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http://www.rootsweb.com/~wimarath/Rohloff.html This page was contributed by John Helmke. Please e-mail him at JEHAALDR@aol.com for more information on this family.
========================================================================== FREDERICK ROHLOFF (ROLOFF) Frederick and Wilhelmina Rohloff emigrated to America in 1857. They came from Neumark and Graun in Bradenburg Province of Germany near Berlin. Frederick's father, Michael Rohloff, was the mayor (Dorf Schultz) of the village of W.Vardien. Frederick was a tall man for the time (5 feet 10 inches) had blue eyes, brown hair, a dark complexion and had been an officer in the German army. Wilhelmina was a shepherd's daughter.
Family lore has it Wilhelmina's family, the Tetzlaffs, were Gypsies. Though in love, Frederick could not marry Wilhelmina and still inherit his father's position on account of marrying below his class. Still they were married in the spring of 1857 and father Michael financed their trip to America where they could live without fear of class discrimination. The Atlantic crossing by sail took three months and was apparently uneventful. Wilhelmina had one brother, Fred Tetzlaff, who emigrated to South America and was never again heard from.
In America the young couple obtained land from the government in the North East corner of Hamburg, Wisconsin, and the North West part of the town of Berlin where Trinity Lutheran Church is now located. Frederick donated the land needed for Trinity. The first church was built of logs and both Frederick and Wilhelmina are buried in that churchyard. At Stevens Point they purchased a cow and a team of oxen for there were no railroads to Big Bull Falls, as Wausau was called, at that time. The couple found a spring in the South West corner of their 80 acres in Hamburg and that is where they built their first log cabin home. This spring is at the headwater of Devil's Creek that flows North and East from the farm emptying in Lincoln County into the Copper River, a tributary of the Wisconsin River. The couple used dishes carved out of wood.
Frederick and Wilhelmina had nine children including four sons, Herrmann, Wilhelm, August, and Emil and five daughters Emilie, Ida, Wilhelmina, Bertha and Auguste. At least six of their children were born in this first log cabin including Bertha, the mother of Edmund Hannemann who died in the early 1990s, and Dorothy Helmke both of whom contributed information for this family history. In the late 1880s a second log house was built just West of the present brick house for their son Wihelm (born in 1860). This log house was still standing and photographed in the Summer of 1978 by Wilhelm's nephew, Edmund Hannemann. The present brick house was built in the early 1890s. The third generation of Roloffs sold it after the Roloff family had occupied the land for over a century.
Frederick's Civil War service began September 22, 1864, when he was drafted as a private into the 14th Wisconsin Infantry. He left immediately after the birth of their fourth child, Ida. By the vote of the Berlin Board on March 11, 1864, Wilhelmina and her four children received a $24.00 monthly pension during Frederick's tour of duty. On November 14, 1864, he was reassigned to company B of the 17th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers in Atlanta, Georgia. Because he was opposed to the taking of human life he volunteered for and served in the Engineer's Corps. On Sherman's march to the sea. Frederick's duty, as a member of the "Pioneer Corps" formed near the end of the war, was to help rebuild bridges the retreating Confederate army had left burned behind it.
Frederick saw action in the siege of Savannah, Georgia, from December 10 to 21, 1864, Orangeburg, South Carolina, on February 12, 1865, Columbia, South Carolina, on February 17, 1865, and Fayetteville, South Carolina, on March 11, 1865. Frederick was mustered out of the army on the second day of June, 1865, six weeks after the armistice,. As a veteran of the Union Army Frederick received a pension enacted under President Harrison in 1891. At the present time (September, 2003) surviving family members do not know the date of death for Frederick or his wife Wilhelmina.
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