#52ancestors No. 8 – meeting my 3rd great grandmother


52 ancestors in 52 weeks. That is the challenge Amy Crow brought to life in her blog “No story too small”. It is the second year, therefore 2015 edition ;)

I use this week to introduce you to my 3rd great grandmother Elisabeth Henriette Sofia Maria KLINCKMANN.


I actually just had her name from the birth entry from my 2nd great grandfather Gustav Bruno SCHMIDT.

Some of you might remember the story about my Dad meeting his cousin 42 years after they met the last time. A researcher contacted me via ancestry.de and it turned out that his wife was related to the wife of my Dad’s cousin.

From that contact I received an “Ahnenpass” from my SCHMIDT family, which also included the entry for Elisabeth, which you can see below.

Ahnenpass entry Elisabeth Klinckmann

Ahnenpass entry Elisabeth Klinckmann


She was born on March 1, 1824 in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany as first legitimate daughter and received her baptism on March 3, 1824 – also in Güstrow. Unfortunately, it wasn’t noted when she married my 3rd great grandfather Hermann Theodor SCHMIDT. That is still a mystery to me. Since she came from Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the northeast of German and he was from today’s Bad Lausick, which is Saxony – in the southeast. I didn’t find the connection there yet why she would marry someone from about 400 miles away.

Elisabeth and Hermann had two children I know of so far – two sons:

  • Gustav Bruno – born December 13, 1847 in Lausigk (today’s Bad Lausick), kingdom of Saxony, Germany – he left my great grandmother and is officially missing since then
  • Friedrich Hermann Moritz – born April 1850 already in Güstrow, grandduchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

Friedrich’s birth is the last trace I have of her. So much more information I need and have to find!

July 31 – Bertha Hermine Friederike Dorothea Schmidt

23 years ago, on July 31, 1991 Michail Gorbachev and George Bush sign the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) between the  Soviet Union and the USA for reducing strategic atomic weapons.

On July 31, 1948 opens the New York International Airport which is known today as John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport since December 24, 1963

In my family tree we move back to my father’s paternal side.

We meet my great grand aunt Bertha Hermine Friederike Dorothea SCHMIDT, the oldest child of the master carpenter Gustav Bruno SCHMIDT and his wife Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea PETROWSKY.

Yes, you remember correctly.. he is the one that just vanished.

Bertha was born on July 31, 1880 in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany and received her christening on at the Pfarrkirche in Güstrow on August 22, 1880. One of the godparents is given with “Elisabeth Schmidt née Klinckmann, carpenter’s daughter here”. I wonder if this COULD be her grandmother, but I’ve already seen cases where the relationship was mentioned in the churchbook entry.

After her father left the family and her mother remarried and moved to Grubenhagen, Bertha got confirmed there in the church on April 7, 1895

The 1900 census of Mecklenburg-Schwerin shows that she moved back to Güstrow, working as a domestic servant.

And that was the last trace I have of her.




#52ancestors No. 8 – Schmidt & Klinkmann wedding

52ancestorsTheir son, my second great grandfather Gustav was the topic of my 52ancestors blogpost no. 6 “Malicious abandonment”.

Now it is time to tell the story about my third great grandparents.

Friedrich Theodor SCHMIDT and Henriette Elisabeth Sofia Maria KLINKMANN married on February 22, 1846 in Lausigk, which is today’s Bad Lausick, Saxony, Germany.

I had to take three pictures of the wedding entry to make all the information readable back home (it is the last entry on the pages):

Page 1 shows the number of the entry, the date, the place, if the wedding had been public or private (in this case public) and where the wedding banns had been published (here: Lausigk and Güstrow).

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkman page 1

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkman page 1

The second page provide information about the groom: Friedrich Theodor SCHMIDT, local carpenter. Oldest son of Johann Theodor SCHMIDT, also local carpenter. Unfortunately, only the father of the groom is mentioned. No information about the mother.

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkmann page 2

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkmann page 2

On page 3 you see the information about the bride Henriette Elisabeth Sofia Maria KLINKMANN, oldest daughter of the deceased Jakob Friedrich KLINKMANN from Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkmann page 3

wedding entry Schmidt & Klinkmann page 3

Since Friedrich is stated as the oldest son, this gives me at least an idea about his birthyear. I found a baptism entry (which provided me also with the mother) for the second son of Johann Theodor SCHMIDT and Johanna Juliana EGELAND  being born in 1825. I checked the churchbook back til 1813 but couldn’t find a baptism record for Friedrich.

