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 â€˜Heart and
Head,â€™ 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
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
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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