Sunday, January 18, 2015

Amalie Petrich b. 1841 Pidda Posen

This week’s suggested topic for the 53 Ancestors Challenge was “Tough Woman.”  Amalie is a tough woman to research and find information about.  I think she also must have been a tough (strong) woman.  She was my Great-Great-Grandmother.

Anna Amalie Petrich was born 08 Jan 1841 in Pidda, Posen (Posen Province of Prussia) to Gottlieb Petrich and Wilhelmine Petrich.  She was called Amalie and was the second child (and second daughter) of nine children (seven girls), all born 18 to 24 months apart.  Amalie was baptized 7 Feb 1841 in Schokken [Skoki] in Posen Province.  Amalie’s youngest sibling was born three months after her father Gottlieb died.  Amalie was twelve years old at the time.

Amalie's Baptismal Record

She was married to Friedrich Wilhelm Primas on 3 May 1857 at the age of 16 years old.  Considering the circumstances, it is not surprising to see her married so young.  Friedrich was a miller, just like many others in his family.

Translation of the church record of the marriage: 
“Revier [Rejowiec] #6 (in 1857) - 3rd of May - [Pastor] Huber - Miller Friedrich Primas from Wiekowko near Witkowo, second son of the deceased miller from Nekla, Gottfried Primas, with virgin Amalie Petrich, second daughter of the deceased farmer from Pidda, Gottlieb Petrich
Both groom and bride under tutorship
He - 24 ys old, she 16 ys 4 mths old
Both Lutheran
With consent from court and mother”

Amalie had her first child - a son, Paul Primas (my great-grandfather), on 24 Oct 1860 in Orchowo, Mogilno, Posen.  He was baptized 28 Oct 1860 in the Lutheran church in Schidlowitz [Szydlowiec] near Orchowo.

Paul Primas Baptismal Record

Amalie’s second child was a daughter, Emilie (also found as Henriette Emilie) born in 1863. 

Friedrich and Amalie in Residence Register

Based on the Residence Register of Nekla for the years 1860 to 1875, Friedrich, Amalie’s husband died in 1865, making Amalie a widow by the time she was 24 years old.

The young widow married Wilhelm Stroech/Ströch, a miller, in 1866 or 1867.  According to the Nekla Residence Register listing, they moved to Nekla Hauland in October 1867.

Amalie married to Wilhelm Stroech

Amalie and her children moved between Nekla and Nekla Hauland several times over the years. Apparently Wilhelm Stroech had died, because we find Amalie married to Gottlieb Reiter a Gasthofbesitzer (Innkeeper), married in 1870 in Wylatkowo or in Nekla Hauland.  No records have been found for the marriage.

Amalie and Gottlieb Reiter family listing

While both Amalie and Gottlieb had children from prior marriages, they had at least 5 children together in the 20 or so years they were married.   According the residence Registers, the children of Gottlieb and Amalie were apparently born in Nekla.  Documentation shows Emil was born in April 1871, Eva in October 1872, Emma in December 1873, Ewald in June 1878 and Johanna in May 1880. 

Ewald Reiter birth record

There is also evidence in the Residence Registers to suggest that Amalie was married one other time, after Gottlieb Reiter died, to Gottlieb Schmidt in 1890 or 1891.

Amalie and Gottlieb Schmidt in Residence Register

In 1885, Amalie’s oldest son Paul Primas (my great-grandfather) married.  His first child (and most likely Amalie’s first grandchild) was born in 1886.  In April of 1887 Paul, his wife and child left for the US.  Amalie would never see her son Paul and his family again. 

According to a family tree found on, there is a Reiter family that appears to match Amalie’s family.   It suggests that Amalie and Gottlieb were married in 1870, that there were possibly more children than I have noted and that Gottlieb Reiter died in March 1884.  I will be treating these as hints for research.  On a different tree on MyHeritage, it suggests that Gottlieb Reiter might also have been known by the name of Johann, and that Amalie may have died in Dec 1916.  If that is true, she lived for 75 years.

There is a family story that there was a Reiter family that was sponsored by my grandfather Oscar Primas and his brothers to come to the US after WWII, maybe in the early 1950s.  I was not born yet, but the story was that they were related to the Primas family in some way.  No one I knew could tell me how.  There was a husband and wife with at least one child.  The story goes that the wife did not like it in the US and wanted to move back to Germany, so they did.  The Primas brothers were not happy because they had put time, effort and money into getting the family here, just to have them leave.  At least this information on Amalie gives me a reason to believe this Reiter family was related – Amalie’s Reiter children would be half-siblings to my great-grandfather Paul Primas.  This gives me some clues for seeking out more of the family.

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