All of my grandparents came from Kreis Regenwalde in Hinter-Pommern. They came from the villages of Natzmersdorf, Neukirchen, Schönwalde and Wurow. These were small farming communities and my ancestors were rural people. My grandfathers father raised many sheep and he always said his barn was better built than any house he had seen in America.
My grandfather was born in Natzmersdorf in 1869 and he was the youngest boy in the family. He joined the Pomeranian cavalry at an early age and served as an officer with the Kürassier-Regiment Königin ( Pomeranian) Nr. 2 stationed at Pasewalk until 1894. This was an elite cavalry group and I have the history plus a full page color picture of his uniform. He said he recieved a medal from Kaiser Wilhelm 11 which he had made into a watch fob and wore all his life. He was proud of his military service and was a supporter of Germany during WW1, although I'm sure he never intended to return.
He said that his duty for the most part was to supervise the transportation of cavalry horses from Pasewalk to Hamburg to be shipped over seas. He would stay in Hamburg and there he had the opportunity to talk with people who were immigrating to America. He said that his opportunities in Pomerania in the future were limited. He would have had the opportunity to go to work for the oldest brother who would inherit the family estate or he could find something else to do. I'm sure the stories of America with free land and starting a new life were appealing to him.
He had a 19 year old girl friend who lived in Schönwalde and they decided to come to America. He applied for, and was granted, a two-year leave of absense from his commanding officer. In May of 1894 the two of them traveled to Bremen and sailed from there to Baltimore MD., USA. They were married the day after the ship docked in Baltimore. They then took a train to Milford NE where he bought a farm.
Those were draught years in Nebraska and after a couple of years and the death of their first born child, he decided he was not a farmer. He sold the farm and bought a home in Lincoln NE where he raised his family. He eventually started a painting contractor business which was successful and which he had all his life.
I was born in the German community in Lincoln and spoke only German as a young boy. My father worked for his father's business. In those years the immigrant Germans tended to live together in their own communities with their own newspapers etc. But in the 1930s and especially during WW11 the German communities began to dispersed and people moved away as they became Americanized.
My father bought a lumber yard in a small town in northern Nebraska in the 1930s. His older brother bought an automobile agency in Long Beach CA. Another brother worked for a lumber company and a sister married a German from Hesse who owned a printing company and they stayed in Lincoln and were successful in raising families there.
America has been good to my family and all of my relatives have been very successful here. Much more so that I think they could have done in Germany. Most of us have gone to major colleges or universities and many of us have graduate degrees and have lived good and productive lives.
We live in several states in America today and our Pomeranian heritage has
been almost forgotten by most...except me
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