Category Archives: Schulz DNA Testing

For Christmas this year, I decided that I wanted to get my mother and father DNA-tested through  While it’s true that my family tree is extremely well-elucidated and researched, there are still pockets where certain things are unclear.  For example, I only know back to my 3x great-grandparents on my Krueger side (due to records from Pomerania being difficult to find and the common nature of the family name), so if we matched someone in the world who had Krueger ancestors it would indicate a link between those families despite the absence of documentation.  Similar situations are present for many of the Irish lines of my family due to the scarcity of records from Ireland.

So at Christmas this year my mother spit into a test-tube and sent off an envelope to be analyzed.   Yesterday we got the results back.

My mother’s DNA matched at least 20 people “closely” (5th cousins or better).  I’ll have to investigate each one!

It showed that she has 19% DNA from Scandanavia (that would be the Norwegian side, Hanson and Olson), 32% “Europe East”, which would be the Prussian stuff (Krueger, Hoge, Schmidt, Zierke, Schulz, Winkelmann).  Then 38% from “Great Britain”.  I assume this is the Irish from the Mullins, Hammond, and all the British stuff from the Curtis side of my family.  Then there’s 9% of the DNA marked “Other”.

I have no idea how much confidence to give these results.  I know from my research that my mother’s grandparents break down as follows:

Oscar Krueger: 100% Prussian
Edith Curtis: 50% Irish and 50% English
Olga Hanson: 100% Norwegian
Edwin Schmidt: 100% Prussian

So my maternal grandfather was 50% Prussian, 25% Irish, 25% English, and my maternal grandmother was 50% Norwegian and 50% Prussian.  That makes my mother 50% Prussian, 25% Irish/English, and 25% Norwegian.  The DNA results have much more “Great Britain” than predicted.  No idea what that means.

On the Schmidt side of my mother’s family there was a family rumor that someone in the family brought back and married a “Mongolian Princess”.  Interestingly, my mother’s DNA shows 2% of her genetics are from “Asia Central” which is the area around Turkmenistan and Northern Iran.  Very interesting!

Here’s the full breakdown of her results:

Great Britain 38%
Europe East 32%
Scandinavia 19%
Ireland 4%
Europe West 4%
Asia Central 2%
Finland/Northwest Russia 1%

As time goes on and other people are tested, we can see if more matches are found.

FHC Records – Kreis Kolmar

Since four families related to mine lived in Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia, I’m just making note of these available films here:

Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1809-1874

Authors: Evangelische Kirche Kolmar (KrSt. Kolmar) (Main Author)
Format: Manuscript/Manuscript on Film
  • German
  • Polish
Publication: Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981
Physical: auf 7 Mikrofilmrollen ; 35 mm.
Heiraten 1809-1811 — Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1818-1822 Family History Library International Film 807991
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1823-1831 Family History Library International Film 807992
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1832-1845 Family History Library International Film 807993
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1848-1859 Family History Library International Film 807994
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1860-1865 Family History Library International Film 807995
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1866-1871 Family History Library International Film 1201273 Items 30-35
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1872-1874 Family History Library International Film 1201274 Items 1-3

Zierke Origins – New Information

Often the process of going back over records you’ve seen many times can be very fruitful.

Tonight I was looking at the German passenger list for the Zierke family, who came to America from Prussia in 1865 aboard the “Neckar”.  Curiously, a transcription for the town where the family had come from had been added, and it said “Jablonowo”.


One thing I’ve come to learn about the German passenger list transcriptions on Ancestry… they are usually pretty good.  The people who do them seem to be experts in German handwriting of the 19th century, and they are often able to pull out information that would not be apparent to English-speakers.

So I looked up Jablonowo, and almost immediately I saw one entry from Kreis Kolmar.  This was quite interesting to me since the Hadow and Willegal families were from Kreis Kolmar, as was the Schulz family, as was the Zierke family who immigrated to Princeton, Wisconsin.  All four of these families are linked to my Zierke family in some way.  Some circumstantially, others definitively.

This map shows the proximity of the towns where these families came from.  The Hadow/Willegal family is highlighed in yellow.  The Schulz family is highlighted in green.  The Princeton Zierke family is highlighted in blue, and Jablonowo is highlighted in purple.  If Friedrich Zierke did marry Dorothea Hadow as I believe, you can see how close those towns are to each other.  From Usch-Neudorf to Jablonowo is only 3 miles!

Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia

Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia

Detail of the town of Jablonowo

Detail of the town of Jablonowo


Emma Zierke – 1871-1960

Emma A. Zierke (1871-1960), was the younger sister of my great-great-grandmother Ottelia Zierke.  Like all the Zierke children, Emma was born on the Zierke family farm in Harris, Wisconsin.  She was the second of five surviving children of Anna Wilhelmine Schulz and Friedrich Zierke Jr.

