Welcome

Welcome to the Kelm History Blog. To make it easier for family members (and everybody else), you can orientate yourself with the Direct Ancestors page. If you know your relationship to me, I hope this makes understanding the people mentioned in the blog posts easier.

Kubsch Family

This will be the final entry in the Kirsch Family Origins series. Below is the genealogy beginning from the earliest known Kubsch (also Kupsch, Kupsz, Kubsz, and possibly Kuppisch) ancestor to me. Again, much of what I write refers to my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch, who is the focal point of the family history book I am writing (Kirsch family and ancestors).

  1. Gottfried Kubsch m. Ewa Rozyna <Unknown>
  2. Gottfried Kubsch m. Anna Rozyna Rismann
  3. Anna Karolina Kubsch m. Krzysztof Kirsch
  4. Samuel Kirsch m. Karolina Wurfel
  5. Martha Kirsch m. Julius Kelm
  6. Robert Kelm m. Lyla Krause
  7. My parents
  8. Me

In 2017 and 2019, blogger Pawel Dudek visited an abandoned German evangelical cemetery on a hill overlooking Florentynow. The hill is called Kubscha Gorka because the land belonged to the Kubsch (Kubsz) family, the last descendant in the area being Gustaw Kubsz. The cemetery, nestled within a copse of trees, was cared for until the early twenty-first century. Now, locals sometimes leave candles and flowers among the remains of headstones.[1] You can view some amazing photographs at Pawel’s blog about historical Radomsko and area right here.

The first recorded Kubsch birth in available records (those records or indexes of records readily available to the English-speaking public) is Boguslaw (Gottfryd) Kubsch, born in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland, in 1812 to Krystyan Kubsch and Elzbieta Lindner. However, there is, so far, no definite link to Martha, who was related to the Kubsch family through her paternal grandmother, Anna Karolina Kubsch, born in Florentynow in 1817 to Gottfried Kubsch and Anna Rozyna Rismann. Gottfried Kubsch was born in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia, which was where the Wurfel family also originated. His parents were Gottfried and Ewa Rozyna Kubsch. He and Rozyna migrated to Florentynow before 1815, which was the first record of a child, Samuel Kubsch, being born in the colony. Jan Karol Kubsch was born in Florentynow in 1813, but his parents are recorded as Boguslaw (Polish variant of Gottfried) and Anna Kubsch.

Indexed Gottfried Kuppisch and Anna Rosina Rissman marriage record at Poznan Project

According to records indexed by the Poznan Project, Gottfried Kuppisch (thirty years old) and Anna Rosina Rissmann (twenty-four years old) married in the Protestant community of Zaniemysl, Wielkopolskie, Poland, in 1804.[2] The names and marriage date align, and Zaniemysl (Santomischel in German) is approximately twenty kilometers from Chrzastowo, Gottfried’s place of birth; however, the ages of the bride and groom are approximately ten years younger than our Gottfried and Rozyna Kubsch, whose dates of birth were determined by their death records (see records below; it should be noted that sometimes dates of birth as reported by family members for death records are often approximate, depending on the relationship to the deceased). The Gottfried and Rozina of the Posnan Project record would have been born in around 1774 (Gottfried) and 1880 (Rosina). These dates, however, perhaps make more sense with the ages of their children, who, by the death record dates of around 1763 (Gottfried) and 1771 (Rozyna), were born to parents much older than was typical.

Descendants of Gottfried Kubsch m. Anna Rozyna Rismann

Gottfried Kubsch (b. abt 1763 in Chrzastowo, Schrimm, Posen, Prussia; d. 23 Apr 1852 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Anna Rozyna Rismann (b. abt 1771; d. 23 Feb 1851 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)

            Note: Anna Rozyna Rismann’s name was erroneously transcribed as Rozyna Kitzmann

  1. Anna Rozyna Kubsch m. Jan Dawid Kimmel
  2. Gotlieb (Bogumil) Kubsch (b. abt 1812 d. 27 Apr 1876 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Jan Karol Kubsch (b. 1813 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) – parents recorded as Boguslaw and Anna Kubsch
  4. Samuel Kubsch (b. 1815 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Anna Karolina Kubsch (b. 23 Jan 1817 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 20 Jan 1876 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Krzysztof Kirsch (b. 22 Jul 1813 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 04 Jul 1846 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  6. Anna Dorota Kubsch (b. 1819 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  7. Anna Kubsch m. (1825 in Radomsko, Lodzkie, Poland) Franciszek Hofman – possibly duplicate of Anna Dorota Kubsch

Note: List of children likely incomplete

“[Rozyna Kubsch death record, 1851]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 31 Dec 2021 through Geneteka. Translated by Dorothy Woloszczuk.

Registered in Radomsko on February 14 (February 16), 1851, at seven in the morning. Bogumil Kubsch, age 38, and Samuel Kirsch, 30, both farmers residing in Florentynow, stated that Rozyna (maiden name Kitzmann) Kubsch, 80 years old, died in Florentynow where she lived with her husband. She leaves behind her husband, Gottfryd Kubsch, a farmer, and three children: the information, Bogumil; Rozyna, married to Kummel; and Anna Karolina, widow of Kirsch.

“[Gottfried Kubsch death record, 1852]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 03 Jan 2022 through Geneteka. Translated by Dorothy Woloszczuk.

Death registered in Dziepolc on April 24, 1852. Gottfryd Kubsch died on April 23, 1852, 89 years old. He was born in Chrzastowo in the Grand Duchy of Poznan, the son of Gottfryd and Ewa Rozyna, deceased. He was a widower leaving behind children Bogumil; Rozyna, married to Kummel, and Rozalia, married to Kirsch.


[1] Pawel Dudek, “Cmentarz ewangelicki we Florentynowie [Evangelical Cemetery, Florentynow]” [blog post], 05 Nov 2017 [published], Radomsk.pl, accessed 04 Jan 2022, http://radomsk.pl/cmentarz-ewangelicki-we-florentynowie/

[2] “[Gottfried Kuppisch and Anna Rosina Rissmann] marriage entry” [search result], Protestant community Zaniemyśl [Santomischel], from Poznan Project, accessed 03 Jan 2022. Note: Thank you to Gilberto Magroski for conducting the search. I have yet to gain access to the original record.

Wurfel Family

Happy February! This is another post written as part of a Kirsch Family Origins series, this time about the Wurfel family (also Werfel, Wuerfel, or Würfel). While I am happy to have finally found points of origin for many of these families (Kirsch, Hansch (2), Wurfel, Kubsch), I have decided to take a break from working backwards in order to focus on finishing a first edition for my family history book, which I hope to finish later this year. Searching Posen before the nineteenth century will be a new learning curve and I need to take time to orient myself. The book will then begin in around the 1760s, which is still more than 250 years of history to explore.

Note: If the text makes reference to a record and there is no citation, the citation is a record indexed by Geneteka.

The Wurfel Family

The list below is a reference from the earliest Wurfel ancestor to the me. Scroll down for more detailed Wurfel families by generation.

  1. Marcin Wurfel m. Anna Malgorzata Stafin
  2. Krystyan Wurfel m. Anna Dorota Muller
  3. Jerzy Fryderyk Wurfel m. Julianna Wilhemina Hansch
  4. Karolina Wurfel m. Samuel Kirsch
  5. Martha Kirsch m. Julius Kelm
  6. Robert Kelm m. Lyla Krause
  7. My parents
  8. Me

According to the 1825 marriage record of Gotlib Wurfel, brother of Martha’s great-grandfather, Krystyan Wurfel, and Marianna Weier, Martha’s great-great-grandparents, Marcin Wurfel and Anna Malgorzata Stafin, were from Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia.[1] Their son, Krystyan Wurfel, and his wife, Anna Dorota Muller, Martha’s great-grandparents, were born in the village of Chrzastowo. Chrzastowo is approximately 200 kilometers from the colony of Elzbietow, where the Wurfel family migrated to in the early nineteenth century. According to Meyer’s Gazetteer, “Chrzonstowo Hauland” existed just north of Chrzonstowo, though records so far do not indicate a distinction.[2]

Chrzonstowo and Chrzonstowo Hauland as located in Meyers Gazetteer (click link for more details)

Marriage and death records indicate that at least a few of Marcin’s and Malgorzata’s sons (Krystyan Wurfel, Marcin Wurfel, Jan Gottfryd Wurfel Jan Daniel Wurfel, and Gotlib Wurfel) migrated from Posen to the Radomsko area. There are no found records of other siblings. The first record is the of the birth of Jerzy (also Wojciech) Wurfel, Martha’s maternal grandfather and son of Krystyan Wurfel and Dorota Muller, on March 29, 1810, in Konradow, Lodzkie. This places at least three brothers in Elzbietow and Konradow at the time of the colonies’ founding in 1809.[3] Krystyan, the only married brother, was twenty-seven and his wife was twenty-two (Krystyan and Dorota may have married in Radomsko (parish) in 1809[4]). Two of his brothers, Marcin and Gottfryd, married in the Radomsko area, in 1811 and 1813. Daniel, born in around 1807, may have joined his brothers later, marrying Maria Krystyna Puch in Kobiele Wielke, Lodzkie, in 1824. Gotlib married Marianna Weier the following year in Danielow, Lodzkie.

