born in Lehe, Germany in 1849, the son of Heinrich Christopher Blanck and Dorethea Wenzel. He was listed on the Bremen Crew Lists between 1868 and 1871 as Heinr. Bernd. Blank. Henry immigrated to Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1871 where he married Melusine Erxmeyer in 1874. They were the parents of five children (four boys and one girl): John Friedrich (1875), Herman (1877), Dora (Dorethe) (1880), Henry (1882), Louie (1887) .

Henry Blank died in Hoboken in 1911.

The Spelling of the Name Blanck

John Blanck, born in Hoboken in 1915, the grandson of Henry Blank, said that the name was changed in the US with some family members choosing BLANCK and some choosing BLANK. However, the records for the name in Germany were sometime spelled BLANCK and sometimes BLANK.

In the German parish records the name was spelled "Blanck". In the Bremen Crew lists the name was spelled "Blank".

In the United States records, Henry was listed as both Blanck and Blank.

The directories from 1876 to 1904 list Henry sometimes under Blanck and sometimes under Blank.

"Blanck" was used in 1900 when Henry's son, Henry, was listed with that spelling at his confirmation in 1897. Henry's sons, Herman and Louie, mostly used the spelling "Blanck". His sons, John and Henry, stayed with the "Blank" spelling. The birth records of the first two children of Louis Blanck were registered under "Blank". Louis youngest child, John Blanck's birth was recorded under "Blanck".

Dorothy Blanck Foley entered a correction with the state of New Jersey in 1952 changing the spelling on her birth certificate from "Blank" to "Blanck".

Distribution of the Name Blanck in Germany

Blanck (Familienname) suggests that the highest consentration on the name with the spelling BLANCK is in Northern Germany. My thanks to Peter Schulz, January 2011 for making me aware of this web page. Peter also says:

The word Blank appears in Germanic language (Middle-High-German or Old-High- German) before the 10th century and seems it meant something like: white, pale, bright.

Heinrich (Henry) Blanck, Birth, Lehe, Germany 1849

Heinrich Bernard Blanck was born in Lehe, Germany on January 16, 1849, the son of Heinrich Christopher Blanck and Dorothe Christiana Wenzel.

Lehe, a borough that dates from medieval times, forms part of Bremerhaven in northern Hannover. Bremerhaven is about 37 miles north of Bremen. For many years, Bremer was the major shipping point from northern Germany. Johann Smidt, the burgomaster of Bremen founded Bremerhaven as a new port for Bremen in 1827 after the old port began silting up. Bremerhaven was the headquarters of the North German Lloyd Shipping Company (Norddeutsche Lloyd). Their piers in New York Harbor were in Hoboken, New Jersey.

See Bremer/Bremerhaven/Lehe now or at the bottom of the page.

Henry Blanck in the Bremen Crew Lists

The German port of Bremen was among the busiest ports in the world when Henry Blanck was a young man. Many young German men went to sea with the German Merchant Marines. Henry Blanck lived very near the Bremen port and so signed up with the Bremen ships of the North German Lloyd Line.

The Bremen Sailors Registry:

The Bremen Sailors Registry lists indicate that "Heinr Bernd Blank" (born Lehe 1849) signed up for five tours with the North German Lloyd Shipping Company out of Bremen:

  1. 1868, October 9, on the New York to New Oleans, 2 mo 12 days No 21319, sculleryman, gut

  2. 1869, April 23 on the New York to New York, 14 mo 26 days*, sculleryman, gut

  3. 1870 April 6, on the New York to New York, 4 months 9 days, steward, gut

  4. 1870 Nov 4 on the Main to New York 1 month 23 days, steward, gut

  5. 1871, April 28 on the Main to New York, steward, deserted August 1871. (See below.)
  6. *Although it clearly says "14. 26", it cannot be 14 months and 26 days. If so, it would take until August 1870 and Henirich signed up again April 6, 1870.

The Bremen Crew Lists:

The Bremen Crew Lists indicate that Heinrich Blank signed up for five tours: three on the steamship NEW YORK and two on the steamship MAIN.

