Category Archives: Strehlow

Town of Maine / Town of Berlin Wedding Photos

A couple Summers ago I was fortunate enough to get to spend the afternoon with Jim and Marlene Strehlow, who, along with Jim’s late siblings Virgil and Marilyn Strehlow, have been the keepers of a vast and detailed family history for the Strehlow, Christian, Voigt, and Genrich families from the Town of Maine in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Among the treasures that are curated by the Strehlow family are several group photos taken at weddings in the Towns of Berlin and Maine.  I have long entertained fantasies of somehow identifying all the people in these photos; there are certainly some people who are seen in more than one of them.  I’m afraid, however, that the people who could have identified most of them likely passed away about thirty years ago.  My hope now is that individual descendants might be able to identify specific people based on family photos they would have.  So, out into the world they go… time for some “crowd-sourcing”!

[All of these photos can be downloaded or enlarged by clicking on them.]

I’ve posted this photo previously.  It shows the wedding of Albert Garske and Ella Baumann taken on Oct 4, 1919 at the Baumann homestead in the Town of Berlin, located at 14656 Berlin Lane, Merrill, WI 54452.  Only four people are identified in this photo (see previous article).


The next four photos are from the marriage of Rhienhard Carl Julius Christian (1881-1963) and Ella Neitzke (1890-1940) in the Town of Berlin, Wisconsin, on 20 Nov 1913.  There are a few people besides the bride and groom that I recognize.  In the back row right, just to the right of the pole and wearing a hat and a stylish mustache, is my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger.  His daughter Helen Krueger is three people to the left of the bride, wearing an apron.  There are two ushers kneeling in the front holding bottles of brandy.  The one on the left is Carl’s son Wilhelm “William” Krueger.  The other thing I noticed is that the band in this photo (lower left) are all the same men as the band in the photo above (Garske/Baumann Wedding).


Another photo taken at the same occasion.  Carl Krueger is in the back again, this time holding a mug of beer!


One more from the same wedding.  Just the wedding party this time, I’m guessing.  William and Helen Krueger are present again.


This oddly somber and uncomfortable-looking photo is from the wedding dinner for the same Christian/Neitzke wedding as above.  The bride and groom are easy to spot, and behind them (between them) is Helen Krueger.  The other people, including those in the portraits on the wall, are unknown.


I have no information at all about these next two photos, except that both show the same wedding.  They were clearly taken around the same time at the others, so between 1910 and 1920.  I’m guessing a careful analysis would show some people in these photos are also in one of pictures above.


The second one is much less formal, and the women are wearing their stylish hats.


Again, if anyone knows more about these photos or any of the people in them, please contact me!

Grace Lutheran Congregation Photo – c1900

I first saw this photo hanging on the wall of Grace Lutheran Church in the Town of Maine, Wisconsin at some point in 2012.  The pastor for Grace, Nate Biebert, is a devoted and passionate historian who has spent a great deal of his time investigating the history of the church he currently leads.  We had discussed this photo on several occasions, and he was generous enough to find the time to scan it for me at a very high resolution.

The photo, taken about 1900, shows Grace in the background with her congregation gathered in front.  The photo is not quite clear enough to easily identify individual people, but I’ve included five detail photos showing the attendees.

The full photo

The full photo

Photo 1

Detail Photo 1

Photo 2

Detail Photo 2

Photo 3

Detail Photo 3

Photo 4

Detail Photo 4

Photo 5

Detail Photo 5

There are 89 people in the photo.  Everyone is very well dressed.  You can see that all the boys are wearing suits… there are even two boys from a family with what look to be matching “tuxedo-style” ruffled shirts [detail photo 4].  Several have matching hats.  One family of girls all have matching parasols [detail photos 2 and 3].  Many are wearing gloves and/or cloaks [detail photo 2].  Most of the older women are wearing what would have been very trendy gaudy hats [detail photos 3 and 4].  Not one single person in the photo has a bare head.  Everyone is wearing a hat.  So it seems to me that either a) everyone always wore their very best matching suits to church on Sunday or b) everyone knew the photographer would be coming by that day.

