Ancestors in Rawitsch, Posen, Prussia

Today’s Surname Saturday post is an update on ancestors in Rawitsch, Posen, Prussia, and all of the riches I’ve found since I made it through that brick wall by finding the birthplace and baptism record of my great-grandfather Bruno Kirschstein, a little over a week ago.

That honey of a record above is the parish register marriage entry for my 5-g-grandparents, Samuel Trenkler and Johanna Susanna Theodora Guertler, on 12 Sep 1757 in Rawitsch.

I’ve identified 64 more ancestors in Rawitsch, Posen, Prussia, and I’ve made it back to the very late seventeenth century, finding two sets of my six-times-great-grandparents. The only line I know more about at this point are my Swedes and my Scots.

This has been like a lock where only one key –  the village where my great-grandfather was born – unlocked so many other answers. Without it, I’d still be wandering around the nearby city where I thought he was born.

Oddly, there don’t seem to be any KIRSCHSTEINs in Rawitsch before Bruno’s father, Friedrich, was married there in 1847. But the families he married into – the BRAUNs and the TRENKLERs – had been in Rawitsch for a very long time.

Other new surnames in my Prussian family tree include GUERTLER, BRAND, METSCHKE, GLAUBITZ, and my new favorite name to search: BREDTSCHNEIDER.

The FamilySearch site, with the Germany Births and Baptisms and Germany Marriages databases, has been invaluable. There are an incredible 37,701,225 records in the births and baptisms database and another 8,521,324 records in the marriages database. All entries have the number of the Family History Library microfilm roll where the original record can be found. 

So, no new blinding insights or big tips today. Just continuing to hoover up those new ancestors as fast as I can write them all down!


About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”


  1. Brenda 31 July 2010 at 11:40 AM

    How exciting that you broke through your brickwall. Congratulations!

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 31 July 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Thanks, Brenda – I’m still kind of stunned that I finally figured it out!

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