  1. 1868, 9 October:

    Heinrich Blank, 9 October 1868, Lehe, 1849, sculleryman, ship NEW YORK to New Orleans, Captain J. Dreyer

  2. 1869, 29 April:

    Heinrich Blank, born 1849 Lehe, 29 April 1869, sculleryman, on the ship NEW YORK, to New York, Captain Nordenholt

  3. 1870, 8 April:

    Heinr Blank, born Lehe, 1849, living Lehe, steward, mustered April 8, 1870, NEW YORK, to New York, Captain Nordenholt

  4. 1870, 1 November:

  5. Hein Blank Lehe 1849 residence Lehe, steward (9 stewards), crew of 52 Captain Oterendorp, ship MAIN, November 1, 1870 (Note: Ancestry lists this under "Heiner Blanke", the name is clearly Hein. Blank)

  6. 1871, 28 April:

    Heinrich Blank born 1849 Lehe on the ship, MAIN, steward, to New York, 28 April 1871, Caption Van Oterendorp

A sculleryman worked in the scullery. The scullery (or utility) room contains large sinks for both hot and cold water. The scullery is used for washing dishes, pots and pans, etc and for preparing vegetables. It is usually adjacent to the galley (kitchen).

A steward is a ship's office in charge of stores and arrangements about meals or a male attendant who looks after ship passenger's personal needs.

For more information on and images of Henry Blanck's time at sea go to Henry Blanck at Sea now or at the bottom of the page.


Henry Blanck immigrated by deserting from the ship MAIN on August 13, 1871.

Information Bremen, German Desertions of Sailors, 1855-1874 available through Ancestry.com lists:

BLANK, Heinrich aus Lehe geb 1849 Steward (cannot read two words- fuzzy) Main Capt. von Oterendorp (cannot read one word- fuzzy) 13 August 1871 in New York -: 21319 fol --4.15

Dissection from the merchant marines as a method of immigration was an extremely common practice at the time.


On November 15, 1874, Heinrich Blank, shoemaker, age 27, married Melusine "Erkmeyer", age 27, both of Hoboken, New Jersey. The marriage was performed in Hoboken by the Rev. Leopold Mohr. Melusine' s parents are listed as Henry and Dorothea. Henry's parents are listed as Christopher and Dovette. The marriage is recorded in a ledger book: Volume BN, page 357, Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey and in the records of the German Evangelical Church.

According to the church records, Henry was born June 16, 1847 in Bremerlehe, Hannover and Melusine was born February 13, 1848 in Walzrode, Hannover. The witnesses were F. Erxmeyer and Julie Lehmann.


  • F. Erxmeyer was Melusine's brother, Frederich. Julie Lehmann was Melusine's sister, Julie Erxmeyer Lehmann.
  • Henry was actually born January 16, 1849.

Wilhelmina, the daughter of Melusine Erxmeyer

Wilhelmina, AKA, Minnie, the daughter of Melusine Erxmeyer, was born in Lehe in May 1871.

Melusine Wilhelmine Charlotte Erxmeyer of Lehe and no name, illegitimate daughter Wilhelmine Julie Charlotte Henriette 27.5.1871 (Die Einwohner des Fleckens Lehe 1827-1875)

Minnie, the infant born to Melusine, listed her father as Heinrich Blank on her marriage certificate in 1897. It is possible that Henry Blanck was her father. He was born in Lehe and immigrated to the US in August 1871. Melusine and Henry would have know each other in Lehe as they belonged to the same congregation. Melusine and Henry married in Hoboken in 1874.

Wilhelmina Blank of 43 Willow Street, Hoboken was confirmed on April 27, 1884 at the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken.

For more information on Wilhelmina (Minnie) go to Minnie Blanck now or at the bottom of the page.

Children of Melusine Erxmeyer and Henry Blanck

Henry Blanck and Melusine Erxmeyer had:

  1. John Friedrich Blanck (1875-1956)

    John Friedrich was born at 152 Meadow St, Hoboken in September 17, 1875, the son of Henry Blank and Melusine Erxmeyer.

