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.

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.

Linking the Netzbruch and Borki Kelms

As much as I am thankful for the family tree work of other family historians, I am often wary of copying without checking sources. One of my fears, for example, is that I will record incorrect information and have that replicated in other Ancestry family trees. I’m not implying that others’ work is usually incorrect; I’m just a proponent of verifying information with records.

In my search of where the Kelms of Borki originated, I’ve taken information from public family trees and user-contributed information in databases like GEDBAS and FamilySearch (Family Tree) that indicate that their forefathers lived in Netzbruch (Przynotecko), Friedeberg, Brandenburg, Prussia. However, I can’t find records that confirm this information. Because of this, my Direct Ancestors page separates Andreas Kelm and Anna Krystyna Jess, my known great-great-great-great-grandparents–the Borki patriarch and matriarch–from the Kelms of Netzbruch. The Netzbruch Kelms’ genealogies are well-documented from 1645, but, as far as I know, there is no link… yet. If Kelm genealogists have discovered this link, I would be very excited to see it.

I am revisiting what information I have collected about the first generation of Kelms in Borki (the children of Andreas Kelm and Anna Krystyna Jess) and reviewing databases like Geneteka and Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe to both verify relationships and double-check for the overlooked details, or the details that don’t usually make it into searchable indexes. An indexed marriage record, for example, usually includes names, parents’ names, place names, and dates. But what else can we find in the record itself?

Searching for indexed “Kelm” records in SGGEE; results with Andreas Kelm and Anna Christine Jesse or Gesse as parents

Searching for indexed “Kielma” records in Geneteka (Grabow parish); results with Andreas Kelm and Anna Krystyna Jesse (or Polish variants of surname) as parents

According to the above results, as well as additional marriage records, Andreas and Anna Krystyna had eight known children1:

  1. Anna Luisa (Ludwika) Kelm (b. 1797 in Wrzesnia, Posen, Prussia; d. 25 Aug 1854 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Andreas Kelm (b. 21 Aug 1801 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Anna Rosina Kelm (b. 19 Mar 1803 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)
  4. Christoph Kelm (b. 28 Mar 1805 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 08 Dec 1874 in Pokrzywnica, Lodzkie, Poland)
  5. Anna Marianna Kelm (b. 12 Jan 1807 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)
  6. Daniel Kelm (b. 1808 in Dabie, Wielkopolskie, Poland; d. 29 Jan 1858 in Kadzidlowa, Lodzkie, Poland)
  7. Bogumil (Gottlieb) Kelm (b. 24 Dec 1810 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)
  8. Deogratus Kelm (b. 24 Dec 1810 in Borki, Lodzkie, Poland)

1 Some family trees list Peter Kelm, but I have been unable to confirm

Daniel Kelm, my direct ancestor, appears to have been born just over the border from Lodzkie in Wielkopolskie. I have his 1833 marriage record and, having not asked for help translating it, can only see Sobotka (Kolo County), the place of marriage, and Borki Colony, the place where he lives and where his parents lived.

The marriage record of Daniel’s oldest sibling, Anna Luisa Kelm (also spelled Anna Lowisa or Ludwika) provides an interesting clue.

[“Ludwika Kielm and Bogumil Krygier marriage record, 1815”] from Akta stanu cywilnego Parafii Rzymskokatolickiej w Grabowie, accessed through Polskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne (Polish Genealogical Society) on 31 Oct 2020.

Monica Kucal helped me extract the following information:

The bride name is written Ludowika, Lovis in brackets, and then Ludwika. She was a daughter of late Andrzej Kielm2 and still alive Krystyna Jessowna [may come from Jess surname], age 18, based on the birth certificate from Wrzesnia church [that means that she was born there], living with her mother in Borki.

2 According to this record, Andreas Kelm died before 1815. His youngest sons, Bogumil (Gottlieb) and Deogratus, were born December 1810, which gives us a narrower death date estimate of between 1810 and 1815.

Is it possible Andreas, Anna Krystyna, and little Anna Luisa (she was four years old when her brother, Andreas, was born in Borki) came to Borki from Wresnia (around 130 km west of Borki)? We are equipped with another clue in figuring out the gap between the Borki Kelms and, if the speculation proves correct, the Netzbruch Kelms.

From west to east: Netzbruch > Wresnia > Borki

Finally, having done the Ancestry DNA test and checking their ThruLines feature (which, I should note, relies on users’ family trees being accurate), I can say that I may have found a link (see below) to Christian Kelm and Louise Kuehl of Netzbruch, the speculated parents of Andreas Kelm. Their son, Michael Kelm, was born in Exin, West Prussia, which is Kcynia, Wielkopolskie, Poland, today. Kcynia is around 80 km north of Wresnia. Our search continues.

Samuel’s Sisters

This is a continuation of my previous “Residents of Kolonia Florentynow, 1866” post, but about another page in the population book (this section lists Samuel Kirsch’s direct ancestors and descendants). This page (see below) shows Samuel’s mother, Anna Karolina Kubsch, and stepfather, Jan Daniel Semper, living with his three sisters (Samuel had one brother, Gottlieb, who was four years old when he died in 1846) and niece in around 1866 in Florentynow (central Poland). They lived close. I don’t know how the households were enumerated, but Samuel lived at home 15 and his mother and sisters lived at home 14.

“Księga ludności stałej wsi: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów (Book of the Population of the Villages: Gertrudów, Koniecbór, Florentynów, Konradów)” from Archiwum Państwowe w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim (Piotrkowie Trybunalskim State Archives), accessed through Archiwa Państwowe on 25 Oct 2020.

The page contains the following information:

  1. Jan Daniel Semper (b. 14 Jun 1816 n Wies i Gmina Sm…y… [illegible])
  2. Karolina Semper (born Kubsch, previously Wisniewski) (b. 23 Jan 1817 in Florentynow)
  3. Anna Krystyna Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 07 Feb 1838 in Belchatow)
  4. Anna Dorota Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 16 Feb 1840 in Belchatow)
  5. Julianna Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 30 May 1844 in Florentynow)
  6. Julianna Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 09 Apr 1865 in Florentynow) [daughter of Anna Krystyna]

Unlike the page with Samuel’s family, each name has been crossed out. As the book was supposed to have been kept between 1866 and 1884, I’m not sure if this means all family members died before 1884. I have recorded three deaths before 1884: Anna Krystyna Kirsch (1866), Jan Daniel Semper (1871), and Anna Karolina Kubsch (1876).

Because many Kirsch family members left Florentynow for Volhynia, Russia, in the late 1860s, I wanted to find out what happened to this particular household.

Jan Daniel Semper and Anna Karolina Kubsch remained in Florentynow as that was where they both died.

Anna Krystyna Kirsch is recorded in the population book as unmarried with a one-year-old daughter, Julianna Kirsch, whose father is “unknown.” Julianna’s birth record (see below) also doesn’t reveal the identity of Julianna’s father.

[“Julianna Kirsch birth record, 1865”], Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed through Geneteka on 28 Oct 2020. 

Dorothy Woloszczuk kindly translated this record:

Julianna Kirsch was born in Florentyow on 2nd April 1865 at 11 o’clock in the morning. Mother – Krystyna Kirsch, unmarried, labourer, age 29. Father – unknown. Birth registered and baptized on 2nd April 1865 at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Informant – Bogumil Kirsch, farmer, age 34. Witnesses – Daniel Semper, 48, and Marcin Kirsch, 41, both farmers. Godparents – Bogumil Kirsch and Krystyna Kirsch.

Anna Krystyna died October 2, 1866, in Florentynow, at the age of twenty-eight. Tyler Versluis translated the following record:

[“Krystyna Kirsch death record, 1866”], Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed through Geneteka on 28 Oct 2020. 

