earliest records found to date, in Mercydorf, of
my Grandfathers surname Herz, are the baptismal
record of Anna Maria Hirz. She was born on
September 4, 1757. Her parents were Petrus Hirz
and Jus Dunley. I hope someday to make a
connection with this first Hirz family, and my
great great grandfather Peter Herzl, born in
Mercydorf, around 1845.
Peter Herzl had at least two sons, Peter born in
1875, and Johann, my great grandfather, born on
July 18, 1870. Peter married a girl named Maria,
and Johann married Eva Wilhelm. Eva was born on
December 5th, 1876. Her parents were Peter
Wilhelm and Anna Jung. Peters father was
also Peter Wilhelm.
John Herz and his wife Eva had two children.
Their first child, Lenard Herz, was born in
Mercydorf, on November 30th, 1899. His sister
Anna was born there in 1903. Lenards name
was changed to Leonard, and his middle name
Louis, was added later. We presume this change
was made after they came to the states.
In the early 20th century, the United States was
looking for workers. My family must have
determined that this country would give them
opportunities they did not have in Hungary,
opportunities that would make life better for our
On May 8, 1903, Peter Herz, 28, arrived in NY on
the ship Graf Waldersee. Two months later, on
July 18, 1903 his wife Maria, 25, arrived in NY
on the ship Bulgaria and joined him. On December
30, 1904, Johann, 34, arrived in NY on the ship
Main, to join his brother. I can only imagine how
heart wrenching it was for them to leave their
family and friends, knowing they would never see
them or even talk to them again. Their parents
probably never got over the loss that they must
have felt when their children left home for
good. It would have been especially
difficult for Johann to leave his wife and
children. He did not know how long it would be
before he would see them again.
After two years of separation, Johann had saved
enough money to send for Eva. She said good bye
to here little ones, and her family, and left on
the ship Slavonia. She arrived in NY on November
30, 1906. Johanns and Evas reunion
was bitter sweet. They were together again, but
still separated from their children.
Im sure there were many tears shed in those
days. At last it was time for Leonard and Anna to
be reunited with their parents. They came with
Evas brother Joseph, and his wife Ilona,
along with their 3-year-old son Jani. Leonard and
Anna were listed on the ships manifest as having
the last name of their uncle Joseph Wilhelm.
Leonard was 10, though he is listed as being 9,
and Anna was 7. The ships manifest said that
Joseph paid for his and his wifes tickets,
and John Herz paid for the childrens
tickets. With $35.00 in their possession they set
sail from Bremen on the ship called Main. Eight
days late they arrived at Ellis Island. It was
June 16, 1910. Finally the family was
John and Eva lived In College Point NY. John
worked on the railroad making $14.00 a week.
Leonard went to school through the 5th grade. He
had also gone through the 5th grade in Hungary.
Even though he did not have much in the way of a
formal education, he learned to both speak and
write in English, as well as already being able
to speak German and Hungarian. As a young man he
liked to perform magic tricks for his family, and
on stage. On July 19, 1919, Leonard married
Hazel Louise Miller, born October 12, 1903.
Leonard worked at the Rubber Mill in College
Point. After it burned down, Leonard and Hazel
moved to Butler NJ. They had six daughters, and
Anna married Martin Freidl. Anna worked at the
Rubber factory, and Martin was an iron worker.
They had two children Elizabeth, and Martin. The
Freidl family continues to live in College
There is no doubt that life for our family from Mercydorf was
never easy. I hope they realized that because of their bravery and
descendants lives are inconceivably better
than they would have been.
of Leonard Louis Herz
Generation No. 1
Leonard Louis Herz, born November 30, 1899 in
Mercydorf, Hungary; died May 31, 1967 in Butler,
Morris, NJ. He was the son of 2. Johann Herzl and
3. Eva Wilhelm. He married (1) Hazel Louise
Miller July 19, 1919 in Garwood NJ Methodist
Episcopal Parsonage. She was born October 20,
1903, and died March 10, 1945 in Butler, Morris,
NJ. She was the daughter of Federick J. Miller
and Helen J. Nunn.
More About Leonard Louis Herz:
Census: 1920, Cranford Twp. ED#59, Union Co., pg
8 no. 116
Mortage: March 26, 1943, paid in full $1,500
Occupation: 1920, Machinist in at Factory
Social Security Number: 137-07-8427
Wedding: July 19, 1919, Thursday
Generation No. 2
2. Johann Herzl, born July 18, 1870 in Mercydorf,
Hungary; died August 1938 in Butler Morris, NJ.
He was the son of 4. Peter Herzl and 5. Margaret
Worth. He married 3. Eva Wilhelm February 13,
1896 in Mercydorf, Timis, Hungary.
Eva Wilhelm, born December 05, 1872 in Mercydorf,
Hungary; died October 05, 1956 in Butler Morris,
NJ. She was the daughter of 6. Peter Wilhelm and
7. Anna Jung.
More About Johann Herzl:
Medical Information: blue eyes, light brown hair
Naturalization: June 28, 1947
More About Eva Wilhelm:
Immigration: November 30, 1906, Arrived on ship
Children of Johann Herzl and Eva Wilhelm are:
1 i. Leonard Louis Herz, born November 30, 1899
in Mercydorf, Hungary; died May 31, 1967 in
Butler, Morris, NJ; married Hazel Louise Miller
July 19, 1919 in Garwood NJ Methodist Episcopal
ii. Anna Herz
4. Peter Herzl, born Abt. 1845 in Mercydorf,
Hungary. He married 5. Margaret Worth.
Margaret Worth, born Abt. 1845 in Mercydorf,
Hungary. She was the daughter of 10. Franz Worth.
Child of Peter Herzl and Margaret Worth is:
2 i. Johann Herzl, born July 18, 1870 in
Mercydorf, Hungary; died August 1938 in Butler
Morris, NJ; married Eva Wilhelm February 13, 1896
in Mercydorf, Timis, Hungary.
6. Peter Wilhelm, born in Mercydorf, Hungary. He
was the son of 12. Peter Wilhelm. He married 7.
Anna Jung, born in Mercydorf, Hungary.
Children of Peter Wilhelm and Anna Jung are:
3 i. Eva Wilhelm, born December 05, 1872 in
Mercydorf, Hungary; died October 05, 1956 in
Butler Morris, NJ; married Johann Herzl February
13, 1896 in Mercydorf, Timis, Hungary.
ii. Joseph Wilhelm, born 1879; married Ilona.
More About Joseph Wilhelm:
Immigration: June 16, 1910, Arrived on the ship
iii. Rozina Wilhelm, born 1891.
More About Rozina Wilhelm:
Immigration: August 28, 1907, Arrived on ship
10. Franz Worth
Child of Franz Worth is:
5 i. Margaret Worth, born Abt. 1845 in Mercydorf,
Hungary; married Peter Herzl.
12. Peter Wilhelm
Child of Peter Wilhelm is:
6 i. Peter Wilhelm, born in Mercydorf, Hungary;
married Anna Jung.
Leonard Herz, left with sister-in-law Grace who is about to be sawed in half. Taken around 1921.
Hazel and Leonard with grandchildren. Taken around 1941.
Peter Wilhelm, my GGreat grandfather, with my grandfather Leonard Herz, & his sister Anna in 1908.
Peter was taking care of the children, while their parents set up their new home in College Point, NY.
Eva Wilhelm Herz, my great grandmother, b 05 Dec 1872, Mercydorf. Arrived in NY 30 Nov 1906, ship Slovonia. Eva died the day I was born 5 Oct 1956.
Eva Herz's passport