The latter seems much more likely.  It does not seem impromptu at all.  The position of the pastor above his “flock” [detail photo 2], the man with the wagon [detail photo 1], the bicycle [see below]… another prized possession of someone.. it seems to have been very new considering the model and the year of the photo, the matching outfits, stylish new hats, etc.  All point to an arranged photo session that day.



[If someone can tell me more about the make/model of this bicycle based on the photo, feel free to contact me directly.]

So here are the individual faces.  All 89 of them.  They are listed pretty strictly from left to right.  If, for some reason, you are able to identify any of these people, please get in touch and let me know.  So far only two are identified.

Faces 1-50

Faces 1-50

Of these people, I have a feeling that #25 may be my great-great-grandfather, Heinrich Krueger.  I’m hoping my cousin Lisa will be able to locate a copy of a photo she has taken about this time-frame which could confirm his identity.  Pastor Beibert and I believe that #17 is likely Pastor John Rien, who was the Grace pastor from 1895 to 1903.  That narrows down the year of the photo pretty well, confirming our belief that the photo was taken about 1900.

Pastor John Rein

Pastor John Rien

Here is the second set of faces:

Faces 51-89

Faces 51-89

Of these the only one I know for sure at this point is #83, who is my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger.

Carl Krueger

Carl Krueger

Baptism Record for Edmund Krueger (1902-1995)

One of the frustrating and exciting things about genealogy is that you can revisit the same information over and over again, sometimes years later, and find things that you didn’t see before.  As you learn more and more about your family history, names that didn’t mean anything to you at one point will jump out at you as very important later.  This happened to me tonight.

This is the baptism certificate for my great-grand-uncle, Edmund Karl Franz “Eddie” Krueger, who was born on 12 Jul 1902 in Wausau, Wisconsin and was baptized at St. Stephens in Wausau on 31 Aug 1902.

Edmund Krueger Baptism,1902

Edmund Krueger Baptism,1902

The document says:

Werda glauben getauft wird der wird selig werden (Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved), Mark 16:16.

Taufschein (Baptismal Certificate)

Edmund Karl Franz Krueger, born 12th July, 1902, son of Heinrich Krueger and his wife Bertha née Kamrath, on the 31st August, 1902, in Wausau, Wisconsin, has been baptized in the name of the holy trinity.

Godparents: Karl Tisch, Franz Christian, Anna Krueger

F. Werhahan, Pastor.

“And he lay his hands on them and blessed them”, Mark 10:16

St. Stephens Evangelical Church, Wausau, Marathon County, Wisconsin

Ed and sister Norma Krueger, 1904

Ed and sister Norma Krueger, 1904

Eddie Krueger

Eddie Krueger 1919

Ed Krueger & Laura Hanke, 1924

Ed Krueger & Laura Hanke, 1924

I know much more about Prussian christenings than I did when I got this baptism record from my cousins Tom and Virginia Krueger about two years ago.  The family didn’t just pick anyone to be a godparent.  Often two adults and one young woman were chosen, and they were usually related to the family, either by blood or marriage.

“Franz Tisch” was Franz Joseph “Frank” Tisch (b 1863) who was the brother of the husband of Bertha Kamrath’s sister Helene Kamrath.  Helene was married to Joseph Tisch, and Franz was Joseph’s brother.

Johann Tisch & Helene Kamrath, wedding portrait

Johann Tisch & Helene Kamrath, wedding portrait

“Karl Christian” was Carl “Charles” Christian (b 1860) who would eventually be related to the family three different ways.  At the time of Eddie’s birth, however, he may have been only a close friend of the family.  The next Spring Carl’s son Anton Christian would marry Bertha Kamrath’s niece Annie Wymer.  Annie was the daughter of Bertha’s full sister Auguste Kamrath Wymer Otremba.  Annie and Anton were married in April of 1903.  Carl Christian was also the uncle of Anna Krueger’s eventual husband Carl Friedrich Daniel “Charley” Christian.  They were married in 1907.  The Christian family also became related to Bertha Strehlow’s family later when Arwin Strehlow married Angela Christian in 1929.

“Anna Krueger” was Anna Marta Auguste Krueger (1887 – 1981), Heinrich Krueger’s niece.  She was the daughter of Heinrich’s brother Carl Bertold Krueger and his wife Bertha Strehlow.  In 1907 Anna would marry Charley Christian, as stated above.  She was only 15 at the time of Edmund’s Christening.

