Emilie Kirsch Travels to Faith Healer in 1903

Perusing old (digitized) newspapers can be really fun. About the cancel my Newspaper.com subscription, I decided to do a quick search for any mention of “Kirsch” in 1900s Winnipeg newspapers. I came across an article in The Winnipeg Tribune, as well as published responses, about my great-grandmother’s sister-in-law, Emilie. As usual, my guide to Kirsch family history research is located here. You can read about Christian and Emilie (Reichert) Kirsch right here. As well, I updated the Direct Ancestors page to correct an error. I accidentally skipped a whole generation in the Kirsch section.

John Alexander Dowie, early 1900s, photo courtesy of State Library of South Australia

In the summer of 1903, Christian Kirsch’s second wife, Emilie, traveled to Zion City, Illinois, to ask the minister and faith healer, John Alexander Dowie, to cure her deafness. Three months after her return, The Winnipeg Tribune printed an interview with Emilie about her visit. In the interview, Emilie doubts Dowie’s purported healing abilities and accuses the minister, who had founded Zion City, an exclusively Christian community, in 1901, of exploiting the disabled and sick for their money.

Excerpt from The Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Oct 1903, accessed 07 Sep 2022 through Newspapers.com

Winnipeg Lady Goes to See Dowie (24 Oct 1903)

Has Not Retained Her Previous Faith in the So-called Restored Healer

He Wants Money Which She Was Not Able to Give –There Are Others

Mrs. Kirsch, of 541 Alexander Avenue, is one of the few Winnipeg women who have paid a visit to John Alexander Dowie, the modern Elijah, and since her trip to Zion City she does not hold the same opinion of him that she did before the journey to the Illinois town.

She is deaf in both ears, and a Mr. Smith, who lives on Bannatyne Avenue, heard of this, and had such faith in the “Restorer” that he kindly offered to pay Mrs. Kirsch’s expenses to Chicago in order that she might be cured. She also had great faith in the healing powers of Mr. Dowie, so she gladly accepted the offer. All this happened some three months ago, but she is not back in Winnipeg paying compliments to the “Restorer” in a way which would hurt the feelings of “Elijah III” if he could but hear them.

The tale as told by her trough an interpreter to a reporter for The Tribune was as follows:

HEARD HIM PREACH.

“I got to Chicago on a Sunday morning, but found that could not see Mr. Dowie until the day following, so that evening I went to hear him preach at the Auditorium Recital Hall. Now, it is a fact that Dowie does preach a lot of truth; he could not command the following that he does unless he did. But Balaam did as much. Balaam the First rode an ass, but the present Balaam is a much heavier weight, and consequently requires many more asses to bear the burden, and they bend their backs under the load with much docility.

“The next morning this man was kind enough to grant me an audience. The first question that he asked me was how much money I had. I told him that I had none at all and explained how it was that I managed to come to Chicago. He told me that he could cure me if I would go and live in Zion City and bring my family there. I decided not to do this as I could not get the money.

QUEER DOINGS.

“However, I went to Zion City just to see the place. It was certainly curious. Every store in the place has Dowie’s name on it. You see such things as: ‘John Alexander Dowie –Shoemaker,’ John Alexander Dowie –Grocer” […] and many other trades all owned by Dowie. They once belonged to the storekeepers who have joined the faith and given all they had to the ‘Restorer’ and then moved to Zion City where they have been permitted to carry on the business under Dowie’s name. None of the money taken in belongs to them, but they receive a salary for the work they do.

“The town is fenced in a guards interrogate all strangers both coming and going. None of Dowie’s followers are allowed to use tobacco or drink any intoxicants.

“While in Chicago I heard that there was a Baptist minister living in a country town on a salary of $600 a year, who had an epileptic son. The wife went to Chicago and explained the matter to Dowie. He promptly asked how much money she had, and she said they would raise all they could.

“The woman returned home, and they sold their cow, finally raised $60 and again went to Chicago.

“Dowie did not ask her for any money, but when she said she had a sister living near Zion, with whom she and her son would stop, he declared that would never do. Oh, no: they must be within the charmed circle of Zion, or else the prayers for healing would never work.

