The German Immigrant Henry Heise (1842 - 1917)

Henry's Birthplace
Private Correspondence re:Emigration
The Heises Emigrate to Preston, Canada West
Henry Heise Becomes a Master Cabinetmaker
Henry Heise in Business for Himself
Family of Henry Heise and Dorothea Stumpfle
Descendents Remember Henry Heise

Obituary of Henry HeiseDescendents Remember Henry Heise

Henry Heise is remembered as "a real Prussian with his thumb down on everybody. He was a real hard worker and expected everyone else to be a hard worker. He was really strict," says Mrs. Thiel. "He was a stern, hard man, "relates Henry's last surviving daughter, Mrs. Riley, "and the children had to speak German at the table". Henry Jr. was apparently a bright and hard-working tradesman, "but his father never gave him credit for anything".

I have made the following observations of Henry Heise's descendents, which may be applicable to all descendents of Germans who immigrated to Canada in the period 1846 - 1860:


  1. retain mainly negative sentiments about their ethnic past;
  2. are against authoritarianism;
  3. consider the Prussian Officer as the German stereotype;
  4. criticize the German work ethic;
  5. do not equate Lutheranism with specific cultural values;
  6. accept with strong reservations the praise heaped on German pioneers by contemporary historians;
  7. are very kind, considerate, and helpful.

In the context of the Heise family's experience, it appears that immigration took place to preserve a way of life threatened by a changing world. The second generation gradually changed their lifestyle in response to some of the same changes (eg. industralization) which were the catalyst for immigration in the first place. Then the second generation became distressed that the third generation perpetuated this new lifestyle. The memory of this generation conflict remains clearly in the minds of descendents.