The wife of Adolph Heinrich Friedrichs (16), Harma Christine Arnd (17) was the daughter of Hinrich Arnd (34), whose father, Ludwig (68) and grandfather Andreas Arnd (136) were shepherds and serfs of the Count of Putbus. The last name of Ludwig Arnd's wife was Subklev. This is one of the two purely slavonic names among those of my ancestors.
The story is told in the Arnd family that the first member of this family was the son of a Swedish corporal who had married into a farmer’s family on Rügen. This story just cannot be true, After all, Andreas Arnd was a serf and a shepherd, not a farmer. Also, many people with the name Arnd lived near Putbus at that time. It is inconceivable that this name should have been introduced by a Swedish corporal. The true story is more likely that the first Arnd was the illegitimate son of a Swedish soldier. Illegitimacies of course happened frequently everywhere and in particular in an area through which soldiers passed all the time in the various wars between Sweden and countries on the mainland. Illegitimacies are even explicitly recorded to have occurred in the Arnd family, in fact, three times.
Hanna Christine’s father, Hinrich Arnd, was born a serf. He started out as a shepherd; later on he had various other jobs. At one stage, probably after 1763, he was made a free man by the Count of Putbus, who evidently had recognized his great abilities. Eventually, he became Pächter of a Gut, Posewald.
Hinrich’s younger brother, Ludwig Nicolaus, was also freed and also became a Pächter. He changed the spelling “Arnd” to “Arndt”.
One of the sons of Ludwig Nicolaus Arndt, Ernst Moritz, played a considerable role in Prussian history. He studied at the University in Greifswald, a small city on the mainland, straight south of Putbus and later went on to become a professor of philosophy there. He wrote a paper about serfdom in this part of Germany, which played a decisive role in the abolition of serfdom in Prussia in 1807. During and after the Napoleonic Wars, Arndt led a restless life; eventually he was associated with the Freiherr vom Stein, who tried to liberalize the state of Prussia. When a new university was founded in Bonn, Arndt was made a professor of history there (1818).
Arndt’s political attitude was democratic as well as nationalistic. These two attitudes, originating in the French Revolution, were essentially the same at that time. In later years Arndt was mainly concerned with the unification of the various German states.
After reaction had set in, in 1820, Arndt was forbidden to teach for 20 years.
Arndt wrote profusely. Among his writings are poems, fairy tales, travel stories, and also an autobiography.
In one of his many published letters, Arndt also speaks about his family. In particular he writes about his cousin Henna Christine Friedrichs in glowing terms “the good old Friedrichs, who was four or five years older than myself, took an early liking to me... As a young woman she was a very pretty, friendly and orderly person. She had given me many good snacks and had done me as a youth many good favors. Later on, she had gone through her not always thornless path valiantly and virtuously.” The last remark may refer to her oldest son Carl’s ruining his Gut, to the suicide of her son Adolph, and the death of her son Heinrich.
My grandfather, Carl Friedrichs (4) told me that he had seen his grandmother, Hanna Christine, on a visit to Silvits, when he was a child. He remembered that she was bedridden, but could pull herself up by a towel hanging down from the ceiling.