Chapter     4

                    Ludwig Friedrichs and the Rosenthal Family

The youngest son of Adolph Heinrich, my great grandfather Ludwig Friedrichs (8) was sent by his
brothers to the
city of Greifswald on the mainland, easily reached by boat sailing south from the
town of Putbus. In Greifswald Ludwig was to be a merchant, selling products that came mainly
from the Güter of his brothers or buying some that were needed there. Ludwig got married and had
four children. Before discussing what happened to him and his family I shall tell the story of his
wife’s family.

The name of Ludwig Friedrichs' wife was
Wilhelmine Rosenthal (9) always called "Minna". She
was the daughter of a prosperous merchant in Greifswald, Carl (18). whose father, Johann Christian
(36) was born in Halberstadt, a small city north of the Harz Mountains. The latter"s father, August
(72) was a brewer and farmer.

The name Rosenthal, also spelled Rosendahl, is common in that area; it can be traced back to the
year 1619.

I may mention, as a curiosity, that a descendent of Minna"s brother, a physician in Berlin, was
afraid of losing his patients after 1933. Therefore he changed the name Rosenthal to the last name
of his grandmother, Schlutius.

The Jewish name Rosenthal has actually quite a different origin.

Before telling the story of the family of the mother of Minna's father, which is somewhat long, I
shall say something about the family of her own mother, Henriette Heller (19). Henriette's father,
Carl Friedrich Heller (38) and her grandfather, Joachim Heller (76) were Lutheran ministers in small
towns on the mainland south of Rügen. (This area, called Vorpommern in German and Hither
Pomerania in English, will be referred to as Westpomerania.) Carl Friedrich Heller's wife was
Elisabeth Marie Schulz, and Joachim's wife was Marie Margarethe Schulze.

The name Schul(t)s(e), which occurs in four different spellings, means "Village Mayor" It is the
most frequent name occurring independently among those of my ancestors, I know about, except
for names of noblemen it occurs six times independently.  This name is also one of the three most
common German last names: Muller, Schulse, and Schmidt. The names Muller and Schmidt do not
at all occur among those of my known ancestors;

Click here for oldest picture of Schulz Ancestor 1600's -MNF

In a book about the Lutheran ministers in West Pomerania, Carl Friedrich Heller is described as a
man of ‘Heart and Head,’ who was tried through severe family suffering and never
succumbed. This suffering refers to the fact that his wife, probably after the birth of her daughter.
Henriette, became deaf and blind. She died when the daughter was three years old. Pastor Heller
married again and his wife seems to have been a good stepmother.

Minna's Father, Carl Abraham Christian Rosenthal (18), and Grandfather, Johann Christian
Rosenthal (36) were merchants in Greifswald, who held high positions in the city government.
Apparently, they were importers, importing in particular salt. Outside of the city boundaries of
Greifswald, there is an area that even today is called "˜The Rosenthal".  It was apparently a salt flat,
also referred to as a "saline"

The wife of Johann Christian Rosenthal was Marie Dommes (37), the daughter of Moritz Christian
Dommes (74). Moritz Dommes was the son of a minister in a small town near Hannover, who
belonged to a family which apparently was of some importance in, and near, Hannover. There is a
relationship between the branch of the Dommes family and that of the great mathematician
Bernhard Riemann; but I am connected with another branch. Hence there is no common ancestry

The wife of Moritz Dommes (74) was Anna Trendelenburg (75), daughter of Caspar Trendelenburg
(150), a merchant in Greifswald, whose family came originally from Lübeck. Caspar also had high
positions in the city government. One day he was called to appear before the City Council, There he
was accused of having done something improper. Hearing this he collapsed and died. He was 41
years old. His widow, Anna Lemmius (151), had a lot to cope with.

A year after this sudden death her home and the warehouse burnt down. Still several years later  the
widow and the husband of her daughter, Moritz Dommes, started a successful spice trade; they also
owned the salt flat temporarily.