Krystyan Werfel died August 10, 1853, in Elzbietow at the age of seventy-one. Dorota Muller died seven years later, on January 12, 1860, in Elzbietow at the age of seventy-two. Her death record states that she was the daughter of Mateusz and Kunegunda Muller (also Miller) (my great-great-great-great-great-grandparents).

“[Krystyan Wurfel death record, 1853]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 15 Feb 2022 through Geneteka. Translated by Dorothy Woloszczuk.

Krystyan Wurfel died in Elzbietow on August 10,1853, aged seventy-one, leaving behind a widow, Dorota Muller, and six children: Jerzy, Rozyna, Karolina, Andrzej, Fryderyk, and Dorota. He was born in Chrzastowo, Grand Duchy of Posen, son of Marcin and Malgorzata Wurfel.

“[Dorota Werfl death record, 1860]” from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), digitized by FamilySearch, accessed 15 Feb 2022 through FamilySearch. Translated by Dorothy Woloszczuk.

Death registered in Radomsko on January 14, 1860. Witnesses Wojciech Wurfel, fifty years old, and Bogumil Werfel, thirty-nine years old, stated that, on January 12, 1860 at 2 o’clock in the morning in Elzbietow Colony, Dorota Wurfel, widow of Krystyan Werfel, seventy-three years old, residing with her son and born in Chrzastowo in the Grand Duchy of Posen, daughter of the deceased Mateusz and Kunegunda Muller, died.

Descendants of Marcin Wurfel and Anna Malgorzata Stafin (Generation 1)

Marcin Wurfel (b. abt 1760 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia) m. Anna Malgorzata Stafin (b. abt 1760 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia)

  1. Krystyan Wurfel (b. abt 1782 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia; d. 10 Aug 1853 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Anna Dorota Muller (b. abt 1787 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia; d. 12 Jan 1860 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Marcin Wurfel m. (1811 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) Ewa Kupsch
  3. Jan Gottfryd Wurfel (b. in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia) m. (1813 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) Anna Steckler
  4. Jan Daniel Wurfel (b. abt 1807; d. 06 Feb 1871 in Rokin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia) m. (1824 in Kobiele Wielke, Lodzkie, Poland) Maria Krystyna Puch (b. abt 1804 in Prussia; d. 20 Jun 1868 in Rokyni, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  5. Gotlib Wurfel (b. in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia; d. 15 May 1848 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (1825 in Danielow, Lodzkie, Poland) Marianna Weier

Note: Incomplete list of children, or list of known children only.

Descendants of Krystyan Wurfel and Anna Dorota Muller (Generation 2)

Krystyan Wurfel (b. abt 1782 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia; d. 10 Aug 1853 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Anna Dorota Muller (b. abt 1787 in Chrzastowo, Posen, Prussia; d. 12 Jan 1860 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)

  1. Jerzy (Wojciech) Fryderyk Wurfel (b. 29 Mar 1810 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 10 Apr 1862 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (18 Nov 1828 in Radomsko, Radomsko, Lodzkie, Poland) Julianna Wilhelmina Hansch (b. abt 1810 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 26 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Krystyna Baum
  2. Anna Rozalia Wurfel (b. 1812 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Jan Lemchen (b. abt 1804; d. 14 Dec 1849 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (07 Feb 1853 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Krystyan Friedrich
  3. Joanna Karolina Wurfel (also Anna Karolina Wurfel) (b. 1814 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 26 Jan 1881 in Amelin, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (1831 in Radomsko (parish), Lodzkie, Poland) Samuel Kliche m. (27 Feb 1859 in Amelin, Lodzkie, Poland) Krysztof Klektau
  4. Krystyan Wurfel (b. 1817 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Wilhelm Wurfel (b. 1818 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  6. Andrzej Wurfel (b. 1819 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 13 Nov 1879 in Lazy, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (15 Jul 1838 in Belchatow, Lodzkie, Poland) Anna Dorota Hoffman
  7. Gotfryd Wurfel (b. 1822 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (08 Oct 1854 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Anna Rozyna Kurzawa (b. 1838 in Poland)
  8. Ludwik Wurfel (b. 1824 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  9. Samuel Wurfel (b. 30 Mar 1826 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  10. Fryderyk Wurfel
  11. Anna Dorota Wurfel (b. 29 Apr 1828 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, England; d. 05 May 1875 in Teodorow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. August Reschke
  12. Daniel Wurfel (d. 10 Aug 1847 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  13. Julianna Wurfel (d. 24 Nov 1848 in Elzbietow, Lodzkie, Poland)

Descendants of Jerzy Wurfel (General 3)

Jerzy (Wojciech) Fryderyk Wurfel (b. 29 Mar 1810 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 10 Apr 1862 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (18 Nov 1828 in Radomsko, Radomsko, Lodzkie, Poland) Julianna Wilhelmina Hansch (b. abt 1810 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 26 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)

  1. Ludwik Wurfel (b. 1830 in Radomsko (parish), Lodzkie, Poland) – date to be confirmed
  2. Rozyna Wurfel (b. 30 Nov 1831 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 18 Oct 1889 in Przybyszow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Christoph Kirsch (b. 07 Mar 1828 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Dorota Wurfel (b. 15 Dec 1833 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 27 Mar 1898 in Jackow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (19 Feb in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Daniel Kammchen (b. 1827 in Teodorow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 28 Jun 1907 in Jackow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  4. Andrzej Wurfel (b. 1839 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 10 Feb 1857 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Anna Karolina Wurfel (b. 07 Sep 1836 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. abt 1883 in Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia) m. (02 Oct 1859 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Samuel Kirsch (b. 10 Oct 1835 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. aft 1905)
  6. Wilhelmina Wurfel (b. 03 Jan 1842 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (11 Jul 1869 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Marcin Nickel m. (28 Nov 1875 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Daniel Jerke
  7. Jan Wurfel (b. 21 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 21 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  8. Chrystyna Wurfel (b. 21 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 21 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)

m. (abt 1848) Krystyna Baum

  1. Julianna Wurfel (b. 09 Aug 1849 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 27 May 1924 in Babczow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Adam Wurfel (b. 1851 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 11 Feb 1852 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Anna Elzbieta Wurfel (b. 05 Apr 1853 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  4. Krystyna Wurfel (b. 14 Apr 1855 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 16 Jun 1859 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Jan Wurfel (b. 08 Apr 1857 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  6. Edward Wurfel (b. 17 May 1859 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  7. Eva Rozyna Wurfel (b. 21 Apr 1861 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; 23 Apr 1861 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  8. Gottfryd Wurfel (b. 21 May 1861 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 31 Oct 1862 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  9. Ludwika Wurfel (d. 08 Feb 1852 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  10. Krystyna Wurfel (d. 14 Mar 1927 in Feliksow, Lodzkie, Poland)

[1] “[Krystyan Wurfel and Marianna Weier marriage record, 1825]” from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), digitized by FamilySearch, accessed 14 Feb 2022 through FamilySearch

[2] “Chrzonstowo” from Meyers Gazetteer, date unknown, accessed 21 Feb 2022 through https://www.meyersgaz.org/place/10296052

[3] Eduard Kneifel, “Geschichte der Evangelisch=Augsburgischen Kirsche in Polen,” from Homepage of Dr. theol. Eduard Kneifel, 1964, accessed 23 Oct 2020 through http://www.eduardkneifel.eu/data/Geschichte_der_Evangelisch-Augsburgischen_Kirche_in_Polen.pdf; Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, “Radomsko Parish History,” from Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, 01 Aug 2009 [last updated], accessed 23 Oct 2020 through https://www.sggee.org/research/parishes/parish_histories/PiotrkowDiocese/RadomskoParish/RadomskoHistory.html

[4] Note: February 1, 1809, marriage in Radomsko is recorded, but the original source is unknown; no original record has yet been found

One or Two Hansch Families

Welcome to the first post of 2022! I hope everybody is having a Happy New Year.

I am having fun searching Geneteka for early ancestors in central Poland (see Kirsch Family Origins), focusing on the Hansch, Kubsch, and Wurfel families. I made the mistake of relying too much on a public family tree and had to go back and delete dates of birth from my last post about the Hansch family. While I do not want to discredit the hard work done by other researchers, we are all human and make mistakes (and I would not want other researchers copying my work without checking). In this case, I think the author of the family tree I copied from may have arrived at a conclusion before I did (keep reading), but I needed to review indexed information and digitized records myself in order to better understand the full story. In this post I will try to walk you through how I am puzzling out this “mystery.” Comments and opinions are welcome!

One or Two Hansch Families

While compiling lists of Hansch family members (namely descendants of Andrzej Hansch and Anna Fryderyka Wolf), I kept coming across confusion due to there possibly being another Andrzej Hansch living in Konradow in the early nineteenth century. What makes it more confusing is that this Andrzej Hansch was married to Dorota Wolf. I decided to make a list for each couple from what I could find indexed by Geneteka.

Example of one set of search results in Geneteka using “Andrzej Han*” and showing only birth record results in Radomsko parish, Lodzkie, Poland. The surname Hansch is also indexed as Hanyz, Chanyz, and Haniz.

