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Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 2 Aug 2004 9:17AM GMT
Classification: Birth
Surnames: PIECHOWSKI, RÖRIG, KLOSOWSKI, KOLOCZ(E)ISKI
I have found this name on the IGI web site. I am fairly convinced that he is my g grandfather. The only problem with the IGI record is the loaction.

It is listed as Alt Grumkowo, Rawitsch, Ostpreußen, Preußen. Searching around Rawitsch seems to be in Pozen, not Ostpreußen.

Could any shed any light on this.

Thanks

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 2 Aug 2004 9:29AM GMT
Classification: Birth
Opps. I should add he was born 6 Sep 1857. By 4 Apr 1892 (Birth of his son) he was living in Hordrhein-Westfalen, working as a coal miner.

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Robert T. (View posts)
Posted: 2 Aug 2004 3:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Martin, there is something you must bear in mind concerning the IGI, something many people are not aware of:

All the information in the IGI is information that was submitted by people just like you and me. The Family History Library does not verify any of it. A person will submit information to the Family History Library with the request that that information be added to the IGI. The Family History Library then adds it, no questions asked. For that reason, there are, unfortunately, inaccuracies throughout the IGI.

An entry for Stephan Piechowski in the IGI indicates that somebody who is researching that family decided to submit information to the Family History Library for inclusion in the IGI, inaccuracies notwithstanding.

I took a look at the Stephan Piechowski entry, and the submitter obviously hadn't a clue about Germany! First of all, you are correct, Rawitsch was located in the southern part of what was until 1918 the Prussian province of Posen. There was no Rawitsch in the Prussian province of East Prussia (in German: Ostpreussen). The problem now is that, to my knowledge, there was no town called "Alt Grumkowo" either in the administrative district (in German: Kreis) of Rawitsch in the Prussian province of Posen or anywhere else!

The submitter then goes on to say that Stephan died in "Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Nordrhein-Westfalen Lande". Again, the submitter hasn't a clue!

First of all, there was no such place as North Rhine-Westphalia (in German: Nordrhein-Westfalen) during the time period in question. Today's state of North Rhine-Westphalia was created after the Second World War, when the Allies broke up the huge state of Prussia (in German: Preussen). The northern half of the Prussian Rhineland or Rhine Province, the Prussian province of Westphalia, and the very small state of Lippe combined to form today's state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Stephan Peichowski thus died in Westphalia, Prussia, Germany.

Stephan Piechowski died in 1923, but it wasn't until 1928 that the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Buer merged into Gelsenkirchen-Buer, which in 1930 became simply Gelsenkirchen. That means that Stephan Piechowski died either in Gelsenkirchen or in Buer.

As to the marriage of Stephan Piechowski and Margaretha Rörig, they were married in 1887, about 60 years before North-Rhine Westphalia came into existence. They were thus married in Herten, administrative district (Kreis) of Recklinghausen, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany.

Margaretha Rörig's birthplace is incorrect as well. She was not born in any "Limburg-Offheim, Hessen", but rather, in Offheim, administrative district (Kreis) of Limburg, Nassau, Germany.

By the way, did you click on the word "Family" to the right of Stephan Piechowski's name? If you do that, you will get a list of Stephan and Margaretha's children, which might prove useful to you. The entry is thus not a total loss! If this Stephan Piechowski was your great-grandfather, then you would find your grandfather or grandmother amongst the list of children -- provided of course that the list of children is complete. It would interest me to know, after you have looked at the list of children, if you still feel that this particular Stephan Piechowski was indeed your great-grandfather.

Robert

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 2 Aug 2004 4:30PM GMT
Classification: Birth
Thanks for the information. From family I know that my g grandfather was called Stephan Piechowski and my grandfather is indeed there. I have details of his birth place and date from my mothers naturalisation certificate. I even have the fact that although his father was called Piechowski, my mother was known as Roerig, which was my grandfathers mother's maiden name. He did live and died in Gelsenkichen, my Mother was born in Gelsenkirchen-Buer in 1922.

Even the fact that the family came from the east seems to match. In the 1930's Germany when an Aunt of my Mother wished to marry you had to prove no Jewish relations for three generations, which they found impossible as the villiage in Poland were they came from had vanished along with all the records. They still let her marry though.

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Robert T. (View posts)
Posted: 2 Aug 2004 5:14PM GMT
Classification: Query
Martin, what was the family's religious denomination? I would suggest that you contact the church where Stephan and Margaretha were married in 1887 and request a copy of their marriage record. The marriage record would of course include Stephan's exact place of birth.

As you may be aware, following the First World War, Germany had to relinquish most of the Prussian provinces of Posen and West Prussia to the newly re-established independent Poland. That probably explains what happened to the records you mention. Many of the Germans of Posen and West Prussia left at that time, simply because they did not want to live in Poland. If your mother's aunt was from a small village, it is quite possible that the entire village population decided to leave en masse.

