A letter from Brigetta Schott to Gay (Denke) Logan
Martha Denke was born 12/9/1834. Martha was the twin
brother of Martin Denke. They were born at Danizag1(SEE
WEBMASTER’S NOTE), Germany, a small village with about 120
people. Martha married Frederick Eisenbraunue born October 19,1829, they were
married May 5, 1859 at Tezeu, Germany, Frederick was born at Köslin, Germany
(today Koszalin, Poland) a few miles from Danizag. They were on the move as
there was no peace in the country there at that time. Frederick Eisenbraunue was
killed, Martha was with child, he was born after his fathers death. Martha heavy
with child was taken in by George and Mary Schneider. They had a son Ferdinial
Schneider, born 9/9/1829, and Martha married him when her son Frederick was three months old. Frederick was born
11/1860. We are unable to find any record of when Martha married Ferdinial
Schneider (born 9/9/10) It is thought to be March 7, 1861, as that date in her
diary has something written every year for a long time. This date is also on a
lease record in Frankfurt, Germany. Martha’s son Frederick never went by the
name Eisenbraunue, he was always Frederick Schneider.
Martha second child was Ferdinial Schneider born
12/25/1861 at Breman, Germany.
It has been told that the Martin Denkes, Martha's brother
and Ferdinial Schneider were going to Russia to get free land, Martha took sick
and had to be left behind, at this time she had twins Henry and Hernyetta born
3/27/1863, which must have died as there is no record that can be found.
Ferdinial Schneider then returned
for Martha. It was said that Martin Denke's second wife had and a baby had died,
as it was a very bad winter. The party had not successfully reached their
destination in Russia. Martin Denke was a hard-headed stubborn man who forced
his family to undergo many hardships. At this time they were on the Austria-Hungary
border waiting for health records. Another Uncle (George Schneider) and my great
Grandfather Ferdinial Schneider took their youngest sister to Martin Denke too
help with the children. (Rosilie Schneider) You ask in your letter how I got the
name of Rosilie Schneider, which you said was your father’s grandmother.
Rosilie Schneider had been a midwife. I was told that she was going to tell him
to take care of the children and to not marry again, as Rosilie was not going to
marry. It was first part of March when they came to get her, she was 22 years
old, and we are guessing that the trip would have taken them about six weeks as
they traveled by horseback. It was a laugh in the family because she arrived and
was no doubt was married right away, as her first child Edward Denke) born
2/9/76 it is thought to have been born near Szombothely, Hungary. Rosilie’s
second child was born Emil Denke 6/7/1878 at Karlsnule, Russia. It has been said
the trip took about ten years from what we know as Gdynia Poland (now) then
Danizag, Germany1(SEE WEBMASTER’S NOTE).
Martha (Denke) Schneider never heard from Ferdinial Schneider after he left with
his sister Rosilie and brother George Schneider.
Martha (Denke) Schneider, with two children, again had to
look for a place to stay and provide for her children, and so she started to
work at a creamery that bought cream and made butter. My Great Grandmother Freda
was born 5/17/1875, she was an illegitimate child, as to the knowledge of anyone
her husband (Ferdinial Schneider) took his sister Rosilie to Martin Denke and
there was no return. Great Grandmother Schneider was 54 years old when she died
7/1888. My Great Grandmother Freda said she never knew her father Schneider, all
she ever knew for a father was the man her mother (Martha) lived with and his
name was (Gustav Bovgard). He had some sons that were older then Freda. There
names were Whilhelm, George, and Jacob Bovgard.
Freda Schneider went to work for Samual and Martha
Heidelberg when she was thirteen years old, the Heidelberg's were bankers at
Kostrrzyn, Germany. Freda married their son Emmaunal Heidelberg on May 2, 189?
he had just returned from Bankers School. I don't know his birth day, but he
was born 7/1870. They eloped, as Freda was not good enough for the Heidelberg
's. Emmaunal was able to get a job at the bank in Hannover, Germany. She was
never thought of as peasant there, she worked hard in her church and community
and everyone loved her. Up to this time my mothers side of the family had been
" Soil Trollers" (farmers).
My Grandparents Heidelberg:
Emmaunal Heidelberg born 7/1870 died 7/12/1937
Freda Schneider born 5/17/1875 died 7/8/1937 Married
Emmaunal and Freda Heidelberg had 12 children all of whom
were born in Hannover, Germany, all of whom were baptized and confirmed in the
1. Emmaunal Gustav Heidelberg 3/14/1892
died in W.W.I
2. Bovgard Martin Heidelberg 10/4/1894
3. Rachel Marie Heidelberg 3/19/1896
4. George Malachi Heidelberg 7/14/1898
died in W.W.I.
