#52ancestors No. 19 – Sophia Maria Wilhelmine Warnke

This is my 19th post for the 52 ancestors challenge from Amy Crow over at “No story too small”.


This time it is about my 2nd great grandmother Sophia Maria Wilhelmine WARNKE who was born on July 18, 1860 in Kastahn, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

She was the oldest of ten children of the farmer Johann Friedrich Gottlieb WARNKE and his wife Maria Elisabeth Wilhelmine née OLDENBURG.

church & cemetary Diedrichshagen

church & cemetary Diedrichshagen


On July 29, 1860 she received her christening in the local church of the parish in Diedrichshagen. In the file below her baptism entry is the one No. 21

Warnke Sophia Maria Wilhelmine 1860 baptism

In the same church she got confirmed into lutheran religion on March 21, 1875 and she married the mason Joachim Heinrich Gottlieb FREYTAG from Diedrichshagen on December 7, 1883.

civil wedding certificate Warnke - Freytag

civil wedding certificate Warnke – Freytag

The couple had three children I know of so far:

  • Emma Wilhelmine Elisabeth (* July 26, 1884 + November 11, 1972) – my greatgrandmother
  • Christine Sophia Dorothea (* August 27, 1885 + 1973)
  • Gottlieb Hans Heinrich (* June 20, 1888)

While checking my sources for this post it striked me that I didn’t have any entries for her for the censuses 1867, 1890, 1900 or 1919. I checked those online today again – but nothing. I wonder where she is. And her family, too.

I haven’t found a death entry so far for her.






July 17 – Werner Joachim Hans Hermann August Freytag

Due to the political pressure in Great Britain during World War I. King George V. adopts the family name Windsor after the Royal Family’s place of residence in favour of “House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha” the original German descendance on July 17, 1917.

And one year later, on July 17, 1918 Lenin orders the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II., his wife, their four daughters and the crownprince Alexej in Jekaterinenburg.

On my family tree we meet my 3rd cousin 2x removed Werner Joachim Hans Hermann August FREYTAG.

He was born on July 17, 1912 in Kastahn, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany as second oldest of five children into the marriage of Richard August Joachim Johann FREYTAG and his wife Berta Wilhelmine Elise née WARNKE. One of my many FREYTAG-WARNKE combinations, I might add ;)

Werner received his christening on August 11, 1912 in Diedrichshagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. Barely one month before he died on September 9, 1912. His father registered his death with the officials on the same day.

death certificate Werner Freytag

death certificate Werner Freytag

Werner got laid to rest in Diedrichshagen on September 12, 1912.

July 16 – Magdalena Maria Dorothea Kort

The islamic calendar starts with the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina on July 16, 622

The 10 years old Richard II. gets crowned as King of England on July 16, 1377.

And on my family tree?

We celebrate the birthday of one of my in-laws.

Magdalena Maria Dorothea KORT is born on July 16, 1849 in Welzin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

Her father Johann Joachim Heinrich KORT was a fee farmer in Welzin and married to Magdalena Sophia née ISENHAGEN.

On November 18, 1870 she married the blacksmith Johann Friedrich Gottlieb PÜSTOW from Groß Eichsen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany in Damshagen in the same grandduchy.

I found six children for the couple so far, five sons and a daughter – born between 1872 and 1886. All the children have been born in Upahl, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany where Johann already lived when they married.

Magdalena died on November 6, 1918 in Upahl of the flu. She got laid to rest in Diedrichshagen on November 12, 1918.

death certificate Magdalena Kort

death certificate Magdalena Kort



Bezahlen im Internet « Kirchenbuchportal.

Das Kirchenbuchportal hat sein Preismodell für die Nutzung vorgestellt:

Private Nutzer (natürliche Personen):
- Monatspass: 19,90 Euro
- Jahrespass: 178,80 Euro (entspricht 14,90 Euro pro Monat)
- Kontingent 20 Tage: 59,90 Euro (innerhalb eines Jahres frei wählbar; 1 Tag: ab einloggen 24 Stunden. Entspricht 2,99 Euro pro Tag)

Gewerbliche Nutzer:
- Monatspass: 199 Euro
- Jahrespass: 1788 Euro

Mehr dazu in dem Originalbeitrag auf dem Kirchenbuchportal.

