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, Saskatchewanb (bear 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

19 Kirsch Children: Daniel Kirsch

Welcome to a new blog series, “19 Kirsch Children.” I have been researching those of Martha’s siblings that immigrated to Canada for NaNoWriMo (20,734 words!) and I hope to find the more elusive records that hopefully reveal the life trajectories of those who remained in Volhynia or migrated elsewhere. I am also hoping to one day breathe more life into these profiles with details beyond the dates and facts. If you have and are willing to contribute more information or corrections, you can leave a comment here or email me at sarika.l.kelm@gmail.com.

19 Kirsch Children: Daniel Kirsch

Daniel Kirsch was born August 22, 1874, in Konstanynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia. The youngest of his siblings to immigrate to Canada, Daniel was seventeen years old when he sailed away from Europe aboard the SS Numidian in 1892. He was also the second Kirsch sibling to leave Volhynia, his sister Julia Kirsch having emigrated in 1891. The ship, which carried 866 passengers, left Liverpool on April 28 and, after a stop in Londonberry, Ireland, sailed to the Port of Quebec, arriving on May 9.[1] The trip took eleven days. Although the ship manifest did not include Daniel’s destination, he probably stayed with his sister, Julia, and her husband, August Rempel, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, before setting out to find work. He was said to have lived with the Rempel family at 808 Bannatyne Street, but he would have already been living in Saskatchewan at this time.

“[Daniel Kirsch birth record, 1874]” from VKP Databases, accessed through Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

Daniel married Wanda Schindler (also Vanda Schendler) in around 1903. Wanda came from a Baptist family who also emigrated from Ludwischin-Scheppel, Volhynia, in 1890 and 1891.[2] Daniel’s family had moved from Konstantynow to nearby Ludwischin-Scheppel when he was around two years old. Although Wanda was eight years younger than Daniel, it is possible they knew one another in Russia. Their families likely knew one another.

Daniel applied for a homestead on July 28, 1903, and he and Wanda moved to the Rural Municipality of Good Lake, twelve kilometers from Ebenezer, Saskatchewan. Ebenezer, originally called Anoka, was a predominantly German Baptist community settled by Volga and Volhynian Baptists in 1887.[3] Daniel and Wanda had eight children, all “born on the family farm near Ebenezer”:[4] Daniel, Albert, Edwin, Violet, Elsie Vina, Laura May, Roman Walter, and Alvin Herman. Their daughter, Violet, died two weeks before her first birthday, on August 29, 1913.

The 1921 Census of Canada records the Kirsch family as living in a five-room home on the farm–a farm that now belonged to them after several years of hard work.[5] In around 1935, the Kirsch family moved to a farm near Leduc, Alberta, which is near Edmonton, Alberta.[6]

Daniel died in Camrose, Alberta, on May 21, 1961. Wanda died later that year, on December 28, in Edmonton. Most of their children remained in the Edmonton area.

Children of Daniel Kirsch and Wanda Schindler

Daniel Kirsch (b. 22 Aug 1874 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 21 May 1961 in Camrose, Alberta, Canada) m. Wanda Schindler (b. 11 Nov 1882 in Volhynia, Russia; d. 28 Dec 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

  1. Daniel Kirsch (b. 25 May 1905 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 30 Jul 1980 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Martha Arndt (b. 09 Oct 1904 in Volhynia, Russia; d. 22 Dec 1990 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  2. Albert Kirsch (b. 23 Mar 1907 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Florence Elsie Heffner (b. 08 Jul 1911 in Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada; d. 12 Jul 1997 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  3. Edwin Kirsch (b. 21 Mar 1910 in Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 25 Oct 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) m. Elsie Brown (b. 23 Feb 1909 in Leduc, Alberta, Canada; d. 01 Oct 1959 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  4. Violet Kirsch (b. 13 Sep 1912 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 29 Aug 1913 in Saskatchewan, Canada)
  5. Elsie Vina Kirsch (b. 12 Feb 1915 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 11 Sep 1986 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Joseph George Hutch (b. 07 Mar 1907 in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada; d. 17 Jul 1967 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  6. Laura May Kirsch (b. 01 Feb 1919 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 30 Oct 2006 in Alberta, Canada) m. Melvin John Jeffries (d. 1975 in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada)
  7. Roman Walter Kirsch (b. 25 Jul 1922 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 23 Dec 2005 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) m. Rose Anna McNaught (b. 08 Jun 1914 in Shelby, Montana, USA; d. 12 Feb 1992 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) m. Muriel Brown (b. 17 Nov 1918 in Amule, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 03 Aug 2007 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)
  8. Alvin Herman Kirsch (b. 1925 in Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 19 Aug 1989 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) m. Dorothy Walters (b. 28 Dec 1919; d. 2006)

Note: The birth information for Violet, Elsie, and Laura Kirsch is from eHealth Saskatchewan Vital Statistics Genealogical Search. The place of birth is “6 28 4 2,” which corresponds with the location of the Kirsch homestead near Ebenezer.


[1] “Danie [sic] Kirsch” from Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[2] “Wanda Schindler” from Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[3] “Ebenezer, Saskatchewan,” University of North Florida, undated, accessed 16 Nov 2020, http://volga.domains.unf.edu/immigration/ca/sk/ebenezer-saskatchewan

[4] “[Obituary of Roman Walter Kirsch]” from The Red Deer Advocate, 28 Dec 2005 [published], accessed 20 Nov 2020 through Newspapers.com

[5] 1921 Census of Canada Ancestry, accessed 16 Nov 2020 through Ancestry

[6] “[Obituary of Roman Walter Kirsch]” from The Red Deer Advocate, 28 Dec 2005 [published], accessed 20 Nov 2020 through Newspapers.com