Sign In

FREE ancestry since 1999 - History belongs to all of us!

The “missing” Prussians and Beer

Read another story

My oldest son, M***, (a senior in high school) was searching for colleges. He wanted to visit Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. As it turned out, some of the ancestors I was researching had lived nearby. On the way, we stopped in Pittsfield, MA to search for the graves of William Friedrich Wilhelm Feige (07 Jun 1824, Marklissa, Schlesien, Prussia (Preußen), Germany - 09 June 1892, Pittsfield, Massachusetts) and his wife, Augusta Amalie Thienert (4 Nov 1823, Lauban, Schlesien, Prussia (Preußen), Germany - 27 May 1900, Pittsfield, Massachusetts). We stopped at Pittsfield Cemetery, Pittsfield, Massachusetts and were told there was no record of them. Disappointed, we decided to look for other family members believed to be in that cemetery. In doing so, we stumbled upon the couple we were originally looking for.

As time went on, we discovered that William and Augusta's daughter, Louisa Ellen, married Jacob Gimlich, one of the founders of The Berkshire Brewing Association.

According to Images of America Pittsfield, by Susan Eisley, Published 2001 Arcadia Publishing, page 64, "The Berkshire Brewing Association, c. 1905. Two German immigrants, Jacob Gimlich and John White, purchased a small brewery in Pittsfield in 1868. Under their guidance the business grew to produce 325 barrels of beer each day. Incorporated in 1892 under the name Berkshire Brewing Association, the brewery shipped its product all over the United States. Prohibition put it out of business in 1919."