European Vacations

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Descendant of Elder/Pilgrim William Brewster

Hi Everyone, here is the family history chart of my  descendancy with Pilgrim William Brewster. I have yet to work on a DAR application, and I am hoping to do that someday soon.The research was completed by my maternal grandmother's  first cousin, Marjorie DeFoer Blodgett, in 1984. In the book, she stated, "The main research was done by Gary Boyd Roberts of the research staff, New England Historical  and Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass. 8 Feb 1984."

Brewster William of Bently cum Arksey -next to Doncaster, Yorkshire
Had goods dated 1521
Taxed in 1524
m. Maud Man bef 1588---sister of Christopher Man of Scrooby

1.William b. ab 1535
2.Henry b. 1537 was vicar of Sutton on Lound Co Nottingham 1565-1594--Wife Agnes  bur  15 Mar 1597/1598

Brewster William 2nd
b. ab 1535
 m. 1st Mary Smyth widow of John Simkinson--she had one son, Thomas.
 m. 2nd Prudence ? perhaps Perkins--may have been a widow.
 d. in 1590 at Scrooby

children by Mary (who may have died shortly aft 1566
1. William b. 1566 Scrooby
  by Prudence who outlived William
2. James 1568   Welbeck (old gentry family)
3. Prudence m. Robert Peck of Everton Nottingham, had a dau Ann who m John Armitage 1611
4. John

William was a steward of Manor of Scrooby--and had become Post there on Great North Road from London to Scotland. He witnessed the will of his uncle Christopher Man in 1558 with Thomas and John Simkinson  of Doncaster 7 miles north of Scrooby.

Brewster William Elder
  b. 1566 pro in Scrooby  Nottinghamshire
m. ab 1589 Mary---uncertain if Mary Wentworth or Mary Wyrall
d. 10 Apr 1644 at Duxbury, Mass

1.probably Edward who was in Virginia 1610
2.Jonathan b. at Acrooby (I think that she meant Scrooby.) 12 Aug 1593 d. at New London, Conn, 7 Aug 1659 m. twice
3. Patience b. prob by 1600 m. Gov Thomas Prence; d 1634 in Plymouth, Mass
4.Fear d. at Plymouth 1 Dec 1634
5.Love d. at Duxbury late in 1650
6.Wrestling d. after 22  May 1627 a young man unmar
7. a child bur at Leydon in 1609

William matriculated at St. Peter's, Cambridge Univ. but did not graduate.
His uncle Francis Smyth was a vicar of Crowle-Lincoln Co. had also attended St. Peters.
Davison whom he had accompanied to Holland on a diplomatic mission 1585-6. When he returned home he aided his father at Post House and succeeded him  after 1590.  He managed the Post until 1607. During this time he adopted the tenets of Puritanism and became a leader of the Separatist movement.  He printed a forbidden religious matter and once was sent to prison. He fled to Holland late in 1607 and was elected ruling Elder in Leydon not later than 1613. Here he continued printing of "heretical" books---sometimes making secret trips to England.
            He was chosen to lead the first band of Pilgrims to America, and is believed to have been the author of the "Mayflower Compact" which he was fourth to sign.  He was chaplain of the first military company organized in Plymouth under Miles Standish,  and was ruling Elder at Plymouth Plantation for many years."

Brewster Patience
b. ab 1600
m. Gov Thomas Prence; d. 1634 in Plymouth, Mass.  He m. 2nd Mary Collier
d. 29 mar 1673 at Plymouth

children by Patience Brewster
1. Rebecca 1627-1650 m. Edmund Freeman
2. Hannah 1629 d bef Nov 1698 m 2nd Jonathan Sparrow
3. Mercy b ab 1631 m John Freeman 13 Feb 1649; d 28 Sept 1711 age 80
4. Thomas 1633 d in Eng bef 1672

    by Mary Collier
5. Jane b 1 Nov 1637 m Mark Snow
6. Mary m John Tracy
7. Judith m Isaac barker and 2nd Wm. Tubbs
8. Eliz. m Arthur Howland
9. Sarah b 1646 d 1706

Freeman John, Major, son of Edmund Freeman and Bennett Hodsoll (dau of John Hodsoll/Holsoll and Faith Bacon) bp 28 Jan 28 Jan 1626/27  at Billinghurst o. Sussex  England
m. Mercy Prence  at Eastham 13 Feb 1649/50
d. Eastham Mass 28 Oct. 1719

Freeman Thomas
b. Sept 1653 at Harwich Mass
m. Rebecca Sparrow 31 Dec 1673
d. 9 Feb 1715/16 at Harwich Mass
1. Mercy b. 30 Oct  1674 m. Paul Sears Jr. d. 30 Aug 1747 .  

Jr. Sear Paul b. 21 Dec 1695 m Charity Witridge  dau of Wm. Whitridge  and Abigail Blachfield

Sears Nathaniel b. Rochester, Mass. 1 Sept 1738
m. 26 Nov 1761 Eliz Winslow, dau of John Winslow and Bethia Andrews (1741-1828)
d. 28 Apr 1816 at Long Plain Mass.

Winslow Eliz b 3 Jan 1767 d. 1850 m. Martin Bryant, b. 1765 in Plympton Mass, d. 1833, son of Nathaniel Bryant and Joanne Cole.

Bryant Mary b. 14 Mar 1801 d ? m 1st Lynus Thayer 1826 m. 2nd Rev. Bezabeel Hill pro at Ludlow Vt. Rev Bezabeel Hill was born 2 Apr 1797 Gardner, Mass., d. in Iowa 1871

Hill Ryland Judson b. 27 Sept 1832 Strykersville NY m. Cornelia Rolfe  in Vevay,  Ingham County, MI 20 Oct 1858 at home of Henry E Rolfe by Rev. Bezabeel Hill. d. 29 July 1894 Floyd Iowa.

