I just finished reading Ruta Sepetys’ book Salt to the Sea. It’s a great young adult novel with a unique viewpoint about World War II. As an American, I read all kinds of information about the war from the American perspective. This book, however, covered the war from the perspective of ethnic groups from the Baltic region- a Prussian, a Lithuanian, and a Pole pretending to be a Latvian. I heard a side of the story I’ve never heard before and it was a nice change of pace and very enlightening. (Yes- you can learn from a fiction book!) After finishing this book, I looked at my calendar to see which ancestors have birthdays or death date anniversaries coming up. I’ve been itching to write and haven’t gotten to do it much in the last few months. What a nice surprise to find that I had my own Prussian with a death date anniversary coming up this week. I couldn’t wait to do a little extra research about our Prussian and then present you with a new story. So here she is! Our very own Prussian, Dorothea SCHLENTER BRUDERICK.
Wednesday marks the 1916 death date anniversary of Dorothea SCHLENTER BRUDERICK. Dorothea is my husband’s maternal 3rd great grandmother through his grandma, Esther (whom I wrote about here), Esther’s mother Jennie (you can find a photo of Jennie at the bottom of this post), and Jennie’s mother Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the daughter of Dorothea. Light a candle in remembrance for her and sit down for a little storytime. I don’t know much about Dorothea, who went by Dora in her later years, but I’ll tell you what I know.
Dora was born Dorothea SCHLENTER (possibly spelled Schlender, if it’s spelled with the traditional German spelling) on 29 September 1838 in West Prussia. She would later list Germany as her birthplace but I believe it really was Prussia. She married Charles BRUDERICK (who later went by Carl or Karl) in 1871 possibly in West Prussia. It’s possible that SCHLENDER is a first married name for Dorothea. I’ve found evidence that her actual maiden name may be ARTMANN but I don’t have enough evidence to really prove that. She was, however, older when she and Karl married and only one of the children that I’ve located as belonging to Karl and Dora were born after 1871. So it’s possible that both Dora and Karl were married previous to marrying each other and that my genealogy may be off as to whether one or both of these people (Dora and Karl) are the true lineage of the family. If I’ve gotten in wrong and you can enlighten us about the true lineage, please do so!
The children I know to have been born to either Dora or Karl or both of them include Elisabeth Marie (Bart’s Uncle Bob has her in his tree as M. Elizabeth; she is alternately known as Mary or Lizzie on various documents), Peter August who went by August, Jacob Frank who went by Frank, and Henry Fredrick (Bart’s Uncle Bob has him listed in his family tree as Heinrich F. Carl). Henry was the only one of the children born in America. All the other children were born in West Prussia. To further add mystery to this family, the 1900 census records that Dora was the mother to 5 children and all 5 were living at that time. In the 1910 census, she was recorded as having 4 children and all 4 were living. I have only been able to account for 4 children.
Before Henry was born, and just 5 years after they married, Dora and Karl set sail for America. They came over on the steamship Cumberland. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find any information about the Cumberland that I feel is credible enough pass on to you. The family would have traveled about 9 hours (on today’s modes of transportation) from West Prussia to Hamburg, Germany to begin their journey. From Hamburg, they traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom and then on to New York in the United States. Those traveling included Karl (listed as Carl on the passenger list), Dorothea, Elisabeth, August, and Frank. The passenger list shows that Dorothea was 10 years older than Karl. The children ranged in age from 4-10 years old on that voyage. From what I’ve read, the voyage would have taken about a week or so. The family said their home was in Tiegenhof, West Prussia. Below is a wonderful vintage postcard scene of Tiegenhof.
Photo located at http://static3.akpool.de/images/cards/7/70008.jpg
According to Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, Tiegenhof is now known as Gdansk, Poland and lies very near the Baltic Sea. However, at the time the BRUDERICK family lived there, it was Tiegenhof, West Prussia. I’m not going to go into the history of West Prussia since the Baltic region’s geography/history is (to me) complicated. Here is a map to show you how close Tiegenhof was to the sea:
This map was found at Blogspot.com. You can find Gdansk inside the blue circle at the edge of the Baltic Sea.
I’m not sure how the family came from New York to Michigan but I’ve heard family stories that my husband’s German ancestors followed a waterway from the East coast into the Great Lakes to arrive in Michigan. I have not found any information that Karl or Dora naturalized once they arrived in America. If you know differently, please share with everyone.
I could only find two newspaper accounts that mentioned the BRUDERICK family. Both were accounts of members of the family visiting other cities.
“Henry and Charles Bruderick of Forestville called in the city [Sandusky] Monday on business.” Found at newspapers.com.
“Charles Bremer, Jr., and Henry Bruderick of Minden City were callers here [Carsonville] this week.” Found at newspapers.com
While these two articles don’t seem like much, it is still pretty amazing to know that on Monday, 16 October 1911, Dorothea’s husband and son went to Sandusky from their home town of Forestville. We know where they lived on that day and we know something specific they did on that date. Pretty amazing that over 100 years later we can say we know what Charles BRUDERICK did 100+ years ago on a specific day. (Or maybe I’m the only one who thinks so!) We also know that a couple of years later, their hometown is listed as Minden City (did they move or did a village incorporate/grow or did people just start calling an area by a different name?) and that the week of 6 November 1913, Henry (Dora’s son) went to a place called Carsonville. Why did they go? What did they purchase while in town and how much did it cost? Who did they visit? Enquiring minds want to know! Unfortunately, I can only get you so far and this is the end of the line for knowing what they did.
I have found SCHLENTER/SCHLINTER families in the area and also ARTMANN/ARTMAN families in the area of Minden City and Delaware Township in Sanilac County, Michigan. I have not been able to connect any of the families to Bart’s family though.
Dorothea BRUDERICK passed away on 28 June 1916 and is buried in Saint John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Minden City, Sanilac County, Michigan. I don’t have a photo of her gravestone. I believe this is her death certificate:
Dora’s official cause of death was Apoplexy (stroke). This death certificate lists her father as Herman ARTMANN and the name of her mother was unknown. This information was given by Henry BRUDERICK.
I’m going to keep plugging away at the Herman ARTMANN angle and see if I can find anything. I’ll also keep looking at these other ARTMANN and SCHLENTER families in the Minden City area to see if I can connect them to each other or to Bart’s family. I’d love for you to join me in the search. Each person and each story has value. It’s up to us to find the value and preserve it. Thanks for showing up for “storytime” today. I’ve enjoyed telling you about Dorothea. Hopefully, we’ll hear about her again someday soon with some new information.
Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives
P.S.- To the older woman who did “extensive research” on this family and refused to share any information with me when I asked: It’s okay. We all make mistakes. I’m sharing anyway. And I hope you find this one day and it contains new information that you didn’t know about. Feel free to take the information and add it to your stash. Sincerely, Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog