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The family Bomke

About the origins of the family Bomke I have obtained only few information so far. The earliest family member is stated in the ancestor pass of Karl August Friedrich Bomke, married to Margarete Wollenschläger Bomke and is also proved by the Ancestral file of the LDS of Mrs. Ortud Vauk. It is Michael Bomke, married to Caroline Kollert (Wollert). Michael was born in 1791 and died about 1848 in Tusch, Kreis Graudenz, Westprussia. He married his wife, Caroline, around 1819. She was born about 1793 and died around 1854 in Bischofswerder, Kreis Rosenberg, Westprussia.

Michael's son, Carl Friedrich (*1821 †1890) must have already lived in the surroundings of the Kreis Graudenz and Marienwerder, especially as his wife Wilhelmine Janzen was born in Graudenz. There are no proofs with regard to his occupation apart from the agriculture. Son of Carl and Wilhelmine was Franz Bomke. He was already a landowner. Franz had at least three brothers and sisters. From his marriage with Selma Agnes Stoyke stems for the first time a connection between the two families - as far as it is known to us. Resulting from this marriage Käethe Lina Julie Bomke Stoyke was the first of their three children. Picture of Selma Agnes Bomke with her daugther and her son-in-law

Foto: 1950 - Wildberg, Kreis Altentreptow
from left: Käthe Julie Lina Bomke Stoyke, Selma Agnes Stoyke Bomke, Ewald Kurt Stoyke

Apparently, all three children were born in the hamlet of Alt-Mösland, Kreis Marienwerder in the lowlands of the Weichsel. The young family experienced hard strokes of fate in the course of the next years: the family head, Franz Bomke was seriously suffering from heart disease and from diabetes. He died at the dawn of the 20th century.

Therefore the sole hope rested on the only son, Hans. But he died in World War First. His last delivered message is from September 2nd, 1917. He sends in it a picture of himself by army postal service from Hammerstein, Kreis Schlochau to his uncle, the teacher Mr. Eschenbach in Plowenz. He was killed in March 1918 near Neuville-St. Vaast in France where he was buried.

Either already in 1915 or after his death of Hans Bomke, the residential premises of the family burnt down. Since no male help was available, the women tried to save on their own as much as possible of their possessions from the flames. It was a great tragedy. They were able to shift the heavy piano up to the entry door, but were not able to lift it over the door threshold. Therefore, they had to watch helplessly how the precious music instrument was consumed by the flames.

After the fire Selma Bomke and her two daughters settled in Mareese, Kreis Marienwerder. Käthe married the son of her cousin, Kurt Stoyke. It is said, that their parents probably decided beforehand to marry this pair. They gave their children the following advice: "Käthe is an efficient girl", "Kurt will be an efficient husband". Käthe and Kurt adjusted themselves to their fate and were married in the May of 1916. Käthe moved then to the farm of her parents-in-law in Mnich am See.

Her father-in-law is said to have been a kind-hearted man. However young Käthe had to suffer from the strict regiment of her mother-in-law Bertha Schmidt Stoyke (from Neubrück, Kreis Graudenz) and had a hard time at Mnich am See.

In World War One Kurt Stoyke had to join his regiment in France. He was captured by the French and had to work for a short time for a farmer.

Back at home, he took over the farm because the older son Maximilian, a humorous person, had worked already on his own farm of the size of only 50 to 60 "Morgen" (an old German measurement for real estate). That size was sufficient for him. First he had lived in Eastern Prussia but after the war he resettled to Karben, Kreis Strasburg. In Eastern Prussia Maximilian is supposed to have had an inn, a "Gastwirtschaft". He married the pretty daughter of a shepherd, Bertha Pantel Stoyke.

As already stated above, the only daughter Johanna ("Aunt Hannchen") had already left her parental farm and married the landholder's steward Paul Joeschke. He managed several estates, but due to tensions between his wife and the landowners he was forced to change his employment several times. Their son, Kurt, is said to have been rather spoilt as a child and played many tricks and nonsense to his family - a character trait which cannot be found in his older days.

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Copyright © 1999 ff. Olaf Schmidt

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