Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Kolonists” in Eastern Prussia

I received an email from the man I use for translation of historic German documents.  His name is Klaus and he lives in Florida.  In the most recent document, Auguste Bertha Schmidt’s birth record, I noted that her father Friedrich Schmidt was listed as a “Kolonist”.  I asked Klaus about these people who were sent to “Germanize” the eastern parts of Prussia, and this is what he wrote:

Not being a historian, I can only offer you a bit of the things I remember from listening to and overhearing my Grandmother (the mother of my stepmother) Emma Kopischke.

My Grandfather was a teacher, and the Kopischke’s had been lured (I do not know by which administration) to move into the Eastern Territory as part of the “Germanisation Effort” program of the Prussian State.  I believe the intent was to take German culture and preciseness there, to exploit the vast farmland areas and to provide the “homeland” with agricultural products.

Grandfather taught mainly the children of settlers (“Kolonists”).  From Grandmother I remember remarks about the Polish field hands and house helpers to be mainly negative or derogatory.  From her occasional talks I formed a picture of Wanda, the house maid (probably a kind of servant) as being lazy, dumb, uneducated and primitive.  She and other Poles had to constantly be watched or they would steal your shirt off your back.  Things like that.  I do not remember ever hearing a word of praise about the local population.  I assume the settlers suffered from adverse propaganda and/or were brainwashed and felt like the superior race or population.

The Kopischkes lived in the Posen (Poznan) area. I remember hearing of visits to settler friends in Gnesen, Tschenschstochau and other neighboring villages.  Those German settlers were driven out of the territory sometime around 1900 or so.  The Kopischkes moved to Goerlitz, (then Silesia), a city which today is split by the Neisse River, the new Polish/German border since 1945.  I grew up there, in the triangle where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet.  One of my sisters and her descendants still live there today.

Your Schmidt family settled not far from the Poznan area, a few miles north-north-east in the direction toward Dansk.  They must have lived under similar conditions as my Kopischkes.

This portrait of the region was augmented by my friend Jörg, who lives in Germany

In the 16th century Polish landslords brought German settlers, mostly farmers, into the Netzekreis.  After the mid-17th century, German craftsmen were hired.  The town of Schönlanke, for example, [very near where the Winkelmann and Schmidt families lived] was famous for its textiles (draperies, weavers, clothiers).  In 1772 Netzekreis (including the city of Schönlanke) became Prussian. There were 220 clothmakers and many shoemakers, tailors and other craftsmen at that time. 

After 1822 Russia closed its borders for imports and exports and the machine age began.  It was the beginning of the end of the textile industry in that region.  Their guild was dissolved in 1888.But more and more craftsmen immigrated there, bakers, slaughterers, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths and merchants etc.   The town grew slowly but steadily, and a railway station was built there in 1851.  The economy stagnated somewhat after that.  

But after the “Gründerzeit” – the founder epoche in abt. 1870 – everything had changed.  There was a resurgence in the region in the tobacco and timber industry, and many lumber mills and joineries (carpentries) were established there during this period.

The word “Kolonist” came from the Latin “colonus” = farmer (Bauer in German).  So the “Kolonisten” were settlers… farmers from other regions, who reclaimed moorland, or in this case swampland, along the Netze river and cultivated it.

Clifford Family in Winooski, Vermont

I just noticed this today:

In 1900 Sarah Clifford and her sisters Margaret and Elizabeth all lived together in a house on River Street in Winooski/Colchester, Chittenden County, Vermont.  All three are working as weavers in the wool mills.

In 1910 Elizabeth and Sarah are still living there together at 93 River Street.  Sarah doesn’t seem to be working, but Elizabeth is listed as working in the wool mills as a weaver.  Margaret is living separately in Bridgewater, Windsor, VT and working as a weaver also.

In 1920 all three are living together again back at 93 River Street.  Sarah isn’t working, but Elizabeth and Margaret are still weavers.

Elizabeth died 6 February 1929 from a heart condition.

In 1930 Sarah and Margaret are living at 93 Water Street together.

Sarah died 18 March 1935 from a fractured femur.

Margaret is still living there in the 1940 Census, so she must have died sometime after that.  She was 74 in 1940.  Haven’t found a death cert yet.

As far as I know none of the three ever married or had any children.

Today I just noticed that the house they lived in is on the corner of River Street and Clifford Street.  It was called Clifford Street even in 1900, so I suspect it was the family home where they lived with their parents Robert Clifford and Agnes McWhirter.  The family moved there from Alburg, VT sometime around 1872.