“So they went to Dowie’s hotel and paid at a high rate. They quickly used up the $60, but by great sacrifice the minister raised $40 more. Dowie scooped that in, too, and then they had to get out, with the boy as epileptic as ever, of course.

“Not, that is just one case out of multitudes that I have known. It is by such means that the money is got upon which this Caesar has grown so great.”[1]

Mr. Alexander, the person who had financed Emilie’s trip, submitted a response to the article. He claimed that the newspaper had fabricated the interview and that the true story was that “Mrs. Kirsch made acquaintance with some German people while in Zion City and they advised her to bring her family to Zion City, which was but natural. Mrs. Kirsch stated that she was very much disappointed that she had not been healed, as she saw and knew several who had been healed while she was there.”[2] The newspaper responded by claiming they had sent a reporter to speak to Christian Kirsch to confirm the authenticity of the interview. According to the newspaper, Christian “received the reporter very courteously” and confirmed that the interview was “mostly true,” but “did not wish to have the matter discussed any further as his wife’s trip to Chicago to see Dowie had already caused him considerable annoyance.”[3]

DOES DOWIE HEAL? (29 Oct 1903)

To the Editor of the Tribute

Sir –In your issue of Saturday last there is a long statement with the heading, “Winnipeg lady goes to see Dowie,” purporting to have been made by Mrs. Kirsch, 541 Alexander Avenue of this city. As my name appears in that matter and as I know the circumstances under which Mrs. Kirsch visited Zion City, I would ask you to permit me to reply.

In the first place allow me to say, that the whole of the statements said to have been made by Mrs. Kirsch, with one exception, are untrue. I know Mrs. Kirsch to be a good Christian woman and incapable of making the statements attributed to her in the report referred to. The one statement of fact is where I paid Mrs. Kirsch’s expenses to Zion City. The reasons which induced me to do so do not reflect favorably upon her own people or the minister of the German Baptist Church, which advised them in the matter. When Mrs. Kirsch returned from Zion City she called to see us and spoke in the highest terms of praise as to her reception and treatment there. She stated that her faith in Dr. Dowie’s teaching had not in any respect wavered. It is unfortunate that she is very deaf, she could not hear Dr. Dowie preach, as is stated in your report. It is not true Mr. Dowie asked Mrs. Kirsch how much money she had or advised her to bring her family to Zion City. The correct statement would be that Mrs. Kirsch made acquaintance with some German people while in Zion City and they advised her to bring her family to Zion City, which was but natural. Mrs. Kirsch stated that she was very much disappointed that she had not been healed, as she saw and knew several who had been healed while she was there.

[…] It appears that the churches have banded themselves together to preserve, as it were, their existence, they are afraid of Dowie.

The letter also accuses The Winnipeg Tribune of plagiarizing parts of Emilie’s statement from The New York Daily Tribune. In his final response to the newspaper, Mr. Alexander claims that the original heading of his response had been unjustly altered.[4]

Whether or not Emilie’s statements were true is perhaps irrelevant. Both sides portray Emilie as a pious woman hopeful to hear again despite what appears to be tension between her Baptist church (and perhaps her family) and John Alexander Dowie, allegedly the first to profit significantly from faith healing in the United States.[5] In spite of this, Dowie’s utopia, Zion City (now the secularized Chicago suburb, Zion), was continually in debt and, in 1905, Dowie was accused of fraud and deposed.


[1] The Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Oct 1903, accessed 07 Sep 2022 through Newspapers.com

[2] The Winnipeg Tribune, 29 Oct 1903, accessed 07 Sep 2022 through Newspapers.com

[3] Ibid.

[4] The Winnipeg Tribune, 02 Nov 1903, accessed 07 Sep 2022 through Newspapers.com

[5] Matthew Algeo, “The Sketchy Faith Healer Who Tried to Save New York From Vice,” 18 Apr 2017 [published], Atlas Obscura, accessed 14 Sep 2022 from https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/john-alexander-dowie-zion

Winnipeg, German Immigrants, and the McDermot Avenue Baptist Church, 1881-1910

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. I am eager for fall and writing cozily in the room I have set up in my new home for reading and genealogy projects (writing my book and scanning photos!). I salvaged all the different iterations of this entry that I started and stopped writing in the last year. This is a very straightforward and condensed history of Germans in Winnipeg, as well as a short history of the McDermot Avenue Baptist Church, which was an important location in Kirsch (and Kelm) family history. This section should be read in conjunction with this entry about Julia Kirsch, my great-grandmother Martha’s oldest sister who migrated to Winnipeg during a period of Baptist persecution in Volhynia and whose home became a launching pad for many of her siblings who would also immigrate within the next twenty-two years. You can find their stories here.

