craigbear at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 15:56:48 PDT 2012
Just to keep y'all updated on my search, after working through the recent
set of documents (which was stuff that the family already had but which
just hadn't been provided to me yet), I find myself stuck again. So I
thought I'd just summarize the state of what I've got so far, just on the
off chance that somebody here might actually know something or have some
new ideas for where I can look.
My great-grandfather was named Eduard Schiller, birthdate April 16, 1885;
the documents we have (one of which is a 1910 transcript of his birth
record) do indeed confirm that the proper birthplace is Grodziec. His
parents were Christian Schiller and Christine Janott; according to the
birth record, Christian was 40 when my great-grandfather was born and
Christine was 38. His godparents are listed as Gottlieb Steinbrenner and
Pauline Neumann, and a Wilhelm Neumann is also listed as an additional
witness -- however, the birth record does not clarify whether these people
were relatives or just neighbours who stood in because there were no
relatives nearby (and I have yet to find any further information about any
of them.) As far as we know, Christian was originally from Dusseldorf,
though we have no actual documentation to support that yet; we have no idea
where Christine was from at all.
As far as we know, there were five siblings: Paul (b. 1887), George (b.
1889), Gottlieb (b. 1891), Alma and Emilia. From Eduard's confirmation
certificate, we know that the family had moved to the Rozhische area by
1900, but have yet to find any birth records for any of the siblings in
*either* Grodziec or Rozhische. I did e-mail the Polish Archives for
assistance almost two months ago, but have yet to get even a "sorry, we
can't help you" -- and unless I'm doing something wrong on the website,
none of the names I'm looking for turn up anything at all (not even my
great-grandfather himself, and I already *have* a document that proves that
he should be in there.)
My great-grandparents married in 1910 and were in Canada by 1913 -- but for
obvious reasons this is the one branch of the family that we've already got
good information for, so I don't need additional help here right now.
Paul and George both emigrated to the United States, but lost contact with
my great-grandfather during World War II. We do have a US border crossing
record for a George Schiller who has other biographical details that fit
with ours -- and, notably, he was travelling to Seattle with someone named
Ernest Steinbrenner (which had us mystified until we learned the name of
Eduard's godfather) -- but we still don't actually have any definitive
proof that this is our George and not just a random coincidence, nor any
indication of where he ultimately ended up, whether he ever married or had
kids, or why he lost contact. And for Paul, we still have nothing at all.
Emilia and Alma reportedly married a pair of brothers named Hoffman and
moved somewhere "within Russian territory" (the problem, of course, being
that "within Russian territory" doesn't narrow things down very much.) We
have no information about them beyond that.
We know Gottlieb was in Dusseldorf after WWII, but he doesn't turn up in
the EWZ records -- so again unless I'm missing something he moved back to
Germany either before or after the EWZ program was in place. As far as we
know he was married, but we don't have a name for his wife or any kids.
So I'd certainly be happy to hear if any of this rings a bell with anyone,
or if someone knows of any other information or resources that might be
helpful. But then again looking for things that just won't materialize no
matter how hard I try is pretty much the story of every single area in my
life -- so if nobody's got anything and I'm just banging my head against
yet another brick wall, then I guess I'm used to that.
Craig, just whining, don't mind me
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