Children of Andrzej Hansch and Anna Fryderyka Wolf

  1. Augustyna Hansch (b. 1838 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Julianna Wilhelmina Hansch (b. in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 25 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Anna Fryderyka Hansch
  4. Ludwik Hansch (d. 05 Nov 1887 in Antoniow, Lodzkie, Poland)

Children of Andrzej Hansch (b. abt 1775 in Kozmin, Wielkopolskie, Poland; d. 12 Mar 1851 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland) and Anna Dorota Wolf (d. 26 May 1853 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)

  1. Andrzej Hansch (b. 1811 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Julianna Krystyna Hansch (b. 1812 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Anna Fryderyka Hansch (b. 1815 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  4. Emanuel Godfryd Hansch (b. 1817 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Dorota Hansch (b. 1819 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  6. Jan Ludwik Hansch (b. 1821 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (1842 in Radomsko (parish), Lodzkie, Poland) Anna Justyna Schulz
  7. Dorota Hansch (b. 1823 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  8. Dorota Hansch (b. 1825 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  9. Justyna Hansch (b. 19 Sep 1827 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Ludwig Knull
  10. Karol Hansch m. (1851 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland) Karolina Mager
  11. Eva Rozyna Hansch (d. 11 Mar 1889 in Feliksow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Reschke

I was unable to locate death records for Andrzej Hansch (husband of Anna Fryderyka Wolf) or Anna Fryderyka, but did find death records for Andrzej Hansch (husband of Anna Dorota Wolf) and Anna Dorota. Fortunately, in the death records for this time, the names of surviving children are typically listed near the end. I tried to extract a list from each record (getting translation help for the death record of Andrzej Hansch) to see if I can compare all four lists.

“[Andrzej Hansch death record, 1851]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 01 Jan 2022 through Geneteka. Translated by Eva Sitek.

In Radomsko, at 8 in the morning on March 2 (March 14), 1851, Ludwik Hansch, age 29, and August Reschke, age 26, both farmers from Konradow, appeared. They stated that, on February 28 (March 12) of this year at 5am, Andrzej Hansch, age 76, a farmer residing in Konradow, died. He was born in Kozmin, Wielkopolskie, of unknown parents. He left behind his children: Bogumil, Fryderyk, Ludwik (one of the witnesses), Karol, daughter Fryderyka (widow, married name Kliche), Ewa Rozyna (married name Reschke), Karolina (married name Wurfel), Justyna (married name Knull), Wilhelmina (married name Reschke), and Dorota (married name Hoffmann). After that, the record was read to the illiterate present and signed by the priest only. [Addition: Wife Anna Dorota born Wolf]

For easier viewing, here are the children of Andrzej Hansch and Anna Dorota Wolf as listed in the above record:

  1. Bogumil (Gotlieb) Hansch
  2. Fryderyk Hansch
  3. Ludwik Hansch (b. abt 1822)
  4. Karol Hansch
  5. Fryderyka Hansch m. Kliche (d. bef 1851)
  6. Ewa Rozyna Hansch m. Reschke
  7. Karolina Hansch m. Wurfel
  8. Justyna Hansch m. Knull
  9. Wilhelmina Hansch m. Reschke
  10. Dorota Hansch m. Hoffman
“[Dorota Hansch death record, 1853]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 31 Dec 2021 though Geneteka.

I didn’t get help translating the above death record of Anna Dorota Wolf, but tried to make out the names of her children, listed below:

  1. Fryderyka Hansch
  2. Karolina Hansch
  3. Ludwik Hansch
  4. Wilhelmina Hansch
  5. Dorota Hansch
  6. Justyna Hansch
  7. Eva Rozyna Hansch
  8. Karol Hansch

After putting all four lists into a very rough spreadsheet, there might be enough information to support the theory that there is one Andrzej Hansch and that his wife went by both Anna Dorota and Anna Fryderyka.

I have highlighted similarities across all four columns, Anna Fryderyka Hansch being the only person recorded as having a mother named both Anna Fryderyka and Anna Dorota Wolf (her married name, Kliche, is referenced in multiple records, which makes it easier to confirm it is the same person).

If we are talking about the same married couple throughout, then the marriage record for Andrzej Hansch and Anna Dorota Wolf gives us a new generation of great-grandparents to add to the family tree. According to the record, Andrzej is the son of Gotlieb Hansch and Anna Gutsch. Anna Dorota is the daughter of Samuel Wolf and Katarzyna Gierszterndorf. According to Andrzej’s death record, his family was from Kozmin, Wielkopolskie, Poland.

“[Andrzej Hanyz and Dorota Wolf marriage record, 1809]” from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), digitized by FamilySearch, accessed 01 Jan 2022 through FamilySearch.

Hansch Family

I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas and I wish everybody a Happy New Year. I am still in the process of moving, but am slowly returning to genealogy research (what better hobby to indulge in on cozy winter days). I got married in September (civil wedding in September and church wedding in October, so which one goes in the family tree?) and we are waiting for a new family tree member, due next spring. In the meantime, I have been focusing on central Poland and ancestors who settled there in the early nineteenth century (see previous post).

Hansch Family

Julianna Wilhemina Hansch was my great-great-great-grandmother. She was born in the colony of Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland. Her parents were Andrzej Hansch and Anna Fryderyka Wolf. Below is a very brief list of the generations from the earliest known Hansch ancestor to me for reference.

  1. Andrzej Hansch and Anna Fryrderyka Wolf
  2. Julianna Wilhemina Hansch m. Jerzy Fryderyk Wurfel
  3. Karolina Wurfel m. Samuel Kirsch
  4. Martha Kirsch m. Julius Kelm
  5. Robert Kelm m. Lyla Krause
  6. My parents
  7. Me

The origin of the Hansch family is currently unknown. Andrzej and Anna Fryderyka settled in Konradow before 1812, around the same time as other families migrating to other German colonies in the vicinity. Julianna gave birth to twins, Jan and Krystyna Wurfel, on June 21, 1847. The twins died shortly after birth. Julianna died a few days later, on June 25, 1847, in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland. She left seven living children.

Descendants of Andrzej Hansch and Fryderyka Wolf

  1. Julianna Wilhelmina Hansch (b. in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 25 Jun 1847 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. Jerzy Fryderyk Wurfel (b. 29 Mar 1810 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 10 Apr 1862 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Anna Fryderyka Hansch m. (1832 in Radomsko, Lodzkie, Poland) Karol Kliche (d. 21 Apr 1847 in Witow, Lodzkie, Poland) m. (23 Nov 1852 in Dziepolc, Lodzkie, Poland) Jan Kalicki (b. 1803)
  3. Augustyna Hansch (b. 1838 in Konradow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  4. Ludwik Hansch (d. 05 Nov 1887 in Antoniow, Lodzkie, Poland)

Note: The above is likely not a complete list of the children of Andrzej Hansch and Fryderyka Wolf

“[Julianna Wilhelmina Wurfell death record, 1847]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci (Dziepolc Civil Records, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), digitized by Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society), accessed 30 Dec 2021 through Geneteka. Translated by Dorothy Woloszczuk.

In Radomsko, on June 26, 1847, Jan Fryderyk Wurfell, 37, and Jan Lemchen, 43, both residing in Florentynow Colony, presented themselves and declared that Julianna Wilhelmina Wurfell, maiden name Hansch, died in Florentynow yesterday at four in the morning. She was born in Konradow Colony, daughter of Andrzej and Fryderyka Hansch, and left behind the above mentioned husband, Jan Frederyk Wurfell, and children: Ludwik, Rozyna, Dorota, Andrzej, Karolina, Wilhelmina, and Samuel.

Note: The death record for Julianna Hansch records husband as Jan Fryderyk. Her husband is more frequently recorded as Jerzy (Wojciech), the Polish George equivalent or, in German, Georg. The name Wojciech is sometimes translated as Albert. Jerzy’s birth record names him “Jerzy Frydrych.”[1]


[1] “[Jerzy Frydrych Wurfell birth record, 1810]” from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), digitized by FamilySearch, accessed 30 Jul 2021 through FamilySearch.

Kirsch Family Origins

My apologies for the pause in updates. I am planning a wedding (and other major life events) and have had little time outside of work to enjoy the quietness of genealogy research. My updates may be scant for a few months, but I am try to work on my book when I can. I will also try to share excerpts of that work in progress here when I can, such as this post about Kirsch family origins. This section took almost a year to write. There is a lot of persistence that goes into digging for information that you can only suspect is there. Sometimes luck is what ultimately helps you. I need to say a big thank you to the volunteer translators at the Genealogical Translations Facebook group. Without their dedication, I would not have been able to decipher and translate any of the records I find. I am eternally thankful for help, not only with translating, but with helping me understand the structure of certain records so that I know where in the record to find a specific piece of information.

If you need a very general guide about who certain mentioned individuals are, the Direct Ancestors page (scroll down to Kirsch Ancestors and then to the earliest ancestors at the end) might be helpful.

