Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Ludwig Breakthrough: Finding Some Great Greats

When I took over our family's genealogy research from my Dad a few years ago, all I knew about my maternal grandfather, Gustav Lange, were the names of his parents and siblings and some vital fact dates.

Family Group Sheet for Carl August Lange, my great grandfather; created
using Microsoft Excel

In the spring of 2015 I got my first breakthrough with the help of the husband of one of Mom's second cousins once removed, who pointed me in the direction of a microfilm collection which included the registration of the marriage between Carl August and Caroline Ludwig. That lovely record provided their ages, their parents, names, where they lived and where they married. I was back another generation!

New information added to the Family Group Sheet for Carl August Lange

After entering the information from Carl and Caroline's marriage registration, the excitement of finding their marriage registration faded. I was stuck again. It was time to join the Society of German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE). From the SGGEE website:

"The Society is devoted to the study of those people with German ancestry (most often of the Lutheran, Baptist, or Moravian Brethren faiths) who lived in present-day Poland and northwestern Ukraine. Special emphasis is placed on those who lived in the pre-WWI province of Volhynia and on the pre-WWI region of central and eastern modern Poland known as Russian Poland or Congress Poland."

The region described on the SGGEE website is where my mother's maternal ancestors lived before immigrating to Canada. I learned after discovering the marriage registration for Mom's paternal grandparents that it was also the geographic "hotspot" for the Lange/Ludwig families.

Birth and marriage locations for Mom's ancestors in Congress Poland (now
Poland and Ukraine); map made using Google Maps and Microsoft Powerpoint

The green squares are the birth locations of my great grandfather, Wilhelm Schalin, and where he registered the birth of one of his daughters in 1892. According, to her birth registration, the family lived in a small town that has not yet been located. I assume it is at least somewhere near where her father registered her birth. The red squares are the birth locations of my great grandparents, Carol August Lange and Caroline Ludwig, and where they were married in 1886.

To be continued...

NOTE: I use current place names when entering facts into my family tree. I enter the place name at the time the event occurred in the description field. In this way, I can map the movements of my ancestors, who on Mom's side, at least, seemed to have itchy feet and liked to wander. 

The Sibling Problem


  1. SGGEE broke many brickwalls for me with my Polish Germans and Volyhenia. I have been reading many records on microfilms to locate more of them with great success. I know I have seen many Ludwigs and Langes.

    1. I am just figuring out how to navigate the microfilm records. I found the birth registrations for my grandfather and his brother Trangott (known as Fritz). Then I want to start looking for more information about his parents. I love readying your comments as they give me continued hope!