Anna Krueger Christian

Anna Krueger Christian

Anna, Bertha (Strehlow), Helena, Walter, Carl, and William Krueger (l to r) c1925

Anna, Bertha (Strehlow), Helena, Walter, Carl, and William Krueger (l to r) c1925

Parish Records from Kreis Griefenberg, Pommern, Prussia

Just a place to do spot-checks of parishes in Kreis Grifenberg. These records are available online here:

Evangelische Kirche Batzwitz: Barkow, Batzwitz, Lebbin, Vahnerow: 1822-1874 (455 pages)
Spot-checked.  Krueger records noted.  Winkelmann records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Batzwitz: Barkow, Batzwitz, Vahnerow, Lebbin: 1817-1845 (130 pages)

Evangelische Kirche Batzwitz: Kaldemanz, Rensin, Batzwitz: 1841-1873 (71 pages)

Evangelische Kirche Batzwitz: Koldemanz, Rensin: 1817-1865 (202 pages)
Spot-checked. Strehlow records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Behlkow: 1786-1860 (487 pages), 1861-1874
Spot-checked. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Behlkow: Wischow: 1841-1854
No spot-checking for years given.

Evangelische Kirche Görke: 1811-1850

Evangelische Kirche Görke: Ruhleben: 1830-1874 (611 pages)
Spot-checked. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Greifenberg
Spot-checked. Krueger records noted. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Gützlaffshagen
Spot-checked. Strehlow records noted. Hoge records noted. Krueger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Hoff: 1806-1874 (713 pages)
Spot-checked. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Karnitz

Evangelische Kirche Klötkow: 1810-1874 (534 pages)
Spot-checked. Krueger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Langenhagen: 1810-1864 (639 pages); 1865-1874 (116 pages)

Evangelische Kirche Radduhn: 1811-1874 (335 pages)

Evangelische Kirche Rensekow 1812-1874 (505 pages)
Spot-checked. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Ribbekardt: 1824-1874 (575 pages)
Spot-checked. Krüger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Ribbekardt: Dorphagen: 1824-1860 (350 pages)
Spot-checked. Krüger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Robe: 1810-1855; 1856-1874 (292 pages)
Spot-checked. Krüger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Rottnow: 1838-1874 (369 pages)
Spot-checked. Krüger records noted. Not all years are in order.

Evangelische Kirche Sellin: nur Zicker, Neklatz, Dadow: 1824-1874 (309 pages)
Spot-checked. Hoge records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Triebs: 1810-1864 (257 pages); 1824-1874 (126 pages)
Spot checked. Minimal Kruger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Zarben: 1835-1874 (710 pages)
Spot Checked. Hoge records noted. Kruger records noted. Strehlow records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Zarben: Hagenow
Wrong dates for spot-check (starts in June). Krüger records noted, Strehlow records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Zedlin: 1810-1874 (434 pages)
Hoge records noted. Krüger records noted.

Evangelische Kirche Zirkwitz: 1834-1838 (68 Pages); 1811-1874 (802 pages)
Spot-checked. Krueger records noted. Hoge records noted.

Strehlow Records from Pomerania

Jörg Schrick, my invaluable genealogical contact in Germany has been in touch with his friend Björn Buerger. Björn has searched the entirety of the Eventin parish records from Kreis Schlawe in Pomerania for Strehlow records and was able to find 10 children of Johann Ferdinand Strehlow (b 1805) and Christiane Maria Plath (1804-1856). As he states below, out of 10 children there were four sets of twins. The odds of that are about 1 in 1,156,000!


I have looked through the entire Eventin parish register to 1857, and I can report that Johann Strelow and Christina Plath had 10 children.  Incredibly, of those children there were 4 sets of twins!

I was also able to determine that Ludwig was their child [at first his birth record was not found].  He was born in 1836 but I didn’t find a record of him until 1840 and thus he was already 4 years old.

I find it very interesting that the wife of my ancestor Caspar Strehlow, (Regine Barske) was a godmother of your Ludwig Strehlow. So there probably is a relationship between our two families.

