Friday, December 21, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #110

From the New York Times of Dec. 26, 1906, comes this cheery Christmas story:

Dissatisfied because he had not had a happy Christmas, the police say Adam Heckenmuller of 516 Eleventh Avenue last night attacked his wife Margaret and a boarder, Lawrence Stanchorn, with a bread knife, and stabbed them both. Neither was seriously hurt.

Heckenmuller was sitting in his home, the police say, and heard his wife and the boarder talking about the happy Christmas they had had. Heckenmuller had not been happy, and, according to the police, he picked up a large bread knife and attacked them.
Who would become Adam's sort-of-famous son-in-law?


Wasn't that Lewis W. Physioc?


Having trouble finding info on the son-in-law, so I'll post what I did find to help someone else:

1910 Brooklyn Ward 25 Dist 706, Kings Co NY Census
- - 327 Haganmiller, Adam head m w 29 m1 4 NY NY NY clerk wholesale grocery
, Helena wife m? w 32 m2 4 3 2 NY Germany NY
, Margaret dau f w 3 s NY NY NY
Downs, Helena step-dau f w 10? NY NY NY

NY Death record:
Hagemiller, Adam 43y 3 Jun 1923 Certificate # 11787 Kings H254

1930 Brooklyn Dist 295, Kings Co NY Census
- - 202 Hagemiller, Lena f w 55 Wd NY NY NY
, Herman S son m w 18 s NY NY NY
, Margarette dau f w 23 Wd NY NY NY
Stoessel (or Stoesser), Gurnell (or Gertrude) granddau f w 3 s NY NY NY
Smith, William board m w 56 wd NY NY NY

So it looks like we're looking for a Stoesser or a Stoessel?

Season's Greetings to all,


The 1900 US census shows a family in New York City with Adan Heckmoller, his wife Margarate and daughters Elizah (b 1891) and Amy (b 1894). This appears as though it could be our target family.

Searching for Eliza* Heckmoller/Heckenmueller brings up a California Death record for an Elizabeth Physioc, born 18 May 1891in NY, died 28 Jan 1942 in Los Angeles.

Checking Ancestry for Elizabeth Physioc gives us a family in 1910 in Park Ridge, Bergen, NJ headed by Louis Physioc, b. 1879 in South Carolina, with an occupation recorded as "scenic artist."

According to, Lewis Physioc / Louis Physioc was credited as a Cinematographer on the following films:
The Beast of Borneo (1934)
The Midnight Patrol (1932)
Call of the Circus (1930)

God of Mankind (1928) (as Louis Physioc)
The No-Gun Man (1924)
The Millionaire Cowboy (1924)
Thundering Dawn (1923) (as Louis Physioc)

The Glorious Lady (1919) (as Lewis Physioc)
The Spite Bride (1919)
Upstairs and Down (1919)
... aka Up-stairs and Down (USA: copyright title)
A Perfect 36 (1918) (as Louis Physioc)
Peck's Bad Girl (1918)
The Claw (1918)
The Reason Why (1918)
The Knife (1918)
The Antics of Ann (1917)
Bab's Burglar (1917)
Bab's Diary (1917)
The Long Trail (1917)
A Girl Like That (1917)
A Coney Island Princess (1916)
The Kiss (1916)
Rolling Stones (1916)

Unknown supplies the following additional information on Louis/Lewis Physioc:

Lewis Physioc
Born: Jun 30, 1879 in Columbus, South Carolina
Died: Jan 16, 1972 in Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Cinematographer
Active: teens, '30s
Major Genres: Drama, Romance
Career Highlights: Peck's Bad Girl, The No-Gun Man, Bab's Diary
First Major Screen Credit: Bab's Diary (1917)
A graduate of the College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts in Raleigh, NC, American cinematographer Lewis H. Physioc began his screen career as scenic artist and technical director of Cameraphone, an early sound system. Also at various times associated with Edison and, like his younger brother Wray Physioc, with Pathé Freres, Physioc later became a cameraman and cinematographer with Famous Players (then later Paramount), Goldwyn, and Selznick, photographing such films as Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917), The Glorious Lady (1919), and Upstairs and Down (1919). In the 1920s, he functioned as cinematographer for producer Harry Garson and, in the sound era, worked extensively with visual effects, helping to develop the technique known as matte painting. Physioc remained in the film industry at least through the 1940s. Confusingly, he has at various times been billed Lewis H. Physioc, Louis J. Physioc, and Lewis W. Physioc; his official bio reads Lewis W. Physioc. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

ARTNET.COM has several examples of Physioc's canvases, which were sold at Christie's auction house in October of 2007.


Daughter Elizabeth married Lewis Physioc who was involved in the early motion picture industry as a cinematographer, among other things. His entry at IMDb is at

Their 18 Mar 1907 marriage was found at the Italian Genealogical Group marriage records online at
and her death is in the California Death Index.

Drew Smith

I'm thinking Lewis Wood Physioc, a cinematographer in the early movies (unless Weller E. Seymour is sort-of-famous for anything).

Adam and Margaret's surname appears to be "Heckmuller" from other sources, and in the 1900 census (the family is indexed as "Heckmoller"), they have daughters Elizabeth and Amy.

Daughter Elizabeth F. married Lewis Physioc, while Amy married Weller E. Seymour.


It was indeed Lewis Wood Physioc, pioneer cinematographer.

BTW, Adam Heckmuller (né Heckmüller/Heckmueller) seems to have arrived at Castle Garden with his mother and siblings in 1870.


Oops. I obviously didn't read carefully!!! Margaret was the WIFE.... not the daughter.... sheesh. must be "holiday brain".

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