Saturday, April 14, 2012

Surname Saturday - Lorenz

As promised, here's my post on the Lorenz family. It will be interesting to see how long this goes, because I don't know a ton about the Lorenz's, but I have discovered some interesting things lately.

I first came into contact with the Lorenz family last year, when I learned that my great-great-grandfather Samuel Joseph married Juliana (Kublick) Lorenz. I later found out Ludwig Joseph (one of Sam's younger brothers) married Seraphine Lorenz, Juliana's daughter from her first marriage to August Lorenz. Kind of an interesting family circle that must have been, huh? Having your wife be your brother's mother-in-law! Between Juliana and Seraphine, I've found the most information on Seraphine. She and Ludwig had one daughter, Adeline, and moved to St. Joseph, Michigan around 1924. Adeline married Herbert Lietz (son of William and Alvena (Maas) Lietz) in 1940. They had four children - Herbert, George, Dean, and Ralph Lietz. The Josephs and Lietz's all lived in the St. Joseph area until Ludwig and Seraphine died, in 1958 and 1956 respectively.

Aside from Seraphine, I've struggled to find any direct evidence of Lorenz family members. In the 1916 census for Manitoba, Ludwig and Seraphine had a young man named Fred Lawerence living with them. He said he immigrated to Canada in 1907 (two years before Seraphine) and was a German from Russia, just as Seraphine was. I've tried to find him in the 1911 census - no luck. Tried to find him in Manitoba vital records - no luck. Interestingly, there was also an August and Ottilie Lawerence (same spelling as Fred) listed two pages before Ludwig's family, who also immigrated to Canada in 1909, the same year as Seraphine. Coincidence?

Part of the problem is the surname - Lorenz can also be spelled Lawrence, Lawerence, Lorenz, Lornz, Laurence, get the idea. Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but in my research so far, I haven't come across a surname that can be spelled so many ways. It makes it really difficult to just look and find stuff on them (which I've more or less been able to do with my other lines).

So I tried something else - looking for more documents on the Lorenz's I already know. And so far, it's working! For example, I found Seraphine's obituary in the St. Joseph Herald Press just a couple weeks ago, and it names two sisters - Mrs. John Rink of Gladstone, Manitoba, and Mrs. Henry Martin of Govan, Saskatchewan. Sadly, true to the style of the day, it doesn't given the women's first names, but at least I know that two sisters existed, who they married, and where they were living in 1956. That was a huge step forward.

Knowing this, I went back to the Manitoba vital records, and found Henry Martin! He was listed as Heinrich Martin, and he married Auguste Lorenz on 4 June 1910. I sent away for that marriage record a couple weeks ago. It still hasn't come yet, but I fully expect it to say that Auguste's parents were August Lorenz and Juliana Kublick.

But Henry/Heinrich Martin wasn't done paying dividends yet. Some time ago, I'd written to the Lutheran Church of the Cross up in Manitoba, asking them if they had any records on the Lorenz's. They sent me a death register entry for Emilie Kletke (a possible relative of Ottilie (Kletke) Lorenz); a page from the member list (which named an August Lorenz, as well as a Michael Lorenz and a Wm. Lorenz, probably Wilhelm, as he also attended the Christ Lutheran Church); and a baptism record for August and Ottilie's son Gustav. Here's where the payoff was - Heinrich Martin was one of Gustav's godparents! It looks like this August Lorenz may be a relative of Juliana, Auguste, and Seraphine after all.

To sum up - Juliana and August Lorenz (I'm sticking with that spelling for simplicity's sake) had at least three daughters - Seraphine, Auguste, and the one who married John Rink. They may also be the parents of August Lorenz who married Ottilie Kletke, though I'll have to send for that marriage record as well to be sure. I can't help but think that the other Lorenz's who appear in the church records - Fred, Michael, Edward, Adolph, Wilhelm, Mathilde, and Theodor - might be related too. It's taken me a year just to connect Juliana, Seraphine, and Auguste. Hopefully the rest of the clan will start coming together soon.


Unknown said...

The elusive Mrs. Rink has been located. She is Florentine (AKA Livertina) Lorenz and she was in Manitoba the rest of her life. Thanks for the clue!

Patricia Nichols said...

Hi Brandt! I got a photo of the Ludwig Joseph gravestone in Benton Harbor, MI. I requested one thru find-a-grave so it is there, now, if you want it.

ironhide781 said...

That would be great! Thank you!