The Kollros Family

Prior to the unification of Germany under Bismarck in 1871 the area that we know of today as the nation of Germany was a patchwork of rival states made up of a variety of kingdoms, principalities, duchies, and margraviates. These nations had been formed over hundreds of years from the Germanic tribes that had roamed and settled in this region since the time of Julius Cæsar and before. Because the nation of Germany did not exist before the early 1870s, the "national origin" column in the US Census records for the three censuses taken between 1860 and 1880 provide the genealogist who is researching German ancestors a finer degree granularity. Having found my German ancestors in these censuses, I was able to determine what part of Germany they came from. The 1870 and 1880 census records show that my mother’s great-grandfather, George C. Spiegel, came from Saxony (Sachsen). This could mean that he either came from the Kingdom of Saxony whose capital was Dresden or the Province of Saxony whose capital was at Magdeburg. It seems most likely that this refers to the kingdom that was formed during the time Napoleon and not the province that was controlled by the Prussians, but since we do not know what city the Spiegel’s came from we cannot be certain.

The census of 1860 and 1870 tell us that Maria Eichhorn the mother of Constantine Kollros came from Bavaria. Other sources tell us that her family was of the town of Rattelsdorf in the district of Bamburg and this means that they came from the northern part of Bavaria. Constantine and his Kollros family came from the Grand Duchy of Baden in the southern part of Germany along the upper Rhine River. We know that they came from the town of Sasbach-am-Rhein. What began in ancient times as a fishing village was at one time the site of a Roman fortress, and later evolved into a town noted for its wine. It sits on the right bank of the upper Rhine and east of the Black Forest (Schwartzwald). 

The people of this region are descended from the Alamanni, a Germanic tribe, which is first mentioned by the Romans in the early part of the 3rd century AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Caracella.  In some accounts the Alamanni were regarded as the tribe known as the Suebi. Over the course of several hundred years, the Alamanni were at war with the Romans as the Romans campaigned against the Alamanni and the Germans occasionally crossed the Rhine River to invade Gaul. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Alamanni became subjects of the Frankish Empire and following the treaty of Verdun in 843 the region of Alamannia became a province in the kingdom of Louis the German, the precursor of the Holy Roman Empire. During the time of the Merovingian kings, the Alammani were gradually Christianized beginning with the efforts of the Irish saint, Columbanus (c. 612).  The Margraviate (March) of Baden came into existence in the 12th century. From this time down to the 18th century, the Margraviate was split at various times by religiously motivated dynastic feuds. During the Reformation, some of rulers of Baden remained Catholic and some had adopted Protestantism. During the Thirty Years War, the area suffered heavily. Baden was reunited in 1771 under Charles Frederick, but the region remained a fragmented territory made up of isolated districts along either side of the Rhine River.

In 1792, the French attempted to export their revolution to Baden. The margrave fought back and after a lengthy and devastating war, he was forced to cede the left bank of the Rhine (Alsace) to the French. Following Napoleon’s dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803, the margrave took sides with Napoleon (by marrying Napoleon’s sister-in-law) and as a reward for doing so, the Grand Duchy of Baden was created in 1805. Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 Europe saw a period of relative calm that gradually degraded over time as the reactionaries sought to eradicate Napoleonic reforms. By the 1840s, the living conditions of the lower and middle classes of the German States had become unbearable. Over-population, food shortages, crop failures, unemployment, and economic depression caused many to leave their farms for the cities and for many in the cities to leave the country and seek a better life in America. The Kollros family came to America in 1844.

Very early on in my research, I had found the family of Constantine and his brother, Dominick, in the US Census of 1870. Over time, I learned that their parents were Joseph Kollros and Magdalena Ringwald and that the family had come over from the Duchy of Baden in the 1840′s. Later I was able to find the family in both the 1850 and 1860 US Census.

For a long time, I thought I had managed to put together a complete picture of the Kollros family in the late 19th and early 20th century. That is until late in 2004 when my brother sent me an email with a link to a web site that made available on-line historical Louisville City Directories. Here I found two city directories for Louisville - 1859 and 1911. In these directories, I found a dozen or more Kollros. Looking at those entries made me realize that once again I might be able take a handful of puzzle pieces and put them together to build a broader picture of my great-grandfather’s family.

