Person:Carl Kraatz (1)

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2nd Lieutenant Carl Kraatz
  • H2nd Lieutenant Carl Kraatz1832 - 1898
  • WAlvina Sears1835 - 1917
m. bef 1857
  1. Carl Kratz1857 - 1933
  2. Augusta Kratz1859 - 1939
  3. Ida Kraatzabt 1863 - bef 1900
  4. Berta De La Ludvika Kraatz1864 - 1934
  5. Clara KratzAbt 1867 - Bef 1900
Facts and Events
Name 2nd Lieutenant Carl Kraatz
Baptismal Name[7] Johann Gustav Carl Kraaz
Alt Name Karl von Kraatz
Immigrant Name Charles Kratz
Gender Male
Alt Birth[1][2] 23 Sep 1831 Rügen, Pommern, Preußen, GermanyThis is birth date from family stories, and may have been reported at time of his death
Birth[7] 30 Sep 1832 Kasnevitz, Rügen, Pommern, Preußen, Germany2nd child - information from Parish Registers
Christening[7] 21 Oct 1832 Kasnevitz, Rügen, Pommern, Preußen, Germany
Marriage bef 1857 based on birth of oldest known child
to Alvina Sears
Military[6] abt 1870 listed as missing in action
Military[8][11][12] 1870 Prussia2nd Lt., Engineer Corps, Pioneer Battalion, 10th Army; awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class
DNA? Person:Heinrich Kraatz (1) - potential cousin
Emigration[9] 31 Oct 1871 Hamburg, Germanyto New York
Immigration[10] 29 Dec 1871 New York, New York, United Statesfrom Hamburg
Immigration[2][3] 1872 according to family stories
Census[4] 1880 Winnetka, Cook, Illinois, United States
Naturalization[5] 28 Oct 1882 Cook, Illinois, United States
Death[1] 15 Sep 1898 Winnetka, Cook, Illinois, United States
Burial[1] Skokie, Cook, Illinois, United StatesSt. Peter’s Evangelical and Reformed Church Cemetery

According to family stories, Karl von Kraatz was born on the Isle of Rügen, in the north of Germany to a military family. He was an officer in the Prussian army and when not at war took care of the Kaiser's horses and helped teach the Kaiser's children how to ride. He was wounded in the Franco Prussian War, taken in by a farm family for a year, and emigrated to the United States in 1872. In the United States he lived near Evanston, Illinois.

Memories of a Granddaughter

"In Germany, Grandpa was an officer in the German army, and when he wasn't, there wasn't a war, he had a cottage on the Kaiser's estate where he and his family lived and he took care of the Kaiser's horses and taught the children (the Kaiser's children) horsemanship. He taught Kaiser Wilhelm how to ride horseback. Well, in Germany, when Germany conquered a country, the people of those, that country had a choice: they could either stay in their country and become Germans or they could get out. If they stayed in the country they had to become Germans, so when Father, Grandfather decided to come to America to live, he became an American just as quick as he could. He and his wife took out American citizenship papers and the children were put in American homes to learn the language and learn the American ways. And he changed his name from Karl von Kraatz to Charlie Kratz. In every way that he possibly could, he became an American. . . .

[When I was 21] "Mother had word from her mother saying that she was sick. Now Grandma lived in Chicago, and Mother couldn't go. . . . I knew none of her relatives excepting Grandma, who lived with Mother's sister, and I didn't know this aunt of mine at'all. I didn't know any of them. I knew Uncle Max, but he wasn't...Well, I didn't know Uncle Max, only that I knew him through writing, but I wouldn't know him if I met him on the street. But anyway I went, . . . .

"Uncle Max lived in Winnetka, another suburb of Chicago, and he wanted me to come there, so I went there to visit. . . . and they were very wealthy. . . . He was a banker. He hadda go down to main Chicago with his bank every once in a while, the Bank of Winnetka. . . . while I was there [in 1917 after the United States entered World War I] I decided that being a German wasn't such a good thing. I was in Chicago in a German slum [sic, meaning a neighbourhood of German immigrants]. And my grandmother, my grandfather had known the Kaiser of Germany personally, and he had trained the Kaiser's children. Now Kaiser Wilhelm had grown up, and he was the leader of the country now. My grandmother had a great big enlarged picture of him hanging in her living room. And Uncle Max used to sit on his front porch and play the bass violin, and he played all the old German songs and the patriotic songs of Germany and so on. And they told, my cousin told him, "Uncle Max, you're gonna have to stop that." . . . . But pretty soon the cops came along and he was no longer allowed to play German songs, and Grandma hadda take down the Kaiser's picture. I think that hurt her as much as taking down one of her own son's pictures. She felt terrible that she hadda take down the Kaiser's picture. And about that time when I got ready to go home Grandma told me I could take anything I wanted out of...she had a lot of old __________ of all kinds. She said I could take anything I wanted, and there were some pictures. There was a picture of my grandfather with Bismarck, sitting at a table talking and there was one picture of Grandfather out in the field as a officer in the German army, and she wanted to give me those pictures. I wanted 'em alright, but I couldn't figure myself going home during the war with pictures of German officers in my suitcase, so I turned 'em down, didn't dare take 'em home. I'd give anything to have them now, but I never got a chance to get them again."[2]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 “Cook County Tombstones”, by G. W. Lundberg; FHL #6100329, in Lundberg, Gertrude W. Cook County cemeteries. (Homewood).

