Monthly Archives: August 2013

Alexander Gordon (1635-1697)

I was reminded of this story tonight, so wanted to throw a short version on my blog where it’s easier for me to find things.  The inability to search through text stories on my Ancestry.com tree can be problematic at times.  There is information here from the biography of my 10x great-grandfather Alexander Gordon from the book “Fifty New England colonists and five Virginia families” by Florence Black Weiland (1965).  There is also information here from Alexander’s Wikipedia Entry, and a few other sources.

“The Gordon name is one of the most ancient in Great Britain and is now represented In the Peerage by the Earl of Aberdeen. The family is of Norman origin and dates back to very early times. In 1150 Richard de Gordon, Knight Baronet, granted to the Monks at Kelso, land at Gordon near Huntley Strather.  Haddo House is the seat of the Earl of Aberdeen and is in the County of Aberdeenshire in the Highlands of Scotland.” – Weiland, p 105.

My 10x great-grandfather Alexander Gordon [an ancestor of my Nason, Cairns, and Forrest lines] was born in the Highlands of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1635.  His family was loyal to the cause of the Stuarts, and Alexander became a soldier in the Scottish Army that supported the claim of King Charles II to the throne of England.  He was taken a prisoner of war by Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worchester on 3 Sept 1651.  Other accounts claim he was captured at the battle of Dunbar exactly one year earlier.  In either case, he was released to an American, Captain John Allen of Chartestown, Massachusetts, on the condition that he emigrate to America.

The Battle of Worchester, 3 Sept 1651

The Battle of Worchester, 3 Sept 1651

In 1651 Alexander was taken aboard the “Liberty”, commanded by the same Capt. John Allen, to Boston, Massachusetts and was held as a prisoner of war in the city of Watertown, Massachusetts.  He stayed with John Cloyes, a boatswain, or mate, on the “Liberty” who lived in Cambridge on the road to Watertown at a place near the site of Cambridge Hospital today.

Accounts vary about what happened next.  By some accounts Alexander signed an agreement on 25 April 1653 with Samuel Stratton of Watertown to be his apprentice for six years, and to learn the trade of farming.  In other accounts he was sold by John Cloyes essentially as a slave to Mr. Stratton.  In either case, it was unfortunately true that such “apprentices” were routinely abused by their masters for the purposes of keeping cheap labor.  It is generally agreed that Alexander was mistreated by Mr. Stratton.

On 23 May 1655, a number of these apprentices, including Alexander, petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts for freedom, but their request was refused.  On 3 Nov 1663, Alexander appealed again to the court in Massachusetts and was finally released from his contract.  His six-year contract with Samuel Stratton ended on paper in 1659, but Alexander had been forced to work for ten years before he won his freedom.

Alexander and a number of other Scottish ex-prisoners-of-war made their way to New Hampshire.  As early as 1660 Alexander Gordon was at Exeter, the town he helped found, where he was involved in lumbering.  He had a saw mill located on Little River at a point about one mile West of Exeter Village.

In 1663 he married Mary, the daughter of mill-owner Nicholas Lisson and his wife Alice Jane Wise.  Alexander and Mary had the following children:

Elizabeth b. 1664, Nicholas b 1666, Mary b. 1668, John b. 1670, James b. 1673, Alexander b. 1675

Thomas (20 Nov 1678 – 27 May 1761), my 9x great-grandfather married Elizabeth Harriman (1675 – 1720)

Daniel b, 1678

Alexander died on 15 Aug 1697 in Walleigh Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire.   Administration of his estate was granted to his son John Gordon on August 25, 1697.

More information on his life can be found in the following references:

  • “History of the Town of Exeter, New Hampshire” 1888 by Charles H. Bell
  • “Alexander Gordon and His Descendants” 1999 by Marion Otis
  • “The Gordon family of Maine and New Hampshire” 1946 by Blanche Gordon Cobb.
Advertisements

More Winkelmann Family Records from Prussia

Marlena has sent me several more batches of documents.  I’m going to summarize them here in chronological order:

Birth date: 10 Dec 1836, Gross Drensen, Baptism Date: 10 Dec 1836, Ferdinand Ludwig, son of Gottlieb Winkelmann and Charlotte Neuendorf.  Sponsors: Martin Baumgart, resident, & Wilhelmine Paegelow.

Death Date: 13 Dec 1836, Klein Drensen, Ferdinand Ludwig Winkelmann, son of Gottleib Winkelmann, resident, and Charlotte Nuendorf.  3 days old.  Buried on 15 Dec 1836.

Marriage Date: 9 Feb 1837, Gross Drensen, the bachelor Johann Gottlieb Winkelmann, resident of Mischke, and Miss Ernestine Wilhelmine Schoenek the eldest daughter of the resident journeyman carpenter Andreas Schoenek.  Wedding in the church.  Groom is 25 years old [b 1812], bride is 19 years old [b 1818], both of evangelical religion.  Consent of parents was given.

Birth Date: 27 Nov 1837, Klein Drensen, Emilie Albertine, daughter of Gottleib Winkelmann, renter [Einlieger], and his wife Wilhelmine Schoenek, both evangelical religion, born at 9am, baptized on 3 December.  Witnesses: Mr. Wilhelm Zuelke, Mr. August Bach, Gottlieb Steinhaus, sheperd.  [See marriage above.]

