Frederick Pratsch Anna Chatherine Stiebling
Frederick Pratsch is my great-great-grandfather and my most mysterious ancestor. We have not been able to learn much about him through any documents, but the family story goes as follows: He came to North America to avoid military service in Germany about 1863. He may possibly have been from the area around Berlin in Germany. He may possibly have entered the United States through Canada. He worked as a sailor on the Great Lakes, and met his future wife at the Reid House Hotel in Lorain Ohio where she was employed as a maid. (Lorain is a port on Lake Erie, near Cleveland.) Frederick and Catherine married in 1878 and bought some land in Lorain, where they built a house. We have not located a church marriage record, and the civil records give very little information. Frederick died of typhoid fever in 1894.
We hoped that church records of his death would give his place of birth, but they did not. (His wife was one of the founding members of the St. John's Evangelical church in Lorain.) So far we have not found any evidence that he had contact with any other Pratsch family members while he was living in Lorain. We continue to do research on Frederick, but all the easy sources have turned up negative.

Kathy Thatte
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Louse Pratsch und John Dobbeck mit ihrem Kind Pratsch and Dobbeck Group Photo (about 1914)