Tag Archives: Genealogy

How’s your German? Or Polish? Or Kashubian?

CarolineRADDE

I am trying to figure out just what the heck this document is and translating the information therein, which I am assuming is German. But who knows! Is it Polish? Or Kashubian, a Slavic language spoken and written by few? Do you know? I’d love to hear from you.

A distant cousin who lives in Switzerland posted it to a forum on Yahoo! Groups related to genealogy in a region of Europe known as Pomerania.

It is apparently about my great-great grandmother, Caroline Radde. (The file is named Caroline.R.) But I am having a heck of a time deciphering it.

If you can help, please don’t hesitate contacting me by commenting on this post or writing to me directly via email, hillaj@outlook.com. And thanks in advance for any assistance!

ajh

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Gotthilf!

His complete name is Gotthilf David Siegfried Lentz.

Recently I visited a friend, a retired Methodist minister, who has been visiting her daughter in Seattle.

For years she lived and worked in Seattle. The family is from Vermont, and she spent much of her youth in Switzerland, where her father was stationed with the State Department, I think.

While we talking one evening, she mentioned my tweet. She was curious about the name. We figured out the God part, but didn’t get farther than that. So later I decided to use the Google, specifically Google Translate, and after learning the meaning of his name, I sent off a note to her.

Just learned that Gotthilf is ‘God’s help’ in English.”

And she promptly replied, after her return home to Portland via the Bolt Bus.

“That is fantastic…nice name.”

Get thyself on Twitter, Hager-Smith! And then ye may tweet me directly.¹

ajh

1. She is, or was, on Twitter, but hasn’t updated her account since 2014.

Fascinating stuff! Long-lost siblings of my great grandpa — in Germany.

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Great grandpa Albert had a sister I didn’t know about. Her name was Friederike Caroline Auguste Fromke. In English this translates as Fredericka. She was born on February 4, 1859. She married a man named Friedrich Johann Ferdinand Kowalke on April 11, 1882 in a place called Borntuchen in Germany. I haven’t been able to track down what happened to them.

ajh

Remember CompuServe?

compuserve-logo

I didn’t even know that CompuServe was still around. But it is.

And those who use its forums are in for a lousy surprise. The company is shutting them down.

The Genealogy Forum on CompuServe dates back to 1988, and I’m sure there’s a wealth of material archived. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappear.

Too often unique sites are lost forever. Remember GeoCities and Yahoo’s decision to abandon the project?

ajh

Einwohner? Notes on German society in 1883, using my great grandpa as a case study.

GERMAN, A CHANGING LANGUAGE

Hmm. The only record that I’ve found of my great grandfather in Germany, which is a compliation of many sources I believe, lists his occupation in 1883. The German word is Einwohner.

Upon reading the word, I immediately began probling the tubes that make up the Internet to translate it, using everything from Google Translate to a hashtag on Twitter.

Not satisfied, I tried a mailing list on genealogy, geographic-specific, hosted by Yahoo and recvieved this wonderfully descriptive answer from Piotr Mankowski, resident of Nowogard, Poland, which was Naugard, Germany until World War II.

“Einwohner was a status and meant a person who rented or leased a flat or house in the village or town. In some cases, the person had to pay for the roof over his head by, for example, working for a day for the owner, especially if residing in the farmer’s house.”

Heniz Radde, who was born in a place called Gross Tuchen, which isn’t far from where my ancestors lived, and now lives in Switzerland, wrote a concise explanation.

“Today Einwohner means inhabitant and nothing else. But in the past, the word was in use for day laborer and very small farmer as well. Sometimes it was written Einlieger for the same.”

ajh

The Missing Fromke Brothers | Friedrich Wilhelm, Carl August & Emil Gustav

In my pursuit of learning more about the family history, I discovered the names of three siblings — three brothers — of my great grandfather, a farmer born in Prussia who settled in South Dakota named Albert Fromke, which for some reason had been lost and not been passed down.

On this chart, Albert continues to be listed as the first born, a detail which I’ve always ignored for some reason.

The second born, another male, is new to me. His name was Friedrich Wilhelm Fromke. He was born in 1861 Borntuchen, Kreis Bütow, Pommern, Prussia. He died two years later, in 1863.

The next child unknown to me was Carl August Fromke, born in 1866 in Borntuchen. That’s all the information recorded.

The last brother, new to me, was Emil Gustav Fromke, born in Borntuchen in 1875.

Oddly, another brother who also immigrated to America, August Ludwig Fromke, isn’t included on this family tree. He was born on 1873 and died in South Dakota in 1909. He relocated to California for a while, but did not like life there and returned to South Dakota.

ajh

Fantastic! Discovering details on my great-great grandmother.

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I wasn’t sure I’d ever find more information than what had been collected before me.

I began asking questions and taking notes on the family history in 1989, my first year of high school.

But the only info my mother had on her father’s grandparents were their names, and one was misspelled.

My maternal grandmother had them recorded as Carl Fromke and Caroline Rabe. Later, I learned that Rabe was incorrect. Her maiden name was Radde.

And now I know when she was born and when she died.

ajh

Name: Caroline Fromke
Maiden Name: Radde
Death Age: 49
Event Type: Sterbefall (Death)
Birth Date: 22 Januar 1830
[abt 1830]
Death Date: 27 Jul 1879
Death Place: Borntuchen, Preußen (Germany)
[Polen (Poland)]
Civil Registration Office: Borntuchen, Krs Bütow
Father: Michael Radde
Mother: Eva Radde
Certificate Number: 22

Goodbye, Cousin

300px-Doty-42-4THERE ARE LOTS
of us, no doubt. Cousins, that is. As you go back in time, the fewer the people and therefore the increased likelihood that any two people today share a common ancestor.

Such is the case with a roguish character who sailed for America on the Mayflower as an indentured servant, Edward Doty. I am a descendant, thanks to my mother.

So was Dorothy Anne “D.A.” Murphy Van Nest of Scottsdale, Arizona. She died in September at the age of 95, and I learned about her connection to Doty and me from her obituary.

ajh

What was he doing in South America? In Montevideo, Uruguay?

AND WHERE IS YOUR WIFE?

My great grandmother’s younger brother, Leslie Warren Darling, was engaged to a girl named Ruth June Amos. But his death during the First World War changed their plans.

Ruth married another World War I veteran, William Donald Jordan, on August 12, 1919 in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa.

NYT715_4198-0831

There is a nine year gap in records. I can’f find any records for either of them until January 17, 1928, when William arrived in New York City after taking a ship, the SS American Legion, from Montevideo, Uruguay.

He had already apparently been living in New York City for some time, a residence at 41 Broad Street in the heart of Wall Street.

What he was doing in South America isn’t known, nor what happened to Ruth. He remarried in May of 1928.

Did he divorce Ruth or had she died? Did she die during a misadventure in South America? Or is there something more sinister at work here? Murder?

People don’t just disappear. I intend on getting to the bottom of this.

ajh