The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line:
The Descendants of Albert Bohnstedt
by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
(the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)
Part of Bohnstedt Gymnasium (Bohnstedt High School) in Luckau, named for Professor Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt
The ancestor of this particular line, Albert Bohnstedt, was born in 1804, Nächst-Neuendorf near Zossen. Albert was married in 1832 in Berlin to Maria Schmidt. Four years later he and Maria started their family in Eilenburg. They had at least eleven children during a nineteen year period, from 1836 to 1855. According to family records, Albert was the owner or manager of the Buchwäldchen Estate. I actually found two such estates, but thanks to some assistance from Mr. Andreas Hein in Germany, we were able to determine which one was the correct one (pictured below).
The Buchwäldchen Estate, once owned or managed by one of the Bohnstedt family, most likely Albert Bohnstedt.
Max was born in 1836 in Eilenburg, but the next six children were born in Bitterfeld; Anna (1838), Alexander Reinhold (1839), Friedrich Johannes (1841), Ida (circa 1842), Martha (circa 1845) and Max (1846).
It was sometime after Max was born that Albert was appointed to the position of Royal Economic Commissioner in Bitterfeld. It may also have been at this time that he acquired the Buchwäldchen Noble-Estate, because the remainder of Albert and Maria's children were born at the estate. In 1847 Gertrude was born, followed by Conrad Albert in 1850, Magdalene in 1852, and Cecilie in 1855.
Of Albert and Maria's eleven children, only five were boys. Of these, two died young, and both were named Max. The older, born in 1836, died when he was about 3-4 years old after his parents had moved to Bitterfeld. The younger was born in 1846 and died that same year.
Friedrich Johannes Bohnstedt was born in 1841, and he married in 1868 in Wittstock to Marie Monicke. Records seem to indicate that Friedrich and Marie had no children of their own, but adopted three children; two girls (Irmela and Hildegard), and one boy, Werner. Werner was born in 1888, but died in 1914 in Belgium at the age of 26. We might speculate that he died in military service in the First World War. Whatever the cause, it does not appear that he had any children.
Thus it fell to the only remaining two sons of Albert and Maria, Alexander Reinhold and Conrad, to carry on the family name.
Descendants of Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt
There is a gymnasium, or high school, in Luckau, Germany, that was renamed the Bohnstedt Gymnasium in 2005. For American readers, a "gymnasium" in Germany is a school which includes, approximately, high school and middle school grade levels. This school was named for Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt, the third child of Albert and Maria Bohnstedt.
Reinhold was born in 1839 in Bitterfeld and in 1846 he moved with his family to Buchwäldchen where he grew up. He studied math and natural science, and eventually received his doctorate degree at the university in Halle. Reinhold went into teaching and academics as a profession, and began as an assistant teacher in Landsberg. During his career Reinhold was a teacher and a school director in Luckau, which is why the Gymnasium was later named for him.
1. Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt, for whom Bohnstedt Gymnasium was named. The picture was provided by Peter Braun, a historian in Treuen, Germany
2. Family of Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt, date uncertain. For an analysis of this picture, go to the bottom of the page
He married Helene Deetz in 1868, and they had two children; Elfriede (1869) and Johannes (1870). According to family records, Johannes was a "Bibliothekar", which is a librarian, or perhaps an archivist, for the Krupp Family in Essen. It is believed by some that Johannes was also the first to conduct any serious research into Bohnstedt genealogy and Bohnstedt history. As far as we know Johannes had no wife or children, and died at the age of 55 or 56 years.
Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt's son, Johannes Bohnstedt, was an archivist, or perhaps a historian, for the Krupp family in Essen, Germany, famed for their steelworks. They rose to prominence during the Franco-Prussian War manufacturing rifled steel cannons for the army. From that time the Friedrich Krupp AG firm became one of Germany's biggest arms suppliers. Johannes would have worked for the Krupp firm and the Krupp family during at least one, or possibly two administrations of the Krupp Firm:
- 1. Friedrich Alfred Krupp, director of Friedrich Krupp AG from 1887 to 1902, when he died. It is very likely that Johannes Bohnstedt worked for the Krupp firm and the Krupp family during Friedrich's administration.
- 2. Bertha Krupp, Friedrich's daughter, inherited the company upon Friedrich's death.
- 3. Gustav Georg Friedrich Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach took the Krupp name when he married Bertha Krupp, and directed the company from 1909 to 1943, when his son, Alfried, took over.
Reinhold's first wife passed away in 1872, two years after Johannes was born. He was married again in 1873 to Martha Clingenstein, and they had seven children during a period lasting almost twenty years; Kurt (circa 1875), Georg (1877), Erich (1878), Richard (1880), Albert (1882), Marie (1886) and Werner (1894), all born in Luckau. It is said that Reinhold suffered an injury from some kind of accident in 1901, and he eventually died in 1903, perhaps from complications from those injuries.
