The week of September 3, I travelled to Salt Lake City to undertake some research at the Family History Library. Old letters between family members had revealed a complicated web of full, half, and step siblings among my great-great-grandmother, Auguste Blüwernick’s family. Based only on the letters and family mementos, relationships could not be determined with certainty. The primary goal September’s research was to figure out which children belonged to two men and three women in 1830s-1870s Posen. The results of my research? Largely successful! During my three days of research, I managed to find baptismal records for a total of SEVENTEEN children belonging to Peter Weidemann, Johan Daniel Blüwernick, Justine Meyer, Anna Christina Bruch, and Johanna Louise Kemnitz. (Another child, Caroline Ernestine Weidemann, Family 1, was discovered during later research.) Based on some gaps between birth dates, it’s possible that there were even more children that I missed. The five family groups sort out as follows:
Family 1: Peter Weidemann and Justine Meyer
Peter Weidemann, born about 1812 and Justine Meyer, born about 1814 were married on April 10, 1836, in the parish of Margonin. They had at least 4 children before Justine died at the age of 33 or 34, on March 8, 1848.
- Wilhelmine Weidemann, born September 23, 1836 in Siebenschlöschen, and baptised October 20, 1836 in Margonin. Died April 15, 1838 at Siebenschlöschen (parish Margonin).
- Ludwig Ernst Weidemann, born April 13, 1839, in Siebenschlöschen, and baptised April 21, 1839 in Margonin. Died February 1, 1840 at Siebenschlöschen (parish Margonin).
- Caroline Ernestine Weidemann, born January 24, 1841, in Siebenschlöschen, and baptized January 31, 1814 in Margonin. Married August Ferdinand Klawitterin Samotschin February 14, 1860 and had issue. Death uncertain.
- Pauline Wilhelmine Klawitter, born January 3, 1861 in Charlottenhof, and baptized January 20, 1861 in Samotschin.
- Ludwig Klawitter, born about 1864, died March 18, 1866 in Borowo Hauland, parish Samotschin.
- Friedrich August Weidemann, born October 22, 1843, in Siebenschlöschen, and baptised October 29, 1843, in Margonin. Married Emilie Sommerfeld in Samotschin in 1867 and had issue. Died March 18, 1868 at Samotschin.
- Pauline Weidemann, born September 22, 1867 in Samotschin and baptised September 29, 1867 in Samotschin. Died March 19, 1868 in Samotschin.
- Justine Pauline Weidemann, born August 25, 1846, in Siebenschlöschen, and baptised August 30, 1846, in Margonin. Died September 14, 1848 at Siebenschlöschen (parish Margonin).
Family 2: Peter Weidemann and Anna Christina Bruch
Peter Weidemann and Anna Christinia Bruch, born about 1824, were married on May 7, 1848, in the Parish of Margonin. They had at least 7 children before Anna died at the age of 45 or 46, on January 2, 1870.
- Carl Wilhelm Weidemann, born March 4, 1849, in Siebenschlöschen, and baptised March 11, 1849 in Samotschin. Married to Auguste Westphal on November 27, 1873, in Samotschin. It is unknown if he had issue. Died June 10, 1894 in Freundsthal (parish Samotschin).
- Peter Gustav Weidemann, born October 29, 1851, in Margoninsdorf, and baptised November 9, 1851 in Margonin. Married to Auguste Ernestine Briese on December 2, 1877 in Margonin and had issue. Death unknown.
- Friedrich Wilhelm Weidemann, born September 12, 1878, in Lipin Hauland, and baptised October 5, 1878 in Margonin.
- Gustav Theodor Weidemann, born October 21, 1879 in Lipin Hauland, and baptised November 9, 1879 in Margonin. He married Anna, and at some point prior to 1928, he moved to Hamburg, where he had a book and paper concern.
- Otto Hermann Weidemann, born August 5, 1881, in Lipin Hauland, and baptised August 14, 1881, in Margonin.
- Paul Robert Weidemann, born July 2, 1883 in Eiehenan, and baptised July 8, 1883, in Margonin.
- Christoph Ludwig Weidemann, born December 18, 1853, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised December 23, 1853, in Samotschin. It is unknown if he married. Death unknown.
- Pauline Wilhelmine Weidemann, born February 14, 1858, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised February 21, 1858, in Samotschin. Died September 12, 1866, in Borowo Hauland (parish Samotschin)
- Ernestine Auguste Weidemann, born November 1, 1860, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised November 10, 1860 in Samotschin. Married Erhardt Klaus on April 27, 1877, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and had issue. Died after 1940.
- Paul Klaus, born February 12, 1887, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Frida Klaus, born June 16, 1889, and died August 2, 1890.
- Meta Klaus, born June 16, 1889.
- Arthur Klaus, born January 21, 1896, and died September, 1981.
