I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.
This is week 13 and my 13th post in this challenge. Christian Karl Roleke, is my 3rd great-grandfather. I guess I’m kind of cheating this week. I picked an ancestor that I really haven’t researched and that I know very little about it. I did so because I have been out-of-town all week, and didn’t really have the time this week to devote to a lengthy blog post.
Karl, which is the name I believe he went by, was mentioned in the article below because his son and my 2nd great-grandfather Wilhelm Roleke, was the mayor of Bethany, Missouri for 32 years and because of this I have found many articles about him. This one just happened to mention his mother and father.
It basically states that his family was of the official class [whatever that means], he was born in the province of Hanover, Germany, he entered the army [what army??] at the age of 16 and when he met the requirements of his military service he was appointed to a position in civil service and later became a revenue officer [whatever that is]. He retired on a pension twenty years before his death in July of 1914. He was 85 years old when he died.
That small simple paragraph really gives me some good leads and quite a bit of information that I am very lucky to have found. However, it also shows me how little I understand German history, and I will really have to step up my skill set before I start trying to research German records. I’m sure the main barrier will be language and trying to decipher documents while researching. Also, what is the official class and what were the duties of a revenue officer?
I guess also my biggest fear is what happened to the Roleke’s that didn’t migrate to America before WWII? What was their role in WWII and do I want to know? I’m almost afraid to know, but I also realize whatever it is, it’s my history and I must pursue it and find out what happened to my family no matter my hesitation.
This is how I descend from Karl Roleke: