Yorkshire Chess History



Adolphus Heitefuss











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



30/04/1864, Frankfurt




28/04/1925, Manhattan


Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York State


The Name


There was a tendency for German immigrants to the UK to use Adolphus, Gustavus and Johannus or John and so on instead of the standard German Adolf, Gustav and Johann and so on.  “Adolphus Heitefuss” is the form used in the 1881 census, and sometimes “Adolphus Frederick Heitefuss” was used, but only in official contexts doe one encounter his full name, which was Adolph Georg Friedrich Heitefuss.


Non-Chess Life


Adolph Heitefuss was a son of Johann Jacob Friedrich Heitefuss and Julie Schott, who had at least three children, the first of whom died young before the other two were born:


Christoph Friedrich Adolph Heitefuss

born 07/03/1856, (H of Roeders ?), Germany; died 30/101861

Adolph Georg Friedrich Heitefuss

born 30/04/1864, Frankfurt, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia

Karl Heinrich Adolph Heitefuss

born 26/12/1865, Nieder‑Woellstadt, Hessen‑Nassau, Prussia


The 1881 census hints at the probability that mother Julie was a sister of Gustavus Adolphus John Schott who was father of chess-player George Gustavus Schott, which would make the two chess-players cousins.


It is not clear when he arrived in England, but it seems unlikely to have been long before the 1881 census,


The 1881 census found 16-year-old (27 days sort of 17-year-old) “Adolphus Heitefuss” as a boarding apprentice in the household of Gustavus A. T. Schott, at 26 Ashfield, Little Horton, Bradford.  Whether he was an apprentice in his landlord’s (uncle’s?) business is unclear, but he seems he became a commercial traveller.


On 17/12/1895, German-born commercial traveller “32”-year-old Adolf Heitefuss arrived from Southampton at Ellis Island, New York, with his 32-year-old “wife”, “Mary Heitefuss”.  This looks ratheras though the Bradford chess-player emigrated to the New World, taking with him not a wife but the lady he intended to marry.


Accordingly, on 23/12/1895, in Manhattan, German-born 31-year-old “Adolf Heitefuss”, son of Frederick Heitefuss and “Julia” (née) Schott, married “Jerusalum”-born 31-year-old Marie Guarmani, daughter of John Guarmani and Christina  (née) Rosenthal.  Marie was born around 1862/63, on the basis of estimated age at death, and had middle initial “Z” according to her death record.  (“Jerusalum” seems a mis-transcription.  Her death record said she was born in Paris, and elsewhere France is given as place of birth.)


The couple had at least three children:


Frederick George Heitefuss

born 1896/97

Oscar Heitefuss

born 1900/01

Hugo L M D Heitefuss

born 25/10/1903; died 29/06/1936, aged 32


In 1898, he applied for a US passport.


In 1904 he applied for US citizenship.





“Adolph Frederick Heitefuss” (as his death record named him) died on 28/04/1925, in Manhattan, and was buried in Kensico Cemetery, in the hamlet of Valhalla, in the township of Mount Pleasant, Westchester County, State of New York.  He was described as a clerk oil importing.


Widowed Paris-born wife “Marie Z. Heitefuss” died on 01/08/1938, at St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington, New Castle county, Delaware.  She had broken her neck falling down some steps at her home, 22 West, 23rd Street, Wilmington.  The informant of the death was a Fred Heitefuss.  She was buried on 04/08/1938 at Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington.




Examples of him playing for Bradford/Bradford Exchange chess clubs are the 1884 Bradford v Leeds match and the 1884 Huddersfield v Bradford Exchange match.






Copyright © 2019 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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