5. Haggie Hildigardi Heidelberg 12/10/1899
6. Jessica Mary Heidelberg 2/27/1901
7. Samual Joshua Heidelberg 12/30/1902
8.Ruth Emilie Heidelberg 7/19/1904
died in 1936
9.Esther Martha Heidelberg 6/2/1905 died in 1937
10. Rebecca Mary Heidelberg 7/6/1912
11. Jeremiah Joel Heidelberg 4/4/1917
12. David Peter Heidelberg 10/3/1919
The twelve children all grew up to manhood and womanhood.
Four died in Concentration Camps, Emmanual and George Heidelberg served in W.W.
I and were taken prisoners, neither were ever married. Ruth and Esther
Heidelberg were abducted one night in their sleep in the summer kitchen and
taken to a concentration camp known by use as "Hitler Women Camp”. This
camp was where women were forced to have children from Generals (Old Men)
Retired Army men. Esther was the only one that was ever heard from after that
terrible night May 4, 1935. Esther wrote a letter that told how badly they were
treated and that Ruth had died having a baby in 1936, they all knew that Esther
died there too. This was a terrible heartache for both Grandfather and
Grandmother, they never overcame the shock, as they died four days apart.
BOVGARD MARTIN HEIDELBERG , born 10/4/1894 died 6/4/1964
married Haulda Lucia 10/4/1922 she died 6/2/1968 she was born 4/2/1900.
1. Jacob Bovgard Heidelberg
2. John Emmanual Heidelberg
3. Joseph Halle Heidelberg
4. Jeremiah Mucus Heidelberg
Jacob never married he was killed in W.W.II. 1944 at
John married Bertha Wessier 6/12/55 at Berlin,
Germany. They live' behind the Berlin Wall. My mother Rebecca Heidelberg O'Dell
is the only one that has been able to visit them when she likes as my Father
Vincent O'Dell was with the Common Control and could go there anytime.
John and Bertha Heidelberg have seven children;
They are very poor and the conditions there are like it
must have been years ago. They work for the government (farm) and are given only
so much to live on. My mother tried to get them out but they have lived there so
long they know no other way in life, I think Uncle John would come but most of
Aunt Bertha's family is there. They have few clothes every time my mother goes
she takes clothes dishes and bedding. They were not able to go to church until a
few years ago. At this writing they are still there except for Emilie who made
the Berlin Wall in 1972 with a friend in a sack, that was kicked and rolled by
some guards, their escape was National News and T.V. -
you must have heard about it. Emilie is married to an American, Eugene
Armstrong a News Reporter. They live in West Germany and have a lovely home.
They were married 2/14/1978 in New York City, New York. America. Their children;
1. Scott Allen Armstrong
2. Mitz Lou Armstrong
RACHEL MARIE HEIDELBERG born 3/19/1896 married Franklin
Kruse 4/9/1926 his birthday was 7/9/1894, she died 7/1951 he died 3/1955
Robert Kruse married Suzanne Kost June 4, 1954
This family lives at Des Moines, Iowa
MAGGIE HEIDELBERG born 12/10/1899 married Albert
Eixenberger 9/9/1919 his birthday 12/1898 she died 12/19/1923, She had one
daughter Sarah Eixenberger born 5/9/1923 married Carl Klyn born 2/9/1923 married
9/1946 Sarah has no children
JESSICA MARY HEIDELBERG born 2/27/1901 married Philip
Ullgrove born 12/1/1901 married 2/17/1925 they had two sons. Jessica died 5/1947
Philip died 5/2/1954.
1. George Henry Ullgrove born 2/19/1927
he was killed in W.W.II. in 1944, also Philip was a soldier at the same time.
2. Arron Emil Ullgrove born 5/5/1930, I
am unable to get any information about him as he went with Uncle Samual to
Brazil in 1945.
SAMUAL HEIDElLERG born 12/30/1902 married Lydia
Zwickau 3/9/1942 they had four children He died 8/8/1958
1. August born in Germany
2. Mucus born in Germany
3. Mary Martha
born in Brazil
(we have visited them they live at Salvador, Brazil, some of my fathers
people moved there in the 40's to get away from Hitler's rule.
1. August Heidelberg married Raccia Claros 4/15/1975
Augustia Mae born
2. Mucus married Betty Lou Fraizer
2/14/1969, they live in Dallas, Texas
1. Lisa Lou
2. Lynette Ann
Zetha Heidelberg married Timothy Rowless married 6/6/1971
Louila Rowless They live in Cuenca. Ecuador.
REBECCA MARY HEIDELBERG (my mother) born 7/6/1912
married Vincent O'Dell (an Irishman born at Wexford, Ireland born 2/12/1912 died
9/17/1974 married 4/8/1933 my father was a lawyer by trade. My folks met at
Wilhelm Hemmelson where my mother was kitchen help for a lawyer which my father
worked for, the home was a mansion that had forty-four rooms, and they had
boarders of the higher class.
