This week's ancestor is my earliest known Joseph ancestor, Christian Joseph (or Krystyan Jozef, as it's written in the records). He is my 4th-great-grandfather on my paternal grandpa's mother's side. I don't know much about him yet, as I don't have many records of him. What I do know is that he was born about 1815, probably in Poland, and was married to Euphrosina Freder before 1836. They were the parents of Ludwig Heinrich Joseph, who was born in 1837. I know Christian was alive in 1859, as he is mentioned in Ludwig's marriage record that year, which also says that Christian's wife Euphrosina had already died. I don't have any further records on him, so I don't know when or where he died, or if he moved with Ludwig's family to Volhynia in the 1860s.
While searching for records of Ludwig's family in Poland, I found some records that I believe may be him. There are two birth records for sons of Krystyan Jozepp and Karolina Arendt, one for Henryk (Heinrich) Jozepp in 1855, and one for Wilhelm Jozepp in 1858. If the folks in these records are indeed my family, then it looks like Christian remarried after Euphrosina's death to Karolina Arendt. These sons would have been about 20 years younger than Ludwig, putting Christian in his early-mid forties at the time of their births. That's not impossible, especially if his second wife was younger than him. The timing fits (both sons born just a couple years before Ludwig's wedding, when I have definite confirmation that Euphrosina had died), the location is right, and the last name is close enough to possibly be a match. But the real kicker was the connection to the Arendt family. There were Arendt witnesses both at Ludwig's birth and wedding, and two of Ludwig's four godparents were Arendts. I'd really like to get back into the records and search for more records, and explore the Joseph-Arendt connection.
So to sum up, here's what I have on Christian Joseph so far. Events from documents known to be about my ancestor are in bold:
|1811||Krystyan Josepp birth|
|1815||Christian Joseph birth|
|1816||Karolina Arndt birth|
|9/3/1837||Ludwig Heinrich Joseph birth|
|8/28/1855||Henryk Jozepp birth|
|1/19/1858||Wilhelm Jozepp birth|
|1859||Euphrozina Freder - death before 1859|
|9/4/1861||Michael Joseph birth (son of Ludwig, Karolina Jozef listed as godparent)|
It's funny to think that just a few years ago, My Joseph line was the one I knew the least about, not having any idea where they came from, except from my great-grandmother's death certificate, which incorrectly stated she'd been born in Berlin. Now I've gone back to the early 1800s, with the possibility of going back even further. Just goes to show you, even the sturdiest brick walls can be knocked down with time, perseverance, and a little luck.