Hill Cary Fury b. 17 Jan 1865 Vernon, Wright Co. Iowa m. 5 Aug 1888  to Emma Raymond (b. 11 May 1872 in Floyd, Iowa, and dau of Lorenzo Raymond and Susan Elizabeth Rider, d. 13 June 1947  bur. Camas, WA) d. in Floyd, Iowa. d. 28 May 1946 Vancouver WA (Bur in Camas WA.) 

Hill Nina Susan b. 22 Aug 1889, Floyd, Iowa, m. Charles Sanford 2 Apr 1908 at Hubbard, Minnesota. He was b. 28 Sept 1886 in Hubbard County, MN, and was the son of Frank Sanford and Adella Rex. He died 26 Mar 1980 in Hubbard, MN. Nina d. 20 Dec 1972 in Hubbard, MN.

Sanford Fern Irene b. 26 July 1909, dau of Nina Hill and Charles Sanford, m. Clement Erdman on 26 July 1933 at  St. Anne's Catholic Church, Minneapolis, MN. Clement was the son of Albert Erdman/Erdmann and Rozalia Rzybazejek, and was born 5 Oct 1899  in Poznan, (Selganau, Germany) Poland. Fern died 28 Sept 1982, and is buried in New Hope, MN.. Clement died 26 May 1984, and is also buried in New Hope, MN.

Erdman Joyce Mary b. 14 Apr 1939 in Minneapolis, MN, and dau of Fern Irene Sanford and Clement Erdman/Erdmann. She m. Larry Paul Moran, son of Paul Moran and Monica Flansburg 8 Apr 1967 at St. Anne's Catholic Church, Minneapolis, MN. Larry was born in Little Falls, MN on 20 Oct 1935, and died 31 Oct 2007, and is buried at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery in Belle Prairie, MN.

Moran Claudette Marie b. 21 Feb 1968 in Little Falls, MN.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Howdy, Neighbor!"

Howdy do, neighbor? How many of you lived in a neighborhood, where everyone knew your name, and who your family was? Well, as you know, I lived on a farm when I was growing up, so I did not have easy access to the charms of living in the city like some of my cousins did. However, our farm was in a nice neighborhood, where you could trust your neighbors, ride the school bus with their children and grandchildren, and ride your bikes all over the place.
  My farm was located in what used to be the junction of Highway 115 and County Road 47 near Camp Ripley, a military base. On the county road across from us, was the Charles Rasinsky farm. To the north of us was LeDoux's Store/Country Store. And to the south of us, was the Dan Witt Farm.  Since my mother was originally from Minneapolis, you would think that she would be quite flexible with allowing three of my younger brothers and I to ride our bikes all over the place as we grew up. But, since we lived along a very busy main drag at that time, she kept a rather tight leash on at least the four oldest, although she did allow us to walk and  climb the military tank on display with our cousins and friends.
   While I did not know Charles Rasinsky very well, I did know his wife, Mary, several of her children and in-laws, and her grandchildren as well, because we all rode the school bus together, even though we attended different elementary schools at the time.  We were a rowdy bus, but not so rowdy that we would get into trouble for it. (That came when I was in the middle school.) Our bus driver, Paul Lukasavitz, would give us gift certificates for the Dairy Queen at the end of the school year. He was definitely a very kind bus driver.
When Charles Rasinsky passed away, Mary moved back to the farm to live for the remainder of her years. With that, her entire family would come to the farm and spend time there. This was another opportunity for my younger siblings and I to finally have friends to hang out with, especially during the summer. I also found out that my great-great aunt, Antoinette Dugas Bellefuille, had been good friends with Mary when she and Uncle Hector owned my family farm. When Aunt Antoinette came to visit us, I walked her over to see Mary, so that they could visit.
During the summer of 1980, my dad thought that in order for a younger brother and I to earn money, that we would raise chickens, so that they could be butchered in the fall. So, he built a chicken coop for our farm, and used part of Mary's barn as a coop as well. Once the chores were done, I would walk over to the Rasinsky farm, and hang out with the grandchildren as frequently as I could. Two of them were living near an army base in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and were staying at their grandma's for the summer. We definitely had loads of fun! As my younger sisters grew up, they wanted to come along with me, so that they could play with the youngest one. So, that is how we spent our time.
Occasionally, my mother would make loaves of banana bread, and ask me to bring a loaf to share with Mary. So, when I showed up, she was always glad to see me at her door, and offer some cookies and lemonade while we visited with each other. This also occurred when I was an adult as well.
My siblings and I have a nice memory of using the Rasinsky farm as a land mark. When we were traveling, and headed for home, as soon as one of my younger siblings would see the Rasinsky farm, they would say, "Almost home! I see 'Sinsky's house!" (They meant Rasinsky's house, of course.)
Mary passed away in March of 2002. Sadly, after her passing, the MN Department of Transportation bought the Rasinsky farm, and several acres of my parent's family farm, in order to expand the main drag, and change the routing of  County Road 47. Unfortunately, this led to the demolition of the  Rasinsky Farm, and changed the neighborhood as well.  While progress is good, and we needed the progress, neighborhoods change to memories for those that carry on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brown Ford Pick Up

