The Bohnstadt Family in America

It was never my original intention to conduct research of the Bohnstadt family in America or anywhere else as I have never seen any evidence that the Bohnstadt, Bonstadt, or Bonstad families (with an "a") are related to the Bohnstedt families.

However, many years ago I came into contact with one member of the Bohnstadt family in the Los Angeles area; Charles Miller Bohnstadt II. I had a couple of telephone discussions with Charles, and since he was kind enough to provide to me the data that he had collected on the Bohnstadt family here in the United States I felt compelled to include that information in this work. Who knows? We may someday find that the Bohnstadts and the Bohnstedts did originally descend from the same source.

The data provided by Charles Bohnstadt, combined with some documents and newspaper articles provided by Linda Loetz, a descendant of Carl L. "Charles" Bohnstadt, and some additional information provided by Dorothy (Doriot) Bell, a granddaughter of Emma Dorothea Bohnstadt is presented in the genealogical section for the Bohnstadt family.

Descendants of the Bohnstadt family should know that this material does not represent a complete and thorough investigation of the Bohnstadt family in America, and I am sure that if a Bohnstadt descendant were to locate and contact other Bohnstadts in the U.S. this data could be significantly expanded.


The Origins of the Bohnstadt Family

According to the late Charles Bohnstadt, the earliest known descendant of the Bohnstadt family was Karl von Bohnstadt, who was a

Captain of the Brandenburg Guards. He fought in the seven year war against Maria Theresa of Austria.

"Maria Theresa" was the Archduchess of Austria, the Queen of Hungary and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780, and the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Charles Bohnstadt's' family history says that

The king gave him [Karl von Bohnstadt] a woodland, and a house in northern Prussia, with sheep, horses, and cows.

The illustrious history of Charles Bohnstadt's family continued with Karl's son, Karl Christopher von Bohnstadt. He fought against Napoleon from 1812-1814, and, according to Charles, the king gave him an inn located in a small town called "Mons" for his service.

Karl Christopher's son, Karl Ludwig von Bohnstadt, followed his father's and grandfather's military tradition by serving in the emperor's bodyguard. However, Karl Ludwig later emigrated to America after his son, Carl J. "Charles" Bohnstadt, had already moved to America in the late 1800s. Karl Ludwig had several descendants throughout Indiana, particularly in Indianapolis and Michigan City, Indiana.


Charles Miller Bohnstadt II

Charles Miller Bohnstadt II, who researched his Bohnstadt ancestry, and provided some of the information for this book, was one of the few who left Indiana for the western United States, in Arcadia, California.

 Click to Enlarge
1. Charles Miller Bohnstadt II, United States Navy
. Charles Bohnstadt as he appeared in the December 7, 1991 edition of the Pasadena Star News. The photo was taken at a Pearl Harbor memorial event in Hawaii.

Charles, like his ancestors before him, became part of history: on December 7, 1941, he survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, while serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Sacramento. Click on the map above to enlarge the image. As you will see from the graphic map, the USS Sacramento was a short distance away from the USS Arizona, the USS Oklahoma and the other vessels at anchor in "Battleship Row". Charles and his shipmates had a front-row seat for the drama of carnage and destruction that occurred on that Sunday.

Click to Enlarge
3. Graphic map of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, adapted from
Pearl Harbor, by H.P. Willmott


Book References:
- Willmott, H.P. Pearl Harbor. London, UK: Cassell & Co. 2001 (English)

See Also:
4-24 /
Genealogy and Records 4-7: Bohnstadt

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