So I, like most genealogists, have a “brick wall.” An ancestor whose forbears remain completely unknown to me due to lack of information. It’s super-frustrating.
I am looking for the parents of John Post, who was born in 1856 and emigrated from Neidenburg, Prussia (today it’s Nidzica, Poland). Naturalized US citizen in 1897. His wife’s name was Anna Meredith. He’s my great-great-grandfather.
Here’s the problem. There’s a family story (there always is) that John Post was one of three brothers who lost their parents somehow and went to live with another family, taking on the name of Post. No one knows what their original name was. Grandma Post says “Oh, I think Herman Post knew what it was” but of course Herman Post is no longer with us and hasn’t been since 1972. According to Grandma, the name sounded something like “Rexie.” That is totally not anyone’s actual name and doesn’t sound German OR Polish.
I asked on the Polish Genealogy Facebook group and someone suggested the name Reksa and said there were Reksas living in the area where John Post came from. Which is HUGE AND EXCITING. I haven’t followed up on it yet but finally, a clue!! I wonder where it will lead…
John Post and Anna Meredith
Five generations of cranky German ladies. From bottom right, clockwise: Alvina Pirius Quast (great-great-grandmother), Clara Quast Schultz (great-grandmother), Lavarian Schultz Post (grandmother), Jeanette Post Hauschildt (mother), and I’m the baby in Clara’s lap. Must have been taken around 1972 given my age in the photo; can’t be any later than 1974 as that’s when Alvina died. I was born in 1971 but have no memory of her at all.
So my great-great-grandfather John Post is my total brick wall. I have his obituary, which says he was born in Neidenburg, East Prussia. (It’s Nidzica, Poland now.) Neidenburg was the name of a Kreis (sorta like county) AND a village, so there’s a larger area I need to look at than just one village. So far I haven’t come up with anything. He married in 1881 and came over after that with his wife and presumably one child. Family rumor has it he wasn’t a Post at all but was born with another name and then raised by a Post family and took their name. ARGH. I’ve looked at some of the church books in the area (I was told there were Posts in the Narzym, Poland area), but so far nothing’s come up. I’ve got like five more microfilms on order with the LDS and I’m hoping something comes up there. It’s SO frustrating when I’ve got Quast names back to 1635 and can’t get past 1856 with this guy.
At any rate, someone posted this URL of pictures from old Neidenburg, among other villages in the area, which is really really cool. Pictures of other villages are here.