Lydia or Pauline

Last month I wrote a short biography of Pauline Kirsch, half-sister of my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch. I posted a cropped photograph of Pauline emailed to me by my Aunt Phyllis Reakes (you can view the original uncropped photo of Pauline and her sister, Lydia, and her father, Samuel, here or at the bottom of this post).

I recently got in touch with the family of Lydia Kirsch Adler, the other young woman in the original photo. The comment was made that Pauline looks exactly like a photograph of Lydia on her wedding day. Because sisters often look the same, I thought nothing of it. But, after comparing the posted photo of Pauline and the wedding photo of Lydia, I now believe the description on the back of the above photo (scroll down for scan) mixed the sisters up. I also think Lydia appears to be wearing the same locket or pendant in both photos.

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

The identification of the sisters comes from the back of the photo.

Scanned photo emailed to P. Reakes (original source unknown, though the handwritten text suggests the original photo belongs to the Rempel family, or was from a descendant of Julia Kirsch)

As an archivist, I have worked on several family photo albums and know how difficult it can be to identify related people in photos, especially sisters. But, in my opinion, the wedding photo looks less like the young woman on right and I now think that the young woman on the right is Pauline. The description might also be correct, however, if we read it in reference to their father (“My Grandpa/picture taken in Russia with 2 of mothers sister/Pauline left/Lydia right”). Pauline is then standing to the left and Lydia to the right.

From left to right: Lydia Adler, Samuel Kirsch, Pauline Adler; photograph taken around 1907 in Russia; scan courtesy of P. Reakes

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.

Residents of Kolonia Florentynow, 1866

“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.

Inspired by the blog post “The importance of exploring other repositories” at Writing My Past, I typed “Florentynow” into the Polish State Archives database. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t even sure where I was except that many of the digitized records I had found through Geneteka and FamilySearch, for example, can be traced back to repositories accessed through this website. My understanding is that the website is an aggregate of State Archives branches in Poland, the record pictured above being from the Piotrkowie Trybunalskim State Archives. I will have to revisit how I cite sources now that I’m learning how to use Polish resources more!

My “let’s see what happens” search brought up a “population book” for the villages of Gertrudow, Koniecbor, Florentynow, and Konradow. The book, kept between 1866 and 1884, is a record of residents in the aforementioned villages–and each record has helpful tags (see below). I recognized the surnames–Kubsch, Kirsch (Wisniewski), Wurful– and knew the record would be helpful.

The book alternates between Polish and Russian. Fortunately, I recognized the names of Samuel Kirsch and Karolina Wurfel, parents of my great-grandmother, Martha Kirsch. The page (see below), which is mostly in Polish and looks like a census record, shows Samuel, Karolina, and their young children living in Florentynow in 1866. According to the birthdates of Samuel’s children in my post “Finding 19 Kirsch Children,” the Kirsch family migrated to Volhynia, Russia, between 1865, when his daughter Julianna was born in Florentynow, and 1868, when his son Ferdinand was born and died in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia.

“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 includes the following information about each individual: home number (number 15), name, names of parents, date of birth, place of birth, religion (Lutheran, specifically Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession), previous residence (none), and notes about death or resettlement (these comments I need help translating because they are in Russian). Here are the names and birthdates as translated:

  1. Samuel Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 10 Oct 1835 in Florentynow)
  2. Karolina Wisniewski nee Wurfel (b. 07 Sep 1836 in Florentynow)
  3. Krystyan Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 21 Dec 1860 in Florentynow)
  4. Bogumil Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 09 Jan 1863 in Florentynow)
  5. Julianna Wisniewski or Kirsch (b. 13 Aug 1865 in Florentynow) – her official birthdate would be August 25, 1865
  6. Anna …r…na [unknown] (b. 21 Nov 1852 in …) – I don’t know who this is, but it appears to be a 13-year-old girl whose name begins with Anna. The entry is in Russian and I am not sure when the entry was added or if she lived in the same household

Extracting this information is exciting because I was missing a birthdate for Samuel and specific dates for his children born in Florentynow. There is another page in the book for Samuel’s mother, Karolina Kubsch Semper (formerly Kirsch), and her three daughters, or Samuel’s younger sisters and only living siblings at the time (as well as other Kirsch families living in Florentynow). Karolina remarried after her husband, Krzysztof Kirsch, died.

