Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I have a fondness for my Schmidt relatives. The story of Wilhelm Schmidt, who was a journeyman carpenter in Posen, Prussia and was in the Prussian Army, leaving Prussia and his family behind in 1885 to start a new life in the north woods of Wisconsin… how he got married, worked hard and eventually was able to bring his mother and five sisters to Wisconsin in 1892… how he built a little community on Grand Avenue in Rothschild, Wisconsin where his family lived for over 100 years…. it’s a story that’s very dear to me.
Recently I wrote about my discovery that one of Wilhelm’s sisters, Amelie Schmidt, was actually married to Christian Karl in Prussia. That she had had twin boys in Prussia, and that the boys and Christian Karl had come over here at the same time Amelie did, according to the census records. This knowledge changed some things for me, because I was now going to be looking for travel and immigration records for Amelie Karl, not Amelie Schmidt, and she’d be traveling with her husband and her twin boys in 1892. So I did the searches, and after many, many records that were misses, I finally came across a New York passenger list for “Christ. and Emilie Carl”:
The married couple were traveling aboard the “Aller” (French for “to go”) from Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving on 19 April 1892. It was Christian Karl, Amelie Schmidt and one of their twin sons, Gustav, who was listed as 8 months old. (Yikes!) They are listed as having a final destination of “Wis” and are staying in the Petty Officer’s Room (perhaps because of the young child?). My immediate though was, “Where’s the other twin?”. My cousin Jeannie and I both thought that perhaps they could only handle one 8-month-old at a time on a trans-atlantic steamship voyage, and left the other boy with family they knew would be coming to the US after them.
Later that same night, I found what I was looking for (again, after digging through a mountain of records that were not the right ones). Another New York passenger list for the “Ems”, once again traveling from Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving on 25 July 1892 (about three months after the Karls arrived). Aboard were Wilhelmine “Schmith” (55 years old), her daughters Alvine (26) and Bertha (13) and 9 month old child “Wilhelm Schmith”. This was, of course, the other twin son Wilhelm Karl.
Even more remarkable to me was that it actually listed “Gornitz” as the home town for the Schmidts. Bertha had been born there in 1880, according to her marriage document, and I knew Wilhelm had been living there in 1884 and 1885 from his military passport. I also knew that Wilhelm had paid for the passage to the US for a friend of his, Emil Prielipp, who was from Gornitz. This was yet another piece of evidence that the family lived there from at least 1880 until 1892 when they came to the US.
So Wilhelmine Winkelmann, my 3x great grandmother, traveled to the US with her two daughters and her grandson, arriving in New York on a summer evening in 1892 to begin her new life in the US. Some short time later, she was reunited with her son and her other daughter who had come before her.
I’m still looking for the remaining passenger lists. I have a possible hit for Wilhelm, who came to the US in mid 1885. I also still need to find lists for Antonie and Pauline, but I’m guessing they were traveling from Bremen to New York, so that should make it easier to find them.