Tag Archives: Origins

LaVila – Krueger Family

I called my cousin LaVila Krueger Luedtke today.   She lives in Edgar, Wisconsin and she’s 88 years old.  Still as sharp as a tack. Funny, charming, and quite beautiful.  I had a few questions to ask her about the Carl Bertold Krueger (1864-1949) side of the family.  They were farmers in the Town of Maine, Marathon County, Wisconsin.   Carl Krueger was one of the four original Kruegers to come over to the US from Pomerania, Prussia.  I had a few questions I wanted to ask her and these are her answers:

  • She didn’t know anything about the Krueger origins apart from the fact that they were from Pomerania.  She never heard a town mentioned.
  • She never heard anything about how Henry Krueger and Bertha Kamrath met.  Nor did she hear how Carl Krueger and Bertha Strehlow met, although she knew that the Strehlow family property actually touched the property of the Krueger family in the Town of Maine (the two plots were diagonal to each other, so they touched in one corner).  So they most likely just met via proximity.  “They couldn’t get around anywhere except on horseback, so it must have been really convenient to have a girlfriend who lived just next door.  You could go chat at the fence!”
  • She had no idea what Henry did for a living.  “He lived in Wausau.  What did he do there, do you suppose?”  🙂
  • She confirmed that there were only the four Kruegers in the family.  Just Wilhelm and Caroline and their two boys Henry and Carl.  No other children left behind in Prussia.  “They would have brought them over with the parents I’m sure.  No, it was just the two boys.  I never heard about anyone else.”

Prussian Origins – Next Steps

Jörg Schrick sent me an email this morning:

Kahlen, Kohlen, Calem…..or Wandau, Wanden, Wansen….  that all are guesses, speculations, you need to know exact places of birth and marriage to find anything.

I agree with him  Perhaps the only way to be sure (unless someone has a box with documents from the old country) is to find the family in Prussia before they left.
  • The Zierkes arrived in 1865.
  • The Schulz siblings (Wilhlemline and Martin) came in 1866.
  • The Strehlow family came in 1868.
  • Heinrich Krueger got here in 1881 or 1882, his brother Carl in 1883.
  • The parents Wilhelm and Caroline Krueger came in 1883.
  • The Kamraths came in 1885.
  • Wilhelm Schmidt came in 1885 and his mother and five sisters in 1892.

So I think that about 1860 and 1870 are the best times to look for them.

In 1860 the ages would have been:
Friedrich Zierke Sr.    54
Dorothea Hardow Zierke  46
Friedrich Zierke Jr.    25
Anna Rosina Zierke      14

Martin Schulz           19
Wilhelmine Schulz       13
In 1870 the ages would have been:
Wilhelm Krueger                      35
Caroline Hoge Krueger                34
Heinrich Krueger                     13
Carl Krueger                          6

Ferdinand Strehlow                   40
Wilhelmine Schweitz/Schuriz Strehlow 40
Bertha Strehlow                       8
Hermann Strehlow                      5

Carl Kamrath                         38
Henriete Prinow Sense Kamrath        28
Bertha Kamrath                        6
August Kamrath                        5
Helene Kamrath                        4
Anne Kamrath                          2
Emma Kamrath                          0

Friedrich Schmidt                     Unknown
Wilhelmine Winkelmann Schmidt	      32
Carl Ernst Wilhelm Schmidt             8
Alvine Schmidt                         4
Amelie Schmidt                         1
So now I guess the best thing is to look for census records for the “Candidate Towns” and try to find them.

Martin Schulz and Family

I posted on Ancestry.com hoping to find more information about Martin Schulz.  He was the brother of Wilhelmine Schulz, who married Friedrich Zierke, and was Ottelia Zierke (my great-great grandmother)’s mother. So Martin Schulz is my 3rd Great Grand Uncle. I had done quite a bit of research on Martin and his family in Elgin, Minnesota. I even found today that Martin seems to have worked for a time in Green Lake County, Wisconsin just down the road from Princeton, Wisconsin where that whole other “clan” of Zierkes lives. Gary Zierke and I have been trying to find a link between the Princeton Zierkes and the Harris Ziekes, so far to no avail. Finding that Martin worked there only makes me that much more sure there is a link to be found. Today I also found a death record for Martin saying that he died on 11 Jan 1929. With a death date you can look for an obituary, so that’s what I decided to do.