93 River Street, Winooski, VT

I might just write to the current residents and request a photo.

Auguste Bertha Schmidt Birth Record From Prussia

For a few weeks now I have been in contact with a woman named Doris Winkelmann Sonntag, whose Winkelmann family comes from the same area as my Winkelmann family… near the former town of Gornitz, Posen, Prussia, which is now called Górnica, Poland.  She writes to me in German, so I’m thankful for Google Translate.  🙂

Yesterday she sent me an email in German saying:

Hi Charles, I have a document from the Archive in Pila, Poland [formerly Schneidemühl, Prussia].

Auguste Bertha born 11 January 1880 in Gornitz
Father: Frederick Schmidt
Mother: Wilhelmine Schmidt nee Winkelmann

Your Wilhelmine Winkelmann born 1836 married a Friedrich Schmidt, you said.
She was about 44 years old at the time of birth.
She and daughter Bertha emigrated to the United States.

See attachments.

Many lovely greetings,

The document she attached is exactly what she described.  A birth record for my great-great-grand aunt Auguste Bertha Schmidt, one of the famed Schmidt Sisters who I have written about many times.

Here is the document:

Auguste Bertha Schmidt’s birth record.

The translation, as provided by Jörg Schrick and Klaus Kolb:

Runau, 15 January 1880

Appeared in person before the registrar: The personally-known settler (Kolonist) Friedrich Schmidt, resident in Gornitz, evangelical (protestant) religion.  He reported that his wife, Wilhelmine Schmidt, nèe Winkelmann, evangelical religion, resident with him, has born a female child at home in Gornitz, on Jan 11th 1880, 4:00 p.m.

The child’s name is Auguste Bertha.

Read, approved and signed

signed by Friedrich Schmidt

The Registrar: Fricks

Authenticated to conform with the main index
Runau, January 15, 1880

The Registrar: Fricks


This document is amazing for many reasons.  It’s another of those rare glimpses of our family in the “old world” before they came to the US.  It verifies Gornitz as Bertha’s birthplace.  It describes Friedrich Schmidt as a “Kolonist” or settler, a group of people who were sent by the government to inhabit the more eastern reaches of Prussia and turn the fertile land there into a production area for cloth and other goods needed by the Prussians.  It also has the signature of my 3x great grandfather, Friedrich Schmidt.  A man who has been nothing but a name until this point:

Friedrich Schmidt signature.

Runau, Kreis Czarnikau, Posen, Prussia (today Runowo, Czarnków-Trzcianka County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland) is only about 3 miles from Gornitz, and may have been some kind of administrative center for the region where the Schmidts lived.

There are some LDS films from this city:

Evangelische Kirche Runowo (Kr. Wirsitz)  184919

Runowo (Kr. Wirsitz, Posen). Standesamt

Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1874  1194896

Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1875-1879  1194897

Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1880-1883  1194898

Wilhelm Schmidt – Military Passport

One of the most valuable documents I have found in terms of family history is owned by Norma Wendorf Bandock, grand-daughter of William “Billy” Schmidt (1899 – 1990).  Fortunately for my family, Norma ended up with a lot of “Uncle Billy’s” documents and photographs, and I’ve never been as overwhelmed as I was the evening I spent digitizing the goldmine that she brought for me to see.  Among the treasures, the document that stood out the most was a little booklet that looked like a modern passport.  It said “Karl Ernst Wilhelm Schmidt, 1884” on it.

It was, as it turns out, the Prussian Army military passport for my great-great grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt, and was the first document from the “old world” that I had come across at that point.  It remains among a very small number of such documents that tell the story of our family before they came to the United States.

The passport is, of course, in German, and it’s also lengthy.  I paid a historic document expert a tidy sum to translate the entire thing.  Most of it consists of rules and regulations about military service in general, and is not specific to Wilhelm, so I’m not going to put it all on here.  Instead, I’ll focus on the important parts.