Birth Date: 24 Dec 1837, Klein Drensen, Christian Friedrich Wilhelm, son of Gottlieb Winkelmann and Charlotte Nuendorff, both evangelical religion, born on their property at 8:00am.  Witnesses: Mr. Friedr. Paeler, Miss Wilhelmine Baur, Mr. Friedrich Baumgart.
Birth Date: 10 Feb 1838, Klein Drensen, Johann Friedrich, son of Johann Winkelmann, eigenthümer, and Anna Dams. Baptized 24 Feb 1838.  Godparents: Gottlieb Arndt, Gottlieb Shlinder, Rosina Oestermann.

Birth Date: 4 Sept 1838, Mieschke [Mischke], Friedrich August, son of Michael Winkelmann and Anne Rosine Dams, both evangelical religion. Baptized on 7 Oct 1838.  Godparents: Friedrich Ahnerd, müflaubnfeitzner?, Sophie Dams.

Birth Date: 24 Nov 1839, Friedeberg, Stillborn Daughter, born at 6:00 am, daughter of Christian Friedrich Grünewaldt & Karoline Wilhelmine Winkelmann.

Birth Date: 4 Dec 1839, Schönefeldt, Christian Friedrich Winkelmann, born at 2:00 in the afternoon, son of Wilhelm Winkelmann and Anna?? Friedricke Bok?.

Birth Date: 18 Oct 1857, Schönlanke, Emil Rudolph, son of Ludwig Winkelmann & Johanne Spinde? Baptized 4 Nov 1857.  Godparents: Wilhelm Spletts, Emilie Wegner.

Birth Date: 31 Mar 1865, Carolina, Franz Wilhelm Hermann, son of Wilh. Prielipp and Hann. Aug. Friedke. Winkelmann.  Baptized on 12 Apr 1865.  Godparents: Gottlieb Winkelmann & Mrs. Wilh. Schmidt [This is my 3x great-grandmother!].

Birth Date: Nov. 10 1865, Carolina, Alvine Bertha daughter of Friedrich Schmidt, Kolonist, and Wilh. Winkelmann, Baptized on 26 Nov 1865.  Godparents: Wilh. Prielipp & Antonia Winkelmann.
Marriage Date: 6 Apr 1866.  Mischke.  Carl Julius Winkelmann, age 25 [b1841], from Schönlanke and Miss Marie Emilie Louise Buchholtz, age 20, daughter of Gottlieb Buchholtz, were married.

Birth Date: 11 Aug 1866, Carolina, Carl Friedrich Julius son of Wilh. Prielipp, kolonist, and Friedricke Winkelmann.  Baptized 19 Aug 1866.  Godparents: Friedrich Quast & Wilh. Hübstien.

Birth Date: Aug 31 1866, Ludwig Richard, son of Heinrich Winkelmann and Hilda Alvine Luther?   Baptized 1 Oct? 1866.  Witnesses: Richard Luther & Julianne Winkelmann.

Birth Date: Nov 4 1866, Johanna Bertha, daughter of Heinrich Winkelmann and Hilda Luther?  Baptized 25 Nov 1866.  Witnesses: Julius Winkelmann & Louise Wagner.

Birth Date: 21 Nov 1866, Albert Heinrich, son of Julius Winkelmann and Louise Bucholtz.  Baptized 21 Nov? 1866.  Witnesses: Ludwig Pantow & Henriette Borgmann.

Death Date: Nov 28, 1866, Schönlanke, Albert Heinrich Winkelmann, age 4 months, son of Julius Winkelmann and Louise Buchholtz.

#22 1867
Birth Date: Sept, 1867, Ehrberdorf [near Filhne], Ida Luisa, daughter of Ludwig Winkelmann and Auguste Matz.  Godparents: August Lieske, Henriette Matz.
Birth Date: 11 Oct 1867, Gross Drensen, Karl Emil, son of Julius Winkelmann and Louise Buchholz. Baptized 27 Oct 1867.  Godparents: Miss Auguste Meier, Michael Wilhelm Patz, Leopold Dethers.

Birth Date: 12 Jan 1868, Carolina, Friedrich Wilhelm Franz, son of Julius Winkelmann, carpenter, and Wilhelmine Dumke, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 16 Feb 1868.  Sponsors: Friedrich Schmidt, Franz Winkelmann, Antonie Winkelmann.

Birth Date: 13 Mar 1868.  Klein Drensen, Auguste Pauline, daughter of Johann Gottlieb Winkelmann, einlinger, and Anna Rosina Auguste née Bahr, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 2 Apr 1868.  Sponsors: Bertha Baumgart (jungefrau), Ferdinand Bahr, Johann Winkelmann (jungessell)

Birth Date: 12 Apr 1868, Gross Drensen, Friedrich Julius, son of Johann Gottfried Strauss and Rosina née Winkelmann, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 6 May 1868.  Sponsors: Friederike Winkelmann, Louise Perneram, Gottlieb Messerschmidt.

Birth Date: 29 Aug 1868, [Town??], Heinrich Max, son of Heinrich Winkelmann, and Hulda Ludner.  Baptized on the 20th Sept.  Sponsers: August Weise & Auguste Winkelmann.

Death Date: 18 Oct 1868, Gross Drensen, Carl Emil Winkelmann, aged 1 year 7 days [b 11 Oct 1867] son of Julius Winkelmann and Louise née Buchholz.  Burial on 20 Oct.

Birth Date: 21 Dec 1868, Klein Drensen, Caroline Winkelmann gave birth to a stillborn male child, father unknown.

Death Date: 28 Mar 1869, Klein Drensen, Friedrich Gustav, son of Gottlieb Winkelmann and Auguste née Bahr, aged 8? years 4 mos 9 days.  Buried 31 Mar 1869.

Birth Date: 2 Jul 1869, Stieglitz, Anna Auguste, daughter of the kolonist Wilhelm Prielipp and Friedericke née Winkelmann, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on the 18th of July.  Sponsors: Franz Winkelmann, Louise Prielipp, Fried. Huldscher?.

Birth Date: 12 Sept 1869, Gross Drensen, Emma Emilie, daughter of Julius Winkelmann and Louise née Buchholz, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 10 Dec 1869.  Sponsors: Miss Fridericke Patz, Miss Henriette Schrinelpfenig, Friedrich Matz.

Birth Date: 19 Sept 1869, Carolina, Hermann Julius Ernst, son of Julius Winkelmann and Wilhelmine née Dumke both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 17th Oct.  Sponsors: Franz Winkelmann, Bertha Dumke, August Heinst.

Marriage Date: 19 Nov 1869, Gross Drensen, the bachelor Ferdeinand Winkelmann of Klein Drensen son of Johann Winklmann and Miss Pauline Emilie Mielke, daughter of the retired Johann Christoph Mielke.  Groom’s age: 20 years 9 mos.  Bride’s age: 24 years 2 mos.  Both evangelical religion.  Bans published Oct 20, 21, 22.

Marriage Date: 10 Dec 1869, Gross Drensen, the bachelor Johann Winkelmann, son of the leibgedinger Johann Winkelmann of Klein Drensen and Miss Wilhelmine Henriette Steinke, daughter of Friedrich Steinke of Gross Drensen.  Groom’s age: 28 yrs 9 mos [b Mar 1841].  Bride’s age: 28 years 2 months [b Oct 1841].

Marriage date: 18 Jan 1870, Gross Drensen, Wilhelm Weikwerth son of Christian Weikwerth and Anna Friedericke Winkelmann of Klein Drensen daughter of Johann Winkelmann.   Groom’s age: 26 yrs 10 mos.   Bride’s age: 23 years.  Both evangelical religion.

Birth Date: 22 Mar 1870, Gross Drensen, Gustav Ferdinand, son of Johann Strauss and Ernestine née Winkelmann, both evangelical religion..  Baptized on 18 Apr 1870.  Sponsors: Mr. Friedrich Duhr, Mr. Wilhelm Zacharias, Mr. Gottlieb Stelter.

Birth Date: 12 Jun 1870, Klein Drensen, Albertine, daughter of Gottlieb Winkelmann, einsleigar, and Auguste née Bahr, both evangelical religion.  Baptized on 10 Jul 1870.  Sponsors: Emma Bahr, Wilhelm Wielewe, Ferdinand Bahr.

Birth Date: 20 Jul 1870, Klein Drensen, Wilhelmine Auguste, daughter of Wilhelm Weikwerth and Friedericke née Winkelmann, both evangelical religion.  Baptized 31 Jul 1870.  Sponsors: Wilhelmine Winkelmann, Friedrich Winkelmann, Auguste Winkelmann.  [See marriage record above.]

Marriage Date: 19 Mar 1871, Stieglitz, Marriage of the bachelor journeyman carpenter Franz Winkelmann with Miss Bertha Ohst.  Groom’s age: 23 years 6 mos.  Bride’s age: 21 years.  Bans published Mar 3, Mar 12, Mar 19.

Marriage Date: 19 Mar 1871, Stieglitz, Marriage of Ludwig Gustav Neumann with Antonie Winkelmann.  Age of groom: 22 years.  Age of bride: 20 years.  Bans published Jan 29, Feb 2, Feb 12.

Birth Date: 28 Jul 1871, Gross Drensen, Baptism of Gustav Richard on 27 Aug 1871, son of Julius Winkelmann and Louisa née Luiffolz.  Sponsors: Albert Luiffoltz, ?? Kuffa, Friedrika Gaufal.

Birth Date: 11 Oct 1871, Carolina, Baptism of Marie Pauline on 15 Oct 1871, daughter of Wilhelm Prielipp, kolonist, and Friedericke née Winkelmann.  Sponsors: Auguste Ruart & Ferdinand Prielipp.

Birth Date: 25 Oct 1871, Carolina, Baptism of Emil Gustav on 5 Nov 1871, son of Wilhelm Winkelmann, and Emilie née Marquardt.  Sponsors: Wilhelm Wehrmann & Pauline Standt.

Birth Date: 7 Nov 1871, Carolina, Baptism of Julius Ernst on 26 Nov 1871, son of Julius Winkelmann, kolonist, and Wilhelmine née Domke [Dumke].  Sponsors: Miss Bertha Domke [Dumke], Kolonist Eduard Buchholtz, Miss Pauline Winkelmann.

Death Date: 7 Feb 1872, Klein Drensen, Johann Winkelmann, retired [Leibgedinger], aged 83 years, 8 days [b 30 Jan 1789], son of Michael Winkelmann and Anna Marie Jinept?, buried on 21 February.  5th child of Michael and Anna Marie.

Birth Date: 1 Jun 1872, Gross Drensen, Friedrich Hermann, baptized on the 16th of June, son of Johann Winkelmann and Wilhelmine née Steinke, Sponsors: Johann ??, ??, Caroline Steinke.

Death Date: 6 Oct 1872, Klein Drensen, Gottlieb Winkelmann, aged 64 years [b 1808], buried on 8 Oct 1872.  Parents not listed.

Birth Date: 30 Nov 1872, Klein Drensen, Baptism of Wilhelm Friedrich, on 1st Jan 1873, son of Gottlieb Winkelmann and Auguste née Bahr, evangelical religion, Sponsors: Pauline Bahr, Mr. Gustav Bahr, Friedrich Bahr, kokonist.

