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Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

B.J. Jones (View posts)
Posted: 1036005500000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ottenberg
Anyone have any leads on either Johann or Wilhelm Ottenberg, or their sisters Anna or Lisa? They remained behind in Prussia, town of Pillkallen, when their brother, Frederick and his wife, Augusta Meier Ottenberg emigrated to the US in 1882. I'm trying to find out who their parents were, if they had any descendents, and who they were.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265017540000
Classification: Query
Have you found anything out since 2002.

I found a ship list from the ship Rhyland leaving Antwerp, Belgian was a Louise Ottenberg age 60, Fr Ottenberg 28, Aug Ottenberg 29, Franz Ottenberg 4, and Frank Ottenberg 11. This ship arrived in NYC Nov 1881.

I am not sure it is them. Only thing that was interesting was that birthdates were corresponding to that Augusta was a year older than Fred. Also listed was a Franz age 4 and a Franc (extremely difficult to read) age 11 and 9 months.

But this doesn't match up.
Franz is OK.
But there is no August who would have around 3 on the voyage
Frederick (Fritz) b. 1880 would have been about 1 on board.

Don't know who Franc is, unless it so unclearly written that it actually says something else - like 0 years 9 months. But still doesn't account for the missing August. I went through the entire ship list and didn't find anything else - except a Wiliam Maier. Augusta's last name was Maier, but don't know if there is a connection.

It has also been written that Frederick Sr (oldest) was in PA with Frederick Jr. Maybe he went first and son and mother (Louise) came later. But I found no evidence of Louise in later censuses.

Anyway it's all just speculation.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265304106000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ottenberg, Meier
I'm thinking these may be relatives, but not the same folks I was inquiring about. According to some family tree information I have, Friederich Wilhelm Ottenberg and Augusta Louise Meier Ottenberg left East Prussia around October 1882 with their 3 children: Franz, August, and Friederich Wilhelm. Augusta's mother was Elizabeth Meier, and she also accompanied them. Friederich was about 2 years of age. Census records indicate the year they departed East Prussia was 1882, not 1881. Looking up the name Friederich Wilhelm Ottenberg of Prussia yields a large number of males bearing that name. Going through "paternal parental" possibilities gives a lot of possibilities as well. I'm guessing Louise Ottenberg may have been married to a cousin of the senior Friederich Wilhelm Ottenberg mentioned earlier in my message. It's also possible the name "Ottenberg" may have been just as common in Prussia as the names "Smith" or "Jones" are in the US.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265549867000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Ottenberg, Meiers, Layton

These Ottenbergers on the passenger list might not be "the right" Ottenbergs, but too much of a coincident to ignore.

I don't think the Ottenberg name was a very common a name at least not like Smith or Jones. I have done some research on the remaining Ottenberg (and its variants) in Europe. There are no Ottenbergs left in Pilkallen or Dobrovolsk in western Russia with good reason. My German and Swiss German friends think it is a very unusual name. On the other hand, Meier(and it's various spellings)is like Smith or Jones. Wilhelm and Frederich were certainly very popular names. Narrowing the search to East Prussia might help, it was smaller region, where the Ottenberg name might have abounded.

The question is how many Frederich Ottenbergs b. 1853 married Augusta Meiers b. 1852 and emigrated to US at the beginning of 1880s, with kids names Franz (b.1876) and Fritz (Frederich Jr) (b. 1880, but in 1900 Census says 1890 but born in Germany...) all with corresponding birth dates in 1900 Census. Only August (b. 1878) is missing this is suspicious. Otherwise, I find it fascinating that Aug and Fr on the ship document have birthdays correspond exactly with the 1900 and 1910 Census - i.e. dates are correct and Augusta being two years older.

Do you have documentation about the father of Frederich Ottenberg (1853)? What documents do you have that support they all left Pilkallen together in Oct. 1882? In the 1910 Census it states they arrived in US 1876. But in 1900 Census says 1882. Although a bit ambiguous, the immigration form says "Year of immigration to United States" - I take this to mean when they arrived in US, because otherwise it would have been "year emigrated", but not sure Census cared that much.

What document do you have that states they came together with Elizabeth Meiers? I also have no information about the father of Fred(1853) was ever in US. If you have any of this documentation can you please tell me where to find it?

My information is mainly supplied via a grandson of Frederich Ottenberg (1853), whose father was Gustav Ottenberg (b. 1882 Penn) in the early 1990s. But I don't remember who compiled the info, but I have a vague remembrance that it was Clara Ottenberg Santmeyer or rathr someone related to her, but I might be wrong. There was a copy of a letter written from a brother Johann in Pilkallen (which is how we knew they came from Pilkallen in East Prussia). I have noted that Frederich and Augusta were in US 1881 with their respective mothers and that Elizabeth Meiers remarried Karl Lebe.

I am descended from Edith (Eda) Ottenberg b. 1888 Penn daughter or Fred. and Augusta. In 1910 Census she is living next door to her father and mother. Edith lived until the 1970s and had a very good relationship to my grandfather and grandmother and they knew many of the Ottenberg aunts and uncles. My grandparents could validate much of the information I got in 1990s, but not much about Frederich (he died before my grandfather was born) and Augusta. Unfortunately all this data is in Pittsburgh, PA and I am permanently residing in Sweden. I made notes of names and dates.

