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Earliest Roots of the Lechelt Family

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: About 1995 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: Lechelt
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Earliest Roots of the Lechelt Family

This is an excerpt from The Descendants of Martin Lechelt By Gordon William Zelt. This work was produced around 1995 and was not published but distributed widely among the Lechelt cousins as the time. Many copies exist in private collections. This WikiTree thing was created by Stuart McCormick in 2020. Stuart is a third great grandson of Martin. The text is identical, only formatting and hyperlinks have been added.

The oldest known ancestors of the Lechelt family are Johann and his brother Martin. The names of their parents are unknown but we do know that they lived in the Alsace-Lorraine area in France and probably were married there. The primary language in Alsace-Lorraine was German as it bordered on Germanic areas such as Palatinate, Luxembourg, the Rhine provinces and Baden.

Land was scarce and very expensive in Alsace-Lorraine, so the family moved to Poland where land was cheaper and available. The government of the day wanted immigrants to come and develop the land. In Poland, they had two sons: Johann about 1827 and Martin about 1829.

In 1831 and 1832, the first large cholera epidemic spread throughout western Europe via the trade routes from the Ganges river area in India. Cholera is a water-borne disease and since there was no chemical water treatment in those days, it spread rapidly.

When Johann was about four years old and Martin about two years old (about 1831), their parents contracted cholera and both died within a day or two of each other. A combined funeral service was held. After the service, Johann and Martin were "adopted" at the grave site by two different families. Martin was "adopted" by a man named Stein. When he got home, he said to his wife "Mother, God has given us another child." His wife replied, "Oh my God, we have five children and very little to eat and here you bring home another child." The man answered, "Oh mother, we'll all eat a little less". The family had been in Poland for about a year and only had a small plot of land near Lodz.

It is believed that Johann was adopted by a family who lived a great distance from Martin's new home as the two boys did not see each other for 30 years. It is further believed that Johann moved to Volhynia at some point in his life.

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