Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. My apologies for the exposition explaining how I found this record, but it was a pretty thrilling ride, so I wanted to make note of it.
Recently I’ve been spending many long nights going through parish records of Kreis [county] Naugard in Pommern [Pomerania], Prussia, page-by-page, looking for my Kamrath family. I have found a lot of Kamrath records, but not my specific family.
After checking about 80% of the available parishes, I was beginning to get disheartened. Then a fairly random event sparked my interest in checking the parish books for nearby Kreis Regenwalde. Regenwalde is the town where my grandfather was convinced his Krueger family came from. As I’ve said before, I have no idea why he thought they were from Regenwalde, because all the evidence I’ve found points more to the northwest for the Krueger family, in Kreis Cammin. Nevertheless, it seemed like a manageable task to “spot-check” the Regenwalde parish books.
What I do is pick the birth-date of a family member I know (in this case Heinrich Krueger who was born 31 Dec 1857), and check the parish records for that birth. If it’s not there, I look around and note if the family name is found at all. If it is, I make note of that. Repeat for each book.
I was on the second or third parish book… for the parish of Plathe, which is a fairly large town near Regenwalde. You can see them on this map:
So I was going through the “church book” (kirchenbuch, in German) looking for the birth record of Heinrich Krueger. I started in 1856 just to get the lay of the land and see what families were in that town. I did see some Krueger (Krüger) records, which was promising. Then, on page 523, in the marriages for 1857, I saw a familiar name: Kamrath.
[Click to enlarge or download image.]
It struck me as odd, because I had not seen any other Kamrath records in the book at all. The groom’s name was Carl Friedrich Ferdinand Kamrath. “Carl Kamrath was the name of my great-great-grandmother’s father!”, I thought. I took a closer look. The groom’s age was given as 26 years. That meant this Carl Kamrath was born in 1831. I flipped to Ancestry to check my 3x great-grandfather’s birth date. 6 March… 1831. A match.
This marriage was in 1857. When was the first child of my Kamrath family born? I checked the date. Auguste Kamrath was born in 1858. Wow. Ok. Another match.
Carl Kamrath’s first wife’s name was listed on the marriage record of Heinrich Krueger and Bertha Kamrath as “Henriette Prinow”. The bride’s name on this record was listed as “Wilhelmine Henriette Sophie Prilbernow”. There was Henriette, and Prilbernow versus Prinow? That makes sense too. I’ve never seen a single record in the tens of thousands of Prussian records I’ve checked that was “Prinow”. I had a theory that the name might have actually been Pinnow, which is a name that you see occasionally. But Prilbernow. That’s a tough name and I could see how someone might have written it down incorrectly.
I looked closer and noted that Henriette’s father’s name was given. Erdman Friedrich Pilbernow, a tagelöhner [day-laborer] from the town of Meesow. The name of the town rang a bell. I checked my map.
On the passenger sheet for the Kamrath family coming to America they listed their town of residence as “Roggow, Pommern”. The problem was that there are three different Roggow’s in Pomerania. I didn’t know which was theirs. But then I checked the map for Meesow and saw it was only about 2.5 miles from Roggow.
I knew I had a hit. That was five pieces of matching information in this single record, which is pretty convincing.
It seems to me that the couple were married in Plathe in 1857, and then ended up outside Roggow by 1885, near Henriette’s home town. This is what happened to my Schmidt family also.
There is still a lot of work to do. There should be birth records for their children and a death record for Henriette around 1864. Carl Kamrath married his second wife Henriette Sense around that time. But this is a very exciting development for me and my family. I am feeling confident that we finally know where our Kamrath family came from!
Here is the full translation from my awesome German pal Jörg:
Carl Friedrich Ferdinand Kamrath, “Stellmacher” [cartwright or wagon-maker], age 26 [b 1831], from “Vorwerk Plathe” [A Vorwerk is a homestead outside a town, so basically this means he lived on the outskirts of Plathe.] married Wilhelmine Henriette Sophie Prilbernow, age 23 [b 1834]. Her father was Erdmann Friedrich Prilbernow, a tagelöhner [day-laborer] from Meesow. The marriage took place on 20 Mar 1857.