Tag Archives: Alvina Schmiling

Schmeling Family History compiled by Elbert E. Schmiling

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling

From the Family Tree records of Elbert Schmiling

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x6acY9RDXa_er9aoqSrVTLuxylKBNQwX/view?usp=sharing

 

Below is a preview of the history written by Elbert Schmiling dated April 1, 1984

We start our family history in the German Country of Prussia. Hinter Pommern, in or near the village of Treptow. What we call Germany did not come into existence until after our Civil War. The Province of Pomerania was divided into three parts: Fore Pommern, Mitte Pommern and Hinter Pommern. Hinter Pommern was closest to the Polish border. (Pomerania is the present spelling.)

Since WWII, all of Pomerania is part of Poland and all German people had to leave this area. They were restricted as to what they could carry out in both money and goods as they left.

Our great grandparents, Charles and Dorthea Schmeling owned a small farm in or near the village of Treptow. Charles was a rather unsettled person. The family had to move on the average of every two years because Charles traded the place for a different one. The last two years in Germany were the worst for the family as they had to move six times. This must have been too much for Dorthea. After the sixth time, she demanded they sell out and go to America. (This according to Carl Schmiling.)

This is not as sudden as it seems, as they had correspondence with relatives and former neighbors who were in America. Two names (given by Minnie Detjen) were Schieser and Buege. There were also companies making a business of getting immigrants to the U.S.

As close as I can tell, Charles and Dorthea came over in 1857, which would make them in their mid-forties. They had five children at the time. Henry, Hanna (perhaps Johanna), Caroline, Alvina, and our grandfather, Albert. Albert was about five or six at the time and the youngest. I believe I have all of them named in order of their ages as Minnie recalls them. (In a note from the Krueger family book, Brown County Library, they stated that the fare across the ocean was about $20.00 per person. Their ancestors came from Niederhagen, Pommern, in Prussia, about the same time.)

The family passed over a great deal of very good farm land on their way from the east coast of America. They did not have the money to buy developed land (according to Carl). Their destination was the village of Ahnapee, as Algoma was then called. Ahnapee is an Indian name and means Wolf River.

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Charles homesickness for the old country would not cease. (This according to Herman Schmeling.) Charles offered his oldest son, Henry, a pair of cooper toed boots if he would go back to Prussia with him. This must have been a tempting offer, as Herman assured me, copper toed boots were the rage of the young men and boys of that day. Despite all this, Charles laid claim to what must have been about 80 acres, 1 mile north of Ahnapee, on the river road.