Wilhelm Schmidt Military Passport – Page 1


Spare Reserve Passport I of the Spare Reservist  Name: Karl Ernst Wilhelm Schmidt  Service Year: 1884  No. 247 Berlin Federal Print Works Engineers  The journeyman carpenter Karl Ernst Wilhelm Schmidt, born August 8,1862 at Weissenfenn, District Wirsitz, is herewith, because of limited military fitness, assigned to the Spare Reserve First Class as Pioneer [Engineer] and is subject to the draft for peace exercises. He has to follow the call to the first exercise on August 23, 1884, is standing under control of the Territorial Reserve Authorities until the end of his 31st year of life and then transfers to the Army Reserve, without the necessity of a special order.
1) By receiving this passport, owner enters the control of the 2nd Territorial Reserve Company of the Territorial Reserve District Command Braunschweig II. He is obliged to report to the Territorial Reserve District Sergeant in Wolfenbüttel within 8 days.

So he is ordered to report for duty in Wolfenbüttel (in Germany proper).  It’s likely he was working in and around that area as a journeyman carpenter at the time.  It gives his place of birth as “Weissenfenn, Wirsitz”.  In actuality Weißfenn is in the Friedberg district of Posen, and is very near the town of Modderpfuhl where his father or grandfather was born.  The page also mentions his trade as “journeyman carpenter”, which was a fairly specific thing back in Prussia.  Read more about it here if you wish, but it’s rather fascinating and romantic.

The phrase “because of limited military fitness” is interesting to me.  Wilhelm’s son Edwin Schmidt noted on his World War I draft card that he might be excused from military service because he had “broken arches in feet”.  Perhaps it ran in the family?

Page 5


18. At the beginning of general mobilization, any Spare Reservist living in foreign countries, immediately have to return to the homeland, unless they have been specifically exempted from this obligation. Their return has to be reported immediately to the District Sergeant under whose control they are, or to the one of the nearest Territorial Reserve unit. 19. This passport serves the bearer as identification for all military and civil authorities. Whoever loses it has at once to request a duplicate, verbally or in writing, from the District Sergeant and has to pay 50 Pfennige (pennies) for it. Wolfenbuettel the 21st of May 1884  The Upper Spare Commission in the District of the 40th Infantry Brigade  Dukedom Braunschweig The Military Chairman The Civil Chairman  Johs. Milger  A. Galmann  Major General  District Director  Commanding Authority which makes entries District Headquarters Braunschweig II Date: 08/23/84 Stamp

Here we just see the date stamps and the responsible parties.  We see he is still near Wolfenbüttel, Germany about 21 May 1884.

There are other pages I’m omitting which state (in part):

Stricken from category of exercise-obligated Spare Reservist and entered into the category of the non-exercise obligated Spare Reservist 1st Class. During peace time the Spare Reservists First Class do not need a military permit to immigrate, however, they are obligated to inform the District Sergeant of their pending immigration. Anyone dodging this responsibility will be fined up to 150 Marks or be penalized with jail.  Owner transfers to Spare part Reserve II class on October 1, 1889.

Note that, interestingly, it says you can immigrate to another country in times of peace as long as you notify the District Sergeant of the immigration!  (Wow!)  This would be important later.

Then we find the real gold of this document.  Places and dates that Wilhelm lived in Prussia:

Pages 10-11.


Page 10  Reports and Furloughs 
Reported for Ahlum [a town near Wolfenbüttel, Germany] Wolfenbuettel, May 27, 84  Hilkener, District Sergeant 
Move to Salzdahlum reported [a nearby town] Wolfenbuettel, June 8, 84  Hilkener, District Sergeant
Reported departure to Gornitz  [Gornitz is back in Posen, and was his hometown at that point], Wolfenbüttel, November 28, 84 Hilkener, District Sergeant
Reported for Gornitz arrival Czarnikau, December 8, 84 Bethke, District Sergeant

So we see that he has been working in Germany, but moves back to Gornitz (in Kreis Czarnikau, Posen) where his family had been living since at least 1875.  This must mean that his period as a journeyman carpenter is over, because you were not allowed near your hometown until you were finished with your journey.  The next entry was the most remarkable to me:

Pages 12, 13.


Orderly notification of departure to America. Czarnikau, May 5, 85 Bethke, District Sergeant

So Wilhelm was given permission to immigrate to the US in May of 1885.  Remarkable!  My impression was that you were in the military for a very long time (up to and including life in times of war).  Instead, he was given permission to leave.

He came to the US that summer.  It’s not clear if (like August Strehlow), he was expected to return to Prussia at some point and he did not.  That part is unclear.