It happened in Dziepolc on the 3rd of October, 1866, at 7AM: 31 year old Samuel Kirsch and 35 year old Bogumil Kirsch presented themselves, both farmers in Florentynow, and told us that last evening at 2AM in Florentynow, Krystyna Kirsch died, 28 year old unmarried maidservant, daughter of the deceased Krysztof formerly of Florentynow, and Karolina nee Kubsch, currently married to Semper, married couple. After confirming the death of Krystyna Kirsch, this act was presented to the witnesses who have declared they are illiterate [note: or unable to read or write Polish].

I am trying to find out what happened to Anna Krystyna’s little daughter, Julianna. Did the godparents adopt her? Which Bogumil (Gottlieb) Kirsch and Krystyna Kirsch are mentioned in the record?

Anna Dorothea Kirsch married Krystyan Kamchen in nearby Dziepolc (I believe this was where the church was) on July 15, 1866. By the spring of 1867, Anna Dorothea and Krystyan were in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia. Her brother, Samuel, would also live in the same colony, so perhaps he was there around this time. Anna Dorothea’s first child, a daughter named Julianna, was one year old when she died in February of 1869. She and Krystyan had two other known children: Carl Ludwig (b. 1870) and Anna Louise (b. 1874).

I haven’t found any information yet about the third sister, Julianna Kirsch. Hopefully I will be able to return to this chapter and add more details.

Kirsch Ancestors

I am having fun this weekend adding new names to my Kirsch family tree. The records referenced here are how I got the following Kirsch genealogy: Kazimierz Kirsch m. Elzbieta Pfeiffer > Krzysztof Kirsch m. Anna Karolina Kubsch > Samuel Kirsch m. Karolina Wurfel > Martha Kirsch m. Julius Kelm

Samuel Kirsch was born in around 1839. I don’t have a birth record, but two of his known siblings, Gottlieb (Bogumil) Kirsch and Julianna Kirsch, were born in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland, in 1842 and 1844. I should note that there appear to be three different villages named Florentynow in Lodzkie, Poland, and the village where the records originate is in the county of Radomsko.

[“Samuel Kirsch vel Wisniewski and Karolina Wurfel marriage record”], Akta stanu cywilnego Filiału Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w Dziepółci, accessed through Geneteka on 17 Oct 2020. [Note: “vel” means “or,” so “Kirsch or Wisniewski,” which is the Polish version of the surname]

Samuel Kirsch and Karolina Wurfel were married in Florentynow on October 2, 1859. Samuel’s parents are recorded as Krzysztof (Christoph) Wisniewski and Anna Karolina Kubsch (also sometimes spelled as Kupka or Kupsz). Karolina Wurfel’s parents are Wojciech or Jerzy (Georg in German or George in English) Wurfel and Julianna Hansch.

[“Krzysztof Wisniewski and Anna Karolina Kubsch marriage record, 1833”] from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), accessed through FamilySearch on 17 Oct 2020.

Krzysztof Wisniewski and Anna Karolina Kubsch married in Radomsko in 1833. With the help of Jan Textor from the SGGEE Facebook group, I now know that this marriage record for Krzysztof and Anna Karolina names Kazimierz Wisniewski and Elzbieta Fayfer (Pfeiffer) as Krzysztof’s parents. Anna Karolina’s parents are Gottfryd Kubsch and Anna Rozyna Riesmann. The record also says that Krzysztof and Anna Karolina were born and lived in “Florentynow Kolonia.” “Kolonia” was often added to a village name to designate it as a colony village (in this instance, German) and different from Polish villages with the same name.

[“Krzysztof Wisniewski birth record, 1813”] from “Poland, Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1226-1950,” Archiwum Archidiecezji Częstochowskiej (Czestochowa Archdiocese Archives, Czestochowa), accessed through FamilySearch on 18 Oct 2020.

Finally, the above scan is of the birth record for Krzysztof Kirsch or Wisniewski. Krzysztof was born in 1813 in either “Kolonia Florentyn” or Radomsko and I can make out the names of his parents: Kazimierz Wisniewski and Elzbieta Fayfer. I need help extracting more details from this record.