July 14 – Johann Theodor Schmidt

I ignore the obvious event for today, just say one word ;) – Bastille

But one result of this day in 1789? Six years later, on July 1795 the “Marsellaise” becomes National Anthem of France.

And on July 14, 1881 William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid gets shot in Lincoln, New Mexico by Pat Garrett – then Sheriff but formerly his best friend.

On my family tree we move to a totally new place. July 14, 1802 is the birthday of my 4th great grandfather Johann Theodor SCHMIDT. He was born in Oberneubrunn, Kingdom of Saxony, Germany.

You might remember the story of my greatuncle’s “Ahnenpass” I got a copy from by a researcher I found on ancestry (you can read the blog here)

What a surprise when this new place appeared. But a pleasant one since I couldn’t find him in the church books auf Bad Lausick so far.

All the info I have on Johann is from this Ahnenpass – and has therefore be handled with care, since the information comes from a secondary source. I still have to certify it by checking the original church records. But til then I take those dates “for granted”.

Johann was born into the marriage of Johann Kilian SCHMIDT and his wife Eva Margaretha EPLER. So far I cannot tell you, if he had siblings or not. The Ahnenpass only contains the direct line – no siblings.

Johann received his baptism one day after he was born, on July 15, 1802 in Oberneubrunn.

He married Johanna Juliana EGERLAND – where and when I don’t know so far.

Their oldest son Friedrich Theodor SCHMIDT was born in 1825 in Lausigk (today’s Bad Lausick in Saxony, Germany). In his birth entry Johann is stated as carpenter and burgher of Lausigk.

Another son was born 1828 in Lausigk. His name was Carl August SCHMIDT. He is stated as third child, but so far I couldn’t find the second child of Johann Theodor and Johanna Juliana.

That is all the information I have on him so far. But tons of new topics for my to-do-list!

July 7 – Engel Len Orths

It was July 7, 1456 that the verdict of the rehabilitation of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Orleans) got declared in Notre Dame cathedrale in Paris, France.

In the course of the Mexican-American War, the USA annexes California on July 7, 1846.

On my family tree we meet my 3rd great grand aunt Engel Len ORTHS.

Engel (which means Angel in German) was born on July 7, 1780 in Mönkhagen, Duchy of Holstein, Denmark (today’s county Storman, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany).

She was the second oldest of eight children of the day labourer Hans Hinrich Christopher OHRT and his wife Ann Malen JÄGERS.

As you can see, the spelling of the last name ORTHS changed between father and daughter. I have actually the following spellings, too:

  • ORT
  • OHRT
  • ORTS
  • ORTH

All there ;)

Engel got baptised in the church of Zarpen on July 9, 1780 and that is the last thing I know of her.

My Work Out Loud (WOL) Journey

Work Out Loud (WOL)  – a term I came across for the first time via my Coach John Stepper on the internal collaboration platform at work.
When I started following him there and read his contributions I was hugely impressed by his enthusiasm and his spirit (still am btw). I wanted to know  more about this “Work Out Loud” thing so I followed his fantastic public blog (which you can find here), read almost every blog entry and waited every Saturday for new “brain food”.

And when I saw the chance to become one of his “guinea pig” for his WOL coaching, I quickly raised my hand and screamed “here”… virtually of course.

Working Out Loud – what does it mean?

When I told my family and some friends of this coaching, some of them wondered out loud “But aren’t you doing that anyway?”.

Others rolled their eyes “Geeze another one who loves to talk about himself” or “What? Bragging about what you are doing?”.

And I started thinking (yes you are totally right, I should have done that BEFORE accepting the coaching offer – but hey we are talking about me here) – I could understand why they thought this way about me and the topic.

I definitely had the “work” part covered; and for sure the “loud” one too. But somehow I didn’t get the two things connected. My network was huge and worked really well on the operational level but somehow I couldn’t get myself to take it one step further.

 “Let’s see where this takes me”

In my first call we tried sorting out what I wanted from this coaching. It was a time I deliberately detached myself from being totally focused on my job. I wanted to  go somewhere else. We touched my tax background, but no.. not anymore. That might have been a dream 20 years ago… a dream I grew out of.

But there was this one thing I wanted to know where it could lead me – a hobby-turned-into-obsession I had for the last 20 years, something I thought if I could turn it into even more. Maybe even make a living out of it? Who knows..

So my objective was “Genealogy – let’s see where it takes me”.

