Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Discover your roots.
Genealogy is always an adventure. We travel back in time and do not know what's going to happen.
Such an adventure Steve M. from a small town in North Dakota experienced in recent weeks. Steve had a successful career in the sugar industry as an engineer and now he and his wife Karen are retired. His eldest grandson Tom prepares for college and asks his grandparents again and again about the family history.
The grandparents of Steve emigrated in 1923 from Germany to the United States. Steve started researching his family's history a few years ago. The grandparents had died in the meantime and Steve regretted that he could no longer ask them about their family history. Steve´s family keeps their old photos and letters in a small wooden box. With these handwritten, old German letters and documents Steve turned to us because he could not read the german handwriting and his research on the Internet on the great-grandparents had no success.
The family came from Pomerania in Northern Germany and we were able to identify the great-grandparents of Steve. Carl M. and his wife Luise lived on the island of Rügen and had 4 children. Carl was an official at the railway in Germany and even his sons made a carreer at the railway. We also identified the parents of Carl and Luise and even their parents. They were farmers in Pomerania. The grandfather of Carl and thereby the great-great-grandfather of Steve, Martin M., was a soldier in the royal prussian army of Frederik II (the Great). When Martin died in 1825, his widow declared for the death record, that he was born in "Bohemia". Anyone can imagine that the country of Bohemia has so many places in the Czech Republic today and it is impossible to find the birthplace of Martin. That seemed to be the end of the research. But we had an idea ......
In the 18th century a war was not as total as in the 20th century. The officials and soldiers were accompanied by their wives and children without risk to the families. We thought that if Martin's father had also been a soldier, it could be that Martin was born in Bohemia in 1756 during the Seven Years War between Austria and Prussia (1756-1763). In 1756 some regiments of the Prussian army had participated in battles in Saxony and Bohemia. Unlike the usual territorially organized church books, each regiment had its own priest and its own church records. So we discovered Nicolaus M. and his wife Catharina, the parents of Martin, and his four siblings. Nicolaus M. was a highly medals awarded officer in Infantry Regiment No. 17 of the Royal Prussian Army.
A few days later, Steve and his grandson Tom opened our package we compiled and you can imagine how happy and emotional that special moment was for them.
Military church book from 1756.