©Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives, Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Last updated September 19, 2003)


Wiens Family

Retrieval numbers: Vol. 2252-2253, 4580:1-2, Microfilm # 785

Title: Wiens Family fonds
Dates: 1787-2000; predominate 1787-1963
Extent: 17 cm of textual records and 1 microfilm reel
Jacob Wiens family fonds

Biographical Sketch:

Herman Wiens (ca. 1731-) of Czattkau, Prussia had three children Agatha Wiens (1764-1839), Jacob Wiens (1767-1845) and Peter Wiens (1770-). Peter was a teacher in Czattkau, Prussia and started an arithmetic book used as a textbook in his teaching. The book was augmented with multihued fraktur artwork. According to the family Peter Wiens one day disappeared without a trace.

Peter’s older brother Jacob Wiens joined the migration of Mennonites to Russia and first settled in the village of Schoenhorst, Chortitza Colony (various dates have been suggested including 1788, 1792, 1795, 1803-1809). Jacob’s first wife, Sara Dicken, died in 1795 and they had one daughter, Maria (1792-1815). Jacob married Sara Brandt (1772-1861) in December 1795 and together they had 14 children, 7 of which survived into adulthood. Between 1809 and 1814 the family moved to the village of Osterwick. Here Jacob was relatively well to do and owned Wirtschaft (farm property) #5 with various animals. In 1824 he had 23 mature rams, 4 young rams, and 14 lambs. Jacob was wealthy enough to lend money to various people and he kept a record of these debts. After Jacob died in 1845, his son Jacob (1816-1888) collected the outstanding debts.

Jacob Wiens jr. (1816-1888) was born in the village of Osterwick, Chortitza Colony and baptized on May 20, 1835. In 1836 he married Katherina Klassen (1817-1885). Jacob was a school teacher in Osterwick and in 1841 moved to the village of Kronsthal where he continued to teach. In 1844 Jacob purchased half a Wirtschaft from Hermann Neufeld for 1000 rubles. Jacob continued the practice of journaling and filled the last half of the book started by his uncle Peter Wiens.

In June 1876 Jacob Wiens moved his family to the village of Hoffnungsfeld, Manitoba on the land reserved for exclusive Mennonite settlement, west of the Red River (near current day Winkler, Manitoba). 7000 Mennonites moved to Manitoba to obtain new farm land and freedom of religion. Jacob recorded his immigration experience and has been translated in Nettie Kroeker’s books Far Above Rubies and Grandfather Wiens’ Diary en route Russia to Canada. While in Hoffnugsfeld Jacob became a correspondent for the community and submitted his letters to the widely read periodical Mennonitische Rundschau. Jacob Wiens died July 9, 1888 in Hoffungsfeld, Manitoba.

Scope and Content:

This fonds consists of two bound books, copies of the books, their translations, and photocopies of published letters by Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) from the Mennonitische Rundschau. The first book, the Wiens Family Diary, contains mathematical calculations, fraktur art, travel diary, recipes, poetry, and record of events that take place in Prussia, Russia, and Canada. The second book, the Jacob Wiens Family Record, contains Wiens genealogical information and financial records of money paid and loaned.

This material is unique that it spans such a large time frame following the family through three countries and includes various authors of the Wiens family. It gives the Wiens genealogy but also shows the complicated mathematical calculations used in a school setting as well as a love for artistic expression. The material shows the authors’ love for poetry, music, and the kind of medical procedures used by the Mennonite people in Russia in the mid to late 1800s. A travel diary detailing the trip from Russia to Canada in 1876 is included. The materials give the reader a unique window into the life of a Mennonite community in Prussia, Russia, and Canada.

Custodial History.

This material was deposited at the Mennonite Heritage Centre on two separate occasions. Don and Gloria Dyck donated the Jacob Wiens Family record in 1997 and Grace Schellenberg deposited the Wiens Family Diary in 2000 on a long term loan basis.

