John Van Trump Brevoort

There is something very strange about this name; John van Trump Brevoort who was born in Paris and is listed as a “real estate agent” There is a John Brevoort connected to the Brady family and much property in Harlem. Did the Brevoort family attempt to elude paying taxes on the sale of property they owned? This may be a family tradition. Note that the names of the parents is not recorded. Is John illegitimate? Do the Brevoort’s alas recognize the Trumps who come to America and become famous New York realtors?

Jon Presco

Friedrich Trump was born in Kallstadt, Palatinate, then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, to Johannes Trump and Katharina Kober.[3]:28 Confessionally, the village was Lutheran[4] like most of the Palatinate but in contrast to the Bavarian mainland which was overwhelmingly Catholic. Trump’s earliest known male ancestor is Johann Paul Trump (1727–1792) who lived in the nearby village of Bobenheim am Berg and whose son Johannes Trump (1789–1835) moved to Kallstadt around 1800.[5] (As to “Drumpf”, see below.) The Palatinate, then a relatively impoverished region, has been known for its viticulture since the Roman Empire.

Under Trump’s new immigration rule, his own grandfather likely wouldn’t have gotten in

Immigrants after their arrival at Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay in 1902. (ullstein bild/Getty Images)

It wasn’t until the media started asking questions that the White House’s introduction of a law curtailing legal immigration got contentious. During the daily press briefing, CNN’s Jim Acosta, himself a son of Cuban immigrants, challenged senior adviser Stephen Miller on a component of the proposed bill which would grant English-speakers more favor in gaining admission to the United States.

“Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country if you’re telling them you have to speak English?” Acosta asked. “Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?”

The answer is, of course, that they can. As President Trump’s grandfather did. As Stephen Miller’s great-grandparents did. And as a member of Trump’s own Cabinet did.

The policy, the Raise Act, would introduce a point-based system for new applicants to enter the United States. In addition to speaking English, points would be awarded based on answers to these other questions that Miller mentioned: “Can they support themselves and their families financially? Do they have a skill that will add to the U.S. economy? Are they being paid a high wage?

Were that policy in place in 1885, Friedrich Trumpf would likely not have gained entry to the United States. The immigration record for his arrival that year indicates that he arrived without an identifiable “calling”: The word “none” sits next to his name in that column.

A biographer of Trumpf — father of Fred Trump, who was the father of the president — told Deutsche Welle that Donald Trump’s grandfather didn’t speak English when he got here.

“He came to New York,” Gwenda Blair said, “and, after he learnt English, he went to the West Coast, ran restaurants, amassed a nest egg, then went back to Kallstadt, married the girl next door and brought her to New York.” It was on the West Coast that Trumpf (now just Trump) became a citizen and registered to vote in the 1892 election.

But: no skills, no English. Would he have gotten in?

Donald Trump’s mother, Mary MacLeod, would have had more luck. An immigrant from Scotland, she is listed on Census documents as speaking English, although a Politico profile of her from last year notes that “she spoke almost exclusively in Scots Gaelic before leaving for a new life in the United States at age 18.”

Were Friedrich Trumpf barred entry, there might not be a President Trump. But if this law had been in effect a century ago, there also may not have been a senior adviser Stephen Miller.

Reporter Jennifer Mendelsohn tracked down Miller’s genealogy. She discovered that Miller’s father’s father’s mother — his great-grandmother, Sarah Miller — was identified in the 1910 Census as speaking only Yiddish.

What’s more, the Los Angeles Times obituary for Miller’s grandmother Freya makes special mention of how her parents, Nathan and Frannie Baker, “epitomized the American Dream.”

“Teaching each other English, working together to build a nest egg, the two immigrants eventually bought a small grocery store,” it reads. “The Baker Family lived upstairs and all the family worked in the store. Freya, and her two brothers, were educated in the superb public school system.”

Other senior Trump officials have family trees that suggest ancestors who may have been barred entry at Ellis Island.

Kellyanne Conway’s great-grandfather was named Pasquale Lombardo and was born in Naples, Italy. A man of that name and the proper age is identified in the 1910 Census as living in Pennsylvania and working as a blast furnace laborer who spoke only Italian.

Stephen K. Bannon’s great-great-grandfather was a man named Mattias Herr, who was born in Bavaria in 1836 before moving to Maryland. It’s not clear whether he spoke English or knew a skilled trade.

Mike Pence — like many Americans — is also the grandchild of an immigrant. His mother’s father, Richard Michael Cawley, immigrated to the United States from Ireland to work as a bus driver. He did speak English, though, and likely would have cleared admission under the Raise Act.

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As mentioned above, though, at least one member of Trump’s Cabinet didn’t. Elaine Chao, Trump’s secretary of transportation (and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), was born in Taiwan and came to the United States in 1961, when she was 8.

She described that transition in a CNN interview last month.

“I remember how tough it was to try to learn a new culture, a new language and just to adapt to, like, ordinary daily stuff like the food. Like, most Chinese don’t eat meat between breads,” she said. As she tried to learn the language, “the kids were mean to me,” she said.

Her father, who spoke English, was already in the United States when Chao and her mother and sisters arrived, working in the maritime industry. Would that have been enough to warrant admission? To bring over his family?

This, it seems, was Acosta’s point: Doesn’t two centuries of experience show that people who arrive in America without the ability to speak English or a highly skilled trade can have a significant impact on the future of the country?

So you know to blame the Germans if you want to hold someone responsible if Donald Trump becomes the next US president,” says Uli Meyer, another vintner, stopping for a chat as he cycles through the village.