Schmidts to the New World – 1892

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I have a fondness for my Schmidt relatives.  The story of Wilhelm Schmidt, who was a journeyman carpenter in Posen, Prussia and was in the Prussian Army, leaving Prussia and his family behind in 1885 to start a new life in the north woods of Wisconsin… how he got married, worked hard and eventually was able to bring his mother and five sisters to Wisconsin in 1892… how he built a little community on Grand Avenue in Rothschild, Wisconsin where his family lived for over 100 years…. it’s a story that’s very dear to me.

Recently I wrote about my discovery that one of Wilhelm’s sisters, Amelie Schmidt, was actually married to Christian Karl in Prussia.  That she had had twin boys in Prussia, and that the boys and Christian Karl had come over here at the same time Amelie did, according to the census records.  This knowledge changed some things for me, because I was now going to be looking for travel and immigration records for Amelie Karl, not Amelie Schmidt, and she’d be traveling with her husband and her twin boys in 1892.  So I did the searches, and after many, many records that were misses, I finally came across a New York passenger list for “Christ. and Emilie Carl”:

Christ Karl & Amelie Schmidt Passenger List

The married couple were traveling aboard the “Aller” (French for “to go”) from Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving on 19 April 1892.  It was Christian Karl, Amelie Schmidt and one of their twin sons, Gustav, who was listed as 8 months old.  (Yikes!)  They are listed as having a final destination of “Wis” and are staying in the Petty Officer’s Room (perhaps because of the young child?).  My immediate though was, “Where’s the other twin?”.  My cousin Jeannie and I both thought that perhaps they could only handle one 8-month-old at a time on a trans-atlantic steamship voyage, and left the other boy with family they knew would be coming to the US after them.

The “Aller”, which brought Amelie Schmidt to the US along with her husband and son Gustav.

Later that same night, I found what I was looking for (again, after digging through a mountain of records that were not the right ones).  Another New York passenger list for the “Ems”, once again traveling from Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving on 25 July 1892 (about three months after the Karls arrived).  Aboard were Wilhelmine “Schmith” (55 years old), her daughters Alvine (26) and Bertha (13) and 9 month old child “Wilhelm Schmith”.  This was, of course, the other twin son Wilhelm Karl.

Passenger list for the “Ems” bringing Wilhelmine Winkelmann and her family to the US.

Even more remarkable to me was that it actually listed “Gornitz” as the home town for the Schmidts.  Bertha had been born there in 1880, according to her marriage document, and I knew Wilhelm had been living there in 1884 and 1885 from his military passport.  I also knew that Wilhelm had paid for the passage to the US for a friend of his, Emil Prielipp, who was from Gornitz.  This was yet another piece of evidence that the family lived there from at least 1880 until 1892 when they came to the US.

The “Ems” which brought Wilhelmine Winkelmann, Alvine Schmidt, Bertha Schmidt and Wilhelm Karl to the US.

So Wilhelmine Winkelmann, my 3x great grandmother, traveled to the US with her two daughters and her grandson, arriving in New York on a summer evening in 1892 to begin her new life in the US.  Some short time later, she was reunited with her son and her other daughter who had come before her.

I’m still looking for the remaining passenger lists.  I have a possible hit for Wilhelm, who came to the US in mid 1885.  I also still need to find lists for Antonie and Pauline, but I’m guessing they were traveling from Bremen to New York, so that should make it easier to find them.

Zierke Family in Prussia

There are a few threads I need to tie together here about the Zierke family. It’s far from a complete story at this point, but the evidence is growing so I want to document some things I found today. First the backstory.  My great-great grandmother Ottelie Zierke’s parents were Friedrich Zierke and Wilhelmine Schulz.  That’s my connection to both families.  There is some circumstantial evidence that they knew each other in Prussia and after Friedrich Zierke came to Harris, Wisconsin in 1865, Wilhelmine Schulz came to Wisconsin shortly after, and they were married here in November of 1866 or 1867 (their obits disagree on the year).

We know the Schulz family came from Podstolitz (today called Podstolice, Poland), and the town we currently believe the Zierkes came from was called Jablonowo, which is about 18 miles to the West of Podstolitz.

My Zierke relatives landed in the US in 1865.  They spent up to a year in Waukesha, Wisconsin before settling down in Harris, Wisconsin.  I have spent a fair amount of time documenting another group of Zierkes who lived in Princeton, Wisconsin, which is only 18 miles away from Harris.  So far I have had no hard proof that the two families are related, but I am nearly certain that they are.  (For example, the brother of my grandmother Wilhelmine Schulz, Martin Schulz, spent years in Princeton, Wisconsin after coming to the US from Posen, and got married there.)  So I keep looking for evidence.