Marriage Date: 14 Dec 1872, Gross Drensen, The bachelor Michael Friedrich Winkelmann of Klein Drensen, son of the Leibgedinger [retired farmer, usually] Johann Winkelmann of Klein Drensen and Ernestine Winkelmann Kunert née Lindemann from Klein Drensen widow of Wilhelm Hermann Kunert of Klein Drensen.  Groom’s age: 28 years, 8 mos.  Bride’s age: 37 years.  Married in Schönlanke.

Birth Date: 31 Aug 1874, Carolina, Baptism of Gustav Edouard on 7 Sept 1874, son of Julius Winkelmann, kolonist, and Wilhelmine née Dumke.  Sponsors: Miss Johanne Buscholz, Miss Pauline Winkelmann, Mr. Gustav Dumke.

No. 93.  Runau, 18 May 1876.  Appeared in person before the registrar: the “Altsitzer” [retired farmer living on the farm after a change of ownership, e.g. to his son] Johann Dumke, resident in Carolina and indicated that Wilhelmine Winkelmann, née Dumke, evangel. religion, spouse of the kolonist Julius Winkelmann, evang. religion, resident with her husband in Carolina has given birth to a female child at home in Carolina, on May 12th of the year 1876, 4 p.m. The child’s name is Wilhelmine Bertha. The above mentioned Dumke said he was present at birth.  At the bottom a hand-written entry says: Died on 2 Feb 1943, No 217/1943, Schönlanke, Schultz [registrar].

26 Jun 1891, Schönlanke.  The undersigned registrar stated that the known person Johanna Buchholz, née Priebisch, midwife, resident of Schoenlanke, appeared and stated that Alvine Winkelmann, née Krause, wife of Adolf Winkelmann, evangelical religion resident with her husband in Schoenlanke on the 24th June in the year one thousand eight hundred ninety-one gave birth to a son named Richard Max.  Signed and Attested Johanna Buchholz née Priebisth, signed by registrar.

25 Apr 1893, Schönlanke.  The undersigned registrar stated that the known person Johanna Buchholz, née Priebisch, midwife, resident of Schoenlanke, appeared and stated that Alvine Winkelmann, née Krause, wife of Adolf Winkelmann, evangelical religion resident with her husband in Schoenlanke on the 23rd April in the year one thousand eight hundred ninety-three gave birth to a son named Fritz Erich.  Signed and Attested Johanna Buchholz née Priebisth, signed by registrar.

6 Jan 1894, Stieglitz.  Emma Winkelmann née Warnke resident of Stieglitz reports the death of her husband the gastwirt Ludwig Winkelmann, 40 years 1 month old, evangelical religion, resident of Stieglitz, born in Stieglitz, Kreis Czarnikau, on 1 November 1853. Son of August Winkelman and Wilhelmine née Steinke, both of Stieglitz, on the 5th of January, 1894.  Attested and signed, Emma Winkelmann. Schultz, registrar.

30 Aug 1898, Schoenlanke.  The undersigned registrar stated that the known person Veronika Lemke, née Garek, midwife, resident of Schoenlanke, appeared and stated that Therese Winkelmann, née Zarbock, wife of the carpenter Gustav Winkelmann, evangelical religion, resident with her husband in Schoenlanke on the 27th August in the year one thousand eight hundred ninety-eight gave birth to a son named Ernst Julius.  Signed and Attested Veronika Lemke, signed by registrar.

14 Aug 1899, Schoenlanke.  The undersigned registrar stated that the known person Johanna Buchholz, née Priebisch, midwife, resident of Schoenlanke, appeared and stated that Therese Winkelmann, née Zarbock, wife of the carpenter Gustav Winkelmann, evangelical religion, resident with her husband in Schoenlanke on the 8th August in the year one thousand eight hundred ninety-nine gave birth to a daughter named Frieda Elizabeth.  Signed and Attested Johanna Buchholz née Priebisch, signed by registrar.

12 Mar 1900, Schoenlanke.  Before the undersigned registrar published today the known personage the district midwife [Bezirkshebamme] Anna Quast née Breitkreutz resident of the city of Schoenlanke [Stadt Schönlanke] ____ religion, appeared and indicated that the Bertha Warnke née Winkelmann wife of the lumberjack [Holzarbeiter] Carl Warnke, both of evangelical religion, resident of Schoenlanke, gave birth in her residence in on the 12th of March in the year one thousand nine hundred at 2:00 am to a female child who was given the name Emma Erna Frieda.  Signed and attested by Anna Quast and the registrar.  [Written in lower left] “H.  geheiratet  Nr. 1088 / 34  Berlin Neukölln 1”, perhaps indicating that Emma married in Berlin Neukölln in 1934?

20 Nov 1900, Schoenlanke.  The undersigned registrar stated that the known person Johanna Buchholz, née Priebisch, midwife, resident of Schoenlanke, appeared and stated that Therese Winkelmann, née Zarbock, wife of the carpenter Gustav Winkelmann, evangelical religion, resident with her husband in Schoenlanke on the 14th November in the year one thousand nine hundred gave birth to a daughter named Johanna Meta Emma.  Ms. Buchholz stated that she was with Mrs. Winkelmann for the birth.  Signed and Attested Johanna Buchholz née Priebisch, signed by registrar.  [At the bottom right is written: H:  Eine Tochter geb.  Nr. 1757  1920  Berlin 9  H:  Tochter geh.  Nr. 4753 / 39  Berlin,  Horst Wessel (?)]  “A daughter born #1757 in 1920 in Berlin.  Daughter married #4753/39 in Berlin, Horst Wessel”.