Here are the children I have discovered for the couple Johann Ferdinand Strehlow and Christine Marie Plath, who were married 12 Nov 1828 in Wandhagen, Kreis Schlawe, Pomerania, Prussia:

1. Johann Ferdinand
Born: 1 Mar 1830 Wandhagen
(Not 1831 as a previous record said.  I believe it was mis-copied into the registry.)
Christened: 7 Mar 1830 Wandhagen
1. The carpenter Caspar Strelow from Neuenhagen.
2. The peasant farmer Hans Lau from Wandhagen.
3. The wife of the peasant farmer Peter Verhs, née Regina Plath.

2. Johanna Albertina Maria (twin)
Born: 25 Mar 1833 Wandhagen
Christened: 26 Mar 1833 Wandhagen
1. The wife of Büdner [owner of a small rural property] and Holzschläger [woodsman] Hans Plath, née Regina Pitzken(?)
2. The household servant [Dienstmädchen] Regina Germanzen(?)
3. The peasant farmer Peter Verse.
All from Wandhagen.

3. Stillborn female (twin)
Born: 25 Mar 1833 Wandhagen

4. Charlotte Louise
Born: 14 Sept 1834 Wandhagen
Christened: 18 Sept 1834 Wandhagen
Died: 19 Sept 1834 Wandhagen
Buried. 23 Sept 1834 Wandhagen
Godparents: 1. Wife of the peasant farmer Hans Lau, Maria Plath.
2. Daughter of the woodsman [Holzschläger] Hans Plath, Louise Plath.
3. The peasant farmer Caspar Strehlow.
All from Wandhagen.

5. Hanne Caroline (twin)
Born: 9 Apr 1836 Wandhagen
Christened:13 Apr 1836 Wandhagen
Died: 5 May 1836 Wandhagen
Buried: 9 May 1836 Wandhagen
1. The wife of the carpenter Caspar Strehlow, Christine Schwarz from Neuenhagen.
2. The farmer’s daughter Christine Plath from Wandhagen.
3. The farmer’s son [Bauernsohn] Ludwig Schwarz from Wandhagen.

6. Ernst Ludwig (twin)
Born: 9 Apr 1836 Wandhagen
Baptized: 13 Apr 1836 Wandhagen
1. The peasant farmer Martin Schwarz from Beelkow.
2. The farmer’s son Ernst Verse from Wandhagen.
3. The wife of the peasant farmer Caspar Strehlow, Regine née Barsken from Wandhagen  (This is Bjoern’s family member.)

7. Johanne Caroline (twin)
Born: 22 Sept 1839 Wandhagen
Christened: 22 Sept 1939 Wandhagen
Died: 19 Dec 1839 Wandhagen
Buried: 29 Dec 1839 Wandhagen
1. Marie Lau née Plath, wife of a peasant farmer [Bauerfrau].
2. Anna Regine Verse, farmer’s daughter [Bauertochter].
3. August Krakow, tenant blacksmith [Pachtschmid].
All from Wandhagen

8. Charlotte Louise (twin)
Born: 22 Sept 1839 Wandhagen
Christened: 22 Sept 1939 Wandhagen
1. Anna Barske née Schuranz ? (probably Schurvanz or Schurwanz).
2. Regine Pieper née Dahnz, tailor’s wife [Schneiderfrau].
3. Caspar Plath, peasant farmer.
All from Wandhagen

9. Carl August (twin)
Born: 12 Nov 1842 Wandhagen
Christened: 18 Nov 1842 Wandhagen
1. Ernst Lau, Bauersohn from Wandhagen.
2. Jacob Papenfuß, son of peasant farmer [Bauersohn].
3. Anna Strehlow née Hain, carpenter and wife of peasant farmer [Zimmerman and Büdnerfrau] from Neuenhagen

10. Wilhelmine Albertine (twin)
Born: 12 Nov 1842 Wandhagen
Christened: 18 Nov 1842 Wandhagen
Died: 30 Jun 1843 Wandhagen
Buried: 4 Jul 1843 Wandhagen
1. Regine Schwarz née Lau, wife of a peasant farmer [Bauerfrau] from Beelkow.
2. Sophie Wiehe, daughter of a peasant farmer [Büdnertochter] from Neuenhagen,
3. Peter Schwarz, servant [Dienstknecht] from Beelkow.

