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Johann Gottfried Fritz (abt. 1763)

Johann Gottfried (Gottfried) Fritz
Born about in Friderichsfeld, Gottorf, Denmarkmap
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [date unknown] in Grimm, Saratov, Russiamap
Profile last modified | Created 8 May 2016
This page has been accessed 86 times.

Biography

Volga German
Gottfried Fritz is a Volga German.
Gottfried Fritz has German Roots.

Germany-Denmark-Russia

Family B-424 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.

Family Rus14-11 in The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766.

Family #20 in the 1775 Grimm census.


Johann Gottfried Fritz was born in 1763 to German couple Johannes Fritz and Anna Margaretha Thiel Pikus. They immigrated from Baden-Durlach to Denmark two years before his birth. Baden-Durlach is located in the southern tier of what is now Germany, are area that had been ravaged by war and famine for years.

In 1759, Danish King Frederick V invited Germans from Hessen and the Palantinate to help settle the area of Schleswig-Holstein, at that time under the control of the Danes. The king was interested in converting the marsh lands to arable farm land. Germans were known for their good farming skills and for being hard workers, so it seemed like a win-win situation both both Danes and Germans. Gottfried's parents decided the opportunity to immigrate to Denmark was too attractive to pass up.

His parents arrived in the City of Schleswig, Denmark, on 09 May 1761. [1] They took their oath of allegiance on 24 July 1761. [1] Two weeks later, the family made their home at 15 Friedensfrucht in Colony G2 of Friderichsfeld, in the district of Gottorf. [1] According to Danish records, the couple had no children when they arrived, but we know from the 1775 Grimm census that their eldest son Johann Gottfried Fritz was born in 1763. [2]

The Danish marshlands were very inhospitable to all farmers. Although Germans were known for being hardworking and good farmers with typical farm land, it was far more difficult to convert these wetlands into arable farmland. Most of the German immigrants barely reaped enough to feed their families, let alone to provide food for others in Denmark. The Danish government was ready to cut their losses with farmers who didn't reach their goals, and it dismissed the family on 09 May 1764. [1]

Around that same time, Catherine the Great invited Germans to immigrate to Russia. This offered Gottfried's family an opportunity for a more prosperous life. It is unclear when the the family left Denmark for Russia, but they are included on an immigration list of 57 German Danish colonists who traveled to Grimm, Russia. They probably arrived before the main immigration wave of Germans to Russia, since Grimm wasn't settled until 1767, and likely settled in Dobrinka, established in 1764, until they could move to Grimm a few years later. It should be noted here that the Fritz's do not appear in the 1767 Grimm census.

Johann Gottfried was one of four siblings:

  • Johann Gottfried Fritz, born in 1763 in Denmark
  • Johann Jakob Fritz, born in 1767 in Russia
  • Maria Katarina Fritz, born in 1769 in Russia
  • Henrietta Fritz, born in 1772 in Russia

There is mention of another sister who was born in 1772 named Anna Margaretha. She was clearly omitted from the 1772 census by name, unless Henrietta and Anna Margaretha were the same person. If they are not the same person, then they would have been twins, or perhaps one born at the beginning of the year and the other born at the end of the same year. It makes no sense, however, for a surviving three-year-old to not be living with her family at the time of a census. I have kept the two profiles separated until I can determine if they are the same people.

In 1773 or 1774, Gottfried's father passed away. His mother soon remarried Christian Pikus.


1775 Grimm Census [2]

Family # 20
Head of the Household Christian Pikus, age 24
Wife Margaretha Pikus, widow of Mr. [Johannes] Fritz, age 39
Step-Child #1 Gottfried Fritz, age 11 years 6 months
Step-Child #2 Johann Jakob Fritz, age 8
Step-Child #3 Maria Katharina Fritz, age 5 years 6 months
Step-Child #4 Henrietta Fritz, age 3


His half-sister Katharina Pikus was born in 1777. [3]

There are no Fritz's in the 1798 [4] and 1834 [5] censuses, nor is there a Johann Gottfried Fritzler, a surname that was abundant in Grimm at that time. He most likely moved to another village.


Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Eichhorn, Dr. Alexander, Dr. Jacob and Mary Eichhorn, The Immigration of German Colonists to Denmark and Their Subsequent Emigration to Russia in the Years 1759-1766; Bonn, Germany and Midland Michigan, USA; Drukerei und Verlag Steinmeier GmbH & Co. Kg, Deiningen, Germany, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The 1775 and 1798 Census of the German Colony on the Volga, Lesnoy Karamysh, also known as Grimm; Published by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, NE, USA; Published 1995; family #20 in the 1775 census.
  3. Mai, Brent Alan; 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga, Volumes 1 & 2; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska; Published 1999 and 2005; Volume 1, page 768, family #Nr57.
  4. The 1775 and 1798 Census of the German Colony on the Volga, Lesnoy Karamysh, also known as Grimm; Published by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, NE, USA; Published 1995; family #57 in the 1798 census.
  5. 1834 Census of Grimm in the District of Saratov, Russia, dated 2 February 1835; Translated by Brent Mai, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon; Published by Dynasty Publishing, Beaverton, OR, USA; Published 2011.

See also:

  • The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, Portland, Oregon, online resources, History, Denmark, see: https://bit.ly/2zH7RvE.
  • The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, Portland, Oregon, online resources, Settlements, Mother Colonies, Colony of Grimm, see: https://bit.ly/2It1leK.


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Categories: Grimm | German Roots