Kirsch Family Origins

The arrival of German Lutherans in the area around the city of Radomsko (approximately ninety kilometers south of Lodz) in central Poland resulted in the founding of many German colonies, including those relevant to the Kirsch family; Florentynow, Elzbietow, and Konradow were founded in 1809.[1] In 1835, there were twelve colonists living in Florentynow with their families, which numbered ninety in total. [2] In Elzbietow, there were five colonists with forty-five in their families. [3] In Konradow, eleven colonists and sixty-six in their families.[4]

Modern map showing city of Radomsko, Poland, with nearby German colonies of Florentynow, Elzbietow, and Konradow indicated. Created 22 Aug 2021 with Google Maps. For scale, the distance between Elzbietow and Konradow is approximately 3.4 kilometers

The Kirsch families, as well as related families (Wurfel, Kubsch, and Hansch), were among the first settlers in the Radomsko area. Martha’s grandfather, Krzysztof Kirsch, was the first of his siblings born in Florentynow in 1813. Anna Rozyna Kirsch, the daughter of Krystyan Kirsch (unconfirmed but likely relation to Krzysztof) and Anna Dorota Kluske, was born in Florentynow in 1812. Martha’s maternal grandfather, Jerzy Wurfel, was born in Konradow in early 1810 and the family appears to have lived in Elzbietow from 1814. The 1935 Breyer Map by historian Albert Breyer, from an article titled “Deutsche Gaue in Mittelpolen [German Districts in Central Poland]” shows German colonization of central Poland by origin. Florentynow, Elzbietow, and Konradow fall within a region of colonies founded predominantly by those from the province of Silesia.[5] However, the families that settled in these colonies in particular (and eventually intermarried) were from German colonies near the city of Posen, which is in the province of Posen and north of Silesia.

When Krzysztof’s mother, Maria Elzbieta Pfeiffer (also Fayfer), died in Florentynow in 1847, her death record (click here for record and translation) recorded that she was from “Wola, Grand Duchy of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia.” Marcin Kirsch, likely a relation to Krzysztof’s father, Kazimierz Kirsch, died in Florentynow in 1846. His death record names Krystyan Kirsch and Maryanna Elzbieta Has as his parents and his birthplace as Wola, Grand Duchy of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia. “Wola,” which on its own denotes a type of settlement and is not specific enough to confirm which settlement, also appears in other records. According to Meyers Gazeteer (based on an 1871-1912 map of Germany), there were several locations containing “Wola” in Posen, including Wola Lagiewnik, Wola Skorzencin, and Wola Wapowska.

“[Gotlib Wisnieski and Ewa Rozyna Bot marriage record, 1830]” from Akta stanu cywilnego Parafii Rzymskokatolickiej w Kodrąbiu, accessed 22 Aug 2021 through Geneteka; “Wola Wysokotowska” highlighted

One record specifies a specific “Wola”; the 1830 marriage record of Gottlieb Kirsch, the oldest child of Kazimierz Kirsch and Maria Elzbieta Pfeiffer, and Eva Rozyna Both states that Gottlieb was born in Wola Wysokotowska in around 1808 and that his parents were also from there. Meyers Gazeteer (map, not searchable database) includes “Wyssogottowo Hauland,” Posen, Prussia (now Wysogotowo, Poland). Between Gotlieb’s birth in Wola Wysokotowska and his brother Krzysztof’s birth in Florentynow in 1813, the family migrated approximately 225 kilometers west from just outside the city of Posen.

Map from Meyers Gazetteer showing Wyssogottow Hauland

During the eighteenth century, the ancestors of the Kirsch family would have settled in Wola Wysokotowska or Wyssogottowo Hauland as Haulanders (also Hollanders or Oleders, depending on the language), free farmers (not serfs) who were collectively responsible for rent paid to their landlords.[6] The term “wola,” possibly from the Polish “wolni,” meaning “free,” has a similar definition in that it refers to a settlement or colony “established at the will of the local gentry or aristocracy” and populated by farmers not bound to the land by serfdom, but by the agreement to improve it in exchange for certain privileges.[7] The Wurfel and Kubsch families, though also from Posen and not Silesia, were from Chrzastowo, Schrimm, approximately thirty-seven kilometers south of Posen (city). It is still unknown where the Hansch (Julianna Hansch is Martha Kirsch’s maternal grandmother) family originated, but Julianna’s parents, and Martha’s great-grandparents, Andrzej Hansch and Anna Fryderyka Wolf, lived in Konradow from around 1815.

The Kirsch, Wurfel, and Kubsch families lived in what was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which lasted approximately from 1569 to 1795, until the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, when Posen became part of Prussia.[8] After Prussia snatched their share of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Prussia imposed several Germanification policies in the newly-acquired corners of their empire. German colonists were encouraged to migrate further east, which may be why the families helped found colonies around Radomsko. However, these borders kept changing. In 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte, during his Napoleonic Wars, created the Duchy of Warsaw (also known as Napoleonic Poland), which included both the colonies of origin near Posen and the forthcoming colonies near Radomsko. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, the Duchy of Warsaw was divided into the Grand Duchy of Posen (Prussia) and Congress Poland (Russia). The Polish people were granted some autonomy, which was why many records were in Polish. By the 1860s, as Polish uprisings caused Russia to restrict Polish freedom, there is a shift to Russian.[9] The Florentynow Population book, for example, was created in around 1866 and so contains records in both Polish and Russian.

Modern map showing migrations of Kirsch generations from the eighteenth-century up until Martha Kirsch migrated to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1908. Created 22 Aug 2021 with Google Maps

[1] Eduard Kneifel, “Geschichte der Evangelisch=Augsburgischen Kirsche in Polen,” from Homepage of Dr. theol. Eduard Kneifel, 1964, accessed 23 Oct 2020 through http://www.eduardkneifel.eu/data/Geschichte_der_Evangelisch-Augsburgischen_Kirche_in_Polen.pdf; Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, “Radomsko Parish History,” from Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, 01 Aug 2009 [last updated], accessed 23 Oct 2020 through https://www.sggee.org/research/parishes/parish_histories/PiotrkowDiocese/RadomskoParish/RadomskoHistory.html

[2] Marcus König, “Lage und Orte [Location and Places]“ from Deutsche Familien aus dem Kreis Radomsko,” undated, accessed 23 Oct 2020 through http://www.radomsko.de/14401.html

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Jutta Dennerlein, “The Breyer Map,” from Upstream Vistula, 2005, accessed 23 Oct 2020 through http://www.upstreamvistula.org/History/Breyer_Map.htm

[6] Zbigniew Chodyła, “The Oldest History of Oleder Settlements in the Nekla District, 1749-1793” from Committee for Renovation of Oleder Cemeteries, 2005, accessed 13 Aug 2021 through http://oledry.nekla.pl/images/download/The_Oldest_History_of_Hollander_settlement_in_Nekla.pdf

[7] “Place Name Guide” from Lubelskie Genealogy Web, undated, accessed 14 Nov 2020 through http://sites.rootsweb.com/~pollubel/lubelname.html

[8] Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz, “Those Infamous Border Changes: A Crash Course in Polish History” from From Shepherds and Shoemakers [blog], 15 Jan 2017, accessed 22 Aug 2021, through https://fromshepherdsandshoemakers.com/2017/01/15/those-infamous-border-changes-a-crash-course-in-polish-history/

[9] Ibid.

Finding Serafina Albert (Part 2)

Click here for the first part of this post, Finding Serafina Kelm. My search for how the Kelm family ended up in Winnipeg led me to explore the family connections that made it possible. I also love a good puzzle.

Photograph of the Kelm family, around 1909 or 1910; scan courtesy of P. Reakes

When Serafina was twenty-two years old, she and her husband, Julius Kelm, and two children left their home in or near Hofmanofka, Novograd-Volynsk, Volhynia, for Winnipeg. What information we know about Serafina is from her arrival in Winnipeg in 1906 and her death four years later. Shortly before her death, Serafina posed for a photograph; she is blue-eyed and serious, wearing a black dress and a hat full of flowers. Posing alongside her are her husband, Julius; her daughter, around six years old, Olga; and her youngest son, William.

Serafina’s daughter, Olga, was born July 21, 1903, in Hofmanofka and baptized August 10 in nearby Neudorf.[1] The parents in this record are Julius Kelm and “Seraphine Albert.” There is a record of a “Serafine Albert” born June 17, 1883, in Maksimilianowka, Novograd-Volynsk, to Georg Albert and Marianna Abram.[2] The year of birth matches that of the aforementioned Serafina Albert. Additionally, Maksimilianowka was around twenty kilometers from Neudorf.

The month after their arrival in 1906, Julius and Serafina were enumerated in the 1906 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. They lived at 677 Ross Street, Winnipeg, with “H. Albert,” thirty years old and having arrived in Canada in 1901.[3] A possible relative of Serafine’s, he may have helped them emigrate. Finding out who “H. Albert” is may flesh out the Kelm family’s immigration story, as well provide more insight into who Serafina was.

According to the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, Georg Albert and Marianna Abram also had a son, Julius Albert, born in 1862 in Augustopol, Lodzkie, Poland, who immigrated to Canada in 1906.[4] His family is found in the 1911 Census of Canada living on their homestead (31-51-24-W4) in Strathcona, Alberta (now merged with Edmonton).[5] Because family often lived close to one another, a search for any other Albert surname was conducted in the Strathcona area. According to the 1911 Census of Canada, Herman Albert and his family lived next to Julius at 31-51-25-W4, though they would be found in Township 43 in the 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.[6] Additionally, Herman and his wife, Paulina Wilde, were possibly still living in Winnipeg in 1911. Three of their children were born in Winnipeg in 1908, 1910, and 1912.[7] Paulina’s place of birth was “Johannesdorf (Solomiak),” which was just seven kilometers north of Maksimilianowka.[8] Finally, Herman and Paulina also had a daughter named Seraphina, whose preferred name was Sarah. Serafina, an unusual name based on my observations, was a popular name in the family.