A Remarkable Baptism Record

I was very excited to receive this document from my Polish contact, Marlena.  It shows the birth of my great-great grand-aunt Antonie Schmidt in the town of Karolina, Posen, Prussia.  [Click to enlarge or download]:

Baptism Record, Karolina, Posen, Prussia, 1872

Baptism Record, Karolina, Posen, Prussia, 1872

Translation:

31 Aug 1872, birth of Antonie Wilhelmine, baptized on 8 Sept 1872, daughter of Friedrich Schmidt, kolonist, and Wilhelmine née Winkelmann.  Sponsors: Miss Pauline Winkelmann, Mrs. Wilhelmine Winkelmann, Mr. Gustav Elftmann.

[The “Miss Pauline Winkelmann” mentioned as a sponsor was my 3x great-grandmother’s sister Marie Pauline Winklemann, b 6 Apr 1855.  The Mrs. Wilhelmine Winkelmann is likely my 3x great-grandmother’s sister-in-law, Wilhelmine Dumke (1843-1929) who married her brother Christian Friedrich Julius “Julius” Winkelmann.]

What I didn’t notice at first was that two lines above that is an entry for a child born to Wilhelmine Winkelmann’s brother Franz Winkelmann:

17 Aug 1872, birth of Auguste Marie Louise, baptized on 8 Sept 1872, daughter of Franz Winkelmann, kolonist, and Bertha née Ohst.  Sponsors: Miss Emilie Ohst, Miss Auguste Pompton, Miss Auguste Elftmann.

Auguste Marie Louise Winkelmann and Antonie Schmidt were first cousins and were baptized together.  Mr. Elftmann was a sponsor of Antoine, Miss Elftmann was a sponsor of Auguste Marie [siblings?].  This indicates that the two families had friends in common, etc.  I think this shows how close my family was with the family of my cousin Doris Winkelmann Sonntag, who is a descendant of Franz Winkelmann and Bertha Ohst.  The “Miss Emilie Ohst” listed on the second record is very likely from her family also.


Helene Kamrath & Johann Tisch

My great-great grand aunt Helene Johanna Kamrath was born on 29 Jul 1866 near the city of Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia.

Courtesy of Kacie Carr.

Helene Johanna Kamrath.  Courtesy of Kacie Carr.

She was the third child of my 3x great-grandfather Carl Kamrath (1831-1900) and the first child Carl had with his second wife Auguste Henriette Sense (1841 – 1892).  She completed an 8th grade education in Prussia, then when she was seventeen years old Helene came to the US aboard the “SS Bohemia” with her 15-year-old sister Anne.  They left from the port of Hamburg, Germany on 14 October 1883 and arrived in New York harbor on 29 October 1883.

Their older sister Auguste had come to America before the two girls, and probably arrived early in 1883 since Auguste married her first husband Simon Wimmer in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin in June of 1883.  In May of 1885 the rest of the Kamrath family came to Wisconsin to join the three sisters in the US.  They arrived on the “SS Hammonia”.

Helene married Johann Tisch (1858 – 1930) on 2 November 1888 in Marathon County, Wisconsin and they settled in the town of Wein in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Wedding Portrait courtesy of Kacie Carr.

Wedding Portrait courtesy of Kacie Carr.

In the 1900 Census for Wein, Johann is listed as a day laborer and Helene is listed as a cook in a lumber company boarding house.  She is also listed as the mother of five children, three of whom are alive.

1900 Census for Wein, Marathon, Wisconsin

1900 Census for Wein, Marathon, Wisconsin

Apart from the two children who died in infancy, the Tisches had six children: Arnold Carl Herman Tisch (1889 – 1919), Alfred Heinrich F Tisch (1892 – 1988), Edwin A Carl Tisch (1897 – 1978), Alexander Johann Tisch (1901 – 1983), Ira Edwin Tisch (1901 – 1995), and Amy E Tisch (1904 – 1981).

According to her obituary, the Tisch family moved from Wein, Wisconsin to the town of Roy in Pierce County, Washington that same year of 1900.  Many Prussian immigrants from Wisconsin who had been working directly or indirectly in the logging and timber industry moved out to Washington state when the forests of Northern Wisconsin began to be depleted.  Virgin timber stands in Washington meant new job opportunities for those with experience in the industry.

Courtesy of Kacie Carr.

Johann Tisch.  Courtesy of Kacie Carr.

Once they got to Washington, however, the family seems to have settled into farming.  In the 1910 census for Tanwax Precinct [Roy], Washington, Johann is listed as a farmer, and his wife and three oldest children are also listed as working on the family farm.  This remained the case, more or less, for the 1920 census for Lacamas Precinct [Roy], Washington.

Helene’s sister Auguste had moved to Roy in 1890 and in the 1920 census the two families appear on the same page of the report, so it’s probable that Helene wanting to be near her sister was a factor in the Tisch family decision to move to Washington state.

In 1926 the family moved to nearby Pullyup where Johann continued to farm until his death on 26 October 1930 at the age of 72.  He was buried in the Roy Cemetery.

Johann Tisch Gravestone

Johann Tisch Gravestone

In the 1940 census, Helene is living alone at 1105 9th Avenue in Puyallup, Washington.

Helene died of liver cancer 11 years later on 26 November 1941 at the home of her son Edwin.

Tacoma News Tribune, November 8, 1941, page 26

Tacoma News Tribune, November 8, 1941, page 26

She was buried next to her husband in the Roy Cemetery.

Helene Kamrath Tisch Grave

Helene Kamrath Tisch Grave


Schulz Family Records from Posen, Prussia

Fred Buck is a family researcher who’s an expert on parish records from Posen, Prussia.  We have been in touch because he’s a descendant of a line of the Zierke family that lived in Posen which spelled the name “Zirk”.  [There are actually at least a half-dozen spellings of the name, which makes research challenging.]

