The (Short) Life and Death of Otto Paul Winkelmann

The deluge of documents from Posen, Prussia continued unabated this week.  This is a good problem to have!

I’m in the midst of trying to put all the bits and pieces together into a coherent story, but at this point there are several items that have only speculative placement in the family tree.  I know enough to be certain that they relate to my family, but there are bits of information missing such that I can’t say for certain exactly how the information fits into the larger picture.  What I’m doing at this point is putting the information into my tree where I suspect it belongs, along with a note about why I suspect it goes there and what information is needed to confirm or refute my suspicion.

Such is the case with the (short) life and death of Otto Paul Winkelmann.  Otto Paul was born on the 14th of August in 1878.  Here is his birth record [click to enlarge or download]:

Otto Paul Winkelmann Birth, 1878

Otto Paul Winkelmann Birth, 1878


No. 154, Runau, 18 August 1878

Before the undersigned registrar published today the known personage the midwife Auguste Brietkreutz née Breitkreutz resident of Stieglitz ____ religion, appeared and indicated that the Mietseinwohnerin [house-mate] Emilie Winkelmann née Marquardt, a widow for three years, evangelical religion, resident in the home of the kolonist [tenant farmer] Ferdinand Marquardt of Caroline [Posen, Prussia], gave birth in her residence on the 14th of August in the year one thousand eight hundred seventy eight at 9:00 pm to a male child who was given the name Otto Paul [Winkelmann].

The undersigned midwife Ms. Breitkreutz indicated that she was present with Emilie Winkelmann née Marquardt at this birth.  Signed by Auguste Breitkreutz

So Emilie Marquardt Winkelmann gave birth to a son.  Her husband [a Winkelmann] had died three years earlier.  No mention of the father.  She seems to have been living in the home of a relative, Ferdinand Marquardt, at the time of the birth, but is described as a “house-mate”.  My friend and collaborator Jörg has informed me that the words used in the document “Mietsbewohnerin” and “Einliegerin”, mean that she was a renter with essentially what we call a “mother-in-law suite”.  That is, an apartment within the house that has a separate entrance, allowing Emilie a degree of autonomy from Ferdinand’s household.

Later, I was sent this document by Marlena:

Otto Paul Winkelmann Death, 1879

Otto Paul Winkelmann Death, 1879


No. 88

Runau, the 2nd September 1879

Before the undersigned registrar published today the known personage the kolonist Ferdinand Marquardt, resident of Carolina [Posen, Prussia] indicated that Otto Winkelmann, age 1 year 17 days, evengelical religion, resident of Carolina, born in Carolina on the 14th of August 1878, son of the Mitbewohner [co-habitant or housemate] Emilie Winkelmann née Marquardt of Carolina, died in the home of his mother at 11:00 pm on the 1st of September in the year one thousand eight hundred seventy nine.

Attested to by Ferdinand Marquardt who, being illiterate, has made his mark below.


Then a handwritten note in the margin:

Note of correction
According to the subsequent declaration of the mother of the deceased, Emilie Winkelmann née Marquardt, concerning the hearing from March 10th 1881
the reporting person (his mother) had had information on the death of Otto Paul Winkelmann.  This correction made due to disorder of the royal “Landprüfer” in Schneidemühl, May 9th 1881
Runau, May 16th 1881
the registrar.

So there are a couple mysteries here.  The first is obviously: who was Emilie’s husband and how was he related to the rest of my Winkelmann family that was living in Caroline?  Secondly, how was Ferdinand Marquardt related to Emilie?  One would suspect he was her relative, but she is not referred to as such, but rather as a “house-mate”.

Then my cousin Doris sent me the following record she found on the Poznan Project website:

Marriage record for the protestant community in Schönlanke [Trzcianka].
Entry #4-LNS in 1867

Wilhelm Winkelmann (age 27) father: Ludwig

Emilie Marquard (age 27) father: Johann

Based on several pieces of circumstantial evidence, I believe that Emilie’s father-in-law Ludwig Winkelmann was the brother of my 4x great grandfather Christian Winkelmann, and so Emilie’s deceased husband Wilhelm Winkelmann would have been the first cousin of my 3x great-grandmother Wilhlemine Winkelmann.

So Emilie had married Wilhelm Winkelmann in 1867 in Schönlanke, and he had died in 1875, three years before the birth of Otto Paul Winkelmann.  Emily was living with a family member, Ferdinand Marquardt, who was not her father [perhaps a brother?].  He describes her as a “house mate”.  No name of a father was given, and Emilie was unmarried at the time of the birth.

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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