I looked at the tree my great aunt gave me when I started genealogy, and she said the family was from Berka in Sondershausen. I do not know where she got that, but perhaps the information had been passed down in the family. I looked on Meyers Gazeteer for a Berka in Sondershausen, and it DOES exist. Berka is actually a village outside of Sondershausen.
|Baptism transcription for Auguste Wilhelmine Friederike Werther born on 8 May 1861 in|
Berka to Johann Günther Werther and Marie Dorothea Reinhardt. Paper in collection of
Beulah (Peters) Brewer now in possession of Jim Stewart of Kansas.
Next, I decided to look through the documents and photos I had photographed at my uncle's house two years ago. Though I've looked through the documents many times, I haven't studied all of them. As I looked through them, I found 6 documents: a faded 3-page typed letter, a darker 2-page transcription of the letter with some words translated, and a document titled "Auszug aus dem Taufregister" which translates to "from the baptismal register." This last document was a transcription of the baptism of Auguste Wilhelmine Friederike Werther, the youngest daughter of our immigrant couple. And, the place of the baptism was the St. Viti Evangelical Lutheran Church in "Berka/Wipper!"
|Image of St. Viti Evangelical Lutheran Church in Berka, Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen|
So, now I know my Werther family came from Berka, a village outside of Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in the present day state of Thuringia! The letter also included transcriptions of the baptismal records for two of the other children who were born in 1848 and 1855. With 7 known children born between 1847 and 1861, it is unclear why the other baptismal records were not found.
Unfortunately, it appears that the records microfilmed for St. Viti of Berka only went through 1846, though none of the children in this family were born until 1847! However, the years the parents were born are included. My next steps are to order those two microfilms, and to write the church to see if I can get actual copies of the baptism records for the Werther children. Hopefully, they'll find the records for the four children that were not found when my great aunt evidently wrote for these records! It's exciting to know where another branch of my German family once lived!