passport photo

Passport photo of my second great-grandparents, William and Minnie Pralle, taken 1925.

After retrieving the marriage certificate of my great-grandparents, Frank Fleischhauer and Caroline Pralle from the NYC Municipal Archives  I decided to some research on the Pralle Family. The marriage certificate provides an original source identifying Caroline’s parents, William Pralle and Minnie Fromme. [1] The record also stated that a Wilma Louise Pralle was a witness to the marriage of my great-grandparents. I first looked up Wilma Louise Pralle on and found a Wilhelmina Louise (Pralle) Bierlein in the California Death Index, 1940-1997. According to the record, her mother’s maiden name was Fromme and she was born 10 Aug 1896 in New York City, died 16 Aug 1987 in Napa, Napa County, California.[2]

Through the census records, it is apparent that William and Minnie had two children, Caroline and Minnie. Minnie Pralle was born Aug 1896 according to her record in the 1900 US Federal Census. [3] I have a hunch that Minnie and Wilhelmina Pralle are the same people, but I will have to acquire primary proof in order to make this fact. I did some research on Wilhelmina and found she married to a Herbert George Berlein. They were living on Maple Ave., East in  Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan in the 1930 US Federal Census. [4]

Next I researched Caroline and Wilhelmina’s father William Pralle and tried to learn about his immigrant origins. Through searches on, I found a copy of William Pralle’s passport application in U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. [5]

william pralle passport photo 2

william pralle passport photo

The record states that William Pralle was born 29 December 1870 in Germany to father Christian Pralle, who was at the time deceased. He was married to Minnie Pralle on 16 December 1895, who was born 31 August 1872 in Germany. He emigrated to the US, sailing from Bremen around 18 June 1886 and was naturalized on 2 August 1899, he was living in Woodhaven, Long Island, New York at the corner of 97th Ave and 82nd Street.


Passport applications are such a great source of information, and the photograph was really interesting to look at.

I also found his naturalization index card [6]:

naturalization index card


I will need to find his original passenger list, perhaps reveal a more specific location in Germany and also find the marriage record to verify the vitals and get names of the parents.



[1] Certificate of Marriage for Frank Fleischhauer and Caroline Pralle [27 Oct 1920], certificate no. 2305, City of New York, Department of Health.

[2] Index Entry for Wilhemina Louise Pralle Bierlien [16 Feb 1987]: online database, California Death Index, 1940-1997,

[3] William Pralle, 1900 US Census, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, Roll 1063, ED 445, P. 12A

[4] Herbert Bierlien, 1930 US Census, Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan, Roll 1007, ED 1, page 10B.

[5] U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, 25 Feb 1925, certificate no. 517582: Online database.

[6] New York Petitions for Naturalization,  2 Aug 1899, record no. 7786, volume 298, page 172, (Online database.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Jake Fletcher