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Hells in Friestadt

Hells in Friestadt

Posted: 1230836635000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hell, Wolf, Doell
Wondering if anyone has info re: William (Wilhelm) Hell and his wife Caroline (Wolf) Hell who lived in Friestadt from at least 1850 to their deaths in 1900. I wonder if they were among the original settlers and builders of the Trinity church.
any info would be helpful!

Re: Hells in Friestadt

Posted: 1231275382000
Classification: Query

I have a connection to this family. The Wolf family emigrated in 1839 aboard the ship Alfred, arriving in NY on 05 Sep 1839. The passanger list shows:


Hanna was a widow at the time. The family is listed in Iwan's book as living in Plathe, Kreis Regenwalde when they filed papers to leave Prussia (this does not mean they were born there). Another Wolf family traveled on the ship Britannia in 1839 - not sure if they are related.

The Wolf family may have spent a few years in Buffalo before continuing on to Wisconsin. It does not appear they were part of the approximately 40 families that came to Wisconsin in 1839 and established the settlement of Freistadt.

Iwan reports that Wilhelm Hell emigrated in 1839 without permission, he was living in Muddelmow, Kreis Regenwalde before he left. He was a "Knecht" (a servent or helping hand) before he left. I think it is a good assumption that he did not have the funds to buy land when he first arrived. He probably spent time working in the Buffalo area or working on the canals before continuing on to Wisconsin.

He purchased a 40-acre parcel of government land in the Freistadt community on 22 Mar 1842 and then an 80-acre parcel on 15 Jul 1843.

The book "Freistadt and the Lutheran Immigration" tells us Johann Carl Wilhelm Hell was born 04 Apr 1817 and died 25 Apr 1900. It says he was from Walzleben by Gollnow, Kreis Coeslin. The book has a picture of Sophia Wolf and Wilhelm Hell - so someone as done work on this family and supplied the Freistadt historical Society with the information and photo.

He married Sophia Maria Caroline Wolf sometime between 1839 and 1841. Their first child was born on 27 Jul 1842 in the Freistadt settlement or maybe in the village of Milwaukee (their second child was born in Milwaukee according to his death entry). I show they had 9 children.

They may have been member of Pastor Krause's congregation in Freistadt. However, when the congregation built their second church in 1844, Pastor Krause recorded the names of those that actually built the building - the name Hell does not appear on the list.

My connection to this family is via their second child, Johann Carl Michael Hell who married Elisabeth Maria Rosalie Buth.

Hope this helps,

Re: Hells in Friestadt

Posted: 1231288858000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hell, Wolf, Doell
wow! thank you, Tom.
My husband is related through Wilhelm and Sophia's daughter Maria Elizabeth Wilhelmine who married John Bartholomew Doell. I only have 7 children listed for W & S. I do have access to a picture of the two of them. My husband's family has always said that the last name was changed from Hell to Hall on immigration (which i have not found to be true so far) and also that william was a minister (also not true so far). they even have a very old book by Martin Luther that was printed in the 1500's that was supposed to be one of a set of seven books and has been passed down from generation to generation supposedly from William's family. No idea how that all fits in with anything!
i have found 2 land patents for a william/wilhelm hell in 1844. one in washington co and one in milwaukee co. i also have census images for them for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 all in Mequon, Ozaukee co.
they are a bit of a mystery for me. thank you for helping me clear up a few things. if i have anything you need, just let me know, i am happy to share!

Re: Hells in Friestadt

Posted: 1231300769000
Classification: Query
Your Welcome...

I have not heard the story that Wilhelm was a minister. It does not seem likely based on his occupation when he emigrated and the fact he lived his life on his farm (per the census records).

My branch of the family continued to use the spelling "Hell" at least in the church records I looked at. I do not know about the other two sons. The youngest child I show is Wilhelm Leberecht Paul Hell b. 11 Jul 1858, maybe he became a minister.

The land patent that says Milwaukee only means he was living in Milwaukee when he purchased the property. The legal description of the land is Township 9 Range 21 which is located in Washington County (now Ozaukee County - Ozaukee County was part of Washington County until 1853 when it was formed into a new county). In fact, the 2 parcels of land are next to each other. Thus, he had a farm of 120 arces (he owned 3/4 of section 7). The dates on the land patents are not purchase dates, they are the date when the federal government issued the patent. When one purchased land from the government (his land cost him $1.25/acre), the federal government issued the owner a "Land Patent" to confirm the land purchase. Land patents were issued anywhere from 6 months to 3 years after the land was actually purchased.

I have attached a scan of the inside cover of an old book by Luther, does your book look like this one? It is also part of a series of 7 (I believe). I am aware that Pastor Kluegel owned at least 2 of these books. Are there any names written in the book?

In the 1840s, some of the settlers in the Freistadt area did not like Pastor Krause (for a variety of different reasons) and never joined his congregation or dropped away after they got to know him. There was a preaching station on Mary Buth Road (about 2 miles away) that was served first by Pastor Kluegel then by Pastor Pankow. If Wilhelm did not join Pastor Krause's congregation they might have attended at the preaching station.

