Zellmer origins

Records at Zion Lutheran Church, Readfield, Wisconsin (less than 5 miles from Christof Zellmer's farm in Wolf River), show two men named Johann Gottfried Zellmer of that parish had been born in Romanshof, Kreis Czarnikau, Posen in 1812 and 1847. The wife of the elder Zellmer was Anna Caroline Dietrich, also born in Romanshof. Their relationship to my great great grandfather Christof is still unknown but we believe that the elder man might have been a brother or cousin. Romanshof and Czarnków lie, about 25 miles south of Christof's birthplace in Klawittersdorf. We have located the marriage of Anna Caroline and Johann Gottfried in the Lutheran kirchenbuch of Czarnikau, but did not find information linking them to Christof.

Czarnków is a good sized town nestled at the base of a bluff above the River Notec. Its location and the tree-lined roads in the valley make it difficult to photograph from a distance but it is quite attractive and could be taken for a county seat in along a midwestern river such as the upper part of the Missouri. In the central square, in front of the red brick church sits a soviet era tank on a stone memorial pedestal. Blooming Chestnut trees, found everywhere in western Poland, brighten the scene. The river valley is broad and is intensively farmed, especially in the area just north of the town. The settlement, now called Romanowo and earlier called Romanshof, is strung for a couple miles along a single lane under the bluff, with fields, divided by drainage ditches stretching across the bottomland to the riverside. We believe that Romanshof might well have been part of a large farm or manor belonging to a prominent family and worked by tenants. We wonder if its name could have come from early Roman activity in the area.