Here is the info I got in 1990s from grandson to Frederich Ottenberg:

Frederich Ottenberg b. 1853 East Prussia d. 1914
married Augusta Meier b. 1852 East Prussia d. 1920
1. Frantz/Franz b. 1876/1877 Germany d. 1959 (m. Ola Chambers)
2. August M. b. 1878 Germany d. 1958 (m. Karoline "Carrie" Bucheit
3. Frederick Fritz b. 1880 Germany d. 1956 (m.Caroline "Lena" Raupach)
4. Carl b. 1882 Penn d. 1952 (Charles in 1900 Census/Carl in 1910 Census)
5. Gustave b. 1881 Penn d. 1964 (m. Oatha May Layton)
6. Earnest "Dink" b. 1884 Penn d. 1958
7. Minnie Bertha b. 1886 Penn d. 1946 (Henry Raupach/Reinhold Raupach)
8. Edith b. 1888 Penn d. 1972 (m. Arthur W. Layton)
9. Henry b. 1890 Penn d. 1967 (m. Mary Etta Chain)
10. Albert b. 1892 d. 1968 (Mary Olive Miller)
11. Clara Amanda b. 1895 d. 1973 (m. Sherman Santmeyer)

There was some information that Frederich 1853 was a miner and that Augusta Meiers 1852 worked as a maid.

I'm sure that you have most of this already, just want to validate the information I have.

Sincerely, Noël Nicole Layton (aka Julangby)

PS: Sorry so long. Didn't know they wouldn't put in paragraphs.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265579908000
Classification: Query
There are just 138 entries for Ottenberg in Most of the refugees and expellees from East Prussia in 1945-46 moved along the Baltic coast and settled in northern towns. It might be worth picking out a few who live in the north and writing and asking if any of them originally came from Pillkallen (nowadays Kutusovo, Kalinigradskaya Oblast). It would not cost much and just might hit lucky. Just a suggestion.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265582620000
Classification: Query
I'll definitely have to add your information. I am descended from Friederich Wilhelm Ottenberg and Lena Caroline Raupach Ottenberg. I was actually named for Caroline. My birth name is Caroline Dale Ottenberg. I was relinquished for adoption as an infant. I have copies of Census's from various years, also. I live in Germany. I agree the coincidences are too vast to ignore. I'll have to scan what I have as far as my references. The Family Tree information I was given came from another cousin, descended from the same folks. Using that, I also did more research and compiled what I could on a Family Tree Maker program. I'll have to get the newest version and upload it. I'm sure there's a lot more to input. I do have a few photos of my grandparents. My grandather, Alfred, was Friederich and Caroline's son. I also am connected to other relations doing research on family members, notably Scott Ottenberg, who is my great-uncle Frederick's son and Richard Yarnell, a 3rd cousin. You can always e-mail me at or I'm also online at I also have Facebook, and you can locate me by my hotmail address. Scott and Rich are on my Friends' list on Facebook. I have tried to find what I can on any ancestors past Friederich born in 1853 and have been hitting roadblocks. I have seen Ottenbergs listed in my local phone directory. Ich bin Deutsch lerne, but my command of it it is now just past the basics. I'm only starting to get slightly conversational, so I'm not that good yet. Looks like I may have to snag my landlady or get better on both German and Polish in order to get anywhere in finding relations/ancestors leads. Anyway, I'll try to get all my findings together for scanning in. I think I have copies of 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, and maybe 1930 censuses.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265582948000
Classification: Query
Thank you. I'd thought of doing that long ago, but my German was horrible at the time. It's still not that good, but it's getting better. I may have to do that after I've taken my Air Force E-7 promotion test. Yes, I'm active duty stationed in Germany.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1265657214000
Classification: Query
To Noel Nicole Layton - Do you remember our cousin, Vicki Reisenfeld? I found an e-mail from her. She mentions you being in Sweden and doing research on the Ottenbergs. I'll have to find the original message in my E-mail archives.

Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1266401792000
Classification: Query

Just saw a documentary last night how East Prussian German refugees "escaped" advancing Russian troops last night.


Re: Ottenbergs of Pillkallen

Posted: 1266402993000
Classification: Query
Vicki, she's probably where I got majority of the info I have in Pittsburgh. I copied everything and gave it to my father, but not sure what he did with it. This was before burnable CDs and I probably have everything on a floppy disk somewhere - I switched to Apple 10 years ago and don't have access to my floppy disk from my PC era.

There was a really interesting article I think it was from a Western PA newspaper - Fayette County/Uniontown/Connelsville - (might have been a eulogy) that Frederick Ottenberg (not sure if Jr or Sr) was a great gardener in in later years. I wonder if Vicki gave it to me or if I found it myself. I know it existed!

Can reach me at Facebook Noel Nicole Layton

I haven't gotten to any of the family tree programs. Never enough time.


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