On May 16 and 21, 2001, I visited the State Archive (Archiwum Panstwowe) in Szczecin, Poland to continue searching for my Maass ancestors [click on photo for an enlarged view]. This archive,which is located on the corner of Lotnikow Square and Jagiellonska Street, holds the only known copy of the church register for Regenwalde, Kr. Regenwalde, Pommern. Julius Maass stated on his Petition for Naturalization that he was born in Regenwalde, Pommern, Germany. However, it wasn't clear whether he meant the city of Regenwalde or the county (Kreis) of Regenwalde and the only way to be certain was to travel to Szczecin to see the church books firsthand. Szczecin, formerly known as Stettin, is situated northeast of Berlin on the Oder River.
The Archive had two church registers, one covering the years 1824-1832, and another the years 1849-1864. Unfortunately, the church register for the years 1833 to 1848 was missing – just the period when Julius Maass (my great grandfather) and most of his siblings were born. Knowing that his sister, Johanna (Maass) Lüdtke, was born in 1850, I decided to check the register for 1849-1864 first. Births, marriages and deaths were recorded in two separate sections depending on where the parishioners lived. Those living within the city of Regenwalde were listed in one section, and those living in villages closely surrounding Regenwalde were in another section. I soon discovered that Johanna was born in Ornshagen, a small village about 4 or 5 miles (7-8 km) southwest of Regenwalde. I was elated because for the first time I now knew for certain where the David Maass family lived prior to moving to Hohenschönau. Moreover, I found two of her heretofore unknown siblings, Gottlieb Ludwig Ferdinand, born May 24, 1849 and Eduard Franz Wilhelm, born February 22, 1853. All three were christened in the Regenwalde church and each had three godparents listed. Gottlieb only lived for 4 months and 15 days. He died on October 10, 1849 and was buried on October 13.
The birth records also indicated that at least one other Maass family lived in Ornshagen, Franz and Johanne (Bain) Maass, whose daughter, Maria, was born March 25, 1850. Two moreMaass families lived in Regenwalde , Hermann and Anna Maass who had a son named Ernst (b. Aug. 31, 1862) and Karl and Karoline Maass who had a daughter named Maria (b. April 30, 1856).
I couldn't verify if these Maasses were related but it seems likely since some baptismal sponsors appeared to be members of each others families.
Additional birth dates were found in Confirmation records. Eight Maass children were confirmed between 1850 and 1860, seven from Ornshagen and one from Regenwalde. They were:
|Karl Friedrich Erdm. Maass||5/3/1836||3/24/1850||Ornshagen|
|Karoline (W. F.?) Maass||7/10/1837||9/28/1851||Regenwalde|
|Bernhard (?.) H. Maass||10/13/1837||9/28/1851||Ornshagen|
|Johanne Wilhelmine Karol. Maass||5/1/1838||4/4/1852||Ornshagen|
|Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Maass||2/3/1840||4/9/1854||Ornshagen|
|August Erdm. Eiseh. Maass||8/8/1841||9/30/1855||Ornshagen|
|A. Heinr. Maass||2/23/1842||3/16/1856||Ornshagen|
|Julius Chr. (?.) Maass||7/8/1846||9/23/1860||Ornshagen|
Unfortunately, the listing didn't indicate who their parents were. The birth date and name confirms that Karl was the son of David and Friederike Maass. At least three others, Johanne, Johann, and A. Heinrich, are probably their children as well based on marriage records found in the church register for Hohenschönau (see the records found in the Archive at Greifswald). However, Johanne's third given name is different here than in the marriage record (Karoline vs. Ernstine), so she may belong to another family. It also appears that there were two Julius Maasses born in 1846 and living in Ornshagen. The Julius Christian Maass listed here was born on July 8, not Dec. 5 as my great grandfather was, and furthermore, the David and Friederike Maass family moved to Hohenschönau before 1858, at least two years before the 1860 Confirmation.
Both the 1824-32 and the 1849-64 church registers listed several Maass births, marriages and deaths, but I am unable to connect them with our ancestors without further documentation. Without the missing 1833-48 register and the registers prior to 1824, we may never be able to learn who David and Friedrike's parents were or even the names of all of their children.
-- Gene Maas, July 6, 2001
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