    I could not find his baptismal record. John Friedrich was surely named for a long line of John Friedrich Blancks.

    John Blank, no address, was confirmed on May 5, 1889 at the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken.

    Note: Meadow Avenue in Hoboken became Park Avenue.

    John remained single.

    For more information on John Friedrich Blanck go to John Blanck now or at the bottom of the page.

  2. Herman Blanck (1877-)

    Herman was born in Hoboken on June 26, 1877.

    I could not find either the civil record or the church record for his birth. Births before 1900 were frequently not recorded in the civil records. The date of birth was taken from his draft registration in 1917, where his birth date is listed as June 26, 1877, and the 1915 census in New Jersey, where he is listed as being born in June of 1878.

    Herman Blank of 43 Willow was confirmed on April 10, 1892 at the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken.

  3. Herman Blank married Caroline Willot in the German Evangelical Church: Herman Blank, carpenter 903 Willow Ave Hoboken and Caroline Willot same address (Jersey Journal, August 2, 1899, list of weddings in Hoboken in July 1899)

    Herman and Carrie had two children: Melusine and Herman jr.

    For more information on Herman Blanck go to Herman Blanck now or at the bottom of the page.

  4. Dora Blanck (1880-1883)

    Dora (Dorethe) was born February 25, 1880 at 156 Park Ave, Hoboken, New Jersey to Heinrich Blank, age 32, born in Bremen, Germany, occupation, shoemaker and "Melolde Erzmeier", age 34, born in Walsrode, Germany. The birth certificate lists Dorethe as the forth of four living children. She was named for her paternal and maternal grandmothers. I could not find her baptism in the church records.

    Dorothe Blank died on February 25th 1883 at 43 Willow St. in Hoboken, age 3 years, cause of death, diphtheria. She had been ill for 16 days. The physician was E. J. Lowenthal. Dorethe was buried in Grove Church Cemetery.

  5. Henry Blanck (1882-1973)

    Henry (Heinrich) was born on December 14, 1882 at 43 Willow St. Hoboken, New Jersey to Heinrich Blank, age 34, born in Bremen, occupation, shoemaker, and "Mina" Erzmeier, age 36, born in Hanover. Heinrich Jr. was the fifth of five living children, including Minnie who was surely not the daughter of Henry, senior. Henry was named for his father and maternal grandfather. I could not find the church record.

    Heinrich Blanck of 215 Willow Avenue Hoboken was confirmed in April 1897 at the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken.

  6. Henry Blanck married Marie Wellinger. They had: Eva, John Henry. For more information on Henry Blanck go to Henry Blanck, Jr. now or at the bottom of the page.

  7. Louie Blanck (1887-1935)

    Louie (Lullo is the name written on the birth certificate. LuLu was apparently a nickname for Ludwig/Louie in German.) was born on May 9, 1887 at 43 Willow St., Hoboken, New Jersey to Heinrich Blank, age 39, born in Germany, occupation, shoemaker and "Minna Exmeyer", age 41, born in Germany, the fifth child of this marriage, the sixth living children of Melusine (Civil Record).

    Louis John born on May 9, 1887 at 43 Willow Avenue of Heinrich Blank of Bremerlehe, Hannover and Melusine, nee, Erxmeyer of "Walschrode", Hannover was baptized on August 25, 1887. The sponsor was Louise Moller of 43 Willow Street.(Church Record)

    Louis Blank of 205 Willow Avenue was confirmed on March 23, 1902 at the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken.

    Louie Blanck married Gertrude Kettler. They had Dorothy (known as Etta) in 1907, Louie in 1909 and John in 1915. For more information on Louie Blanck go to Louie Blanck now or at the bottom of the page.

