My Schmidt ancestors [Carl Friedrich Schmidt, Wilhelmine Winkelmann and their six children] lived on a farm in the very small village of Gornitz, Netzekreis, Posen, Prussia from about 1875 to 1892 when they immigrated to America. According to my cousin Doris Winkelmann Sonntag, the town was destroyed by the advancing Russian Army when they swept through Netzekreis on their way to Berlin in 1945 near the end of WWII. Almost nothing remains. I found a site in Germany (http://www.netzekreis.de/) which has a few historic and current photos of Gornitz. These give a tantalizing glimpse of the quiet, country lifestyle the Schmidt family had before they came to America. You can click on the photos to see larger versions.
[“Gruß aus Gornitz” means “Greetings from Gornitz”]