- Juliane Luise Weidemann, born January 28, 1863, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised February 7, 1863 in Samotschin. Married Emil Frederick Hall on August 4, 1887, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had issue. Died after 1940.
- John E. Hall, born June 2, 1880, and died before 1900.
- Elfrieda Hall, born November 1891.
- Paul Emil Hall, born April 12, 1896.
- Otto Albert Hall, born April 27, 1899, and died March, 1977.
- Ottilie Emilie Weidemann, born February 11, 1866, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised February 18, 1866 in Samotschin. Death unknown.
Family 3: Johann Daniel Blüwernick and Johanna Louise Kemnitz
Johann Daniel Blüwernick and Johanna Louise Kemnitz were married on November 26, 1854, in the Parish of Margonin. They had at least 3 children before Johann left the family – a later document states that he died in Russia.
- Auguste Emilie Blüwernick, born January 28, 1855, in Josephowo, and baptised February 11, 1855, in Margonin. Married Carl Gustav Rosentreter on September 19, 1880, in Margonin, and had issue. Died August 24, 1912, in Oswego, Oregon. A 1900 census indicates that there may have been a 6th child who died young.
- Rudolph George Rosentreter, born October 19, 1881, in Michigan.
- Louisa Martha Rosentreter, born August 22, 1884, in Michigan.
- Charles Herman Rosentreter, born November 13, 1887, in Nebraska.
- Frederick William Rosentreter, born October 30, 1891, in Oregon.
- Albert Otto Rosentreter, born February 21, 1895, in Oregon.
- Gustav Hermann Blüwernick, born July 15, 1857, in Josephowo, and baptised August 16, 1857 in Margonin. Died July 15, 1860, in Heliodorowo (Samotschin parish).
- Friedrich Wilehlem Bluwnick (This is the spelling from his baptism; this surname is not spelled consistently in records.), born October 17, 1861, in Heliodorowo, and baptised November 1, 1861, in Samotschin. Died December 20, 1862, in Heliodorowo (Samotschin parish).
Family 4: Johanna Louise Kemnitz
Johanna Louise Kemnitz had at least two illegitimate daughters who do not have fathers listed on their baptismal records. These children MAY be children of Peter Weidemann (and Pauline used the name Weidemann later in life), however, if the elder of the two was, she would have been born while Peter Weidemann was still married to Anna Bruch.
- Hannah Luise Rosenthal, born November 3, 1865 in Heliodorowo, and baptised November 19, 1865, in Samotschin. Married Hermann Schneider on November 11, 1886, in Detroit, Michigan, and had issue. Died October 11, 1940, in Nebraska.
- Paul Herman Schneider, born January 31, 1898 in Nebraska.
- Pauline Wilhelmine Kemnitz, born September 18, 1870, in Borowo Hauland, and baptised October 2, 1870, in Samotschin. Married Willam Frederick Papke on June 23, 1894, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had issue. Died November 14, 1906, in Michigan.
- Hazeltine Wilhelmine Papke, born December 8, 1894, and died December 13, 1894.
- Margaret Louise Papke, born December 8, 1894.
- Wilhelm Emil Papke, born August 29, 1896, and died September 23, 1896.
- Walter Papke, born August 9, 1897, and died May 3, 1978.
- Albert Emil Papke, born December 9, 1899. Died after 1940.
- Hedwig Ottilie Papke, born April 12, 1902.
- Mildred Papke, born March 18, 1907.
Family 5: Peter Weidemann and Johanna Louise Kemnitz
Peter Weidemann and Johanna Louise Kemnitz do not appear to have been married. The birth record of their one confirmed child states that it is unknown whether the mother (Johanna Louise Kemnitz) is a widow or not, as it cannot be determined from the records. Peter Weidemann stated that Johann Daniel Blüwernick died many years ago in Russia. Peter Weidemann died in 1888, and in 1892, Johanna came to America with Pauline and Mary. Her daughters Auguste Emilie and Hannah Luise had emigrated previously.
- Marie Beate Weidemann, born January 31, 1876, and baptised in Margonin. Married Heinrich Schneider on December 5, 1894, in Michigan, and had issue. Married second Jacob Unger about 1905 in Nebraska, and had issue.
- Albert Schneider, born October 30, 1895, in Nebraska, and died May 26, 1985 in Indiana.
- Carl W Schneider, born June 25, 1900, in Nebraska, and died June 1976, in Indiana.
- Ella E Unger, born August 25, 1913, in Nebraska, and died July 2, 1935, in Nebraska.
Additional research could involve double-checking gaps between children, as well as checking some additional parishes. DNA testing, with enough participants, could determine if Louise Kemnitz’s illegitimate daughters were the children of Peter Weidemann, or of a different man entirely.
Note: This entry was edited on August 7, 2014, to reflect the addition of Caroline Ernestine Weidemann to Family #1.