Note: The baptism of Louis was the only baptism I found in the church records. The records for the German Evangelical Church baptisms from 1876 until 1885 were kept in a series of small notebooks in a very haphazard manner. There are several notebooks missing. I would assume the baptisms of the Blanck children are either missing or were not recorded due to poor record keeping. The records from April 1876 until February 1877, from August 1879 until August 1880, and from February 1883 until September 1883 are missing. These could include the records of the baptisms of John, Dora and Herman. The records for the period when Henry's should have been baptized are there, but I could not find his baptism listed. John, Herman, Henry, and Louie were all confirmed in the German Evangelical Church.

The Directories

1876: Henry Blank, 10 Willow shoemaker

1877 & 1878 Henry Blank, shoemaker, home rear, 150 Park ave, Hoboken

1880 Blanck, Henry, shoemkr, 66 1st, h[ome] r[ear] 152 Park av. H'n

1881 & 1882 Directory Blanck Henry, 66 1st ave home 53 Willow Hoboken.

1884 Henry Blank 66 1st st Hoboken, listed under boot and shoemakers

1885, 1886, 1887, 1888 through 1892 Henry B Blank, shoes 66 1st home read 43 Willow

1892: Blank, Henry under boots and shoes dealers and makers, at 208 1st Hoboken

1895 Blanck, Henry, shoemkr, 215 Willow

1902 & 1903 Henry Blank, "205" Willow, shoemaker

1901 and 1904 Blank, Henry janitor, 205 Willow av Hoboken

In 1900 205 Willow had an outhouse.

1922: Under two different spellings:
Blanck, Jno lab h 213 Willow
Blanck, Minnie wid Henry 213 Willow
Blanck, Henry (Mary) coffee roaster, h 813 Willow
Blank, Louis (Gertrude) h 107 Willow av.

Shuetzen Corps

Henry Blanck's in laws, the Erxmeyer brothers Fred and Henry, as well as other family members were active in the Hoboken Schuetzen corps. Henry, himself, was on some committees over the years. See Hoboken Schuetzen Corp

The 1880 Federal Census

The 1880 census lists the family of Henry Blank at 43 Willow St. in Hoboken:

  • Henry, age 32, born in Hanover, Germany, occupation, shoemaker.
  • Minnie, wife, age 34, born in Hanover, Germany.
  • Minnie, daughter, age 9, born in Hanover.
  • John, son, age 4, born in New Jersey.
  • Herman, son, age 3, born in New Jersey.
  • Dora, daughter, age 3 months, born in New Jersey.
  • Chas Schalk1, border, age 26, blacksmith, born in Hanover.
  • Henry Geiss2, border, age 31, shoemaker, born in Germany.

1Nothing obvious on Chas Schalk born Hannover circa 1854 on Ancestry, January 2011.

2Nothing obvious on Henry Geiss born Germany circa 1849 on Ancestry, January 2011.

Notes: The family of Henry Blank remained at 43 Willow at least until Herman's confirmation in 1892.

Naturalization of Henry Blank

Henry Blanck was naturalized in Hudson County Common Pleas Court on October 21, 1884. Melusine and Minnie automatically became citizens under Henry's citizenship.

There was no information other than the name and date.

The 1885 New Jersey Census

This census was taken for statistical purposes and does not provide a lot of genealogical information. The Blanks are listed in the first Ward of the 1885 New Jersey census as follows: Henry, Melusine, Henry Jr., John, Herman, Minnie, and Fritz Parmer.


  • Fritz is most likely a boarder.
  • There was no address

The 1895 New Jersey Census

This census was taken for statistical purposes and does not provide a lot of genealogical information. It lists the Blancks as follows: Henry, Melusine, Henry Jr., John, Herman, and Minnie. There is no address. However they were in very close proximity to Melusines's sisters, Julia Erxmeyer Lehman (and her children, Elizabeth VonDohran, and Berthe Labouser), Berthe Erxmeyer Bremer, and Mary Erxmeyer Rosenthal.

