Eduard Zimmer and Pauline Petau of Reichenbach

My Great Great Grandparents from the Zimmer and Petau families of Reichenbach in Schlesien, Prussia, Germany
Pauline Zimmer geb Petau and Eduard Zimmer about 1857 in Reichenbach,Silesia, Prussia

Eduard Zimmer
Eduard Zimmer was born on November 3, 1826, in Girlachsdorf, Silesia, Prussia to Christoph Zimmer and his wife Karolina Clara Zimmer geb Scharfenberg. Eduard married Pauline and had three sons and two daughters with her between 1855 and 1863. He died in Girlachsdorf on June 25, 1900, at the age of 73.

Pauline Petau
Pauline Petau was born on February 3, 1836, in Güttmannsdorf, Reichenbach, Breslau, Silesia, Prussia, Germany. She had three sons and two daughters with Eduard Zimmer between 1855 and 1863. She died on January 25, 1882 in Girlachsdorf, Reichenbach, Breslau, Silesia, Prussia, Germany, at the age of 45.

Güttmannsdorf is also sometimes spelled Güttmannsdorf, Gueüttmannsdorf, and Guttmannsdorf.


1790 Birth of Eduard's parents
Christoph Zimmer and Karoline Clara Scharfenberg were born about 1790 in or around Seherrswaldau, Olbersdorf, Kreis Reichenbach, Schlesien, Prussia.

1805 Birth of Pauline's father
Franz Petau was born about 1805 somewhere in Kreis Reichenbach, Schlesien, Prussia. Since his first son was born in Güttmannsdorf, I suspect that is where he was from as well. I haven't found his birth, marriage, or death record yet.  He married Anna Maria Welz about 1833 most likely in her birthplace of Stoschendorf.

1812 Birth of Pauline's mother
Anna Maria Welz was born on 10 May 1812 in Stoschendorf, Kreis Reichenbach. She married Franz Petau, and they lived and died in Güttmannsdorf, Kreis Reichenbach. They had at least three children that I know of, so far. Her death record from 1879 lists her mother only as Maria.

1819 Birth of Eduard's sister Amalie
Amalie Zimmer was born in Seherrswaldau, Olbersdorf, Kreis Reichenbach, Schlesien, Prussia on 27 April 1819.  She was twice married, with the second marriage being in 1876 to Johann Anton Schwarzer of Baersunlie (Eduard was a witness).

1826 Birth of Eduard
Edward Zimmer was born 21 November 1826 in Germany, most likely in the Schlesien (Silesia) region of Prussia as it was called at the time.  Spelled Schläsing by Silesian Germans, it is now the Lower Silesian region of Poland. I've found some evidence that he may have been from Seherrswaldau, which became a part of Olbersdorf in Kreis Reichenbach. The issue is that the only records for Seherrswaldau are Catholic Church books from 1868-1889 and Civil Records 1874-1888 -- obviously neither one is going to be any help for a 1826 birth.

1834 Birth of Pauline's brother August Franz Carl 
On 28 April 1834, Pauline's parents welcomed a son into their home, naming him August Franz Carl Petau.  He was born in Güttmannsdorf, and died at the age of 50 in Berlin on 7 December 1884. I only recently found anything on the PETAU of the family, so I'll include a brief family tree here.
Family tree for the Petau family of Güttmannsdorf

1836 Birth of Pauline
Pauline Petau was born 3 February 1836 in Güttmannsdorf, Kreis Reichenbach. It took a long time to figure out her last name, as the old German script made it look like Petra or Petan. It’s Petau, and there are Prussians of that name in the Breslau region.

Now seems a good time to throw in a map showing the various towns and where they are in relation to each other.
Zimmer and Petau family towns in Landkreis Reichenbach

1840 Birth of Pauline's brother, Karl Wilhelm Johann
Pauline's younger brother, Karl Wilhelm Johann Petau was born in Güttmannsdorf in 1840.  He moved to Berlin, and had a large number of children.  He died in Berlin on 29 June 1888.

