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Record missing in action

Johnny George, you and The Legal Genealogist may hafta have words.

You, Johann Jürgen Nuckel, just might have some ‘splainin’ to do.

Yes, I know that — among my 24 identified German fourth great grandparents — you’ve actually done a fairly good job of leaving records.

I haven’t quite managed to track down your birth record, sometime around 1768, but I do have the document recording your death in Bremen, Germany exactly 198 years ago today1

And — in between — the surviving church records of the Evangelische Kirche Sankt Pauli Bremen — St. Paul’s Church in Bremen, Germany, destroyed in a 1944 air raid — do a pretty good job of documenting your family beginning with your marriage to Adelheid Storch on 30 August 1792.2

St Paul church records

She was a Bremen girl, daughter of Heinrich Wilhelm Storch and Trina Margarethe Meyers, and baptized in that same church on 21 February 1762.3 You, on the other hand, were from Am Steinwege — near Delmenhorst, Oldenburg.

And then you started dutifully getting each of your kids baptized there at St. Paul’s:

• Anna Martjen, born 3 January 1793 and baptized 6 January.4

• Hermann Heinrich Wilhelm, born May 1795 and baptized 17 May.5

• Johann Valentin, born 18 October 1797 and baptized 25 October.6

• Gert, born 15 December 1799 and baptized 22 December.7

• Anna Marie, born 13 February 1802 and baptized 21 February.8

• Friedrich, born 25 May 1804 and baptized 3 June.9

But you see the problem here, don’t you, Johnny George?

Where’s the baby?

You remember him? Gerhard, the youngest, born in June 1807, if his death record is to be believed. That same death record that says he was 75 years and three months old when he died in Bremen on 29 September 1882. That identifies his parents as Johann Jürgen Nuckel and Adelheid Storch.10

Yeah, that Gerhard.

The one whose baptism is conspicuously missing from the church books that record all of his siblings.

The one who — sigh — is my third great grandfather.

Now I know that the church books I’ve been able to access are not the originals. One set of baptismal records, that only covers the period to 1804, is described with the word abschrift (copy),11 and the other — the one that goes all the way to 1811 — is described as auszug (excerpts).12

Of course, the two perfectly match each other for the six baptisms noted above.13 But that second one should have my guy. And it doesn’t.

I do realize that it isn’t your fault, Johnny George, that copies and excerpts of church books might be incomplete or have errors.

And I realize that it’s not your fault that this stupid pandemic meant I had to cancel a research trip to Bremen that I had long planned for 2020.

But gimme a hint here, willya?

When — if? — I ever get to take that trip, and can get to the Bremen Archives and get to the microfilm of the full set of church records…

Is Gerhard’s baptism there?

‘Cause right now, y’see, that record is missing in action.

And if it turns out it’s not there … you and I are gonna have words.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Gerhard’s baptism,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 8 Jan 2022).


  1. Standesamt (Registrar), Bremen, Zivilstandsregister (civil registration), 1811-1875, Todten (deaths) 1823, seite (page) 17, nr 34; FHL microfilm 1344214.
  2. Kirchenbuch, 1650-1811, Evangelische Kirche Sankt Pauli, Bremen, Heiraten (marriages) 1733-1804, Nuckel-Storch, 30 August 1792; digital images, DGS 008244310, image 230, ( : accessed 8 Jan 2022).
  3. Ibid., Taufen (baptisms) 1750-1811, Adelheid Storch, 21 Feb 1762; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 124, ( : accessed 8 Jan 2022).
  4. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 1, Anna Martjen Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 476. Yeah… barely four months after the wedding. Didn’t any of you guys wait until after the marriage?
  5. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 51, Hermann Heinrich Wilhelm Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 501.
  6. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 100, Johann Valentin Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 526.
  7. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 140, Gert Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 548.
  8. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 176, Anna Marie Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 567.
  9. Ibid., Taufen 1793-1811, p. 218, Friedrich Nuckel; digital images, DGS 007991226, image 588.
  10. Standesamt, Bremen, Zivilstandsregister, Todten 1882, nr 1977; Bremen Stadtarchiv.
  11. Kirchengemeinde, St. Pauli, Taufen 1733-1804 (Abschrift); digital images, DGS 007991225.
  12. Kirchengemeinde, St. Pauli, Taufen 1793-1811 (Auszug); digital images, DGS 007991226.
  13. Anna Martjen is nr. 3 for 1793 in the Abschrift book; Hermann Heinrich Wilhelm is nr. 26 for 1795; Johann Valentin, nr. 61 for 1797; Gert, nr. 71 for 1799; Anna Marie, nr. 15 for 1802; and Friedrich, nr. 33 for 1804.
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