I am not going to tell the story of an individual person today. First of all, I was having trouble finding a story to write that had to do with today’s date. Secondly, I knew that we were having a few special guests coming to our museum today. Those guests were coming because they know that we now have church records in our research library from Paitzdorf, Germany. By the way, around here we pronounce Paitzdorf as Pites-dorf. For quite some time in the early days, the city we have here in East Perry County named Uniontown, was called Paitzdorf.
I have decided to write a little post today about those Paitzdorf records. It will not be a thorough discussion of these records. I will just point out a few items of interest to me. First of all, let me discuss a little bit of geography. Here is a map of Paitzdorf and the area around it in Germany. I have placed boxes around some of the villages in its neighborhood that are represented in our German Family Tree.
There are items in the records we have that are from Paitzdorf and Mennsdorf. Here is a map showing where the different parishes were located around Paitzdorf. Rev. Carl Gruber, who led what we call the Gruber Group to America, came from the Reust parish. Many from the Gruber Group settled in the American village of Paitzdorf.
We have this drawing of the village of Paitzdorf.
I think the Paitzdorf records come from several “books”. When you open the records we have, the first page shows the cover of what is probably the oldest of the books.
Following the cover, the first page with writing on it is the one shown below. I’ll let you figure out what it says because I cannot.
Following this introductory page, you find what appears to be baptism records. It wasn’t until page 5 that I found a recognizable date, and it was 1743.
Therefore, these records go back close to 100 years before the German Lutheran immigration of 1838-1839.
We have the following listing in our research library which includes all the surnames of the original immigrants who came to America in 1839 from Paitzdorf. Some came in the first group of ships, and some came in the later-arriving Gruber Group.
Some other names that came from nearby places include Fiehler, Frohlich, Ilgen, Roschke, Wesser, Bracher, Braunlich, Gerhard, Grosse, Gruber, Jacob, Nitschke, Piehler, and Schumann.
Here is a record that looks like it could be a Krahmer. It is a baptism record from 1754.
Here is a record I found that is from a Mueller family.
Here is one for a Schumann (at least I think it is).
And one for a Kluegel.
Here is a record for a Bachmann. Right before he left Germany, Johann Gottfried Hemmann lost his first wife. Her maiden name was Bachmann.
As you go through these records, you occasionally run across pages that look much different than the rest. This page looks like it might be something like a record of who attended communion.
When I ran across a page like this one, I was happy that it contained writing that I could read fairly well.
This record from a page like this shows a Schmidt and a Krahmer.
These records indicate if a person was from Paitzdorf or from Mennsdorf.
Here is another page that looks unlike other surrounding pages. I do not know its purpose.
Of all the records I looked at today, my favorite ones were the ones which contained records that looked like this. I chose to pick out a Krahmer family.
These pages look a lot like what we have in our German Family Tree. It lists the parents of a family followed by a listing of their children with their dates of birth. I think these pages would be a great help for people researching their family histories if they have any roots in Paitzdorf.
Our special guest who were visiting us today also happen to be two of our regular guest bloggers, Sally Gustin and Clayton Erdmann. These two were also joined by our local blogger, Fred Eggers.
It was a great day at the museum. I think now you may understand why this story is posted later in the day than normal. Many stories had to be shared first.