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.

Finding 19 Kirsch Children

My last blog post referred to Martha Kirsch’s eighteen brothers and sisters. A few years ago, my Aunt Phyllis and I thought we would try to find and record all nineteen of Samuel Kirsch’s children; however, it wasn’t until this week that I found two, Friedrich and Olga (born in 1899 and 1905), and wondered if maybe we had finally found all of them.

“[Olga Kirsch birth record].” Retrieved 17 Jun 2020 from FamilySearch. [Note: Samuel Kirsch and Auguste Reiter written in Russian]

Using Geneteka, FamilySearch, Odessa, and SGGEE birth and death records, and then checking surname variants (Kirsch and the Polish version, Wisniewski, for example) and double-checking the names of the parents, the following list was compiled.

Samuel Kirsch (b. 10 Oct 1835 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. aft 1905 in Volhynia, Russia) m. Karolina Wurfel (b. 07 Sep 1835 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. abt 1883 in Volhynia, Russia)

  1. Christian Kirsch (b. 07 Sep 1860 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  2. Gottlieb Kirsch (b. 09 Jan 1863 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland)
  3. Julianna “Julia” Kirsch (b. 25 Aug 1865 in Florentynow, Lodzkie, Poland; d. 08 Dec 1932 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. August Rempel (b. Jul 1865 in Petrould, Russia; d. 21 Feb 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
  4. Ferdinand Albert Kirsch (b. Apr 1868; d. 07 Jul 1868 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  5. Christina Kirsch (b. 14 Jul 1869 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  6. Eva Kirsch (b. 04 Jun 1872 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 15 May 1874 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  7. Daniel Kirsch (b. 22 Aug 1874 in Konstantynow, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 21 May 1961 in Camrose, Alberta, Canada) m. Wanda Schindler (b. 1882 in Russia; d. 28 Dec 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  8. Karl Kirsch (b. 27 Mar 1877 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 12 Mar 1950 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) m. Olga Dymmel (b. abt 1881 in Russia; d. in Canada)
  9. Martha Kirsch (b. Apr 1881 in Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 20 Jul 1965 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Julius Kelm (b. 09 Mar 1978 in Hofmanofka, Volhynia, Russia; d. 27 Feb 1959 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Samuel Kirsch m. Auguste Reiter (b. 1863 in Tomaszow, Lodzkie, Poland)

  1. Emilie Kirsch (b. 15 May 1886 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 03 Oct 1890 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  2. Adolf Kirsch (b. 09 May 1888 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 27 Nov 1890 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  3. Pauline Kirsch (b. 07 Sep 1890 in in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 27 Mar 1968 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) m. Johann Yackel (b. 20 May 1891 in Russia; d. 31 Jul 1976 in Canada)
  4. Lydia Kirsch (b. 30 Aug 1892 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 02 Jan 1983 in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada) m. Emanuel Adler (b. 09 Nov 1888 in Volhynia, Russia; d. 14 Apr 1976 in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada)
  5. August Kirsch (b. 22 Dec 1894 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  6. Ferdinand Kirsch (b. 08 Jan 1897 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  7. Friedrich Kirsch (b. 16 Apr 1899 in Marienovka Usicze, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  8. Adolf Kirsch (b. 06 Dec 1901 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia; d. 16 Nov 1902 in Ludwischin, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)
  9. Olga Kirsch (b. 08 Feb 1905 in Wsewolodowka, Lutsk, Volhynia, Russia)

Samuel Kirsch had nine children with each of his two wives, which is eighteen children. Where is the nineteenth? His second wife, Auguste, had a son from her first marriage to Heinrich Schmidt, Wilhelm Schmidt, born July 7, 1882 in Konstantinow Saturze, Wladimir, Volhynia, Russia. This makes nineteen, but maybe we will never know if we have recorded everybody.