Fritz, Johanna and Marie Schoedel

UPDATED I received some new information about the Schoedels from one of our amazing readers, so I’ve adjusted the text below accordingly. Oh how I love this community, thank you for your feedback and help!

I bought these photos and RPPCs from German ebay a while ago. Only after they arrived by mail, I discovered that they were all identified and of one family. I’ve been trying to piece together their story, but haven’t had much success. The records for this town are not digitised, so not accessible on my subscribed genealogy platforms. Doing genealogy in Germany can be a strenuous and expensive hobby… Asking someone in the archive to look up someone’s birth or death details can cost between 20-30 euros every half hour… Well, enough ranting done. The photos include lots of valuable information we can work with:

Please meet family Schoedel (also Schödel) from Münchberg, Germany. These are husband Fritz and wife Johanna.

Johanna’s maiden name was Reichel.

Fritz and Johanna had a daughter Marie, who later married someone with the surname Streitmann.

Here you can see a photo of three generations of women in the Reichel-Schoedel family – granny Therese Reichel, mother Johanna and daughter Marie.

There are also two RPPCs among the photos. I cannot unfortunately read the date on the stamp, but judging by the fashion, these were sent before WWI. The first one shows Johanna, Fritz and Marie with an unidentified woman and girl in Bad Schachten in Lindau, an idyllic town at the Bodensee Lake in Germany.

The second RPPCs was probably sent from the same trip, written on their last day of holidays.

Both RPPCs were addressed to Johanna’s mother Therese Reichel in Lugwigstr. 10 in
Münchberg.

When I first began my research, I realised that the surname Schödel is a household name in Münchberg. One Fritz Schödel (1886-1966) owned a textile factory Friedrich Schoedel AG in town
for many years. He was even appointed the title of an honorary citizen of Münchberg for his contributions. But then I saw a photograph of him and can rule out that he was our Fritz Schoedel.

My only clue was that the addressbook of Münchberg from 1950 lists one Johanna Schoedel as a widow of a company proxy holder, living in the same address the above RPPCs were addressed to. So was our Fritz Schödel related to the manager of the textile company and was he working as legal proxy for him? Was Fritz in this case short for Friedrich?

So I published the original blogpost with this little information. And then one of our readers contacted me with a marriage record for Fritz and Johanna! That marriage record had such a domino effect as it revealed so many new details!

Friedrich Karl Schödel (or Schoedel as handwritten on the photos) was born on March 18, 1876, in Münchberg, to parents Johann Schödel, city treasurer, and Johanna née Rothermund. 

Johanna Maria Sophia Reichel was born on October 3, 1879, in Münchberg. Fritz married Johanna on September 16, 1902, in Münchberg.

Now that I had their birth dates, I could check for more records. Fritz’ military records from WWI, available on Ancestry, confirm his birth date, name of his wife and his profession prior to WWI. We can also see his parents’ names and that Fritz only had one child (we already know that his daughter’s name was Marie). He served in the Landsturm-Infantry Batallion of Straubing  III B 11. We can also see a reference that he somehow participated in the defense of His Majesty King Ludwig III in July 1916. From April till December 1918, Fritz was stationed in Estonia and Latvia (territories referred to as Livland in old German records) as part of the police force of the occupying forces. 

One of the witnesses at their marriage was one Karl Reichel, a bookbinder by profession. I dug a bit deeper and found his military records from WWI (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3) which say that he was Johanna’s older brother, born on March 30, 1878. He was married to Wilhelmine née Wenzel. The military records also reveal the name of Johanna’s father Heinrich Reichel, who was a bookbinder.

I ended my original blogpost on a very pessimistic note, and even though I still don’t know the whole story, including when Fritz and Johanna died, when Marie was born or got married, who her children were, I am soo happy about these new details about the Schoedels!

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