About the name
An entry in the New Dictionary of American Family Names by Elsdon C. Smith defines Petrich or Petrick as the English "descendant of little Peter". Our family was German-speaking, not English. It probably has a similar meaning, though. It was spelled Petrich and Peterich in German records, but some in America seem to have adopted Petrick. American records often use the spellings interchangeably.
This family was Lutheran. There is an LDS IGI entry stating that Julius Robert Petrich, our immigrant ancestor, was born 01 Nov 1867 in "Kokezyn, Witkowo, , Posen, Preussen", the son of August Petrich and Elisabeth Reiter. Province Posen in Germany is now Province Poznan in Poland. I took this info to the local Family History Center and was advised of several places in Posen called Witkowo. "Kokezyn" was actually Kokczyn. It is near the village of Witkowo that is near Gniezno, but I was told it was actually in the district of Wreschen (Wrzesnia) instead of Witkowo. I was told that the Protestant parish for Kokczyn was the church in Stralkowo (Strzalkowo). The LDS has only Catholic records from Stralkowo. The civil records were filmed at Wulka (Wolka), but only for the years 1874-1884 and seemingly sparse in content. Lutheran baptisms were often listed in the Catholic records if that was the closest church, and there was a column in the records for the religion of the parents. I ordered the Stralkowo Catholic film but found nothing. I ordered the Witkowo Lutheran films, despite being told that my entries probably weren't there, and the birth of Julius was there just as it appeared in the IGI. These films yielded some info, but I could not find some of his known siblings. Births were mentioned in Brudzewo in 1848, Wylatkowo in 1859, Brudzewo again in 1864, and Kokczyn in 1867. There were other Petrichs mentioned in the Witkowo films, but I cannot ascertain if they were cousins. My guess is that they were. There were no Petrichs in the earliest film for the years 1817-1828. They were apparently only here for a generation or two. I then ordered the Brudzewo Catholic films, but they were as devoid of Petrichs as was Stralkowo. It appears that my emigrant Petrichs may have been living around Berlin just prior to leaving Germany, which I've been told is normal for those seeking to emigrate.
Much is still sketchy about our emigrant Petrich family. I was told that five siblings came to America from Germany. They were Emil Albert, Auguste, a daughter in Michigan who was in the military, Julius Robert, and another daughter. The death record of Auguste says that her parents were August Petrich and Elizabeth Reiter. That of Julius says simply August and Elisabeth Petrich. That of Emil actually indicates Julius Petrich as his father, but that may be a mistake. Here I will outline the known or suspected children.
Otillie Pauline Peterich was born 3 Mar 1848 in Brudzewo and died 13 days later. She is the oldest sibling that I could find.
Emil Albert Petrich (1851-1935) was born 18 Jun 1851 in Germany, though I could not find his baptism in the Witkowo films. He was first married to Matilda Wendtland and had three children. He then married Caroline Krause and had eight children. He came to America in 1881 with his second wife and children and was naturalized in Lacon, Marshall Co, IL in 1892. He lived near Varna, Marshall Co, IL until 1899, Iowa until 1910, and then near Hankinson, ND where he is buried. He died at the home of his son at Rosholt, SD. Census for 1920 and 1930 show him at Elma, Richland Co, ND.
Auguste Petrich (1853-1910) was born 06 Apr 1853, and I cannot find her baptism in Witkowo either. She and husband, carpenter Ludwig Huff, and at least five children last lived in Hogilwo (?) before emigration. They left Bremen aboard the Gerd on 8 Jun 1893 and arrived in Baltimore on 21 Jun 1893. They paid their own passage and arrived with $200.00 in cash. Their destination was to join her brother at Varna, Marshall Co, IL (that would be Emil). All of this was on the ship record. They ended up farming Floyd Twp O'Brien Co, IA. They are buried in the nearby city of Sheldon.
Then there is the unnamed "daughter in Michigan who was in the military", who is probably Adelina Petrich, born circa 1855. I could not find her baptism in Witkowo. I cannot prove the Michigan or military stories, but I believe I found her nonetheless. This "Michigan" sister had a son named Robert that was born out of wedlock, and Julius Petrich had a nephew named Robert Petrich (born in Germany) living with him in the 1900 Census. The social security application for Robert Rudolph Petrich of Osceola County, IA states that his mother was Adeline Petrich and his father was unknown. It also says he was born in Elkhart, IN. That must be a mistake, but perhaps there is a tie of some kind to Elkhart. Volunteers in both Elkhart, IN and Elkhart, IL say there were no Petrich references in either of those locations. I found in ship records that Elisabeth Petrich (age 65), Adelina Petrich (age 37), and Robert Petrich (age 3) arrived in Baltimore on 19 Mar 1892 aboard the steamship Karlsruhe. They last lived at Mogilne (?), Germany and were destined for Illinois. It appears that this Elisabeth is the widow of August Petrich and mother to these children. I haven't found a census reference for Elisabeth or Adelina, but perhaps they both died before 1900. I wish somebody out there could tell me what happened to them and where they are buried.
