My Dad once told me that this was one of the two days where he was really scared what would happen next. You see, even in Germany this assassination had a huge impact.
And it is happy day on my family tree!
His birth certificate is one of the first documents I ever requested from a registry office. Just click here, to have a look at it.
I remember when I obtained information on his son (my grandfather) from the Lübeck city archive, the archivist mentioned in a half-sentence that his father (this Friedrich) would be of Saxon nationality. And that nationality always comes from the father. I remember thinking “What??” No, that must be a mistake. Part of my mother’s family comes from Saxony, but not my father’s. Never heard of it. So I stored the information somewhere deep down in my notes. Til the day I could check the Güstrow churchbooks for his baptism entry:
In the second column from the right you see the header “Gevattern” which means “godparents”. And there I see a shoemaker Friedrich Schmidt from Neubrandenburg (which is southeast of Mecklenburg-Schwerin), a Bertha Schmidt (a housekeeper in Güstrow) and a Robert Schmidt, teacher from Leipzig – which is in Saxony! When I read this I remembered the statement from the archivist and pulled out my notes. Why would my greatgrandfather have a godfather from Saxony if there is no relationship somehow?
So, I added this to my “somehow he comes from Saxony” notes to look further for his parents (another blog to come ;))
Another good example why you should always look for the original records and never to ignore godparents.
Friedrich was the second of three children from Gustav Bruno SCHMIDT and Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea PETROWSKY (I stick to the y at the end, although in the baptism record above she is written with an i at the end, but that is the only record where I have seen this).
By the way, his 3 year older sister is called Bertha – I wonder if Friedrich’s godmother Bertha Schmidt is his father’s sister?
I told you already a bit about Friedrich’s mother Henrica in this blog: Go back to the data you already have
Friedrich’s father left the family when he was just an 11 year old boy. His mother remarried and they moved to Grubenhagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.
That’s where he received his lutheranian confirmation on April 3, 1898.
Although I found his mother, his sister Anna and his stepfather in the 1900 census in Bockholt, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany and his sister Bertha in Güstrow, I couldn’t find Friedrich yet. Neither in the 1890 nor in the 1900 census.
The next trace I have is his marriage with Emma Wilhelmine Elisabeth Freytag on April 16, 1909 already in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (where my family still lives). I actually wonder why he moved from Güstrow to Lübeck.
The couple had 3 children: my grandfather Wilhelm Ferdinand Christian, his brother Friedrich (he is part of my “Volkstrauertag” (Remembrance Day) blogpost) and a sister Gertrud of which I don’t have any dates yet.
I have an entry in the adressbook from Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany from 1914 for him. I have the original at home. The only real family heritage I have.
Here is a scanned entry I have from 1920
I checked the index of the Citizenship Register of the city of Lübeck to see if he became a Lübeck citizen, but couldn’t find him there.
I need to check on military records (definetly for WW I) – I feel my first mindmap coming up ;)
My mom always described him as a gentle soul who could spend hours with the greatgrandchildren. And he would always smoke cigars… and if he didn’t light them up he would chew on them. He was never seen without a cigar in his mouth.. hot or cold!
Friedrich died on June 10, 1975 in Lübeck. Unfortunately, I was just barely 2 years old. I don’t have any memory of him at all.