The Krämersdorf Bohnstedt Line:
The Descendants of Friedrich Wilhelm Eduard 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)


A very old copy of the 1907 Praktischer Schiffbau ("Practical Shipbuilding") by Professor Bohnstedt. This may be a first edition.


Friedrich Wilhelm Eduard Bohnstedt and the Krämersdorf Line

Friedrich Wilhelm Eduard Bohnstedt inherited the Craemersdorf Estate and was married to Johanna Bergell. They had five children, all born at the Craemersdorf Estate; Paula (1855), Walter (1857), Karl (1869), Max (1871), and Edgar (1872).

Karl, the third child, died when he was only three years old. Max did marry but never had children. He was a Professor and Director of Students at a technical college for shipbuilding in Kiel. Wolfram Edgar Bohnstedt, a grandson of Max's brother, Edgar, remembers his great uncle Max as being a fascinating and exceptional man. In recent days a search of the Worldwide Web turned up several versions of a 1907 work on maritime engineering called "Praktischer Schiffbau" (Literal translation: "Practical Shipbuilding"). The works are all credited to "Prof. Bohnstedt", and one of them, which appears to be a first edition, even refers to Prof. Bohnstedt being from Kiel.  Because of this I was certain that this "Prof. Bohnstedt" was Max Bohnstedt, Edgar Bohnstedt's brother.  However, one of the recent reprints gives the author's name as "Albert Bohnstedt" on the front cover.  This is puzzling, and creates two possibilities: First, that printing the name Albert Bohnstedt instead of Max Bohnstedt as the author was an error. However, this is unlikely.  The second possibility is that Max's middle name was Albert.  However, I have seen no evidence so far.  During a telephone discussion with Wolfram Bohnstedt in 2021 I brought up this issue with him, and Wolfram told me that he had never heard of any middle name for Max, at all.  At this time it remains unknown who "Professor Albert Bohnstedt" was, but it may have been an error on the part of the printers.

1. Reprint of the 1907 Praktischer Schiffbau by Professor Bohnstedt.
2. Another reprint of the 1907
Praktischer Schiffbau. However, this edition displays "Albert Bohnstedt" as the author.  What seems clear about German naming conventions during the 1800s is that they typically gave their children more than one given name; in most cases, at least 4, and often more than that.  One possibility is that "Max" Bohnstedt and "Albert" Bohnstedt were the same person, and one of these names was a middle name.  However, Wolfram Bohnstedt (a great-nephew of Max) stated that he was absolutely certain that Max had only been given the one name by his parents.

Walter had only one child, a daughter named Johanna. The last of Eduard and Johanna's children, Edgar, has been mentioned before in this work. It was Edgar, a military legal official, who drew the 1939 Stammbaum, which has been so instrumental in detailing this portion of the Bohnstedt family history; the "Prussian" Bohnstedts.


Edgar Bohnstedt

Edgar began his military career in his early twenties and was promoted from Schuetze, or Private (U.S equivalent) to Gefreiter (I don't believe there is a U.S. military equivalent for this; it lies between a Private First Class and Corporal). By the early 1900's Edgar had become a commissioned officer and was employed by the Army Legal Service. In 1902 Edgar married Gertrud Reiche, and in 1909 Edgar was promoted to Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant), and by 1914 he was promoted again to Hauptmann (Captain).

Oscar Hugo Edgar Victor Bohnstedt was a career army officer and a military legal official. By 1945 he had been promoted to Oberst [Colonel].  There is also some evidence that he was promoted again, to general, when he was made a "generalrichter" [general judge], although his appointment to this rank did not last long since the war in Europe ended in early May, 1945.  I'm no expert on German military insignia, but I believe this picture was taken when Edgar was still an "Oberst [Colonel].

In 1919 Edgar was appointed as a Kriegsgerichtsrat, a military legal official, with the 12th Infantry-Division and of 12th Reserve-Division, and in 1920 was given a position as a Heeresanwalt, with Military-District-Command III. A Heeresanwalt is a lawyer who is authorized to act as prosecutor or defense lawyer before a military court. Twelve years later Edgar held the rank and position of Oberheeresanwalt, or a senior Heeresanwalt. . In 1933 Edgar was promoted again, to Oberkriegsgerichtsrat, a senior military legal official. This position, as with Kriegsgerichtsrat, Heeresanwalt and Oberheeresanwalt, is difficult to match with standard military rankings.

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The two surviving sections of the
Early Stammbaum were among the family heirlooms that Edgar Bohnstedt salvaged from the aftermath of the Dresden bombing

In 1934 Edgar was transferred to Military-District-Command IV in Dresden. The next year Edgar was promoted to Oberstkriegsgerichtsrat. Martin Bohnstedt believes that this title is a rank within the military legal system of pre-war Germany that may have been equivalent with Oberst, or Colonel. Edgar was promoted to Generalrichter in 1944, and like Oberstkriegsgerichtsrat, Generalrichter; is a senior military legal official. Generalrichter may be approximately equivalent with the rank of General in the German Army.

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1-2: Family relics salvaged from the 1945 Dresden Bombing, including some of Edgar Bohnstedt's family research notes, and the title page of the 1923 Stammbaum der Familie Bohnstedt

Both 1937 and 1944 are listed as the year of retirement for Edgar; it may be that in 1937 Edgar was placed on inactive duty, and was fully retired from the army in 1944. In 1945 Edgar was leaving Dresden, and had loaded a railroad car with the family belongings, including the "old Stammbaum", when the allies bombed Dresden. Edgar died the next year in Traunstein at the age of 74.

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1-2: More family relics salvaged from Dresden.

Edgar Bohnstedt, had one son, the only grandson of Eduard and Johanna Bohnstedt. Paul Edgar Eduard Wilhelm Bohnstedt, Edgar's only son, was born in 1903 in Graudenz. Paul married Gerda Meyer in 1935, and they had three children; Maren (1936), Wolfram Edgar (1937) and Armgard (1942). Thus Wolfram was the last male descendant of Ludwig Ferdinand Wilhelm Bohnstedt in Germany. But this line did continue on the other side of the world, in Australia.

Wolfram moved to Australia in 1959. There he married Yvonne van Battum, started an industrial design firm, and with Yvonne, had five children. Their story is told in The Krämersdorf Bohnstedt Line; The Bohnstedts in Australia.


Book References:
- Bohnstedt, Max.  Praktischer Schiffbau. 2010 [Recent printing] (ISBN-10: 3861955830) (ISBN-13: 978-3861955832)


See Also:
1-18 / The Bohnstedt Lines in Prussia
1-20 / The Bohnstedt Noble Estates
1-36 /
The Krämersdorf Bohnstedt Line; The Bohnstedts in Australia
1-47 /
Genealogy 1-6-6: Prussia and Eastern Germany: Krämersdorf
5-8 /
Appendix G: Mitglieder de Bohnstedt'schen Familien-Verbandes März 1938
5-10 /
Appendix I: Stammbaum der Familie Bohnstedt (1923)
5-11 /
Appendix J: Stammbaum der Familie Bohnstedt (1939)


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