The name “Cramer” means "shopkeeper". Henry Cramer was
born in March, 1841 in Hanover, Germany . Henry was
the son of Heinrich Cramer and Caroline Wittschieber,
also of Hanover, Germany.
Henry traveled to the United States in 1854, at the age
of 13. After settling in the lower east side of Manhattan,
which was considered to be the heart of the German district,
the next known event in Henry's life was his enlisting in
the Civil War for the Union Army. Henry enlisted in the 4th
New York Cavalry, Company I, on Staten Island on November 29th,
1861, as a Private, when he was 20 years old.
The 4th New York Cavalry, also known as The 1st German Cavalry,
Dickel's Mounted Rifles, and the Lincoln Greens, was led by
Cols Christian F. Dickel and Louis P. Di Cesnola. It was
organized in New York City, and comprised of German soldiers.
They soon attached with General Louis Blenker's Brigade and
Division, Army of the Potomac, and faught in the defense of
Washington DC until April, 1862. The 4th New York Cavalry then
moved to Winchester, Virginia in April of 1862 and faught in
the operations of the Shenandoah Valley until August, 1862.
The 4th New York Cavalry battled in Northern Virginia in
Strasburg and Woodstock on June 1st and 2nd, Edinburgh and
Mount Jackson on June 3rd, and Harrisonburg on June 6th.
Unfortunately, on June 5th, Henry was injured somewhere near
Strasburg, admitted to Mount Jackson hospital, and was
discharged for disability on June 5th, 1862. After the Civil
War, the New York City marriage records of 1873
indicate that Henry, 30 years old, married Elise "Lizzie"
Perpeet, 21 years old, born in New York, the daughter of
Louis Perpeet and Mina Lacy, who are believed to be from
either Germany or Alsace France, which is a German section
of France. Henry and Lizzie were married by G. Wenner, who
was the pastor of Christ Lutheran Churh in lower Manhattan.
Henry's occupation was listed as "grocer" and lived at 96
Avenue B in New York's Lower East Side.
The 1880 Census records reflect Henry and Lizzie living at
301 East 31st Street. Henry is a street railroad conductor,
and they have two sons, Henry Jr., five years old, and Edward,
two years old, both born in New York. Baptismal records
from Christ Lutheran Church indicate that Edward was born on
March 14th, 1878, and baptized on May 12th, 1878. The
godparent was listed as Edward Perpeet.
In the 1900 census, Henry is listed as a "widower" who is
employed at the Lenox Library, 805 Fifth Avenue, living with
Henry Jr., a policeman, and Edward, a hardware clerk, in the
Bronx, at 654 East 159th Street. The three of them are listed
as boarders with Rudolph Hoffman, owner of a hardware business.
This was the Melrose section of the Bronx, which was the main
German district in the Bronx, known especially for it's
The 1920 census reflects the following are renting in a house
owned by Mary Payne at 1948 Benedict Ave., Bronx, NY. Henry
Cramer Jr, Mary F., Vera, Knoeppel, John J., and Henry Cramer Sr.
Henry Cramer, Sr. died on January 17, 1921 at 81 years old.