Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The de Gersdorff Family

Carl August de Gersdorff

Josiah Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee LMNSC
Chevalier Benjmain Crowninshield Bradlee 
Frderick Josiah Bradlee Jr.
m: Chevaliere Josephine de Gersdorff
Carl Agust de Gersdorff 
(Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; 10 Jul 1865 - Manhattan, New York, USA; 1944)
Dr. Ernst Bruno von Gersdorff 
(Eisenach, Saxony, Germany; 18 Jul 1820 - Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; 28 Jun 1883) 
m: Dec 1860 in Massachusetts, USA; to Caroline Choate 
(Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; 16 1834 - St. Lukes Hospital, Manhattan, New York, USA; 4 Nov 1889)
Baron Heinrich August von Gersdorff 
(Herrnhut, Germany: 13 Jun 1793 - Eisenach, Germany; 1874) 
m: Augeste Theodora von Tschirischky 
(Germany; 7 Feb 1797 - Eisenach, Germany; 2 Dec 1883)
Occupation: Judge
Ernst Siegmund Agust von Gersdorff 
(Trebus, Germany; 1 Jul 1737 - Herrnhut, Germany; 25 Jul 1797) 
m: on 28 Jul 1761 to 
Charlotte Marie Elenore Grafin von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
Siegmund August von Gersdorff 
(Herrnsdorf, Germany; 6 Jan 1702 - Herrnhut, Germany; 25 Jan 1797) 
m: Erdmuthe Charlotte von Metzradt 
(18 Jul 1709 - 26 Dec 1781)
Wolf Ernst von Gersdorff 
(Dresden, Germany; 22 Apr 1866 - Herrnsdorf, Germany; 17 Nov 1714) 
m: to Maria Susanne von Temritz
 (29 Feb 1668 - 14 Mar 1707)
Seifried von Gersdorff 
(Lipsa, Germany; 26 Dec 1627 - Dresden, Germany; 1674) 
m: Anna Marie von Rackel 
(Horscha, Germany; 4 Dec 1643 - Herrnsdorf, Germany; 21 Mar 1703)
Wolf Kasper von Gersdorff 
(Hohenbocka, Germany; 7 Jul 1596 - Bautzen, Germany; 1632) 
m: Anna Maria von Wolfersdorff
Hieronymus von Gersdorff 
(? - Seftenberg, Germany; 20 Jul 1606)
 m: Martha von Luttichau
Kasper von Gersdorff
 (? - 1605) 
m: Euphemia von Pflugk Frauenhain
Nickel von Gersdorff
Hans von Gerhardisdorf gen. Thauros
(Owner of Nieder-Gurig) (1374)
Henczil Thauros
(Owner of Tauchritz) (1360, 1374)
Nyckil von Gerhardisdorf gen. Thauros
(Owner of Tauchritz) (1360)

Biography of Carl August de Gersdorff

Carl August de Gersdorff was born at Salem, Mass., July 10, 1865, the son of Dr. Ernst Bruno de Gersdorff (born von Gersdorff) and Carline Choate de Gersdorff.
The found of the von Gersdorff family was Markgraf Gero, a henchman of Otto the First, of the Holy Roman Empire, who entitled him Gero von Gersdorp and allowed him to give his descendants the of Gersdorp. The Markgraf died in 965 and was buried in a town near Magdburg in the Hartz Mountains, which now bears the name of Gernrode.
Ernst von Gersdorff was born Eisenach, Saxony, the son of the Baron Heinrich August and Agusta von Gersdorff. The Baron was a judge undr the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar and was attached to the Dukes court. Augusta, nee von Tschirsckky, was part Polish. Ernst, educated at the Universtities of Jena and Leipsig, was an intimate of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, whose homepathic principles he espoused after completing his education. He came to Boston in 1849 with others who were seeking in this country the political liberty which they could not find in Germany. He and his older brother Curt had been collegues of Carl Schurz in the Liberal uprising of 1848, and the elder brother got into trouble and had to leave, Ernst accompanied him.
Upon coming to the country Ernst changed his name to de Gersdorff. He settled in Salem, practicing as a homeopathic physician. There he met and married Caroline Choate. In 1865 he moved to Boston, and became professor of pathology and therapeutics, at Boston University in 1873. Ernst had two sisters, on of whom, Alma, married a von Flotow from Mecklenburg, and the other, Francesca, married a Mauderoder from Thuringia. Both had large families, and as a result Carl de Gersdorff had many German first cousins.
De Gersdorff's mother was lineally desceded in the sixth generation from John Choate, who came from England to Ipswich, Mass., in 1643 and founded one of the most distinguished families of Essex County. Caroline Choate was the daughter of Dr. George Choate and Margaret Manning Hodges, who was descended from Capt Gamaliel  Hodges of Revolutionary fame. Joseph H. Choate was her brtoehr, and Rufus Choate, the famous orator and jurist, was her father's first cousin.
Carl de Gersdorff's youth and college years were spent in and around Boston. Throughout his life he preserved his New England contacts, visiting a wide circle of friends in the Boston area, and summering at Stockbridge, Mass. The impact of his early New England training remained with him throughout his life, for despite his more than fifty years' residence in New York, there was always something reminiscent of Boston in the restraint of his bearing and approach.
He graduated from Boston Latin School in 1883, and from Harvard College in 1887. He attended Harvard Law School for two years but did not take a degree, leaving for New York City in 1889 to complete his education for the bar as a clerk in the office of his uncle's firm, Evarts, Choate & Beaman. Hee remained there until after his admission to the New York bar, and in March, 1892 left to become managing clerk of the Seward office. Joseph H. Choate, who served as a president of the New York Constitutional Convention of 1894, took de Gersdorff to Albany as his secretary.
When Austin withdrew from the Seward firm, de Gersdorff, as he subsequently told it, "went to Guthrie and told him that I wanted his [Austin's] place in the firm. Guthrie was much surprised and somewhat schocked but I had made up my mind that I would either get into the firm or leave the office, and he finally agreed to take me in." De Gersdorff's admission to the firm was on May 1, 1895, and except for a two-year banking interlude in 1913-1914, he remained a partner until his death in 1944.
The early years of his practice were spent largely in litigation. He did most of the Adams Express work and assisted Steele in handling other routine matters.
On September 9, 1895, he married Helen Suzette Crowninshield, daughter of Frederic Crowninshield, a well-known artist. He shared her interest in art and gardening until her death in 1941. They had one son and two daughters.
De Gersdorff's clubs were the University (of which he became a member in 1892), Century Association, Union Club, Down Town Association, Knickerbocker Club, Harvard Club of New York City, Harvard Club of Boston, Fly (Harvard), Somerset (Boston), Lenox (Mass.) and Stockbridge (Mass.) Gold, and Broad Street.
He was five feet seven inches in height, kept his weight under 150 pounds and always maintained a trim figure. He wore a close-cropped, sandy mustache. A sense of humor was reflected in his eyes and in his smile. He was an enthusiastic, though duffer, golfer and loved to go to South Carolina for quail shooting in the fall, and to any place where there were fish - in any fishing season.

(This information is taken from the volumes of: The Cravath firm and its predecessors, 1819-1847, Volume 3.)

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