Today Jörg Schrick reminded me of a website I had visited before which does transcription of Posen, Prussia marriage documents.  I had looked there for Schmidt and Zierke records before and struck out, but I know they are always transcribing more records, so I looked there today.  I didn’t get a hit on my family, but I got a hit for one of the Princeton Zierke families:

Protestant community in Margonin, entry # 4 in 1858

Gottlieb August Zirk (24)

Wilhelmine Sommerfeld (22)

This is great for several reasons.  This is 100% certainly the family that I’ve been working on in Princeton, Wisconsin.   The marriage, while recorded in Margonin, actually took place in Siebenschlößchen.  That town is only about 5 miles away from Podstolitz, where my Schulz relatives came from.  This says to me that MY Schulz family and the Princeton Zierke family were all in the same area.  To me, it is strong evidence that this Princeton Zierke family and my Zierke family are the same.  I’m expecting to find out that all of them came from this basic area of Posen, and I feel it’s just a matter of time before I understand the connection between the Princeton Zierke clan and my family from Harris.

Here is a map showing the relative locations of Podstolitz and Siebenschlößchen:

Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia

Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia

Carl August Strehlow – Military Petition

Carl August Strehlow (1842-1900) was, I believe, the uncle of Bertha Strehlow (who married my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger).  I first “met” August on the German passenger list for the “Teutonia” bringing the Strehlow family from Hamburg to New York, arriving 6 Jun 1868:

Passenger list for the “Teutonia” bringing the Strehlows to New York from Hamburg.

August is 25 years old and traveling with Wilhelmine, Bertha and Hermann Strehlow.  He is listed as a “Zimmerman”, or carpenter.  Based on his age, who he’s traveling with, and the town he’s from (the Strehlow home town of Wandhagen, Schlawe, Pommern, Prussia), my guess is that he’s the brother of Ferdinand Strehlow.  I am continuing my search for proof of this relationship.  He may be a cousin.

After arriving in the US, the Strehlow family was living in Polk, Washington County, Wisconsin.  The 1870 census shows Ferdinand Strehlow, his wife Wilhelmine, their children Bertha and Hermann and August Strehlow all living together.  Ferdinand and August are both listed as “Carpenters”.

1870 Census for Polk, Washington, Wisconsin.

Until recently, this was all I knew about August prior to and including 1870.  Then my German contact Jörg Schrick got in touch with some news from his friend Jürgen, who has been looking for Strehlow records in the archives in Berlin and online.  He found a petition, dated 1 April 1870 in Schlawe, Prussia that outlines Carl August Strehlow’s failure to return from his granted leave abroad, and informs him that if he doesn’t report a “desertion investigation against him will be initiated”:

80) Oeffentliche Aufforderung: (Seite 137)

Der Pionier (Zimmermann) Carl August STREHLOW, am 12. November 1842 zu Wandhagen (Kreis Schlawe) geboren, vom 16. Oktober 1864 bis 31. Juli 1867 bei der 3. Compangnie Pommerschen Pionier-Bataillions No. 2 gedient und bis 17. März 1869 ins Ausland beurlaubt, hat sich bis jetzt von diesem Urlaub nicht zurückgemeldet, und keine Verlängerung desselben beantragt.

Derselbe wird hiermit aufgefordert, sich binnen 3 Monaten im Bureau des königlichen Bezirks-Commandos des 1. Bataillions (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49 zu melden, widirgenfalls die Untersuchung wegen Desertation gegen denselben eingeleitet wird.

Schlawe, den 1. April 1870.

königliches Bataillion (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49.


80) Public summons: (page 137)

The Engineer (Carpenter) Carl August Strehlow, born November 12, 1842 in Wandhagen ( district Schlawe) has served from October 16 1864 through July 31, 1867 at the 3rd company of the Pommeranian Engineer Battalion No. 2. He had been granted leave for foreign country until March 17, 1869 but has not reported back from this leave and has not petitioned extension of it.

Herewith, he is summoned to report to the Office of the Royal District Command of the 1st Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49, within 3 months. In default whereof a desertion investigation against him will be initiated.

Schlawe April 1, 1870

Royal Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49

This tells us so much about when August Strehlow served in the military, what he was doing there, his trade, where he was from, when he was born, and what he did during his service.