Maybe Friedrich as oldest son was born in his mother’s home village? But of her I have just the name so far, no place. It is already on my to-do list do dig deeper here.

I searched for Henriette at familysearch.org and found an entry for Elisabeth Henriette Sophia Maria KLINKMANN being baptized on March 3, 1824 in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

Although the various names are mixed up I bit, I guess that this is an entry for “my” Henriette, especially since her father is stated with Jakob Friedrich KLINKMANN. And even her mother is given with Friederica Maria ESCH.

Source for that entry: “Deutschland, Geburten und Taufen 1558-1898,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NZHZ-X4C : accessed 22 Feb 2014), Elisabeth Henrietta Sophia Maria Klinckmann, 03 Mar 1824; citing [REFERENCE-ERROR]; FHL microfilm 69162.

And when I keep searching with the Elisabeth KLINKMANN / Friedrich SCHMIDT name combination, I even come up with another son:

Friedrich Hermann Moritz SCHMIDT baptized on April 10, 1850 in Güstrow. This would make him the brother of my 2nd great grandfather Gustav.

But I would like to check those entries in the churchbooks the next time I visit the archives in Schwerin.

To do’s regarding this entry:

  • check for wedding bann Friedrich Theodor SCHMIDT and Henriette Elisabeth Sofia Maria KLINKMANN in churchbooks Güstrow
  • check for baptism entry Elisabeth Henriette Sophia Maria KLINKMANN in churchbooks Güstrow
  • check for baptism entry Friedrich Hermann Moritz SCHMIDT in churchbooks Güstrow
  • check for hometown of Johanna Juliana EGELAND (Friedrich’s mother) to check if Friedrich as oldest son has been baptized there

Did I miss anything?







#52Ancestors No. 6 – “Malicious Abandonment” WHAT????

I admit that is quite a catchy header I used there, but that is what is said in the wedding record of my 2nd great grandmother for her second wedding.

I already told you about his wife (Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea PETROWSKY) and their son (Friedrich Bernhard Robert SCHMIDT), now it is time to tell you about my 2nd great grandfather Gustav Bruno SCHMIDT.

The first time I saw his name was on the baptism record of his son, my great grandfather Friedrich Bernhard Robert from November 22, 1883 in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

baptism Friedrich Bernhard Robert Schmidt

baptism Friedrich Bernhard Robert Schmidt

Gustav is stated as “carpenter from here”.

The first indications

You can see in the column named “Namen der Gevattern” (names of the godparents) that Gustav and his wife chose two godparents which weren’t local: Friedrich Schmidt, a shoemaker from Neubrandenburg and Robert Schmidt, a teacher from Leipzig in Saxony.

Only later I should find out that this was the first hint of Gustav’s origin.

I checked the churchbooks for the wedding record and after I found one older child born in 1880, I could also find a matching wedding entry.

wedding entry Schmidt & Petrowsky

wedding entry Schmidt & Petrowsky

Here his birthplace is given: Lausigk in the kingdom Saxony. Excuse me?? If you take a look at the maps here, you see that there is quite a distance between the grandduchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin up north and the kingdom of Saxony in the southern east.

I have to admit that my geographical knowledge of this area tends to zero.. at least when it comes to small villages. But again I asked Auntie Google and I came up with Lausigk in today’s Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, which is Saxony’s neighbour.

I called the local archive in Lausigk and told the very nice gentleman what I found and asked where I could take a look into the churchbooks.

We have a 30 minute phone conversation in which he explained the local history AND geography “(the left riverbank documents are archived here, the right riverbank documents are archives somewhere else”) and a short remark I made close to the end turned everything upside down. I said something like “well, since he had the saxon nationality..” and his reply? “Saxon? Well, that is TOTALLY different”… great, here I was, thinking that I found the right place.

But a german historian wouldn’t be a german historian if he couldn’t tell me where to find this “Lausigk in the kingdom of Saxony”.

There is a small place close to Leipzig in Saxony which is called today Bad Lausick. He told me that this would be the right place.

I am so often really astonished about how helpful people are when they feel the enthusiasm I put into my research. I could have talked for hours with this man on the phone.

After using Auntie Google again I called the offices of St. Kilian‘s church on where I could find the churchbooks. Guess my surprise when they told me, all the books are stored in the office and not in any state or city archive.

“Help yourself”
St. Kilian Bad Lausick

St. Kilian Bad Lausick

A few months later we finally found a timeslot where I could take a day off and the office was open and I could go on with my research about Gustav.

