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Who´s Dr. Habel?

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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 08:18   #1
Calalp
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Who´s Dr. Habel?

Anyone who know who Dr. Habel was? He collected hundreds om specimens of various animals on Galapagos during a six month visit 1868-1869.

Among birds he´s commemorated in ...

habeli as in:
• the subspecies Camarhynchus psittacula habeli SCLATER & SALVIN 1870 (here) as "Camarhynchus habeli":
Quote:
Dr. Habel, of New York, having placed in our hands for examination a collection of birds formed during a recent visit to the Galapagos, we lose no time in submitting to the Society the characters of the new species which it contains, in order that Dr. Habel may have the credit of their discovery. We may state that we are preparing for publication a memoir on the avifauna of this group of islands, in which we propose to embrace what has previously been recorded on this subject, as well as the results of Dr. Habel's arduous investigations. We trust that this memoir will be deemed suitable for the Society's 'Transactions.'

In the meantime, however, to show the extent of Dr. Habel's collection, we add the subjoined summary of its contents, specifying under the head of each species the number of specimens obtained in each of the three islands in which birds were collected.
Also see here, again: ... "of New York".

Some sources claim he was; "German", "German-American" or "Austrian". Most often, in original sources (like in the OD above), he simply mentioned as "Dr. Habel, but sometimes he´s given as "A. Habel" alt. "Simeon Habel" ... ?

Anyone know who he was?


Is it this guy? Here, here and here? If so he was funded another 500 dollars by the Smithsonian in 1880, here.

Note that he in the third of the latter links (below his Photo) is titled "ethnologist", that might be a clue!?
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Last edited by Calalp : Friday 24th November 2017 at 09:10. Reason: latter links
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 14:57   #2
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Yet another claim! In my perspective even more intriguing ...
Quote:
Habel Causeway, named after Simeon Habel, Swedish traveler who made drawings of Cotzumalhuapa sculpture in 1863, and ... [here]
I´ve never heard of him before I started to look into this Tree-Finch! And I sure cannot find him in any Swedish texts.

Maybe this link might explain the reason for the confusion, and the various claims? Note that there his First name is/was written "Simon"?

If so a better fit for this guy! Same spelling here.

Somehow, maybe, possibly related to this earlier man?

Well, thats about as far as I can reach. I will leave Sim(e)on alt. A. Habel here, in the dusk, for anyone more capable to give it a go. If so: Good luck!

And; take what's written in this thread, this far, for what it´s worth! If anything?

Björn
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Last edited by Calalp : Friday 24th November 2017 at 20:08. Reason: Added links
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 07:12   #3
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Continuation on this one-man-show ...

First, with some more info on Dr. Habel's trip to Galápagos in 1868-1869 (here) ... by Osbert Salvin.

Also note the following quote, by Harry S. Swarth:
Quote:
The next important bird collection from the Galapagos was made by Dr. Habel in 1868, to serve as the basis for Salvin's (1876) comprehensive study, "On the Avifauna of the Galapagos Archipelago." The type specimens here described eventually found their way, too, into the British Museum collection. Nowhere in ornithological literature nor upon specimen labels can I find the collector's name given other than as "Dr. Habel" or "Dr. A. Habel". The significance of the initial letter "A" is unknown to me. It was rather disconcerting to find at last his name given in full as Dr. Simeon Habel, as it appears in the Smithsonian Report for 1879 (p. 15) in acknowledgment of a gift to the United States National Museum.

[Occasional papers of the California Academy of Sciences 18, p.13 (1931), here]
Thereby the question still remain; Dr. Habel ... "Simeon" a k a "Simon" (in the US) alt. "A." Habel ... ?


Also noteworthy is this piece, from the Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution (1879):
Quote:
This gentleman was of Austrian birth; graduated in 1846 at the Vienna University, and for several years had been the resident-physician in charge of a public hospital. In consequence of his liberal views, he was obliged to leave Europe and seek a home in America. His love of nature and the desire to advance science led him to undertake an extended tour through Central and South America. Before doing this, however, he spent several months at the Smithsonian Institution.
[...]
Among the regions of South America to which Dr. Habel devoted special attention were those of the guano deposits of Peru and of the remarkable group known as the Galapagos Islands. Of the peculiar bird fauna of these islands, Dr. Habel made large collections, which were fully described by Messrs. Sclater and Salvin in the proceedings of the Zoological Society of London.
[...]
The Institution having learned of the death of Dr. Habel on the 1st of January, 1879, ...

[here]
At least one small step forward!