The 1900 Federal Census

Henry Blank and family were listed at 215 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, New Jersey:

  • Henry, head of household, age 51, born January 1849 in Germany, married 27 years, immigrated in 1870, naturalized citizen, occupation, shoemaker.
  • "Malisine", wife, age 54, born February 1846 in Germany, mother of 6 children, 5 still living, immigrated in 1873.
  • John, son, age 24, single, born in 1875 in New Jersey, occupation, lithographer.
  • Henry, son, age 14, born in December 1885 in New Jersey, occupation, cash boy.
  • Louie, son, age 13, born in May 1887 in New Jersey, at school.

The 1905 New Jersey Census

I could not find Henry Blanck and family listed in the 1905 census.

The supervisor's report at the end of the 1905 census in Hoboken listed 65,468 inhabitants and 4, 227 households that included 14, 626 families. There were:

  • 43 colored males and 57 colored females
  • 40,716 American born inhabitants
  • 835 English born inhabitants
  • 3,574 Irish born inhabitants
  • 10,322 German born inhabitants
  • 4,964 Italian born inhabitants
  • 5,057 inhabitants were born in other countries

The 1910 Federal Census

The family of Henry Blank was at 213 Willow Avenue Hoboken:

  • Henry, age 61, immigrated in 1870, naturalized, occupation retired.
  • "Melo", age 64, immigration 1871, occupation, Janitress (sic) at Flat House (?)
  • John, age 34, occupation, boss carpenter.

Death of Henry Blank, Senior

Henry "Blank" died on March 11, 1911, at 213 Willow Avenue in Hoboken. The cause of death was pulmonary edema, contributory factor, hemiplegia (stroke). He was buried at Grove Church Cemetery in Hudson, County, New Jersey on March 14, 1911 in the Erxmeyer plot.

No will listed in New Jersey State Archives, August 2008.

Melusine, John and Minnie in the 1915 New Jersey Census

The 1915 census in New Jersey listed the family of Melusine "Blancke" renting at 213 Willow Street, Hoboken as follows

  • "Melosine", born February 1848, age 6?, born Germany, widowed
  • John born September 1875, age 39, born New Jersey, single, carpenter
  • Wilhelmina Reuter, born May 1871, age 44, born Germany, widowed, general housework.

Melusine, John and Minnie in the 1920 Federal Census

At 213 Willow:

  • John Blank, head of household, age 44, single, occupation, carpenter in a lumberyard.
  • "Melisine" Blank, mother, age 74, widowed, immigrated 1872, naturalized 1895, born in Germany.
  • Minnie Reuter, sister, age 47, widowed, immigrated in 1872, naturalized in 1895, born in Germany, occupation, office cleaner.

Death of Melusine Erxmeyer Blanck

"Melusina" Blanck died on September 27, 1925 at 213 Willow Avenue in Hoboken of general dropsy (nephtitid) due to physical inactivity. She had been bed-ridden for 4 years after fracturing her hip. The death certificate lists:

  • Parents, Henry Erxmeyer of Germany and Dora Grobe of Germany
  • Date of Birth, February 13, 1846
  • Age at time of death, 79 years, 7 months and 14 days

The information was supplied by her son, Henry Blanck of 213 Willow Street, Hoboken. She was buried in the Grove Church Cemetery in Hudson, County on September 29, 1925.

213 Willow Avenue, Hoboken is a small apartment building.

No will listed in New Jersey State Archives, August 2008.

Minnie Blanck Reuter and John Blanck in the 1930 Census

On Highpoint Ave in Weehawken

  • Minnie Reuter, head rent $50, age 58 widow married at age 26, born Germany, immigrated 1873 no occupation
  • John Blanck, brother, age 55, born NJ, inspector lumber yard
  • Kalchian Zepher, roomer, age 24 born Constantinople Turkey, typist magazine

They were renting from their cousin Berthe Labouseur, the daughter of Julia Erxmeyer Lehamnn.

Kith and Kin of Henry Blanck in New Jersey

Most people did not immigrated in isolation. They went where there were already other family (kin) or friends and neighbors from the old country (kith). With this in mind, I have looked for the kith and kin of Henry Blanck in Hoboken. I did not find any other Blancks who appear to be related.