He sent me an email last week saying he was going to be checking the parish records for Jankendorf, and I told him that my Schulz family was from there.  [Wilhelmine Schulz married Friedrich Zierke.  They were my 3x great-grandparents.  Her brother Martin Schulz lived in Green Lake, Wisconsin then moved to Minnesota.]  Fred said he’d take a look for my family in the parish records.  Last night I got an email that he’d been quite successful.

First of all he found the marriage record for Wilhelmine Schulz’s parents, my 4x great-grandparents:

19 March 1840  The widower, Martin Schulz, innkeeper (Krüger) 
and farmer (Akkerwirth) in Podstolitz was married to the 
young woman Anna Christina Kühl, only daughter of the 
deceased Viceri (?) Christoph Kühl and his wife 
Marianna nee Radke in the church in Podstolitz.  
At the time of their marriage, Martin Schulz was 49 years 
old and Anna Christina Kühl was 25 years old.

This gives us the birth years for Martin (1791) and his wife Anna Christina (1815) as well as the names of two of my 5x great-grandparents, Christoph Kühl and Marianna Radke.

And the following confirmation records:

Confirmation, 12 Mar 1831, from Podstolitz, Henriette 
Schulz, age 14 years, 2 months, daughter of Martin 
Schulz, Schänker (innkeeper?) and Maria Elisabeth nee Schlinke

Confirmation, 2 Dec 1832, from Podstolitz, Caroline Schulz, 
age 13 years, 10 months, daughter of Martin Schulz, 
Krügbesitzer, (= Inn owner) and Maria Elisabeth nee Schlink

Confirmation, 10 Jul 1836, from Podstolitz, Johann 
Gottlieb Schulz, age 14 years, 8 months, son of Martin 
Schulz, Krüger (Innkeeper) and Elisabeth nee Schlink

Confirmation, 1855, Martin Schulz, born 10 Feb 1841.

Confirmation, August Fr. W. Schulz, 1858, born 6 Jun 1844.

So we have one new brother, two new half-sisters, and a new half-brother for my 3x great-grandmother Wilhelmine Schulz, as well as a first wife for my 4x great-grandfather Martin Schulz.

These baptism records were located:

Podstolitz, Martin Schulz was born on 10 Feb 1841 at 7 o'clock 
in the morning.  He was baptized on 21 Feb 1841.  Godparents were 
Michael Prechel, Jggs. (Junggeselle = bachelor), Gottlieb 
Fenski, Jggs., Wilhelmine Fenski, Jgfr (Jungfrau = unmarried woman).

Podstolitz, August Friedrich Wilhelm Schulz was born on 6 Jun 1844 at 
8 o'clock in the morning.  He was baptized on 30 Jun 1844.  Godparents 
were Gottlieb Tonn, Stellmacher (wheelwright), Johann Gottlieb 
Hinkelmann, Stellcher (something to do with wheels?), and Anna Justine 
Pasher, Jgfr.

Podstolitz, Anna Wilhelmina Schulz was born on 23 Nov 1846 
and baptized on 20 Dec 1846.  Godparents were August 
Manske, Jggs., A. Christine Fritz, Ehefr. (Ehefrau = married woman),
Adolph Kelm, Jäger (= hunter), Joh. Daniel Prechel, Jggs., Henriette
Schriehl, Jgfr.

He also found the following death records:

Anna Maria Elisabeth nee Schlink [Martin Schulz's first wife]
died in Podstolitz on 4 May 1839 due to chest congestion 
(Husten). She was 41 years old and was survived by two
daughters and one son.

Johann Gottlieb Schulz, died in Podstolitz on 12 Dec 1844 
at the age of 23 years from pneumonia.

Friedrich Wilhelm August Schulz, son of Martin Schulz and 
Anna Christina Kühl.  Died on 30 Nov 1863 at the age of 
19 years and 5 months, of Nervenfieber (typhus).

We now know that the family didn’t actually live in Jankendorf, but rather in the nearby town of Podstolitz [it is called Podstolice, Poland today].  You can see it in this map.  What is very interesting to me is that you can see how close Podstolitz is to Siebenschlößchen, which is the town where the Princeton Zierke family came from.  It’s less than 4 miles away.  One more piece of evidence that the Princeton Zierke family and my own Zierke family are likely related.

Map of Posen, Prussia showing Podstolitz.

Map of Posen, Prussia showing Podstolitz.


Kamrath Immigrant Obituaries

I wanted to collect all the obituaries for the Kamrath family in one place.  Unfortunately the Wausau paper started publication in 1907, so several of the members won’t have obituaries for this reason.

Carl Kamrath (1831-1900), married Auguste Henriette Sense [2nd wife]:

None. [Death prior to 1907]

Auguste Henriette Sense Kamrath (1841-1892), married Carl Kamrath:

None. [Death prior to 1907]

Auguste V Kamrath (1858-1940), married Simon Wimmer and Anton Otremba:

Auguste Kamrath Obit, 1940

Auguste Kamrath Obit, 1940

Bertha Auguste Wilhelmine Kamrath (1864-1928), married Heinrich Krueger:

Bertha Kamrath Obit, 1928

Bertha Kamrath Obit, 1928

Helene Johanna Kamrath (1866-1941), married Johann Tisch:

Helene Kamrath Obit, 1941

Helene Kamrath Obit, 1941

Anne T Kamrath (1868-1943), married William Petri:

[Note: Anne was not born in Wausau, as the obit states, but as we were deep in the middle of WWII against Germany, it is perhaps understandable not wanting to point out that the family had roots in Germany.]

