Machtlos Germany

Where did our Schmidts originate?

Y-DNA evidence suggests that our particular branch of Schmidts originated in Scotland and Ireland. Something brought one of our ancestors down to Germany, perhaps in the Middle Ages. Reliable documents begin in the 1600s, with our earliest known ancestor, Hans Schmidt (1594-1680), a shepherd in the Werra Valley of Hessen-Kassel. He lived in the town of Nentershausen, and later Blankenbach, although many of his offspring populated the village of Machtlos.

Where are our Schmidts today?

In the 1800s, some of our Schmidts migrated from Hessen-Kassel to the Ruhr Valley, seeking work in larger cities like Essen, Bochum, and Dortmund. Many of our Schmidt ancestors immigrated to America, settling everywhere from Iowa, to Kansas, to Pennsylvania, to Texas, to Washington, DC. Today some of the American descendants of Hans Schmidt also have surnames like Anliker, Bohn, Guenther, Hagelgans, Jergens, Kertzel, Koenig, Krug, Lindemann, Raub, Schafer,  Schwenker, and many more.

(From left to right) The three kids in the front: Gilbert George "Red" Schmidt (1919-1989) (only his elbow and hand are visible in the bottom left corner of the photograph); Roland Richard "Dick" Schmidt (1921-1985); William Henry "Bill" Schmidt (1912-1982). The adults in the back: William Conrad Schmidt (1888-1956); Anna Henrietta (Niewoehner) Schmidt (1887-1942); Gertrude (Niewoehner) Arnold (1885-1973); Georg Karl Schmidt (1864-1933); Anna Margaret "Maggie" (Lindemann) Schmidt (1864-1943); Edward Dietrich Schmidt (1890-1943). This photo was taken at the Schmidt family farm in Ellington Township, east of Mallard and west of West Bend. Photo courtesy of Cindy (Springer) Schmidt.

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