By the time August and Julia Rempel arrived in Winnipeg in 1890, the population of the city was approximately 23,000.[1] They arrived at a time of rapid growth; Canada was actively recruiting immigrants, namely those from western and northern Europe. In the autumn of 1881, The Great Prairie Province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories was issued in England to attract potential settlers and, by 1884, additional pamphlets and maps were published in other languages and distributed.[2] The population of Winnipeg’s North End, where the Rempel family lived, was 7,819 in 1890; by 1906, it had more than quintupled to 43,527.[3]

Many of these newcomers were of German descent. These Germans were from many places other than Germany, including Eastern Canada, United States, Romania, and Austria-Hungary. Germans from Russia (Volhynia, Black Sea, and Volga), however, represented the largest percentage at 44 percent.[4] According to the 1891 Census of Canada, there were 399 Germans living in Winnipeg.[5] The total number, however, was much greater as the census only recorded place of birth and not ethnicity. Because August and Julia Rempel were both born in Poland, for example, they are recorded in the 1891 Census as being from “Russia Poland.”[6] The 1901 Census of Canada did not distinguish between Germans born in Germany and Germans from elsewhere and recorded 2,285.[7]

In 1885, the Baptist church became concerned with evangelizing the swelling German population in Winnipeg and appealed to the Baptist Conference of the USA (North American Baptist Conference) for help. The following year, the conference enlisted thirty-six-year-old Reverend Friedrich August Petereit (who had been stationed in Minneapolis, Minnesota), the first German pastor of any denomination to administer in Winnipeg.[8] Reverend Petereit preached his first Winnipeg sermon in the city’s old immigration hall, in the mid-February cold: “Last evening[, Reverend Petereit] conducted services again at the immigration sheds where there was also a good attendance. This evening and tomorrow evening the [Reverend] will preach in the Baptist Church, where all Germans will be cordially welcomed.” [9] By April, Reverend Petereit had begun preaching a series of sermons “in the interest of the Germans in the city,” his efforts extending to Dakota Territory where Germans there also relished “this opportunity of hearing the Gospel proclaimed in their own tongue.”[10]

“McDermot Avenue Baptist Church,” undated, from Archives of Manitoba, George Harris Fonds, accessed 26 Aug 2022 through Manitoba Historical Society, http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/mcdermotbaptist.shtml

On December 31, 1889, a modest congregation of seventy people proclaimed themselves Erste Deutsche Baptistengemeinde, or The First German Baptist Church: “The founding meeting on the last day of the year closed with singing and prayer and a love feast lasting until the first hours of the new year.”[11] The first church was built on the corner of Alexander Avenue and Fountain Street, not far from the immigration sheds by the Canadian Pacific Railway yards preached in just three years before. This new church was operational by January of 1891, a few months after the Rempels’ arrival. The Rempel family and the twenty-four others also from Ludwischin-Scheppel were among the first wave of German Baptists from Volhynia that settled in Western Canada from 1890 until 1900.[12]

The congregation grew and a new church was built a block away, on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Ellen Street, in 1901.[13] By the time Martha Kirsch arrived in Winnipeg to join her sister Julia in September 1908, the congregation, which now numbered approximately 200 members, had constructed an even larger church on McDermot Avenue and Tecumseh Street,[14] around the corner from where the Rempel family lived at 814 Bannatyne Avenue. The new church was dedicated on February 9, 1908, and was renamed the McDermot Avenue Baptist Church.[15]

Martha married Julius Kelm at the McDermot Avenue Baptist Church on April 14, 1910.


