Explaining the 1831 census of Lübeck, Germany

We have quite a gap between the 1815 census I told you about the last time and this one from 1831.

And as you can see in the image below, the 1831 census form is a lot simpler and less detailed than the ones before.

The 1831 census goes back to only listing citizens within the town walls. It contains the following volumns:

  • volumn 01: Maria Magdalenen Quartier I
  • volumn 02: Maria Magdalenen Quartier II
  • volumn 03: Maria Magdalenen Quartier III
  • volumn 04: Maria Magdalenen Quartier IV
  • volumn 05: Maria Magdalenen Quartier V
  • volumn 06: Marien Quartier I
  • volumn 07: Marien Quartier II
  • volumn 08: Marien Quartier III
  • volumn 09: Marien Quartier IV
  • volumn 10: Marien Quartier V
  • volumn 11: Marien Quartier VI
  • volumn 12: Marien Quartier VII
  • volumn 13: Marien Quartier VIII
  • volumn 14: Marien Quartier XI
  • volumn 15: Marien Quartier XII
  • volumn 16: Johannis Quartier
  • volumn 17: Jacobi Quartier

This looks like a lot, but if you take a closer look at the single volumns you can see that each one is only between 10 and 30 pages. The census can be found at ancestry.com or familysearch.org.

To make this blogpost better comparable to the previous ones, I kept the first page of the Maria-Magdalenen-Quartier as an example.

1830 census Lübeck, Germany

1830 census Lübeck, Germany

The very first row, even above the header provides the name of the registrar taking the census on the left (in this case: A.F. Naht) and the name of the street and number of the house on the right (in this case: Mengstrasse No. 45).

I numbered the columns again:

  1. name of the street
  2. this “no”, meaning number just provides the consecutive number
  3. name of the head of the household
  4. occupaction of the head of the household
  5. there is no header for this column. My GUESS: number of adults, meaning of the head of the household was married
  6. number of children. You see, there is no differentiation between sons and daughters like there was in previous censuses
  7. number of male servants
  8. number of female servants
  9. total number of people living in the household
  10. remarks

Let’s take a look at row no. 2 as an example: Joh. Croll lives at Mengstrasse 45. He is a merchant, and according to my guess he is married. He has one child living in the household and three female servants, adding up the total number of people living in house to 6 (including him).

I hope this series helps you with your research in my hometown.

How to read the 1815 census for Lübeck, Germany

I am moving on with the resources I use. This blogpost will describe the 1815 census for Lübeck, Germany.

It is the first one which includes not only the inner city districts but also the parts outside of the town walls and other Lübeck territories in the area. Below you find the areas per volume. Highlighted in blue are those which contain information from outside of the town walls.

  • volume 1: Landwehr-Bezirk Holstheintor
  • volume 2: Landwehr-Bezirk Ritzerau
  • volume 3: Jacobi-Quartier
  • volume 4: Maria-Magdalena-Quartier
  • volume 5: Marien-Quartier
  • volume 6: Landwehr-Bezirk Mühlenthor
  • volume 7: Landwehr-Bezirk Burgthor
  • volume 8: Landwehr-Bezirk Travemünde

This is also the first census where my family comes into the pictures. Schlutup, the area where my family lived belongs to the colume 7: Landwehr-Bezirk Burgthor.

I stick to the first page of the census for the Marien-Quartier like in the last postings introducing Lübeck censuses. Just to make it easier to compare A reminder: so far the Marien-Quartier was the first volume, here it is volume 5.

1815 census Lübeck - Marien Quartier page 1

1815 census Lübeck – Marien Quartier page 1

The content is slightly different, although the form looks familiar. I numbered the columns to make it easier to follow:

  1. name of the street
  2. provides the number of the house, barrack or cellar
  3. the number of the corridor. A little explanation: When the houses in the front didn’t provide enough space anymore, barracks, booths and small cottages have been built in the back. Those were connected (and still are) via corridors. A collection of pictures can be found here.
  4. name of the head of the household. The number 1 next to the name means the person was single, number 2 provides the information that the head of the household was married
  5. occupation and profession
  6. lists the number of sons living in the household
  7. provides the number of daughters living in the household
  8. lists the number of male apprentices
  9. provides number of male assistents
  10. provides the number of female housekeepers and lady’s companions
  11. here we come to the male servants and
  12. female servants
  13. number of male family members or other related people in the household
  14. number of female family members or other related people in the household
  15. is just the addition of all listed members so far
  16. name of people who are living in the household but do not belong to the family
  17. their occupation
  18. and the number of people who are living in the household but do not belong to the family
  19. the form terminates with a column for written remarks.

Let’s have a look at row 40 in this example.