Part of Bohnstedt Gymnasium (Bohnstedt High School) in Luckau, named for Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt
Kurt Bohnstedt, a mining director, was married in 1899 to Martha Preuße. They had three children, Herbert, Hans-Joachim, and Marga, each born at a mining site. Herbert died when he was nineteen years old from causes unknown. Hans did marry but he and his wife had one daughter and no sons, so the family name was not perpetuated by Kurt's descendants.
1. Grave marker for Alexander Reinhold Bohnstedt and Martha (Clingenstein) Bohnstedt, location uncertain.
2. Grave marker for Georg and Gertrude Bohnstedt, location uncertain. Georg was Reinhold and Martha's son. The identity of the girl tending the grave marker in the picture is unknown, but is possibly a descendant of Georg and Gertrude.
Georg Bohnstedt, a lawyer and notary in Luckau was married in 1908 in Berlin to Gertrude Hübener (Huebener). Georg and Gertrude had three children; two daughters and one son. Their two daughters did marry and have families, and although their son Reimar did marry in 1954 to Gisela Rossel, there is no record of any children from this marriage.
Erich Bohnstedt took up a career in banking and was married to Charlotte Schmidt in 1913 in Berlin. They had three children; Erich (1914), Ursula (1915), and Rita (1927). Rita was a schoolteacher, and records indicate that Ursula was an actress. According to Ursula's nephew, Hans, she was a stage actress for a short time.
1. Erich Bohnstedt, 1878-1939
2. Erich Georg Ulrich Hermann Bohnstedt, picture circa 1953
Their brother, Erich Georg Ulrich Hermann Bohnstedt, a pharmacist, married in 1948 to Thea von Pelehrzim. Erich and Thea had three children. The two oldest children were both daughters; Waltraut was born in 1949 and Helga, who became a classical guitarist, was born in 1952. A third child, a son named Hans Jürgen (Juergen) Bohnstedt was born in 1955. Hans became a computer engineer working for Cray computer in the United States, but at this writing never married or had children.
1. Two works by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki were featured on this album; Concerto Pour Violoncelle Et Orchestre No. 2 (Cello Concerto No. 2), and Partita, featuring Helga Bohnstedt on electric guitar.
2. Helga Bohnstedt
Richard Bohnstedt, Reinhold and Martha's fourth child, was a bank director in his civilian life. But records also indicate that he was an officer in the German army with the rank of Major. Here we begin to see the evidence of that statement by Charlotte Bohnstedt; "...many [Bohnstedt] family members were high-ranking officers in the German Army...".
Richard married in 1914 to Margarete Glathe, and they had two children; a son named Hans-Hartwig in 1914, and a daughter named Ingeborg in 1921. Records indicate that Hans, like his father, served as an officer in the army and had the rank of Oberleutnant, the approximate equivalent of an American 1st Lieutenant. Hans married in 1937 and he and his wife had two sons, Wolfgang and Michael.
Reinhold and Martha's fifth child, Albert Bohnstedt, was a merchant and a "fabrikbesitzer", a factory owner, or perhaps factory director in the Berlin area. He was married twice, the first time to Frieda Leicht in 1909 in Kramatorskaja, and the second time to to Margarete Glathe in Berlin in 1924. This woman was apparently the same Margarete Glathe who had been married to Albert's brother, Richard. Richard died in 1922, and Albert's wife, Frieda, had died in 1918 in Kiev. So, two years after Richard died, his wife Margaret, married Albert.
Albert and his first wife, Frieda, had one child, a son named Alfred Gerhard Bohnstedt. Young Alfred died in 1918 at about four years old. Records say that he was ermordet, indicating that he was killed. Alfred's mother also died that same year in Kiev, Russia. We might speculate that Frieda and here son Alfred died from some tragic event that occurred at the end of the First World War, or perhaps during the Bolshevik revolution.
It is interesting to note that when Margaret married Albert, her children, Hans and Ingeborg, were only ten years old and three years old, respectively. These two children had lost their father, and Margaret her husband, whereas Albert had lost both his wife and child. But the four came together as a family.
Marie, the younger sister of Kurt, Georg, Erich, Richard and Albert, was married in 1907 to Karl Neumann. For some unknown reason she was married again in 1916, this time to Axel Adolph Friedrich Karl Theodor Gottlieb von Pressentin, a bank director in Rostock. They had one child, a daughter named Ingrid.
Werner Bohnstedt, the youngest child of Reinhold and Martha Bohnstedt, was born in 1894 in Luckau, eight years after Marie was born. According to records Werner was a mining engineer. Werner and his wife, Elsa, had three sons, Hans-Jürgen in 1925, Wolf-Dieter in 1928, and Klaus-Rüdiger in 1935. There is no record of military service for any of these boys. However, records indicate that the oldest, Hans-Jürgen, died in 1944 in Iasi, Romania. We don't know if he died as a result of combat or military action, but he was nineteen years old, old enough to have been in military service.
