Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Who Were the Relatives of Nellie (Bernitt) Kolm in Hayward, California?

Nellie (Bernitt) Kolm (1883-1869) told her grandson, Rich Kolm, that in 1894 she had travelled with her family by ship from Coos Bay, Oregon to San Francisco, to visit the Midwinter Exposition. At that time, she recalled that they had visited relatives living in the East Bay city of Hayward, in Alameda County.

The question: who were the Bernitt relatives living in Hayward in 1894?

Not to hold the reader in suspense: I haven't been able to find any such relative.

The town of Hayward is in Eden Township in Alameda County (it also includes San Lorenzo and Castro Valley). The 1900 census listed 522 individuals born in Germany (99 in Hayward) and none born in Prussia or Holstein. There were also 237 residents born in Denmark (which "owned" Holstein at one time).

Unfortunately, none of the Germans carry one of the names we know were associated with Nellie's family: Bernitt, Hilmer(s), Frehse, Voelters, Klahn. It's hard to know if they were cousins with a surname we haven't found as yet, or if they moved away from the Hayward are before 1900.

I'm hoping that someone will read this and come up with a clue (or at least a suggestion of where else to look for information). Comments would be appreiciated!

History of Hayward
About Eden Township (1877) and 1878 Map of Alameda County
Articles about the California Midwinter Exposition
California Midwinter International Exposition photos
Alameda County, CA, 1900 Census. Eden Township is covered by ED 327-331. (note that I used the searchable version at

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