Sunday, July 6, 2014

Benefits of a subscription to Die Pommerschen Leute

Wondering what the benefits are of getting a subscription to the Die Pommerschen Leute?  Read all about society president Toni Perrone's research success using the Die Pommerschen Leute as a resource!

Research Methods:
1) Interview of family members;
2) American record research;
3) View of Hamburg Passenger list (which stated the family left from Zarrenthin, Kreis Demmin, Vor Pommern);

4) Placed known family material in the Die Vorfahren section to the Die Pommerschen Leute (DPL) Periodical;
5) Received an E mail from another DPL subscriber that he was going to that area of Vor Pommern and would be willing to look at the church records in  Jarmen. Kreis Demmin, Vor-Pommern) since it was very near Zarrenthin and he had the same surname in his family there. (The church records were never microfilmed and remain in the church there);
6) received the following information from him:

Jarmen Church book. Vol. V. page 201 entry # 46
Bertha Johanne Wilhelmine Behrendt born July 19, 1863 at 10:30 in the morning  baptized on September 9, 1863 in Klein-Toitin, Kreis Demmin, Vor-Pommern; Father; The shepherd Johann Behrendt, Mother: Wilehimine Blietz. Witnesses: Johann Heitmann, day laborer; Wilhelm Schroeder, shepherd from Daberkow and Johanne Wilke.

Jarmen Church book. Vol. V. page 167 entry # 29
Wilhelmine August Frederike Behrendt, born on March 20, 1861 at 3 0”clock, baptized on April 8, 1861 in Klein Toitin. Father; the shepherd Johann Behrendt, Mother: Wilehimine Blietz. Witnesses: Wilhelm Heyden, day laborer; Friederike Behning, wife of the day laborer Heitman; Auguste Ewald, wife of the day laborer Zell.

Jarmen Church book. Vol. VI. page 11 entry # 61
Wilhelm Friedrich Carl Behrendt, born on July 22, 1865 in Klein Toitin, Baptized on July 30, 1865 (this was an emergency baptism as he died the same day he was baptized.

Jarmen Church book. Vol. VI. Page 29 entry # 51
Wilhelm Carl Johann Behrendt, born on July 1, 1866 in Klein Toitin, Baptized on July 15, 1866

Jarmen Church book. Vol. G. page 12 entry # 29
Johann Behrendt , shepherd in Klein Toitin, died on September 25, 1866 1AM from Cholera; Age 35 years 11 months, 30 days.  Survivors: the widow and four minor children.

Jarmen Church book. Vol. C. entry # 167
Johann Carl Martin Droberg and Wilhelmine Christine Dorothea Blietz from Klein Toitin were married April 8, 1868 in Jarmen. Johann Carl Martin Droberg was born April 10, 1844 and  Wilhelmine Christine Dorothea Blietz Behrendt was born  October 29, 1835. 

If I had not subscribed to Die Pommerschen Leute Periodical and placed my information in the Die Vorfharen section I would never have received this material!

BERTHA JOHANNA Wilhelmina  BEhReNDT  was born on July 19, 1863 in Germany.
When Bertha was a very little girl in Kreis Demmin she, along with other little girls in her village, went to the home of the Baron and Baroness for instructions in crafts, sewing, darning, and weaving. There were several spinning wheels in the home. She, being the smallest at that time, learned on the littlest spinning wheel, how to spin flax into fiber and sheep's wool into yarn. She was very intent on learning to weave, and as she worked at it, the spinning wheel would move forward a few inches. She would pull her chair to it again and get close to it. Before she knew it everyone would start to laugh because she was moved clear across the room and hadn't even noticed. She told her grandchildren later that she was embarrassed but she soon learned how to spin very well.

She also learned to darn wool socks to perfection. Her granddaughter said she had never seen such close and even stitches as her grandmothers. Her grandchildren tried very hard to do it the way Bertha did, but never really succeeded. Of course no one darns stockings anymore, but Bertha certainly perfected the art.

Life in the Vor-Pommern for Bertha and her family and all the people in the village were very hard. While the little girls were learning crafts the little boys were taught to work in the fields at a very early age. Later the girls had to work in the fields too.

They were very poor. The only toys Bertha ever had were handmade ones. For Christmas they usually got something in the clothing line and perhaps an orange or an apple. The one big happy time in the year for all of the villagers was the Octoberfest - the celebration of the harvest. At this time there would be dancing and games. Otherwise, it was mostly work.

