Hermann Wendt’s Family from Greifenberg to Wisconsin
I became interested in the Wendt family when I noticed a large number of people in my Ancestry DNA matches who also had this surname in their trees. I am of the opinion that my family tree must join up to them through my fourth great-grandma Geske, though evidence of this is speculation at this point.
Albert Hermann Gustav Wendt was born in Suckowshof, Greifenberg on December 22, 1873 and was baptized in the Lutheran church in Behlkow on Christmas Eve. He immigrated to the United States, arriving at Castle Garden on April 23, 1881 along with his parents and siblings. While in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, he would marry Martha Mathilde Chavet on November 21, 1896. She was the daughter of John Henry Chavet and Mathilde Ottilie Lietz (daughter of August Lietz and his wife Maria). There is a good possibility that this Lietz family is also relatives of his grandfather. According to the 1880 U.S. Census, August Lietz was born around 1818.
Martha was born on September 3, 1876 in Cooperstown, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He was a gas station attendant in 1940 while living in Twin Brooks, South Dakota. Albert died on December 15, 1958 and was buried in Grant, South Dakota.
His father was a Tagelöhner, a day laborer without guaranteed work. Certainly, America must have been a promising prospect in those days.
Hermann Gotthilf Wendt, Albert’s father, was born May 15, 1831, though his birth place has yet to be confirmed. He died on August 21, 1901 in Cooperstown, Wisconsin. He married Johanne Caroline Friederike Lietz on January 16, 1857. She was a twin, born August 20, 1833 in Triebs, Greifenberg. She died on Christmas, December 25, 1926 in Appleton, Wisconsin. For awhile, they lived in Neuhof/Belbuck as evidenced by an unbaptized son who died on March 27, 1857 being only thirteen days old.
Hermann’s father, Peter Martin Ludwig Wendt was born November 2, 1780 in Treptow an der Rega. He died shorly after his fiftieth birthday on November 5, 1830 in Treptow. He was married to Dorothea Maria Laabs(en). She was born April 29, 1792 in Behlkow, Greifenberg and died February 17, 1832 in Treptow. Upon Ludwig’s death, he left behind his widow and nine children (though a note in the margins of my research dictates he had ten children). He was a Baumann and a Bürger.
His father was Christian Wendt who was born on January 19, 1739 in Treptow an der Rega. A death date could not be located, but it was discovered that he died in Treptow. He married Maria Luise Schaffen on November 17, 1767 in Treptow. She was born October 12, 1748 and died March 20, 1812 in Treptow.
Dorothea Maria Laabs’ parents were Daniel (Gottlieb?) Laabs and Christina Prahl. He was born about 1760 and died September 29, 1813 in Greifenberg at the age of 53 years old. Here, he was recorded as being a Tagelöhner, though his daughter Dorothea Maria’s birth record states that he was a Verwalter in Wangerin. According to Christina’s death record, her birth should be calculated around December of 1765. She was 73 years and 3 months old when she died of Altersschwäche (infirmity of old age) on March 12, 1839 in Greifenberg and was buried on the 20th of March. She was listed as the widow of Gottlieb Laabs, leaving behind three children of legal age. She apparently lived in house number 453.
Another Daniel Laabs died on March 22, 1838, presumably in Greifenberg, with only one son named as an inheritor. This Daniel was a Prövner, a type of senior member of the clergy with a fixed income. Another word for this is a prebendary. This entry does not seem to fit, as his social standing appears to be much higher than that of a day laborer.
Interestingly enough, Dorothea Maria’s baptism on May 2, 1792 lists her father as the “der angegeben Vater,” basically meaning that the given father should have been Daniel Laabs and that the child was likely born out of wedlock. A search for her siblings returned no results. The church book for Wangerin in Regenwalde for these years did not survive.
Johanna Caroline Friederike Lietz is believed to be the genetic connection to my family. Her parents were Martin Lietz and Caroline Geske. A problem exists with both of their surnames. Different entries list Martin’s surname as Lietzow and Leitzon, and there were also other names indexed as Tietz, which is similar. Several Lietzke family members were also in the same parish of Triebs. Caroline’s surname was also written as Goske, Göske, and Jeske. She was born about 1797, dying on March 10, 1870 in Neuhof, Greifenberg, leaving behind her husband and five of her children. She gave birth to children in 1826 in Amts Colonie and 1827, 1828, 1832, and 1833 in Neuhof. The Amts Colonie is difficult to pinpoint exactly what or where it was in relation to Neuhof, but maps dictate that Amts Colonie should have been the Remonte-Depot—a Remonteamt being responsible for purchasing and training horses. This would be one of the depots where the military would replenish its supply for cavalry regiments with young horses for training. It is mentioned in the Amtsblatt der Regierung in Stettin.
Neither of their origins are known yet. Martin was an Arbeitsmann in Neuhof “auf dem Amsts Colonie.”
Their children found in the Triebs Kirchenbuch (written as “Tribus” in the church book) include:
- Martin Ludwig Lietz was born on July 21, 1826 in Amts Colonie, Greifenberg and was baptized on July 23, 1826 in Triebs. He and his sister were born as twins.
- Johanna Charlotta Lietz was born on July 21, 1826 in Amts Colonie, Greifenberg and was baptized on July 23, 1826 in Triebs. She died “Hanne Charlotte” on February 4, 1827 in Neuhof from Masern (measles). She was buried quietly on February 6, 1827, recorded to be 7 months and 14 days old.
- Ferdinand Friedrich Wilhelm Lietz (written as “Lietzow” or “Lietzon”) was born on March 20, 1828 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized on March 30, 1828 in Triebs.
- Ernistine Friederike Louise Lietz (written as “Liez”) on February 21, 1830 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized on March 7, 1830 in Triebs. She died March 9, 1833 in Neuhof and was buried March 12 of the same year.
- Hanne Auguste Ulrike Lietz was born on May 30, 1832 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized on June 3, 1832 in Triebs.
- Johann Carl Martin Lietz was born on August 25, 1833 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized in August 26, 1833 in Triebs. He and his sister were born as twins. He died on November 18, 1833 in Neuhof and was buried on November 21, 1833.
- Johanne Caroline Friederike Lietz was born on August 26, 1833 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized in Triebs on August 26, 1833.
- Heinrich Johann Leopold Lietz was born on February 2, 1837 in Neuhof, Greifenberg and was baptized in Triebs on February 12, 1837.