Christening Record for William Henry Schmidt

I had been discussing the Schmidt family with my cousin Doris, who lives in Germany.  She had put the sons of my great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt on her family tree using their German names.  So William Henry “Billy” Schmidt was listed as Wilhelm Heinrich Schmidt.  Louis William Schmidt was listed as Ludwig Wilhelm Schmidt, etc.

William Schmidt & Emma Otto, wedding day, 5 Jan 1921.

William Schmidt & Emma Otto, wedding day, 5 Jan 1921.

I corrected her saying that, while it’s true that the children of Prussian immigrants were usually christened with their German names, I had seen no documents listing the Schmidt boys with German names.  In fact on the Wisconsin Birth and Baptism Index (where these German names usually show up) my great-grand-uncle William Henry Schmidt was listed as “Willie Schmidt”.

Out of curiosity, I contacted Billy’s grand-daughter, Norma and asked her if she had seen a baptism record for her grandfather.  She wrote back saying she thought she had one.  Tonight she sent it, and sure enough he was baptized in a German church [Deutsche Evang. St. Paul’s Kirche, or Saint Paul’s German Lutheran Church] as Wilhelm Heinrich Schmidt.

Another interesting thing to note is that two of the sponsors were his mother’s brother, August Zierke (1881 – 1955 ) and his father’s sister, Emilie Schmidt Karl (1869 – 1932 ).  I want to thank my cousin Norma for giving me access to this beautiful document!

Wilhelm Heinrich Schmidt Christening, 1899

Wilhelm Heinrich Schmidt Christening, 1899

Seal, close-up.

Seal, close-up.

 

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About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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