Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ladies In My Line: Charlotte Krause Marsischky, One More Special Third Great Grandmother

Who was Charlotte Krause Marsischky?  What was her life like in Pomerania?  What should I say about her?  First, she’s the third great grandmother that has been left out of the “Ladies In My Line” here at Indiana Ties. As I was taking another look at the ancestors on my blog roll for omissions, the Krause name came to the top of the heap.  It’s about  time I paid attention to Charlotte Krause, even if there remain large gaps in the story.
Making a calculated guess I would say that Charlotte lived from approximately 1825 to 1890.  My best reasoning with the scant information I have about her is that she was born in Wend Silkow, Pomerania. My map of Central
Europe in 1815 to 1866 posted above shows an orange arrow and a yellow line indicating Pomerania’s location on the Baltic Sea.  My conclusion that Charlotte Krause was born in Wend Silkow considered clues from her children’s records.  I studied the marriage license application of her son, Wilhelm from 1905 and immigration records and censuses of both Wilhelm and his siblings from 1880 through 1920.  Even a birth record of one of Charlotte’s grandchildren adds some interest.  The marriage record (excerpt above) indicates Charlotte was born in “Vandselkow.”  I also know from that same document that her husband, Ferdinand Marsischky, was born in Dumrese.  And that their son gives Stolp County as his birthplace.  At that time Stolp County was in Pommern, or Pomerania.

    The Village of Wend Silkow, Charlotte’s Home:
   Adding these geographical pieces together and thinking about a German accent brought me to my selection of Wend Silkow in Stolp (Kreis) County, Pomerania, as Charlotte’s birthplace.  I studied several maps of Stolp County to find towns that could relate to the Dumras and Vandselkow listed on this document from the Indianapolis city archive in 1905. There’s Dumrese in the center of Stolp County and Wend Silkow about 27 kilometeres north.  Can’t you imagine that if a clerk was completing the application for the marriage license and Wilhelm said Wend Silkow with a German accent that she/he might write down Vandselkow???   Below is an excerpt from an old map with Stolp County, Dumrese and Wend Silkow highlighted in yellow.

Map excerpt: Pomerania, Stolp County, Dumrese and Wend Silkow highlighted
     Were the 27 kilometers between these two towns too great a distance for Charlotte to get to know Ferdinand Marsischky?  Maybe Ferdinand worked for a farmer near Charlotte's village.  Or she came to Dumrese to help out in a cousin's home.  Arrangements for marriages were common in the mid 1800s.  Perhaps their fathers were connected in some way.  Future research will, hopefully, fill in some of these gaps in Charlotte Krause’s story.
     Today the village where Charlotte was born, Wend Silkow, is named Zelkowo and is in Stupsk, a district of Poland.  The wars and resettlements of people have probably wiped out traces of that Krause family living there in approximately 1825 (my estimated date of birth for Charlotte.)  As is true of the entire continent of Europe, the timeline of border and name changes for this town would be lengthy. 
       Where you see Wend Silkow, Pomerania, in the top right corner of this old map is today’s town of Zelkowo in Poland.  Here’s brief background from Wikipedia that shows that even though the name is new the village remains small:
         Żelkowo [ʐɛlˈkɔvɔ] (German: Wendisch Silkow) is a village in the administrative district of      Gmina Główczyce, within Słupsk County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland.  It lies approximately 11 kilometres (7 mi) west ofGłówczyce, 18 km (11 mi) north-east of Słupsk, and 96 km (60 mi) west of the regional capital Gdańsk.   The village has a population of 280.  Before 1945 the area was part of Germany. For the history of the region, see History of Pomerania.
     Let’s Speculate About Charlotte’s Life:
     Charlotte’s life in Wend Silkow was likely one of hard work, centered around family and church.  Around the time she was born the king, Friedrich Wilhelm III, ordered the formation of a State church, Evangelische Kirche, and required everyone to attend.  Her family was most probably Lutheran, judging from the tradition carried on by her descendants after they emigrated to the U.S.  These religious requirements were the reason why some people emigrated to America.  It would be very interesting know how the Krause family felt about the church merger.
     I wonder also if Charlotte eventually migrated to another area of Germany with Ferdinand and their children.  The opportunities were limited in their small villages and they had at least three sons, August, Wilhelm and Albert.  Their small village life surely had plusses and minuses.  The community worked and celebrated as one.  But were there stresses that may have pushed Charlotte and her husband to take their family elsewhere?  Even after serfdom was abolished in 1811 in Pomerania, many peasants had a difficult time surviving with small amounts of land.  We know that in 1874 one of Charlotte’s granddaughters was born in Berlin, giving an indication that at least one of their sons moved on.  That’s another piece of this family tapestry that may eventually help to bring Charlotte’s life into sharper focus.
      I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open and my research antennae up for more pieces of the history of Charlotte Krause. There are many more questions about Charlotte’s life than I have answers today.   
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Related posts you may want to read:
Ferdinand Marsischky: The Wagon Maker From Pomerania
Ladies In My Line: Martha Marsischky Albers
Wilhelm Marsischky: Where Did He End Up?

Copyright © 2016 , Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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