9 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2021 7:16 PM by G Kogut

    Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt

    G Kogut Newbie

      Trying to locate any information about the death of Henry Wendt, born 1825. German Lutheran Pastor Henry Wendt born 1825 in Poland (erroneously documented as Osnabrück, Germany). Emigrated to Galveston, Texas in 1851. Relocated to New Hanover, Pennsylvania (1858) and finally to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1864). Tried and convicted for crimes against orphans at the Germantown Orphans Home in Philadelphia in 1867, granted clemency & released: 1878. Rumors that he had 1) returned to Germany or 2) traveled to the northwest United States in 1878: unsubstantiated. Last known rumored location: practicing medicine under the alias of Sobinski in New York City in 1880.

        • Re: Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt
          Lauren Theodore Adventurer

          Good morning,


          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub.


          The Federal government does not ordinarily create or maintain birth, death, marriage, divorce, adoption, or burial records. Such records are made and kept by state and local governments rather than the National Archives.


          You may wish to contact the Pennsylvania Vital Records office and/or the New York City Vital Records office to request searches of their records of Mr. Wendt's death. If you believe he may have travelled to another state after New York, you will need to contact that state's Vital Records office separately.


          You may also wish to consult the New York Census Records when you believe he was working under the alias of Sobinski to confirm in a doctor with that name was indeed living in the area. You can also contact the National Archives at DC to request a search of the census records. Please note that due to current COVID-19 guidelines, the staff may have limited access to the facility at this time.


          Family Search and Ancestry.com are paid subscription services, however, your local library may provide free access to these sites.


          We hope this information is helpful in your search.




          The National Archives and Records Administration

          • Re: Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt
            Susannah Brooks Pioneer

            I have no idea where he went after his release from prison.  In 1868 his wife and children returned to Germany and I can find no indication that they ever returned to the US.

            • Re: Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt
              G Kogut Newbie

              Thank you for the info.


              Yes, Anna  and her children did return to Poland. I located her daughter's 1877 marriage document in Sieradz, Lodzkie, Poland and Anna Wendt was a witness.


              Since the passport listed six, one of the girls (Anna Caroline, Lillian, or Martha Maria)  probably (?) died before the Anna's return to Poland.


              I found Elise, Lydia Maria, Ellen Dorothee and Henrich Wendt's life and death records in Poland and Germany.

              • Re: Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt
                Susannah Brooks Pioneer

                In attempting to find a record that stated where he was born other than just Poland or Germany, I did find 2 related interesting documents.  The passport application gives his full name.

                This article from the Daily Constitutionalist (Galveston) 29 Aug 1857 (it also appears in a few other papers from other parts of the US):

                Henry, his wife, and 2 daughters returned to the US from Bremen on 22 Dec 1857 on the Ship Hermine.

                • Re: Seeking any information about the death of Henry Wendt
                  G Kogut Newbie

                  Hi Susannah,


                  Thank you for the info.


                  Henry's birth record: #91

                  John Henry George Wendt was born in April 25th, 1825 in Poland. His father, Jerzy Wendt, was a German Lutheran missionary to the Jews. (It was Jerzy Wendt who was born in Osnabrück , Germany)


                  Date of record: 26 April 1825, 11 a.m. Father: Well born George Wendt 'prediger' [German for preacher?], age 36? at #20 on marketplace [market square] in Moszczenica living Child: Jan Jerzy Heynrych born 23 April at 10:15 a.m. Mother: Augusta Sophia Dusza/Duszel?, age 20 Witnesses: well born Ludwik Hoff, age 28, preacher, #20? living, and noble? [abbreviation for "szlachetny"?] Wilhelm Szeffer, assistant? ["asstokarza"?], age 33, #___ in marketplace/market square living Signatures: Georg Wendt preacher ___ ________. [in German]; L. Hoff, he made his mark; Wilhelm Szeffer as witness


                  Henry's 1857 arrest

                  He mis-stated (lol) his birthplace because he was wanted by the Polish government for stealing money and a horse from his employer. (Henry is #253). Previous to his employment as a private tutor for the Kobierzycki family in Kielce province, he was expelled from the Marymont School of Agriculture. It was the theft of a horse & money for which he was immediately arrested & detained in 1857. I don't know if the charges were politically motivated. The image is one of two Polish newspapers from 1848 (that I found) that published the "most wanted list".



                  Henry was also "required to leave" at the "Pottstown" church, prior to his employment with the Germantown Orphans Home. Henry was, in fact, in charge of several churches in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.