Pioneers served in special pioneer batallions. On active service (in the Prussian Army) they moved at the head of marching columns with axes, shovels and pickaxes clearing obstacles or building bridges to open the way for the bulk of the regiment to move through difficult terrain.  My great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt was also a carpenter and also such a “Pioneer” in the Prussian Army.

It also shows that he left the military, came to the US and never went back.  In cases like this the person was usually tried in absentia and  found guilty of desertion.  If he had ever returned to Prussia he would have been arrested and imprisoned.

Instead, he moved to Merrill, Wisconsin and tried to raise a family with his wife Wilhelmine Eleanor Rubow.  Sadly, of the eight children I know about, six of them did not live beyond the age of four years.   Many of these unfortunate children are buried with the parents at the Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery.  (See attached document.)  Fortunately, at least one of their children, Alma Louise Strehlow (1888-1951) survived.

Cemetery Records for the Strehlow family showing the many children who died in infancy or early childhood.

Kahlen Church Records – Pomerania, Prussia

I received an email on the message boards at about the Krueger family and Kahlen, the town we suspect they came from:

Kahlen – Parish of Zirkwitz.  The church book for 1834-1838 is online:…

This is the following record:

Indeed there are many records which mention the town of Kahlen, but so far no names that I recognize as definitively being my family.  I’m just going to make note here of entries which are intriguing.  Obviously the name “Krüger” is very common, so most of those don’t perhaps mean anything.  “Hoge” on the other hand seems much less common.

Page 3, entry 3: Baptism of Hana Charlotte Henr. Kuphal in Kahlen on 11 Jan 1834.  Parents are Freid. Kuphal and Caroline Krüger.  A Joh. Gotl. Krüger is also mentioned as a witness.

Page 8, entry 42: Baptism of Ferdinand Gottleib Hoge in Küslin 6 Aug 1834.  Parents are Wilh. Gottleib Hoge and Joh. Louise Fieger.

Page 19, entry 44. Baptism of Aug. Fried. Wilh. Krüeger in Muddelmow on 8 Oct 1835.  Parents Carl Krüger and Maria Louise Genz.

Page 42, entry 8: 1836 Marriage of Christian Friedrick Genz (24 yo) from Kahlen and Maria Elizabeth Krüger (26 yo) from Zitzmar.   Relative Michael Friedrich Krüger from Baendesmuhl. 11 Nov?

Page 42, entry 10:  Marriage of Peter Hoge (31 yo) from Taeslin to Enger Brandt (21 yo) from Taeslin.  Relative Martin Brandt mentioned.  18 Nov?

Page 46, entry 18: Baptism of Johan Friedrick Wilhelm Genz to Christ. Fried. Genz and Maria Elizabeth Krüger in Zitzmar.  2nd April 1837.

Page 48, entry 37.  Maria Hoge is witness.

Page 54, entry 28.  Death of Carl Fried. Wilh. Hoge, son of Wilh. Joh? Hoge in Küslin.  7 yr 1 mo 15 day.

Page 56, entry 3.  Joh. Christ. Krüger from Morgow, 34, marrying Maria Riebe, 35, 19 Feb 1837.  Her father, Casper Riebe.

Page 57, entry 10.  Carl Heinrich Pankow from Cammin, 33, marrying Wilhelmine Charlotte Krüger, 20.  Her father, Martin Friedrich Krüger. 17 Nov 1837.

Page 58, entry 12.  Carl Christ. Fried. Wilhelm Trapp from Kahlen, 25, marrying Johanna Doroth. Fried. Krüger, 24.  Her father, Martin Friedrich Krüger.  15 Dec 1837.

Page 62, entry 38.  Baptism of Heinrich Fried. Wilhelm Trapp to Carl Christ. Friedr. Wilh. Trapp from Kahlen and Hanna Dorth. Fried. Krüger 24 Aug 1838.  Witnesses Joh.Fried. Krüger, Car Friedr. Wilh. Krüger, Wilh. Maria Ernest. Trapp.

Page 67, entry 4.  Marriage of Mart. Goddfr. Krüger from Moetzow, 25, and Wilh. Fried. Carol. Wetzel, 22.  Her father, Carl Wetzel.  23 May, 1838.

The Krueger Family – Bios

Wilhelm Krueger & Caroline Hoge

Wilhelm J. Krüger (Krueger) was born 21 Jan 1835. We don’t know exactly where he was born, but based on the clues we have it is possible he was born near the town of Kahlen in Kreis Cammin, Pommern, Prussia.  It was a part of Germany at that time, but is now located in Poland and is called Kaleń, Poland today.