1. Brigetta O'Dell (who wrote this account)
2. Dorothy May O'Dell
3. Roszella Anna born 9/5/1937
4. Oscar Vincent born 7/4/1941
5. Curtis Eugene born 3/14/1944
1. Briigetta Mary O'Dell born 11/4/1935 married Royce Shott born
8/19/1931 married 7/20/1953 married at Hannover, Germany where my family has
always lived. We have one daughter.
1. Sharon Phyllis Shott married
Scott Hoven of Cambridge, Mass. 6/9/1975.
Sharon met Scott at Boston, Massachusettes where she was an exchange student, she now is a College teacher, as are Royce and I. I am a Math teacher, Royce languages. Sharon and Scott taught school in Mass. America and now are at Berlin, where we get to see the grandchildren. They are American teachers. Their first two children were born at Boston, Mass. America.
1. Shawee Elmer
2. Estelle Emily
3. Cheryl Ellen
4. Norma Ellie
Dorotha May O'Dell married William Curtis 6/27/1951
1. Clinton Curtis
married NoraJoyce Bowar 9/1/1974
1. Joanna Keck
2. Jeanne Blide
3. Guynne Dollie
4. Grady Era
Rossella Anna O'Dell married James Keck 2/2/1965
1. Mary Jean Keck
2. Martha Anne
Keck married Glen Rodriquez 8/2/1982
4. Anthany James
LeAnn Lynn Keck
Renee Margie Keck
Oscar Vincent O’Dell married Elma Hiller 6/27/1965
1. Wilbur Oscar
2. Homer Vincent
3. Kathaleen K
Curtis Eugene O’Dell born married Ethyl Wright 7/5/1968
3. Yvonne Mary
4. Roszella Shea
We the O'Dell's all had a very good education; all went to
college at Hannover. We always had it pretty easy, nearly can say we had what we
wanted times have been good since 1948 and that was when we were old enough to
remember. We had cousins that lived in southern Germany or near Berlin that had
it rough. In the W.W.II. they still tell us how they had to hide for months at a
time during the war. Some were killed and others injuried that was a mark on
them all there lives. I know I haven't done this as you had done yours, but did
want to explain as I went along, as we all enjoyed your history at my sister's
Christmas, but we all wished that you had explained a little more about the
early days in America. You can change it as you like.
Your friend Donald Kruse, is a nephew of my Uncle Franklin
Kruse. Donald's family moved to Rock Rapids, Iowa, America in about 1923 or
1924. Donald and I taught school at Berlin, I taught 3 years, Donald taught
about 16 years, I always enjoyed Donald, he was a very good teacher. When our
daughter Sharon was at Cambridge, Mass. America, we flew to Sioux Falls, S.D.
America and were met by Donald in 1974, you have a very pretty state. Everything
was green every where you looked.
I want to mention one more thing in some of Great
Grandmother Freda Schneider Heidelberg, there was a letter from Mrs. Johann
Denke telling that they had another baby (Edwin) and that August and family had
come to America and now have four sons.
Royce and I plan to come to America in 1984 and we plan to
visit you even if you have to met us in Sioux Falls, S.D. America, as we will
visit in Iowa, we both feel we know you, please write again and tell us more,
and how you are getting along with the history. There are others that no doubt
feel as I did at first that we were not related, until I did some research, and
I was surprised, I have really enjoyed this surprise, as I told you before; I
felt my family was SCHNEIDER. Thanks again for everything.
Your friend in Germany,
1. Denzig, Germany should not to be confused with Danzig. Although both towns are now in Poland, Danzig is now Gdansk (Gydnia, referred to above is near Gdansk, and was considered part of Danzig) and was already a quite large city by the time of Martin Denke’s birth. Denzig, on the other hand was a very small town in the province of Pommern, Germany. It is now known as Debsko and is currently in Poland. It is 60 km in the east of Stargard (today Szczecinsky) and about 120 km in the south of Köslin (today Koszalin). It is very close to the Polish town Kalisz Pomorski, formerly Callies. Since Brigetta Schott refers to “Danizag” (I have been unable to find any other references using this spelling) as a small town of about 120 people, this fact seems to eliminate Danzig as a birth place of Martin & Martha Denke. Koszalin, Poland – mentioned in the story above as the birthplace of Frederick Eisenbraunue is roughly equi-distant from Denzig and Danzig. If anyone is able to come up with a likely modern name for Tezeu, mentioned above, I would be interested.
It seems clear to me that the birth place of Martin and Martha Denke was Denzig, and not Danzig. This is not to say that no Denkes ever lived in Danzig. In fact, Gay Logan refers to documents in her book that show that Johann Denke, father of Martin Denke lived in Danzig. I haven't seen these documents nor do I know whether they still exist or not, as in Gay's last letter to me she told me that many of her older records had been destroyed as they were copied from the original German documents on an old copier and the paper did not hold up.