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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Danish and German Records


Blackblue

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Hi,

I have done the Australian/British side and am in the process of looking into relatives who may have fought for German side.

I wondered if someone could point me in the right direction to research the families of the following:

Jacob Abel BERTHELSEN born 28 March 1815 Thisted, Horsem, Denmark.

and

Marie Wilhelmina Freiderich TESCH born 28 November 1858 Flied, Ukermark, Prussia.

Married in Australia May 1875.

Father of Marie - Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 31 October 1832 Gunterberg, Prussia father also Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 1800 Gunterberg.

Herman Karl Franz ZELLE born born1837 Magdeburgh, Prussia.

and Wilhelmina Elizabeth KOEHNKE born 7 November 1845 Oesburgh, Holstein.

Married in Australia April 1869.

Is there a database and/or records of Prussia soldiers that I can examine for possible candidates and trace back, or is it simpler to ID the family through Genealogy and then try and ascertain if they served?

Rgds

Tim D

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Hi Tim, unfortunately the Prussian records were lost during an air raid over Berlin early 1945. All that's left are the documents held by the Krankenbuchlager in Berlin, telling when & where wounded soldiers were treated. Sadly those records are not open for investigation anymore since 2007 (they will be in the future, unclear when).

You can always try and see if the old hometowns of your German ancestors can help you out. If their archives survived WW2 they probably still have the so called Stammrollen, documents showing when & where your ancestors enlisted (if they ever did).

Good luck!

Roel

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Hi,

I have done the Australian/British side and am in the process of looking into relatives who may have fought for German side.

Jacob Abel BERTHELSEN born 28 March 2915 Thisted, Horsem, Denmark

Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 31 October 1832 Gunterberg, Prussia

Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 1800 Gunterberg.

Herman Karl Franz ZELLE born born 1837 Magdeburgh, Prussia.

Rgds

Tim D

Hi Tim,

In reviewing the list above I think these fellows are either too young (Jacob was born in 1915?) or far too old to have served. Do you have any identified relatives with these surnames who were born in the late 1880s-1890s? That is the right age range for potential soldiers for this conflict, generally speaking.

I had a peek at the German War Graves website and looked up the surnames above, and found no one named Berthelsen who died in this war on the site, and a few people named Tesch, but without more information, it is hard to say if any are your relations. I found a few people named Zelle but none with a listed place of birth were from Magdeburg.

I recently contacted the Military Archive at Freiburg to inquire about two people I knew had served and provided specific details, and they did check the medical records as a part of my request. I would not advise going that route until you have some specific candidates in mind and can provide full DOBs place of birth and other essential demographic information.

Good luck!

-Daniel

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Hi guys,

Thanks very much for the advice.

There was a family rumour that relatives served for the other side in WW1. I have no idea which family though and wondered if there was anyway of back tracking to see if there may be any family links of men known to have served. Most of the relatives I have listed here emigrated in the mid 1800s....so it would probably be a couple of generations down the line of the families who remained in Prussia.

Does anyone have any advice on family history research in Germany and Denmark? I will have to look at brothers of Jacob Berthelsen, Gottfried Tesch and Herman Zelle and work towards WW1 from there.

Rgds

Tim

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Hi Tim,

I would start by contacting the archve nearest where your relatives lived and send them an email to get the ball rolling. Don't worry if you are not fluent in German. I have used Google translate and have had great success. I would just write the letter, translate it to German but translate it back to English to see if it still makes sense. You may have to tweak your choice of words and phrases a bit to get it readable. The more details you can provide them up front, the better your chances of success.

Be minduful you will likely not get a prompt response, but if after a month there is no word, give it another go. Also, look in other parts of Google for clues, including News archives and Google Books

Good luck!

Daniel

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  • 8 months later...
Guest Trevor Berthelsen

Hi Tim,

I had contact with you a few years back. I have since found about 100 of my great grandfather Jacob Abel Berthelsen's family in Denmark. If you wish to have this information you can email me at trevorberthelsen@hotmail.com.

Regards

Trevor

Hi,

I have done the Australian/British side and am in the process of looking into relatives who may have fought for German side.

I wondered if someone could point me in the right direction to research the families of the following:

Jacob Abel BERTHELSEN born 28 March 1815 Thisted, Horsem, Denmark.

and

Marie Wilhelmina Freiderich TESCH born 28 November 1858 Flied, Ukermark, Prussia.

Married in Australia May 1875.

Father of Marie - Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 31 October 1832 Gunterberg, Prussia father also Gottfried Ludwig TESCH born 1800 Gunterberg.

Herman Karl Franz ZELLE born born1837 Magdeburgh, Prussia.

and Wilhelmina Elizabeth KOEHNKE born 7 November 1845 Oesburgh, Holstein.

Married in Australia April 1869.

Is there a database and/or records of Prussia soldiers that I can examine for possible candidates and trace back, or is it simpler to ID the family through Genealogy and then try and ascertain if they served?

Rgds

Tim D

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