Friedericke Stroede




Friedericke Stroede is largely a mystery. We know her name but little else. Even so, she should be remembered, so the following tells the tiny bits of her story that can be told.

Friedericke Stroede was born in Germany.

Heinrich Lemke and Friedericke Stroede married and had the following children:

  1. Johann Carl Friedrich Lemke “Carl” was born on 22 May 1845 in Gross Justin, Pommerania. He married Clara Christine Elsabe Freese on 05 Feb 1881 in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. He died after Aug 1895.
  2. Wilhelm Gottlieb Carl Lemke was born on 03 Jun 1848 in Gross Justin, Pommerania. He married Wilhelmina Koehler. After she died, he remarried to Wilhelmine Frederke Louise Voigt on 08 Sep 1888 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He died on 06 Apr 1912 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  3. Bertha Friedke Wilhelmine Lemke was born in Schwentz Pommern. She married first to _____ Hofferman. She later married John Friedrich Wilhelm Laabs on 21 Aug 1886 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She died before 1937 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  4. Gustie. She married _____ Staeger.

That’s about all we know.

When her oldest son, our ancestor Carl, married in Hamburg, Friedericke’s name was listed on the marriage certificate. It said, “Freidericke gebornen Stroede.” In other words, “Friedericke born Stroede.”

Marriage record, Clara Christina Elsabe Freese and Johann Carl Friedrich Lemke, 05 Feb 1881, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

We know Friedericke had at least three children in addition to our ancestor Carl. His wife was interviewed in 1937 for the Wausau, Wisconsin, centennial, and provided a list of her 1st husband’s siblings.

1939 Wausau Centennial Association interview with Clara Christina Freese Lemke Boettcher.

When son Wilhelm remarried in Milwaukee, after the death of his first wife, he listed Friedericke’s name too.

Marriage record, Wilhelm Lemke – Wilhelmina Voight.

Since both sons listed their birthplace as Gross Justin, we know that Friedericke lived there, at least for a while.

Gross Justin (Groß Justin) was in Cammin in the province of Pommern and was part of Prussia when the Lemke family lived there. The small town now falls within the country of Poland and is known as Gostyń, Swierzno, Pomorskie, Poland. It was a little town. In 1905, the population was only 445. Now there are only about 660 people living there. The town had one church. It was Lutheran.

“Gross Justin,” Gostyń, Swierzno, Pomorskie, Poland.

Her daughter Bertha, gave her mother’s name, however, listed Schwentz Pommern as her place of birth when she remarried in 1886. That place doesn’t seem to exist.

Marriage record, Bertha Friedke Wilhelmine Lemke and Joh. Fried. Wilh. Laabs, Milwaukee, 1886.

Based on the ages of her children, we can guess that Friedericke was born sometime in the 1820s. If not in Gross Justin itself, she was probably born somewhere in Pomerania. She probably married in the early 1840s, most likely before the birth of her first child. We know she had four children, but there could certainly have been more. It was probably economics and opportunities that drove at least three of her known children to Wisconsin.

In that previously mentioned 1937 interview, Clara indicated that Carl’s parents (or at least his father) was deceased before their marriage. So, it is probable that Friedericke died in Germany before 1880. Yet, one person on Ancestry, claims that Friedericke died 13 Jun 1899 in Wisconsin. But, that family historian didn’t cite any proof and none seems available. Did Friedericke come to America with her children? No real evidence of that has been found.

It is frustrating to not be able to know more. Records can be hard to come by in what is now Poland. The Nazis destroyed lots of records during World War II. After the war, the Catholic church became prominent and there are not many Lutherans anymore. As the Lutheran churches disappeared, so did many records. More and more records are being found and made available each year, so perhaps in the future we will be able to know more. But, for now, we just have to remember Friedericke Stroede Lemke as a mother in the family tree.

Where is she in the tree?

Relationship chart, Norman Arthur August Krueger to Friedericke Stroede.
Pedigree chart, Friedericke Stroede.

Selected sources:, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marriages, 1838-1911 (Lehi, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2018),,, Milwaukee Public Library; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Milwaukee Vital Records; Call Number: 929.3., Hamburg, Germany, Selected Marriages, 1874-1920 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),

Clara Christina Freese Lemke Boettcher; 701 Prospect Ave., Wausau, WI; 16 Jun 1937; “Clara Christina Lemke Boettcher, Personal interview”, 1939 Wausau Centennial Association, Area Research Center, UW-Stevens Point, WI 54481.

“Gross Justin B. Stettin,” Meyers Gazetter ( : accessed 13 Apr 2020)

“Groß Justin,” Kartenmeister ( : accessed 13 Apr 2020)

“Gostyń, West Pomeranian Voivodeship,” Wikipedia (,_West_Pomeranian_Voivodeship : accessed 13 Apr 2020)

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