Wallschlaeger German Documents

Apparently before being allowed to leave Prussia, A. Heinrich Wallschlaeger Sr. and his family obtained an official document allowing them to leave. In addition, they brought papers testifying as to when and where they were born and baptized. The birht/baptism certificates are all handwritten on a single large piece of paper, with two wax seals. This document is in my possiession. Although the names and dates are quite easy to read, the rest of the text is written in a script that is much more difficult to decipher. Some of the spellings and declensions are different from current standards. I assume this is just a matter of the evolution of German.

The paper was folded up; on the outer fold someone wrote in pencil: "Taufschein    R Paß". "Taufschein" means baptism certificate(s), and "Paß" (or "Pass") can mean "passport".

The official inscriptions are on the right half of one side and the left half of the other (i.e., back to back). On the first side there is a very clear stamp which says "Ein Halber Thaler    15 Gr."; this must have been the fee for the document (a half thaler or 15 groschen, since there were 30 groschen to the thaler; very roughly equivalent to a US half dollar).

What follows is my transcription of A. Heinrich Wallschlaeger Sr.'s baptism certificate.


Dem Schneider Ernst Friedrich Wallschläger wurde in Langendorf von siener Ehefrau Friedericke geb. Wolfgram am neunundzwanzig (29) März ein tausend acht hundert und achtzehn (1818) ein Sohn geboren, welcher am fünften (5) April y[?]. a. die heilige Tauf empfing und August Heinrich Ferdinand genannt wurde.

Solcher wird auf Grund hiesigen Taufregister hindurch amtlich bezeugt.

Baumgarten, 22 Februar 1851

Ebert, Pastor

In order for this translation to make sense, the word-ordering had to be changed considerably:

Baptism certificate

A son was born in Langendorf, on twenty-nine (29) March one thousand eight hundred eighteen (1818), to the tailor Ernst Friedrich Wallschläger and his wife, Friedericke nee Wolfgram, who received holy baptism and was named August Heinrich Ferdinand on the fifth (5) of April of the same year.

This has been officially testified throughout on the basis of the local baptism register.

Baumgarten, 22 Februrary 1851

Ebert, pastor

The wax seal at the bottom of the page is partially missing, but what is there says: "KIRCHES -?-?- BAUMGARTEN SCHEIN" ("Church - Baumgarten Certificate") around the outside, with an image, possibly of a church, in the middle. Baumgarten is a town near Langendorf, which had the local civil registry office, and may be where the Wallschlägers attended church.

This is my transcription of the document certifying C. Caroline Bartel's birth and baptism in Coelpin, Pomerania. It appears on the top of the backside of the paper.

Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie Bartel, ehel[ich] Tochter des Einwohners u[nd] Brenners Johann Friedrich Bartel u[nd] der Frau Hanna Caroline Wilhelmine Kienast war geboren zu Coelpin am vierten (4) April (1825) Achtzehnhundertfünfundzwanzig; getauft am vierzehnten desselben Monats.

Dies wird hindurch auf den Grund des hiesigen Kirchenbuches amtlich bescheinigt.

Coelpin den 5ten Marz 1851


This certificate does not have a wax seal, but instead an ink stamp saying "SIEGEL DER PAROCHE COELPIN" ("Seal of the Coelpin Parish"). I am not entirely certain of my transcription of the first letter or two of "Brenners", but I cannot come up with any plausible alternative. "Brenner" means literally "burner". As a profession, one reference translates it as "distiller"; another also adds "smith" or "stoker" as possible meanings. "Einwohners" ("inhabitant" or "resident") indicates that he lived in the village, rather than in the nearby countryside.

This is a fairly literal translation:

Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie Bartel, legitimate daughter of the resident and distiller Johann Friedrich Bartel and his wife Hanna Caroline Wilhelmine Kienast was born in Coelpin on the fourth (4) April (1825) eighteen-hundred-twenty-five; baptized on the fourteenth of the same month.

This is officially certified throughout on the basis of the local church book.