Among the records, I also located one of the bans of marriage between Johann Ferdinand Strehlow and Christine Marie Plath:

Groom: Johann Ferdinand Strehlow, carpenter [Zimmerman] from Wandhagen, 26 1/2 years old
Bride: Wilhelmine Marie Schwarz, farmer’s daughter [Bauerntochter] from Böbbelin, 26 years old
Father of the Bride: Peter Schwarz, peasant farmer [Bauer] and school-master [Schulmeister] from Böbbelin
Date of marriage: There is only one ban, so the day of marriage is not mentioned

And a record of the birth of their first child:

Ernstine Johanne Louise
Born: 26 Oct 1857 in Wandhagen
Christened: 1 Nov 1857 in Wandhagen
1. Johanne Schwarz, farmer’s daughter [Büdnertochter] from Böbbelin.
2. Louise Strehlow, a farmer’s daughter [Büdnertochter] from Wandhagen.
3. Ernst Lau, farmer’s son from Wandhagen.

Strehlow Family Gathering – 1939

This is a quite comprehensive Strehlow Family photo taken about 1939.  I sat down with Jim and Marlene Strehlow and they identified almost everyone at this family gathering:

Strehlow Family Gathering c1939

Back row: Unknown woman, Emily Strehlow, Marion Putzbach, Unknown (Hintz?), Edwin Beilke

Next row: Paul Putzbach, Melvin Hintz, Hubert Christian, Hermann Strehlow (with mustache), Arwin Strehlow, Emily Voigt Stehlow (partially hidden), Martha Strehlow Putzbach, Charlotte Zaremba Strehlow

Next row: Three boys in light caps are unknown, possibly Hintz or Beilke boys, Frieda Strehlow Christian, Frances Strehlow Hintz, Angela Christian Strehlow, Lydia Strehlow Beilke, Unknown, Alma Strehlow Trittin, Edmund Trittin

Front: Arwin Strehlow Jr. (with black cap), Bill Strehlow (kneeling, holding Gerald Strehlow), Marilyn Strehlow, unknown girl, Jim Strehlow (with striped shirt).

Taegesville School Photos

More photos from the collection of Jim and Marlene Strehlow.  These show the Taegesville School (Town of Maine, Marathon County, Wisconsin) about 1910.  There are many family members in it and others who would marry into the family eventually.  The first one is marked “c1910” and the second “c1913-14?”, however they look like sequential years to me judging by the children’s ages.

You can click on the photos to enlarge or download them.

Taegesville School c1910

1st Row: Hertha Beilke, Margaret Kilian, Ella Saeger, Tedd Hackbarth, Arwin Strehlow, ? Nass, Walter Saeger, ? Beilke, Hubert Christian, Selma Tesch, ? Radtke, Viola Laabs

2nd Row: Herman Hackbarth, William Strehlow, Mathilda Radtke, George Kuffahl, ? Nass, Edwin Tesh, Edward Nass, Lenora Laabs

3rd Row: Mr. Dretzke (teacher), Lydia Strehlow, Lillian Kufahl, Frieda Strehlow, Gilbert Kufahl, Hilbert Tesch, Leslie Schwartz, Ewald Kilian, Wilbert Kufahl, William Krueger

Taegesville School “1913-14?”

There are two columns of children seated in pairs, one toward the back of the room going along the wall, then another row more toward the center of the room closer to the viewer.  First column by row starting at the front:

Hubert Christian and Arwin Strehlow  [Hubert later married Arwin’s sister Frieda, who is sitting in the last row]
Selma Tesch and Ruth Nass
Walter Saeger and ? Zastrow (or Ervin Beilke)
Ellen Saeger and Margaret Kilson
Unknown, Herman Hackbart
Bill Strehlow, Leslie Schwarz
Frieda Strehlow, Lillian Kufahl

Teacher: Martha Kasten

Second column by row starting at the front:

Adelheid Wagner
Earl Newmann, Roland Neitzke
Emilie Tesch, Lydia Saeger
Helen Putzbach, Esther Hackbarth
Harold Wagner, Ted Hackbarth
Lawrence Neitzke, Frank Radtke
Ray Christian, ? Zastrow
Mathilda Radke, Margaret Putzbach

Town of Berlin Wedding, 1919

Jim and Marlene Strehlow are the keepers of innumerable, invaluable historic photos of the Town of Maine in Marathon, Wisconsin.  One which caught my eye during a recent trip to Wausau was this one:

(You can click on the image to enlarge it.)