I made a list of all of the Kollros entries in both the 1859 and the 1911 city directories and tried to match the entries with what I already had in my database on the Kollros family - marking each one that I had previously identified with my database’s reference ID.

Here is the list that I made:



Listed Name

Directory Entry




Constantine Kollros

Musician, Gray St

Father of my g-grandfather, E.J. Kollros


Domonicus Kollros

Saddle Maker, Clay St

Uncle of E. J. Kollros


Joseph Kollros

Gray St .

Grandfather of E.J. Kollros



Annie Kollros

827 E. Gray St

Dau. of Dominic


Dominick Kollros

827 E. Gray St

Uncle of E. J. Kollros


Bernard J. Kollros

b.ns Murray Ave e of Bardstown Rd

Printer (same address as Geo Kollros below)


Carrie Kollros

1119 Hamilton



Constantine Kollros

2304 Market St

Musician, father of EJ Kollros


Dominic G. Kollros

b. ns Murray Ave e of Bardstown Rd

U.S. Engineer


E. J. Kollros

1330 S. Floyd

My g-grandfather


Geo Kollros

1119 Hamilton

Butcher (son of Dominick or Constantine?)


Geo E. Kollros

r. ns Murray Ave e of Bardstown Rd

Piano tuner (son of Dominick or Constantine?)


Geo E Jr. Kollros

b. ns Murray Ave e of Bardstown Rd

Apprentice (son of George E. Kollros?)


Josie K Kollros

r.1119 Hamilton

Listed as widow of J. A. Kollros


Katherine Kollros

1119 Hamilton



Leo C. Kollros

208 S. 20th St

Musician (bro of EJ Kollros)


Mamie A. Kollros

1119 Hamilton


The ones without reference IDs are, of course, ones for which I could not make a match. From this, and what I previously knew, I came up the following questions:

I knew that both Constantine and Dominic had sons who were named George, but which one was which and who were the others? Three men resided on Murray Ave with "George E. Kollros". How were they related? There were two women and one man living with Josie K. Kollros at 1119 Hamilton. How were they related?  Josie K. Kollros is listed in the 1911 directory as the widow of J. A. Kollros. Who was this J. A. Kollros?

Constantine died in 1916. If his son John had died before then I was sure Constantine would have noted it in the Bible as he did others. So, I eliminated John Kollros as the husband of the widowed Josie K Kollros.

Were any of the three George’s shown in the directory, son’s of Constantine? According to Constantine’s bible page, he had two sons who had the name "George". The first George was born in 1866 and died at the age of two in 1868. The second George was born in 1869 and was listed on the bible page as "Constantiss Dominickus Georgius Kollros". However, did this second "George" go by the name George or, on the other hand, was he possibly Dominic G. Kollros, the U.S. Engineer, who was listed in the 1911 city directory?

Jojo’s uncle, Dominic, had a son named George (b. 1865) and this George was most likely the George E. Kollros listed as "Piano Tuner" in the 1911 directory. I came to this conclusion for two reasons. For one, the 1880 US Census for Louisville, Kentucky shows George, son of Dominic, fifteen years old; his occupation at age 15 was listed as Musician. Secondly, I made an interesting discovery after finding out that more historical city directories for Louisville were available on-line.

I found on-line at that there are two other Louisville City Directories available for viewing - one from 1886 and another from 1890. In these directories, I found a George E. Kollros, occupation musician and working for "Eichhorn’s Orchestra". This was an interesting discovery because Eichhorn is the maiden name of Jojo’s mother, Maria.

