“Biltz letter” from 1909

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Life in general has been keeping me busy and I haven’t been able to spend as much time on my family research as I’d like. However, I have been plugging away at it when I can find the time.

And now I am completing a major project, one that has involved finding all sorts of new information about my Biltz ancestors, as well as tying together various names and anecdotes about this family that I have gathered through the years. The final step in this project is to share here a letter written by Karl Eduard Kühnert in Chemnitz, Germany (pictured at the top of this page) to his relative Ferdinand Gerhard Walther in St. Louis, Missouri.

Walther’s wife was Bertha Emilie Biltz, the second daughter of the Franz Julius Biltz I have often mentioned in this blog. Kühnert’s grandfather, on the other hand, was Franz Julius’ uncle, Gottlob Friedrich Biltz. This makes Kühnert and Bertha Walther nee Biltz second cousins.

The letter is dated March 4, 1909. Franz Julius died November 19, 1908. Kühnert had presumably heard of the death of his relative in America and was writing once again to reestablish contact with the American branch of his family.

He mentions in the letter that he has visited the United States on occasion, and that at least two of his children settled down there. He also mentions other people and events pertaining not only to the Biltz family but also to the Saxon Emigration, in which Franz Julius Biltz partook, including time that Kühnert spent with C.F.W. Walther. This letter also sheds definitive light into details about the story behind the inheritance Franz Julius forfeited when he emigrated to Missouri.

Thanks to the Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis, I was able to receive a copy of this letter. Below you can find a copy of the narrative portion of the letter interspersed with the transcription I made. This is followed by my translation of the letter, which started with a rough translation using the online service DeepL. The final document is a chart showing all the names mentioned in the letter and how they related to each other.

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