Grampy Otto at 100

My mum and I realised that Monday of this week would’ve been my grampy’s 100th birthday. (We’re all up to speed on the fact he was my mum’s stepfather and had been a German POW in WWII, correct?). I was then reading a post that Valerie had posted recently about her German ancestry and realised that it had been a long time since I had tried to chase down any further records on Otto’s family.

From the death certificate of his father, Ladislaus, I knew he had married his wife, Anna Gleissner, on 6 April 1922 in Petersdorf bei Briesen (the bei Briesen part is very important as there are a lot of Petersdorfs in Germany!). I had, many years ago, written to the Petersdorf Church to ask if they had the marriage record and asking for a copy. I received no response. However, things have moved on a bit with German archives and record availability. So – with the help of a FamilySearch “German Letter Writing Guide”, I winged off an email to the Brandenburg State Archive (the German state in which Petersdorf is located) and also to the Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin (that’s the Evangelical Central Archive in Berlin) which holds collections of church records. However, I received a response back from a very helpful lady telling me to contact the Evangelischen Landeskirchlichen Archiv in Berlin und Brandenburg (the Evangelical Church Archives in Berlin and Brandenburg) which hold “film adaptations of church registers of numerous Protestant congregations in Berlin and in the still German part of Brandenburg”, whereas EZAB “keep almost only church registers of Protestant communities in the former Prussian church provinces east of the Oder and Neisse rivers.” So here’s a handy hint: know your geography! However, the email has been sent to ELAB so we shall see what happens over the next few days/weeks.

I believe the archives are staffed but the public areas are yet to reopen. I am sure that I will have to pay a fee to the researchers – and I am happy to do so!

Dorfkirche, Petersdorf bei Briesen

The church itself is medieval and made of hewn granite and fieldstone, and probably dates to the latter half of the 13th century. It suffered considerable damage in the Thirty Years’ War and was later rebuilt.

I shall keep you updated – it would be wonderful to push the Frysol family back another generation, although his death certificate states he was born in “Kubnow (Polen)”. I’m not sure if that equates to what is today Kunów, Poland, or a mistake and he was born in Kunow, Brandenburg (still over 200 km away!).

Hopefully at least one of the two archives can shed some light!

(And apologies for having not blogged for a while! Part of the reason is we have a new arrival in the house: 8 year old Juno, who is keeping us on our toes!)

Terrible photo, and excuse the trackies, but you get why I’m distracted!!


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