It had been a while since I checked Ancestry’s DNA page for matches, and a new match had popped up for my mother. This person’s tree showed the family name “Schmidt”, and showed an “Emily Schmidt” who lived in Minnesota. This was not someone in my family tree. I did some digging around and found that her parents were Wilhelm Ludwig Schmidt and his wife Sophie Pauline Haberman. On one or two trees they were listed as being from Mecklenberg, Germany, which was not anywhere near where my family was from. People are often wrong about origins in Prussia, however, so I decided to dig deeper and see if they could have come from the same region as my Schmidt family did.
On the Poznan Project website, I was able to find the marriage record for Wilhelm Schmidt and Sophie Haberman, and it confirmed my suspicions that they were from the same town as my family:
In Carolina, 18 Sept 1864, the marriage of the journeyman carpenter Wilhelm Schmidt, unmarried, from Carolina, age 32, son of the deceased farm-owner(?) Christian Ludwig Schmidt and Miss Sophie Habermann, age 24, daughter of the Kolonist Christoph Habermann, her mother gave permission for the marriage. Marriage bans published on August 28, Sept 4, Sept 11. Recorded in Schönlanke.
So, the groom, Wilhelm Ludwig Schmidt, was the brother of Carl Friedrich Schmidt, my 3x-great-grandfather, and he lived in the town of Karolina (Rychlik, Poland today) in the Posen province of Prussia at the same time my Schmidt family did.
Wilhelm Ludwig Schmidt was born 23 Nov 1832. He was likely the eldest son of Johann Christian Ludwig Schmidt and his, as yet, unknown wife. Wilhelm was married, as we saw above, in the town of Karolina in Posen, Prussia, and he and his wife had two children in Prussia: a daughter Ottilie Auguste Schmidt, born in Jun 1866, and a second daughter Auguste Schmidt born the next year on 28 Oct 1867. Wilhelm’s wife Sophie was 8 months pregnant when they undertook the voyage to America, leaving the port of Hamburg, Germany in early April 1869 aboard the Norddeutscher Lloyd Line steamship “SS America”, and arriving in New York harbor on 16 Apr 1869.
Wilhelm, Sophie, and their two daughter are shown on the New York passenger list. Wilhelm is listed as a “Carpenter”, the same as his marriage record, and from the town of “Carolina”, which was an accepted alternate spelling of the town.
The family settled in Newton Township in Marquette County, Wisconsin, where, a little over five weeks after arriving in America, Sophie gave birth to a son, Friedrich Richard Schmidt, on 25 May 1869. Other children followed in the next 11 years. Wilhelm, Sophie and eight children (Ottilie, Auguste, Richard, Alvine, Amelie, Hulda, Ida, and Bertha) are enumerated in the 1880 census for Newton where Wilhelm is listed as a farmer, not as a carpenter.
In the 1900 Census Sophie says she is the mother of ten children, seven of which are living, but in the 1910 Census she says she is the mother of nine children, three of which are living. She seems to have not counted her son Rudolph Schmidt (who lived only two months) in the second census. Her children were:
Ottilie Auguste Schmidt, born 19 Jun 1866 in Karolina, Prussia, married Theodore Friedrich Stroschein, had at least six children, and died 18 Nov 1904 in Wood Lake, Minnesota.
Auguste Amelie Schmidt, born 28 Oct 1867 in Karolina, Prussia. She was on the ship with her parents for the trip to America, and in the 1880 Census. She married Adolphus William Williams (1860-1947), a railroad freight clerk, in Butte, Montana on 14 May 1898. They never had any children. She and Adolpus moved to San Diego, California and from there to Los Angeles, where Adolph worked as a warehouse manager. She died in Los Angeles on 1 Dec 1957.
Friedrich Richard Schmidt, born 25 May 1869, just after the family’s arrival in the US. Married 1st Wilhelmine Marquardt, then Bertha Marie Friedricke Krause, and had at least nine children between the two wives. He died 12 Oct 1948 in Wood Lake, Minnesota.
Alvine Sophie Schmidt, born 8 Jan 1873. Married George W. Sharp, and had at least four daughters with him. Moved with her husband and children to Ludington, Michigan where she died on 15 May 1966.
Amalie Bertha Schmidt, born 27 Oct 1874. Married Hermann Abraham, and had at least three children with him. She died 19 Oct 1902 in Wood Lake, Minnesota at the age of 27.
Rudolph Schmidt, born 28 Jan 1875 and died 1 Apr 1875 in Newton, Marquette Wisconsin.
Hulda Emma Schmidt, born 15 Jun 1876. She is in the 1880 Census with the family. She died in Wood Lake, Minnesota on 21 Jan 1898 at the age of 21.
Ida Olga Schmidt, born 18 Apr 1878. She is in the 1880 and 1900 Census with the family. She married Dan McGuire and had two children with him. She died in Crookston, Minnesota on 3 Oct 1907. Her children went to live with the family of her sister Auguste in California after her death.
Bertha Olga Aurora Schmidt, born 8 Dec 1879 in Newton, Marquette, Wisconsin. She married Theodore Abraham in Wood Lake, Minnesota, and died in that same town on 14 Dec 1904 at the age of 25. They had no children.
Wilhelm Emil Schmidt, born 7 Dec 1883 and died shortly afterward on 30 Mar 1885.
In the 1900 Census, the family had moved to Wood Lake in Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota, where (mostly) they would remain. Wilhelm is again listed as a farmer, and it is just himself, Sophie, and children Richard and Ida living with them. In the 1910 Census for Wood Lake, Wilhelm seems to be retired. He is living on his “own income”. Only Sophie is listed with him, and they are said to have only three living children. Those would have been Alvine, Richard, and Auguste.
Wilhelm died on 17 Feb 1912 in Wood Lake at the age of 79. Sophie died only a couple weeks later on 7 Apr 1912. Both are buried at Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Wood Lake, Minnesota.