Some of you might think “Genea-what? What is she talking about?

Family Research. I am working on my family tree. And just working on mine wasn’t enough anymore. I started this blog shortly before starting my WOL coaching, I irregularly  helped others with their research but somehow it didn’t feel enough anymore.

John was great! He took on this subject of which he didn’t know anything or at least not a lot of and went on this journey with me.

 “The LIST”

My homework for our second call: start putting together my list of 10  people, either by name or kind whom I would like to know or to get in contact with. No how, no when, just the names.

If you will ever work with him or join one of the WOL circles offered, you will get to know those two words “THE LIST”. I’d have to say, sitting in front of a blank sheet (which in my case was an Evernote document) was pure horror. Where do I start? What do I want?  Who do I want? I have no idea! I hate it already!

It took me a couple of days to come up with the first six or seven names. They are mostly genealogy bloggers I admired and I remember I had “the team that organizes Rootstech” on it. One of the objectives I have yet to achieve

The further we went on the more detailed this list got. Okay, you want to be connected to them. Why? And How? And by when?

I cannot tell you how often I reworked this list. I added people, I greyed out people I had on there from the beginning because I refocused during the coaching. I  didn’t want to delete them, so I re-ordered the list and greyed them.

I added topics, ideas for blogposts (most of them I still work on), outlets for my content, I sorted it, re-prioritized, new people or found names to replace the  “kind of” people.


Another word you would hear in a WOL coaching over and over again: what is your contribution to them? How, what channel – blog, tweet, recommendation – how often? Do you know anyone they  know? Leverage your network,  my favourite line.

Just to give you two examples: there is this video from a company back home called Draeger (I bet John can’t hear it anymore – his ears must be bleeding by now since this gave me such a hard time). They are big in medical technology and stuff and they celebrate their 125th birthday this year. I read the autobiography of the company founder a while back and somehow ended up on their homepage where I found this wonderful video regarding their company history.

The only thing I wanted to do is to let the creators know how beautiful I thought it was and to compliment them. I think it took me until week six that I got this email written AND sent! It never really felt right. Every week John asked and every week I said “not yet”. Very embarrassing, I have to admit but I had to get over whatever held me back by myself.

The other example is an internal one from my employer. We have this Historical Association and I love the work they are doing. I think it is a great effort to conserve the history of the company and its employees. Of course the assocation was on my list but I wasn’t really sure on how to approach it. Week by week I struggled with what I could say or write without sounding like a “beggar”. And again, one day it felt right to write an email telling them how much I appreciate what they are doing and just in case if they would ever have the idea to come to my location, I would be happy to be of any help. Outcome? Almost immediately I received a very nice thank-you-note. They were really grateful for this appreciation especially by an employee. And further outcome? I will organize an event with the Historical Assocation in my location this fall.

Sometimes I wished for a plain “Barbara do exactly this” or “No Barbara, not THAT!”. But no, that is not the way it works. The coaching is about ideas and exploring the way together. I had to find it on my own not being told what to do.

To come back to the Initial question “Working Out Loud – what does it mean”? I can only give you my interpretation:

It is about working on your network with a purpose. To make yourself visible. To know what your contributions are. What was I able to give? You have to give to your network before you can take something out of it. We’ve all heard those sentences before but it is necessary to make a habit out of them.

My 12 weeks of coaching are over… and now?  Well, first of all, I still wait for my “Working Out Loud Graduate certificate”… lol …

Am I the “Oprah Winfrey of genealogy”? Ehem.. NO! No talkshow, no cable network, not even a bit of merchandising .. darn, mission not accomplished :)

“Working Out Loud changed my life”

Okay, seriously now. What did I achieve?

I’m more visible because of my blog. I’m often asked  to provide input for other bloggers. I got profiled by myheritage. I found a new topic of interest which is corporate history. I have a regular exchange with historians (inside and outside of my company). I started the history group on our internal collaboration platform to bring my whole self to work.

I don’t want to sound too pathetic, but WOL really changed my life. How I approach work and life. How I do things. I’ve always been a connector of people and topics.
But this coaching took me to the next level. Now I do it with a purpose.. not only for me, but for others too. I think even more about “who could participate in this” or “who could benefit out of it”.

Thank you, John, for taking this journey with me! I’ll always be grateful for that.. you rock!

And one other big achievement? I’m still working on “THE LIST” ;)