Monday, May 1, 2017

Knocked Down a Brick Wall (Part III)

See Part II for the previous part of this story.

I had been staring at the list of baptisms and marriages from Mennonite church books in West Prussia in Part II for a couple months and not making any progress.  But then Glenn Penner sent me a record related to a Martin Fast in Schönbaum from the Schönbaum Lutheran church book on LDS film #208392, and they proved to be the key to unraveling the mystery.  Getting help from a fellow genealogist is always a good idea.

This is what Glenn sent me in blue:

26 Dec 1797 Frau Maria geb. Wiens eine Mennonitin, des Martin Fast Eigengaertner und Hackenbudner zu Schoenbaum 38J

The record says that Martin Fast's wife Maria Wiens died on 26 December 1797.  Suddenly I remembered another record that I had looked at months ago that contained both Martin Fast and Maria Wiens!  That was a land record from the village of Fürstenauerweide, where Maria Wiens inherited a 1/8 share of a piece of land from her parents.  Could this be the same Martin Fast and Maria Wiens in that land record?

Here is an image of that land record:
Fuerstenauerweide Grundbuch Blatt 13, Kreis Elbing, Malbork, Poland, Archive, Fond 341, File 198.  Accessed online at on 25 July 2016.
Maria Wiens was one of four children who each inherited a 1/8 interest in tract #3 in Fürstenauerweide.  Since she was married, it gave her husband Martin Fast.  And it listed their six children, Peter, Johann, Isaac, Jacob, Cornelius, and Catharina.  These were six of the seven children that I suspected were children of my Martin Fast, children who were listed in my Excel database:
So now I had the six children definitely tied together.  And I had their mother Maria Wiens.  The last child Anna (line #599) turned out to be the child of Martin Fast's second wife, so she would not have been listed in the land document as an heir of the first wife.

Even better, the land document listed Maria Wiens' parents, Martin Wiens and Maria Loepp:

After doing a little more research, here is the descendant chart that I ended up with.  The people that I knew about a couple months ago when I started this project are circled in red.
While it's hard to read the details on this small chart, I added Martin Fast's wife, Maria Wiens, who was my 4-greats-grandmother and her parents, my 5-greats-grandparents Martin Wiens and Maria Loepp and a bunch of collateral ancestors as well.

Some days I feel as though I don't make much progress in my genealogy research, but this was one of those days when it all came together. 

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