My hope was that by finding out enough about Martin I might be able to find either his parents (and by extension Wilhelmine Schulz Zierke’s parents) or the city the Schulz family came from in Prussia. To that end, I posted this message:

My ancestor Martin Schultz died, I believe, in Elgin, Wabash, Minnesota on 11 January 1929 after living in Elgin since at least 1880. I’m hoping to find an obituary for him that might mention his parents or place of birth. He had at least two sons, Gustav and Wilhelm, and was married to a Minnie (Mina) Muckleberg, who had a son by a previous marriage.  Does anyone know if Wabash county has a historical society or other entity which might have newspapers from that era that could contain an obit?  Thanks for any info.
The response I got certainly hit the jackpot!

Martin Schulz belonged to Trinity Lutheran here in Elgin & is buried in the Elgin Cemetery. He was born Feb 10 1841 Jankendorf, Kreis Kolmar, Posen Germany,  Parents were Martin Schultz & Anna Keul Schultz.  He died Jan 11 1929, buried Jan 14 1929.  Cause of death pneumonia.

Ron Manzow runs the history center in Plainview, MN.  He has the news papers that carries Elgin in the Plainview News obits 1879-2003. He may still have this email addie rmanzow at isd2899.k12.mn.us.  If it doesn’t work here is the Plainview History Center’s link: http://www.museumsofmn.com/plainview-area-history-center.htm

Gustave Rudolf Adolf Schultz, Born: 1871 Died: 31 Mar 1919, aged 47yrs 6mos 23 days. Buried: 2 Apr 1919 in Elgin Cemetery.

Wilhelm Emil Schultz b. 9 Aug 1872,  d. 18 June 1932.  Buried 21 Jun 1932 in Elgin Cemetery.  Cause of death: suicide.

Fernadina Wilhelmine Schultz b. 14 Apr 1877 d. 19 Sep 1947.  Buried 29 1947 in Elgin Cemetery.  Parents: Frederick Ballewski & Wilhelmine Joede.  Cause of death: heart trouble.
Wilhelmine Christine Schulz b.1835 d.1911 Elgin Cemetery.  Death was not recorded in church book, all are buried in same lot.  I checked Plainviews Immanual Lutheran-she wasn’t in the death records, so that must mean the Potsdam Emmanuel or Bremen Trinity, which I can not help with.
Hope this helps, Cathy Walters

Among the pile of great data here is the fact that the Schulz family comes from “Jankendorf, Kreis Kolmar, Posen”, which is Sokołowo Budzyńskie, Wielkopolskie, Poland.  This town is not far from where my Schmidt ancestors lived.

Zierke Origins

On May 15th, 1865 Friedrich Zierke Sr., his wife Dorothea and their children Anna Rosina and Friedrich Zierke Jr. boarded the ship “Neckar” in Hamburg and set sail for America.  The trip lasted a full month – four long weeks packed onboard a ship with 411 passengers; 11 Danes, 120 Swedes and 280 Germans (per the notation by the Captain).  The ship sailed to Québec, Canada, arriving on June 24th, 1865 where the four weary Zierkes finally set foot on the American continent.  One of the things that made their voyage remarkable was that Friedrich the elder was 59 years old.  His wife Dorothea was 50.  Friedrich the younger and Anna Rosina were 28 and 20, respectively.  59 and 50 years old are fairly advanced ages to decide to leave everything and everyone you know behind to start over in America.  It is interesting to me that they decided to do it and begs the question of “Why?”.

After their arrival in Quebec, we have no record of what happened to Friedrich Sr., nor his wife Dorothea, until 1900 when Dorothea shows up in Harrisville, Wisconsin, widowed and living alone for the last year of her life before dying in 1901.  If we could find an obituary it might tell us where she was born and/or where she and Fred went after they arrived in the US, but I’m not aware of local Marquette County papers which might have carried such an obituary.

