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Runaway from 1860s

Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 3:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm hoping that there is some truth in some oral history regarding my great-great grandmother, Caroline, was supposedly a runaway when she was 12 or 13. According to her death certificate, funeral entry at her church, and her obituary, she was born in Berlin on February 23, 1853 (but it may have been 1852). The family legend has it that she was the youngest of 13 to 15 children born into a large Polish Catholic family. She met my great-great grandfather, Fred Mittelstaedt (and all variable spellings). Fred was born May 14, 1849 in Obersitzko, Posen, Prussia.

Here comes probably the biggest problem, the spelling of her maiden name. I've counted no less than 12 different spellings: Dasoski, Dochinskia, Dorschinsky, Geschinski, Kuschinski, Lobsirty, Lolcsuty, Schanekow, Talefisky, Taschinski, Tolchisky, Tolschisky. Unfortunately it never has been listed the same twice.

There are two questions that run through my mind, as the story of her being pregnant is possible. I have no idea when or where she and Fred were married and then they were off to America in 1874. The logical question for me is how would they have met? Obersiztko seems to be a bit away from Berlin and he was Evangelical Lutheran, she was Roman Catholic. The more logical possibility to me is Caroline being from the Posen region and just saying "Berlin" because either she didn't think people would know where her village was, or that she didn't want people to know where she really was from.

I've been stuck with this brick wall for 25 years now and I'm willing to try anything. Any insight or help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you so much for any help or suggestions!

Re: Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 7:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
I had a similar problem with an ancestor. I found a sibling (a well-known EvLuth preacher), who had several detailed obits written about him, and also his employment records with the church. I used that to locate my ancestor's precise birthplace. So try searching a sibling.

Re: Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 10:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
I wish I could. I don't know of any, that's part of my problem. :(

Re: Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 23 Mar 2013 12:14AM GMT
Classification: Query
Were they married before they emigrated to the US? You've checked passenger lists?

Re: Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 23 Mar 2013 12:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, or at least that's what they said on the passenger list. They listed Mittelstaedt (his last name), along with their daughter Louise and they listed Obersitzko as their village.

Re: Runaway from 1860s

Posted: 23 Mar 2013 5:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Messy. I'd be inclined to wring Ober dry, maybe going there or a paid researcher. If she met Fred there, why was she there? Born there? Ran away to Berlin, then returned? Why go to Ober in the first place "after you've seen Berleeeen"? It's a small place, maybe you can find Fred's family, Louise's birth, tax or land records, records of family farms, church or villager membership lists, etc. I have a West Prussian in my line, the last name starting with D or T seemingly randomly. An EvLuth+Kath not that common, but not unheard of either....if a runaway, prob not very doctrinaire.
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