Björn

PS. Compare with the links in my earlier posts. Maybe he simply made an attempt to change his first name in the late 1860's/early 1870's? If this alteration ever was formally accepted is unknown to me.

PPS. This guy have also been searched for by others (than us etymologists/ornithologist!), see this German query: Frage an die Community: Wer war Simeon Habel? (here).

Last edited by Calalp : Sunday 11th February 2018 at 07:34. Reason: PPS.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 18:14   #4
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Journal New York Senate 1873 An act to change the name of Simon Habel, M. D., to A. Habel. Petition 18 Oct 1870 of Simon Habel age 49. residing at 91 Third St. He does not like the name given him at baptism and wishes to change his name to A. Habel.
https://books.google.com/books?id=mQ...8E4ChDoAQhNMAc .
On the great photograph of Habel it lists his name as Simon Christian Habel.
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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 07:15   #5
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Thanks Mark, sharp-eyed to notice those hard-to-read scribbles on the Photo, (third link, bottom, post #1 ... I didn't notice them at all). Well done! Yet another small step forward.

So we have an Austrian doctor (med.) by the name Simeon (alt. Simon) Christian Habel, educated at the University in Vienna (Wien), graduated 1846 ... and onwards, to Central and South America, as well as the Galápagos (in 1868-1869)... who died on the 1st of January, 1879 ... a guy who didn´t like his first given name and applied to change it (into something starting on A) ...

If of "age 49" in October 1870 he would be born in about 1821. Looks like we need an Austrian birth record to find the exact year and date, as well; if his true first birth name was Simeon or Simon. The latter could very well be an US adaptation, and that it was the Simeon version he disliked.

We´ll see whatever turns up! If anything? Looks like a tricky one to trace ...

Björn
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Last edited by Calalp : Monday 12th February 2018 at 07:48.
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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 09:16   #6
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As he was forced out of Europe, was he perhaps Jewish, if so, did the birth details of Jews survive the purge in that part of Europe?



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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 06:58   #7
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I didn´t manage to find any records of Dr Habel's birth, or anything else of him in Austria (Österreich), but it looks like his attempt (in the US) to change his first given name didn´t work ...

One year before he passed away, Dr S. Habel published the paper The sculptures of Santa Lucia Cosumalwhuapa in Guatemala. With an account of travels in Central America and on the western coast of South America (February, 1878, 86-pages long + illustrations). Found in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge vol. 22, art. 3. Smithsonian Institution Publication No. 269 (1880) .... here.

His visit to Galápagos is also mentioned, starting on page 62.

To me, this far (and this is as far as I will go), it looks like his first name was (and remained) Simeon. The Simon version seems to be a later adaptation. In my notes he is, and will stay: Dr Simeon Habel (like in all the texts/links in post #1, and in most texts elsewhere) ... plus, of course, the added second given name Christian.

Well that´s it (on my part) ...

Dr Habel ... over and out!

Björn

PS. As always: Don't hesitate to prove me wrong!
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 17:49   #8
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This is what I drafted long time ago.

HABEL, Simeon - Austrian. Educated as Physician. The little known from Habel is that he made a trip to the Galapagos Islands for six months from 22.07.1868 lasting till 01.01.1869. The collections and information gathered at Hood, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Bindloe and Abingdon islands where shared with Charles Darwin. He recorded for the last time the Floreana Mockingbird at Floreana. The collections gathered here dispersed to various museums. After his trip to The Galapagos he (returned) went to New York. He also visited Guatemala by 1878 and wrote down his experiences on Cihuatán in 1878 when he passed through the ruins of a city hidden in the forest during his trip from Chalatenango to Guazapa.
°Com. P.L. Sclater and O. Salvin; Large Tree-Finch Camarhynchus psittacula habelii (1870)
°Typ col. P.L. Sclater and O. Salvin (P.Z.S., 1870, pp. 322-327), when 7 new species were named.
°Col. 9 birds and the syntype of the synonym Camarhynchus variegatus (Sclater & Salvin 1870) from Camarhynchus crassirostris (Gould 1837). Specimens (known) present in foreign collections: BMNH: - 63 birds from the Galapagos Islands. Purchased. 1875; NMW: - 14 specimens via Salvin (1875); USNM: - 12
°Lit. 1869. Exhibition of a collection of Birds from Galapagos Islands. Proc. Zool. Soc.: 433
°Bio. Sclater, P.L., & Salvin, O., 1870. Characters of new species of birds collected by Dr Habel in the Galapagos Islands. Proc. zool. Soc. London 1870: 322-327.
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