My father found a family history book among my mother’s belongings and I have been studying it with great interest. The book traces my maternal grandfather’s family all the way back to 1550. This is my grandfather Peter Martin Schmidt. His grandparents Heinrich Schmidt and Katarina Unruh were born in the Michalen Mennonite community in Polish Russia in 1821 and 1819 and married there in 1854. His parents Peter H. Schmidt and Maria Harms were also born in Michalen in 1855 and 1857.
In 1874 the entire Michalen community immigrated to Kansas and my great grandparents were married in Newton, Kansas in 1879. They had ten children, Katie, William, Herman, Emilia, Anna, Peter(my grandpa), Martha, Lottie, Alvin and Alma. Five of these children predeceased my great grandparents. Here are my grandparents on their honeymoon. Grandpa- Peter Schmidt was born in Newton Kansas in 1890 and Grandma- Annie Jantz was born in Hillsboro, Kansas in 1892. Their families immigrated to Drake, Saskatchewan from Kansas in 1904 and 1905. Grandma and Grandpa married in Drake on New Years Day in 1917.