Friday, August 5, 2016

Using Ulrich Dueck's Charts

(For background on Ulrich Dueck's West Prussian Genealogy Charts, see this post.)

While using Grandma Online to check for new information on my ancestors, I came across a reference to Dueck's West Prussian Genealogy Charts on my 5-greats-grandfather Jacob Wiebe #19808 (1726-1775), a Mennonite who lived in the Vistula delta area of Poland and then Prussia.  According to GM, charts #47 and #78 give his birth and death dates.  (Numbers after names in my blog are the Grandma numbers, which are using to track people in the database and widely used in Mennonite genealogy.)

Source:  Jacob Wiebe #19808 entry, Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry, California Mennonite Historical Society, July 2016.  Accessed online at on 4 August 2016.

Here's chart #78, which is a densely packed ancestor chart for Elisabeth Konrad (1902-1960).

Source:  Ulrich Dueck, "West Prussian Mennonite Genealogy Charts," unpublished genealogy chart collection, chart #78.  Accessed online at on 4 August 2016.
I have no idea who she is and did not know that she was a distant cousin.  But I looked at the chart in detail (with a magnifying glass) because GM Online sourced Jacob Wiebe's birth and death dates to the chart.  And here's what I found:

It had a crucial detail for Jacob Wiebe, "Einsasse in Schoensee und Schoenhorst " (resident in Schönsee and Schönhorst).  Since he died in 1775, I should be able to find him in the 1772 census of West Prussia.  But knowing the towns where he lived makes it easier since Jacob Wiebe is a common name.

And we do find him in both Schönsee and Schönhorst (the villages were about three miles apart) in the index to the 1772 census:

Source:  Reuben R. Drefs, West Prussian Land Register 1772/73, Section "W," 1999.  Accessed online at Odessa Digital Library, on 4 August 2016.

I've purchased the Schönsee census from the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, so I can check if it has any details about him.  And he is there - he is one of eleven people who own part of the tract called Schönseeische Fünf Huben (Schönsee Five Huben, which is about a 207-acre tract).  And it shows that he is from Schönhorst ("de Schönh:") and that he owns 4 morgens (about 5.5 acres) and that none of it is cultivated (the columns between the two 4's show the amount planted to various crops).  Unfortunately, since he did not live in Schönsee, the names and ages of his family members are not listed.  And I have not purchased the Schönhorst census, so I cannot check that one for land and family information.

Source:  Jacob Wiebe household, 21 December 1772, household #37, Contributions Catastrum, Schönsee village #10, Amtes Tiegenhagen, West Prussia, II. HA, Abt. 9, Materien, Tit. XCIII, Nr. 9, Bd. 3, p. 181, 199, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany.

Very likely he inherited this land from his parents, since he was born in the village of Schönsee.  His wife, Elisabeth Walde #19809 (1726-1780), was born in Schönhorst, so he likely moved there sometime after marrying her - perhaps she inherited land from her parents there.  It is also interesting to speculate about why his land was uncultivated.  Did he have a larger farm in Schönsee, so this one in Schönhorst was just a small tract of land that he did not really need?  Or since he died three years later, was he already in ill health and not able to cultivate a tract, even though it was only three miles away?  He had two sons - Aron who was 21 and Heinrich 16 - at this time, so he should have had sufficient farm labor in his family to farm the land.

In summary, starting with a reference to a genealogy chart found in the notes for GM Online not only gave us the exact birth and death dates but also the villages where Jacob Wiebe lived.  And that led us to a census that showed a tract of land that he owned.  Which allowed us to do some informed speculation about how he obtained the land.

Has anyone else had experience with the Ulrich Dueck charts?

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