[1] Alan F.J. Artibise, Winnipeg: A Social History of Urban Growth, 1874-1914, (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1975), p139

[2] Ibid., p105

[3] Ibid., p155

[4] A. Becker, “The Germans in Western Canada, A Vanishing People,” from CCHA Study Sessions 42, 1975, p29

[5] Artibise, p139

[6] 1891 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, accessed 27 May 2021 through Ancestry

[7] Heinz Lehman, The German Canadians, 1750-1937, translated by Gerhard P. Bassler, (St John’s, NL: Jesperson Press, 1986), p130

[8] Maria Rogalski, McDermot Avenue Baptist Church: 100th Anniversary, 1889-1989 (Winnipeg, MB: McDermot Avenue Baptist Church, 1989), p2

[9] Manitoba Free Press, 16 Feb 1885, accessed 27 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[10] Ibid., 14 Apr 1885, accessed 27 May 2021 through Newspapers.com

[11] Rogalski, p2

[12] Donald Miller, “Volhynian Baptist Settlements in Western Canada,” from In the Midst of Wolves, accessed 26 Aug 2022, http://www.inthemidstofwolves.com/articles/canada-settlements.pdf

[13] Rogalski, p6

[14] Ibid., p7

[15] Ibid., p9

19 Kirsch Children: Lydia Kirsch

Today I am continuing my 19 Kirsch Children project. Lydia Kirsch was the younger half-sister of my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch. You can visit this page to find the other biographies in progress. Several years ago, when I lived in Surrey, British Columbia, I learned that Lydia and her husband, Emanuel Adler, had lived in nearby White Rock. I also think my family may have lived a few blocks from where she lived in Vancouver. I wish I knew more about her, but I hope family may find this blog entry one day and help fill in the blanks. Thank you to L. Alexander for the beautiful photograph of Lydia on her wedding day. Photographs for my project are rare and we have two of Lydia! There is a brief entry about another photograph of Lydia (and her sister, Pauline) here.

Note: I know only I am going to scrutinize endnotes, but I wanted to mention that will be very inconsistent as I work out how to uniformly cite sources for the final form of this project. In short, please excuse the sloppiness.

19 Kirsch Children: Lydia Kirsch

First photo of Lydia Kirsch Adler on her wedding day, Winnipeg, July 12, 1913, courtesy of L. Alexander; second photo of Lydia Kirsch, around 1907, Russia, courtesy of P. Reakes

Lydia Kirsch was born August 30 (September 12), 1892 (see explanation about different calendars at the start of this blog entry), in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia, to Samuel Kirsch and his second wife, Auguste Reiter. Lydia immigrated to Canada in 1910 or 1912[1] and married Emanuel Adler in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on July 12, 1913.[2]

According to the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Lydia and Emanuel lived at 695 Pritchard Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End.[3] Their first child, Frederick, was born December 23, 1916, in Winnipeg.[4] He died two years later from pneumonia.[5] A second son, Paul, was born in Winnipeg, on January 26, 1921.[6] Later that year, the family moved to Saskatchewan. They are living in the Rural Municipality of Tullymet, just east of Lipton, in the 1921 Census of Canada. Lipton was founded in 1901 by Jewish families from Russia and Romania and was one of the largest Jewish communities in Canada.[7] The community is approximately 150 kilometers from Ebenezer, where Lydia’s brothers, Karl and Daniel, lived. Lydia and Emanuel had six more children in Saskatchewan: Hedy, Bertha, Violet, Hertha, Monda, and Ewald. Violet died on May 26, 1937, at the age of nine.[8]

Many homesteaders in the Lipton area abandoned farming and went to live in cities.[9] In the 1949 Canadian “Rural List of Electors,” Emanuel is a farmer and still resides in Lipton.[10] In the 1957 list, Lydia and Emanuel are living in Vancouver, British Columbia, on East 55th Avenue.[11] Emanuel worked as a janitor.[12] In 1965, Emanuel and Lydia lived on Fraser Street in Vancouver (perhaps in the area of East 55th Avenue and Fraser Street).[13] When Emanuel died on April 14, 1976, their address was 1550 Oxford Street in White Rock, British Columbia, which is the Evergreen Community assisted living community today.[14] Emanuel was eighty-eight years old. Lydia died at the Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock at the age of ninety, on June 2, 1983.[15] She left behind a large family, including thirteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.[16]

