Hellwig family notes by Charlotte Ritter

Charlotte Ritter

Lucille (Ritter) Opler

These are notes which are contained in a single long envelope (about 9.5 by 4 in.) amongst the family history material inherited by Sylvia (Wheeler) Mallonee from the estate of Lucille (Ritter) Opler (1916-2003).  Before her death Lucille indicated to Sylvia that her sister Charlotte had done considerable work on the family history.  We believe therefore that all of these notes, unless otherwise indicated, were written by Charlotte Alexine Ritter (1903-1971), daughter of Wilhemina Elise (Hellwig) Ritter (1880-1927), granddaughter of Justus W. Hellwig (1835-1914) and great-grandaughter of Otto Hellwig (c1800-c1873).  Anything in {curly brackets} below is my own (Conrad Terrill's) addition.


Click on an item number to see an image of the original item

Item 1:  A chart of two family trees, an Otto Hellwig tree and an Edeler tree, on a piece of paper 10.5 by 7.3 in.  Years of birth and death were added by someone other than Charlotte, after Charlotte's death.  I've changed the layout from horizontal to vertical to simplify transcription.

Otto Hellwig m1. ___ Dill, {children:}

{1} George, top draftsman Leipsig of firm of Hartmann & Sons.  Position in Czecho Slov.

with Bohemia Central – North Road.

{2} Otto

{3} Christine {This should be Eleanor} m. ___ Wittkopf, lived in Michigan, {children:}

{i} Adelaide, m. Clarke, {children:} Grace (m. Wittkopf), Eleanor (m. David Warfel)

{ii} Christina, m. Gompf, {children:} Clayton, Violet, Mable, Anna (m. Wheeler), Henry

(Clayton m. Anna Bayne and had two girls)

{iii} Otto

{iv} Wm.

{v} Sophie

{4} Elise, m. Steinbach, {children:}

{i} Wilhelmina, m. Hugo Walther

{a} Charles, m. Laura (son Carl), m. Winifred

{5} Dorothea

{6} Justus Wm {see Edeler tree below}

{7} Christopher / in Kentucky, {children:}

{i} Anna, m. __ Butler, of Huntington, W. Va., near Ashland, Ky.

(Faye daughter of Anna)

{ii} Emily, m. __ Butler (brother of Anna’s Butler) Youngest Butler moved Arizona

{ii} name?, girl, m. Hopeworth

{iv} girl?

{v} Charles

{vi} William

{Otto Hellwig} m2. ___ Kimmel, {children:}

{8} Carl {who had} one son, 2 daughters


?   Edeler

{1} Gerhardt Edeler, m Charlotta Halle, {children:}

{i} Sophie, m. Justus Wilhelm Hellwig, {children:}

{a} Otto Justus (1866-) m. Maude Libbey

{b} Anna Sophie

{c} Charles Wm. (buried in Loudon Park Cem.)

{d} Ernest Wm. (buried in Perry Okla.)

{e} Gustavus Adolpus (in Loudon Park Cem.)

{f} Marie Dorothea (1877-1948)

{g} Wilhelmina Elise (1880-1927), m. Henry Ritter (1876-1946), {children:}

{#1} Justus{?} Fredrick (1901-1902)

{#2} Charlotte Alexine (1903-1971)

{#3} Lucille Geraldene (1916-), m1. Robert Heim, m2. Morris Opler

{ii} Ernest

{2} son? {children:} Charles, Amelia, son, Edward, Albert, Sophie

{3} son?

Item 2, side 1:  Notes concerning Justus Wilhelm Hellwig on a piece of paper 7.2 by 5.3 in.:

Justus Wilhelm Hellwig born Hebenshausen / 1835. moved to Melsungen with father in Hessen / (Chur-Hessen).  Father superintended construction / of 1st Railroad in that part of Germany in gov’t / [Came to America in 1852] service.  After age of 70 / pensioned by gov’t.  In addition was “bahnmeister” / (roadmaster) until he retired.  Superintended / transplanting River Fülda roadbed – an / engineering feat – also construction of bridge over / Fülda (stone).  His house still standing in / Melsungen near entrance to bridge.  His name / Otto Hellwig.  (Uncle Otto has photo of home – large / 3 story house) Store on 1st floor.  Eldest sister / married a Steinbach name probably Dorothea. / Her daughter Whilhemina Walther.  Mina came / about 1872.  (Steinbach – linen trade).  His mother born a Dill from Hebenshausen.  She is Buried in Hebenshausen.

