In 1772 after Fredrick the Great formed West Prussia, he had every head of household in the territory enumerated into a land registry which we have index’s and images of. According to these registers there were three Kresmers in all of West Prussia so its very likely that Helena Kresmer and her father Jakob Kresmer were descendent’s of one these men. The three Kresmers listed according to an index were Christ[ian] Kresmer of Zieglershufen [Zieglershuben], Jacob Kresmer of Budzin and Mathes Kresmer of Behnhoff [Bönhof/Boenhöffen].
Sadly we weren’t able to gain access to images of the registers, they are digitized but the links don’t connect properly.
Mathes or Mathias and his descendants belonged to the Parish of Stuhm, checking the records in this parish Mathias had many children but none of them were a Jacob born in the 1780s. Jacob and Christian belonged to the parish of Tiefnau the same parish that Jacob born in the 1780s got married in. Searching the indexs in Tiefnau showed that there were no baptisms of Jacobs, there were two sisters Helen and Elisabeth born in 1784 and 1789 to Jacob and Agnes. So we still don’t know who Jacobs parents were but its very likely that Jacob and Agnes were his parents.
Jacobs First Wife
If we go back to Jacobs marriage to Franciszka Nesterowicz then we know that he was listed as a widow, so there was another wife and possibly other children in Tiefnau. Looking in the parish we found a Jacob Kresmer a solider marrying a Eva Polecowa in 1806. This is during Napoleonic War so its very likely he was either part of a Prussian Legion or the Polish Legion under Napoleon. In 1808 they had a daughter named Marianna and again Jacob was a solider.
In 1810 something even more interesting happened, Eva gave birth Anna in Podgorz, which if we go back to last weeks research we know that some Kresmer’s lived in Podgorz. Its likely Jacob and Eva moved there after they got land, possible a payment for fighting in the war.
But the couples wealth didn’t last by 1815 they didn’t own any land but this wasn’t the end of this couples adventure they had five daughters between 1808 and 1819. The last daughters baptism shines light on the families desperation after the war.
Polish Catholics in West Prussia were discriminated against especially after they rebelled against the Prussian government. This is likely why Jacob and Eva registered as Lutherans and not Catholics. That’s where our research has ended this week. As always there’s many more questions now but that’s Polish Genealogy.