05 October 2023

Gorsin, Bromberg, Posen, Prussia-My Fredrich's Ancestral Home

Gorzeń canal area of Poland
By Jarosław Szczepaniak, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56619491

Previously, I wrote about finding the birthplace of my maternal great grandfather, Johann August Fredrick (h). It is exciting to make the leap across the pond with one's ancestors.

My leap took me to Gorsin, Bromberg, Posen, Prussia. The 1905 population of Gorsin was 493. The 1920 United States Census record states that J. August Fredrick immigrated in 1872. It is hard to say what the population was at the time of August's emigration, but I am guessing it was still a village.

Researching Prussia ancestry can be complicated, and it is important to know where one's ancestors lived or where they went to church to further one's research. I was fortunate to find both in one record, a church record. ("Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1567-1945," database, Ancestry (ancestry.com : accessed 11 March 2018), entry for Johann August Fredrich; Mikrofilm Sammlung. Familysearch.org; Lutherische Kirchenbücher, 1567-1945)  

Gorsin was a dorf (village) in the Regierungsbezirk (district) of Bromberg, province of Posen, and kingdom or state of Prussia (Preussen). It is important to study the history of the area, especially Prussian history as its boundaries changed throughout the years. Look at maps from the time. Two map resources I have found helpful are James Beidler's The Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany and Wendy K. Uncapher and Linda M. Herrick's German Map and Facts for Genealogy. 

The Bromberg district, not to be confused with the city of Bromberg, was in existence from 1772-1807 and 1815-1920. Bromberg district became part of the German Empire in 1871. Under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles the area was given to Poland, in 1919. Final agreement and transfers were concluded in 1920. Many Germans emigrated at this time. This is a brief history of the area at the time my ancestor lived. There is much more history of the area.

My ancestor J. August Fredrick lived in this area from 1845 until his emigration in the 1870's. I am sure the turmoil of the time and possible military conscription due to the Austro-Prussian and Franco Prussian war years helped him decide to go to the United States. All but one of August's siblings emigrated to the United States.

After ceding the area to Poland the village of Gorsin became Gorzeń, Poland. Today, Gorzeń is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Nakło nad Notecią, within Nakło CountyKuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-central Poland.

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