I will refer you to three maps:

Map 1 shows Germany as it was from its unification under Bismarck in 1871 until 1918. You will see Germany's states, including Prussia, Germany's largest state by far, and its provinces. You will note the Prussian province of Posen. Rawitsch (if that is where the Piechowski family were from) was located in the southern part of the province, directly below the "s" in the word "Posen", just the Posen side of the border of the Prussian province of Silesia. You will also note how vast Prussia was. It stretched from East Prussia in the northeast all the way to and including the Rhineland in the west. That's a distance of more than 800 miles! Berlin was the capital of Prussia, and from 1871, of Germany as well.

Map 2 shows Germany's territorial losses following the First World War. As mentioned, Germany had to relinquish most of the Prussian provinces of Posen and West Prussia to the newly re-established independent Poland.

Map 3 shows Germany's states today. Following the Second World War, almost all of Germany lying east of the Rivers Oder and Neisse was given to Poland (with the exception of the northern half of the Prussian province of East Prussia, which was taken by the Soviet Union). The 12 million inhabitants of eastern Germany were thereupon expelled from their homes under horrific conditions. They had to leave everything behind. Close to 3 million did not survive the ordeal. It was hell on earth. The Polish authorities then moved Poles in to repopulate those territories. Very tragic. Very sad. (In 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, the Allies declared the state of Prussia officially abolished.)

Map 1: http://rootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germanempire.htm

Map 2: http://rootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germanempire.htm

Map 3: http://rootsweb.com/~wggerman/state.htm


By the way, if you're wondering where my historical knowledge comes from, I'll explain briefly: I spent six years doing post-graduate studies in history at the University of Munich in Germany.

Robert

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 2 Aug 2004 6:50PM GMT
Classification: Query
They were Catholics so hopefully it should be fairly straight forward to find the church.

Just one other thing :-) Could you confirm that Nassau only became part of Prussia after 1866. I think I read that whomever was in charge at the time choose the wrong side in the war against Austria.

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Robert T. (View posts)
Posted: 3 Aug 2004 3:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Martin, here is the contact information for St. Anthony's Church in Herten:

Pfarrbüro St. Antonius
Antoniusplatz 2
45699 Herten
GERMANY

phone: (00 49) (23 66) 3 55 32

e-mail: pfarrbuero@st-antonius-herten.de

If you are able to obtain a copy of the marriage record, please let me know where Stephan Piechowski was born. I've become very curious!

You enquired about the Austro-Prussian War, or Seven Weeks War, of 1866.

Actually, all of Germany's major states sided with Austria against Prussia in that war: Kingdom of Saxony; Kingdom of Bavaria; Grand Duchy of Baden; Kingdom of Württemberg; Kingdom of Hanover; Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt; the Electorate of Hesse (in German: Kurhessen), also known as Hesse-Kassel (or to use the older spelling, Hesse-Cassel), after its captial city; the Duchy of Nassau; and several of the very small German states.

Prussia's only allies were the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Duchy of Brunswick (in German: Braunschweig), and a few of the tiny Thuringian states. The newly unified Italy also fought on Prussia's side in order to gain control of those parts of northern Italy that were under Austrian rule at the time.

Austria and her allies were defeated. The Kingdom of Prussia thereupon annexed the Kingdom of Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, the Duchy of Nassau and the city of Frankfurt. Prussia consolidated Hesse-Cassel, Nassau and the city of Frankfurt into what was to then remain until 1945 the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau.

Robert

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 3 Aug 2004 5:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
The reason I asked about 1866 was that if I believe the IGI then some of my ancestors are from Nassau, but are listed as being born in Hesse-Nassau, Preussen. Problem was that the dates are before 1866!!.

I have only just stated my delve into my German family so I probably need to apply for a number of certificates. It would be very useful to me (and probably others on this list) if you could let me know where you got the church address from.

Thanks

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Robert T. (View posts)
Posted: 3 Aug 2004 6:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
Martin, as mentioned before, the information in the IGI is information submitted by people like you and me. If a person who was born prior to 1866 in either the Duchy of Nassau or in the Electorate of Hesse (Kurhessen), or Hesse-Cassel as it was also known, is indicated as having been born in Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, that means that the person who submitted that information to the Family History Library for inclusion in the IGI simply submitted erroneous information. That, as mentioned before, is the major problem with the IGI.

Have you been able to determine from the names of the towns in those "Hesse-Nassau, Prussia" entries you found in the IGI whether the towns in question were located in pre-1866 Nassau or in pre-1866 Hesse-Cassel?

By the way, the fact that the IGI contains an entry for Stephan Peichowski means that there is somebody else out there who is also researching that family. It would be interesting to know who that person is!

The contact information for St. Anthony's Church in Herten I got from their website: www.st-antonius-herten.de

Robert

Re: Stephan PIECHOWSKI

Posted: 4 Aug 2004 9:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have emailed the church tonight.

So hopefully then can understand my dire German and respond positively.
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