The Pomnitz Family Newsletter Archive... Vol #2, Issue #2... Our Winter Issue!

Pomnitz Family Newsletter
The Pomnitz Family Newsletter Archive

Volume #2  Issue #2 Date: February 1st, 2002 - Winter 2002 Issue

The Pomnitz Family Newsletter

(Descendants of Adelbert Richard Pomnitz & Ida Marie Ernestina Telschaw)

From:  Art Meissner, Editor, Pomnitz Family Newsletter
To:  Family Members-we-know-of-with-e-mail

Editor:  Art Meissner...
Associate Editor:  Nancy Meissner...
Historian:  Charles Edwin Pomnitz...
Webmaster:  Edwin Charles Pomnitz, Sr.

Family Website:

Newsletter Editor, Art Meissner
Art Meissner - Editor



  1.  Purpose of this NewsletterWinter Newsletter
Family Stories, Events and Biographies:
       »  "Stories From Celia Pomnitz"
- Art Meissner
Footnote from Ed Pomnitz on:
       »   "Perpetual Motion Machines"
  4.  A History of Pomnitz' Origins - Ed Pomnitz, Sr.
  5.  "Passages": Births, Anniversaries, Deaths, etc.
Family T-Shirt Available Soon
  7.  Pomnitz Family Fund Report - Ed Pomnitz, Sr.
  8.  Family Chat Room Now Open
  9.  Newsletter Mechanics:   
»  Format & Layout of the Newsletter
Contact Information:
       »  How to subscribe/unsubscribe
       »  Where to send articles & news
11.  Notizen Aus Dem Ziegenstall
       (Notes From the Goathouse)
Next Newsletter Date
13.  Final Quote

1.  THE PURPOSE of this newsletter:  to note and share items of possible interest for the "greater Pomnitz Family".  The 162 family names mentioned in the Family Tree are listed at   Please do send me suggestions or ideas for future newsletters:  they will be taken seriously.

2.  PLEASE SEND US FAMILY STORIES, BIOGRAPHIES and notes of interest for future newsletters.  Questions about any aspect of the Family Tree or history?  We’ll track down answers for you.  Jot down a bio-note about yourself, one of your parents, or one of your immediate family.  They will be shared and saved in the Archives.

FAMILY STORIES FROM CELIA POMNITZ (1888-1953) - Retold by Art Meissner, Celia's Youngest Son.

Celia Pomnitz, 1948Mother 'glowed' when she told me the stories that follow.  In fact, she told them to me over and over again, for the 17 years from my birth till I left for college in February 1950.  A lot of what she told me was about family life in Missouri, before moving to Detroit:

Everyday a milkman came by theirmilkcan_nl48.gif (1183 bytes) house with a milk can on a cart pulled by a large black dog.  Children from each house ran out with their tin cups which the milkman dipped into the milk can.  This was their daily cup of milk.  Mom remembered how her two young sisters, Minnie & Rosa would run out singing to the milkman:  'Mr. Viederhoff!  Mr.Viederhoff!  Would you give us 'Doe-dee' (?spelling?), your big black dog?'  These two died of some disease (believed to be diphtheria) in 1884:  Minnie at 5 1/2, Rosa at 3.

Her Mother, Ida, would make pies and then cool them on the window sill that opened on the back porch of the house.  One day, the neighbor's horse caught the aroma of the delicious fresh baked apple pies and actually came up on the porch and was caught eating them.

Mom and her sisters liked to sit on the back porch next to a large barrel of 'coal oil' (used in lamps).  She said that they liked to lift the cover and breathe the fumes...  because she became dizzy and felt so good.   (There were no Narc-squads in those days!!)

Her Father, Adelbert, loved to sample the raw meats.  He passed quite a few worms of various kinds and kept samples of the various kinds of worms in preservative fluid (alcohol?) in jars on his bedroom dresser.  (Actually, only the Trichinosis of pigs could be acquired by eating the raw pork; the other worms had to be acquired due to the lenient sanitation standards of the day.)

Mom told me often of her brother Ben.  He drowned in the Detroit River in 1905 at the age of 19 in a boating accident.  He was a healthy, thin and trim teenager with a voracious appetite as Mom used to tell it...  He could personally consume a whole loaf of bread at the evening meal and then go to friends' houses for a second and even a third meal, including more loaves of bread!  I felt rather proud of such an uncle.

Mom had gotten a stenographer's job at Berry Brothers Paint Company when she was a young girl.  She was, she said, one of the first secretaries in Detroit, earning the great sum of $10 a week.  Her sister, Nora, also worked there for a time.  She kept the old typewriter she had used in our attic.  The keys would strike the bottom of the roller, meaning you could not see the imprints till it was rolled a quarter way around!

On her way home from work she would sometimes be approached by a handsome young neighbor.  He was a fairly heavy drinker evidently and 'swayed' when he walked down the street, as she described him.  He would approach her occasionally asking, 'Celia, would you go to dinner with me?'  Mom told how she proudly walked on by, saying to him,  'Lips that touch liquor will never touch mine!'   (It struck me that he had not asked for a kiss, only a dinner.  Plus, I knew that my Dad, John, liked a drink once in a while.  And I had seen her actually kiss him, both in private and in public!  I was not too sure what to make of this...)