Anna Kamrath Obit, 1943

Anna Kamrath Obit, 1943

Emma A Kamrath (1870-1951), married August Oelke:

Emma Kamrath Obit, 1951

Emma Kamrath Obit, 1951

Carl Kamrath (1875-1898), never married:

Carl Kamrath Death Notice

Carl Kamrath Death Notice

Mathilda Ida Auguste Kamrath (1878-1944), married William Synnott:

Ida Kamrath Obit, 1944

Ida Kamrath Obit, 1944


Wilhelm Schmidt and the Orchard Booby Trap – Part II

I was recently able to locate the information needed to confirm the truth of an old family legend: the case of our grandfather Wilhlem Schmidt and the Orchard Booby Trap.  This case went all the way to the State Supreme Court and eventually to the Governor of the State of Wisconsin.  In a strange coincidence, about one week from the writing of this blog will be the 100th anniversary of these events taking place.

Wilhelm Schmidt in his Saloon, 1908

Wilhelm Schmidt in his Saloon, 1908

On August 4th 1913, Wilhelm Schmidt visited his apple orchard and realized that the apples from two of his early trees had been stolen.  He had his son Albert post the orchard with placards stating “No Trespassing”, and also put up signs saying that the apples had been poisoned in an attempt to keep thieves out [they had not been poisoned].  About two weeks later he returned to his orchard and found that more of his apples had been stolen.  He was, by his own admission, very angry about this.  He went home and procured an old Army musket and set it up with a trip wire near a downed portion of the fence surrounding the orchard.

The mechanism of this trap was described in the court notes:

“The evidence shows that the defendant affixed a gun to stakes in his orchard loaded with powder and No. 3 shot, cocked, with a wire attached to the trigger of the gun, running back over a spool and then extending along in range with the barrel of the gun and for some distance in front of the muzzle and about eight inches from the ground, so that contact with the wire would be likely to discharge the contents of the gun against any person coming in contact with the wire.  The gun was partly concealed where it was set by means of three old wash boilers set up at the sides and above.”

He then went to a farm near the orchard and told this neighbor about the gun in the orchard.  He told the neighbor to inform anyone in the area to avoid the orchard because it was dangerous.  He then went to the saloon he co-owned at the time and told the patrons he had set a gun in his orchard and that they should tell everyone to keep away.

Wilhelm later testified that the shotgun was set up merely to scare any potential apple thieves out of the orchard, not to kill anyone.  This claim is reinforced by the fact that the gun was set to fire into the ground, that he had posted signs that the orchard was dangerous, and that he had warned neighbors and other community members about the gun in an attempt to keep people from going in the orchard.

Photo of Schmidt family taken the same summer as the shooting happened.  Summer, 1913.

Photo of Schmidt family taken the same era the shooting happened. Summer, 1913.  Wilhelm is second from right with the mustache.

On August 24th, 1913, about noon, a 17-year-old named George Kramer (b Mar 1896 in Illinois), who also lived in Weston, Wisconsin, was riding past the Schmidt family property with a younger brother and two other friends, Otto Habeck and Anton Kulpinski.  [Note: Anton Kulpinski’s son Edwin actually married Helen Schmidt, who was Wilhelm Schmidt’s grand-daughter.]

George Kramer, about 1912

George Kramer, about 1908

The boys stopped their bicycles and went into the Schmidt family orchard to take apples from the ground under the trees there.  While he was picking up apples, George saw the trip wire and lifted it up.  This pulled the wire which was connected to the trigger:

“[He] received a large share of the contents of said loaded gun in his left thigh between the knee and the hip and in his left arm, above and below the elbow, and thereby he was seriously wounded…”

I spoke with George’s nephew Alvin Kramer who had some additional details:

“He was picking up apples when he saw a wire running along the ground.  He thought he could take the wire with him and use it to snare rabbits or whatever.  It looked like snare wire.  So he grabbed it and that’s when the gun went off.”

Evidence presented in the trial strongly suggests that the gun was set up to wound, not to kill.  I think the reason George was so badly hurt was that he crouched down to pick up the wire, putting himself directly into the blast that would normally have just struck his lower legs if he’d tripped over the wire as intended.  Instead, he received the full blast in his arm, hip, and thigh.  George was gravely injured by the shotgun blast.  The papers reported that “[his] arm was paralyzed and the hip shattered to such an extent [that] grave doubts of his recovery are entertained.”

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 30 Aug 1913

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 30 Aug 1913

George was taken to Wausau Hospital where he was treated and eventually released to go home.  William was charged with “malicious shooting” and freed on bail pending George’s recovery from his wounds.  Unfortunately, two-and-a-half months later on November 4th, George died.

La Crosse Tribune, 6 Nov 1913

La Crosse Tribune, 6 Nov 1913

A coroner’s inquest was held to determine if George had died from the shooting wounds or from something else.

Janesville Daily Gazette, 5 Nov 1913

Janesville Daily Gazette, 5 Nov 1913

It was determined that he had died from complications from the shooting.  Specifically, some shot had been missed and had likely carried bits of George’s clothing inside his body where it became infected.  This infection spread to his blood [sepsis], which eventually caused his death despite last-minute surgery to try to save him.

George’s body was returned home to his family and after a funeral ceremony he was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau in Plot 20.

George Kramer's Grave at Pine Grove Cemetery

George Kramer’s Grave at Pine Grove Cemetery

Following the death, William was brought into court.  His “malicious shooting” charge was dropped and he was immediately charged with 1st degree murder on the spot.

