I have been using the site for some time, but I have just joined up to post on the forum. So you can say I'm new
As for the site: a great database for searching relatives! Found some information regarding my case as well- some starting points.
I hope you can help me find relatives of my great grandfather. To be honest I do not know where to start looking. For one thing, this is pretty distant family, and I do not know where they ended up living through the years that passed since they left their little "fatherland" in Kashubia. If they even lived through WW2... I would just like to make contact with their descendants if they are alive- simple curiousity of a family history researcher.
Leon Trowski - my great grandfather - was born in Ręboszewo (Remboschewo), Westpreussen Provinz, Kreis Karthaus. He was the eldest of three: himself, Alexander and Joseph (or also written Josef; born 1892). Leon served in the 1st WW but was wounded. Alexander, as I understand, died on the front (I found him on the Verlustlisten index on your site first as "wounded", then as "wounded and missing" in 1916). Josef served in the military as well. Every able man in the region fought for the Kaiser... I do not have any record from the war concerning him though. Apart from a photo of what we suppose is him (basing on resemblance in appearance with other, later photos) in a military uniform sent from Stralsund (stationing point of the 42nd Infantry Regiment - he has a "42" on the shoulder). But if he was in the 42nd IR - does this not mean he had to be living in Neustettin/Pommern Provinz before WW1...? I think men from the Danzig/Gdańsk region were mainly taken to the Danzig Regiment 128, or to Graudenz/Grudziądz 129th (closest regiments to living place)?
I found Josef in the "Familiendatenbank Belgard-Schivelbein" directory on the site. He got married to Ida Schmidt, in Schivelbein (her home town), in 1919. According to tales passed in the family, they settled in Neustettin (Szczecinek). This info corresponds to what I found: that in 1928 and 1933 he lived in Neustettin, on Ratzebuhrer Strasse 2, and that he was a maschinist (or at least somebody connected with the railway). This is not strange, as his wife's family were also working on the Bahn. This vague information about them living in Neustettin is the last piece of info I have. My grandmother did not mention Josef ever visited them, neither does my aunt recall him visiting after WW2. Basing on the photos we have, we deduced he and Ida had at least four children: two girls (of which one had a name Gertrud) and two boys.
Recently I have found Josef's name on a site http://www.genealogie-web.de/stettin-eisenb.htm As far as I understand (with my poor German), this is a list of railway workers of the Stettin Reichsbahn region from 1944, and I need to pay something to view it in full/with more details..? Either way, if he's on the list, this would mean he was still alive at the end of the war. But what happened afterwards- I don't know... Did they survive the Soviet front (even where I live - Kashubia - which used to be part of Poland before WW2, many people were killed/robbed/raped, because Soviets thought this is the Reich and they can get payback; in former Pommern Provinz they did not have any doubt whatsoever)? Were they killed? Did they have to flee, and then came back to Neustettin/Szczecinek region? Did they escape further into the Reich and stayed there afterards? But if they survived, why didn't they contact the family here after the war? Maybe they tried, but the new Polish communist authorities censored mail from the West, so we did not get any of their letters? Many questions. I hope you can help me at least with some
P.S. If anybody needs some help in researching family history in former Kreis Karthaus, I may be of service.