J.C. Dimpker lives in the Mengstrasse 40. He is married hatter and has one son and one daughter living with him and his wife, who is not named. He also has 2 male assistants and one female servant living in the household. Which adds up to 7 people living in the household.

I hope this helps to find your way around.


#52ancestors No. 13 – different spelling all over the place!


Challenge for week 13 (I am way behind again ;)) was “DIFFERENT”.

I think we all have this name in our family tree which gets a different spelling on every document. In my family tree I have more than just one of those.

On of the names is OHRT. That is the first spelling I saw and it is also how I see the name being spelled today.

But I also have ORT, ORTH, OORT, OHRTH in my records.

One of the OHRTs in my family is my paternal great grandmother Emma Catharina OHRT. She was born in Schlutup a little fisherman’s village in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany on June 6, 1877. Today, Schlutup belongs to Lübeck, the city my family still lives in. Emma Ohrt blog

This picture shows her at an unknown age. When I made contact to a cousin of my Dad’s I saw it hanging on the wall in the living room and immediately asked if I could take a photo of it. What really hit me from the first moment was the resemblance I see there to her daughter, my grandmother Margarethe Katharina Emma SCHMIDT. It was like looking into her face. I mean, I just knew my grandmother at “this” age.

The 1880 census of Lübeck shows her living with her parents, two older sisters and a younger brother in Schlutup. Emma’s entry is the second last.

Emma OHrt VZ 1880 blog

I still have quite a few uncertainties about her. I don’t have the exact date when she married my great grandfather Carl August Joachim SCHMIDT and I am also missing birthdates for her two oldest children. What I know is that she and Carl had 6 children, of which my grandma was the youngest.

Great Grandma Emma Catharina Schmidt née Ohrt and children

Great Grandma Emma Catharina Schmidt née Ohrt and children

  • Gertrud * unknown
  • Luise * unknown
  • Else * 1901
  • Wilhelm Hermann Heinrich Karl (called Kalli) * 1904
  • Albert Paul Wilhelm (called Willi) * 1911
  • Margarethe Katharina Emma (called Grete) * 1912

There is a family rumour that there have been two more children who died at a very young age, but I couldn’t verify that rumour either yet.

Emma died on March 24, 1949 in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

#52ancestors 9 Close to home – reaching Lübeck, Germany

I have a bit of catching up to do with the 52 ancestors challenge from Amy Crow at No Story Too Small.

Travelling and a broken wrist after the first 20 minutes this year on cross country skis don’t help :)

This week’s theme is “Close to home”. The first question to be answered there is “which one”? My original home is Lübeck in Schleswig-Holstein Germany. Fort Worth, Texas, USA will always be part of my home, too. I live in Frankfurt, Germany for 13 years now.. definetly home.

But when I speak of back home it is always Lübeck, Germany. In my Dad’s maternal SCHMIDT line (both my paternal grandparents were SCHMIDTS) it is the generation of my greatgrandparents who came from Tüschenbek in the neighbour grandduchy of Lauenburg into the free city of Lübeck. Have a look at the map below. It is really close but it was a bit different 100 years ago.


Let’s take Johann Heinrich Christian SCHMIDT, my first cousin 3x removed as an example. He was born as a lauenburg citizen on December 7, 1868 on Tüschenbek estate, grandduchy of Lauenburg as second son of Johann Joachim Heinrich SCHMIDT and his wife Anna Maria Elisabeth née KORFF. He received his christening eight days later on December 15, 1868 in Groß Grönau the main village of the parish, the estate belongs to.

The local military draft registration lists show him living and working on the estate as a stableman in 1888.

An then 1912 came the big day. On May 25, 1912 he was officially naturalized:

naturalization record

naturalization record

The record shows him being married to a woman née RÖNNPAGE and if I interprete it correctly, he had one daughter and one son. But I didn’t find his wedding record or any children for him yet.

StepMap Schleswig-Holstein

#52ancestors 2015 No. 3 – which one of the tough women to choose?

52ancestors-2015This year Amy Crow from “No story too small” changed her 52 ancestors challenge slightly. In the beginning of every month she provides a theme for the upcoming four weeks.

The year kicked off with a “fresh start” and moved over to a “King” and this week the theme is “a tough woman”.

It wasn’t really easy to choose one, since I wrote about some of my tough female ancestors already – in some cases even excessively :)

I told you about my greataunts Else and Eva as well as about my greatgrandmother Hedwig whose husband just disappeared from one day to the other.

