"Down thru the years we wander, till twilight shadows fall, tis then we open our treasure chest, and reminiscing go."
October 18, 1934 Captain R.W. Weiss
I would have loved to meet the man R.W. Weiss. That poem strikes a fire in my soul every time I read it. Captain Weiss was born in Kronach, Germany on Oct 18, 1889. Weiss arrived in America in 1914 and quickly started a family and made a name for himself. As the manager for the Alcoa Steamship Co in Hampton Roads area, Weiss served three US Presidents, (Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt) as well as the countries of Germany, Mexico, Haiti and Panama as honorary consular. R.W. Weiss was my great grandfather. He died November of 1966, just eight months before I was born.
I was born in Texas, my father W.J. Weiss was in the US Army and stationed at Fort Hood. Later, my mother married again, and my last name changed to Johnson. In fact, I did not know I was a Weiss until the age of thirteen.
Having done (and continue to do) research on my ancestors, I have found on my fathers side (Weiss) our history here in the US is some what short (beginning in 1914). I hired a genealogist in Germany without much success. Perhaps, a trip to Germany myself is in order to continue the search. My mothers side (Braswell) has a long history here in the US dating back to the early 1700's. The Braswell family is full of patriots from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars and the Civil War.
Word has it that my great grand father did some exploring around the coast of Africa before coming to America. My grand father went to Virginia Military Institute and the word is that R.W. Weiss donated several items to the museum at VMI. One being a cane made from the vertebrae of a Tiger shark (from Africa). Another one being some type of sword found in the Chesapeake Bay while dredging. I need to get up to VMI and nail down these stories, true or false. It's just up the road an hour or so...
I do have an item that came from my great grand fathers collection. An 1860 Colt .44 pistol black powder conversion. My father gave it to me and I will pass it along to one of my son's.
Read the update here...
Good luck and HH