“[Lydia Adler registration of death, 1983],” accessed 03 Aug 2022 through Provincial Archives of British Columbia

Descendants of Lydia Kirsch and Emanuel Adler

Lydia Kirsch (b. 20 Aug 1892 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 03 Jan 1983 in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada) m. (12 Jul 1913 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) Emmanuel Adler (b. 29 Oct (09 Nov) 1888 in Mjetschislawow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 14 Apr 1976 in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada)

  1. Frederick Emanuel Adler (b. 23 Dec 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 1918 in Manitoba, Canada)
  2. Paul Emil Adler (b. 26 Jan 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d. 14 Dec 1995 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) m. (03 Jul 1947 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada) Martha Lydia Engel (b. 04 Feb 1926 in Lemburg, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 25 Apr 2000 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  3. Hedy (Heddie) Eileen Adler (b. 1923; d. 28 Sep 2016 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada) m. (abt 1949) Robert Alexander (b. 1919; d. 11 Apr 2011 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada)
  4. Bertha Alma Adler (b. 1926 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 16 Jan 2010 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada) m. (26 Apr 1944 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada) Edwin Siegfried Senft (b. 25 Apr 1921 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 23 Dec 1998 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  5. Violet Ruth Adler (b. 14 Mar 1928 in Canada; d. 26 May 1937 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  6. Hertha Adler (b. 06 Jul 1930 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada) m. James Manton (b. 25 Dec 1930 in Birmingham, England)
  7. Monda Adler m. Arthur Bohn (b. 28 Mar 1934 in Manola, Alberta, Canada; d. 28 Aug 2008 in Delta, British Columbia, Canada)
  8. Ewald Roy Adler (b. 18 Apr 1935 in Lipton, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 03 Nov 1997 in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) m. Marguerite Reid

[1] 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta (1912) and 1921 Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926 (1910)

[2] “Lydia Kirsch” in Manitoba, Marriage Index, 1879-1931, accessed 20 Jul 2021 through Ancestry

[3] 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta

[4] “Frederick Emanuel Adler” in Manitoba, Canada, Birth Index, 1866-1912, accessed 20 Jul 2021 through Ancestry

[5] Correspondence with L. Alexander, 08 Feb 2021

[6] “Paul Emil Adler” in “Manitoba Vital Statistics Branch” genealogy database index, accessed 03 Aug 2022

[7] “Saskatchewan” in Jewish Virtual Library, accessed 03 Aug 2022, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/saskatchewan

[8] “Violet Adler [Registration: 2982]” in Genealogy Index Searches, accessed 20 Jul 2021 through eHealth Saskatchewan [Note: Place of death is 02-24-14-2]

[9] “CTV Regina: A look at the history of Lipton” , CTV News Regina, accessed 03 Aug 2022, https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1151980

[10] Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980, accessed 03 Aug 2022 through Ancestry

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] “[Emanuel Adler registration of death, 1976],” accessed 03 Aug 2022 through Provincial Archives of British Columbia

[15] “[Lydia Adler registration of death, 1983],” accessed 03 Aug 2022 through Provincial Archives of British Columbia

[16] “[Lydia Adler obituary]” in The Vancouver Sun, 04 Jan 1983, accessed 03 Aug 2022 through Newspapers.com

Project and Life Update

Happy summer to you all. This is not a formal genealogy post, but I thought I would update everybody on the status of my project, “The History of Martha,” and why it is taking longer than anticipated to finish the first draft. The book, which I thought I could finish this year, might still see a “first edition” finished by the end of the year or early next year. It has been fun to working on the various sections and sharing some of them with you on the blog. I am very excited whenever people find the blog and reach out to me. I appreciate the messages and apologize for delayed responses.

My daughter, Laura, was born May 10, 2022. She has given me more reason to record family research and stories. We also moved to our new home in New Hampshire two weeks ago. We have been adjusting to being a family of three in a new place (and I just finished the long process of acquiring a green card), so my projects have been put on hold! However, I now have the room and space to set up my books and scanner to work on them properly, so expect more updates eventually.

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