I have just come into ownership of a handwritten "History of my Ancestors".It has very interesting information but creates just as many mysteries.I will transcribe what I can - there are a number of illegible words or things made difficult to read because of folds in the paper.I do not know who wrote it or when it was written, however it is in English and the grammar suggests it was done by someone for whom English was the first language.The penmanship and stationery lead me to believe it was written in the 19th century.
"P. F. Weddigen was born on the 18th June 1758 in Bielefeld, capital of the former county of Ravensberg of well situated parents belonging to the merchant class.
The cradle of his father, Fred. Wm Weddigen and of his mother Maria Magdalena, born Kroenigs had also stood in Bielefeld, as the name of this family is [cannot read]ly connected with the history of Westphalia.
His earliest youth fell into the time of the 7 years war, which was also a scourge over his home country.After the boy had received a thorough elementary preparation, he visited the Gymnasium of his parental city and showed exceptional diligence and fine, rare dispositions.After absolving the Gymnasium he went in 1778 to the university:Halle-Wittenberg, to devote himself to the study of Theology.But he not only undertook Theological studies but also to Historical, Philological and literary work.He then took a tutorship on the flourishing seminary of Halle and became a member of the natural history there.
After having passed his theological examinations, and having obtained the title of a magister li[???] arti[???], he accepted a call as fourth public teacher at the Gymnasium at Bielefeld, the institution to which he owed his first scientific education.At this time he wrote a latin program: De modo legesdatum port[??] in scholic.[??]
On the 3 Jany 1788 he married Christina Frederica Charlotte, oldest daughter of preacher Stahlmann, at Diedingen from which marriage came several several children.In 1793 he was called as preacher to Buchholz and from there in 1797 to the beautifully located Kleinhomen, in the principality of Minden where in rural quietude he devoted himself entirely to the muses(?).To his office as soulkeeper he devoted himself with the sincerest devotions.His parish found in him a painstaking & faithful shepherd.
On the 7th May 1808 death robbed him of his wife in whose soul he had found an echo for his many literary endeavors.She erected to herself a monument in the work: "Morning hours of the graces."
On the 6th Sept 1809 he followed her in death.His fatherland was then suffering under the pressure and chains of Napoleonic tyranny; he was not favored to see morning dawn nor to see his son Immanuel Eduard as a youthful warrior for liverty to the field of honor.Weddigen's works, historical and political, are numerous.It is specially the history of his home country which he madeto study.
In the year 1784 he founded the "Westphalian Magazin for Geography, History & Statistique" which had the object to communicate "Matters for a future, complete topographic - historic - statistic description of the Niederrhenisch, Westphalian district.He was seconded in his patriotic enterprise by numerous coworkers, for instance by Justus Moeser in Osnabruck.The paper was continued till 1799 after having been joined in the last year to the "Magazine for Westphalia" edited by Arn. Mallinskrodt.The great material contained in it will always be of the greatest importance to the historian of Westphalia.[Cannot read] several articles in the "Westphalian Magazin" he published 1790 in 2 volumes: a historic geographic statistical description of the county Ravensberg in Westphalia and 1791 a statistical review of Westphalia.In 1799 "Essay of a geographic statistical description of the principality of Minden.In the place of the Westphalian Magazine, which asalready maintained had ceased to appear in 1799, stopped the Westphalian National Calendar with the Westphalian, Historical, Geographical [cannot read] of the 1st issue appeared 1800.This work stopped with the year 1806, after the unlucky battle of [cannot read] the pen of the indefatiguable historican gave out.The time from 1800 was not only devoted to the editing of the "Westphalian National Calendar"; 1801 appeared the manual of the historical and geographical literture of Westphalia and above all, the 1st & 2nd part of the "Paderbornic history, confirmatin of Johanes Dietrich von Steineus'" Westphalian History.The 3rd part of this important voluminous work appeared in 1804.It was dedicated to the reigning pronce Friedrich Wilhelm Leopold zer Lippe.The year 1806 supplied finally the historical-geographic-statistical contributions for the more infinite knowledge of Westphalia.
As the author inacknowledgement of his works received the title of Doctor, the Silver Medal for science and art was besides conferred on him by Friedrich Wilhelm III by a personally written Cabinetsorder of the 23 April 1801 and on the 10 Decbr 1803 he received the same in Gold.The edition of the year 1805 of the Westphalian National Calendar, which bore the silhouette of his firend Moeser in Osnabruck he dedicated to the noble Queen Louise, who however also was not destinated to live till the resurrection of Prussia.
Weddigen's merit for the history of Westphalia is of the greatest importance and it was in thosectimes opening a new area.
"I recognize the merit which you gain for the province with my special approval"These were the own words of Friedrich Wilhelm III.This was the thought that filled up evry patriotic heart.
Not less important he was as a poet of sacred songs.In his "Oder & Lieder" first edition in 1798, second in 1801 & third in 1812 (after his death) speaks a deep, moral feeling.
The Ode "To the Religion", "the Prizesong", the Ode "On immortality, Confidence in God", "Peace of the Soul", the [?] "Osderlieder" and the "Peace - song" are of charming beauty."
This was in a very fine hand on 8 pages folded to 8cm x 6cm. Can anyone identify "P.F." or any of his "several children".
We are descendants of Otto Gustav Weddigen who was born 15 March 1876 in Brooklyn NY but not sure who his parents were or of other children but think there were many (10-12) but few who lived to adulthood.He worked for Knox Hat makers in NY but later had his own retail operation, Weddigen Hats, in Brooklyn.Three children, all born in Brooklyn 1907-1913.He was in Detroit MI by 1928.Died 1937 in Detroit.Buried in Cedar Grove Cemetary, Schatzel family plot, Flushing NY.