Monday, June 13, 2016

Another Ludwig Breakthrough: Finding Uncle Gustav Ludwig

Grandma and Grandpa Lange on their wedding day in 1915; personal collection

I have known for many years that my grandfather, Gustav Lange, and grandmother, Wilhelmina Schalin, married in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1915. It was not until I ordered their Official Notice of Marriage from Manitoba Province that I knew exactly where in Winnipeg they married.

Where married: 386 Thames Avenue, Winnipeg; snippet from personal

386 Thames Avenue was also listed as Gustav's home address. So they married at the groom's home. How interesting since he was the only known Lange family member in Canada and Wilhelmina had lots of family in her hometown in Alberta.

It wasn't until my aunt gave me the Lange family bible that the address on Thames Avenue became a clue that knocked down another Ludwig brick wall. Aunt Jeanne believed the bible was given to her husband, my Uncle Alfred, by his father Gustav. As I translated the pages containing family information from German to English. I began to suspect the bible belonged to my grand uncle Traugott Lange and he had later given it to my grandfather. (You may read about that here: Grandpa's Bible and New Mysteries and Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange.)

Mom always called Traugott "Fritz." She didn't know his given name and she didn't know what happened to him. A connection with the granddaughter of my grandfather's youngest brother provided a bit more information about his life and a different name, "Trogott." But that new information didn't advance my search results in any way.

The family information handwritten in the bible stated Traugott married Katherina Magdalena Hirt in Winnipeg in 1917. With a place name now known, I could add new focus to my search for Traugott.

When the 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta was enumerated, Traugott lived at 386 Thames Avenue and was a roomer with Gustav Ludwig's family. There were two things familiar about this piece of information: 1) the address was where my grandfather lived and married in 1915 and 2) Ludwig was the maiden name of Caroline (Ludwig) Lange, the mother of my grandfather and his brother, Traugott. Was Gustav Ludwig related? He was the same age as my grandfather so I thought perhaps a cousin, but at the time I had absolutely no way to prove a familial connection.

386 Thames Avenue, Winnipeg, Canada; courtesy of Google Street View

As I continued researching Traugott's life, I realized I had found the proof that Gustav Ludwig was related to Caroline Ludwig. He was her much younger brother.

Snippet from a 1920 U.S.-Canada Border Crossing list; courtesy of

The master pedigree database developed by the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE) included the parents of Caroline and Gustav Ludwig but no information about their children. So this connection to Gustav Ludwig was completely new information!

I started researching the life of Gustav Ludwig and discovered he did live on Riverton Avenue in Winnipeg in 1921 so we were talking about the same person! And another brick tumbles down from the Ludwig brick wall.

Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange
Grandpa's Bible and New Mysteries
The Ludwig Breakthrough: Finding Some Great Greats
The Ludwig Breakthrough: DNA and Chocolates
The Ludwig Breakthrough: Reporting From Brazil
The Ludwig Breakthrough: Life of Johann Jacob Baerg


  1. Wow! How exciting! I love seeing how this all came together piece by piece. I also love the beautiful picture taken on their wedding day.

    1. That's a photo of my grandparents and one of my favorites. I am so amazed at out three pages of a family bible has unlocked so much information.