There were the following possible associations:

  • According to the indexes, in the 1870 census there were two listings for Blank:
    1. Charles in Newark, age 45
    2. Emma in Jersey City, age 23.

  • There were no Blank/Blanck listings in the 1870 census in Hoboken.
  • There were two brothers listed in the 1874 and 1876 New York directories as "Blancke Bros 177 Broad merchants". Their home addresses were listed in "Hoboken".
    1. Rudolph Blancke C mer. 117 Broad St. h. Hoboken
    2. Robert Blanck C mer. 117 Broad h. Hoboken
  • In 1880 there was a listing for William Blank on Jefferson St. in Hoboken, age 28 from Saxony (E.D. 51 sheet 54 line 1).

Note: None of the given names of any of these Blancks are listed in the records in Lehe, Germany.

Henry's sister-in-law, Charlotte Reddehase (Charlotte was the wife of Melusine's brother, Frederick Erxmeyer) was also from Lehe. The Erxmeyers, including Charlotte Reddehase Erxmeyer, immigrated around the same time as Henry Blanck.

The records for the German Evangelical Church in Hoboken show that there were a fair number of people from Lehe in the parish. Lehe, part of the port city of Bremenhaven, was a stopping off point for people coming from other parts of Germany who eventually immigrated to America. The Erxmeyers were an example of a such a family. They moved from Walsrode, Germany to Lehe before emigrating.

Minnie Blanck Reuter, daughter of Melusine Erxmeyer

Minnie (Wilhelmina) Blanck married Gustave Reuter, bartender. For more information on Minnie and Gustave, click on the picture of the bartender

John Blanck, son of Henry Blanck and Melusine Erxmeyer

John Blanck, lumberman, never married. For more information on John, click on the picture of the lumberman.

Herman Blanck, son of Henry Blanck and Melusine Erxmeyer

Herman Blanck, carpenter, married and had a family in Hoboken. For more information on Herman, click on the picture of the carpenter.

Henry Blanck, Junior, son of Henry Blanck and Melusine Erxmeyer

Henry Blanck, Junior, driver and porter, married and had a family in Hoboken. For more information on Henry, click on the picture of the hose and cart.

Louie Blanck, son of Henry Blanck and Melusine Erxmeyer

Louie Blanck, driver and labourer, married Gertrude Kettler and had a family in Hoboken. For more information on Louis, click on the picture of his wife, Gertrude.

Melusine Erxmeyer, wife of Henry Blanck

Henry Blanck married Melusine Erxmeyer. Melusine and her family immigrated to Hoboken in the 1870s. For more information on Melusine and the Erxmeyers go to Melusine Erxmeyer or The Family of Henry and Dorethe Erxmeyer

Heinrich Christopher Blanck and Dorothy Wenzel, parents of Henry Blanck

Henry Blanck born in Lehe Germany in 1849 was the son of Heinrich Christopher Blanck and Dorothy Wenzel. For more information on Heinrich Christopher Blanck and Dorothy Wenzel go to Heinrich Christopher Blanck

For information on Henry Blanck, his years at sea go to Henry Blanck At Sea

Images of sea voyages Immigration

Many other young men in Germany also went to sea out of Bremen, including my ancestor, J. Berend Petermann and Henry Blank's in-laws, the Erxmeyers. To see images of and information on Berend Petermann experience at sea go to Berend Petermann at Sea

Images of sea voyages Immigration

For information on and images of Lehe go to Bremen/Bremerhave/Lehe

For information on and images of Hoboken go to Hoboken

Introduction to other Blanck related pages including: life in Germany, occupations, Germans in America, Linen Weaving, the immigration experience, immigration ships, and more. Blanck Introduction

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

If you wish to use any of the images or information on this page please feel free to do so provided that you give proper acknowledgement to this web site and include the same acknowledgments that I have made to the provenience of the image or information. Thanks, Maggie

© Maggie Land Blanck - page created 2005 - latest update, September 2016