Looking at the facts, Herman Albert is likely the H. Albert living with Julius and Seraphina in 1906 and Serafina Albert is the same “Serafine” born in Maksimilianowka. Herman’s wife and three children joined him in Winnipeg in October of 1906, so he could have been erroneously marked as single in the 1906 census.[9] His death record does not reveal his parents’ names, if they were the same as Julius’ and Serafina’s. Herman died of “tertiary syphilis” in 1925.[10]


[1] “[Olga Kelm birth record]” from Volhynia Archives Birth Indexes – 1900-1918, accessed 12 Jun 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

[2] “[Serafine birth record]” from Volhynia Archives Birth Indexes – 1900-1918, accessed 12 Jun 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

[3] 1906 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 13 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

[4] Master Pedigree Database, accessed 18 Jun 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

[5] 1911 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 13 Jun 2021 through FamilySearch

[6] 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Library and Archives

[7] “[Herman Albert and Wilhelm Albert birth information]” in Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency database index, accessed 13 June 2021; 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 13 June 2021 through Ancestry

[8] “Pauline Albert (Wilde)” in King/Burton Family Tree [Ancestry family tree], accessed 18 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

[9] “Panline Albert” in Canada, Arriving Passengers Lists, 1865-1935, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 11 June 2021 through Ancestry

[10] [“Herman Albert Registration of Death, 1961”], Provincial Archives of Alberta. Digital copy emailed 29 Mar 2021

Homesteading Near Camper, Manitoba, 1911-1921

Map showing Winnipeg (bottom right) and the location of the Kelm homestead near Camper (top left)

When Robert Bergner arrived in Camper on June 13, 1910, to look for a homestead, “there was no town, only a few tents.” Though described as historically having been “an uninhabited wilderness” or having few permanent settlements by the late eighteenth century,[1] the Interlake region of Manitoba, between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, was home to the Ojibway, Cree, and Oji-Cree, as well as the Metis.[2] From 1670 to 1869, the region was part of Rupert’s Land, which comprised eight million square kilometers and was monopolized by the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1869, the Government of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the HBC, who claimed ownership, for 1.5 million dollars. The transfer was finalized in 1870, the same year Manitoba joined Canada.

Starting in 1871, the Government of Canada established townships in a grid system called the Dominion Land Survey. Beginning in 1872, The Dominion Land Act guided the administration of land for homesteading, among other uses. To boost prairie settlement, the government advertisement homesteads in 160-acre increments. After paying the ten-dollar application fee, the homesteader had three years to break and farm thirty acres of land, reside on the homestead for more than six months out of the year, and build a house and barn.[3] Once these requirements were fulfilled, the homesteader would receive the title for the land and, if he was not already a British subject, become naturalized.[4]

Julius Kelm applied to the Government of Canada for a homestead on May 1, 1911.[5] The 164 acres was located along what is now Edison Road, approximately halfway between Highway 6 and Dog Lake, and six kilometers from Camper.[6] According to an interview with Julius and Martha (see Stories From the Past), there were around twenty other German families living in the area around Camper. The majority of Germans settled north and east of Dog Lake and west of Camper: “Many of the later [German] settlers–from the Russian Ukraine–came to be near the earlier German settlers and took up stonier, more heavily-wooded land.”[7]

“[Julius Kelm entry in Homestead Grant Register, application for homestead 419750]” in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 05 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

Julius likely traveled the 165 kilometers from Winnipeg to Camper alone to look at available land before applying for it. There were few roads during that time; scouting homesteaders only had “a map from the Land Titles Office, showing the township lines, which were just lines just cut through the bush; [they] walked through swamps waist deep in water.”[8] Julius would have returned to Winnipeg for his family. Anna Markwart recalls that, in 1909, the Markwart family “packed up their belongings, loaded them into a freight car and came by rail as far Camper [as] that was as far as the railway went at that time. They had to stay in the freight car while Henry [Markwart] walked seven miles [eleven kilometers] to the homestead to see if he could get the only neighbor to lend him a wagon to move the family to the new homestead.”[9] Julius had selected land “in the twenty-third township, in the sixth range, west of the principal meridian,” or homestead 419750.[10]

The first of the homesteading work occurred in early May. The land would have to be broken and ploughed first, and this was most effectively accomplished between June and August. Many accounts of homesteading in the Camper area begrudge the “mountains of stones”; in order for land to be cleared for farming, “stumps and stones” had to be removed and “every time the land was ploughed there would be more stones.”[11] After this, a house and stable would be built. Anna Markwart remembers that her husband’s family “lived in a makeshift shelter until they could cut enough logs for a small log house.”[12]

Homesteading on the prairie was often treacherous; wild animals harassed and feasted on livestock, even getting into the barns.[13] The year Julius secured his homestead, a timber, or grey, wolf was terrorizing livestock “from Camper to Gypsumville” and farmers would stay up at night with their guns waiting for it.[14] The prairie, immense and seemingly never-ending, could also be a lonely place. Debbie Hoffman describes her grandmother’s, Martha Miller’s, first years in her new home: “Martha wasn’t used to the big forests and swamps of the Interlakes […] The fright and loneliness almost drove her out of her mind.”[15]

Map of homesteads located within Township 23, east of Dog Lake. Julius Kelm’s neighbors included the Drailich family, whose daughter Adeline “Lena” married Edward Kelm, and Mattern and Geske families; courtesy of Taming a Wilderness: A History of Ashern and District by Ashern Historical Society

Julius and Martha had four children while living near Camper: Hannah (born March 4, 1913), Robert (born May 12, 1914), Hilda (born June 22, 1915), and Daniel (born May 17, 1917). The place of birth for the first three children is the Rural Municipality of Coldwell while the place of birth for Daniel is Camper.[16] In the 1916 Census of Canada, the family identified as Russian as World War One raged in Europe, the German families around them also identifying as Russian.[17] Julius (as John Kelm) also appears in the 1916 Census of Canada living with the Rempel family at 814 Bannatyne in Winnipeg as a lodger. He may have returned to Winnipeg for part of the year to find extra work to sustain his homestead.[18] Later that year, in December, the oldest daughter, Olga, thirteen years old, died. No record has been found of her death and burial.

It took Julius and Martha more than three years to earn their papers. Julius owned the land by February 15, 1917, when inspectors verified that he had fulfilled the requirements.[19] Sworn statements from two neighbors were required.[20] When his neighbor John Mattern, obtained the patents to his land on May 20, 1918, Julius testified: “Those that witnessed this were John Kelm of NW 31-23-6W and Edward Geske of SE 36-23-7W.”[21] In the 1921 Census of Canada, Julius is the owner of his three-room home.[22] 

[Homestead No. 419750 grant]” from Letters Patent, Canada, Department of the Interior, accessed 05 Jun 2021 through Canadiana Heritage

But farming proved to be too difficult; the Kelm family “had the worse land, unsuitable for farming” (see Stories From the Past). Frank Tennenhouse, whose family moved to Camper in 1911, writes that there was little government support for new farmers and there were few nearby farmers who had settled there long enough who could help newcomers.[23] Tennenhouse remembers that his father had “visited the location and had thought it was wonderful because there was plenty of hay for cattle and trees for wood. What he did now know was that the hay was low quality swamp and the soil was stony and infertile.”[24] Shannon Stunden writes, “Many […] newcomers settled in the less productive lands […] in eastern or interlake Manitoba.”[25] Most families returned to Winnipeg.


[1] James Morton Richtik, “A Historical Geography of the Interlake Area of Manitoba [thesis]” from Manitoba Heritage Theses, University of Manitoba, 1964, p14

[2] Government of Manitoba, “The First Peoples” [pamphlet], undated, accessed 13 Nov 2020, https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/hrb/pdf/the_first_peoples.pdf

[3] “Manitoba Crown Land and Homestead Records (National Institute) [wiki]”, FamilySearch, 09 Oct 2018 [last edited], accessed 05 Jun 2021, https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Manitoba_Crown_Land_and_Homestead_Records_(National_Institute)

[4] Ibid.

[5] “[Julius Kelm entry in Homestead Grant Register, application for homestead 419750]” in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 05 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

[6] Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, “Land Parcel Corporation,” 2021 [copyright], accessed 05 Jun 2021, https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/land_parcel_info.html

[7] Taming a Wilderness, p375; Richtik, p198-199

[8] Ibid.

