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Oskar Schönfelder's Genealogy

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German History of Karl Schoenfelder

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Karl Schoenfelder - Passport Photo 1927

My Grandfather Karl Heinrich George Schönfelder was born on January 19, 1906 in Werdau, Saxony Germany.  His father was Max Oskar George Schönfelder (born 1868) and his mother was Christiane Charlotte Amanda Oertling (born 1880).  Karl’s father, who went by the name of Oskar, was a high school teacher in Werdau from 1885 to 1927.  At the beginning he taught for 3 years part-time or as an auxiliary teacher.  Later in 1888 he became a full time teacher.  This means he started teaching at the age of 17 and continued until he was 59 years old.

 

During Grandpa Karl’s life in Germany he observed and experienced much hardship even though the family lived a rather comfortable life.  Being born in 1906 he was the youngest in the family with his twin brother dying as an infant.  He had two older brothers and two older twin sisters.  At the age of 8 years old WW1 took his two older brothers away, never to return.  His twin sisters were 12 years old at the time. 

 

While the crisis of the war was going on around him, Grandpa Karl was still in school along side his father.  We were lucky to have found a couple copies of his school reports from the year 1917 – 1918 that indicate he did well.  At the age of 11 he took a variety of subjects in school: Religion, German, French, Geography, History, Nature, Pay-count, Free-hand drawing, Writing, Singing and Gymnastics. 

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Map of Saxony

He left Germany in 1927 when he was 21 years old and immigrated to Canada.  He arrived at the Port of Quebec on August 13, 1927 aboard the Empress of Scotland owned by Canadian Pacific. 
 
My Grandfather Karl Schoenfelder shared only a few stories of his life in Germany as most of the time his preference was to not talk about his life there at all.  He also stopped speaking his native language.  There has been much mystery and lots of questions about why he came to Canada.  We know that there was much political unrest in Germany at the time with the Nazi's taking over and we think Karl may have been married in Germany before immigrating to Canada.
 
Some of this mystery comes in the information gathered in his naturalization papers.  When he filled the form out upon his arrival, he mentions that he is married but that "she" is not here by naturalized. 
 
This along with some mysterious events and a picture of a woman named Hildegard from Germany, have led his family to believe that he may have been married while in Germany.  One family member thought they heard a story about Karl coming to Canada and his wife was to follow, though she never did supposedly afraid of the hardships and uncertainty of life in this new country. 
 
 

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This along with some mysterious events and a picture of a woman named Hildegard from Germany, have led his family to believe that he may have been married while in Germany.  A few family members seem to believe it to be true and thought they heard a story about Karl coming to Canada and his wife was to follow, though she never did supposedly afraid of the hardships and uncertainty of life in this new country. 
 
Grandma Barbara Schoenfelder once in confidence told a family member that if she was to pass away before Grandpa Karl, then she would take a family secret with he to the grave.  If Grandpa Karl passed away first then she would tell the family.  Unfortunatley she passed away and so with her, the secret.
 
Of course this leaves the family to speculate and so for now, it is only the hopes of finding marriage records in Germany to help us answer this fascinating family secret. 
 
So far, the archives in Werdau do not have any records to indicate this as being so and so with only time and maybe a bit of luck, we will find our answer. 
 
 

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Hildegard