This photo of Wilhelm and Caroline is courtesy of Lloyd O. Krueger.

From her burial record from Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine, Wisconsin, we know that Caroline Wilhelmine Florentine Hoge was born 18 Jun 1836 in the town of Stuchow, Kreis Cammin, Pommern, Prussia.  It is called Stuchowo, Poland today.

According to the 1900 census, they married in 1857 in Prussia, and had five children.  Their first child, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Krueger, and another son, Carl Bertold Krueger, survived.  Three other unknown children did not.  According to family legend the Kruegers were farmers and raised animals.  They were said to have been “as poor as church mice”.  According to family legend, their eldest son Heinrich stowed away aboard a ship and came to the US in 1882 to avoid being conscripted into the Kaiser’s army.  The other son Carl followed in an identical manner later in 1882 or in 1883.

According to census records, Caroline and Wilhelm arrived soon after their son Carl did, in 1883.  The family settled on a farm in the Town of Maine (near Wausau, Wisconsin) at first, but Heinrich and his bride Bertha Kamrath moved into Wausau while Wilhelm, Caroline, and Carl lived on the Krueger family farm in the Town of Maine.  Wilhelm was one of the founders of the Andrew-Grace Lutheran Church there.

Caroline died on 5 Oct 1917 from pneumonia.  She was buried in the Town of Berlin Cemetery (west of Wauasu, Wisconsin) just down the road from the family farm.  Wilhelm was buried next to her after his death on 16 Mar 1926.

Krueger Grave in Town of Berlin Cemetery, Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Krueger Grave in Town of Berlin Cemetery, Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Carl Krueger & Bertha Strehlow

Carl Bertold Krueger was born 3 Jul 1864. Based on information he gave in his marriage record (“Kalem, Provinz Pommern”), we guess he was born in or near Kahlen, Cammin, Pommern, Prussia.  About 1883, Carl followed his elder brother Heinrich’s example and stowed away aboard a ship to come to the US.  According to his granddaughter LaVila Krueger Luedtke, Carl hid on board until he was far enough away from the port that he knew the would not turn around.   Then revealed himself and he worked his way across the Atlantic in the ship’s kitchen. The last few days of the voyage there was so little food that only the children were allowed to eat… and oatmeal was the only food left.  So each morning Carl would announce in German: “Haferflocken für der kinder!”.  Oatmeal for the children (only).

His wife, Bertha Albertine Wilhelmine Strehlow, was born 13 Dec 1862 in Wandhagen, Kreis Schlawe, Pommern, Prussia.  She came to the US when she was five years old traveling from Hamburg, Germany and arriving in New York on 6 Jun 1868 aboard the “Tutonia” with her mother, Wilhelmine Schwarz, her brother Herman, and her Uncle August Strehlow, who was a carpenter like many men in the family.  They settled first in Polk, Washington County, Wisconsin, then moved to the Town of Maine, Wisconsin when Bertha was 11 years old in 1873.

The Krueger family farm actually touched the Strehlow family farm in one corner, so according to their grand-daughter LaVila Carl and Bertha met simply by “leaning over the fence”.   They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine on 10 Dec 1886, the day the attached photograph was taken.  Carl was 22, Bertha was 23. They lived in the Town of Maine and had six children, four of whom survived childhood.

Photo courtesy of LaVila Krueger Luedtke.

Carl was a bricklayer and build the parsonage across the road from Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine (where the current Pastor Nate Biebert still resides).  He also built the foundations of many barns in the area and boasted to his family of having built the brick houses along Highway K in the Town of Maine.

The Grace Lutheran Parsonage. Brickwork was done by Carl Krueger.

Bertha died of pneumonia on 6 Feb 1931 and was buried in the Town of Berlin Cemetery.  Carl lived with his son William until his death on 3 Feb 1949 when he was buried alongside his wife.

Heinrich Krueger & Bertha Kamrath

Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm “Henry” Krueger was born 31 Dec 1857.  As with the rest of his family, our best guess that he was born near Kahlen, Kreis Cammin, Pommern, Prussia.  Henry grew up as the eldest son of farmers of very modest means.  In 1882 family legend says that he stowed away aboard a ship and came to the US to avoid fighting in the Kaiser’s wars.  He was 25 years old.  His parents and brother followed him to the US in 1883, and the family at first settled on a farm in the Town of Maine just outside Wausau, Wisconsin.  Eventually, Henry moved into the city of Wausau and, according to his grandson Lloyd Krueger, he “worked in the saw mills as a millwright, developing new machines to keep pace with the progress in the veneer mills and to keep those in existence running”.  For a good part of his career, Henry worked at the Underwood Veneer Mill on the South side of Wausau.  At other points he worked as far away as Stevens Point, and only came home on weekends to see his family.