I was lucky enough recently to get in touch with Emma’s great-grandson Tim Dittmer, and all the photos listed below are courtesy of him.

Emma Zierke as a younger woman.

Emma Zierke as a younger woman.

Emma married Albert William Barwineck (an immigrant from Pommern, Prussia) in 1893, and they had four children that I know of: Walter, Ella, Albert, and Flora.  The Barwinecks lived in Wood County, Wisconsin for a while before moving to Schofield and Wausau.  While they were in Schofield, Albert worked at the Marathon Paper Mills where my great-grandfather Edwin Schmidt also worked.  Later the Barwineck family moved to Milwaukee, and finally to Marshfield where Emma died in 1960.

Albert Barwineck

Albert Barwineck

This photo shows Emma as an older woman with her grand-daughter Jacquelene Barwineck.  It was taken about 1944.


Emma Zierke & Jacquelene Barwineck c1944

This one shows Emma with her grandchildren Gerald and Jacquelene Barwineck, taken about 1950.


Emma Zierke with grandchildren Gerald and Jacquelene Barwineck. c1950

I didn’t expect to get photos of Emma’s sister (another of my great-great-grand-aunts), Minna Pauline Zierke (1885 – 1970).  But there are two photos of Emma and Minna together. You can definitely tell they are sisters.


Minna Zierke (left) and Emma Zierke. c1955

The other photo of the two sisters.  At first I thought it was some kind of funeral floral arrangement in front of them, but looking closer I think it’s just a flowering plant in a wooden plant stand.


Emma (left) and Minna Zierke c1955

Finally, a real treat, also sent to me by Tim.  This is a photo of my 3x great-grandmother Wilhelmine Schulz.  I have written about her family on this blog many times.  She was born in Podstolitz, Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia and came to the US in 1866.  I had this photo previously, except it was just her face.  This is the full photo, and you can see her in her entirety, which I love.  I especially like the fur rug at her feet.  So random!


Anna Wilhelmine “Minnie” Schulz, c1915.

It makes me realize that somewhere is a matching photo of her husband Fred Zierke, from which the hand-tinted portraits that Gary Zierke owns were made. Hopefully I can find it someday.

More Schulz Family Records from Posen, Prussia

This is just a place for me to throw records from the Schulz family that were found in records from Jankendorf, Posen, Prussia and Podstolitz, Posen, Prussia.  Currently I don’t know how they fit in with my Schulz family, but hopefully someday the connections will be made clear.

Some of these were from this URL: Some were courtesy of Fred Buck, who found them in FHC microfilms.

Schultz, Anna Caroline
Born: 8 Dec 1822
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KB Jankendorf, Taufregister 1822

Schulz, Anna Rosina
Born: 24 Nov 1828
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1828, S. 180/1, Nr. 70.

Schulz, Carl Ludwig
Born: 13 Sep 1827
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1827, S. 168/9, Nr. 53.

Schulz, Carl Ludwig
Born: 25 Okt 1840
Jankendorf, Provinz Posen, Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1840, S. 306, Nr. 79.

Schulz, Emilie
Born: abt 1850
Jankendorf, Provinz Posen, Preussen

Schulz, Ernestine Wilhelmine
Born: 19 Feb 1821
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1821, S. 65/5, Nr. 17

Schulz, Friedrich August
Born: 30 Sep 1845
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1845, S. 396/7, Nr. 75

Schulz, Friedrich Wilhelm
Born: 14 Mar 1830
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1830, S. 196/7, Nr. 13

Schulz, Henriette Juliana
Born: 13 Feb 1843
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen

Schulz, Johann August
Born: 4 Oct 1819
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1819, Nr. 28

Schulz, Johann Gottlieb
Born: 2 Feb 1834
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1834, S. 224/5, Nr. 7

Schulz, Johanna Luise
Born: 21 Jun 1852
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1852, S. 526/7, Nr. 50

Schulz, Michael
Born: 17 Jan 1825
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1825, S. __, Nr. 3.

Marriage date: 16 Jun 1833 Peter Schulz, a 37 year old Wittwer (widower) from Podstolitz, and Marianna Meyer, the 27 year old 4th daughter of the deceased Johann Meyer from Podstolitz.