Pastor Krause left Freistadt in 1848, after his congregation split into 2 factions. One faction remained loyal to the Buffalo Synod and the other, larger, group joined the Missouri Synod. From 1847 until about 1868 there were 2 Lutheran churches in Freistadt (right across the street from each other). Around that time, the majority of the congregants of the Buffalo Synod church joined the Missouri Synod congregation. The remaining Buffalo Synod congregation was to small to continue so the Buffalo Synod church disbanned.

My branch of the W&S tree lived in Cedarburg Township, Ozaukee county after they married in 1869. They moved to the Kichhayn area and then to Milwaukee. They were members of Buffalo Synod churches after they married and until they died.

If you need anymore details, feel free to ask.

Re: Hells in Friestadt

Posted: 1231383880000
Classification: Query
trying to post the picture of our book for you, but server giving me grief. maybe the photo is too big(?)
email me at and i can email you directly with it.

Re: Hells in Friestadt & Doell in Milwaukee's German newspapers

Posted: 1369314458000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1369314637000
Surnames: Doell Hell
"... Maria Elizabeth Wilhelmine who married John Bartholomew Doell. I only have 7 children listed for W & S. I do have access to a picture of the two of them. My husband's family has always said that the last name was changed from Hell to Hall ..."

If it's of interest to your research, Johann B. & Maria (Hell) Doell family death notices and Danksagung (thanks) are found in Milwaukee's German newspapers (1914 & 1918). There are also death notices for their son Heinrich W. Doell. Only one other Doell name - Edward F. - is found in "Milwaukee's German Newspapers; an index of death notices and related items" (1844-1950). Maria's maiden name is listed as Hell and not Hall.
Gary Rebholz, compiler/editor
Milwaukee Wis.
Indexing Milwaukee's German newspapers continuously since 2007... helping family researchers collect evidence of our historic German-American culture.

Re: Hells in Friestadt & Doell in Milwaukee's German newspapers

Posted: 1475016117000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hell, Doell
Thanks! I had not seen your message until now. I tried my online access to newspapers but I don't think those have been digitized yet.
Still (always) researching this family.

Re: Hells in Friestadt & Doell in Milwaukee's German newspapers

Posted: 1475071159000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1475096824000
Surnames: Hell Friestadt Doell
Nope, the large archive of German language newspapers published in Milwaukee is not found online anywhere, and besides uncovering the resource from layers of dust since 2007, I haven't also financed an online version of the index.

Family researchers like us have always used multiple ways to collect copies of records and clippings. You're welcome to use any method that works for you.
I only provide citations with the German language clippings I collect or collect and translate. I know the local genealogy society doesn't acknowledge the German language newspapers (or the index) as a resource, the library does not provide research services in that collection.
Milwaukee WI

"Milwaukee's German Newspapers; an index of death notices and related items" (1844-1950) / an ongoing, independent project created.

Re: Hells in Friestadt & Doell in Milwaukee's German newspapers

Posted: 1475109742000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hell, Doell
Thank you for the information. It is really unfortunate that this is not a recognized resource. I have a feeling that there could be information in those clippings that I cannot find in another resource. Perhaps there is information that did not get into the english language papers of the time. Too bad.
How does a person go about looking into those clippings? I live in central WI so Milwaukee is a far hike for me.
Perhaps a local genealogy group could take on the project and help you in your work?
Bless you for not forgetting this resource!

Re: Hells in Friestadt & Doell in Milwaukee's German newspapers

Posted: 1475154388000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1475154547000
Surnames: Hells Friestadt Doell Brachmann
tjwitzel, the index I refer to in my postings directs you to the newspapers in the archive.

I've gone through over 40 titles (many are consecutive or different versions of editions), 1000+ rolls of microfilm in 3 libraries - just a part of the collection.
The index indicates over 293,000 paid family notices of various kinds, including paid death notices; 36,000+ obituaries are indicated, both detailed and brief.

Milwaukee's newspapers have their own consistent publishing practices (English, German & Polish language), which is different from many Wisconsin communities.

I approached several groups for their unfunded support between 2007-2009 without any significant interest. Mrs. Arlene Brachmann, then Pres. of the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society, assigned my 2008 proposal to that group, to Texas resident Roger Cobb who was going to get the Mormons to do the work for him - that's what he told me when I called him in Texas. I declined to participate in Roger's scheme.

After that, it's my understanding that the Milwaukee Public Library was told to present something to the Society. I've observed a couple of different attempts to do that. Their projects have usually involved getting hold of my data and putting their name on it. In fact, the library did that.

Contact the MCGS & MPL for the results of that strategy. The library has refused any offer of a free, on-site, ongoing indexing project. They also removed the accidental addition of their name on the catalog entry of my work found online at

So that's the situation. If you don't have any luck collecting your clippings other ways, you're welcome to contact me directly. I don't charge research fees.
Milwaukee, WI
As a test, "Milwaukee's German Newspapers; an index of death notices and related items" (1844-1950) has added over 400 clippings documenting 7 generations of my 100% Germanic family tree that rooted in southeastern Wisconsin from 1845 to 1881: Rebholz & Bertler; Lederer & Hauf; Gölz & Gassen; Mantheÿ & Schröder & Quast; Oppermann & Dhein; Schumacher & Müllemann & Hamacher & Könen; Bornheimer & Stahl & Rauh & Salb; and many of their related families.
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