1855 Marriage of Eduard and Pauline
I do not know the exact date or place of the marriage of Eduard Zimmer and Pauline Petau. Since Pauline was born in 1836, she would have been 19 in 1855. They were married somewhere around that time.  The place would most likely be Pauline's hometown of Güttmannsdorf.  The issue is that available records for Güttmannsdorf are only the Catholic Church Books 1715-1799 and Civil Records 1878-1888 -- again, obviously neither one is going to be helpful for anything in the 1850s.

1856 Birth of son, [unknown]
An unknown son was born about 1856, but that is a complete guess. It could be up to 10 years later. He had a son named Paul Zimmer who married a woman named Friede. I'm starting to think that his name might be Franz?

1857 Birth of daughter, Helene
Helene Zimmer was born about 1857. She married Max Robler.

1859 Birth of son, Heinrich
Heinrich Zimmer was born about 1859, and had at least one daughter.

1860 Birth of daughter, Anna
About 1860, their daughter Anna was born. Anna’s marriage certificate has been indexed and gives her parent’s names as Conrad Zimmer and Pauline Petau.  I suspect that either Conrad and Eduard look very similar and were transcribed wrong, or that Conrad was Eduard’s christian name.  Anna Zimmer married Robert Kirchner on 12 February 1883 in Breslau.  It is recorded on FHL Film Number 1899152.

1861 Birth of daughter, Pauline
Pauline Zimmer was born about 1861, and married Konrad Walthart. The couple had two sons and a daughter.

1863 Birth of son, Paul 
Paul John Zimmer was one of at least five children. He was born on 31 January 1863, but the Iowa death index has a different birthdate of 23 Jan 1862. He was born in what old family documents refer to as “Reichenbach, Schleising, Germany”. The problem is that there are many Reichenbachs in Germany, and Schlesing is not a district that comes up in searches. Which Reichenbach is it? The closest is Schlesien, Prussia. Since Paul’s wife Emilie is known to have come from Breslau, the capital city of Schlesien, it is most likely Paul was from the nearby town of Reichenbach im Eulengebirge. The specific area was Niederschlesien, which was spelled Nieder Schläsing by Silesian Germans. Schlesien was given to Poland after WWII and most of the German-speaking population was moved into East Germany. All of the cites changed names, including Breslau becoming the Polish city of Wroclaw. Further evidence is that upon Paul’s death, his brother wrote from the town of Waldenburg in Schlesien (now Wałbrzych, Lower Silesian, Poland). Reichenbach (now Dzierżoniów) and Breslau (Wroclaw) are less than 60 kilometers apart; Reichenbach (Dzierżoniów) and Waldenburg (Wałbrzych) are only about 30 km apart. All three cities are in Lower Silesian, Poland, with Wroclaw still the Capital city of the region.

Update: after much digging through the records for Reichenbach city and finding nothing, I made a discovery that I outlined in Did I Say Reichenbach? I Meant Güttmannsdorf in Kreis Reichenbach that narrowed my search greatly to a small hamlet in the same area (see map above). Sadly, as mentioned above for his parent's marriage, there are no available records for the 1860s in Güttmannsdorf.

1879 Death of Pauline's mother
On 29 April 1879, Pauline's mother, Anna Maria Petau geb Welz died in Güttmannsdorf, Reichenbach. Pauline signed the death certificate, using a mark over the 'm' to denote a double 'm' in the her last name of Zimmer.
1879 Death of Anna Maria Petau geb Welz in Güttmannsdorf, signed by her daughter Pauline Zimmer geb Petau

1880 Paul in Berlin 
I’m not sure why Paul was in Berlin, But there certainly is a photo of Paul Zimmer taken in Berlin in 1880. Just recently I found two brothers of his mother Pauline, so perhaps he was visiting or working with one or both of his two uncles who lived in Berlin.