When my younger siblings and I were growing up, my dad liked to invite us to go with him on a "toot", aka, a ride in the pickup truck. He originally had a blue 1960's pickup, that looked exactly like the one that Redd Fox would drive on the TV show entitled, "Sanford and Son".  However, during the summer of 1972, Dad bought a brand new brown Ford pickup, that seemed to last a lifetime for us, unlike the rest of the bomber vehicles that we had.
 I have been deprived a car for a couple of years now, and the one that I shared with my mother quit as well. I have so many horror stories about the car bombers that my dad would buy, that our back 40 looked like an automobile junkyard! However, the brown Ford pickup was my favorite one of all.  Not only would my dad take us on toots to the West Side Cafe so that we could visit with my paternal grandfather, and eat a Hershey's Candy Bar , for example, but my mother would use it to drive to Minneapolis, particularly if I had an eye doctor appointment at North Memorial Hospital, and to visit with my maternal grandparents as well.
That pickup fit us just fine, thank you very much. None of us needed a car seat, and we could either sit on Mom's lap, or on top of each other, provided that we got along! (I definitely felt outnumbered 3 to 1.) It even could drive through the snow! Well, except for a snow storm in 1975. Dad, Mom, my three younger brothers, and I, took a ride to visit with the Ray and Beatrice Waldock Family on a Sunday afternoon. We stayed for supper, in spite of the snow coming down rather hard. By 9:00 pm, the truck would not start, and the roads were bad. They would eventually cancel school the next day, but in the mean time, we had a nice slumber party with the Waldock Family. We did make it home safely the next day, even though my aunt was frantically worried about where we were, as Mom was pregnant with number five.  We drove that truck until it rusted through in 1980. It was reliable and fun to ride in.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Southwest Circle Tour

On Sunday, April 15, 2012, I along with my mother, will be embarking on a group tour with Laverne's Travel. Our destinations include Oklahoma City, Albuqerque, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. We will see a multitude of churches and memorials along the way as well. Please keep us in your prayers for a safe and fun journey. Thank you, and happy trails!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

German, or Polish? Acadian, French, or French-Canadian? How confusing.......