Coelpin the 5th of March 1851


Written beneath this is a third certificate concerning their two daughters:

Dem Schäferknechte August Heinrich Ferdinand Wallschläger im Schwirsen von seiner Ehefrau Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie Bartel am sechsten (6.) Mai ein Tausend acht Hundert neunund vierzig ein Tochter geboren, die desselbigen Tages in der heilige Taufe die Namen Johanne Emilie Auguste empfing.

Dem genennten Ehepaare schenkte der Herr ein zweiten Tochterlein, das zu Schwirsen geboren ward am fünf und zwanzigsten (25.) Januar ein Tausend acht Hundert einundfünfizg (1851.) und in der heilige Taufe am neunten (9.) Februar e. a. [eodem anno] die Namen Wilhelmine Albertine Henriette empfing.

Solches wird hiermit aus dem Kirchenbuche der evangelische lutherischen Gemeinde Schwirsen amtlich bescheinigt.

Gross-Justin der 20. März 1851
C. Weicker, Pastor

Beneath this is another wax seal, in somewhat better condition. The edge was partially omitted, but what is present appears to say "LUTH GEMEINDE GROSS JUSTIN" (presumably, "Lutheran congregation Gross Justin).

This translation again required some rephrasing:

To the shepherd August Heinrich Ferdinand Wallschläger and his wife Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie Bartel was born a daughter on the sixth (6) of May, one-thousand eight-hundred forty-nine (1849) in Schwirsen; and she received holy baptism the same day and was named Johanne Emilie Auguste.

The Lord gave the same couple a second baby daughter on the twenty-fifth (25) of January, one-thousand eight-hundred fifty-one (1851), who received holy baptism on the ninth (9) of February of the same year, and was named Wilhelmine Albertine Henriette.

Such was officially certified herewith from the churchbook of the evangelical Lutheran congregation.

Gross-Justin, the 20th March 1851
C. Weicker, pastor

The fact that August Wallschlaeger is described as a "Schäferknechte" indicates he was a farm-laborer. I assume that means he was tending someone else's flock, not his own.

The final document actually grants the Wallschlaeger family permission to emigrate to America. This also has a half-thaler (15 Groschen) stamp.

Die unterzeichnete königliche Regierung bescheinigt hierdurch daß dem Schäferknechte August Heinrich Ferdinand Wallschlaeger aus Schwirsen, Camminer Kreises, auf sein Gesuchen und Behufs seiner Auswanderung nach America nebst seiner Ehefrau Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie geboren Bartel und folgenden unter väterlichen Gewalt stehenden Kindern:

1, Johanne Emilie Auguste, ein Jahr 10 Monat alt,

2, Wilhelmine Albertine Henriette, 7 Wochen alt,

die Entlassung aus dem preußischen Unterthanen Verbande bewilligt worden ist.

Diese Entlassung Urkunde bewirkt jedoch nur für die ausdrücklich darin genannten Personen mit dem zeitpunkte der Aushändigung den verlust der Eigenschaft als preußischen Unterthan.

Stettin den 11ten April 1851.

Königliche Regierung Abtheilung des Innere [signed] Schwelt[?]

Entlassungs Urkunde I No. 397/4

Sempe[?] 15 Sai I No. 129/4

The lower part of the document in embossed with the king's seal: the Hohenzollern coat of arms encircled by a Latin inscription, much of which is too faint to read.

The document translates as:

The undersigned royal government [official] certifies hereby that the shepherd-farmhand August Heinrich Ferdinand Wallschlaeger from Schwirsen, Camminer district, upon his request and for his emigration to America together with his wife Charlotte Caroline Josephine Emilie born Bartel and the following children under his paternal authority: 1. Johanne Emilie Augusts, one year, 10 month old, 2. Wilhelmine Albertine Henriette, 7 weeks old, is granted release from being a subject of Prussia.

This release document, however, only applies to those persons expressly named herein, and their Prussian citizenship is lost at the moment of its delivery.

Stettin, the 11th April 1851.

Royal goverment, division of Interior [signed] Schwelt[?]

Release document I No. 397/4

Sempe[?] 15 Sai I No. 129/4

The document was issued in Stettin, which was the location of the government offices for that region of Pomerania. Interestingly, Charlotte Caroline's maiden name looks like "Bartelt" on this document.

John Bartelt 2006-01-30