    St. Peter’s Evangelical and Reformed Church (formerly part of United Church of Christ but separated) Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois (formerly known as Niles, Illinois)
    p. 7 - Kratz, Carl, 23 Sep 1831-15 Sep 1898

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alvina's Oral History Tapes, in Knott Family email.
  3. Minnesota, Kandiyohi County, Holland Township, in United States. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T624).

    Knott, Bertha [dau of Karl], immigrated 1872

  4. IL, Cook, New Trier, ED 228, in United States. 1880 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

    Village of Winnetka, p. 34
    Kretz, Chas., white male, age 48, married, farmer, b. Prussia, both parents b. Prussia
    , Jane, white female, 35, wife married, keeping house, b. Prussia, both parents b. Prussia
    , Clara, white female, age 12, dau, b. Prussia, at school

  5. Illinois Superior Court, Immigration and Naturalization Index, A-L, 1871-1906; FHL #1023967, in Illinois. Superior Court (Cook County). Indexes to naturalization records. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980), Vol. 08, p. 539.

    Kratz, Carl, from Germany, 10-28-1882 [October 28, 1882]

  6. Verlustliste Nr. 201 [Los List No. 201], in German Casualties in the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871. (Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008).

    Combined Siege Pioneer Bataillon
    Fortress Pioner Compagny 10. Armee Corp
    "Sec. Lieut. Kraatz Verm. Zur Compagnie zürck" [Second Lieutenant Kraatz Lost in Action, to be returned to the Company]

  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Book 1831-1863, in Extract from Birth Register of the Evangelical Parish, Kasnevitz, Rügen, Germany , email Anita Schmidt (Evangelical Pastor's Office of Putbus), 12 July 2016 to Mr. Dr. Rerup.

    1832, No. 30, page 8
    Father: Christoph Friedrich Theodor Kraaz, Governor of Güstelitz
    Mother: Catharine Marie Luise Paepke
    Child: Johann Gustav Carl Kraaz, b. 30 September 1832, 8:30 in the evening, in Casnevitz; baptized 21 Oct 1832
    Godparents: Carl Friedrich Anders, son of the miller in Casnevitz; Johann Christian Vungreen, butcher journeyman in Putbus; Christine Marie Vernon, daughter of Master Tailor in Casnevitz

  8. Rang-und !uartier-liste der Königlich Preussischen Armee und Marine, Preussische Armee, 1500-1914, in Germany and Austria. Directories of Military and Marine Officers, 1600-1918. (Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2015), 1870.

    Image 501 of 1222 -
    Hannoversches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 10, Minden
    2nd L. Kraatz, Engineer Corp
    Image 492 of 1222 (p. 488) -
    Ingenieur-Corps. - 3 Ing-Inspection
    2nd Lt. Kraatz, Iron Cross 2 . . . , Pion. Bat. Nr. 10

  9. Hamburg, Germany. Passenger Lists, 1850-1934.

    Carl Kraaz, male, age 38, Occupation Statthalter, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Johanna Kraaz, female, 34, wife, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Carl Kraaz, male, 14, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Agusta [transcribed Gustav] Kraaz, female, 11, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Ida Kraaz, female, 7, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Bertha Kraaz, 6, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Clara Kraaz, 4, residence Rosengarten aug Rügen (Rugen)
    Departured 31 Okt 1871 (31 Oct 1871) from Hamburg for New York aboard the Prinz Albert, Capt. Cahnbley; accommodation not specified
    Shipping Clerk: Gustav Böhme & Co.; Shipping line: Rob. M. Sloman; Ship Type: Segelschiff; Ship Flag: Deutschland
    [Source} Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 025

  10. National Archives and Records Administration. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. (Washington, D. C.: National Archives and Records Administration).

    Arrived New York, 29 December 1871 from Hamburg aboard the Prinz Albert, Capt. Cahnbley
    (all passengers steerage)
    Kranz, Carl, 38, male, farmer, from Germany
    , Johanna, 34, female, wife
    , Carl, 14, male, son
    , Gustav [sic], 11, male, son
    , Ida, 7, female, daughter
    , Bertha, 6, female, daughter
    , Clara, 4, female, daughter

  11. Prussia gained control of Minden after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. Minden Fortress was rebuilt from 1816 to 1820. The town remained a Prussian fortress until 1873.
  12. Prussian 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class
    The Eiserne Kreuz (Iron Cross) was re-introduced by Kaiser Wilhelm II (acting as the King of Prussia) in 1870. It was awarded for bravery in the field - without regard to rank or status - during the Franco-Prussian War.