Putting that aside for the moment, I resumed the search for J. A. Kollros and I decided to go back to the 1880 census record to review the Dominic Kollros household at 825 Kellar St. just to see if I might have missed something. Here in the record, I found something interesting, not at 825 Kellar St., but next door where I found yet another "Eichhorn" link. At 823 Kellar Street, I found a "John Eichhorn", age 42, occupation Huckster, and birthplace at Bavaria. With him were his wife Mary, age 35, (birthplace Kentucky, father’s birthplace Wurtemburg, mother’s birthplace Bavaria) and his mother Katherine Eichhorn, age 69, birthplace Bavaria.

What, if any, was the relationship between John & Katherine Eichhorn and my gg-grandmother, Maria Eichhorn Kollros? What is a "huckster"? Was John Eichhorn related in any way with "Eichhorn Orchestra"? So many questions…

I went back to the Louisville city directories (1886 & 1890) and queried for all entries that contained Eichhorn’s Orchestra. What I found was that an "Erhard Eichhorn" was listed as director (1886) and conductor (1890) of this orchestra and I found at least 15 men who were listed as members of Eichhorn’s Orchestra in 1890 - a "George E. Kollros" being one of them.

I returned to the 1880 Census - were there any more Eichhorn’s in Louisville? Yes, I found an "Erhardt Eichhorn", age 39, occupation musician, whose birthplace was listed as Hanover. He was shown with a wife named Mary, age 38, whose birthplace was Hanover and no children. They did have a live-in servant so that one could assume that they were well to do for the times. At first, I thought that there was a problem with his birthplace shown as Hanover and the fact that the 1880 census showed Maria (Eichhorn) Kollros’ birthplace as Prussia. As it turns out the birthplaces listed for them in the 1880 census are wrong. Both Erhardt and Maria were later found together in the 1860 census living with their mother and siblings - all are shown as being from Bavaria (Bayern). In the 1870 census, Erhardt is found living with his wife Mary and his birthplace is listed as Bavaria. Mary (Eichhorn) Kollros is also shown in the 1870 census as being born in Bavaria. Nevertheless, at this point, I was being sidetracked and this Eichhorn mystery was a bit of a dead-end for now.

Getting back to the question of the three Georges, we have a George E. Kollros, musician, who is most likely George, the son of Dominic Kollros, but what about George "the Butcher"?

In the 1910 Census, I searched for and found a George C. Kollros, age 46, living in Jefferson Co., Kentucky, but somewhere outside of Louisville; his occupation was listed as farmer. So who was this "George C. Kollros"? Age 46 meant that he was born about 1864. "Constantiss Dominickus Georgius Kollros" would have been 41 years old in 1910, but the age and name were only close. Were there any other un-accounted for Kollros in the 1910 Census? My search of that census returned several Kollros, but the only other person found in census for that year that was not already accounted for in my database was a "Josephine Kollros".

It is important to note that census indices can be very unreliable and misleading. Just because a person’s name does not appear in a census index, it does not mean that they are not in the census. Looking at the actual record for the "Josephine Kollros" listed in the 1910 census index here is what I found:


Andrew Habich

age 80, bp Germany, imm 1847 (Butcher)


Anna M. Habich

Age 75, bp Ger


Josephine Kollros

Age 50, Widow, bp KY


John Habich

Age 32 (no occ)


Mammie Kollros

Age 29 dressmaker


George Kollros

Age 25, Butcher


Kate Kollros

Age 20, bottle labeler


Carrie Kollros

Age 16, bottle labeler

Bingo! The Josie K. Kollros, widow of someone named J. A. Kollros, found in the city directory of 1911 was Josephine (Habich) Kollros, a 50-year-old widow found in the 1910 census with her son George Kollros, a butcher. Moreover, the street address matched the one listed in the city directory and the other occupants matched as well. In addition, it is worth noting that here in the actual census record, there are four Kollros that do not appear in the index of the census. How many more Kollros might be missing?

After years of doing this sort of work, I now know how unreliable the census indexes can be. I remember that a number of years ago, that I found Joseph & Constantine Kollros listed as father and son in the 1860 Census along with Constantine’s mother, Magdalena Kollros. In the record, Joseph was listed as a 68-year-old policeman and Constantine was listed as a 21 year old musician, but I had never found Constantine’s brother, Dominic, in the 1860 census.

