It was another one of those days a genealogist only dreams of… one, when a huge brick wall comes tumbling down. Today my daughter and I were reading through our latest bunch of 11 Family History Center tapes, hoping to eek out a simple clue regarding our Prussian German forebears. We had already viewed 9 tapes when on our 9th tape we saw a birth/baptism record for Eduard Ferdinand Kunz. The name Ferdinand Kunz had appeared as being in attendance at my great aunt (Tante) Ella’s baptism. Did we have the right family?
As readers of ManyRoads may already know, Auguste Kunz (my Uhr-Oma) on my grandmother’s line has been a mystery to everyone. We did not know where the Kunz’s were from, where they lived, who they were. In other words, they were a seriously challenging ‘brickwall’. No more.
Happily, I can say that the Kunzes are now ‘better’ known to us. We have found them! By the time we reached page 109 of the Baarenhof Baptisms (Taufen), we had found the birth of Auguste Alvina Caroline Kunz.
By page 240, we had found the ‘key’ birth of Elsie Hedwig Erna Recht (my Tante Erna) born to Hermann Recht and Auguste geboren Kunz.
Yes! We have found our family. They lived in what once was Neuteicherwalde near Baarenhof, Kreis Marienburg, Westpreussen (Baarenhof, Marienburg County, West Prussia). Auguste’s parents were August Ferdinand Kunz and Catherine Elisabeth geboren Albrecht.
We have now ordered the marriage tapes for the church as well as the available death records. We will analyze and edit the images we have and build a more complete image of our family. We most certainly hope to uncover more!
Ah, what a day.
27 September 2011 Update:
For those of you who pay really close attention to ManyRoads, you will remember that last week, we had actually identified the wrong Auguste Kunz as being our forebear!
Yep, nearly 100 years without data and now we are knee deep in potential! As I reviewed our images and documents last week, a second Auguste Kunz appeared; she was born in 1869. My mother had always said that her grandmother was born around 1870/1871. This second Auguste was closer to that date, but we could not be certain. I had already gone to press once, too quickly!
Then the Parker FHC (Family History Center) called and said a new tape had arrived for us. It was the Ladekopp Church (ev. Kirche) death records through 1920. My mother had always said that her grandmother had died around the end of WW1. And sure enough, in this new set of records we had the death of Auguste Recht geboren Kunz document as being on 6 Oct 1916 with burial on 12 Oct 1916. The document said that she was 47 years 1 month and 4 days at death. Calculating backwards from the death date to the birth date we had a match with our second Auguste Kunz. O-Oma was found, for certain, this time!
As I stared at the image of her death document, a very peculiar item lay immediately below her death- the death of her mother! My O-O-Oma was found! She died on 10 December 1916 in Pietzkendorf. She was 74 years 3 months and 29 days; which according to my feeble calculations has her birth as being 11 August 1842. I am in awe of these finds.
More records are on their way. Who knows what we’ll find next…