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Descendants of

  • During the hostilities of the two World Wars, a strong backlash towards anything and anyone German led some descendants in Canada and the United States to anglicize the spelling of their family surnames. Derivatives included Smale for Schmehl, Newmaster for Neumeister, and Smith for Schmidt.

  • In 1855 Peter Schmehl left Appenrod, Township of Alsfeld, Germany with his mother, Anna Guntrum Schmehl, and his brother and sisters: Conrad, Elizabeth, and Susanna. An older sister, Katharina, preceded the family to Canada in 1850. A copy of the family's passport refers to the "widow of Otto Schmehl & children". The Grossherzogthum (# 2226) lists the children, their ages, and includes a physical description of Anna. The document is dated 12 May 1855.

  • OTTO SCHMEHL, b. 4 June 1803, Appenrod, township of Alsfeld, Hesse, Germany; m. 14 April 1828, ANNA KATHARINA GUNTRUM, b. 3 September 1807, Ehringhausen, township of Alsfeld, Hesse, Germany; Otto d. 13 February 1844; Anna d. 15 October 1898, Poole, Ontario, Canada.
    • Katharina Schmehl, b. 2 February 1830, Appenrod; m. Opper ?; d. unknown.
    • Johann Henrich Schmehl, b. 26 Decemeber 1833, Appenrod; d. 5 January 1834, Appenrod.
    • Elisabethe Schmehl, b. 22 February 1835, Appendrod; d. unknown.
    • Conrad Schmehl, b. 16 September 1837, Appenrod; d. prior to 1898, when his mother passed away.
    • Susanne Schmehl, b. 9 November 1839, Appenrod; d. unknown.
    • Ann Elisabetha Schmehl, b. 23 September 1842, Appenrod; d. 23 September 1842.
    • Peter Schmehl - See above

  • Anna Guntrum Schmehl's obituary indicates that she was predeceased by three of her children: "a young son while in Germany, her oldest daughter here, Mrs. Opper, and her son, Conrad."

    Unfortunately, we do not know what became of Katharina Schmehl Opper, or others of Peter's generation.

  • Our information for Magdelena is somewhat limited. It is our understanding that her father, George "Yobst" Neumeister was born in Germany. He built a farm near Musselberg, Ontario, where we believe Magdelena was born in 1851. Magdelena had a sister, as well as two or more brothers. Information we have for one of her brothers includes:

    GEORGE L NEUMEISTER/Newmaster b. 14 July 1858, Musselberg, Ontario, Canada; m. 6 April 1879, in Poole, Ontario, Canada, MARY GILBERT, b. 12 January 1860, near Brunner, Canada; George d. 31 October 1950, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada; Mary d. 17 February 1954, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada.
    • Peter Newmaster, settled in Milverton, Ontario, Canada.
    • Anne Newmaster, m. Jacob Hoffman of Milverton.
    • Louis Newmaster, b. 1891; settled in Welland, Ontario, Canada; m. Beulah. Louis roomed with Con Smith when they were young men.
    • Bill Newmaster, b. 7 August 1893; m. Lavina; Lavina d. 12 May 1977, Long Beach, CA.
      • Ruth Newmaster
      • Jack Newmaster (twin)
      • June Newmaster (twin)
      • Betty Newmaster
    • Oscar Newmaster (twin), settled in London, Canada.
    • Martha Newmaster (twin), m. J. Woelfle of Mitchell, Ontario, Canada.
      • Ruth Woelfle m. Ed Beeker
    • Walter Newmaster, settled in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
    • Hermann Newmaster, settled in Long Beach, CA.

  • This page would not have been possible without the help of the "3 E's" - Emily, Emma, & Esther Schmehl, Peter's three youngest daughters. I was fortunate to correspond with them during the late 1970's, shortly after my twin daughters were born. We learned very quickly how prevalent twin births were in the Schmehl family history! Much of the information we have came from Esther and her sisters. I still have a lovely red maple leaf sent to me by Esther, as well as her letters and notes. Esther passed away in 1996.

    "Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life.
    He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
    and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
    John 11:25-26

  • It is our hope to locate other descendants of Peter Schmehl (1843-1927) to find out if they know any of the history of the Schmehl, Neumeister, and Ruthig families. Sometimes what seems like a minor fact or a small photo can be of great help in learning more about an ancestor, and helping us learn about the times in which they lived.

    The descendants of Peter Smale (b. 1892) created a family tree in 1986, which gives basic information for multiple generations of the family, dating back to Peter Schmehl's paternal great great great grandparents, Johnann Georg Jakob and Magdalena Pfeiffer, married 4 June 1715, we believe in Appenrod, township of Alsfeld, Hesse, Germany. Pat DeRose, niece of Esther Schmel was kind enough to forward a copy to me in 1996. There are a few discrepancies between information contained in the chart and some information shared with us by Esther. However, the chart provides a tremendous resource for further research in Germany.

    Another possible lead would include the descendants of Louis Schmidt/Smith, son of Elizabeth Schmehl Schmidt, who lived in Toronto at one time. Esther thought Louis may have been keeping a family history.

  • View the home that Peter Schmehl built in Wellesley. The "3 E's" - Esther, Emma, & Emily Schmehl lived in the home for many years until the early 1990's when the house passed from family ownership.


The information found here is not necessarily complete but is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Primary sources have been used when possible to verify names, dates, and relationships. This continues to be a site in progress. Additions/corrections are welcomed.

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