The couple went to the US with their daughter and Donald Trump’s father, Fred, on the way. But at the age of 49, Friedrich died in the flu epidemic of 1918, leaving Elizabeth, still homesick for Kallstadt, having to fend for her teenage boys. She set up the real estate business, E Trump and Sons, the base upon which the family went on to build and buy up New York real estate.

“So if there is a hero in all this”, points out Wendel, “it should really be Elizabeth.” Elizabeth is still remembered with affection, not least by those who recall how she returned to Kallstadt twice, including to celebrate her 80th birthday in 1950.

Wendel has spent years searching for what she calls the “Kallstadt gene”, something that would explain the village’s disproportionate amount of success stories relative to its size. “I’ve been asking myself for decades, ‘can it be a coincidence that two such giants have their roots in my own little village’,” she says.

Simone Wendel in Kallstadt.
Simone Wendel in Kallstadt. Photograph: Martin Leissl

“We’re very down-to-earth,” says Thomas Weick, a restaurateur, over a meal of the speciality stuffed pig’s stomach dish. “We cook with water, you know. And every housewife here is capable of producing ketchup, though here we just call it tomato sauce”. It is said to be a bit thinner than Heinz’s, but also comes in a wide range of varieties.

Drumb, Tromb, Tromp, Trum, Trumpff, Dromb … the Trump family name has had various permutations over the past five hundred years, according to the local church register.

Yet nowadays there are few traces of a clan that once had a stronghold in the village of Kallstadt in south-west Germany. There is no plaque outside the house where Friedrich Trump, the grandfather of US presidential hopeful Donald, was born in 1869.

Friedrich Trump.

Friedrich Trump. Photograph: Wikipedia

The only hint is in the few gravestones, overgrown with shrubs bearing the name in the local cemetery, and the faint outline where once “Trump” was set in wrought iron above a bunch of silver grapes at a winery that went bankrupt several years ago.

“I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” said Hans-Joachim Bender, a retired vintner, sitting at his dining room table looking out onto the vineyards he used to farm. “If you’re here to talk about Donald Trump, I don’t have an opinion about him one way or another except sometimes he’d be wiser to hold his tongue.” Like everyone here, Bender pronounces the name in the local Palatinate dialect as “Droomp”.


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Both the Trumps and the Heinzes came from the village,” explains Simone Wendel, a Kallstadter filmmaker, who pulls out a family tree to explain her own Trump connection. “My mother’s cousin was married to the grandson of Donald Trump’s great uncle. Or something like that.”

Bernd Weisenborn, a 54-year-old vintner who says he is a second cousin once removed to Donald, explained the story in his wine tavern, surrounded by bottles of some of the 180,000 litres of Rieslings and Merlots he produces every year.

“In 1885, when he was 16, Friedrich, Donald’s grandfather, left a note for his mother on the kitchen table saying he had gone to America.” So local legend has it, he had not wanted to work in the family vineyard, or take up as a barber, a job for which he had trained.

“His motivation to do so was that as the sixth child of a poor family, he had little to keep him in Kallstadt,” Weisenborn said.

Fritz Geisel, Donald Trump’s second cousin takes up the story in Wendel’s 2014 film documentary Kings of Kallstadt.

“He went to the Yukon gold mines in Alaska. Being a man of weak constitution he didn’t want to break his fingernails himself … so he opened up a restaurant and provided vast amounts of food and drink for the gold miners, accepting payment in gold

What Does Drumpf Mean? Donald Trump’s Original Family Surname Has An Apt Translation

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs autographs for supporters at the conclusion of a Donald Trump rally at Millington Regional Jetport on February 27, 2016 in Millington, Tennessee. / AFP / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images

By now seemingly everybody has heard about John Oliver ripping Donald Trump a new, proverbial… Erm, well, anyway, Oliver had a lot to say on Last Week Tonight about The Donald, but one major portion of the segment covered Trump’s familial name and how it changed upon entering the U.S. from Drumpf to Trump. Sure, plenty of Americans saw their surnames altered to Americanized versions upon entering the country through Ellis or Angel Island, or wherever else, but Drumpf just has a bit of a medieval sound to it, doesn’t it? It sounds like an Elven clan of blacksmiths who reside predominantly in caves — or at least that how it sounds to me. So what exactly does Drumpf mean?

As it turns out, it doesn’t mean anything, but its close relative Trumpf does! According to Google Translate, “trumpf” is German for “trump card,” which is a noun that refers to the game of bridge, originally — and other card games — where a playing card of a particular suit ranks above other suits, which can win a trick. It also is used to mean a valuable resource that one can use, particularly as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage.

Source: Benjamin Krain/Getty Images News/Getty Images

However, interestingly enough, the Trump surname has actually quite a few branches throughout central and southern Germany. The Guardian‘s Kate Connolly says it is pronounced “Droomp” by those native to the area, of course, but also varies in spelling from back before spelling really existed. Some spell it Drumb, Trumb, Tromp, Trum, Trumpff, and even Dromb.

In fact, one such Drumpf named Hanns was a lawyer back in 1608. According to journalist Gwenda Blair’s book, The Trumps: Three Generations That Built An Empire, he lived in the village of Kallstadt during the Thirty Years’ War. The village was burned down about five times and 40 percent of the villagers were killed. One of his surviving descendants was a winegrower named John Philip Trump. (Not coincidentally, Donald Trump of 2016 is said to have descended from winegrowers, The Guardian reported.)

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to John Van Trump Brevoort

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    On May 29,1889, John van Trump Breevort died. But, he did not stay dead. Born in Paris to the illustrious Breevort family, who were close to Washington Irving, there was a quest for eternal life that broght the van Trump to a crypt outsider Paris. The Beast was born here.

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