[9] Taming a Wilderness, p190

[10] “[Homestead No. 419750 grant]” from Letters Patent, Canada, Department of the Interior, accessed 05 Jun 2021 through Canadiana Heritage

[11] Taming a Wilderness, p390, 401

[12] Taming a Wilderness, p190

[13] Dugald Women’s Institute, Springfield: 1st Rural Municipality in Manitoba, 1873-1973, Dugald, MB: Dugald Women’s Institute, 1974, p34, accessed through Internet Archive

[14] Interlake Pioneers, Hardship and Happiness, Steep Rock, MB: Interlake Pioneers, 1974, p64

[15] Taming of a Wilderness, p382

[16] “[Harma [Hannah] Kelm, Robert Kelm, Hilda Kelm, Daniel Kelm birth information]” in Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency database index, accessed 06 Jun 2021

[17] 1916 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 08 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

[18] Taming the Wilderness, p373

[19] “[Homestead No. 419750 grant]” from Letters Patent, Canada, Department of the Interior, accessed 05 Jun 2021 through Canadiana Heritage; the stamp in the homestead grant register indicates February 7, 1917

[20] “Manitoba Crown Land and Homestead Records (National Institute) [wiki]”

[21] Ashern Historical Society: The Next Chapter; A History of Ashern and District, Ashern, MB: Ashern Historical Society, 2008, p319, accessed 06 Jun 2021 through University of Manitoba Digital Collections

[22] 1921 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 08 Jun 2021 through Ancestry

[23] Frank Tennenhouse, “Photocopy of unpublished manuscript, “Seventy Five Years of Farming in Manitoba: A Collection of Stories of Life on the Farm from Two Generations of the Tennenhouse Family,” Tennenhouse Family fonds, University of Manitoba Archives, accessed 06 Jun 2021 through University of Manitoba Digital Collections

[24] Ibid.

[25] Shannon Stunden Bower, Wet Prairie: People, Land, and Water in Agricultural Manitoba, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2011, p35, accessed 08 Jun through Google Books

19 Kirsch Children: Julia Kirsch

Happy June, everybody! Memorial Day long weekend here in the USA was spent researching and writing my History of Martha project. I realized that this blog has been a useful way for me to organize book sections and get feedback. Everything will eventually make its way into my Kirsch family book, which I hope to finish next year. The following section is tentatively titled “Julia Kirsch: Journey from Ludwischin-Scheppel, Volhynia, to Winnipeg, Canada, 1890-1943” in the book, but will be the Julia Kirsch series entry for 19 Kirsch Children for the purposes of this blog. Because this blog is the rough draft of my project, I welcome any corrections or additions. I am also hoping that someone has a photo of Julia and August Rempel.

I would also like to apologize for the horrendous citations throughout this blog. I keep reformatting them as I go in order to find a style that works for me. I recently decided to add in source repositories or archives, but have to go back and track them all down.

19 Kirsch Children: Julia Kirsch

Julia Kirsch was born Julianna Kirsch on August 25, 1865, in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland, the third child and first daughter of Samuel Kirsch and his first wife, Karolina Wurfel.[1] Julia was confirmed in the Lutheran church (Rozyszcze parish, Volhynia) in 1881, though the absence of parents’ names in the record means the connection cannot be verified.[2]

“[Julianna Kirsch birth record, 1865]” from Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed 16 Mar 2021 through Geneteka

The Kirsch family’s migration to Canada began earlier than Winnipeg’s population boom, which began over a decade later in 1902. Winnipeg grew steadily by 1000-3000 people each year (except for a significant population increase after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1881) from 1871 to 1901.[3] The majority of Russian Germans immigrated to Canada after 1900, after the homesteads of the United States were all snatched up.[4] Minister of the Interior Clifford Sifton’s immigration policy of 1896 and the heyday of Canada’s “Last Best West” campaign spurred more immigration, the ideal immigrant, in Sifton’s words, being the “stalwart peasant in a sheep-skin coat, born on the soil, whose forefathers have been farmers for ten generations, with a stout wife and a half-dozen children.”[5]

Example of “Last Best West” campaign poster, 1907; courtesy of Canada. Department of the Interior, Library and Archives Canada

Julia was the first Kirsch family member to immigrate to Canada. She and her husband, August Rempel, married three years with two young children (Adolf and August), sold their belongings and left their community of Ludwischin-Scheppel in early October of 1890, their decision likely driven by religious persecution. While the majority of Russian Germans were Lutheran, the Rempel family, like many other families in their community, was Baptist.

According to Volhynian Baptist historian Donald Miller, Scheppel was a Baptist station in Rozyzscze parish. While Rozyzscze city was home to the largest Baptist church in the parish (established in 1884), there were several (mission) “stations” established, including Scheppel, where people from various communities congregated to worship. Some of these stations became self-supporting churches.[6] Other names for Scheppel are Scheple, Schepek, Schöpel, Schlepe, Szepel, and Schelpe.[7] Baptist activity began in Rozyzscze parish (Rozyzscze city being approximately twenty-two kilometers south of Scheppel) in 1874, when seven new converts were baptized and, shortly after, a chapel was built. In April of 1889, after a period of evangelical growth (despite the Lutheran majority’s opposition, which was sometimes very violent), the church’s pastor was banished from Volhynia and the people were no longer allowed to gather in the chapel. This prompted many families to emigrate in the pursuit of religious freedom.[8] In 1890, there was an exodus of Baptist families from Ludwischin-Scheppel.

“Often the outdoor baptismal services were disrupted, members were accused of preaching a false doctrine, converts were ridiculed, pastors were threatened and church buildings were destroyed.”

– Donald Miller[9]

According to an 1894 article in The Winnipeg Tribune, the German Baptists “were driven from their homes and from their churches and must seek new homes in this land […] The exodus from Russia began twelve years ago when the persecutions began.”[10] Following the world wars, Baptist church records in Volhynia were destroyed, many churches converted into industrial complexes and used for secular purposes. This is the reason tracing Baptist families in Volhynia during the late nineteenth century is “very difficult if not impossible.”[11]

When Julia and August left Volhynia in 1890, they left in a party of twenty-four people from six families, also Baptists from Ludwischin-Scheppel (more information about these families here). The families likely departed together by wagon and then traveled by train to Berlin, Germany, which connected them to major ports.[12] The journey from Volhynia to Hamburg, their port of departure, probably took a week.[13] The party left Hamburg on October 10 on the ship Hansa.[14] Because it was cheaper to travel across the Atlantic using British lines,[15] the families traveled to Hull, England, and then traveled by train to Liverpool. There they boarded the British steamship, the SS Polynesian, which took them to the Port of Quebec after a stop in Londonderry, Ireland.[16] The ship arrived in Canada on October 27.

Rempel family (top-most entry) in SS Polynesian ship manifest, Canada, Arriving Passengers Lists, 1865-1935, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 29 May 2021 through Ancestry

According to the SS Polynesian ship manifest, the passengers were going “to friends.”[17] The Rempel family had traveled “to join brother,” though no record of a Rempel relative in Canada has been found.[18] August had at least one living brother, Ludwik Rempel, born in 1871, but his whereabouts in 1890 is unknown.[19] When August’s mother, Rose Rempel, died in Springfield, Manitoba, two printings of her obituary in The Winnipeg Tribune have conflicting information; the shorter June obituary indicates she was “survived by two sons” while the longer June 7 obituary mentions only “one son, Augustus of Winnipeg.”[20] After arriving in Quebec, the families boarded the train to Winnipeg. The trip took three days, meaning they would have arrived October 30.[21] In the 1891 Census of Canada, the Rempel family lived in Ward Five, otherwise known as Winnipeg’s North End and “Foreign Quarter”–just north of the Canadian Pacific Railway yards.[22] The family lived with two other German Baptist families: Frederick and Caroline Maahs, and John and Rosaline Bicker (and two-year-old son, Frederick).[23] The three families, eight people in all, lived in a six-bedroom home. The family next door, also predominantly Baptist, were eleven people in two bedrooms, including two people from the party that left Ludwischin-Scheppel: Friedrich (Frederick) and Gotfried (Godfrey) Klem.[24] The North End was notorious for its deplorable living conditions, disease, and overcrowding.[25]

The Rempel family experienced tragedy soon after their arrival in Winnipeg. While their oldest child, Adolf, was with them when they arrived in Quebec on October 27, 1890, he was not with them when the family was enumerated in the 1901 Census of Canada on April 23, 1891.[26] While a record of the death of Adolf Rempel has yet to be found, there is a record of August Rempel, age three, who died March 11, 1891, in Winnipeg (August’s full name was Gustave August Rempel, so perhaps the eldest was August Adolf Rempel).[27] August’s and Julia’s first daughter, Helen “Lena” Margaret Rempel, was born Christmas Eve 1891.[28] Their second daughter, Ada Rempel, was born December 11, 1893.[29] Ada does not appear on the 1901 Census of Canada and no death record has been found, but the headstone for Edith Rempel in Brookside Cemetery contains the following: “Edith, died May 11, 1900, aged 6 years and 5 months, daughter of A. and J. Rempel.”[30]

Map of Winnipeg showing location of Bannatyne Avenue, where the Rempel family lived. The gray lines represent the Canadian Pacific Railway yards, the North End indicated above it; courtesy of Google Maps (captured 31 May 2021)
Advertisement in The Winnipeg Tribune, 17 Sep 1938; courtesy of Newspapers.com