As most people know, in the state of Minnesota, citizens have reported their ethnic backgrounds as either French, German, Norwegian, Polish, or Swedish.  The top three reported ethnic backgrounds ended up as German, Norwegian, and Swedish. While I am not Norwegian or Swedish, I have a German background on both sides of my family. And, while a number of people are concerned about having a combination of  Acadian and French-Canadian ethnic backgrounds, it can occur, as it did in my own family history.
I do have a cousin, by the name of Darin Flansburg, that has quite diligently worked on the Flansburg family history that takes us back to Germany. So, I will add more information on that when it becomes available.
As for my mother's paternal side of the family, it is still quite a mystery. My mother is the youngest of four children, and did not know her paternal grandmother very well.  Her paternal grandfather, Albert Erdmann, died before her parents were married, and he  remains rather mysterious as well. Earlier in my childhood, my mother stated that her paternal grandmother, Rozalie did not learn to speak English, but was bi-lingual in the German and Polish languages. My maternal grandfather, Clement Erdman Sr., actually immigrated to the USA from Germany in September/October, 1901. He  celebrated his second birthday on the ship that they sailed to Ellis Island on. The ship was called the Barbarosa, and it was manufactured in Germany, according to ship manifest records.
As I had previously reported in earlier blogs, my maternal grandfather and his family were from the village of Selgenau, Germany, Prussia. When the Albert Erdmann/Erdman Family arrived in Minnesota, they saved quite a few pictures, but only one document from the journey that they took. Since my maternal grandfather, Clement Erdman Sr. was too young to remember the journey, I did try to ask his older sister, Tress Erdman, about the journey. However, you have to remember that this was back in 1980, and Aunt Tress was in her 80's, and I was a nosey twelve year old at the time. She just refused to talk about the past. So, unfortunately, I didn't get very far. I am guilty of looking through their upstairs bedrooms, and found a multitude of prayer books that looked like they were written in the Polish language, and unfortunately, Aunt Tress caught me doing that. She didn't yell at me though, which is rather ironic. I was the lucky one that got to stay overnight in my great-grandparents house on 22nd Avenue North in Minneapolis, because none of my younger siblings got to do that!:)
Fast forward to 1984, and I am 16 years old at that time. Aunt Tress was paralized from a stroke, and bedridden in a nursing home. Grandpa Clement was living on his own at my grandparents house near the corner of 28th and Knox Avenue North. He received home health care, but was able to cook for himself, as long as someone came to clean the house, bring him Holy Communion, and take him shopping. I finally got gutsy enough to write him a letter, and ask him the questions that I needed to regarding our family history. While his answers turned into a one page story, it was a start in the right direction that we needed. Because, during the month of March, 1984, Aunt Tress passed away, and Grandpa Clement passed away in May, 1984. We were about to find the treasure trove that we needed to do family history research.
The treasures that were found included a multitude of pictures and film, a document written in German, a US citizenship certificate,  two address books from the years of 1912 and 1913, a violin, a dress, a broken doll, and several other unidentified pictures that my mother's oldest brother, Bob decided to keep for himself up until he passed away.  He did make copies of the German document, and the US citizenship certificate. However, no one in the family was willing to make an effort to have that German document translated!:(  The trunk that my mother received from her oldest brother, sat in her bedroom for nearly twenty years, and it was a huge effort for her to even open it, and go through what was in there. At least she found coins that she could save and redeem. But still, it wasn't until July, 1999, when I found the ship manifest and passenger list on the Ellis Island web site, and that motivated me enough to log on to GenForum, and start my genealogical research journey.
In the winter and early spring of 2002, I first logged on to do research on the DeRosier/Dupre/Corbett family tree, which is the branch that my paternal grandmother, Monica Flansburg Moran was descended from. Little did I know at the time, that it would intersect with my Dugas/Boisjolie family tree, thanks to the Arsenault/Donais  and Arsenault/Dugas branches of my family trees. It wasn't until the year of 2011, that I would finally make the discovery that not only am I French and French-Canadian, but thanks to my cousins Gerry Hebert and Lloyd Dugas, I would serendipously find out that I was Acadian as well, as I am a descendent of Pierre Arsenault and Marie Guerin, because of my great-great-great-great grandparents, Francois Pichet-Dupre and Marie Donais-Daunais. Marie Donais-Daunais was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Daunais and Archange Arsenault. So yes, that  was my first acknowledgement of coming from Acadia.
It was rather nerve wrackimg to even try to start to research my maternal grandfather's family history.  My uncle, Bob Erdman, sadly kept trying to tell me that I would be unable to find anything, because most of the records were destroyed during World War Two. Even my own mother tried to sadly discourage me from  trying to find anything  at all.  However, since they could not PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not be able to find anything at all, I took their bluff on GenForum, and I proved them all wrong!:)
In January, 2004, I took the copy of the German written document, and determined that since it had birthdates of my maternal grandfather, his older siblings, and parents, that I figured that either it was a ship manifest, a  passport of some sort, or a marriage license. So, with the help of my younger brother, Matthew Moran, who scanned the document for me,  and Robert Theiss, who translated the document for me, it turned out to be a Departure Certificate instead. Here is the entire translation of the said document:
> >
> >Claudette, I have received the document from your brother. First, it's not a ship manifest at all. It's an altogether different kind of document, one that was prepared by the local authorities in Selgenau. I can understand why you had such difficulty with it, because it's written in the pre-1941 German script (and the document is also printed otherwise in the pre-1941 German alphabet). I not only know how to read, but also how to write the old German script. My friends in Germany have always been amused by the fact that I love the old German script. But in my history studies I of course had to know how to read it or I couldn't have read all the old documents I had to read. But I learned how to write it back when I was in my teens. So I didn't have to "decipher" the document at all. I simply read it. (In January 1941, Hitler ordered the German alphabet abolished.) I think there could be a rather intriguing story here. But before I go into that, I have to tell you something about life in Germany so that you can put this document into the proper context:
> >
> >In Germany, it has always been a requirement, and still is today, for everyone to be registered with their local police department. In my case, for example, when I got to Munich, I had to register with the police within five days. I lived at three different addresses while I was there, and each time I moved, I had to go to the police and give them my new address. When someone in Germany decides to move from one city or town to another, they have to go to the police in the city or town they're leaving and tell the police where they're moving to, they're issued a Departure Certificate, and then when they get to the new city or town, they have five days to register with the police there. If you don't register with the police within five days of moving, you're subject to a fine or a few days in jail. As I said, everyone in Germany has to be registered with the local police, and that's how it's always been in Germany. You have to know this about Germany to be able to understand this document.
> >
> >Now to your document: As I said, it is not a ship manifest. You will note the heading: Abzugs-Attest, which is German for Departure Certificate, and that was the document anyone would have needed back at that time in Germany when planning to move from one city or town to another. It had nothing whatsoever to do with emigration. They would get the Departure Certificate from the police in the city or town they were leaving, and they would then present the Certificate to the police in the city or town they were moving to, and that's how they would register. As mentioned above, in Germany today, people are still issued such Departure Certificates when they plan to move from one city or town to another, but of course today they come out of the computer. Anyway, this is how the document begins (the words in square brackets I have added to make things clearer to you):
> >
> >
> >In accordance with §21 of the Ordinance of June 19, 1837, the below-named person, who has the intention of moving from Selgenau, Administrative District (Kreis) of Kolmar, [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia] to Wulfersdorf [Province of Brandenburg, Kingdom of Prussia], is hereby issed this Departure Certificate with instructions that upon arrival at the new place of residence, he is to immediately report to the local police authorities and present this Certificate. Failure to do so will result in a fine of from 1 to 15 Marks or a comparable jail sentence.
> >
> >Down in the lower right, you will see that the Departure Certificate was issued in Selgenau on September 13, 1901. In the lower left, the police authorities in Wulfersdorf noted:
> >
> >Registered and de-registered today, September 24, 1901.
> >
> >According to the ship manifest (and I am referring now to the ship manifest), just four days later, on September 28, 1901, their ship left Bremen to take them to America. So they never actually planned to move to Wulfersdorf at all. They registered and de-registered with the police there all on the same day and then left for America! This is what makes this so intriguing. For some reason or other, Albert made up a story for the authorities in Selgenau, claiming that the family was moving to Wulfersdorf, whereas in reality, they were planning to emigrate to America. So it seems to me, Claudette, that for some reason or other, Albert and Rosalia did not want the people in Selgenau to know that they were emigrating to America. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why they went through the charade of getting this Departure Certificate. When they were packing all their belongings, as far as anyone in Selgenau knew, they were moving to Wulfersdorf in Brandenburg. When they registered and de-registered in Wulfersdorf on September 24, 1901, they of course had to tell the Wulfersdorf police that they were going up to Bremen to sail to America. But for whatever reason, they apparently did not want to tell the Selgenau police that this is what they were actually planning to do. Why they chose Wulfersdorf for their brief stopover on the way to Bremen, is anybody's guess. Maybe there were relatives in Wulfersdorf. In any event, they obviously did not want the people in Selgenau to know that they were emigrating. You've told me that your family has always been so closed-mouthed about their life in Germany, and this now makes me feel, Claudette, that maybe there is some kind of an interesting story there! So your uncle was right about a town "near Berlin", but the family was only there for a few days!
> >
> >Now to the people listed:
> >
> > 1.. Albert Erdmann tailor born 24 April 1859 in Grabau, Administrative District (Kreis) of Wirsitz, [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia], Catholic, married;
