Blog Series Part 2- Leaving Germany for New Beginning in America, One Family’s Travel and where they left

Ship Keppler Voyage April 15, 1865

  • The passenger list of Rethamel family from Port of Hamburg, April 15, 1865.
  • The ship Keppler (Kepler) arrived in Quebec, Canada on approximately May 25 (calculated based on about 40 days at sea) from Hamburg, Germany, with merchandise and a number of passengers. (Still looking for details on voyage) The Kepler (spelled with one P in German) was a 3 masted, square-rigged ship, built under special survey by Martin Samuelson Hull, for Robert Miles Sloman, and launched in January 1863 [certificate of registry, Hull, 26 February 1863]. 666 tons/300 Commerzlasten; 165.4 x 28.7 x 18.5 feet (length x beam x depth of hold); iron construction, 2 bulkheads.
  • Master/Captain: N J Jurgens, 1863-1865
  • Voyages:
    • 1863- Quebec/London
    • 1863/1864 – New York
    • 1864 – Quebec/London
    • 1864/65 – New York
    • 1865 – Quebec/London (Rethamel family time)
    • 1865 – New York / Philadelphia
    • On December 4, 1865, she sailed from Philadelphia for Bremen, Germany, but was never seen again (source)
  •  British made ship

Hamburg Passenger Lists (1850-1934)

The following is found:

Passenger List 1
Keppler sailing from Hamburg to Quebec in April 15, 1865. On p. 2 of this passenger list we can find the following family:
A. Retthammel, 66 years old (Christian)
Contantia Retthammel, 60 years old
August Retthammel, 27 years old
Friederike Retthammel, 22 years old
Amalie Retthammel, 23 years old

The calculated years of birth fit very well to the data for August F. (1837, here 1838) and Christian (1799). And the year of immigration is 1865, just as listed for August F. Rettammel in the 1900 and 1910 census, I found.

Passenger List 2
Passenger lists of the harbor of Hamburg are preserved from 1851 forward. A search of shows microfilm handwritten name index and the pages of the 1850s and 1860s passenger lists for Vol. 005 (9 Jan 1864 to 23 Dec 1865) of the index for “direct emigrants” we find the Rethammel family under “R”, page 13 of 28 pages.

The following was provided from this record:

(Ship) No. 14 Keppler to Quebec, Master Jurgens, April 15, 1865, Rethamel, Aug, wife, 3 children, p. 119. In vol. 019 of the passenger lists for direct emigrants (7 Jan 1865 to 23 Dec 1865) we can find the first page of the 1865 passenger list of the sail ship Keppler on p. 119 [image 57 or 592]

Here we can find the following information:
No. 22 AUGUST RETHAMEL, worker, 66 years
No. 23 CONSTANTIA RETHAMEL, wife, 60 years
No. 24 AUGUST RETHAMEL, worker, 27 years
No. 25 FRIEDERIKE RETHAMEL, wife, 23 years
No. 26 AMALIE RETHAMEL, unmarried, 22 years
the last place or origin or place of birth is listed:

  • Gross Boschpol, Prussia
  • There were 13 other passengers from the same village on the same ship [Hofmann, Neetzel and Wolf] – so that there was a total of 18 passengers from the same village on the ship.
  • Location of Gross Boschpol, Prussia
    This village was located in Pommern, Kreis Lauenburg, about 453 kilometers northeast of Berlin – near the Baltic Sea and near the city of Dansk/Danzig.

Since 1945, the bigger part of Pommern has belonged to Poland and the great majority of the German inhabitants in that area had to leave in 1945. Today the name of Gross Boschpol is “Bozepole Wlk.” The population of Gross Boschpol in 1865 is still being researched, but in 1933 there were 361 inhabitants.

Most of the parish register records in Pommern were destroyed in 1945, so the records are limited. There were Lutheran inhabitants and Catholics in Gross Boschpol based on numbers from, 1904 I think that about 20-25 % of the Gross Boschpol inhabitants were Catholic. Near Gross Boschpol there were some villages with almost 100% Lutherans (like Damerkow or Goddenow) and villages with a Catholic majority (like Chmelenz, Paraschin or Felstow). This region was the border region between the Lutheran strongholds in the west and the Catholic strongholds just east of Gross Boschpol.

The Lutheran inhabitants of Gross Boschpol attended the church in Zinzelitz (Dziecieliec today) while the Catholic Church was in Rosalin (Rozlazino).

Since my Rettammel ancestors were Lutheran, the only Zinzelitz parish registers which have survived WWII are death/burial records of 1858-1874. These burial/death records were filmed in 1938, although the originals were destroyed. This film is accessible at the Berlin church archive and at the Leipzig State Archive, but via LDS films as well.  The civil registers of Gross Boschpol are preserved from their beginning (1876) on. The 1876-1906 civil registers are at the Gdansk State archive while the newer civil register records are still at the local authorities, probably in Leczyce.  This does not help much for August Rethammel Jr. and his parents after they left eleven years before, but maybe there were other Rethammel family members (like siblings of August Sr. or August Jr.) who stayed in Gross Buschpol and whom we might find in the 1858-1874 burial/death registers and the civil register records.

The LDS has only filmed the 1876-1883 Gross Buschpol civil register records.
At I found a German map of the Kreis (County) Lauenburg. Gross Buschpol is blue underlined in the east section of this map. The border which you see directly east of Gross Buschpol was the border between Prussia and Poland until 1772 and from 1919 to 1939.

you can see a picture of the Zinzelitz church.

LDS Records for Church Parish

Author: Evangelische Kirche Zinzelitz (Kr. Lauenburg).

Title: Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1858-1874.

Publication information: Leipzig : Zentralstelle für Genealogie, 1983.

Format: auf 1 Mikrofilmrolle ; 35 mm.

Notes: Mikrofilme aufgenommen von Manuskripten in Berlin, 1938.

Contents:  Parish register transcripts of deaths for Zinzelitz, Pommern, Germany, also called Spechtshagen; now Dziecielec (Lebork), Gdansk, Poland. Left-side pages (l. S.) filmed separately from right-side pages (r. S.)


Tote     1858-1874 (r. S.) ——————————- 1335392

Tote     1858-1874 (l. S.)

Records found under:

  1. Germany, Preußen, Pommern, Zinzelitz – Church records
  2. Poland, Gdansk, Dzieciolec (Lebork) – Church records
Blog Series Part 2- Leaving Germany for New Beginning in America, One Family’s Travel and where they left

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