Grand Rapids Tribune, 26 Nov 1913

Grand Rapids Tribune, 26 Nov 1913

The trial took place in late February of 1914.  Scans of the actual articles concerning the trial itself can be found in this blog.  William was represented by the law firm of [Neal] Brown, [Louis A.] Pradt, and [Frederick W.] Genrich.  [Trivia: Louis Pradt went on to become an assistant-attorney general of the United States under president McKinley.]  The jury was instructed to decide between first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or second-degree manslaughter.

William’s lawyers argued that he had set the gun only with the intent of scaring the boys out of his orchard, not to harm anyone.  They also argued that, since George died 2.5 months after the shooting and he had been treated and released by the General Hospital, medical malpractice of some kind had been the main reason he died.

The prosecuting attorneys argued that William had shown “malice, deliberation, depravity of mind evincing disregard for human life, and intent to injure whoever would enter the orchard for the purpose of stealing apples.”

On the 28th of February Wilhelm was convicted by the jury of second degree murder and was sentenced to 14 years in the state prison.

Grand Rapids Tribune, 4 Mar 1914

Grand Rapids Tribune, 4 Mar 1914

He arrived in Waupun Prison just five days later on the 5th of March, 1914.  He turned over his wedding ring as his only possession, and began his sentence.

Postcard of Waupun State Prison c 1915, around the time that Wilhelm Schmidt was a prisoner there.

Postcard of Waupun State Prison c 1915, around the time that Wilhelm Schmidt was a prisoner there.

Just after the trial one of the jurors received a threatening letter “in poor German handwriting” demanding that Wilhelm be set free or the juror would have his store “blown up”:

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 13 Mar 1914

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 13 Mar 1914

There was a motion for a new trial that was denied in March of 1914.  An appeal was then filed stating that the trial should be overturned because of procedural errors, but the State Supreme Court found, in November of 1914 (Schmidt vs State, 159 Wis. 15),  that no errors had been made.  The sentence was upheld by majority opinion.

Justice J. Timlin, writing the dissenting opinion, argued that the statute against such “set guns” (sec. 4394) could be interpreted to apply to the Schmidt case since it had been set to protect crops.  If what William had done was covered under that statute then William should receive a sentence for second-degree manslaughter, not murder.  He also was uncomfortable with the directions given to the jury noting that the jury were essentially directed to find William guilty.  The majority found that the statute did not apply, that the jury instructions were not improper, and that the stronger sentence was appropriate.  [Trivia: The case is considered significant because it set a precedent for the legal definition of the phrase “or any other purpose”.]

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 21 Nov 1914

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 21 Nov 1914

A motion was made in October of 1915 asking that William be pardoned by governor Emanuel L. Philipp.

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 14 Oct 1915

Stevens Point Daily Journal, 14 Oct 1915

Governor Emanuel Philipp

Governor Emanuel Philipp

The result of this motion was recorded in the Proceedings of the Wisconsin State Legislature for 1917:

“William Schmidt – Convicted before the circuit court for Marathon county, on the twenty-eighth day of February, 1914, of the crime of murder in the second degree and sentenced to the Wisconsin state prison for the term of fourteen years.  On October 14, 1915, sentence was commuted to ten years, for the reason that it was proven that Schmidt had no intention of committing a crime.  He was charged with having set a set gun in his orchard for the protection of his fruit.  On December 14, 1916, the case was reopened and a further commutation to nine years was granted, for the reason that physical condition of Schmidt is in such a condition as to demand medical attention.  This commutation makes him eligible for parole in the near future.”

Wilhelm was eventually paroled on the 2nd of June, 1919, almost five and a half years after he was imprisoned.  His final release was effected on July 22nd, 1919.  He was finally able to return home to his wife and four sons and try to resume his life.

Waupun Prison Record, p1

Waupun Prison Record, p1

Waupun Prison Record, p2

Waupun Prison Record, p2

I was shocked to discover that this family legend was true, especially since the details as passed down to me by my grandmother were almost 100% accurate.  I had a difficult time processing all the events, thinking about how hard it would have been for my family living in such a small town.  All the whispers and gossip, and the things people would have said and thought about my grandfather being imprisoned for the murder of a local boy that everyone probably knew.  It must have been incredibly hard on all of the Schmidts who were alive at that point.  In fact, I feel this explains a lot of things about how my family acted and how “insular” they were in their living situation.  I think they circled the wagons and moved on as best they could from that point on.

It had to have been tragic for such a small community to deal with the death of a 17-year-old boy who died because he wanted an apple during a bike ride.  It must have seemed so senseless and unnecessary.  I’m sure his family was devastated.  I’m sure the Schmidts were also.  George’s nephew told me:

“George’s mother kept the pants he was wearing the day of the accident.  They were wool pants and they had these holes in them… bullet holes… holes from the… I guess it was buckshot.  You could see the holes from his hip down the leg.  When she died, my grandmother gave my mother those pants.  My mother didn’t like the idea of keeping them around, so she burned them.”

The incident was also, obviously, very hard on my great-great-grandfather.  I can’t pretend to know what his thoughts were, but I have a hard time believing that he imagined that a 17-year old boy would be killed by his contraption.  As a result, he had to go to Waupun for several years in a time when things were probably pretty grim there.  Clearly his health declined since his sentence was commuted to allow him to get medical treatment.  He died in 1925 from stomach cancer at the age of only 62.  The incident, trial, and prison sentence became only a whispered rumor that not everyone in my family had even known about.

Setting aside my personal feelings, as a genealogist I see a wealth of paths forward here to find even more information about Wilhelm Schmidt.  I’m hoping to find more information from the court system, and potentially find notes from his lawyer which might have statements from Wilhelm himself.