DuWayne Zamzow (of the Pommern Society in the Town of Berlin) wrote:

This photo shows the wedding of Albert Garske and Ella Baumann taken on Oct 4, 1919 at the Baumann homestead in the Town of Berlin, located at 14656 Berlin Lane, Merrill, WI 54452.

He assures me that the incredible brick home in the photo is still standing, so I really want to see it the next time I go up to Wausau.

I thought it would be a fun project to see how many people we could name in the photograph.  My plan was to create an enumerated “ghost image” (seen above), print both of them out in a large format, then put it up in the Pommerscher Verein so that the older members of the community could help with the identification.  I’m pretty sure Jim Strehlow could name half these people by himself, though.  He’s amazing when it comes to names in these photos!

I will keep updating this list as more of the 101 people are identified:

56) Bertha Strehlow Krueger
57) Karl Bertold Krueger
65) Ella Baumann
67) Albert Garske

New Strehlow Photos – Part 1

I have been very fortunate recently to get in touch with two very valuable resources for the Krueger/Strehlow side of my family.  I’ll try to be as brief as possible with the explanations before I get to the goodies.

I became aware of the work of Virgil Strehlow (b 1939) some time ago.  He seems to have been an incredibly talented genealogist who did a lot of work on the Strehlow family in a time when family research wasn’t as easy as clicking around online or sending out emails (1980’s).  Virgil was the descendant of Johann Christoph Herman Strehlow (1864 – 1941).

Unfortunately, Virgil died in 2010, but I managed to locate his brother Jim and left a message for him asking about what had become of Virgil’s work.  Jim and his wife Marlene recently got back to me, and we’re planning to meet up next month up in Wausau.  They have most of Virgil’s materials and are willing to let me scan the things I need.  It should be a goldmine, and I’m very excited about it!   To tide me over they’ve sent me a couple of fantastic Strehlow/Krueger family photos.

The first is a photo of Johann Ferdinand Strehlow (1831 – 1883) and his wife Maria Wilhelmine Schwarz (1830 – 1904) with their two surviving children (six of the eight Strehlow children died in infancy or early childhood).  Johann Christoph Herman Strehlow is on the left and his sister Bertha Albertine Wilhelmine Strehlow (1862 – 1931) is to the right in the back row.  I’m guessing this was taken about 1875, and is probably the earliest family photo I have at this point.

Ferdinand and Wilhelmine were married in Prussia 19 Nov 1856, and the Strehlow family came to the US from Wandhagen, Kreis Schlawe, Pomerania, Prussia about 1868.  Bertha Strehlow married my great-great grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger (1864 – 1949) on 10 Dec 1886.

Herman, Wilhelmine (Schwarz), Bertha and Ferdinand Strehlow (l to r)

The second photo is of the entire Carl Bertold Krueger family, taken about 1925.  From left to right it’s Anna Marta Auguste Krueger (1887 – 1981), Bertha Strehlow, Helena Bertha Emilie Krueger (1892 – 1963), Walther Hermann Heinrich Krueger (1893 – 1979), Carl Bertold Krueger, and Wilhelm August Hermann Krueger (1897 – 1973).  Wilhelm (William) was the father of my beloved cousin LaVila Krueger Luedtke.

Anna, Bertha (Strehlow), Helena, Walter, Carl, and William Krueger (l to r)

Two other children in this family died prior to this photo.  Twins (a boy and girl) were born in 1889.  The girl (un-named) died immediately and her brother Paul William Bertold Krueger died of pneumonia at the age of eight.

The other person I found was Heidi Dumke Timmerman, who is a descendant of Walther Krueger (seen in the photo above).  I’ll share her photos and contributions in a separate post soon!

