George ‘Louis’ (Ludwig) Ebert (1861-1924)


Unfortunately, like many German nationals it is difficult to trace.

Ludwig (George) Ebert was born in Baden-Wurttenberg in 1861(?). His early life would have been strongly influenced by the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71. Family tradition says that he left Germany to escape the Prussians and conscription into the Prussian Army. He anglicised his first name and was known as Lewis or Louis.

He met and married Carolina Whitman in Sheffield in 1885 and in 1887 a daughter Ethel was born and in 1888 a son George Louis was registered in the Ardwick area of Manchester. In 1891 they had another daughter Amelia. (Costain 2010)

The 1891 census lists the family name as ‘Hibbert’, living in Queen’s Road, Manchester. Louis (30) worked as a ‘Pork Butcher’ working on his own account, and employing a domestic servant. Both Louis and Carolina are listed as originally from Wurttenberg. In 1901, Louis and Carolina are recorded as living in Tipping Street, Manchester, above the butcher’s shop where he worked, along with their three children; Ethel (13), George (12) and Amelia (9). The census lists them as ‘German subjects’. By 1911 the family had moved to Dudley Street, Salford, where Louis’ profession is listed as a ‘pork butcher’, with his occupation being a ‘brawn maker’. George Louis (22) is listed as being a salesman, selling fish and poultry, while Amelia (19) worked as machinist of ‘water proof mantles’. Ethel is missing from the census return and may have died. All four are listed as being of German nationality, despite the fact that both George and Amelia were born in Manchester. When war broke out George, like many other German nationals, was rounded up and later interned in Knockaloe. Little is known about Louis’ life in Knockaloe.

Family tradition maintains that Caroline and Amelia were left in Manchester, while young George joined the Royal Army Services Corps and fought in France. On his release Louis returned to Manchester to be with his family, taking with him a pair of bootee’s made in camp for his 2 year old grandson (Leonard George, bn 1916, died 2004).

From this background came a family love for the Isle of Man which was formed and nurtured by the tales my great grand father brought back with him. The family lived in the Manchester area and came regularly for holidays. We have photos of George Louis and Florence on Douglas promenade in the 20’s but they also built up a friendship with the owners of the old Howstrake Hotel in Onchan and we have photos of them and friends in the grounds. My father came to the island as a boy and as a young man stayed at Cunningham’s Camp with his friends. He brought my mother to the Island as a teenager when they met and started going out together in the 1930s. Both my brother and I were brought to the Island at a very young age, probably on our first ‘real’ holiday (Costain 2010).


Costain, P. (2010). Email, 20 March 2010.