My 2nd great-grandfather, Carl Ernst Wilhelm “William” Schmidt (1862-1925), or as my mother and I call him, Wilhelm, sponsored the immigration of his mother (Wilhelmine Winkelmann, 1836-1914) and his five sisters to the US about 1892. They did not come all at the same time. Some came together and other came separately. They left their home in Gornitz, Posen, Prussia and traveled to the port of Bremen, Germany. From there they traveled by steamship to New York harbor, and from there by train to Rothschild, Wisconsin.
When the family was reunited, they went to a photo studio in Wausau, Wisconsin and posed for a photograph that is one of my favorites out of all the historic photos I have in my archives.
This is just a brief bio for each of the sisters. Hopefully I’ll be able to write detailed biographies for each of them, but until then here are some of the more important facts:
Alvine “Alvina” Schmidt (1865 – 1942)
- Born in Karolina, Posen, Prussia on 10 Nov 1865.
- Came to the US aboard the “Ems” with her mother, sister Bertha, and nephew Wilhelm Karl in July, 1892.
- Family called her “Vena”.
- Lived in Minocqua, Wisconsin around 1900 working as a servant in the home of Charles Hoofer, a printer.
- Married Wilhelm Mueller in Wausau, WI 9 Aug 1902
- Lived in Berlin, WI and Schofield, WI.
- Had at least one son, Paul W. Mueller (1903-1970).
- Was also the mother of Ernest Little (1901-1951), who was raised by Peter Little and her sister Lena Schmidt Little. She and Peter had an affair which resulted in the pregnancy.
- Alvina died in Schofield, Wisconsin on 7 Jul 1942 of a coronary embolism at the age of 76.
- Has at least two living descendants as of 2013.
Amelie Franziska”Amelia” Schmidt (1869 – 1932)
- Born in Karolina, Posen, Prussia on 18 Jan 1869.
- Married Christian Karl 28 Mar 1891 in Stieglitz, Kreis Czarnikau, Posen, Prussia. She was six months pregnant.
- Her twin boys, Gustav Albert and Wilhelm Friedrich were born in the town of Stieglitz on 20 Jun 1891.
- Came to the US aboard the “Aller” with her husband and one of the twins, arriving in New York City on 19 Apr 1892..
- Lived in Rothschild, and Wausau, Wisconsin.
- They had six girls and four boys.
- Died of a ruptured appendix in Wausau, Wisconsin on 14 Jul 1932.
- Grandson Robert Karl lives in Rothschild, Wisconsin. I have identified several other living descendants.
Antonie “Antonia” Schmidt (1872 – 1951)
- Antonie was born in Karolina, Posen, Prussia on 31 Aug 1872.
- She came to the US in 1892. So far it’s not known what ship she took to come here.
- Family called her “Tonie”.
- She married Theodore Beste 24 Dec 1896 in Wausau, Wisconsin.
- He was a widower who had seven children, and Antonia had to take care of them all.
- Theodore was 24 years older than Antonie.
- Antonia and Theodore had a daughter, Ruth J. Beste who was born 1910.
- Antonia lived in various places around Marathon County, then moved to San Mateo, California about 1944.
- Died on 10 Dec 1951 in San Mateo from pancreatic cancer.
- Daughter Ruth had two children, both of whom are alive as of 2013.
Auguste Pauline “Lena” Schmidt (1875 – 1953)
- Born in Gornitz, Posen, Prussia on 25 Nov 1875.
- Came to the US in 1892.
- Married Peter Blanchard Little in Vilas County, Wisconsin, 11 Apr 1896. He was French Canadian. Pauline was six months pregnant.
- Peter worked as a saloon-keeper, barber, and ran a confection store and soda shop.
- Lived in Minocqua, Wisconsin until 1932, then spent the rest of her life in Schofield and Rothschild, Wisconsin.
- Husband Peter died 19 Jun 1933.
- Had a daughter Jennie, who died in infancy.
- Raised Irving “Ernest” Little, who was the son of her sister Lena and her husband Peter.
- Ernest had a daughter, Karen Little (b 1937).
- Karen married Lloyd M Schultz and lived in Schofield until 1994 when she moved to Virginia.
- Lena died 7 Sept 1953 in Wausau, Wisconsin and is buried with Peter and daughter Jennie in Minocqua, Wisconsin.
- There are four descendants of her line through her grand-daughter Karen.
Auguste Bertha Schmidt (1880-1946)
- Born in Gornitz, Posen, Prussia on 11 Jan 1880.
- Came to the US aboard the “Ems” with her mother, sister Alvine, and nephew Wilhelm Karl, arriving in New York City on 25 Jul 1892.
- Married Joseph Schneider in Marathon County, Wisconsin, 10 May 1898. Bertha was 4 months pregnant.
- Lived in Schofield, Wisconsin until 1930.
- Had four boys: John, Ernest, Joseph, and Harvey.
- Died 29 Mar 1946 in Wausau, Wisconsin at the age of 66 from a heart attack.
- I am in touch with one of her great-grand-daughters.