Pomeranian Roots

For decades, the precise origins of German-speaking immigrants Joachim and Sophia (Cammin) Wiese of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois were forgotten.1

There were clues: a scrawled place name on the Hamburg Passagierlisten, an intriguing DNA connection.2

Finally, a dedicated on-site researcher uncovered several records that definitively placed Joachim and Sophia within the arms of their families in the neighboring villages of Wendisch Baggendorf and Barkow, located in present-day Vorpommern-Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.3

Joachim, christened Joachim Christian Friedrich Wiese, was born on 20 October 1840 in Wendisch Baggendorf, the son of laborer Johann Adam Wiese and Beate Elisabeth Hanna Schult.4

Sophia, christened Catharina Sophia Joachime Cammin, was born on 07 November 1842 in Barkow, the daughter of laborer Johann Christian Cammin and Christina Dorothea Ahrends.5

Joachim and Sophia married on 03 April 1864 in Grimmen, a village of perhaps a couple thousand inhabitants located a short distance from the state-owned estate at Barkow where Joachim was employed as a laborer.6 They were married by Carl Bindemann at St-Marien-Kirche, an early Gothic construction that dates to the thirteenth century.7

“St.-Marien-Kirche in Grimmen,” 2007, Grimmen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany; Wikimedia Commons, copyright Erell.

The couple’s first child, christened Carl Christian Friedrich Wiese, was born later that year on 17 September 1864.8 He did not survive childhood.9 Their second child, christened Friedrich Carl Christian Wiese, was born on 22 August 1866.10

When they prepared to board the Electric at Hamburg in November of 1868, however, Joachim and Sophia stated that their two-year-old son, nicknamed Fritz, was only nine months of age.11 It seems plausible that a free or reduced rate of passage might have been granted infants under one, and if the Wiese family did not happen to encounter a sympathetic ticketing agent, it can easily be imagined that Sophia might have bundled Fritz in a shawl close to her chest to conceal his true age until the family was safely aboard the ship.

Joachim and Sophia (Cammin) Wiese, ca. 1889, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; digital image ca. 2000.

Whatever the case, the Wiese family arrived in New York the day after Christmas 1868, after enduring a nearly eight week crossing during which time Sophia marked her twenty-sixth birthday.12 Among their fellow steerage passengers were several relatives, including Sophia’s widowed mother; Joachim’s widowed father came aboard a different ship.13 They soon made their way to Chicago, where they joined a wave of immigrants like themselves who contributed to the city’s unprecedented expansion.

It was there, during the years of regrowth that followed the Chicago Fire of 1871, that Joachim would work his way up to become a tailor, while Sophia would raise six children.14 And it was in Chicago that the Wiese family would face new struggles and new opportunities as they adapted to an urban environment vastly different from their rural homeland near the Baltic Sea.

Copyright © 2019 Melanie Frick. All Rights Reserved.


SOURCES
1 Louise (née Nelson) Wiese to Phyllis (née Wiese) Adam, letter, 2 April 1964, providing information about the family tree; Adam Family; privately held by Melanie Frick. Louise married Oliver Wiese, a grandson of Joachim and Sophia (Cammin) Wiese; Oliver had been acquainted with his grandparents as a child.
2 “Hamburg Passagierlisten, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), manifest, Electric, Hamburg to New York, leaving 1 November 1868, Joachim Wiese; citing Bestand [inventory no.] 373-7I, VIII, A1 (Auswanderungsamt I [Emigration List – Indirect]), Band [vol.] 022; Staatsarchiv Hamburg microfilm series K1701-K2008, S13116-S13183, and S17363-S17383.
3 Johannes Soeder, Rakow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, to Melanie Frick, e-mail, 18 June 2018, “Wiese, Kirch-Baggendorf,” Personal Correspondence, Wiese Family, Frick Research Files; privately held by Frick.
4 “Taufregister für die Kirche zu Kirch Baggendorf, 1828-1859,” entry for Joachim Christian Friedrich Wiese, born 20 October 1840; uncertified abstract, Johannes Soeder, Kirch-Baggendorf, 22 April 2018.
5 “Trauregister für die Kirche zu Grimmen, 1837-1864,” entry for Joachim Christian Friedrich Wiese and Catharina Sophia Joachime Cammin, married 03 April 1864; uncertified abstract, Johannes Soeder, Rakow, 20 November 2017.
6 “Trauregister für die Kirche zu Grimmen, 1837-1864,” entry for Joachim Christian Friedrich Wiese and Catharina Sophia Joachime Cammin, married 03 April 1864.
7 “Trauregister für die Kirche zu Grimmen, 1837-1864,” entry for Joachim Christian Friedrich Wiese and Catharina Sophia Joachime Cammin, married 03 April 1864.
8 “Taufregister der Kirche zu Grimmen, 1859-1871,” entry for Carl Christian Friedrich Wiese, born 17 September 1864; uncertified abstract, Johannes Soeder, Rakow, 20 November 2017.
9 “Hamburg Passagierlisten, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), manifest, Electric, Hamburg to New York, leaving 1 November 1868, Joachim Wiese. Carl Christian Friedrich Wiese was not present with his parents and brother aboard their ship to America, suggesting he was no longer living; furthermore, his younger brother appears to have been named in his honor, suggesting that Carl may have died prior to his birth in 1866.
10 “Taufregister der Kirche zu Grimmen, 1859-1871,” entry for Friedrich Carl Christian Wiese, born 22 August 1866; uncertified abstract, Johannes Soeder, Rakow, 20 November 2017.
11 “Hamburg Passagierlisten, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), manifest, Electric, Hamburg to New York, leaving 1 November 1868, Joachim Wiese.
12 “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), manifest, Electric, Hamburg, Germany to New York, arriving 26 December 1868, Joachim Wiese; citing National Archives microfilm M237, roll 305.
13 “Hamburg Passagierlisten, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), manifest, Borussia, Hamburg to New York, leaving 31 October 1868, Johann Wiese; citing Bestand [inventory no.] 373-7I, VIII, A1 (Auswanderungsamt I [Emigration List – Indirect]), Band [vol.] 022; Staatsarchiv Hamburg microfilm series K1701-K2008, S17363- S17383, and 13116-13183.
14 1900 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Enumeration District (ED) 424, sheet 12B, p. 86 (stamped), dwelling 77, family 182, Joseph Wiese; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2019), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 262.

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2 thoughts on “Pomeranian Roots

    1. Melanie Frick Post author

      I agree! I love coming across photographs of buildings relevant to ancestors’ lives that are still standing. And as Google Maps does not have Street View in Germany, landmarks like this church are good online finds!

      Reply

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