Item 2, side 2: Notes concerning Justus Wilhelm Hellwig, cont.:

Second wife ( Step-mothers name Kimmel) She left one / son named Carl who died about 1918.  He had been a / merchant.

Item 3:  Notes concerning Sophie Charlotta Edeler on a piece of paper 7.2 by 5.3 in.:

Sophie Charlotta Edeler born Lübecke (Westphalia) / (Edel = Ethel anglo-saxon) 1839 (Oct__) / Her mother Charlotta Halle / Her father Gerard Gerhardt / Came to Balto 1857 with brother Ernest. / Her mother died when she was about 2 ½ when Ernest / was born.  When she was 4 Father died.  He married when / mother died.  Stepmother raised her – Got pay from court / once a week for raising children.  Brother in business / 1866-(70? 76?) in Balto.  Moved to harford County.  Lived at / Churchill for several yrs. moved to nearby town / Forest Hill.  His wife’s name was Anna – she born near / Manchester, Md.  Both died when nearly 80.

Item 4:  Notes by someone other than Charlotte on a card 4.9 by 3.9 in. which had been folded in half.  This item is interesting because this “Mr. Hellwig at Smichow” might be the grandchild of Otto Hellwig, “bahnmeister,” who sent the picture of Otto’s house to another grandchild of Otto’s.  And Otto J. Hellwig (1866-) might be the grandchild to whom he sent it, since Charlotte mentioned in item 2 that “Uncle Otto has photo of home – large 3 story house.”   Otto J. had no children, and Charlotte was the only logical heir for anything of family history value.  So perhaps this note is in Otto J.’s handwriting, and perhaps the picture was received around May 1924.  If so, the picture was perhaps about sixty years old at that time, well shy of “almost 100 years old.”  


Mr. Hellwig

Smichow, Bohemia

son of

George Hellwig

formerly of


Brother of

Carl Hellwig (deceased)

of Naunhof & Leipzeig


Mr. Hellwig at Smichow

is the Grandson of the late

Bahnmeister Hellwig (died 1872)


Melsungen, Hessen Nassan, Germany

Further notes:  “Smichow, Bohemia” was Smichov, now a district of the city of Prague, Czech Republic, and then (early 20th C) a still-burgeoning industrial center.  “Cralup” was the village of Kralupy nad Vltavou, Bohemia, known in German as Kralup an der Moldau (Kralup on the Vltavou [river]).  It is 12 miles NNE of Prague.  Naunhof, Germany, was a village 10 miles ESE of Leipzig, a city 132 miles east of Melsungen.

Item 5:  Notes on a piece of paper 5.0 by 2.5 in., with part of the right end torn off, written by someone other than Charlotte.  This item is confusing because it apparently gives Sophia Edeler’s father’s name as “Friedrich Christoph,” as opposed to “Gerhardt” (see item 1), and it gives her mother’s name as “Yohanna,” as opposed to “Charlotta.”


Sophia, Charlotte, Friedareeka, Yohann[...]
born October 27. 1839.  Married 14th No[v. 1863]
when 24 years of age to Justus William [Hellwig]
Her mothers name was Yohanna [...]
and fathers Friedrich Christoph [...]
Her aunt grand mothers sister [____?inor] [...]

Item 6:  Notes written by Charlotte on the back of a check, cut almost in half.

Charles(?) Walther
Carl Walther

Items 1 through 6 are all that were in the long envelope.  Charlotte also wrote notes on the backs of many pictures.  Only the following item, however, relates to the story of her great-grandfather Otto Hellwig's family.


Item 7:  Notes by Charlotte on the back of the picture of Otto Hellwig and his second wife.  These notes augment what Charlotte wrote in item 2, helping to explain what was meant by “Superintended transplanting River Fülda roadbed – an engineering feat.”

G________ Hellwig {This top line is not Charlotte’s handwriting, but the rest is hers.}
Grandfather Hellwig  (C. E.)? / Superint{end}ed relocation of the river / Fulda also Stone ridge at Melsungen / Built his own Home at the entrance of the / bridge.  Also, superint{end}ed the construction of / the first RR erected in this part of Germany. / Was pensioned by Government in 1870. / He was born in 1800 died about 1873. / J. W. Hellwig visited him in 1872.  His Grandfather / died soon thereafter.

      Transcribed by Conrad Terrill, 19 Jan. 2012

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