Braunsfelde, Friedenberg and Woldenberg
It is not clear where the Remus family of West Prussia came from. There is a case to be made that the financially secure Remus family came down from Danzig. Or that Remus family was in the Pommern (Pomerania) and came down to West Prussia. And, there is also a good case that the Remus families farming in Neumark was slowly migrating east from Saxony to Neumark and ultimately to West Prussia. The page deals with the third option.
The Germans farmers were gradually reaching the Neumark area (it was north of Posen and on the Notec river) in the 1400's. They came because they were getting free of the feudal system still in place in many places in Germany and also the good land in Germany was already being farmed. Here is map of their progress in 1450:
The evidence for a Remus family in Neumark is strong and is presented on the web. In 1599, the Kerstan Remus was mustered in Woldenberg in Neumark and the Hans Remus was mustered in Friedenberg; this was the period of theGreat Northern War with Swedish occupation of the area. This information was prepared as web pages by Norbert Gschweng and put up at his web site (www.gschweng.de ) Click here for a mirror of that web page of 1599 information. Norbert also provides information on Friedenberg. All Norbert's pages are in German and contain general information on the villages as well as about his family there.
One of the major impacts of theGreat Northern War during this period is that the conflict between the Swedes and Germans drove many of the German settlers to flee to safety in neutral Poland. Perhaps, this is why the Remus family ended up in West Prussia. However, some members of the Remus family remained in Neumark. The census of 1718/19 found four Remus families in Braunsfelde near Friedenberg, Neumark. These were the Martin, Joachim, Hans, and Michel Remus families; all of these families were farmers. Click here for the list of villagers in the 1718/19 census.
Norbert also providesa fine web page on the manorial village of Braunsfelde about 100 years ago including the following 1904 picture.
So, it would be easy for the Martin, Joachim, Hans, or Michel Remus family to make the trip further east ending up in West Prussia. Incidentally, members of this family did end of staying in Kries Friedenberg into the twentieth century.
By clicking here you will get a detailed map of the area in Adobe Acrobat format.
Given all of Norbert's interesting information, I traveled toBraunsfelde, Friedeberg, and Wodenberg in the Summer of 2004. Click each of those links and see what I found. Braunsfelde seems to be a good candidate for the departure of the Remus family to West Prussia.
Click here for a list of what web pages are here about the Nietze area.
Please send any queries to Bill Remus at
January 24, 2007