And another surprise as the lady invited me in the office, gave me a desk to use and opened a cabinet and said “help yourself” – there they were: churchbooks from TODAY til early 18th century, as far as I could see it.

“Help yourself.. hmm.. okay” I thought.

But that is what I  did and since I had the exact birthday mentioned in his wedding entry, it didn’t take me long to find his baptism entry. I took some pictures with my iPhone and the lady delibaretly looked the other way ;)

I had to take two pictures per entry since they were recorded over the full page

baptism Gustav Bruno Schmidt (1)

baptism Gustav Bruno Schmidt (1)

baptism Gustav Bruno Schmidt St. Kilian (2)

baptism Gustav Bruno Schmidt St. Kilian (2)

His father is stated with Friedrich Theodor SCHMIDT a local carpenter and Elisabeth Henriette Sophia Maria née KLINKMANN from Güstrow in Mecklenburg. What? Wait.. His mother went from Güstrow to Lausigk just that Gustav moves back to Güstrow? I am still trying to find more pieces to the puzzle of this moving around. Especially because it wasn’t only from one village to another but from one grandduchy to another kingdom.

One thought I have, if Elisabeth’s father, a carpenter from Güstrow came originally from Lausigk and he started this “migration” (note to myself: Barbara, hold that thought).

But I am chatting again, back to Gustav. Who is my 2nd great grandfather, just in case I totally confused you by now.

Just a quick recap what we have so far:

  • born in Lausigk, Saxony in 1847
  • married my 2nd great grandmother in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1879
  • my greatgrandfather born 1883
  • I’ve found two other children born 1880 and 1885

“Where does this malicious abandonment come in” you might ask. Well, we are getting closer.

It was a coincidence I already described in my blog about her, that I found a wedding entry for Gustav’s wife for her second wedding.

Petrowsky Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea 1845-01 Trauung No. 2

In the last column the previous wedlocks are described. And in regards of Gustav it says

“Gustav Bruno Schmidt, carpenter in Güstrow, missing. Divorced in Güstrow on September 12, 1894 due to malicious abdandonment”

And that’s it. That is the last thing I’ve ever heard about him. Divorce records are only stored for 30 years in Germany, as well as records of missing people. I guess he was declared dead at some point, but so far nobody could tell me where I could find out more about it.

I wonder if he went back to Saxony? Leaving a wife is one thing, but leaving behind three children? The youngest just being 10 years old?

Ideas, anyone?

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January 18 – Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea Petrowsky

The Wars of Roses between the Houses of Tudor and York are finally ceased with the marriage of the English king Henry VII (Tudor) and Elizabeth of York on January 18, 1486.

Following the victory in the Franco-Prussian War, Wilhelm I. of Prussia is crowned Emperor of Germany in Versailles on Januar 18, 1871. That is the beginning of the German Empire or better the German Realm.

With one of my first blogs called “Go back to the data you already have” I told you how re-working a census record from 1900 helped me to find more information about my greatgreatgrandmother Henrica Elisabeth Dorothea PETROWSKY.

And since it is her wedding anniversary today, I want to tell you a little bit more about her.

Henrica was born June 10, 1845 in Neu Lüblow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany as an illegitimate child of the housemaid Elisabeth Maria Friederike PETROWSKY.

1875 she gave birth herself to an illegitimate child, a daughter called Frieda Emilie Sophie Caroline.

On October 28, 1879 she married for the first time. Her husband is my greatgreatgrandfather Gustav Bruno SCHMIDT, a carpenter from Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. So far I found three children for the couple being born between 1880 and 1885. All of them in Güstrow, where the family lived.

So far I thought that they had lived happily ever after.

But then came the day when I found the 1900 census record I mentioned above. The full story can be read in the blogpost, but here the short version:

Due to malicious abandonment by him she got divorced from my greatgreatgrandfather on September 12, 1894. He is missing since then. And having three children to raise (her oldest daughter Frieda was already 20 years old), she actually just HAD to marry again.

I don’t know how she got to know him, but on January 18, 1895 she married the farmhand Wilhelm Johann Christian Ludwig DÜSE from Grubenhagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

The 1900 census shows her living in Bockholt, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany.

And that is the last trace I have of her. One of her daughters married in 1903, but in that record only the fathers of bride and groom are mentioned.

So, here my question: Does anyone have the PETROWSKY in their family tree?





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