Schulz, Pauline
Born: 27 Dez 1836
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1836, S. 254/5, Nr. 77

Schulz, Pauline Luise
Born: 2 Sep 1848
Jankendorf,Provinz Posen,Preussen
KiBu Jankendorf, Taufregister 1848, S. 446/7, Nr. 60

Schulz, Johann Ludwig
Born: 9 May 1854
Podstolitz, Posen, Prussia. Son of Christoph Schulz, Akkermann, and Henriette Schmidt. Baptized on 25 May 1854. Godparents were Fried. Hermann Podell, occupation undecipherable, and Justine Krassen, Ehefrau (wife).

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.

Mother’s Day – 2013

For Mother’s Day this year I decided to pay tribute to all the mothers in my Family Tree who contributed to making me who I am.  Of course there are tens or hundreds of thousands of women in my direct line of ancestry, if you go back to the beginning of our species.  My family tree goes back to the 1500’s in some places, to my 11x or 12x great grandparents.  As I’ve said before, that’s about 20,000 grandparents in your entire family tree to that depth.  Obviously there’s no way I can pay meaningful tribute to 10,000 women, so I decided to put together a collection of all the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers that I have photos of in my tree.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Happy Mother’s Day, my beloved ancestors!

The women who made me who I am.

The women who made me who I am.

German Settlers in the Netzekreis District of Prussia

My Schmidt and Winkelmann families settled in the Netzekreis district of Posen, Prussia sometime around 1875 or so, having moved East from the Brandenburg region near the town of Modderpfuhl. I compiled relevant information from various sources into this brief history of the region as it concerned the Kolonists like my family.

The Netze district had been only minimally affected by the first German immigration surge in the 13th century. This early colonization consisted of a few minor settlements near the manor-houses of some German estate-owners.

The second German immigration in the 17th and 18th century, however, included the Netze district to a much larger degree. The region received a great increase in population from immigrants from the west. Many Evangelicals, especially from Silesia, found themselves compelled to immigrate in the course of the Thirty Years War against religious oppression. Polish landlords in the mid 1600’s approved the Evangelical affirmations of their old laws and allowed freedom from taxes for 6 years for all new settlers. An enormous stream of immigrants poured into the south of the province and then gradually filled in areas more toward the north. Most were likely to have come from Lower Silesia, especially since there were many cloth-makers among them. In Silesia at that time cloth-making was in its golden age.

The first establishment was the village of Schönlanke in 1580 (the city arose only later), Lemnitz followed, then Putzig in 1586. The settlers there came mostly from Brandenburg and Pomerania.

The “Kolonists” were for the most part Evangelical. Although the intolerance against the Protestants was rising and the Polish landlords themselves were strict Catholics, they vested in the newcomers free practice of religion when new villages were being founded. In spite of the strong persecution of all Evangelicals beginning after 1717, the German settlement increased during the 18th century.

To draw them to settle on their lands, some estate owners set aside tax-free land for a schoolmaster. Land was also made available for a church and cemetery. Colonists were offered use of the land tax-free for 7 years. Nevertheless, it was not uncommon during the 18th century for Evangelical churches to be burned, robbed, or to have their lands reclaimed by the estate owners. Some estate owners also raised taxes through harsh methods and forced the setters to pay much more in money, labor, grain, and livestock than they had initially been promised.

In addition to the settlement and creation of new villages, there was an influx of Germans into many Polish communities. In certain formerly-Polish villages, the Germans began to constitute a not inconsiderable minority. Nevertheless, no resident Pole would be driven away by the gradual immigration of Germans into Polish villages, as each settlement could only take place with approval of the underlying Polish authority. Generally, the German farmers would only be settled on plots of land that were lying fallow or were left behind by their owners, so this settlement was generally encouraged by the resident Poles.

In the year 1768 the Warsaw treaties granted full religious liberty for Evangelicals. This was the cause for optimism, but residents of the cities reacted with fear. Entire villages were burned, and troops were assembled which robbed and plundered German towns. Evangelicals fled over the border in large numbers. Eventually West Prussia and the Netze district fell to Prussia on 13 September 1772. Money was made available to restore damages from the war. Within a few months many villages in the district had German mayors, and the Evangelical community began to re-establish itself in the parishes near Czarnikau.

The Prussian governmental colonization after 1772 had had only a minimal affect on the region. The majority of the settlers came from the Polish landlords enticing German colonists onto profit-poor estates. They would get settlers to take marsh-meadows overgrown with bush, and turn them into productive farms.

After the Vienna treaty of 9 May 1815 the area was back under Prussian rule after briefly having been under Polish control for about 8 years. There were about 2000 residents of the district at that time, roughly 44% Evangelical, 32% Catholic, and 23% Jewish. The main occupations were farming, lace-making, cloth-making, and yarn twisting.

