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.
Many lovely greetings,
Here is the document:
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:
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