A Work In Progress
In the early 1800s, my grand-mother's and grandfather's families lived in Prussia, in what is now Poland but what was, at the time, then part of the German Empire. Both of my grandparents emigrated to the US in the 1800s where they met in Wisconsin and were married. You can find an album of photos of the Boldewahn side of the family here.
Ernestine Wilhelmine Dragorius
My great-grandmother was Ernestine Wilhelmine Dragorius. The name has many different spellings over the years: Dragerius, Dragurius, Dregonis, Dragorus, and even Drigolias.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s many ethnic Germans emigrated to East Prussia. Ernestine's family settled in the western part called Posen inside the “county” or Kreis Czarnikau. Ernestine was born on September 16, 1859 in Romanshof, a small town situated near the cliffs overlooking the Netze river. To see a map of the area from the early 1900s go here.
It is unclear when my great-grandmother emigrated to the US, but it was at a relatively young age. In the 1900 US Census, Ernestine gives her emigration date as 1865. On her marriage certificate, she lists her father as Frederick Dragorius and her mother as Caroline Koenig. An Ernestine Dragorius, age 6 arrived in 1865 on the ship Othello from Hamburg to Quebec City with her parents Frederick and Louise Dragorius. On the shipping form, her residence was listed as Putzig Hauland, Preußen (Germany). Putzig Hauland is located along the river Netze in Posen, a few miles south of Romanshof. This would place the birth date as 1859 which approximates Ernestine Boldewahn's birth dates as reported in the 1920 US Census.
In a newspaper article about her 50th wedding anniversary, Ernestine said her family emigrated to the US when she was 1 year old - this would place their emigration date in 1860, not 1865. In her obituary, she was said to have emigrated when she was 3 years old, which would place their emigration date in 1862.
Ernestine died on Jan 28, 1935 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. A picture of her grave can be found here.
Albert Rheinhold William Boldewahn
My great-grandfather was Wilhelm Boldewahn. His full name was Albert Rheinhold William Boldewahn but he preferred William. His family came from the village of Gruenwald in the northern part of Kreis Neustettin. Kreis Neustettin was located in the northern part of Pommern, Prussia. Wilhelm was born on May 30, 1851 to Johann Boldewahn and Charlotte Freiberg. He had two siblings: Wilhelmine “Minnie” Fredericke Auguste (born 1845) and Henriette Louise (born 1847). Minnie married Martin Adam Pommerening on July 31, 1863 in a church in Gramenz, Kreis Neustettin and stayed in Prussia. Sister Henriette emigrated to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1870 and married Johann Schabloski on August 27, 1870.
Wilhelm emigrated to Wisconsin via the port of Bremen, arriving in Baltimore on April 1876 on the ship SS Braunschweig. After living in Oshkosh and working as a laborer, he married my great-grandmother on July 17, 1880 and after 1905 they established a farm in Vinland. The farm was sold in 1929 and the family returned to Oshkosh. They had three children: Otto, Meta and Erna. William died on May 30, 1937 and a picture of his grave can be found here.
My grand-mother, Erna Boldewahn married my grandfather, John Kamuchey on March 8, 1926 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Erna and John eventually moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and had 9 children.
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