Her death record says that Dorothea’s father’s name was “Hardow”, that she was born 7 July 1814, and died on 2 Mar 1901 at the age of 86 in Harris, Wisconsin.  There is a good chance her name was actually Hadow.  There is a Hadow family that came from Wilhelmshöhe, Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia and also settled in Harris.  She was buried in a “private cemetery”, likely the Putzbach Cemetery which is within walking distance of the Zierke farm in Harris.

According to parish records, Friederich Jr’s wife, Anna Wilhelmine “Minnie” Schulz was born, baptized, and confirmed in the town of Podstolitz in Kreis Kolmar, Posen, Prussia, as was her brother Martin Schulz.  This town is only a couple of miles away from Siebenschlößchen, where another family of Zierkes came from who later settled in Princeton, Wisconsin near Harris.

Friedrich and Wilhelmine Zierke

Friedrich Zierke Jr. was born in 1835.  Friedrich Schmidt was born in 1832.  The Schmidts were from Posen, Prussia.  It is possible that the Schmidts and the Zierkes knew each other in Prussia because when Wilhelm Schmidt immigrated from Posen to America in 1885 he went to Marquette County in Wisconsin where he met and married Ottelia Zierke.  It could be that he went there knowing there would be people from home.  If that was the reason, it would be evidence that the Zierkes may have been from Posen or somewhere reasonably near it.

The strongest piece of evidence we have at this point is the German passenger list for the Zierke family’s trip from Hamburg to New York [Hamburg Passenger Lists ->1860-1869 > Direkt Band 019 (7 Jan 1865 – 23 Dez 1865) > p143].  

There’s a town listed there, and Klaus Kolb, and expert on historical German documents said this about it:

“I believe I am deciphering the word Jastrowie. In an atlas I found a village in today’s Poland near the convergence of the rivers Gwda and Pitawa. the location is about 138 km NNW of Poznan (Posen) 120 km west of Bydgoscz and 172 km ENE of Szczecin (Stettin).   However, Jastrowie is today’s polish name. Like other villages and towns in the area it could have had a German or germanized name at the time. It is for this reason that I am not absolutely sure this being the village mentioned in the document.”

The modern town of Jastrowie in Poland is a town that used to be called “Jastrow” by the Germans.   It actually belonged to the county Deutsch Krone, administrative district Marienwerder in the Prussian province of West Prussia at that time.   Jastrowie is located about 12 miles North of the border of the Province of Posen.  “Schneidemühl” (Polish name Pila, south of Jastrow) was the border town.  

To me it makes sense that the locals would use the Polish name for the town (hence “Jastrowie” on the passenger list rather than the German name “Jastrow”).  That part of Prussia changed hands several times between Poland and Germany, so the locals probably used the local, Polish name.

Another translation of the document is “Jablonowo”, another Polish name.

Kamrath Family Origins

According to their marriage record, my 4x great-grandfather Carl Friedrich Ferdinand Kamrath (6 Mar 1831 – 4 Jan 1900) married Wilhelmine Henriette Sophie Pribbernow (b 1834) on 20 Nov 1857 in the town of Plathe, Kreis Regenwalde, Pommern, Prussia.  It is called Ploty, Poland today.  Henriette’s father was listed on that record as Erdmann Friedrich Pribbernow from the town of Meesow [Mieszewo, Poland today].  Plathe and Meesow can be seen on this map of Pommern.  Plathe is near the top and Meesow is at the very bottom:


According to several documents, Carl and Henriette then settled in the town of Hoffelde, Kries Regenwalde, Pommern, Prussia.  It was a very small town on the Ückeley River (Ukleja in Polish) about 0.6 miles (1 km) West of Roggow A (in the map above).  Hoffelde is called Dargomyśl, Poland today.