> > 2.. Rosalia Erdmann wife born 15 March 1862 in Zbyschwitz, Administrative District (Kreis) of Kolmar, [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 3.. Martha Erdmann daughter born 20 December 1886 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar, [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 4.. Maria Erdmann daughter born 8 December 1888 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar, [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 5.. Agatha Erdmann daughter born 26 April 1892 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 6.. Franz Erdmann son born 20 May 1894 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 7.. Theresa Erdmann daughter born 7 May 1898 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia];
> > 8.. Clemens Erdmann son born 5 October 1899 in Selgenau, Kreis Kolmar [Province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia].
> >Just a couple of things: The administrative districts (in German: Kreise) of Kolmar and Wirsitz were adjacent to one another. Kreis Wirsitz bordered Kreis Kolmar on the northeast. Both were located in the northern part of what was until 1918 the Prussian province of Posen. Both bordered the Prussian province of West Prussia on the north.
> >
> >The town where Rosalia was born, Zbyschwitz, was also called Bischwitz, the spelling with the "Z" being slightly more Polish. I told you before that Posen's capital, the city of Posen, is called in Polish Poznan. I also told you before that Selgenau now has the Polish name Zelgniewo and that Kolmar now has the Polish name Chodziez. Grabau now has the Polish name Grabowno. Wirsitz now has the Polish name Wyrzysk. Zbyschwitz or Bischwitz now has the Polish name Huby (with its German name already having been so Polish, why the Poles decided to call the town Huby, who knows?)
> >
> >As luck would have it, there are two towns in Brandenburg called Wulfersdorf. Unfortunately, the person in Selgenau who prepared the Departure Certificate wrote just the name of the town and did not include the administrative district (Kreis). Your uncle is mistaken about the 20km or 12 miles. Both Wulfersdorfs are a bit further from Berlin than that. One of the Wulfersdorfs is about 70 miles or 115km north-northwest of Berlin, and the other Wulfersdorf is located about 45 miles or 75km southeast of Berlin.
> >
> >So now you have a lot more of the story, Claudette. And it is rather intriguing, don't you agree? For some reason, Albert and Rosalia did not want to let on to the authorities in Selgenau that they were emigrating.
> >
> >Now that we know for sure that the Erdmann family was from the old Prussian province of Posen, I will send you another e-mail tomorrow and tell you a bit more about Posen. Meanwhile, you can look at the three maps again. Now that you know for sure that the family was from Posen, you can pay more careful attention to just where the province of Posen was located. As I explained, the "Kreise" of Kolmar and Wirsitz were located in the northern part of the province, bordering on the Prussian province of West Prussia. When you look at the first map, the "Kreise" of Kolmar and Wirsitz were located above the letters "IA" at the end of the word "PRUSSIA".
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Robert
>Here is the history regarding the countries of Prussia, Germany, and Poland, along with information regarding the border changes that occured as well. I will also include a copy of the maps as well.
Claudette, I do hope that the links to the maps transmitted OK with my e-mail of this noon.  I wanted to send you another e-mail now, just to tell you a little bit about the old Prussian province of Posen:
What became the Prussian province of Posen (capital: city of Posen) fell to Prussia as a result of the three partitions of Poland in the late 18th century -- 1772, 1793 and 1795.  At that time, Poland was divided among Prussia, Russia and Austria (Russia having gotten the lion's share) and Poland thereupon disappeared from the map as an independent nation for almost 125 years.  The province of West Prussia (capital: Danzig) fell to Prussia at this time as well.  Whereas Posen was always majority Polish, but with a large German minority, West Prussia, despite all the years under Polish rule, was majority German with a Polish minority.  West Prussia's German history stretched all the way back to the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century.
In 1919, following World War I, the western Allies reestablished an independent Poland.  Germany then had to relinquish most of the Prussian provinces of Posen and West Prussia.  If you look at the second map I sent you, you will see how the loss of most of West Prussia to Poland created the infamous "Polish Corridor", separating the Prussian province of East Prussia from the rest of Germany.  The purely German city of Danzig was made into a so-called "Free City" under League of Nations control.  The seeds of World War II were thus planted already in 1919.  The Poles did not treat the Germans who came under their control very well at all.  The Germans were made into second class citizens.  For this reason, many of Posen's and West Prussia's Germans left in the course of the 1920s and relocated to Germany because they simply did not want to live in Poland.
The province of Posen came under German control again in September 1939.  It became part of what was then given the name Warthegau (pronounced: VAHR-teh-GOW; in English: Warthe District), from the Warthe River, which flows through it.  Its formal name was "Reichsgau Wartheland".  Many of the Germans who had left Posen in the 1920s then returned to their former homes -- a fatal mistake, as it turned out.
Following World War II, almost all of Germany lying east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers was given to Poland (with the exception of the northern half of the Prussian province of East Prussia, which was taken by the Soviet Union).  The 12 million inhabitants of eastern Germany were thereupon expelled from their homes under horrific conditions, having to leave everything behind.  Many did not survive the ordeal.  It was hell on earth.  The Polish authorities then repopulated those territories with Poles.  The Poles who were sent to repopulate those territories moved into fully furnished houses with clothes in the closets, dishes in the cupboards, etc.  When the Germans were gathered for expulsion, they were told to leave all valuables such as jewelry and silverware in plain view on a table and to leave their front doors ajar with the keys in the keyholes facing out, and then they were sent on their way to make the trek to western Germany.  As I said, many perished.  There are thus of course no more Germans at all living in what was the Prussian province of Posen today.
The third map I sent you shows today's truncated Germany.  (In 1947, two years after the end of World War II, the Allies declared the state of Prussia officially abolished.)
Here are a couple of websites that you might find interesting:
When you click on the second link and go down to the bottom of that page, you will see a map of Posen and its administrative districts (Kreise).  In the north, you will see Kolmar and Wirsitz.
The "Kreise" of Kolmar and Wirsitz were both in the administrative region (in German: Regierungsbezirk) of Bromberg. 
Following the expulsion, the expellees founded organizations in West Germany known as Landsmannschaften, which translates best as "compatriot organizations" and which are still active today.  The organization for Germans who had lived in the former province of Posen is the Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe (Compatriot Organization Vistula-Warthe).  I will give you their contact information:
                                                                        Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe e.V.
                                                                        Friedrichstr. 35
                                                                        65185 Wiesbaden
                                                                        phone:  011-49-611-379787
Within the Landsmannschaft are subgroups made up of the former German residents of each of Posen's administrative districts (Kreise).  So I will also give you the contact information for the "Heimatkreisgemeinschaft Kolmar" (Homeland District Group Kolmar):
                                                                        Heimatkreisgemeinschaft Kolmar
                                                                        Kochstr. 15
                                                                        49565 Bramsche
                                                                        phone:  011-49-5461-885041
(I'll find out if the Heimatkreisgemeinschaft Kolmar has an e-mail.  That would be the most convenient way to contact them.  I'm sure people who used to live in Selgenau must belong to the group, perhaps even relatives of yours.  Do you think Albert and Rosalia had brothers and sisters who remained in Germany?  If so, their descendants are probably living somewhere in Germany today.)
Albert Erdmann was born in Grabau, Kreis Wirsitz.  Although Bromberg and Wirsitz were made part of the province of Posen in 1815, historically, they were part of West Prussia.  So former German residents of Kreis Wirsitz do not belong to the Landsmannschaft Weichsel-Warthe, but rather to the Landsmannschaft Westpreussen (Compatriot Organization West Prussia).  This is the contact information for the chairwoman of the group of the former German residents of Kreis Wirsitz:
                                                                        Helga Plöger
                                                                        Teutoburger Str. 4
                                                                        33604 Bielefeld
                                                                        phone:  011-49-521-171705
I think that's all for this time, Claudette.  Now you have a fair amount of background anyway.  As I mentioned before, the whole story raises such a puzzling question:  Why, on September 13, 1901, did Albert Erdmann go to the local authorities in Selgenau and tell them the story that the family was moving to Wulfersdorf in Brandenburg, rather than simply tell them the truth, namely, that the family was planning to emigrate to America?  You have to bear in mind that because of the possibility of criminals and the like trying to flee the country, nobody was allowed to board a ship in Bremen without first presenting to the German authorities in Bremen a document indicating that the local authorities back in the town where the person resided had been informed of the person's intention to emigrate and that everything was in order.  Rather than going to the local authorities in Selgenau, where they actually lived, and telling them that they were emigrating to America and obtaining the necessary documentation for their emigration right there, the Erdmann family chose instead to pro forma "move" to Wulfersdorf in Brandenburg, a couple hundred miles away, and get the documentation they would need for the emigration authorities in Bremen there.  The question again:  Why did they not want to tell the authorities in Selgenau that they were emigrating?  This question combined with the fact that your family has always been so tight-lipped, makes the whole thing very intriguing indeed.  Are you planning to tell your uncle all that you've found out so far?
Anyway, Claudette, I'll be in touch again.
Claudette, here are the links once again to the three maps.  I wonder why they didn't transmit last time.  I'm home now on my lunch hour, but this evening I'll try to get back to you again with the additional information about the Prussian province of Posen itself.
You should find the links to the three maps above this paragraph and below my first paragraph.  Please let me know if they come through this time.
 And last, but certainly not least, here is the advice that I received regarding how to find the churches in Germany and Poland to help me with my family history research as well.

