Unterstützung/Assistance: MASHEIMER / MAßHEIMER

  • Hello,

    First let me apologize for using Google Translate on the German version of what I am about to write below. I am looking for help in determining how to get birth information for my great grandfather, Karl Gustave Masheimer (or Maßheimer), who was born in Richnau or Thorn, German On July 20th, of 1882. I have access to Archion, but Richnau's records are not online yet and he is absent from the Thorn records. He also might have been Catholic. I am at a dead end here, so I am asking what other sources I could try in order to find his information. I know that a civil registry was in effect in 1882, but I have no idea where to go for that or to access any catholic birth records if there are any. I know that this area is now part of Poland, and that complicates things. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


    Lassen Sie mich zunächst für die Verwendung von Google Translate auf der deutschen Version von dem, was ich zu schreiben, unter entschuldigen. Ich bin auf der Suche nach Hilfe bei der Bestimmung, wie Geburt Informationen für mein Urgroßvater Karl Gustave Masheimer (oder Maßheimer), der in Richnau oder Thorn geborene deutsche Am 20. Juli kommen, von 1882 habe ich Zugang zu Archion, aber Richnau Aufzeichnungen noch nicht online und er abwesend aus den Aufzeichnungen Thorn ist. Er könnte auch gewesen katholisch. Ich bin am Ende einer Sackgasse hier, so frage ich, was andere Quellen konnte ich, um zu versuchen, seine Informationen zu finden. Ich weiß, dass ein Standesbeamter in Kraft war im Jahr 1882, aber ich habe keine Ahnung, wo man nach, dass zu gehen oder keine katholisch Geburt Aufzeichnungen zugreifen, wenn es welche gibt. Ich weiß, dass dieser Bereich ist jetzt Teil von Polen, und das erschwert die Dinge. Jede Hilfe oder Anregungen wäre sehr dankbar. Danke!

    Joe Grage

  • Guten Tag, Joe.

    I found

    1) Martha Maßheimer, married to Fritz Bethel, and her son Gustav Adolf Bethel who was born in Richnau on Dec. 13, 1894 and baptised in Schönsee, Kreis Briesen, on Dec. 26, 1894.
    2) Carl Masheimer, married to Eva Stiller, and his son Gustav Rudolph Otto Masheimer who was born Jan. 14, 1887 in Richnau and baptised in Schönsee.

    The families were Evangelical Lutheran. So I think that there is a connection to your Carl Gustav. Masheimer or similar spelling was a pretty rare surname in the West Prussian area as far as I could find out when digging my mother's ancestors from Kreis Briesen.

    You can find some information on them at http://www.westpreussen.de ---> Einwohnerdatenbank [Local Database of Inhabitants] ---> Zur Datenbank ---> Suche ---> Fill in the names you are looking for. The Ortsverzeichnis [List of places] will also be helpful to find out where they keep the civil registry records, etc.

    You are right that the Evangelical parish registers of Schönsee are not online yet, but you can contact the Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin where they keep the Schönsee registers [~ 1853-1939, oo 1853-1905, + 1853-1933].

    Hope this information helps you to go on with your research. If help is needed feel free to ask.


    P.S.: Maybe the following person is also related in some way to your Karl Gustav:
    Auguste Blum née MAßHEIMER, a widow, * about 1845 in Steinau, Kreis Thorn, residing at Berlin-Neukölln, Prinz-Handjery[?]-Straße 61, died at her home on Dec. 19, 1919 at 6.15 am. Her parents were Richard MAßHEIMER, a laborer, and his wife Berta née SCHULZ, both last residing at Steinau where they died.
    Michalina Blum née Graczyk, the wife of a laborer, also residing at Berlin-Neukölln, Prinz-Handjery[?]-Str. 61 informed the civil registry officer of her death. It is likely that she was Auguste's daughter in law.
    Source: Death records of the Civil Registry Office Berlin-Neukölln I, No. 944/1919

    By the way, Steinau was called Alt Kamiontken before 1875.

  • Willi,

    I am extremely grateful for your time. I would assume that the people you have found were related in some way to my great grandfather...especially the ones in Richnau. Unfortunately this is also where I am stuck. I have absolutely no information on his family other than his birthplace. He reported two places of birth on documents here in the US. One place was Thorn and the other was Richnau. I am assuming that Richnau is more accurate because it was a much smaller place. From what I can tell, Richnau is not too far away from Thorn. Karl arrived in the US in 1907. The only thing I know about his family before his arrival is that he had a sister named Olga who was born (I would assume the same locality) in 1884. His father's name was apparently Karl as well (though that information is from Karl Gustave's death certificate-which also said he was born in Thorn). I am also assuming that the names Karl and Gustav were probably pretty popular at the time he was born. In looking at the information you provided, I think that Karl and Eva might have been his parents and Gustav Rudolph Otto his brother. I will have to find a way to tie them to my great grandfather. Hopefully the Schonsee records will do just that.

