Garvin Bertsch was a huge help to me with this family, and sent to me the following biography that he composed on Katherina. I hope you find it helpful. My husband is a descendant of Joseph and Elisabeth (Schrenk) Engel, so I have more info on this line if you like. I also have three copies of pictures of Katherina that Garvin sent me, which I have attached. They are of 1. Katharina with John Elfert, 2. Katherina with John Elfert, and 3. Katherina with John Schmierer and family. Let me know if I can help you further.
CATHERINA BERTSCH SCHRENK
By Garvin Bertsch, 2002 (South Dakota)
Catherina Regina Bertsch was born on 6 September 1839 in Johannestal, Russia to David & Elisabeth (Huber) Bertsch. She married Michael Schrenk on 24 Feb 1859. The 1900 census states that they had 11 children, and it is confirmed in her obituary. They lost 7 children in infancy in Russia and the other four came to USA.
Michael Schrenk died in Russia after 1876 and she married Johann Schmierer. It is unknown if this marriage happened in Russia or South Dakota. She came with her four children to the South Dakota in 1887. We don't have information about her location in South Dakota. It is could have been near Scotland, SD.
The first born to the family was Elisabeth Schrenk, born 28 Feb. 1860 in Johannestal, Russia. She married Joseph Engel on 16 May 1882 in Lichtenfeld, Russia. They migrated to Hanson County, South Dakota with Elisabeth's mother in 1887. They had 12 children with the four oldest born in Russia, the next five in Hanson County, SD and the last three near Denhoff, ND. This family moved to Denhoff, ND in 1899. Elisabeth died 17 Aug. 1922 in Denhoff, ND and Joseph on 4 Jan. 1944 in Bismarck, ND.
Gottlieb Schrenk was the fourth child of the family and the only son to come to the USA. He came with his family to South Dakota in 1887 and married Wilhelmenia Frieh in 1888. Within a year he traveled with his wife to McPherson County, SD. The homestead location is Detmold Township near the North Dakota border. This marriage was blessed with 5 children. Wilhelmina died in 1896 in McPherson County and is buried at the Bertsch Baptist Cemetery. After the death of Gottlieb's first wife, he wrote to Russia for a new bride and he married Elisabeth Steiger Knodel in 1896. Gottlieb died 14 Dec 1932 in McPherson County, SD and is buried next to his first and second wife. There is very little information on Gottlieb's two other sisters. Maria married Ludwig Saylor and Katherina a Heppler.
Johann Schmierer died and Catherina married John Elfert of Emery, SD, in 1899. She was a member of the Baptist Church in Johannestal, Russia and baptized by Rev. Kludt. John Elfert is listed as a member of the Elfert Lutheran Church. When Catherina's son, Gottlieb, lost his first wife, his mother would come to help him with cooking and mending at his place north of Eureka, SD. Catherina died of liver complaint on 9 December 1909 at the age of 67 near Emery, SD. Rev. Olthoff officiated at her funeral and spoke on Romans 8, 18. She is buried next to her third husband in the Elfert Lutheran Cemetery with no grave marker. The Elfert Cemetery is located in Hanson County, Taylor Township, Range 57 and Section five.