Why do I do genealogy? Well.. it’s my last name

Actually, this song says it all. Whenever someone asks me why I do genealogy lately, I turn them to the song.

Okay, my grandpas didn’t take it off to Europe to fight the Germans in the war… they were two of the Germans. And thank the Gods both of them came back home in one piece.

And I won’t propose to my girlfriend soon ;)

But the rest just hits the nail on the head!

And Dierks Bentley is just one of my most favourite!! ;)

August 13 – Otto Wilhelm August Lenschow

confirmation Otto Lenschow

confirmation Otto Lenschow

August 13, 1961 – During the nighthours East Germany begins to block streets and traintracks leading from East- to Westberlin. This marks the beginning of building the Berlin Wall. It should come down just 38 years later in 1989.

And one of the most beautiful movies premieres on this day in 1942 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City: Walt Disney’s Bambi!

And my event for today is an easy one since I only have one for August 13 in my family tree. You read correctly. Over 1500 individuals in it and just one single event for today.

On August 13, 1893 Otto Wilhelm August LENSCHOW is born in Sievershagen, Grandduchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

He was the oldest son of Katharina Maria Elisabeth LENSCHOW. His father is not mentioned on any of the records I could find for him.

But in 1895 his mother married Wilhelm Johann Heinrich LENSCHOW (yes, they both have the same last names) a brick layer from the same village and gave birth to three more children. I wonder if Wilhelm is also Ottos father – just a wild guess, though!

The 1900 census states him as “son” living in Sievershagen. Naturally I would say, since he was just seven years old.

On April 12, 1908 he got confirmed into the lutheran religion in the church of Diedrichshagen. And also in that record, only his mother is  mentioned.

confirmation Otto Lenschow

confirmation Otto Lenschow

And that is the last thing I know about him.

Anyone researching the name Lenschow in Mecklenburg-Schwerin?



August 12 – Heinrich Johann Karl Dreves

Cleopatra I. of Egypt dies on August 12, 30 BC by so far unexplained circumstances but supposedly she committed suicide.

And Happy Birthday Chicago! August 12, 1830 is the day the city has been officially founded.

And on my family tree?

Heinrich Johann Karl Dreves died on August 12, 1940 of a heart disease in Friedrichshagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

His death record is full of information. It provides the date of death, the time of death, cause of death, his birthdate, date of marriage, name and occupation of his parents and of his wife. Great, all in one! ;)

death record Heinrich Dreves

death record Heinrich Dreves

Heinrich was born on May 25, 1883 in Friedrichshagen.

On October 20, 1911 he married his bride Luise Dorothea Marie née KÄHLER, a fee farmer’s daughter from Büttlingen in the parish of Diedrichshagen. He was working as a gardener in Hamburg that time. Which is odd, since Hamburg is about 100 km southwest of the parish. Quite a distance at that time.

The 1919 census shows him living with his wife and their daughter Herta (who was born in Hamburg 1914) and his brother on the family farm in Friedrichshagen:

1919 census

1919 census

You can even see in the last row that they had one prisoner of war from Russia assigned to them. In addition they had two workers and two servants living in the household.


Remembering Robin Williams


Remembering Robin Williams.. thanks for all the laughter you brought into my life.
RIP Oh Captain My Captain! God bless

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Robin Williams hijacks the TED2008 stage before the BBC World Debate. Photo: Andrew Heavens

Robin Williams hijacks the TED2008 stage before the BBC World Debate. Photo: Andrew Heavens

It’s 2008, moments before a BBC broadcast live from the stage at TED. But something’s gone wrong. The house lights are still up, the camera ops are looking at one another, official-looking folks are wandering at the stage apron muttering into headsets, and the panelists are sitting patiently onstage but looking, increasingly, baffled. Minutes go by.

And then a voice rises from the audience, wondering “why at a technology conference everything is running so shittily”! As Kim Zetter wrote: “at least that’s the word I think he used; it was hard to hear the last word through the audience’s laughter.” It was Robin Williams, who’d spent the day watching TED, and who now jumped out of the audience to grab the mic and reel off 10 or 15 minutes — reports vary — of improvised…

View original 82 more words

#52ancestors No. 20 – Elise Maria Rudolfine Koop

52ancestorsIt is time for my next ancestors in the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.

Meet Elise Maria Rudolfine KOOP, the wife of my 2nd great grand uncle. Which technically makes her my 2nd great grand aunt ;)

Elise was born on August 11, 1883 (Happy Birthday, Auntie ;)) in Upahl in the parish of Diedrichshagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

Here you can see her baptism record:

baptism record Elise Koop

baptism record Elise Koop

She was the middle child of in total five children born into the marriage of the brick layer Hans Joachim Friedrich Koop and his wife Wilhelmine Louise Henriette née KRUSE.

As you can from the record see she was baptized on August 19, 1883 in the church of Diedrichshagen.