And although I would love to tell you about my mom, I know she would kill me if I would spread the story of her life into the worldwide web :)

So, when I screened my family tree for another tough woman, one name strucked me: Waltraut Veronika TILINSKI. My maternal grandmother. Unfortunately, I was just four years old, when she died in 1977 and I have no memory of her at all. But who would be better to give me some information about her than my mom? So, I spent the last hour and a half with her on the phone. I could sense that she felt a bit uncomfortable in the beginning to tell me her mom’s story – for me to tell it to the world. But she got more and more relaxed during the call :)

My grandmother Waltraut Veronika TILINSKI was born on December 13, 1921 in Korschen, East Prussia, Germany in the Bahnhofstrasse 4. Korschen is today’s Korsze in Poland. Her parents were Albert TILINSKI and a woman of whom I only know the last name: PETZ

She was the only sister of five brothers. If that is not reason enough for becoming a tough woman than I don’t know :)

Her oldest brother Otto-Horst was her half-brother. At least according to the wedding date of Waltraut’s parents. Otto-Horst was born March 3 either 1912 or 1913 and her parents married October 22, 1917.

Waltraut’s mom died when she was six years old in 1927. Since Waltraut’s youngest brother Egon was born in 1927 my assumption is that she either died giving birth to Egon or following his birth. But that is just an assumption. Waltraut’s father married again March 3, 1930. The second wife is just known as “Mama Johanna”.

Summer 1942 (Waltraut on the right)

Summer 1942 (Waltraut on the right)

Waltraut and her brothers grew up in a working family. My greatgrandfather Albert worked for the Reichsbahn (railway). My mom said that her mother didn’t really speak a lot about her childhood and how she grew up. But she would remember her mother speaking about the tons of snow they had when she was little. Another thing she remembered was that my greatgrandfather didn’t think a lot about girls going to school. He would always say that girls wouldn’t need this – they will marry anyway, so why bother. My grandmother didn’t finish school. But when she was bout 15 or 16 she went to Rastenburg, today’s Kętrzyn, Poland to work for a dentist – boys would go to the Wehrmacht, girls made something called a “social year”.

wedding picture Tilinski - Nicolaus

My grandmother was already 23 years old, when she married my grandfather Wolfgang Albert NICOLAUS on May 27, 1944 in Korschen. On the left is their wedding picture. I have to admit, she looks a lot older than 23 (sorry, Grandma!)

Shortly after their marriage, they packed their stuff and headed west. Away from the Eastern Front and the Soviet Army. Their first daughter was born in Kamenz, Saxony, Germany in January 1945. The second daughter, my mom, was born 1946 in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. My grandfather worked as an actor at the theatre in Leipzig that time.

Back in Korschen, the TILINSKI family agreed that they would meet in Lübeck at the Baltic Coast when they would get seperated as refugees. My grandparents packed their stuff again in 1947 and moved north in the direction of Lübeck. The third and fourth daughter were born there 1947 and 1949.

The family moved into one of the refugee camps in the Lübeck area, the “Gothmundlager”. During WW II it was one of the camps for forced labourers. When Germany was liberated with the end of WW II, those camps would be used for the thousands and thousands of refugees from the far eastern parts of Germany.

1952  my grandmother filed for divorce from my grandfather. Imagine living in the 50s as a divorced mother of four. And although I don’t remember my grandmother, even I know – from knowing my grandfather – that those two people weren’t a match. From the stories I have heard about my grandmother, she was a down-to-eart woman. Hard working and hard to herself as well as to others. My grandfather titled himself as an “artist”. He was an actor and musician.. oh, and a womanizer. He had more than one affair while they were married. One of his affairs are even responsible for me being named Barbara. Actually my grandma wanted to name her youngest daughter Barbara, but at that time my grandfather had something going on with a Barbara – no way that my grandma would use that name. So, when my mother was pregnant with me, her mother said, if I would be a girl, she would love me being named Barbara. She didn’t say why, though. Thanks Grandma, I really love the name!!

Waltraut worked as a sales person for AEG, a huge appliances company at that time. She would go from door to door selling washing machines and other household appliances. As my mother put it, her hobby was her other job: she was working behind the bar at a carnivals’s society (check the net for German Carnival) where her oldest brother was a board member.

grandma around some of the grandchildren

grandma around some of the grandchildren

Actually, my dad’s father was a board member there, too. This is how the families met. But my grandma never really liked the “SCHMIDT”.. too bad, my mom would end up with one of them ;)

1972 Waltraut was diagnosed with uterine cancer. During a surgery they removed a tumor of the size of a baby’s head. She never fully beat the cancer and never fully recovered. In December 1976 she had to return to the hospital, but she wanted to die at home. So, my mom picked her up and spent every night with her – til the day she died on May 18, 1977.

My mom told me more and  more and more.. way too much to put it all in a blog. Thanks Mom!