Emma Peterich was born 4 Jan 1859 in Wylatkowo, and I don't know what happened to her. Perhaps she is the other unnamed sister I was told about...
...Or this unnamed sister could be Albertine Julianne Peterich, who was born 16 Feb 1864 in Brudzewo. Likewise, I don't know what happened to her.
There was a stillborn child born to August Petrich and Elisabeth Reiter on 9 Feb 1866.
Julius Robert Petrich (1867-1951) was born 01 Nov 1867 in Kokczyn. He first married Anna Behnke (1868-1903), and they had five children. They last lived in Priesa/Brieser (?) before emigration. Julius, Anna, and their first child left Bremen aboard the Dresden on 6 Jul 1893 and arrived in Baltimore on 19 Jul 1893 with $5.00 to their name. Passage was paid by his brother in Varna (likely Emil again), where they were headed. They settled in as farmers in nearby Roberts Twp. Anna is buried in Varna. It is said that Julius then sent to Germany for her sister. This is doubtful since his second wife's name was Amanda Ernestine Katherina Jander (1878-1946), born in Berlin. The ship record shows that Käthe Jander, a seamstress, left on the Hannover from Bremen on 20 Apr 1905 and arrived in Baltimore on 5 May 1905. She last lived in Berlin and was joining her friend, Julius Petrich. They had eight children and moved to Warrenton, Marshall Co, MN and then Lake City, Wabasha Co, MN. They are buried in Lake City.
So, why weren't the births/baptisms after 1848 and before 1859 recorded at Witkowo? Did they move away for a few years? Perhaps I have a line on those unnamed sisters. Here is a family that was destined for Rockville, IA but that ended up in Varna, IL:
SS Gerd, left Bremen 15 Aug 1901, arrived Baltimore 30 Aug 1901 Name Age Occupation Last Lived Destination Paid Passage Money Joining Relative Albert Mittelstadt 44 md Berlin Rockville, IA self 10M6 bro-in-law John Musbak(?) in Rockville Auguste Mittelstadt 43 md Berlin Rockville, IA husband same Albert Mittelstadt 14 sgl Berlin Rockville, IA father same
Here are a couple of Julius' nephews and probably their friend. Albert, Jr. from above was making his second trip. His mother being named Auguste makes me think that Julius was his maternal uncle:
SS Hannover, left Bremen 12 May 1904, arrived Baltimore 26 May 1904 Name Age Occupation Last Lived Destination Paid Passage Money Joining Relative Walter Brosig 18 sgl Laborer Berlin Varna, IL self $5 uncle Julius Petrich in Varna Gustav Schwartz 23 md Joiner Berlin Varna, IL self $3 uncle Peter Nenne in Varna Albert Mittelstädt 17 sgl Laborer Berlin Varna, IL self $2 uncle Julius Petrich in Varna
Then the parents of Walter Brosig:
SS Köln, left Bremen 23 Feb 1905, arrived Baltimore 11 Mar 1905 Name Age Occupation Last Lived Destination Paid Passage Money Joining Relative Franz Brosig 47 md Weaver Berlin Varna, IL self $60 son Walter Brosig in Varna Marie Brosig 42 md Berlin Varna, IL husband same
Then more of the Brosig family:
SS Neckar, left Bremen 3 Aug 1905, arrived Baltimore 13 Sep 1905 Name Age Occupation Last Lived Destination Paid Passage Money Joining Relative August Linke 16 sgl farm labor Friedrichsberg Varna, IL self $47 uncle Franz Brosig in Lacon, IL Emma Matzke 27 sgl servant Berlin Varna, IL self $10 friend Franz Brosig in Lacon Frieda Brosig 20 sgl servant Berlin Varna, IL self $37 father Franz Brosig in Lacon
The Brosig family was living in Lacon Twp, Marshall Co, IL for the 1910 census but had moved to Milwaukee, WI for the 1920 census. Walter Brosig and wife Amanda were listed in the 1930 census for Milwaukee. He died in 1948, leaving wife Amanda (Renning) according to his death record. Burial was at Highland Memorial Park in New Berlin, WI. He had been an assistant fireman. His parents were listed as Franz Brosig and Marie Hoffman, so I haven't yet a clue how Julius Petrich could be his uncle, if he was actually an uncle in the sense that we understand.
Albert and Auguste Mittelstädt and son Albert were living in Roberts Twp, Marshall Co, IL for the 1910 census. Then I lost track of them. Does anybody know anything else about any of these folks?
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