I have been working on a longer blog entry about Julianna (Julia) Kirsch Rempel, my great-grandmother Martha’s oldest sister and, being the first Kirsch relative to immigrate to Canada, likely the one responsible for the family’s presence on the prairies. Her husband, August Rempel, was a sewer and watermain contractor in Winnipeg and my great-grandfather, Julius Kelm, worked for him and boarded at the Rempel home at 808 Bannatyne Avenue where he met Martha (read the story here). While searching for information about August, I found information that I think confirms question marks from previous blog posts concerning Martha’s relationship with the Rempel family and her passage to Canada.
I documented my search for Martha’s immigration record in this blog post, which includes a record of a woman named Marta, a domestic traveling to Winnipeg with Friedrich and Rosa Rempel, an older couple who could go on to live in the area of Oakbank, Manitoba. While the information aligned with family stories, I was unsure if this Marta was Martha Kirsch and, if it was, I could not determine a relationship between Friedrich and Rosa Rempel and August Rempel.
My documentation of August’s place of birth, “Petrould,” comes from a border crossing record, from when August visited his son William Rempel in Detroit, Michigan, in 1933. The handwriting is difficult to read, and I suspect it might refer to Petrikau in Poland (though it’s my observation that a city like “Petrikau” gets recorded often in later Volhynia records when the less recognizable village of birth is nearby). There is a birth record for August Rempel, born July 18, 1866, in Ignacow, Lodzkie, Poland, which is around thirty-eight kilometers west of Petrikau, or Piotrkov Trybunalski as it is known today. His obituary in Der Sendbote, a German Baptist newspaper, states, “Brother August Rempel, Sr, born July 18, 1867, in Russia, after a short illness, died February 21, 1943.” The matching of July 18 in this date to the birth record (despite the discrepancy in year) perhaps verifies that both records refer to the same August Rempel.
August’s parents in the aforementioned birth record are Jan Frydryk Rempel and Anna Rozyna Blesing. The older couple “Marta” traveled with was Friedrich and Rosa, who would also go by their less European name variants, Fred and Rose. Rose’s obituary reads: “Mrs. Rempel was born in Russia, and 26 years ago came to Canada with her husband, the late Fred Rempel, and family. They settled on a small farm in Oak Bank […] Surviving is one son, Augustus of Winnipeg.”
I now believe that, in learning more about her brother-in-law, August, I have verified Martha’s immigration record and learned more about the couple that took her in, employed her, and helped her come to Canada. According to the family story, the Rempel family were very good to Martha. When Rose Rempel was dying, “she only wanted Martha to look after her. Martha left her husband, Julius, and children to care for Mrs. [Rempel] who died within a week.”
 “August Rempel” in Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1963, accessed 17 Mar 2021 through Ancestry
 [“August Rempel birth record, 1866”] from Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed 17 Mar 2021 through Geneteka
 [“August Rempel obituary from Der Sendbote newspaper, 1943”] from United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012, accessed 16 Mar 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]
 “Mrs. Rose Rempel” obituary, The Winnipeg Tribune, June 7, 1935, accessed 17 Mar 2021 through Newspapers.com
Excellent Research. I am also working on compiling family history. Could you let me know how Daniel Kelm was a direct descendent. I am Sandra Mellon, daughter of Dan Kelm and Eugenja [Jennie] Heft. My grandparents are Adoph Heft 1899-1965 and Pauline Stanga 1902-1977. Pauline’s parents are Jacob Stanga and Adolphine Guenther 1850-1931. Have you anything to share about the Heft family history. By the way I am the author of your material on Martha and Julius and their early hardships
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Sandra! First of all, thank you so much for writing that material. If not for that, I would be more lost than I am! I will credit you properly whenever I use it, if that is ok. I wish I could go back in time to talk to Martha and I am glad somebody took the time to do it. What was she like? My dad doesn’t really remember her.
I am not a descendant of the Heft family, so I don’t have much information, but I can certainly try and help you find information if you need help. Are you compiling a family history for both Daniel’s and Jennie’s families? As for your question about Daniel, the Rempel family, as far as I know, are only related to the Kelms (or, rather, the Kirsches) through marriage. To make things easier, I put what I know of direct descendants on this page: https://kelmfamily.com/direct-ancestors/. I am always looking for new ways to organize information on the blog better so that people wandering in can understand it.
I grew up at 555 Matheson next door to my grandparents Julius and Martha Kelm at 557 Matheson. Before my father Dan Kelm died I often spoke to him about the past and took notes. What I wrote was based on my recollections and what my Dad told me. In addition to what has been posted I have written more about them and my parents which I am willing to share. However, I am not that computer savvy. After 38 1/2 years as a social worker going on the computer brought back memories of work I would prefer to forget. I have been retired 17 years. It is only recently I have started using the computer again. I have been following the Kelm blog. What I wanted to know is about Daniel Kelm being a direct descendent. Do you mean that He is the father of Ludwig Kelm? Please let me know. I am very interested in family history. I now know allot about the Kelms but little about the Hefts. I have already written a Heft history with what I know. May be if I send it you could help me. I heard from my nephew James Kelm that you have been communicating with Clarissa and sent her a family tree. From what James told me it didn’t seem right. For added information my grandfather Adolph was born in Ruda, Poland. His siblings include Julius, Otto, Emil, Carl, Ema Michael, Erike, Mrs. Copp and Edmund 1907 -1986. I knew Edmund very well and have power of attorney for his wife Elsie who is 100 years old and residing in a nursing home. My mother and all her siblings except for the youngest were born in Lublin. I have my mother’s birth certificate. Pauline arrived in Winnipeg in 1928 with the children two years after Adolph came. My mother is Jennie Heft B. August 20,1922. Her siblings are William B.1925, Martha B.March8,1926 and Walter B. January 7,1929. I was told that Jacob Stanga was Jewish and his family owned a crystal factory. My husband is Jewish and I converted to Judaism in 1988. I am interested in finding out if there were e
I grew up next door to Julius and Martha and also talked to my Dad allot about past history. In addition to what has been posted I have written more which I am wiling to share. However, I am not that computer savvy. In tracing direct descendents you said that Daniel Kelm was a direct descendent . Did you mean that he is the father of Ludwig Kelm? I am interested in finding out more about the Heft family background. I have already written a history about what I know about them. Maybe if I shared it you could be of assistance to me in piecing things together. I remember John and Ruthy from visits your family took to Winnipeg. Lois and her family also visited me and my husband and our children about 20 years ago. Hope to hear from you.
Thank you for your information. I have emailed you at email@example.com. I hope that is how I can contact you easily. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if that will be easier. I am also perfectly happy corresponding here.