1882 Death of Pauline
Pauline Zimmer geb Petau died on January 25, 1882 in Girlachsdorf, Reichenbach, Breslau, Silesia, Prussia, Germany, at the age of 45. It took years to find her death certificate, but it helped that I had a photo her grave (see below at her husband Eduard's death in 1900). The really great thing about this document is that it lists her parents, and is solid proof that her brothers are her brothers.
1882 death of Pauline Zimmer geb Petau in Girlachsdorf

1882 Death of Eduard's brother Joseph
Joseph Zimmer died in Seherrswaldau on 18 April 1882. He was the son of Christoph Zimmer and Clara Scharfenberg.
1882 death of Joseph Zimmer in Seherrswaldau

1887 Marriage of their son, Paul
Paul John Zimmer married Emilie Clara Obst (Mansel) on February 19, 1887, in Germany, when he was 24 years old. Since Paul was Catholic and Emilie was Lutheran, it is most likely they were married in a civil ceremony in her hometown of Breslau.  Now, Breslau is really big and there are a LOT of civil records to go through. I will find their marriage record someday! I promise!
Zimmer-Obst Family Tree

1888 Paul and Emilie go to America
Paul and Emilie Zimmer arrived in Baltimore on March 25, 1888 aboard the Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm, a Nordeutscher Llloyd ship, which left from Bremen, Germany. The booking included rail passage on the Baltimore & Ohio towards the West. The voyage was very rough, took weeks, and many passengers died from an on-board small pox outbreak. Upon docking they took a train for the West, arriving in Benton County, Iowa in the middle of the night. They got off at Dysart instead of Garrison, where Emilie sat alone, in the dark, on a trunk while Paul went to find help — after which the couple finally made it to Emilie's aunt's house in Garrison, Iowa.

1893 Birth of Grandson Max
Max Willibald Walthart was born in Kostenblas, Neumark, Brandenburg, Germany on 29 August 1893 to Pauline and Konrad Walthart.

1895 Birth of Grandson Paul
Paul Robert Konrad Walthart was born in Germany around 1895 to Pauline and Konrad Walthart.

1900 Birth of Granddaughter Hedwig
Hedwig Walthart was born in  Germany around 1900 to Pauline and Konrad Walthart.

1900 Death of Eduard
Eduard Zimmer died June 15, 1900 at the age of 73 in Girlachsdorf, Krs. Reichenbach, Schleising, Germany. This death record was my last chance to find a record with his parents listed, as I haven't found records for his birth or marriage years. And guess what! Not only did I actually find his death record, it does indeed list his parents!   I had suspected that his parents might be Christoph Zimmer and Karoline Zimmer geb Scharfenberg based on a marriage record listing Eduard as a witness for a potential sister.  This record proves it, and expands the Zimmer family!
1900 death record for Eduard Zimmer of Girlachsdorf

1900 Burial of Eduard
Eduard Zimmer was buried next to his wife, and amazingly someone took a photo of it many years ago.  I do not know if the graves are still there.  Since both Eduard and his wife died in Girlachsdorf, that is certainly where their Catholic graves are located. 
Graves of Pauline Zimmer geb Petau and Eduard Zimmer

1910 Paul’s visit to Germany
In 1910, Paul Zimmer went back to Germany to visit all the family and friends he had left behind. He didn’t take Emilie with him, as she had vowed never to step foot on a boat again. I'm not sure where he exactly visited, with exception of some photos of him taken with various people in Deutsch Lissa, near Breslau (now Leśnica).  He could have headed over to Reichenbach, as this is a family photo of the old family farm in Güttmannsdorf.
Family farm in Klein Güttmannsdorf, Landkreis Reichenbach -- house with flat roof

1911 Death of Paul
Death 9 Jul 1911 in Garrison, Benton County, Iowa, USA

Emilie Zimmer with her ten children

My 8 Families
Bodenheimer-Gruenwald of Baden
Kessler-Spies of Berleburg
Maass-Lachmann of Berlin
Lukes-Martyn of Cornwall
Levy-Landsberger of Posen
Zimmer-Petau of Reichenbach
Wolff-Wolff of Posen
Mansel-Obst of Breslau