Bertha Augusta Wilhelmine Kamrath was born 3 Aug 1864 in Pommern, Prussia.  Her place of birth is still uncertain.  The passenger list for her voyage to the US mentions a town called Wandau or Wansau in Pomerania.  Her sister said “Stettin”, so it may be a small town near there.  Bertha and Heinrich had known each other in Prussia, according to family lore, and after Henry was established in the US, Bertha and her family immigrated as well.  Bertha, her parents, and three of her siblings boarded a ship called the “Hammonia” in Hamburg, Germany on 3 May 1885.    Eleven days later on 14 May 1885, the Hammonia pulled into New York harbor.  It was 4:00am and the Kamrath family beheld the bright lights of the biggest city they had ever seen.  They were about to begin a new life in the United States.

Bertha Kamrath, shortly after her arrival in the US (c 1885).

Henry and Bertha were married in a German ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine on 20 Dec 1890.  Henry was 32, and Bertha was 26.  The attached photo was likely taken at or around that occasion.

Photo courtesy of Harvey Krueger.

They had 12 children total, 8 of which survived childhood.  Their eldest son Arthur Krueger was killed in the last battle of World War I fighting alongside his brother Oscar.  He died in the Battle of the Argonne Forest, one week before the end of the war.  After escaping Prussia to avoid fighting in the Kaiser’s wars, Heinrich had to cope with his eldest son being killed in a war against Germany.  Their other surviving children were Oscar, Agnes, Elsa, Norma, Edmund, Lawrence, and Alfred.

Henry and Bertha had a small home on 3rd Avenue North, and later built a larger home at the same location.  Henry worked in the saw mills, then later as a carpenter in Wausau building houses.  He enjoyed building lawn ornaments in his wood-shop.  Bertha raised their children, planted beautiful flower beds around their home, and was active in many church groups.

Henry & Bertha in front of the original home at 221 3rd Ave. North in Wausau (c 1903).

Bertha passed away from cancer on 29 Mar 1928.  Henry lived with his son Edmund until his peaceful death on his 88th birthday, 31 Dec 1945.  After a large meal with his family he was preparing to go home and sent his granddaughter to get his boots. By the time she returned with them he had had a sudden heart attack and had slipped away.

Heinrich Krueger and Bertha Kamrath are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau, Wisconsin next to their sons Arthur and Lawrence.

LDS Films To Order

Just a note to myself.


Mikrofilme aufgenommen von Manuskripten in Frankfurt (Main).

For films 351998-351999 Kein Verleih in Berlin und Brandenburg, Deutschland. No circulation to family history centers in Berlin or Brandenburg, Germany. For films 352000-352001 Kein Verleih in deutschen Genealogie-Forschungsstellen. No circulation to family history centers in Germany.

Parish register of baptisms, marriages, deaths, confirmations and communicants for See Buckow, Pommern, Germany; now Bukowo Morskie, Koszalin, Poland.


Film Notes

Note Location Film
Taufen 1658-1702 Heiraten 1657-1713 Tote 1656-1713 Taufen 1716-1723, 1729-1735, Taufen 1724-1728, 1736-1746 Konfirmationen 1713-1745 Heiraten 1713-1746 Tote 1713-1726, 1730-1746 Family History Library INTL Film 351998 Items 1-2
Taufen 1747-1750, 1759, 1751-1779 Konfirmationen 1746-1760 Taufen 1780 Konfirmationen 1762-1774 Communicanten 1766 Heiraten 1747-1779 Tote 1747-1781 Taufen 1781-1811 Konfirmationen 1782-1830 Heiraten 1838, 1782-1837 Tote 1781-1830 Family History Library INTL Film 351998 Items 3-4
Taufen 1811-1870 Tote 1857-1880 Taufen 1857-1859, 1865-1868 Heiraten 1857-1858 Family History Library INTL Film 351999
Taufen 1871-1908 Heiraten 1869-1957, 1914-1936 Taufen 1909-1957 Family History Library INTL Film 352000
Konfirmationen 1865-1957 Tote 1881-1958 Family History Library INTL Film 352001