In 1901, the Rempel family were now six and still lived in the North End.[31] Julia’s brother, Christian Kirsch, who immigrated in 1893, and his family lived two houses away.[32] Both August Rempel and Christian worked for the Bridge Department of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[33] In 1906, the Rempel family lived at 509 Alexander Avenue.[34] By 1908, the Rempels lived on Bannatyne Avenue (the address is 814 Bannatyne Avenue in the 1911, 1916, and 1921 Censuses of Canada)[35] and worked as a sewage and watermain contractor, hiring workers to dig sewer lines for the City of Winnipeg. According to family history, the Rempel house was two or three floors and extra rooms were rented out to boarders, most working at the nearby Winnipeg General Hospital (now the Health Sciences Centre). Some of these boarders worked for August’s business, including Julius Kelm, who lived in the basement in the early months of 1908. A 1928 rent advertisement for 814 Bannatyne in the Winnipeg Tribune describes the house as follows: “10-room house, hardwood downstairs, gas water heater, newly dec. throughout, first-class condition, 2 garages.”[36] The location is now a parking garage. Between 1922[37] and 1928, the Rempel family moved to 808 Bannatyne Avenue (August’s and Julius’ son, Frederick, and his wife, Mary, lived at 814 Bannatyne before 1928; the house was placed for rent after Mary’s death in 1927).[38]

August and Julia Rempel had nine children: Adolf, August, Helen, Edith, Frederick, Hannah, William, Violet, and Walter. They lived in Winnipeg the rest of their lives and were active members of the McDermot Avenue Baptist Church. Julia died in her home on December 8, 1932, at the age of sixty-seven.[39]

Obituary for Julia Rempel in The Winnipeg Tribune, 1937; courtesy of Newspapers.com

Mrs. Julia Rempel, 67, wife of August Rempel, of 808 Bannatyne Ave., died Thursday at the family residence. Mrs. Rempel was an active worker for McDermot Avenue Baptist Church and was a member of the women’s guilds. She was born in Russia but had lived in the city for the last 42 years. Besides her husband she is survived by four sons, August and Walter in Winnipeg and Fred and William in Detroit. There are also three daughters, Mrs. R. H. Smith, Mrs. P. Huget and Mrs. B. Waters in the city, and two brothers, Carl Kirsch in Yorkton, Sask., and Dan Kirsch in Alberta; and two sisters, Mrs. H. Yoekel and Mrs. J. Kelm in Winnipeg and Mrs. A Adler in Saskatchewan. There are also nine grandchildren. The funeral will be held at 2 pm, Monday, from A. B. Gardiner funeral home to the family plot in Elmwood cemetery.[40]

August died February 21, 1943, three years after retiring.[41] According to his obituary in the German Baptist newspaper, Der Sendbote, he became very ill and died after two weeks at the Winnipeg General Hospital: “He bore his suffering with the help of God patiently and attended church and Bible study regularly. About fourteen days before his parting his condition suddenly turned and he had to go to the hospital. There, no doctor could help him and the Lord over life and death decreed otherwise and took him after a few days of heavy suffering into eternity. Even though his passing left a gap on our lives, we rejoice in his well-deserved rest.”[42]

Descendants of August and Julia Rempel

Julianna “Julia” Kirsch (b. 25 Aug 1865 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 08 Dec 1932 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. August Rempel (b. 18 Jul 1866 in Ignacow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 21 Feb 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

  1. Adolf Rempel (b. 1887 in Russia; d. 11 Mar 1901 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) – to be confirmed
  2. Gustave August Rempel (b. 13 Aug 1889 in Russia; d. 20 Mar 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) m. Joanna Ida Marks (b. 15 Jul 1891 in Plum Coulee, Manitoba, Canada; d. 27 Aug 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  3. Helen Margaret Rempel (b. 24 Dec 1891 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Roman August Smith (b. May 1884 in Russia; d. 1960 in Manitoba, Canada)
  4. Edith (Ada) Rempel (b. 11 Dec 1893 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 11 May 1900 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) – to be confirmed
  5. Frederick Rempel (b. 22 Mar 1896 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 30 Oct 1877 in Buffalo, New York, USA) m. Mary Susan Jackson (b. 15 Jul 1896 in Ontario, Canada; d. 14 Dec 1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Alice Whitcomb (b. 18 Mar 1906 in New York, USA; d. Mar 1971 in Buffalo, New York, USA)
  6. Hannah Emma Rempel (b. 28 Jan 1899 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Peter Huget (b. Dec 1894 in Plum Coulee, Manitoba, Canada; d. 16 Aug 1945 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
  7. William Albert Rempel (b. 26 Jul 1901 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 08 Sep 1978 in Palm Beach, Florida, USA) m. Mary Semmler (b. 15 Jul 1900 in Poland; d. 05 Apr 1993 in Palm Beach, Florida, USA)
  8. Violet Elsie Rempel (b. 14 Oct 1903 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Bert William Watters (b. 24 May 1894 in Westbourne, Manitoba, Canada)
  9. Walter Alexander Rempel (b. 14 Oct 1903 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 20 Aug 1983 in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) m. Edna May Donaghy (b. 17 Jul 1905 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England; d. 18 Jul 1987 in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada)

[1] “[Julianna Kirsch birth record, 1860]” from Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed 16 Mar 2021 through Geneteka

[2] “[Juliane Kirsch confirmation record, 1881]” from VKP Birth & Confirmation Records, accessed 16 Mar 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

[3] Alan F. J. Artibise, Winnipeg: A Social History of Urban Growth, 1874-1914, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1975, p130

[4] Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, “To Canada” from The Volga Germans, 09 Jul 2020 [last updated], accessed 30 May 2021, https://www.volgagermans.org/history/immigration/canada

[5] Clifford Sifton, “The Immigrations Canada Wants” from Maclean’s, 01 April 1922 [published], accessed 30 May 2021, https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1922/4/1/the-immigrants-canada-wants

[6] Donald Miller, In the Midst of Wolves: A History of German Baptists in Volhynia, Russia, 1863-1943, Portland, OR: Multnomah Printing, 2000, p229-242; p291

[7] “[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Lange/Schindler/Gurel/Pries/Pudel Families from Scheple” [message board thread], Feb 2007, accessed 16 Mar 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, https://www.sggee.org/pipermail/ger-poland-volhynia/2007-February/006644.html

[8] “Baptist Records in Volhynia,” accessed 16 Mar 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, https://www.sggee.org/research/parishes/church_parishes/BaptistInVolhynia.html

[9] Donald Miller, “The Suffering and Triumphs of the German Baptists (1863-1943)” from In the Midst of Wolves, undated, accessed 30 May 2021, http://inthemidstofwolves.com/articles/suffering-triumph.pdf

[10] The Winnipeg Tribune, 12 Jul 1894, accessed 27 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[11] “Baptist Records in Volhynia” from Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, 27 Nov 2018 [last updated], accessed 16 Mar 2021, https://www.sggee.org/research/parishes/church_parishes/BaptistInVolhynia.html

[12] Janet Wasserman, “The Journey from Eastern Europe to North America in 1900 and 1904,” 2012 [published], accessed 30 May 2021 through JewishGen, https://www.jewishgen.org/bessarabia/files/Emigration/JourneyFromEasternEuropeToNorthAmerica1900-1904.pdf

[13] Ibid.

[14] “Juliane Rempel” in Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, Staatsarchiv Hamburg [Hamburg State Archives], accessed 30 May 2021 through Ancestry

[15] Wasserman

[16] “Juliana Rempel” in Canada, Arriving Passengers Lists, 1865-1935, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 29 May 2021 through Ancestry

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] “[Ludwik Rempel birth record, 1871]” from “Akta stanu cywilnego Parafii Ewangelicko-Reformowanej w Zelowie (Evangelical Reformed Parish in Zelów Records),” Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi (Lodz State Archives), accessed 31 May 2021 through Geneteka

[20] The Winnipeg Tribune, 06 Jun 1935 and 07 Jun 1935, accessed 27 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[21] Victor Gess, Portrait of a Homesteader: An Ancestral Journey Through Poland, Volhynia and Canada, Lafayette, CA: Missouri River Press, 2017, p159

[22] Artibise, p161

[23] 1891 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May 2021 through Ancestry

[24] Ibid.

[25] Artibise, p225

[26] 1891 Census of Canada

[27] “[August Rempel death information]” in Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency database index, accessed 15 Mar 2021

[28] “[Hellene Magreta Rempel birth information]” in Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency database index, accessed 15 Mar 2021

[29] “[Ada Rempel birth information]” in Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency database index, accessed 15 Mar 2021

[30] “Edith Rempel” in Find a Grave, 17 Sep 2014 [entry added], accessed 31 May 2021, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136055795/edith-rempel

[31] 1901 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May through Ancestry

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May 2021 through Ancestry

[35] 1911 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May 2021 through FamilySearch [Note: surname spelled Rimpell]; 1916 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May 2021 through Ancestry; 1921 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 31 May 2021 through Ancestry

[36] The Winnipeg Tribune, 25 Aug 1928, accessed 31 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[37] “Augustus Rempel” in Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory, 1922, accessed 31 May 2021 through Ancestry [Note: August is working as a contractor; Violet Rempel (dressmaker) and Walter Rempel (fire department clerk) also live at home in 1922]

[38] “[Obituary for Mary Ann Rempel]” from The Winnipeg Tribune, 14 Dec 1927, accessed 31 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[39] “[Obituary for Julia Rempel]” from The Winnipeg Tribune, 08 Dec 1932, accessed 31 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[40] “[Obituary for Julia Rempel]” from The Winnipeg Tribune, 09 Dec 1932, accessed 31 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[41] “[Obituary for August Rempel]” from The Winnipeg Tribune, 22 Feb 1943, accessed 31 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[42] “[Obituary for August Rempel]” from Der Sendbote, 17 Mar 1943, “United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012” [collection by American Historical Society of Germans from Russia], accessed 30 May 2021 through FamilySearch; translated by Margot Henriksen

19 Kirsch Children: Karl Kirsch

Welcome to the next installment of 19 Kirsch Children, a blog series about the Kirsch family and siblings of my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch. You can access an overview of the entire family right here. I lived in West Kelowna for several years and while job hunting with a friend across the bridge in Kelowna, decided to walk across the street from his home to the cemetery where Karl is buried. I had just learned about this Kelowna connection that summer of 2016.

