g Bratz
Emilie Bratz
Background
Emilia Bratz emigated to New Zealand on the Friedeburg, departing from Hamburg on 18th May 1872 and arriving at Lyttelton on 30th July 1872.

From the shipping records we know that she was 18 years old and came from Lessen W. Preussen. It is interesing to note that there were 18 people from Lessen on the boa, which seems to imply that she was part of a group who decided to travel to New Zealand.

At that time the Vogel scheme was in place. The schemes aim was to attract immigrants from the UK, Ireland and the continent in order to build infrastructure such as roads and railways. While te mainGerman immigrants arrived a few years later, it is likely that the scheme was advertised in Germany at that time.

See The Griebel Family for more background.

In August the same year a Mary Bratz, aged 19, emigrated from Hamburg to the USA on the Cumberland. She may have been Emilie's sister?

About a year after her arrival on 18th December 1873, Emilia married Peter Griebel in Kaiapoi, Canterbury. Peter, from Steinbach Donnersberg near to Frankfurt, had emigrated to New Zealand from Germany in 1870 with his sister Maria. Emilie and Peter's story is continued here.

Lessen
From the passenger records of the Friedeburg, Emilia Bratz came from the town of Lessen in Prussia (Preusen).

At the time Lessen was in West Prussia near the border between East & West Prussia (see map below)1. It is interesting to look at the maps on this site to see the many changes in borders in Germany through the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lessen today is in Poland and is now called . It is about 30 km East of (Graudenz) on the road to Ilawa, some 200 km south of Gdansk in the province of Bydgoszcz (ger. Bromberg).

Map-023_Lassin_Poland (58K)
The German Empire, 1871
Lasin: ca. 3300 inhabitants, today in Grudziadz county, in the Cuiavia-Pomeranian region. A town since 1306, but reverted in 1830 to a village and raised again in 1886. In Poland since the Toruń Treaty of 1466. German name: Lessen.
Nazwisko (Surname) Bratz
Ogólna liczba (Total) 127
Rozmieszczenie (Province):
WaWarsaw6
ByBydgoszcz107
KoKoszalin1
OlOlsztyn4
SlSlupsk2
SzSzczecin4
ToTorun3
From the Slownik nazwisk website (link broken - www.herby.com.pl/herby/indexslo.html), (the "Dictionary of Surnames Currently Used in Poland"; see the PolishRoots website (link also broken http://www.polishroots.org/gendobry/GenDobry_vol3_no8.htm) for an English explanation).
This gives a total of each name, along with a breakdown of where they lived by province in 1990.

From the distribution of the Bratz family in 1990 (see opposite), the family is still living in the same general area despite the major disturbances of the last 150 years.

mapawoj

Thse are the Lasin Flag and Crests - from the Lasin town web-site:

Crest_Lasin_Map (4K)
Crest_Lasin_New (9K)
Crest_Lasin_Old (15K)
The Family
The family history says that Emilia and Peter Griebel knew each other in Germany, but given the distances between their birthplaces (over 1000 km) and the political situation, this seems unlikely. It is possible, I suppose, given the disturbances in Europe at the time, that Peter could have been in the military and they met when he was on duty in Prussia, but again this seems unlikely.
Notes & References
  1. Historical Maps of Germany
  2. Bratz Family - Germany
  3. The Bra(a)tz Family Genealogy and Information Web Site
  4. LDS films for Lasin: B1823-60 D1823-59 M1824-50 1184434