Christoph Alfred Hayn was Onkel Hayn’s only child. He was named after Onkel Hayn’s older brother Christoph, and his wife’s brother Alfred. Left motherless at age 5, Alfred spent his early years with his father (first in England, then France), and later went to live with his aunt Caroline (the same sister Onkel Hayn lived with at the end of his life ) so he could complete his education at a German school. We also know from the memoirs that made a trip to the US in 1907, that he was interred at Knockaloe on the Isle of Man during WWI, and that after the war he and a partner were in charge of the Hamburg branch of the family business. But here the narrative stops. Stories circulating within the family are oddly pejorative, and/or completely misinformed – that Alfred had died in WWI, that he was probably mentally retarded, was sickly, and possibly gay. Many of the family photos with his name on the back are clearly of different people, as if no one really knew who he was.
So, I made it my task to “find Alfred.” Every so often I would start a new online search with different keywords, and joined various genealogy sites to gain access to their databases. I found references to the business in Hamburg with his name attached to them, so assumed that his activities in Hamburg are what prevented him from taking care of his aging father. I found no references to a wife. But when did he die? I tried finding his name in cemetery databases, in Google books, you name it, but nothing. Then, last week, after making a few updates to the online family tree, his death certificate popped up. Eureka, I found Alfred! It was like a belated Christmas present. Unfortunately no cause of death was listed, but he died at home in Hamburg in January 1931, shortly after his 51st birthday, and 8 years before the death of Onkel Hayn. So maybe that is him on the photo from October 1930, where he is identified as one of the guests at a family wedding in Switzerland? If so, he certainly did not look sickly, or mentally retarded, in fact he looked happy and congenial. I certainly hope he was, may he rest in peace.