19 Kirsch Children: Karl Kirsch

Karl Kirsch was born to Samuel Kirsch and Karolina Wurfel on March 13, 1877, in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia (later records have Karl’s date of birth as March 27, but this may be because of the change in calendar; Russia added thirteen days when it officially switched from the Julius to Gregorian calendars on February 1 (Julian) and 14 (Gregorian), 1918).[1] Karl married Olga Dymmel, also born in Ludwischin, in 1901, and they had five children, all born in Wladislowka, Volhynia: Amanda, Hulda (or Huldena), Annie, Daniel, and a child who died young.[2] According to the Baptist newspaper Der Sendbote, Karl, whose family was Lutheran, became a Baptist and was baptized in Volhynia.[3]

[“Carl Kirsch birth record, 1877”] from VKP Birth and Confirmation Records, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

Karl left his wife and children for Canada in 1913. The journey in steerage, from Hamburg, Germany, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, took just over two weeks; the ship, La Plata, left May 27 and arrived June 12.[4] At the time of his departure, Karl lived in Wladislowka.[5] There were two colonies near Lutsk named Wladislowka, the closest colony to Karl’s birthplace being “Wladislowka” and not “Wladislowka II,” which was further east.[6] According to interviews with Julius and Martha (see Stories from the Past: Martha Kirsch (Part 3)), Karl lived in the home of his oldest sister, Julia Rempel, at 808 Bannatyne Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and may have worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Karl lived in Winnipeg for a year before moving to the predominantly German Baptist community of Ebenezer, Saskatchewan (see 19 Kirsch Children: Daniel Kirsch for more information about Ebenezer). His brother Daniel’s homestead was also near Ebenezer.

The outbreak of the First World War prevented Karl from sending for his family for eight years. His family likely found themselves deported to Siberia alongside other Volhynian Germans for the duration of the war, but there is no information about their whereabouts during this time. By 1916, Karl was living in Mackenzie (district), Saskatchewan, working on the farm of the Dutz family (William and Wilhelmina Dutz).[7] In 1921, Karl was working as a farm labourer for the Keels family, also in Mackenzie.

“Olga Kirsch” in Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924, accessed 21 Apr 2021 through Ancestry

Following the First World War, Olga and her children found themselves in “Sprokinen.”[8] Sprokinen (Sprukkinen) may refer to a now defunct community in Kaliningrad Oblast (administrative region), Russia, near the Russia-Lithuania border.[9] Olga and her children left Europe from Hamburg, Germany, on the Megantic, their destination Orcadia, Saskatchewan (near Ebenezer). The ship arrived in Canada on August 27, 1921. The family had forty dollars when they arrived. According to the Hamburg passenger list, Hulda was supposed to accompany her family, but her name is crossed out.[10] Hulda was the last member to join the family in Canada, traveling to Saskatchewan alone the following year to find work as a maid.[11] Both Amanda and Hulda were married in 1922, with Amanda accompanying her husband, Emanuel Behr, back to his home in Moundridge, Kansas, USA. Hulda and her husband, William Aichele, started a family in Otthon, Saskatchewan.

Olga died August 9, 1938, in Springside, Saskatchewan. Karl moved to Kelowna, British Columbia, in 1949. His son, Daniel, had been living there for several years (Daniel married his wife, Frieda Wentz, in Kelowna in 1940).[12] Karl’s daughter, Amanda, moved to Kelowna at the same time as her father, settling in the Benvoulin area with her husband, Michael Pansegrau. Karl died at the Kelowna General Hospital on March 13, 1950.  

Article in The Province (December 11, 1945) about the fire that burned down the Pansegrau home in Kelowna. Evelyn and Allen Pansegrau were the children of Annie Kirsch and Michael Pansegrau; accessed 21 Apr 2021 through Newspapers.com
“[Karl Kirsch registration of death, 1950],” accessed 21 Apr 2021 through Provincial Archives of British Columbia

Karl Kirsch (b. 27 Mar 1877 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 12 Mar 1950 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) m. Olga Dymmel (b. 25 Dec 1878 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 09 Aug 1938 in Springside, Saskatchewan, Canada)

  1. Amanda Kirsch (b. 26 Nov 1901 in Wladislowka, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 03 Jan 1976 in Moundridge, Kansas, USA) m. Emanuel Behr (b. 27 Mar 1895 in Russia; d. 20 Jan 1984 in Moundtridge, Kansas, USA)
  2. Hulda Kirsch (b. 21 Mar 1905 in Wladislowka, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 26 May 1961 in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan, Canada) m. William Aichele (b. 13 May 1896 in Russia; d. 25 Apr 1976 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  3. Annie Kirsch (b. 12 Jan1909 in Wladislowka, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 04 Feb 1953 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) m. Michael Pansegrau (b. 04 May 1910 in Poland; d. 01 Oct 1982 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada)
  4. Daniel Kirsch (b. 25 Dec 1911 in Wladislowka, Luck, Volhynia, Russia; d. 22 Jun 1983 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) m. Frieda Weintz (b. 02 Dec 1921 in Tariverde, Constanta, Romania; d. 12 Oct 2005 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada)
  5. Unknown Kirsch (d. bef 1913 in Volhynia, Russia)

[1] [“Carl Kirsch birth record, 1877”] from VKP Birth and Confirmation Records, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

[2] [“Karl Kirsch obituary from Der Sendbote newspaper, 1950”] from United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through FamilySearch [Note: Der Sendbote was a newspaper issues by the German Baptist Publication Society from 1874 to 1971, with contributions by the North American Baptist Conference – Library of Congress]

[3] [“Karl Kirsch obituary from Der Sendbote newspaper, 1950”] from United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through FamilySearch

[4] “Karl Kirsch” in Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through Ancestry

[5] “Karl Kirsch” in Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 19 Apr 2021 through Ancestry

[6] “Wladislowka II” from “Google Maps of Ancestral German Colonies (1700-1939),” accessed 15 Nov 2020 through Germans from Russia Settlement Locations

[7] 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Albert,  accessed 15 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[8] “Olga Kirsch” in Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 15 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[9] “Kanash (Kaliningrad)” from [Unknown Title] [wiki], 24 Oct 2018 [last updated], accessed 19 Apr 2021, https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/Kanasch_%28Kaliningrad%29

[10] “Olga Kirsch” in Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 15 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[11] Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924 Hulda Kirsch Declaration of Passenger to Canada accessed through Ancestry 15 Nov 2020

[12] “[Daniel Kirsch and Frieda Weintz certificate of registration of marriage, 1940],” accessed 21 Apr 2021 through Provincial Archives of British Columbia

Daniel and Wanda Kirsch Death Records

The Provincial Archives of Alberta allows you to search for and order digitized death records for a small fee, so I ordered the death records of Daniel Kirsch and his wife, Wanda, to see if I could uncover more information (here is the original post for Daniel Kirsch). I find that the provincial archives of the western Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia) vary in terms of usability and ease of searching for and accessing records. The Provincial Archives of Alberta requires you to browse an index in order to locate a death record, for example, but you can easily order a digital copy (the turnaround averages a few days for me). The Provincial Archives of British Columbia has a searchable database and digitized images, whereas the Provincial Archives of Manitoba has a searchable database but requires you to print out a mail order form (for a photocopied record). I ordered records from Manitoba on March 19, 2021, and they have not arrived yet. I have never ordered from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, but find the database unreliable and the website notes that the wait time for record requests is more than eight weeks.

[“Daniel Kirsch Registration of Death, 1961”], Provincial Archives of Alberta. Digital copy emailed 22 Mar 2021

The date of birth for Daniel recorded on this record is September 5, 1872. Early records have August 22, 1874, as his date of birth. Keep in mind that this form was completed by his nurse (though a discrepancy in dates of birth is common). The record indicates that Daniel was living in Edmonton (the exact addresses for both Daniel and Wanda are similar but different, so I am unsure what is the correct address, though one of their sons signed Wanda’s record and “11611 88 St” is what he wrote) at the time and that he had lived in Alberta for almost four years (the record for Wanda says two years). The second page, which is not featured here, has the cause of death as “terminal pneumonia.” He died at what is now called the Rosehaven Care Centre in Camrose.

[“Wanda Kirsch Registration of Death, 1961”], Provincial Archives of Alberta. Digital copy emailed 29 Mar 2021

Wanda died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton in December of 1961 from heart failure.