Claudette, I wanted to send you another e-mail with a suggestion.  It's
something I think could potentially prove to be a goldmine of
information for you.
I've already told you that Selgenau was too small to have a church of
its own and that the Catholics of Selgenau attended church in nearby
Schmilau.  Grabau, where Albert was born, did have a Lutheran church but
no Catholic church.  The Catholics of Grabau attended church in nearby
Friedheim (which today has the Polish name Miasteczko Krajenskie).
Zbyschwitz or Bischwitz, the town where Rosalia was born, was, like
Selgenau, too small to have a church of any kind.  The Catholics of
Zbyschwitz or Bischwitz also attended church in Friedheim.  My guess is
that that's how Albert and Rosalia met, having attended church in the
same town.
Do you live near a Mormon Family History Center?  If so, you can obtain
and view there on microfilm Friedheim's Catholic church records covering
the years 1774 to 1932, and Schmilau's Catholic church records covering
the years 1689 to 1945.
In the Friedheim records, you would no doubt find both Albert and
Rosalia's baptismal records as well as the record you've been wanting,
namely, their marriage record.  Further, you would probably find the
baptismal records of all of the brothers and sisters of both Albert and
Rosalia.  In that way, you would finally know for sure how many there
were and all of their names.  (If your Aunt Tressa corresponded with a
cousin in Germany, all of Albert and Rosalia's brothers and sisters
couldn't have emigrated.)  The death records of Albert and Rosalia's
parents would no doubt be there as well.  In the Schmilau records, you
would find the baptismal records of all of Albert and Rosalia's
children, who were born in Selgenau.  It might be interesting to see who
the godparents of all the children were.
Zbyschwitz or Bischwitz, where Rosalia was born, was in Kreis Kolmar
right near the Kreis Wirsitz line.  Friedheim, where the Catholic church
was located, was in Kreis Wirsitz, where Grabau was also located.
A word about marriage in Germany:  Since 1875, civil ceremonies have
been mandatory.  In Germany, a couple must marry in a civil ceremony in
order to be recognized as legally married.  They are of course free to
have a church wedding as well later, if they so choose.  Because the
Catholic Church has never recognized civil ceremonies, most German
Catholics do have a church wedding at some point after their civil
ceremony.  This is why I feel you probably would find a marriage record
for Albert and Rosalia in the Friedheim Catholic church records.
All in all, Claudette, I think it would be well worth your while to go
to a Family History Center and order these microfilms.  (Schmilau had
only a Catholic church.  Friedheim had a Lutheran church as well, so you
would have to be sure that you order the microfilm of Friedheim's
Catholic church records.)

