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Born on 12 November

He was the older. Born, the records say, at 10 a.m.

She was the younger. Born, the records say, at 6:30 p.m.

No, not the same mama.

Not even the same year.

Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel was born 12 November 1860 at Buntentorsteinweg 383, Bremen, Germany, the home of his very young parents. Marie Margarethe (Sievers) Nuckel was just 18; Johann Nuckel was just 22.1 He was their first child, born just five months after they married.2

Juliane Margarethe Smidt was born 12 November 1864 at Kleine Sortillienstraße 5 in Bremen, the home of her parents, 29-year-old Johannes Jacobus Smidt and 25-year-old Johanne Henriette (Hüneke) Smidt.3 She was their second child, born 10 months almost to the day after the death of their first-born, a son, Johann Hinrich, at the age of just one month.4

And not quite 20 years after Juliane’s birth, the two became a couple. Married on the 25th of October 1884 in Bremen.5 In keeping with the finest traditions of the family, their first son — Johann — was born not quite three months after the marriage.6

Six years later, with the birth of their fourth child and second daughter Marie, Carsten and Juliane became The Legal Genealogist‘s great grandparents.7

I can’t find a Bremen map online that shows where Kleine Sortillienstraße 5 was in relation to Buntentorsteinweg 383. Buntentorsteinweg still exists on modern maps; Kleine Sortillienstraße doesn’t, but it surely was in the neighborhood.

And there’s no doubt that we’re really talking neighborhood by the time the two married: the marriage record has her living at Neanderstraße 8, and him at Neanderstraße 22.

Neanderstrasse Bremen

For all extents and purposes, this is one of those the-boy-next-door stories.

But I hadn’t realized, until last night, when I was looking at family events in November, that these two great grandparents shared a birthday.

And I wish I knew what that meant for them and their family.

Did they buy or make a cake to celebrate? Did they have a special cake to mark the occasion? Did they even like the same kind of cake? I know that their daughter, my grandmother Marie, made a strawberry cake that was my father’s favorite, but I have no idea if that was a family recipe or her own.

Did they exchange gifts?

Did the kids do anything special for their parents?

Did the kids behave long enough for their parents to hit a beer hall for the evening?

The fact is, I have no clue.

Losing both of my father’s parents before I was born means I lost a lot of family stories, assuming I would have thought to ask any of these questions in the first place.

But at least I can wish these great grandparents a happy birthday now… a century and a half and more after the fact.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The birthday twins,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 13 Nov 2021).


  1. Bremen Standesamt, Zivilstandsregister 1811-1875 (Bremen city registry office, civil status registers 1811-1875), Geburten (births) 1860, Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel, 12 Nov 1860, Reg. Nr. 1931 (13 Nov 1860), p. 973; FHL microfilm 1344170, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.
  2. Ibid., Heiraten (marriages) 1860, Nuckel-Sievers, 31 May 1860, p. 282; FHL microfilm 1344200.
  3. Ibid., Geburten (births) 1864, Juliane Margarethe Smidt, 12 Nov 1864, Reg. Nr. 2366 (15 Nov 1864), p. 1177; FHL microfilm 1344173.
  4. For Johann’s birth, see ibid., Geburten (births) 1863, Johann Hinrich Smidt, 3 Dec 1863, Reg. Nr. 2342 (5 Dec 1863), p. 1169; FHL microfilm 1344173. For his death, see ibid., Todten (deaths) 1864, Johann Hinrich Smidt, 11 Jan 1864, Reg. Nr. 54 (11 Jan 1864), p. 27; FHL microfilm 1344232. And no… I cannot imagine being pregnant 18 out of 20 months and trying to adjust to expecting baby number two while mourning baby number one.
  5. Ibid., Heiraten (marriages) 1884, Nuckel-Smidt, 25 Oct 1884, Reg. Nr. 713.
  6. See ibid., Geburten (births) 1885, Johann Nuckel, 12 Jan 1885, Reg. Nr. 147 (16 Jan 1885).
  7. See ibid., Geburten (births) 1891, Marie Margarethe Nuckel, 9 Feb 1891, Reg. Nr. 499 (14 Feb 1891).
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