Carl and Henriette had at least three children, Auguste who was born on 8 Jan 1858, Otto Julius Hermann Kamrath who was born 9 Jul 1859, and my great-great-grandmother Bertha Auguste Wilhelmine Kamrath who was born on 3 Aug 1864.  All three children were born in Hoffelde.  Shortly after that Henriette must have died, because Carl remarried to a woman named Auguste Henriette Sense around 1865, and they had at least five more children: Helene (1866), Anne (1868), Emma (1870), Carl (1875), and Ida (1878).  These children were also born in the town of Hoffelde in Kries Regenwalde.

Auguste left for America at some point early in 1883 and she married Simon Wimmer, a Bavarian, in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin on 4 June of that year.

The next record we have from the family comes from 1883 when two of the Kamrath daughters, Helene and Anne, came to America aboard the SS Bohemia.  They departed Hamburg, Germany on 14 Oct 1883 and arrived in New York on 29 Oct 1883.

SS Bohemia

SS Bohemia

Their place of residence on the German passenger list says “Roggow, Pommern”:

There are three towns called “Roggow” in Pommern, but the family was from “Roggow A”, a town that is less than 2.5 miles from Meesow where Carl Kamrath’s first wife Henriette Pribbernow was from.  As stated above, they were actually living in nearby Hoffelde, a town so small that it’s not even on the detailed map of Prussia I own.

Roggow and Meesow

Roggow and Meesow

Roggow is called “Rogowo, Poland” today.

The rest of the Kamrath family left from the port of Hamburg, Germany about a year and a half later on May 3, 1885 aboard the “SS Hammonia”. The family was father Carl Kamrath, mother Auguste Henriette Sense Kamrath, their daughter Bertha Kamrath (my 2nd great grandmother), and Bertha’s siblings Emma, Ida and Carl. They arrived in New York harbor at 4:00am on 14 May 1885.

This is a picture of the ship they were on:

The SS Hammonia

The German passenger list for their voyage says that the family’s city of origin is “Wausau, Pommern”, but Wausau was their destination.  Some kind of clerical mix-up there.

Kamrath Family on the “SS Hammonia”, departure from Hamburg.

Son Hermann Kamrath had moved to Berlin, Germany by this point, and his marriage record from 9 Jul 1885 indicates that his father is was a resident of Wisconsin in America.  Hermann and his wife Helene Zielinski lived in the town of Schöneberg (a part of Berlin) from 1885 until their deaths.  Hermann died in 1943 and his wife died in 1941.

Strehlow Family Origins

The Strehlow family is connected to mine by virtue of the fact that Henry Krueger (my great-great grandfather)’s brother Carl Bertold Krueger married Bertha Strehlow.  Like the Kamraths and Kruegers, the Strehlows were from Pomerania, Prussia.

The German passenger list for the Strehlow voyage to the US in 1868 mentions two towns:

Rügenwalde” for Wilhelmine, Bertha and Hermann, and “Wandhagen” for August Strehlow.

Rügenwalde was on the northern coast of Prussia, and is called Darłówko, Darlowo, Poland now.  It is straight north on the coast from Jastrowie (where the Zierke family came from) and the Netzbruch region (where the Schmidts came from).

Bertha Strehlow gave her birthplace as “Waldehagen, Roning, Pomerania” on her marriage certificate, so it may be that the family lived in Wandhagen first then some of them moved to Rügenwalde before they came to the US.  Wandhagen is about 12 miles from Rügenwalde and is called Wierciszewo, Zachodniopomorskie, Poland today.

Bertha’s mother Maria Wihelmine Schwarz was born, according to her death record, in Böbbelin, Pommerania.  She was baptized in the nearby town of See Buckow.  Bertha’s grandfather Johann Ferdinand Strehlow Sr. was listed on his marriage record in 1829 as a resident of Neuenhagen, which was in the same area.

Wandhagen & Rügenwalde

Wandhagen & Rügenwalde

Rügenwalde  (Darlowo), from 1816 to 1945 in district of Schlawe (Slawno) in administrative district of Köslin (Koszalin), Province of Pomerania.

Wandhagen (Wierciszewo, Zachodniopomorskie, Poland), a village in “Hinterpommern” = East Pomerania, district Schlawe in administrative district of Köslin until 1945.