I wonder why your aunt didn't want you to know who the cousin in Germany
is.  My reason for having mentioned your uncle a few times is because
you told me that he has actively been trying to thwart you in your
research.  That's why I would be curious to know what he would have to
say about what you've found out so far -- if he'd be perturbed perhaps.
As I said on Wednesday, I'll find out if the "Heimatkreisgemeinschaft
Kolmar" has an e-mail address, as that would of course be the simplest
way to communicate.
Well, that's all the time that I have for today. Happy trails everyone!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Catholic, or catholic? Religious history of my ancestors

As I previously reported in my last blog post, I was able to obtain the baptismal information of my maternal grandfather, Clement Erdman Sr. In October, 1899, he was born in what was then known as Selgenau, Germany, Prussia. According to Father Ptach, the priest of St. Margaret Scapular Catholic Church in Smilowo, Poland, the baptismal certificate of my maternal grandfather stated surprising information about his mother, Rozalia Rzybazejek Erdmann/Erdman. It stated in the Polish language that she was "ewangeliczka", which meant that she was from the  Lutheran denomination.
The definition for the word "catholic" in Webster's Dictionary states, "Universal or general;affecting mankind as a whole, or affecting what is universal in human interest." Up until 1472, everyone that professed the Christian faith, were devoutly Catholic.
Clement Erdman Sr. was the youngest of seven children, and was baptized soon after his birth in October, 1899. The other surprising thing that I found when I received his baptismal information, was that his older siblings had not been baptized at that same church. Was the Erdman Family frequently moving at the time? Or, were they baptized at at Lutheran church instead?  The other Catholic Church that I have to request information from, was originally a Lutheran church, before it changed denominations. I have not contacted them as of yet though. What I am finding though, is that other Erdman/Erdmann families that share my mother's surname, is that they were  from the Lutheran denomination instead of Catholic.
When I reported my research results to my mother regarding her paternal grandmother's religious denomination, she did not hear me the first time that I told her the information. I had to repeat the information to her again, before she finally understood that there were more converts in her own family, than she had realized. What some of you may not know, is that my maternal grandmother was a convert from the Baptist denomination. Ironically, as I went through my maternal grandmother's family history, I found that a number of her ancestors stated that they came from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. Since this family history goes all the way back to England, several of the ancestors were indeed associated with Church of England, including some that came from royalty. Others reported their denominations as Methodists and  Huegenots, while others stated that they were Quaker and Puritan. The Coffin Family, of which I am a descendant of through the Hill-Raymond side of my family, reported their denomination as Quaker. They were abolitionists as well. Luecretia Coffin Mott, who's father was a minister,  was a descendant of this family as well,  was not only Quaker and an abolitionist, was an educated woman at the time, and was very active in the women's suffrage movement, which  included signing the women's Declaration of Independence in Senecca Falls, New York during the year of 1848. This was quite unheard of for women at that time, and quite controversial as well, as women were not able to vote, hold property in their name, or even obtain a divorce because of a miserable marriage. And, I must not forget the Wiliam Brewster Family, which I am a descendant of through his daughter, Patience, through the Brewster/ Prence/Hill/Raymond branch of my family tree. William  was a member  of the Puritan denomination, and then of course, was a member of the Separatist Movement, and sailed on the Mayflower with the rest of the Pilgrims, and landed near Plymouth Rock in 1620.
On my father's side, only a few of the branches of my family tree were originally of the Catholic denomination. This included the DeRosier, Doucet/Doucette, Dugas', Dupre' and Boisjolie families that came from Canada and France. However, the Moran/Morin family was a bit more complicated than that. They were baptized as Catholic, and at various times in their lives, waited until adulthood to be baptized. I am still trying to do more research with this. When the Flansburg Family immigrated from Germany, they were actually members of the Dutch Reformed Church, which is now known as the Presbyterian denomination. Various members of that family either converted to the Catholic denomination, or decided to become Lutheran instead. On the Dupre side of my family, I found out that my great-great-great-great grandfather,  James Corbett, was not only Irish, but was a member of the Church of England when he married my great-great-great-great grandmother, Hannah Holmes. They lived in the very Catholic community of Sorel, Quebec, and I am sure that they were probably pressured into converting to the Catholic denomination after their children grew into adulthood, and were married as well.

