Select Kramer Miscellany



Here are some Kramer stories and accounts over the years:

Kramer Numbers in Europe


The table below shows the approximate number of Kramers (and Cramers) in Europe.

Numbers (000's)
Kramer
Cramer
Total
Germany
  45    
   10
   55  
Netherlands
  13
    2
   15
Elsewhere*
   9
    3
   12
Total
  67
   15
   82
* Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, and Switzerland.


Early Cremers in Norfolk


Year
Parish
Cremer Record
1540 
North Elmham       
birth of John (son of Henry and Cecily Cremer)
1588
Sedgefield
marriage of Thomas Cremer and Joanna Hargate
1597
Heacham
birth of Henry (son of Edmund and Bridget Cremer)
1606
Heacham
death of Catherine Cremer (alias Scryme)
1610
North Elmham
birth of Roger (son of Thomas Cremer)
1615
Philimore
birth of Ellen and Frances, twins (daughters of George and Elizabeth Cremer)
1617
Heacham
death of Bridget (wife of Edmund Cremer)
1618
Sedgefield
marriage of Edmund Cremer and Jane Jenner
1624
South Lynn
birth of Thomas (son of John Cremer)
1627
Sedgefield
birth of John (son of John and Elizabeth Cremer)
1632
Heacham
death of Edmund Cremer
1635
Philimore
marriage of Edmund Cremer and Ann Trice


Kramer Numbers in America

The table below shows the number of Kramers (and variants of the name) in America, on the basis of the 1920 census.

Numbers (000's)
Kramer
Cramer
Creamer
Total
Percent
New York
   1.3
   0.6  
   0.1
   2.0
   13
Pennsylvania
   1.5  
   0.8
   0.1
   2.4  
   16
Ohio
   0.9
   0.7
   0.1
   1.7
   11
Illinois
   0.8
   0.4

   1.2
    8
Elsewhere
   4.0
   2.9
   0.8
   7.7
   52
Total
   8.5
   5.4
   1.1
  15.0
  100

By 2000, the total above had increased to some 37,000.


Creamers in America

After thirty something years of research, plus input from many other Creamer researchers, it has not been possible to identify one country of origin.

The earliest proven ancestor is Daniel Creamer, born 1798 in South Carolina.  He married Matha Wimberly, born 1795 in North Carolina.  It has not been possible to connect him to any other Creamer groups.   



Early Kramers in Pennsylvania


1748 
Philadelphia (Evangelical Lutheran)
marriage of Balthasar Kreamer and Elizabeth Gerrard
1751
Philadelphia (St. Michaelis and Zion) 
birth of Jacob, son of Balthasar and Elizabeth Cramer
1754
Philadelphia (St. Michaelis and Zion) birth of Maria, daughter of Balthasar and Elizabeth Cramer
1756
Lancaster (Moravian church)
death of Catharine Kraemer
1759
Lancaster (Moravian church) death of Michael Kraemer, aged 50
1761
Philadelphia (Evangelical Lutheran) Jacob Craemer, witness
1767
Williamstown (Evangelical Lutheran) Elis. Kramer prepared for Communion
1769
Lancaster (Trinity Lutheran)
birth of Anna, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Craemer
1782
Lancaster (Moravian church) death of Susanna Kraemer, wife of Johannes

In 1927, George Kramer wrote the following about his family's ancestry:

"George Kramer immigrated from Switzerland to America about 1720.  He resided in Bethel township, Berks co.  His son was Ferdinand Kramer and his grandson, born in 1757, Jacob Kramer.

The earliest definite record of ancestry is an old record found at Binogles church, Lebanon co (formerly Bethel township).  The birth records are for the two sons of Jacob and Catherine Kramer, John born in 1785 and Peter born in 1790."
 

Pop Kramer - that Famous Cyclist

Harry Henry Kramer would travel all over the United States, Canada, and even Mexico City to earn extra money performing his extraordinary tricks on his collection of bicycles.   Traveling made it necessary to have a place to sleep, so he invented the first travel car.  He bought an old school bus and a logging truck.  He attached the bus body onto the truck bed and "walla" and he had invented his famous "House Car."

Each summer the family loaded up and traveled to fairgrounds, theaters and small towns all over the northern and southern states where Pop Kramer entertained the crowds of people who followed his show as though he were the pied piper.  His picture has been on the front page of newspapers all over the United States.  He received payment for his performances by passing the hat.  Pop was an amusing sight all by himself.

Pop made friends with the other travelers on the road, the most interesting were the gypsies who traveled regular routes each year.  He would allow them to camp on his property in South Carolina in exchange for his family camping on their sites while he traveled north.

Pop got his nickname because he was only able to quit smoking his pipe by replacing the habit with chewing bubble gum.  He lost his teeth and refused to wear a partial.  He grew a beard and kept his thick graying hair, ear lobe length.  His blue eyes sparkled and he was always in a cheerful mood.  He could tell "Paul Bunyan" tales for hours and he kept his pockets full of gumballs and bubblegum to pass out to children.  He had a heart full of compassion and love for all his family and friends.  He was always willing to lend a helping hand to strangers.  There was not a lazy bone in his body.


Fred Kramer and His Automobile


Fred Kramer escaped Nazi Germany with his family in 1936 to come to America .  After a year in New York, they settled in Paso Robles, California.  His son Henry remembered the early days there affectionately.

"Father had grown up in a time and place where a scholar and a gentleman did not fancy gadgetry.  A person of a trivial turn of mind, a playboy, or a rich vulgarian like my uncle, might have a car.  But a serious person, like Father, did not fritter away his energies on such things.  His attitude towards cars was in line with his feeling about movies.  They were intended for "serving girls," his catch-all category for people without intellect.  Father never owned a car nor ever saw a movie until we came to America.

When Father picked us up at Union Station in Los Angeles he told us that he had been taking driving lessons.  In a few days, Father bought a 1936 Ford Sedan.  He said, rightly, that it was absolutely necessary to have a car in Southern California.  Of course, with the help of his driving instructor, Father had obtained a learner's permit.  And he still had it when we moved to Paso Robles several weeks later.  So we had a car but no one with a license to drive it.

That caused us difficulties and, to us children, great embarrassment.  We children came to the store after school and when the store closed the family's homeward trek started.  There were the five of us loaded down with school books and bags of grocery trudging through town on our way home. It seemed to us children as if we were being mocked by jeering crowds lined up on the sidewalk while we were parading down the center of the main street.

Of course, Father tried to get his driver's license.  However, he had difficulties.  One of them was that he was unable to prevent the gears from chattering as soon as he shifted from the starting speed to the next higher.  The effect was similar to riding on a bucking bronco.  The car would hiccup, and take a jump, and then another, and another, and finally die.  It took Father many months to get on to the trick of calming the car somewhat to make the transition smoothly.  Alas, he never mastered it."

 

Willy Kramer in Berlin


More than 200,000 Jews emigrated from the countries of the former Soviet Union to Germany after the wall came down.  Willy Kramer's parents had come earlier, from the Latvian capital of Riga.  But Willy himself never felt fully at home in his new country.

"Even though I grew up here, it's still impossible to escape the nauseating thought when you sit next to an 80 year old man and wonder what he did during the war."

Willy Kramer grew up in Berlin and in 2007 wrote Berlin Fucking City, a series of short stories which revealed something of his love-hate relationship with the metropolis.  His stories are quite violent and the city he depicts is one of outsiders. 



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