In the same church she got confirmed into the lutheran religion on April 3, 1898. The record below is the according church record (highlighted in blue) – her father is stated as deceased.

confirmation Elise Koop

confirmation Elise Koop

On January 8, 1904 she married the worker August Heinrich Johann WARNKE from Kastahn, a village in the same parish.

wedding record Elise Koop & August Warnke

wedding record Elise Koop & August Warnke

As you can see, her day of baptism is given as birthday in the wedding record. As this is a secondary record always watch out for the primary record to verify a data you’ve found.

The couple had nine children born between 1904 and 1919:

  • Werner Johann Hermann Christian, * March 26, 1904
  • Paul Friedrich Wilhelm, * June 22, 1905
  • Hans Hermann Richard Wilhelm, * July 1, 1907
  • Bernhard Hans Wilhelm, * July 19, 1908
  • Amy Dorothea Sophia, * September 17, 1909
  • Mathilde Bertha Dora, * October 20, 1910
  • Lisbeth Hertha Johanna, * April 21, 1913
  • Richard Ludwig Martin, * August 22, 1915
  • Olga Minna Emma, * October 3, 1919

This is the 1919 census record for the family:

census 1919

census 1919

Elise died on December 22, 1953 in Upahl and got laid to rest on the cemetary of Diedrichshagen where I found her gravestone:

gravestone Warnke & Koop

gravestone Warnke & Koop


August 9 – Paula Olga Anna Püstow

This blog is a “today in my family tree” meets “cousin bait”…

On August 9, 1792 Louis XIV. gets crowned as King of Bohemia.

And almost 100 years later, on August 9, 1890 does England transfer the island of Helgoland under German administration.

And additional two years later, we celebrate the birthday of Paula Olga Anna PÜSTOW.

She was born on August 9, 1892 in Kastahn in the parish of Diedrichshagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

She was the second oldest of four children (two girls and two boys) born into the marriage of the fee farmer Wilhelm Joachim Heinrich Theodor PÜSTOW and his wife Margarethe Henriette Magdalene née Ehlers.

church & cemetary Diedrichshagen

church & cemetary Diedrichshagen

She received her christening in the church of Diedrichshagen on September 4, 1892.

The same church she got confirmed into the lutheran religion on March 24, 1907.

And so far that is the last trace I have of her. That’s why I call on every PÜSTOW out there… any connections to Diedrichshagen?



Maybe a hint on my Nicolaus family?

I have two main family lines: Schmidt is my fathers name, Nicolaus my mothers.

Since my Moms family is from East Prussia which is in today’s Poland and quite difficult to research I mostly focussed on my Dads family.

But every once in a while I take a look at those Nicolaus. And some of the best records I have is about them. You might remember Albert Karl Julius Nicolaus, my greatgrandfather. Or Else Nicolaus, my greataunt.

I already told you once about Eva Nicolaus, her sister. Here a short summary of what I “knew” or hear about her:

  • born abt. 1898 in Königsberg, East Prussia
  • married to a Hans (or Wilhelm) Matthis
  • divorced or widowed during WWII
  • remarried a british officer and moved to Liverpool

And then I had a success in my research for Else. Barbara Schenk, another genealogy blogger helped me out and via her I got 2 obituaries for Else.

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

obituary Elsie Nicolaus

There it is mentioned that she is survived by two sisters:

  • Mrs. Eva Phillips and
  • Mrs. Lilo Lynch, both in Australia

Now I had at least the married family names for her sisters. Although I still have to figure out the real relationship with Lilo Lynch née Berger, from my understanding she was a stepsister of Eva and Else. If not, I have a wrong information on the mother of the two ;)

My next step was to turn to the various google+ genealogy groups I am a member of. Since both were mentioned to live in Australia I started with the Genealogy & Family History Australia & New Zealand and this was my post:

in the obituary of my great grand aunt who died in New Jersey, USA in 1969 it is mentioned that she is survived by her sister Eva Phillips in Australia. The only thing I know about her is the following (all family history, nothing proven yet): born as Eva Nicolaus abt. 1898 in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, Germany she was married to a Hans (or Wilhelm) Matthis, they got seperated at WWII and she supposedly married a british Army officer, they moved to Liverpool and went on to Australia. I have no idea when and how. Any ideas, where to start in Australia?

And I received some great replies to it. One was from Kerryn Taylor, an Australian Genealogist and she found an Eva L Nicolaus marrying a Phillips in Q2/1949 in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. She actually found two records for that place in the quarter: One John P Phillips married (surname) Matthew Or Nicolaus and the other Perce J Phillips and Matthes Or Nicolaus.  Two matching spouses Eva L Nicolaus and Eva L Matthes.  Perhaps two records for same marriage?

And because she read through my older blogs she stumbled over Lily or Lilo Lynch née Berger. She also found a marriage in Q2/1947 in Surrey, England for a Lieselotte Berger and Eric S Lynch. Could that be my Lily or Lilo?

She referred me to the site http://www.freebmd.org.uk where I could find the indices for the marriage records. With that information I could go to http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ and order those records for Eva and Lily.

And now I keep my fingers crossed that those are really “MY” Eva and Lily.

Wish me luck ;)