The wife of Caspar Trendelenburg, Anna Lemmius (151), was the daughter of Georg Christoph
Lemmius (302), in Greifswald and Stralsund.He was a descendent of successively, a minister, a city
judge, and two more ministers. The earliest one, Enoch Lemmius, a pastor in the small city of
Welsen, north of Braunschweig, was the first one to give a Lutheran sermon there, sometimes in
the 16th century.

The wife of Georg Christoph Lemmius, Agnis Battus (303), was the daughter of Abraham Battus
(606), who was a professor of theology, logic, and metaphysics at the University of Greifswald.  
His father, Bartholoiuaeus Battus (1212) was also a professor of theology and logic there. He was
born in Hamburg as the son of a merchant, Johannes Battus, who had come from Antwerp. His
father, Bartholomaeus, in turn, was a learned man, a student of Martin Luther, who lived in Aelst in
Flanders. He was expelled under the Spanish occupation.

The ancestry of Agnis Battus on her mother's and grandmother's side in Greifswald can be traced
back to the 13th century.

Click here to go to Rosenthal-Dommes genealogy chart

Having given an account of the ancestry of Minna's father, Carl Rosenthal, I now want to say
something about her father's and her own brother and sisters and their descendants.

One sister of Carl Rosenthal (18), Caroline, married to Friedrich Waestenberg, had many, mostly
prominent, descendents, of whom detailed records exist; but there is no personal relationship. A
brother, Friedrich Christian Rosenthal, was a professor of anatomy at the university in Greifswald
and later in Berlin. He was not married. About a sister, Wilhelmine Margarethe Rosenthal, the
following story is told.

In 1810, when Napoleon's army had occupied Prussia and Vorpommern, then still belonging to
Sweden, Wilhelmine Margarethe, then 32 years old, had taken care of a wounded French officer at
a hospital in Greifswald. They got engaged and agreed that he should go back to France, settle his
affairs and return to Greifswald in a year to get married. He did not appear at the arranged date; she
waited. All this time a local merchant, Lorenz Luhde, urged her to give up waiting and marry him.
Finally, she did. When they left the church, there was the French officer -- so the legend says.

The Luhde couple had no children. He died at the age of 101 (still reading the newspaper without
glasses) and she a few years later, 90 years old. At their golden wedding the Queen of Prussia gave
them a Bible with her inscription. I still have this Bible. (David Snyder has this bible-MNF)

Minna Friedrichs (9), the daughter of Carl Rosenthal (18) had several brothers. One of them,
Ferdinand, was the grandfather of the physician, who changed his name under Hitler. Another
brother, Wilhelm, emigrated to St. Louis in America (1841). A granddaughter of his, and her
husband with the name Morisse, visited us in Germany; but I failed to trace these relatives after we
had come to America.

Still another brother of Minna, the oldest, Johann Carl Rosenthal, was a merchant in Greifewald, as
most of his ancestors had been. Johann Carl had three sons, who somehow disappeared, and three
unmarried daughters.

One of these daughters, Marie, was born in 1848, the year of the revolution in Prussia; she was
baptized Maria Victoria Constitutionella. My grandfather, her cousin, addressed her always with
those three names when he wrote her. I knew her and her older sister Clara quite well, when I was
a student in Greifswald in 1920. Clara told me that her father hated being a merchant; he would
have liked to go to the university and study history. Apparently, he was not successful as a
merchant. My great-grandfather Ludwig was perhaps also not too successful. Aunt Clara indicated
that there had been some financial problems between Ludwig and Johann Carl. This may partly
have been due to some competition between these two and other cousins who apparently were in
the same business. I have a tiny newspaper clipping from 1838, in which Ludwig advertises that he
desires to buy certain seeds and right above this his brother-in-law Wilhelm advertises that he wants
to buy the same kind of seeds.

Aunt Clara had been a governess in Sweden for many years and loved it. One day, when she was
high up beyond the Arctic Circle, a Lapp, who, I suppose, owned many reindeer, asked her to
marry him. He could not understand that she refused. During my semester in Greifswald she gave
me Swedish lessons with some success. This knowledge came rather handy to me in 1930, when I
was somewhat stranded in a small hotel high up in Finland. Since then, I have forgotten nearly all
my knowledge of Swedish.

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