    Thank you for the information your provided about where records might be located. I am glad to hear that it is not the same as where my father's family is from in Siblin, Schleswig-Holstein. The church records there are far more difficult to access and they are rather strict about it. I had to hire a researcher this last year just to make progress on my own last name. I also had to agree (per the church archives) not to publish the records on Ancestry or anywhere else.

    Again, thank you so much Willi. I am very proud of my German roots and I am determined to research as far back as I can go.

    Joe Grage

  • Guten Tag, Joe.

    Vielen Dank for your response at full length.

    Since my mother's father was from the surroundings of Schönsee [originally named Kowalewo] I did some research and kept all the copies of the pages that show entries for my family so that I can give you some more information on the Masheimers:

    Wilhelm Erich Bethel
    * Feb. 21, 1903 at 7 am in Gut Richnau
    Civil Registry Richnau, No. 33/1903
    Father: Coachman [Kutscher] Fritz Bethel
    Mother: Martha née Masheimer, both residing at Gut [estate] Richnau

    ~ Mar. 1, 1903 in Schönsee
    1) Carl Maßheimer [sic!]
    2) Eva Maßheimer [no maiden name given, seems to be his wife, a née Stiller?]

    Source: Evangelical Lutheran Baptisms Schönsee, Kreis Briesen, 1903, p. 107/108, no. 7

    More to come if there are more Masheimers in my files.


  • Thank you again! I have no doubt that these are probably the same. Perhaps Martha was Carl's sister. Am I right that Richnau was a pretty small community back then?

  • Yes, you are absolutely right that Richnau was a very small village:

    According to http://www.kartenmeister.com it had a population of

    142 in 1820
    770 in 1905.

    Meanwhile I found three marriages of Auguste Blum's children Olga and Gustav. Here they are:

    Gustav Johann Jakob BLUM
    Laborer, Evangelical
    * Sept. 25, 1868 in Steinau, Kreis Thorn
    residing at Rixdorf [later Berlin-Neukölln], Steinmetzstraße 16
    Father: Laborer Johann BLUM
    Mother: Auguste née MOSSHEIMER [sic!], both residing at Steinau
    Henriette Auguste KONRAD
    Laborer, Evangelical
    * Sept. 27, 1871 in Kunigehlen, Kreis Darkehmen, East Prussia
    also residing at Rixdorf, Steinmetzstr. 16
    Father: Laborer Franz KONRAD, residing at Gandrinnen
    Mother: Wilhelmine née PRITZKOLEIT, deceased in Gandrinnen
    oo Dec. 24, 1894 in Danzig
    1) Laborer Julius Schneiderei, 30 years old
    2) Laborer Ferdinand Laupichler, 24 years old, both residing at Rixdorf, Steinmetzstr. 16
    Source: Civil Registry [Standesamt] Rixdorf [Berlin-Neukölln], No. 477/1894

    Paul Reinhold SCHELSKE
    Fireman, Evangelical
    * Dec. 4, 1886 in Sirakowo, Kreis Rawitsch, Posen
    residing at Rixdorf, Lessingstraße 10/11
    Father: Cigar laborer Ferdinand SCHELSKE
    Mother: Henriette née SCHULZ, both residing at Rixdorf
    Olga Auguste BLUM, Evangelical
    * Aug. 29, 1888 in Neu Steinau, Kreis Thorn
    also residing at Rixdorf, Lessingstr. 10/11
    Father: Laborer Johann BLUM, deceased in Steinau
    Mother: Auguste BLUM née MASSHEIMER, residing at Rixdorf
    oo Sept. 16, 1908 in Rixdorf
    1) Baker Wilhelm Schild, 38 years old
    2) Shoemaker Karl Klein, 38 years old, also residing at Rixdorf, Lessingstraße 10/11
    Source: Civil Registry Rixdorf [later Berlin-Neukölln], No. 754/1908

    Gustav Johann Jakob BLUM
    Laborer, Evangelical
    * Sept. 27, 1868 in Neu Steinau, Kreis Thorn
    residing at Berlin-Neukölln, Prinz-Handjery-Straße 61
    Father: Laborer Johann BLUM, deceased in Neu Steinau
    Mother: Auguste BLUM née MAßHEIMER, residing at Berlin-Neukölln
    Widow Michalina BLUM née GRACZYK
    Laborer, Catholic
    * Sept. 21, 1876 in Gnesen, Posen
    also residing at Berlin-Neukölln, Prinz-Handjery-Str. 61
    Mother: Konstantia née GRACZYK, widow KAUTZ and now widow of the laborer SACKSCHEWSKI, residing at Gnesen
    oo Sept. 23 1916 in Berlin-Neukölln
    1) Coachman Otto Lehmann, 28 years old, residing at Berlin, Ratiborstraße 19
    2) Olga SCHELSKE née BLUM, wife of a fireman, 28 years old, residing at Berlin-Neukölln, Ziethenstraße 6
    Marginal information:
    According to the Landgericht II in Berlin the couple was divorced on November 3, 1920.
    Source: Civil Registry [Standesamt] Berlin-Neukölln I, No. 422/1916

    This information does not help much at the moment, but maybe later when you find out that Auguste Blum née Maßheimer is related to your Karl Gustav.