Bertha was 19 years old when she immigrated to the United States on the ship "SS Gellert," under the direction of Captain Kueshlewein, from Hamburg leaving March 4,1882 and arriving in New York April 19, 1882 with her Johann Droberg, her mother Wilhelmina Bleitz, her natural sister Minnie and step sister and step brothers.

When Bertha arrived in the United States she thought life was very beautiful here. The family settled in Chicago and immediately joined the Social Turner Verein, (a German social and athletic club). To think that she could go to a dance every Saturday and dance until three in the morning and no one stopped her or made her get back to work - that was to her, shear heaven.

Bertha met Heinrich (Henry) Claussen at the Turner Verein. They fell in love and were united in marriage on June 25, 1884 by Rev. William Bertling, minister of the Gospel at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 18 W. Fremont Street, Chicago Illinois. Heinrich was the son of Johann Hinrich Claussen and Magdalena  Eichmeier

Henry was born October 26, 1853 in Dörpling, Kreis Dithmarschen, Schleswig Holstein, Germany. He learned to be a joiner, (a skilled workman who finishes inside woodwork for houses), a trade he pursued throughout his life. Henry immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Schleswig Holstein, arriving in New York, May 23, 1881. He came with his brother Peter, sister Catharina Dorothea (Dora) Claussen, and his cousin's Katharine Claussen, Claus Boe , and Angenetha Catharina (Antje) Boe. They traveled across the ocean on the ship "SS Vandalia". The ship made one stop on the way in La Havre. They continued on to Chicago, Illinois where Henry and Peter decided to make their home while the rest of the family moved on to Iowa. Henry and Peter started their own construction business in Chicago in 1893.  The name of the business was Claussen Brothers Carpenters and Contractors and was located at 1025 Roscoe Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Henry was an active member in the Schleswig Holstein Verein and the Social Turner Verein in Chicago, Illinois. The Social Turner Verein was a society that had the philosophy of a sound mind and body that was practiced through physical fitness. They had gymnastic classes for the children and adults alike. The Social Turners were well known for passing down German heritage by offering German Theater, meeting places, and supporting German libraries as well as other cultural programs. Heinrich and Bertha attended several social functions at the Social Turner Verein in Chicago after their marriage.

Within a year or two of their marriage Henry and Bertha borrowed enough money to buy their own house. After a few years they were able to add on two stories so that they could rent out a flat. He later built his dream home at 2015 Addison Street, Chicago Illinois after having saved lumber and extra doors and trim from some of his contracting jobs. The house was one of the first houses on that block at that time.

It is unknown how much schooling Bertha had in Klein-Toitin, but she had a wide vocabulary, mostly in German and was an avid reader. Bertha was always reading her Abendpost in the evenings and keeping up with what was going on in the news. She also loved to read romantic novels. Nothing pleased her more than to have a German novel to read in the evenings. She never learned to read much English. Her speech was mostly a mixture of German and English. Usually she spoke to her grandchildren in German and they answered her in English, although her daughter Frieda and son in law Albert were fluent in German and often spoke German with her. Bertha was good in mathematics also and no one could fool her in making change or in figuring the cost of anything.

Henry died young at the age of 571/2 on February 7, 1911 in Chicago Illinois. He is buried in the Social Turner Verein Section of Forest Home (Waldheim) Cemetery 863 S. Des Plaines Avenue Forest Park, Illinois, 60130.

Bertha was now left alone to face debts that she had not known about. She had no income what so ever nor any insurance. It was then that her son in law sold a lot that had been given to him as a wedding gift by his father. He took the money to buy the house on Addison Street from Bertha. She then lived with her daughter and her family.

Bertha knew a great deal about farm work, all of it learned in Vor Pommern. She was the chief gardener in the family. No one else could do it good enough to suit her. She grew beautiful flowers as well as some vegetables. She worked hard outdoors, even insisting upon mowing the lawn until the summer before her death. Her grand-daughter, remembers Bertha cleaning the wallpaper even though she had a broken wrist.

Although Bertha never returned to her homeland in Vor-Pommern. She did receive a visit from her cousin Ernst Behrendt and his wife Emma who came from Germany to visit her sometime between 1920-1925. Bertha's granddaughter remembers the visit. She said he was a very stern man. He returned to Germany and was never heard from again as far as we know.

Bertha died on December 21, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois from a cerebral hemorrhage and carcinoma of the right cervix. She was buried in December of 1944 in Graceland Cemetery, Bellview Section, Lot 614, Chicago Illinois.
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