Carl August Strehlow – Military Petition

Carl August Strehlow (1842-1900) was, I believe, the uncle of Bertha Strehlow (who married my great-great-grand-uncle Carl Bertold Krueger).  I first “met” August on the German passenger list for the “Teutonia” bringing the Strehlow family from Hamburg to New York, arriving 6 Jun 1868:

Passenger list for the “Teutonia” bringing the Strehlows to New York from Hamburg.

August is 25 years old and traveling with Wilhelmine, Bertha and Hermann Strehlow.  He is listed as a “Zimmerman”, or carpenter.  Based on his age, who he’s traveling with, and the town he’s from (the Strehlow home town of Wandhagen, Schlawe, Pommern, Prussia), my guess is that he’s the brother of Ferdinand Strehlow.  I am continuing my search for proof of this relationship.  He may be a cousin.

After arriving in the US, the Strehlow family was living in Polk, Washington County, Wisconsin.  The 1870 census shows Ferdinand Strehlow, his wife Wilhelmine, their children Bertha and Hermann and August Strehlow all living together.  Ferdinand and August are both listed as “Carpenters”.

1870 Census for Polk, Washington, Wisconsin.

Until recently, this was all I knew about August prior to and including 1870.  Then my German contact Jörg Schrick got in touch with some news from his friend Jürgen, who has been looking for Strehlow records in the archives in Berlin and online.  He found a petition, dated 1 April 1870 in Schlawe, Prussia that outlines Carl August Strehlow’s failure to return from his granted leave abroad, and informs him that if he doesn’t report a “desertion investigation against him will be initiated”:

80) Oeffentliche Aufforderung: (Seite 137)

Der Pionier (Zimmermann) Carl August STREHLOW, am 12. November 1842 zu Wandhagen (Kreis Schlawe) geboren, vom 16. Oktober 1864 bis 31. Juli 1867 bei der 3. Compangnie Pommerschen Pionier-Bataillions No. 2 gedient und bis 17. März 1869 ins Ausland beurlaubt, hat sich bis jetzt von diesem Urlaub nicht zurückgemeldet, und keine Verlängerung desselben beantragt.

Derselbe wird hiermit aufgefordert, sich binnen 3 Monaten im Bureau des königlichen Bezirks-Commandos des 1. Bataillions (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49 zu melden, widirgenfalls die Untersuchung wegen Desertation gegen denselben eingeleitet wird.

Schlawe, den 1. April 1870.

königliches Bataillion (Schlawe) 6.Pommersches Landwehr-Regiments No. 49.


80) Public summons: (page 137)

The Engineer (Carpenter) Carl August Strehlow, born November 12, 1842 in Wandhagen ( district Schlawe) has served from October 16 1864 through July 31, 1867 at the 3rd company of the Pommeranian Engineer Battalion No. 2. He had been granted leave for foreign country until March 17, 1869 but has not reported back from this leave and has not petitioned extension of it.

Herewith, he is summoned to report to the Office of the Royal District Command of the 1st Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49, within 3 months. In default whereof a desertion investigation against him will be initiated.

Schlawe April 1, 1870

Royal Battalion (Schlawe) 6th Pommeranian Territorial Reserve Regiment No. 49

This tells us so much about when August Strehlow served in the military, what he was doing there, his trade, where he was from, when he was born, and what he did during his service.

Pioneers served in special pioneer batallions. On active service (in the Prussian Army) they moved at the head of marching columns with axes, shovels and pickaxes clearing obstacles or building bridges to open the way for the bulk of the regiment to move through difficult terrain.  My great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt was also a carpenter and also such a “Pioneer” in the Prussian Army.

It also shows that he left the military, came to the US and never went back.  In cases like this the person was usually tried in absentia and  found guilty of desertion.  If he had ever returned to Prussia he would have been arrested and imprisoned.

Instead, he moved to Merrill, Wisconsin and tried to raise a family with his wife Wilhelmine Eleanor Rubow.  Sadly, of the eight children I know about, six of them did not live beyond the age of four years.   Many of these unfortunate children are buried with the parents at the Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery.  (See attached document.)  Fortunately, at least one of their children, Alma Louise Strehlow (1888-1951) survived.

Cemetery Records for the Strehlow family showing the many children who died in infancy or early childhood.