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A life cut short

There are only three entries in the database of his life story. There can only ever be three.

He was born at 5 p.m. on the 8th of November 1841 at his parent’s home at Kleine Sortillenstraße Nr. 5 in Bremen, Germany.1

He was baptized by Pastor Beckurts at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Bremen on 11 January 1842.2

And he died at 5 p.m. on the 18th of February 1842.3

He was Carl Georg Smidt, second son and fourth child of Carl Smidt and Catherine Marie Schöne, my third great grandparents. Carl was a harbor warehouse worker; his wife, called Marie, was the daughter of a stonecutter. They had married at St. Peter’s on the 18th of October 1835.4

Their first child was a son, Jacobus Johannes, born 14 June 1836 and baptized 31 July 1836.5 He would live and grow to be a man; he would marry in 18616 and, in 1864, father a daughter who became my great grandmother.7

Their second was a daughter, Anna Maria Elisabeth, who was born 1 April 1838 and baptized 3 June 18388 and who preceded her baby brother in death by only a month: she died 12 January 1842.9 Carl Georg was the third, and the last was Charles Georg, born 23 April 1843 and baptized 2 July of that year.10

There would be no others; Carl Smidt himself died 4 June 1844.11

We can never know what this little boy would have been like. Whether his disposition would have sunny or dour. Whether he would have been sturdy or frail. Whether curious or dull. We don’t know if he’d have been tall or short. If his eyes would have been blue or brown.

We can know that he never walked or ran — he wasn’t even old enough when he died to have learned to crawl. He never felt the warmth of spring or summer. Never saw the leaves on the trees.

We can hope that he was loved, deeply, all the short days of his life, and mourned deeply when he was lost to “Brustbeschwerde” — the same killing chest disease that had claimed his sister’s life the month before.

And we can remember him now, and his life cut short.

RIP Carl Georg Smidt.

Second great grand-uncle.

Little boy lost.


  1. Bremen Standesamt, Zivilstandsregister, Geburten (Bremen registry office, civil status registers, births), 1811-1875, Carl Georg Smidt, Geburten 1841, Reg. Nr. 1295 (8 Nov 1841), p. 635; FHL microfilm 1344159.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., Carl Georg Smidt, Todten (deaths) 1842, Reg. Nr. 206 (19 Feb 1842), p. 103; FHL microfilm 1344222.
  4. Ibid., Carl Smidt and Maria Catharina Schöne, Heiraten (marriages) 1835, p. 363; FHL microfilm 1344190.
  5. Ibid., Jacobus Johannes Smidt, Geburten (births) 1836, Reg. Nr. 741 (17 Jun 1836), p. 366; FHL microfilm 1344156.
  6. Ibid., Jacobus Johannes Smidt and Johanne Henrietta Hüneke, Heiraten (marriages) 1861, p. 458; FHL microfilm 1344201.
  7. Ibid., Juliane Margarethe Smidt, Geburten (births) 1864, Reg. Nr. 2367 (15 Nov 1864), p. 1177; FHL microfilm 1344173.
  8. Ibid., Anna Marie Elisabeth Smidt, Geburten (births) 1838, Reg. Nr. 455 (2 Apr 1838), p. 225; FHL microfilm 1344157.
  9. Ibid., Maria Catharina Schmid oder Smidt, Todten (deaths) 1842, Reg. Nr. 59 (14 Jan 1842), p. 30; FHL microfilm 1344222. Despite the name mismatch, the age and parents identified in the death record make it clear the same child was referenced here as in the 1838 birth record.
  10. Ibid., Charles Georg Smidt, Geburten (births) 1843, Reg. Nr. 536 (26 Apr 1843), p. 265; FHL microfilm 1344159.
  11. Ibid., Carl Schmidt (Smidt), Todten (deaths) 1844, Reg. Nr. 633 (5 Jun 1844), p. 316; FHL Film 1344223.
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