Since many of our ancestors were born in Prussia, I thought it might be interesting to mention a little on the country of our origin.
Prussia was the most important state of Germany until its dissolution under allied occupation after World War II. Berlin was the largest city and the capitol; other large cities were Cologne, Essen, Breslau, Frankfort-on-Main, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Hanover and Duisberg-Hamborn.
Prussia had its origin in the Nordmark, which grew into the mark of Brandenburg; this united with the duchy of Prussia (1618) developed in the 17th century under Frederick William, the Great Elector. The elector Frederick III assumed the title of Frederick I, King of Prussia, in 1701.
By the first partition of Poland (1772), West Prussia was acquired with the Netze district and Ermland. Prussia was at war with France from 1792 – 1795. By the second and third partitions of Poland in 1793 and 1795, Posen and the Polish territories as far as the Pilica, Vistula and Bug were annexed. Poland lost her territories west of the Rhine to France in 1801. During the next few years she lost most of the territory she had acquired from Poland.
Reduced to a second rate state it took a prominent part in the war of Liberation and in the overthrow of Napoleon (1814 – 1815). By the congress of Vienna it regained nearly all of its former possessions.
Prussia took the lead in establishing the Zollverein (customs union) which by 1844 included most of Germany. Revolutionary outbreaks occurred in 1848. it was at war with Denmark in 1848 – 1849. Prussia, Saxony and Hanover were united in an Alliance in 1849. A constitution was adopted in its final form in1850. By the victory of 1866, Prussia acquired more territories and became the first German state. By the war between france and Germany in 1870 – 1871, the new German Empire was formed with the crown hereditary in the Prussian dynasty.
It was at this time that my Great Great Great Grandfather decided to bring his family to America. Great Great Grandfather Statskey was still a baby when he first set eyes on the country he was to call his own.