How would I find a birth/baptism record for my great grandfather (August E.F.Reichow 1845-1899) in order to identify his parents and siblings?

The timeline I have for him is:

  • Left from Bremen in 1887 on the ship Main with:
    • Wife Charlotte Trader 1840-1907 and children:
      • son Hermann age 16
      • son Ernst/Edward age 9
      • daughter Auguste Ernestine age 7
  • Arrived New York 10, May 1887
  • He is buried in a plot purchased by Herman Reichow......maybe a brother?

It has been mentioned that he may have had relatives in Kraatz, Germany.

  • 1
    Hi. Welcome to Genealogy.SE. Please see our tour on how this site works.
    – lejonet
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 18:04
  • 2
    What do you mean by “Kraatz was mentioned”? Is this a possible place of origin?
    – lejonet
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 18:07
  • 1
    I've edited your question to focus it on asking a single question, which I think is the key piece of information that you are seeking. If you wish to improve it further by adding/clarifying then there is an edit button beneath that can be used to do that.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 22:04
  • Welcome to G&FH.SE! It appears someone edited your question without explaining that you don't have to sign your posts because the system does it automatically by means of your user card where you can place your email address if you wish. I also encourage you to take the tour, and to look at the other questions tagged "Germany".
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 22:26
  • 2
    What is your source for the arrival date and place? According to FamilySearch (whose index could be wrong), the Germans to America index shows an arrival from 10 May 1887 for the port of Baltimore. If you can get a passenger list for a Baltimore arrival for this family, you will get MUCH more information than you could from a Castle Garden (NY) arrival, which is a US Customs House list.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


The only clue we have so far is a possible place name – Kraatz. (Where is it mentioned?)

possible places

There are three possible places with this name, all in eastern Germany:

  1. Kraatz, a village in Brandenburg, now part of the city of Gransee
  2. Kraatz, a village in the north of Brandenburg, part of the municipality of Nordwestuckermark
  3. Kraatz, a village in northern Saxony-Anhalt, part of Arendsee

weighing the odds

Using Geogen, a mapping application for todays surname distribution, we see that a lot of people named Reichow live in the Uckermark district (Kraatz number 2). While no Reichow lives in the Salzwedel district (Kraatz number 3), a neighboring district (Stendal) has also a smaller, but still significant number of inhabitants with this name. No one with this name has a landline (that is where the data comes from) in Gransee (number 1).

So we should focus on Kraatz in the Uckermark (2) and Kraatz in Saxony-Anhalt (3).

Kraatz (Uckermark, Brandenburg)

I have no information on the former parish. This would help to look up possible church book duplicates on Ancestry (collection: Brandenburg, Germany, Zweitschriften von Kirchenbüchern, 1700-1874). Nowadays, Kraatz belongs to Fürstenwerder and you could ask the parish office for relevant church records.

Kraatz (Arendsee, Saxony-Anhalt)

The village belonged to the parish of Kläden. Relevant church records for Kläden, including Kraatz, are available from FamilySearch (on microfilm):

  • The passenger list entry may specify Prussia or Saxony, which would add weight to one or another of the possibilities.
    – bgwiehle
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 15:36
  • @bgwiehle All would be Prussia, wouldn't they?
    – lejonet
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 19:37
  • You're right; Anhalt was Prussian starting in 1815 (Sorry for the error). I suppose one could hope for the province (Brandenburg or Saxony-Anhalt) to be named on the passenger list, but it's rarer before 1900.
    – bgwiehle
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 19:54
  • @bgwiehle Kraatz (Arendsee) was Provinz Sachsen and the other two were Provinz Brandenburg, thus all part of Prussia. The territory of Anhalt however remained a duchy until 1918.
    – lejonet
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 20:45

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