    Have a nice weekend.


  • Willi,

    Well, I finally got the Polish archives in Torun to reply to me. They are saying they located Carl's birth certificate. They charged me only $6.50 for a copy and I had to wire the money to them via Western Union (what a pain). They don't accept Paypal or credit/debit cards. We shall see what I get...perhaps I will be able to link up with the information you provided!

    Thanks again,


  • HelloJoe,

    I recently found this:

    Henriette Julianna MAßENHEIMER
    * 24 July 1875 at 12 pm in Dorf [village] Richnau
    Father: Einwohner [inhabitant] Carl MAßENHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both Evangelical and residing at Dorf Richnau
    Informant: Father, signs Carl Masheimer

    Source: Civil Registry Office Richnau in Neuhof, Kreis Briesen, No. 60/1875, online at http://www.genealogiawarchiwach.pl ---> Rychnowo [Polish name for Richnau

    Julianna Wilhelmine MASHEIMER
    * 17 April 1877 at 7 am in Dorf Richnau
    Father: Arbeitsmann (workman) Karl MASHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both Evangelical and in Dorf Richnau
    Informant: Father

    Source: see above, No. 35/1877

    Have you got Carl's birth record in the meantime? Please add the new information to the "Einwohnerdatenbank" [Local Inhabitant Database] at http://www.westpreussen.de.

    Greetings across the Big Pond


  • Hello WIlli!

    These are absolutely the sisters of my great grandfather, Carl, born in Richnau in 1882. I am waiting for Archion to publish the records for their parish in order to get the elder Carl's date of birth as well as Eva Stiller's date of birth. This is great stuff! Thank you so much! I am looking at the Polish archives to try to download the records for Henriette Julianna and Julianna Wilhelmine. Still figuring it out how to navigate it, but this is amazing stuff! I sent the information to http://www.westpreussen.de for the databank.

    Joe Grage

  • Hi Joe,

    three more findings:

    Olga Luise Rosalie MASHEIMER
    * 11 April 1879 at 11.00 am in Dorf Richnau
    Father: Einwohner Carl MASHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both Evangelical and residing at Dorf Richnau
    Informant: Father

    Source: Civil Registry Office of Richnau, temporarily in Wangerin, Kreis Briesen, No. 39/1879

    Julianne MASHEIMER, Evangelical
    * 1877 (1 year and 10 months old) in Dorf Richnau
    living in Dorf Richnau
    Father: Einwohner Carl MASHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both living in Dorf Richnau
    + 20 Feb. 1879 at 9 pm in Dorf Richnau
    Informant: Father

    Source: Civil Registry Office of Richnau in Wangerin, Kreis Briesen, No. 11/1879

    So Julianna Wilhelmine died very young.

    Ottilie Wilhelmine Eva MASHEIMER
    * 10.07.1880 at 7 am in Gut Richnau
    Father: Einwohner Carl MASHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both Evangelical and living in Gut Richnau
    Informant: Minna Krüger née STILLER, wife of a joiner, living in Dorf Richnau, Evangelical

    Source: Civil Registry Office Richnau in Wangerin, Kreis Briesen, No. 65/1880

    This Masheimer family is growing, and I think there were more children.



  • Willi,

    Thank you again! It would seem there were more than a few children for sure. Sad about poor little Julianna, but unfortunately it seems pretty common for the time. My 2nd great grandfather on my father's side (the Schleswig-Holsteiners from near Lubeck) had at least one die young as well. I am adding these to my tree and I am trying to see what copies I can grab as well from the Polish archives. I sent an email to info@westpreussen.de, but it got bounced back to me as undeliverable. Do you have a better email address for that site?

    Are you able to read the note in the margin on Julianna's birth record? I attached it for your reference.

    I also located a Gustav Masheimer born in 1905. Maybe Carl's grandson? I can't read much of it (though I am getting better through experience). Would you mind taking a look at it? I placed it in my dropbox account because its too big to attach here.


    [Blocked Image: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cpw0fx4et8yoi0z/hmm.jpg?dl=0

  • Hello Joe,

    the marginal remark says

    "Die eingeklammerte Namensunterschrift ist von dem Anzeigenden irrtümlich falsch geschrieben
    Der Standesbeamte
    [The signature in brackets was written by the informant by error in the wrong way.
    Civil Registry Officer
    signed by Buchholtz]

    Unfortunately the dropbox address shows object not found.

    Maybe you also found your ancestor's birth record:

    Carl Rudolf Hermann MAßHEIMER
    * 20 July 1882 at 6 pm in Richnau
    Father: Inhabitant Carl MAßHEIMER
    Mother: Eva née STILLER, both Evangelical and living in Richnau
    Informant: Julianna STILLER née GEPHAT
    [in my opinion misspelling of GEBHARDT], Evangelical, living in Richnau
    [supposedly Eva's mother]

    Source: Civil Registry Office Richnau in Wangerin, Kreis Briesen, No. 58/1882

    No idea why your email was rebounced. I don't know any other address. You can forward your mail to my address and I will forward it to Herr Wolf hoping that the address works from here.

    Have a nice evening!


  • Willi,

    It's not Carl, but I think it may be his nephew (son of his brother Gustav). I have attached it directly after resizing. If that does not work, it is birth record #19 in 1905 for Richnau on that Polish Archive site. Lots of writing on this one. I believe that he was killed in action in the second world war. I believe this is the same Gustav you mentioned on June 10th of this year...

    Thanks again, my friend!


  • Joe,

    I wonder if there's a Family History Center of the LDS close to you, because in that case you might order films the church registers of Schönau (Kr. Briesen) and look through them there. I've done that for my Polish family, too, and I could take photos from screen. So convenient!

    Church registers from Schönau available on film from the LDS:

    Search for Family History Centers: https://familysearch.org/locations/

  • Danke Simone,

    There is a LDS center about 30 minutes from me at a Mormon church. One day I may have to do just what you said. Archion is not really adding records that fast and there is no timeline to add my family's parish. For now I am exploring the Polish archives for Richnau thanks to Willi. He has found family members that I did not even know existed. Amazing stuff. The reality is that I am pretty much not going to be able to go much further back without going to church records because these relatives will now pre-date the German civil registry laws. I am curious, how did you come up with the name of Schönau? So far from what I can see they should likely be in the church registers of Schönsee in Kr. Briesen. Thanks for your help!

    Joe Grage

  • Hello Joe,

    this is the transcription of the document:

    Nr. 19
    Silberdorf am 15. Februar 1905
    Vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute, der Persönlichkeit
    der Gärtner Karl Masheimer
    wohnhaft in Gut Richnau
    und zeigte an, daß von der
    unverehelichten Arbeiterin
    Henriette Masheimer, seiner
    Tochter, evangelischer Religion,
    wohnhaft bei dem Anzeigenden,
    zu Gut Richnau in seiner Wohnung
    am vierzehnten Februar des Jahres
    tausend neunhundert fünf vormittags
    um zehn Uhr ein Knabe
    geboren worden sei und daß das Kind den Vornamen
    erhalten habe. Der Anzeigende erklärte,
    bei der Geburt des angemeldeten Kindes
    zugegen gewesen zu sein.
    Vorgelesen, genehmigt und unterschrieben
    Carl Masheimer

    Seitlicher Text:

    Nebenstehend 1 Druckwort
    Der Standesbeamte

    Mitteilung zum Geburtsregister
    des Standesamtes Potsdam vom
    16. September 1943.
    Der nebenstehende ist am 8. No=
    vember 1942 um 1730 in Wjasma/
    Östlicher Kriegsschauplatz Leicht-
    Kriegs-Lazarett 2/521 (mot) seinen
    Verwundungen erlegen. (Standes-
    amt Potsdam Nr. 1610/43).
    Großreichenau, den 28. September 1943.
    Der Standesbeamte

    Es wäre nett, wenn das jemand anders übersetzen könnte, mein Englisch reicht dafür nicht aus!
    My english is very poor, I'm not able to translate this.

  • Wow....that was a bit of a scandalous birth in those days. This means that there were two Gustav Masheimers fighting during World War II. One for the US (great uncle), and one for Germany. Its probably a good thing they did not fight on the same front. I know that Russia was a horrible place for German soldiers. At any rate, perhaps this Gustav is going to be who ties me in to the Masheimers you located near Berlin early on. Thanks again Willi. I registered on volksbund to be informed if his remains are ever located. I will now stretch my research to Potsdam and Berlin!

    I also found a World War I casualty listing for Gustav's uncle Gustav born in Richnau....can't read it though. I attached it if anyone is willing to take a quick look.

    Joe Grage

  • I am curious, how did you come up with the name of Schönau?

    Joe, I'm sorry, that was my mistake. I was referring to Schönsee - and the links as well. Films of the protestant church registers are available back to 1820. And visiting the Family History Center is so much cheaper and faster than ordering copies from the Polish archives.