The oldest child I have listed for Dominic is Elizabeth who was age 21 in 1880. Is it possible that Dominic had older children that I did not know about? Possibly a son whose first initial was "J"; one who was married and living away from his parents in 1880.

Returning once again to the index for the 1860 census of Louisville, I searched again for "Kollros" hoping to find Domonick. However, where previously I had found Joseph, Magdalena, and Constantine, this time I did not them. So, how had I found them before?

I checked my notes and was glad to see that I had noted that they were previously found on page 151 in the First Ward of Louisville. Accessing the records for the First Ward of Louisville in 1860, I went to page 151 and there I found the family. It was then that I realized why I could not find them in the census index - I was looking for "Kollros" and the census record listed their surname spelled as "Kolrose". So, as a test, to see if I could find Dominick, I decided to "reverse" this and do a search of the census index for "Kolrose". The query returned nothing; not even Joseph and family. Apparently, they could not be found by a surname search of the index.

At this point, the reader may be wondering why I wasted any time querying the census indexes if I the indexes are seemingly so unreliable. Why did I not just go straight to the images of the census pages and search the record directly? It is important to realize, that without the indexes, the search would have even more complicated and time-consuming; not to add, even more frustrating. The population of Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1860 was over 77,000 whites, 2,000 "free colored", and 10,000 slaves. That means that over 80,000 names appear in the Free Schedule for Jefferson County. In 1860, the city of Louisville had a population of over 60,000 and consisted of eight wards. At that time, the population of the first ward of Louisville was 15,000 and there are over 400 pages (images) of census records for the first ward alone. The effort to view and analyze over 400 pages would be akin to trying to find that proverbial needle in a haystack.

Now I decided to try a brute force method, short of manually searching through all 400+ pages of the first ward of Louisville. I noticed that the search form on for the 1860 census has an option for querying on year of immigration and the place from which the person emigrated. Therefore, I entered Louisville | Jefferson | Kentucky | 1847 | Germany and up popped 50 pages of German immigrants living in Louisville in 1860. After scanning a number of pages, I finally came across a "Domenick Kohlrose":


Domenick Kohlrose

Age 30, musician, bp Baden



Age 28, bp Hessen (NOTE the 1880 census lists her bp as “Kurhhessa”, this is actually Kur-Hesse (now known as Hesse-Kasel)



Age 3 (A missing “J Kollros”, but is he the missing “J.A. Kollros?)



Age 1

Then what did happen to Joseph, son of Dominic? When did he die? Was he hiding in the 1880 & 1900 census records? Josephine Habich Kollros’ daughter Mamie was 29 years old in 1910 and the youngest, Carrie, was sixteen. The 1910 census record shows that Josephine had given birth to five children with four children surviving in 1910. If Carrie was the youngest, then J. A. Kollros was at least still alive in 1894 and the couple was married around 1880, if not earlier.

The results of this exercise were mixed. I cannot say with certainty that I was able to account for all the Louisville Kollros relatives of my great-grandfather at the turn of the century. Finding that the name "Kollros" had been misspelled in at least one census record led me to eventually finding the family in the 1850 census where they were listed as "Colrose" and living in Indiana. A search of the 1870 Census index for Louisville showed no listings for the name Kollros, and yet, with some luck, I was able to find both Domonick and Constantine in the actual census records for that year.

The same cousin who had years earlier told me that Kollros family had come from Baden later confirmed that Maria Eichhorn and Erhardt Eichhorn were sister and brother. In addition, I learned that Constantine was a conductor in the "Eichhorn Orchestra". At this point, I did not know if John Eichhorn was related to Maria and Erhardt, but I did learn that a "huckster" is a seller of trinkets. Given the name "Katherine" - John Eichhorn’s mother as listed in the 1880 census - I developed a working theory that she was also the mother of Maria Erhardt. Eventually I found Catherine, her husband, and their children (including Maria and Erhardt) on a passenger list when they first arrived in the United States.What follows is a history of the Kollros and allied families:

To get from the eastern seaboard to the town of Madison, Indiana on the Ohio River the Kollros family would have traveled possibly by rail from Baltimore to Cumberland. At Cumberland, they would have traveled by wagon or stage along the National Pike through southwestern Pennsylvania to Wheeling, Virginia (now in West Virginia). From Wheeling, they may have traveled by steamboat down the Ohio River to Madison or continued on the National Pike to Dayton, Ohio. From Dayton they would have traveled down the Miami-Ohio canal to Cincinnati and then by riverboat to Madison. The National Pike was a road created by an Act of Congress in 1806 that called for a road connecting the Atlantic coast to the Ohio River. The National Pike runs from Baltimore, through western Maryland, across the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and into West Virginia. In western Maryland and Pennsylvania, the road roughly followed Braddock’s Road. In eastern Ohio, it followed Zane’s Trace. Today the interstate highway I-40 roughly follows the remains of the National Pike.

He and Magdalena Ringwald appeared on the census of 1850 in Madison, Jefferson, Indiana. His occupation was listed as laborer. He was a policeman in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, circa 1860. He and Magdalena Ringwald appeared on the census of 1860 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. He died on June 20 in Louisville, Kentucky, at age 72.

Back in the early 1980′s, when I first started doing research I wrote to a German genealogist asking for information on the Kollros family of Baden. In his reply, the researcher informed me that "together with Joseph Kollros went the Georg Ringwald couple." It was not until years later, after I discovered the Kollros family in the Indiana census of 1850 that I also found the Ringwald family in Indiana. This led me to a website maintained by a Ringwald descendant where I learned that my ggg-grandmother Magdalena Ringwald is a descendent of a Martinus Ringswald who lived in Baden and died on 17 October 1678. In addition, I also learned that a distant cousin of mine is the actress and star of the movie Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald.

Joseph (J. A.) Kollros was born circa 1857 in Kentucky. He appeared on the census of 1860 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in 1st Ward, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. He appeared on the census of 1870 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. He lived in 1322 Hamilton, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1887. He was a musician in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1890. He lived at 1322 Hamilton, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1890. He died before 1900. Josephine Habich married Joseph Kollros about 1880.  She was also known as Josie K. Kollros. She was born in 1859 in Kentucky. She appeared on the census of 1900 in the household of Andrew Habich and Anna M. ___ in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. She lived with Andrew Habich and Anna M. ___ in 1910 in 1322 Hamilton, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. She appeared on the census of 1910 in the household of Andrew Habich and Anna M. ___ in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. She lived in 1119 Hamilton, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1911. She died on November 25 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Elizabeth Kollros was born circa 1859 in Kentucky. She appeared on the census of 1860 through 1880 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in 1st Ward, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky.

George E. Kollros was born in August, 1865 in Kentucky. He appeared on the census of 1870 & 1880 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. He was a musician in Louisville, Kentucky. He married Elizabeth F. Noltenmeyer, daughter of Benjamin Noltenmeyer and Josephine ___, in 1887. He appeared on the census of 1900 in the household of Benjamin Noltenmeyer and Josephine Noltenmeyer in 1226 Roger St, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky.

Anna Kollros was born in 1869 in Kentucky. She appeared on the census of 1870 & 1880 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky.  She died on June 23, 1953.

Katherine Kollros was born in December 1871 in Kentucky. She appeared on the census of 1880 in the household of Domonick Kollros and Elizabeth Ulrich in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. She married Frank Lutz after 1892 in Kentucky.  She and Frank Lutz appeared on the census of 1900 in French Lick, Orange Co., Indiana.

Together Constantine and Maria had twelve children:

I grew up knowing about my mother’s grandfather, Erhardt Joseph Kollros. He was known to his grandchildren as Jojo. He was an accountant and had been the treasurer of a company that he and his brother-in-law, Arthur Bannon, owned. The Southern Wallboard Company of Louisville, Kentucky went out business following the stock market crash in 1929. In the 1930′s, he briefly owned a diner in Dallas, Texas. Jojo was the son of German immigrants who had settled in Louisville, Kentucky.