On my mother's maternal side of the family, my maternal grandmother's two younger brothers attended Northwestern College, at its previous location in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wilbur Sanford was ordained as a Baptist minister, and he, along with his wife, Dorothy, became Baptist missionaries in Buenos Aires, Aregentina. At various times throughout their lives, they would travel to Minnesota, not only to visit with relatives and friends, but to raise funds for their missionary service. I do remember as a child, my mother would receive letters from them at times reporting on their missionary activities and fund raising efforts.

Many religious denominations have gone through turbulent times over the past few centuries. As I stated previously, the word "catholic" means universal. I presently attend a church that professes a universal denomination, even though it has evolved and split off into several various versions of its original denomination, thanks to Martin Luther, who was actually from Germany as well.  What I need to research now about my mysterious great-grandmother Rozalie, is when she converted to the Catholic denomination, and why did she wait so long to do it. Did she do it when they were still living in Germany? Or, did she wait until they moved to Minnesota? Along with that, I still have to find out if Great-Grandpa Albert was of the Lutheran denomination as well. I do have my resources in place to do the research, but I need to research the religious  history of Germany as well. Happy trails, everyone!:)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Genealogy Research is NOT a Straight and Narrow Road

These past several months, I have worked rather diligently on the genealogy research of my ancestors. I have contacted two historical societies in Wisconsin in regards to the relatives of my maternal grandfather's paternal side of the family. I was also contacted by a cousin in regards to my mother's maternal side of the family. Last, but certainly not least, I contacted another cousin with regards to my maternal grandmother's maternal side of the family as well.

However, several years ago, during the week of the passing of my father, I logged on to GenForum to find out the names of the Catholic Churches of the village that my maternal grandfather was born in, and people were kind enough to provide me that information. It was nice to know that not only did they survive the bombings of World War 2, but that they also existed for several centuries! It took me another year to find out if the churches had web sites and contact information, which thankfully, they did.

One of the churches was named "St. Margaret and Scapular", and it is located in Smilowo, Poznan, Poland, next to the village of Zelgniewo, Poznan, Poland. The village of Zelgniewo was formally known as Selgenau, Germany, Prussia, which was where my maternal grandfather, Clement Erdman Sr., was born in. Clement was the youngest of six children, and his parents were Albert and Rosalia Rzybazejek Erdmann, and was born on October 5, 1899.   His father was a tailor.

As luck would have it, this family emigrated to the USA from a ship that  sailed from Bremen, Germany to Ellis Island . They saved one  record of their journey in 1901, but it would be years before I would have a chance  to get it translated. It turned out to be a German Relocation document, which I have mentioned in a previous post.

In any case, this past week, I did finally contact  the priest of St. Margaret and Scapular, and I received a very quick and positive response from Father Gerorge Ptach.  Here was his response

- Klemens Albert Erdmann - mój dziadek po kądzieli, ur. 5.10.1899 w Selgenau, ob. zw. Zelgniewo. – znalazłem pod nr 31/1899: „Albert Klemens, rodzice: Albert Erdmann i Rozalia Rzybazejek /nie wiem, czy dobrze odczytałem imię i nazwisko matki/, ojciec – katolik, matka – ewangeliczka, chrzestni: Józef Wirobek i Elżbieta Hammling”.
Odnośnie pozostałych osób nie znalazłem w księgach żadnego śladu. Prawdopodobnie byli wyznania ewangelicko augsburskiego i byli ochrzczeni w Brodnej, gdzie w 1895 r. został poświęcony kościół. Jeżeli są jakieś akta, to w Poznaniu tegoż wyznania.

Pozdrawiam i życzę dalszych owocnych poszukiwań. Ks. Jerzy Ptach

This was translated by my younger brother, Matthew:
> Here's a quick and dirt translation from Google Translate.
> Clement Albert Erdmann - my maternal grandfather, was born. 05/10/1899
> in Selgenau, ob. zw. Zelgniewo. - Found under No. 31/1899: "Albert
> Clement, parents: Albert and Rosalie Erdmann Rzybazejek / do not know
> how well I read the name of the mother / father - a Catholic, his mother
> - ewangeliczka, godparents: Joseph and Elizabeth Hammling Wirobek."
> Concerning other people have not found any trace in the books. Probably
> they were Evangelical Lutheran, and were baptized in Bródno, where in
> 1895 the church was dedicated. If there are any records, in Poznan, the
> same religion. I greet and wish further fruitful research. 


> - Klemens Albert Erdmann - mój dziadek po kądzieli, ur. 5.10.1899 w
> Selgenau, ob. zw. Zelgniewo. - znalazłem pod nr 31/1899: "Albert
> Klemens, rodzice: Albert Erdmann i Rozalia Rzybazejek /nie wiem, czy
> dobrze odczytałem imię i nazwisko matki/, ojciec - katolik, matka - 
> ewangeliczka, chrzestni: Józef Wirobek i Elżbieta Hammling".Odnoœnie
> pozostałych osób nie znalazłem w księgach żadnego œladu. Prawdopodobnie
> byli wyznania ewangelicko augsburskiego i byli ochrzczeni w Brodnej,
> gdzie w 1895 r. został poœwięcony koœciół. Jeżeli są jakieœ akta, to w
> Poznaniu tegoż wyznania. Pozdrawiam i życzę dalszych owocnych
> poszukiwań. Ks. Jerzy Ptach

> One must ponder what one should do next. I have some clues as to where I can find the rest of the information that I need. I will log on to GenForum for sure! Happy Trails everyone !:)