In 1822 Russia closed its frontiers for imports and exports and the machine age began. This was the beginning of the end for the formerly thriving textile industry, and the next few decades saw a marked decline in the demand for textiles from the Netze region. The cloth-makers guild was dissolved in 1888. In its place more and more craftsmen immigrated to the region: bakers, butchers, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths and merchants arrived during the period from 1815-1850. The population of German settlers climbed.

A railroad station was built to support the industry of the region in 1851, but after that high point the economy stagnated until the “Gründerzeit” (the founder epoch about 1870), when the tobacco and timber industries resurged. Many sawmills, lumber mills, joineries (carpenter shops) were established around this time.

After that, however, the German population declined drastically. Between 1850-1895 many Germans left to come to North America where cheap land and greater opportunity awaited them.

Distilled from: and other sources.

FHC Files on Schulz/Schmidt/Winkelmann

Just a reminder to myself that the FHC has the following records on the Schulz home town of Jankendorf, Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia:

Note Location Film/DGS
Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1781-1793 Taufen 1816-1908 Family History Library INTL Film 1194720 Items 2-4
Taufen 1908 Heiraten 1816-1941 Tote 1816-1852 Family History Library INTL Film 1194721
Tote 1852-1866 Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1781-1815 Family History Library INTL Film 1194733 Items 1-2

Germany, Preußen, Brandenburg, Friedeberg – Church records
Poland, Zielona Góra, Strzelce Krajeńskie – Church records

Film Notes
Note Location Film/DGS
Militärgemeinde: Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1869-1874 Family History Library INTL Film 172439

“Kolonists” in Eastern Prussia

I received an email from the man I use for translation of historic German documents.  His name is Klaus and he lives in Florida.  In the most recent document, Auguste Bertha Schmidt’s birth record, I noted that her father Friedrich Schmidt was listed as a “Kolonist”.  I asked Klaus about these people who were sent to “Germanize” the eastern parts of Prussia, and this is what he wrote:

Not being a historian, I can only offer you a bit of the things I remember from listening to and overhearing my Grandmother (the mother of my stepmother) Emma Kopischke.

My Grandfather was a teacher, and the Kopischke’s had been lured (I do not know by which administration) to move into the Eastern Territory as part of the “Germanisation Effort” program of the Prussian State.  I believe the intent was to take German culture and preciseness there, to exploit the vast farmland areas and to provide the “homeland” with agricultural products.

Grandfather taught mainly the children of settlers (“Kolonists”).  From Grandmother I remember remarks about the Polish field hands and house helpers to be mainly negative or derogatory.  From her occasional talks I formed a picture of Wanda, the house maid (probably a kind of servant) as being lazy, dumb, uneducated and primitive.  She and other Poles had to constantly be watched or they would steal your shirt off your back.  Things like that.  I do not remember ever hearing a word of praise about the local population.  I assume the settlers suffered from adverse propaganda and/or were brainwashed and felt like the superior race or population.

The Kopischkes lived in the Posen (Poznan) area. I remember hearing of visits to settler friends in Gnesen, Tschenschstochau and other neighboring villages.  Those German settlers were driven out of the territory sometime around 1900 or so.  The Kopischkes moved to Goerlitz, (then Silesia), a city which today is split by the Neisse River, the new Polish/German border since 1945.  I grew up there, in the triangle where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet.  One of my sisters and her descendants still live there today.

Your Schmidt family settled not far from the Poznan area, a few miles north-north-east in the direction toward Dansk.  They must have lived under similar conditions as my Kopischkes.

This portrait of the region was augmented by my friend Jörg, who lives in Germany

In the 16th century Polish landslords brought German settlers, mostly farmers, into the Netzekreis.  After the mid-17th century, German craftsmen were hired.  The town of Schönlanke, for example, [very near where the Winkelmann and Schmidt families lived] was famous for its textiles (draperies, weavers, clothiers).  In 1772 Netzekreis (including the city of Schönlanke) became Prussian. There were 220 clothmakers and many shoemakers, tailors and other craftsmen at that time. 

After 1822 Russia closed its borders for imports and exports and the machine age began.  It was the beginning of the end of the textile industry in that region.  Their guild was dissolved in 1888.But more and more craftsmen immigrated there, bakers, slaughterers, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths and merchants etc.   The town grew slowly but steadily, and a railway station was built there in 1851.  The economy stagnated somewhat after that.  

But after the “Gründerzeit” – the founder epoche in abt. 1870 – everything had changed.  There was a resurgence in the region in the tobacco and timber industry, and many lumber mills and joineries (carpentries) were established there during this period.

The word “Kolonist” came from the Latin “colonus” = farmer (Bauer in German).  So the “Kolonisten” were settlers… farmers from other regions, who reclaimed moorland, or in this case swampland, along the Netze river and cultivated it.