Wolf-Dieter married Ute Hußmann (Huszman) and they had three daughters during the 1960's; Barbara, Angelika and Christiane. Only Klaus-Rüdiger had a son, Reinhard, in 1965. If the Bohnstedt family name is carried on from Werner Bohnstedt it might be from this man, Reinhard.
Descendants of Conrad Albert Bohnstedt
Conrad Albert Bohnstedt was born in 1850 at the Buchwäldchen Estate and was the ninth child of Albert and Maria Bohnstedt. It appears that Conrad pursued a life of religious service. Records indicate that he was a Diakon, or Deacon in Friesack, and later a Pfarrer, or Pastor in Schmarsow. He married to Angelika Petsch in 1876, and the next year they started their family.
Conrad and Angelika had seven children, five boys and two girls; Friedrich (1877), Siegfried (1879), Margarete (1880), Walter (1882), Gerhard (1885), Johannes Wilhelm (1888), and Elisabeth (1889).
The strange thing about this particular family is that, with the exception of the third child, Margarete, there are no records of children for any of them. The reason this is so strange is that even Edgar Bohnstedt, who had done so much research on the Bohnstedts in Germany during the 1930's and had drawn up the 1939 Stammbaum, had no record of children for these people.
Consider the following: These children were all born well before 1939, some of them in the 1870's, and were contemporaries of Edgar Bohnstedt who was born in 1872 himself. He certainly had knowledge of these people, including their occupations or professions, their military service, and their spouses. One of Edgar's fellow researchers, Dr. Georg Bohnstedt, must have had personal contact with most or all of them as late as 1938 because their names and addresses are listed on the 1938 List directory that he had distributed.
The youngest of these children, Friedrich, was sixty-two years old when the 1939 Stammbaum was drawn up. If the members of this family had children one would expect someone to know about it. And yet, children do not appear on the 1939 Stammbaum, and Wolfgang does not appear to have found any descendants of these family members, except for Margarete Bohnstedt, who married Martin Lux.
Of the five sons of Conrad Albert Bohnstedt and his wife Angelika, at least three were army officers. Records indicate that Friedrich and Siegfried both held the rank of Major in the army, once again bringing to mind the military tradition within this family, and the statement by Charlotte Bohnstedt in Los Angeles in 1978.
Lieutenant General Wilhelm Bohnstedt
Perhaps the most illustrious of any German Bohnstedt in military service was Johannes Wilhelm Bohnstedt, who was known by his middle name of Wilhelm. By the time his military service ended in 1947 he held the rank of Generalleutnant, or Lieutenant General. This is approximately the same rank as Lieutenant General in the United States Army, and is one rank below a full General. General Wilhelm Bohnstedt's story is told in The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line; General Wilhelm Bohnstedt.
An Internet source identifies the date of this picture of Alexander Reinhold's family as being 1882. However, I believe this may be incorrect. Consider the following:
1. Reinhold had at least nine children that we know of; two from his first marriage to Helene Deetz, seven from his second marriage to Martha Clingenstein. Martha's seventh child, Albert was born in 1882, and her eighth child, Marie, was born in 1886.
2. The child on Martha's lap appears to be about 1 1/2 - 2 years old. If this child is Marie then the picture would have to have been taken about 1888. But this creates a complication because if the youngest child is Marie, then the oldest child would have to be Johannes.
3. However, the oldest child is clearly a female, Elfriede, Reinhold's oldest child and his oldest daughter. This has to mean that the youngest child is Albert, therefore the picture was taken about 1883 or 1884.
The only apparent problem with this theory is that child number 2 and child number 3 seem to be about the same height, suggesting that they are the same age. Reinhold's second child, Johannes, should be significantly older than his third child, Kurt. But this may indeed be the case. Notice the clothing worn by child # 2 and child # 3. Child # 3 appears to be wearing the same kind of frilly "fauntleroy" suit with short pants that the other little boys are wearing. But child # 2 is wearing a suit with long pants, in a style closer to that of his father, suggesting that he may be older than he looks.
I believe that the picture was taken about 1883-1884, and that the ages of the children in the picture above are as follows: # 1: Elfriede, the daughter, about 14 years old. # 2: Johannes, about 13 years old. # 3: Kurt, about 8-9 years old. # 4: Georg, about 7-8 years old. # 5: Erich, about 5 years old. # 6: Richard, about 3-4 years old. # 7: Albert, about 1-2 years old.
1-18 / The Bohnstedt Lines in Prussia
1-20 / The Bohnstedt Noble Estates
1-30 / The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line; The Bohnstedts and Prussian Military Tradition
1-31 / The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line; General Wilhelm Bohnstedt
1-44 / Genealogy 1-6-3: Prussia and Eastern Germany: Buchwäldchen
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