Mom told me several times of how her Mother, Ida, used to ride in a large coach drawn by six white horses back in Germany.  ( Later we've learned that perhaps Ida's Mother was an 'intimate' with the Kaiser, and became financially provided-for as a result.)

My sister, June, was born in 1914.  Mom's best friend, Nora Hanrahan died in giving birth to her own baby at about that time.  June told me that Mother nursed her (June) on one breast while nursing Nora's baby simultaneously on the other.  Since there was no baby formula at that time, she acted as a wet nurse.

Dad used to tell me of how, when he first met Mother, her waist was so slim that when he placed his hands around her waist the fingertips of one of his hands could touch the tips of the fingers on his other hand. Whale-bone corsets were common, then!

My grandfather, Charles Pomnitz (1893-1954) was not the first Pomnitz to seek to build a Perpetual Motion Machine.Granpa's Perpetual Motion Machine

Johann Andreas Pomnitz (1777-1875) was another and earlier.  He built the first beet press and worked all his life on a 'perpetual mobile'.  As son of Johann Friedrich Pomnitz (1747-1798), he is forefather of what became the Cölleda branch that ended with the tragic glider crash of Wolfgang Pomnitz in 1928.

Thus far, we seem to know more about Johann Andreas than any other of our early ancestors and relatives.  Why?  HE LEFT BEHIND FOR HIS CHILDREN AN ACCOUNT OF EVENTS IN HIS LIFE.  I stress this as those who are alive at this time can and should take the time to give us a glimpse of their lives and their recollection of their deceased ancestors for posterity.

Love,  Ed P.

4.  POMNITZ AUS DEUTSCHLAND (POMNITZ OF GERMANY) Part I of IV - Our German Heritage - A History - By Ed Pomnitz

Currently, the earliest 'Pomnitz' reference we have is 1144 AD.  This reference is not to a specific ancestor, but rather to the village of Pomnitz that perpetuated our surname.  This we can trace to somewhere in the late Middle Ages as our ancestors migrated to other neighboring villages.  It was customary in those early times to take and bear the name of the village or farm from where you came.  The use of "surnames" did not begin until approximately the 14th Century.

Our 'roots journey' has thus far given us our earliest known patriarch, Jakob D. Ae Pomnitz, who was born around 1550 AD.  We find him in Obermöllern, Germany, not much further than a stone's throw from neighboring Pomnitz.   Jakob establishes the distinction that we had, in the least, inhabited Germany for nearly 350 years prior to Adelbert Petrus Friedrich Pomnitz's (born in 1821 in Donndorf, Germany) migration to the United States.  It does seem quite likely that we still have blood relatives remaining in Germany.  If proven so, the Family can then take claim to a half of a millennium of residency in Germany.  Stretching speculation a bit (or a lot) further, it is conceivable that we could be related to the original inhabitant of 'Pomnitz'.  Thus, we may be able to lay claim of upwardly to an entire millennium of the 'occupation' of Germany.  One thing for sure is that our name 'Pomnitz' is now approaching nearly a millennium in age.

Today, we will find no less than 47 others still bearing our surname still residing in various parts of Germany.  Others bearing our name will be found distributed somewhat throughout the United States and Canada.  We are now beginning to find even others internationally in such far away places as Brazil.  As the name Pomnitz continues to proliferate in what seems to be a global fashion; within the southeast boundaries of today's Germany, the little village of Pomnitz seems to remain in a quaint perpetual timeless state, but devoid of any resident bearing the name of 'Pomnitz'.

In Part II of our story we will regress to a point much further back in time:  A time of over two thousand years ago when Germany itself began to evolve.  We will then begin to move forward on a journey of events that lead to the approximate time of the German settlement of Pommen'.  The settlement will later grow enough to become the hamlet or village of Pomnitz.

Story by Edwin Charles Pomnitz, Sr. January 2002.

Excerpts included from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia (c) 1994-1995, the Pomnitz and Senf Family Tree (Hermann Mitgau), The Pomnitz Family Database and The Pomnitz Family Web.

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5.  PASSAGES:  EVENTS REPORTED SINCE THE LAST NEWSLETTER (births, graduations, marriages, deaths, careers):

Rumor has it that James Michael & May Pomnitz will be adding another little member to their family and thus, another leaf onto our tree sometime in May!  This will be May's second "May" child as last year William Anthony arrived on the scene May, 19th.   Miranda, the oldest didn't miss May by too much as she was born in April 7th, 1996...  Congratulations to James and May!

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Design a logo for our T-Shirt

A Pomnitz Family T-Shirt will be offered for sale, soon, at cost plus postage and a couple dollars toward the expense of the website.  A special E-Mailing will announce it to you as soon as all arrangements are complete.  Thanks for your patience!

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7.  THE POMNITZ FAMILY FUND REPORT - (A Note from Ed Pomnitz, Sr.):  The greatest significance of our Family Reunions, our Family Newsletters, our Family Tree Database, Family Website and ongoing Research that they help us to:  1) Understand our rich heritage...  2) Stay in touch with one another.
HELP! As you can see by this quarter's report, our fund can use a shot in the arm.

FAMILY FUND REPORT - From Ed Pomnitz, Sr.

Balance from Last Quarter
$ 118.44

$     0.00 - Mail-In Contributions
$ 118.44

$  38.85 - Web Hosting &  01/01/02 - 03/31/02
$  38.85 - Web Hosting &  03/01/02 - 06/31/02
$  77.70

Current Balance
$  40.74

If you desire to make a contribution to the Pomnitz Family Fund, you can mail your check or money order to:

    • Myra Pomnitz
      7891 Marlbourough Ave.
      Parma, Ohio 44129

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8.  FAMILY CHAT ROOM NOW OPEN:  The family website now offers family members (only) their own 'chat-room', where you can (at no cost to you, except time) chat with others anywhere in the world.  You can find it in the "In Touch" area,,   just click on  "Family Chatter"  This area requires a USER ID and PASSWORD.  This area requires a USER ID and PASSWORD which will be happy to give you.

CHAT TIPS:  Send an E-Mail to Family Members inviting them to the chat room.  Specify a date and a time to meet.  You may even want to suggest a topic.  Be punctual, as you'll be the "moderator".  Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

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9.  NEWSLETTER MECHANICS:  TROUBLE VIEWING THE NEWSLETTER IN THIS FORMAT??:  Please notify to describe any problems you are having.  This Newsletter is composed and sent to you in "plain text" since some subscribers may not have computers capable of handling graphics in their e-mail.  For a 'graphic version' of the newsletter, go to the Newsletter section on our family website.  You can print a copy if you wish.

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10.  CONTACT INFORMATION:  To Subscribe, Unsubscribe to this Newsletter, or to correct names and addresses, please go to or send a regular postal letter to the address below.

PLEASE DO SIGN OUR GUEST BOOK on your next visit to The Pomnitz Family Web:

SEND E-MAIL REPLIES TO  Replies by regular postal mail may be sent to Art Meissner, Editor, Pomnitz Family Newsletter, 15 Three Oaks Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572-2675, (845) 876-6407 OR TO OUR ASSOCIATE EDITOR!!, Nancy Meissner, at

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Notes From The Goathouse

11.  NOTIZEN AUS DEM ZIEGENSTALL (Notes From The Goathouse):  By Art Meissner, Editor.  Winnie, the head goat, took me to task the other day.  She asked me, "What's all this fuss about family trees and reunions?"  (She communicated this wordlessly, with her eyes and furrowed brow, pausing in the midst of chewing her cud, belching gently in my direction.)  Her point was, "We Goats are used to being connected to one another."  And she was right in her suggestion:  We humans are NOT always comfortable in the thought that we have a connection to all the (ugh!) other people in this world.  We think, "What?!  Me?!  Somehow connected to Bin Laden?  Mother Teresa?   To Mussolini?  St. Joan?  To Pol Pot?  To Mark Twain?  To Hitler?  To Ben Franklin?  We take this to be a mixed blessing at best, and rightly so.

Yet, knowledgeable experts have pointed out for some time that if we trace our ancestry back for 7 or more generations, AND could see accurate family trees all along the way (eat your heart out, Ed Pomnitz!), we would find that we actually are indeed connected to every other human being in this world.  No kidding.   Back to Adam and Eve.

So, why are we excited about such 'lesser' family trees as the Pomnitz Family?  Well, it brings it all home, does it not?  All the human dramas, tragedies and comedies of mankind are played out in our immediate family... over and over again... almost time without end.  The happiness; the failure; the success; the evil; the goodness; the tragedy; the triumph... all are here in the "Pomnitz Family".

In other words, if we get to know and understand what has happened in OUR family, we also get to know, understand and appreciate the whole of human history.  Amazing.

Check-out the Pomnitz Family Tree on the web.   Especially look at the "Big Tree".  It is a new feature of our website.  You will see the names of 549 individuals in 213 family groups, now inter-connected through the name, "Pomnitz", offspring of Adelbert and Ida, wed in the late 19th Century.  That is just over 100 years ago.  And the number of Surnames grows every time one of our children marries and every time a new child is born within 'the family'.  The result is that a 'purely German' family is now associated across the line with all the other European genes and Asian genes, African genes, and probably more.  And it will grow over time.

All this is a way that 'my' goat, Winnie, has of saying that we should rejoice in our diversity and relationships.... get to know it more... to share the stories of both joys and failures that make us what we are.

Come help me in this.  Celebrate who we are, and how we got to be as we are.  And in doing so, we get to know even more of who and what we are as human beings.

Love to you all.. Art M. (Winnie is gently nibbling and pushing my arm to write this!)

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12.  NEXT NEWSLETTER is tentatively scheduled for May 1, 2002.  It will contain a summary of then-current Family news as well as any articles submitted by family members.  Please help by submitting newsletter items no later than April 15, 2002.  You do not have to do a lot of writing:  Just list WHO in the Family did WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE.  ("How" and "Why" are optional.)  Our "Crack Editorial Team" will put it together for the next issue.  THANKS!

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"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."

George Bernard Shaw

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