The Bohnstedts in Alabama

According to the verbal history of the Bohnstedt family in Alabama, their ancestor, Albert Carl Bohnstedt, originally came from Mecklenburg, Pomerania in 1889, or about that time. He settled in Indiana, and married Anna Reimer, who, it is said, was born at sea while her parents were migrating to America from Germany.

Albert and Anna had two children, Laura, and a son, Albert William Frederick John Bohnstedt, born in 1902 in Indianapolis. This was the name that was given to me by Albert's descendants. However, given the fact that his parents were born in Germany I suspect that if we were to find actual records for this person's birth we might find that his name was actually Albert Wilhelm Friedrich Johann Bohnstedt.

1. Grave marker of Albert and Verlie Bohnstedt in Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens cemetery, Florence Alabama.

Albert married Verlie Southwood, and they had their first child, Robert Charles Bohnstedt in Huntington, Indiana in 1935. Albert went to work for "Republic Creosoteing Company" and eventually became production manager. Albert's employer transferred him to Florence, Alabama, where he and Verlie had two daughters, Linda and Marjorie. Most of Albert's children and grandchildren still live in the Florence, Alabama area, while some live in Georgia.

After earning his masters degree in accounting from Louisiana State University Robert pursued a successful career as a banker, eventually becoming the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the the First National Bank of Florence, Alabama.

2. Robert Charles Bohnstedt, from the Lehigh University school, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1953.

Even though this family initially settled in Indiana after emigrating from Germany, it is important for future researchers not to confuse this family with the larger Bohnstedt family in Indiana descending from Johann Carl Christian Bohnstedt and Georg August Heinrich Gottlieb "James" Bohnstedt, as it certainly seems that they came from different ancestral sources in Germany.

According to the verbal family tradition among members of this Alabama Bohnstedt family, their ancestors originated in Mecklenburg, Pomerania, The first idea that comes to mind when considering possible connections with other Bohnstedt families is the "Pomeranian" branch of the Bohnstedt "Langeln Line" (Group 1). There is no hard evidence to support such an idea, other than the fact that the Alabama Bohnstedt family originated in Mecklenburg, 116 kilometers away from Stralsund, the birthplace of many individuals in the Pomeranian Bohnstedt branch.

However, despite the fact that no connecting names could be found amongst the Pomeranian Bohnstedts, there were several males in the Pomeranian Bohnstedt family for whom no descendants could be located. There is always a possibility that we might someday find that the Bohnstedt family in Alabama descended from one of these Pomeranian Bohnstedts.

UPDATE:  Recent research has revealed that there were a number of other Bohnstedt families in the Mecklenburg, Pomerania area, so this branch of Bohnstedts in Alabama may have descended from one of these.


See Also:
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Genealogy and Records 4-6: Alabama

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