The Jacob Wiens family record was stared by Jacob Wiens (1767-1845). His wife, Sara adds entries (her own birth and her husbands death). Their youngest son, Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) continues the register after his mother dies in 1861. He begins a formal sections dated Jan. 3, 1869. He is the one who most likely brought the book to America in 1876. He identifies himself as Jacob Wiens, Kronsthal. In Canada the family settled at Hoffnungsfeld near Winkler, Manitoba. His youngest daughter, Aganetha Wiens (1860-1827) married Johan Enns (1857-1929). Aganetha is the next person to make an entry into this record. The last entry in this item is written by this Johan Enns. Johan and Aganetha Enns' daughter, Tina (Mrs. John P. Dyck) received this diary next and their son Don brought it to the Mennonite Heritage Centre.

The second deposit came in 2000 which was the Wiens family diary. It was started by Peter Wiens (1770-) and brought from Prussia to Russia by his brother Jacob Wiens (1767-1845). Jacob’ son Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) continued to write in the book and brought it with him to Canada. After the death of Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) the book is passed on to grandson J.A. Kroeker (1878-1945), Helena Wiens’ son. Then it was given on to daughter Annie Kroeker (1909-) and son-in-law Cornelius J. Funk (1906-) who gave it to daughter Grace Funk (1933-) and son-in-law Henry Schellenberg. The letters are copied from the Mennonitische Rundschau by the Mennonite Heritage Centre staff.

Notes:

Described by Conrad Stoesz August 29, 2003.

Location: Volumes 2252-2253, 4580, microfilm #785.

Finding aid consists of item descriptions, file list, and Wiens family diary index.

Language: German and English.

Access to originals is restricted. Access must be made via copies or microfilm.

Accession numbers: 1997-053, 2000-124.

Related Materials: Four books have been published that use major portions of the Wiens family diary and Wiens family record. These include: Far Above Rubies/ Nettie Kroeker, Grandfather Wiens’ Diary en Route Russia to Canada/ Nettie Kroeker, Gedichte aus der Alten und Neuen Heimat, and The Wiens Family Register/ Irvin Kroeker.

Related material in other repositories: A.A. Kroeker fonds file 16 and Isaac Wiens family fonds at Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg

 

Wiens family diary. – 1787-1959. – 14 cm of textual records.

This series consist of the Wiens family diary and some loose pages. This series is divided into three main sections. The first section is an arithmetic book that was started by teacher Peter Wiens (1770-) in 1787 and is the oldest part of the book. In it Peter Wiens has numerous charts and equations where he lists units of measurement, additions, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, fractions, weights and currency, conversion of Prussian currency, calculation of interest and algebra style mathematical problems. Each mathematical page is embellished with elaborate and colorful fraktur art. Some pages have Latin language titles.

The second section was written by Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) a nephew of Peter Wiens (1770-) through his brother Jacob (1767-1845). This portion is a compilation of various writings, some of which have been copied from other sources. Materials include stories such as Cholera in Rosengart, and Election of Jacob W. Kronsthal as teacher and J. Dyck as deacon; Home remedies for a good mouth grease, how to make a barometer, for headaches, and how charcoal can be used for medicine; Letter book that includes Invitation to the Mennonites in Danzig to emigrate to Russia and The Privilege given by Kaiser Paul; poetry and a travel diary detailing the migration of the Wiens family from Russia to Manitoba in 1876.

Included with this book is an index to both sections and a translation of sections of the second portion of the book. Material has been translated and published in Nettie Kroeker’s book Grandfather Wiens’ Diary en route Russia to Canada, and translations by MHC volunteer Jake K. Wiens.

The third section includes loose pages that were located in the diary. They have been removed, transliterated and translated. This material includes poetry, letters, and recipes.

Jacob Wiens Family Record. – 1824-1903. – 3 cm of textual records.

This item consists of 2 sections of a notebook without covers or titles pages. There are 13 pages which have entries on them. The initial four pages contain financial records. The remaining pages contain genealogical records giving dates of birth, marriage and death. The dates range from 1748-1903. The entries in the book seem to have been started by Jacob Wiens (1767-1845). His wife, Sara adds entries (her own birth and her husbands death). Their youngest son, Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) continues the register after his mother dies in 1861. He begins a formal sections dated Jan. 3, 1869. He is the one who most likely brought the book to America in 1876. He identifies himself as Jacob Wiens, Kronsthal. In Canada the family settled at Hoffnungsfeld near Winkler, Manitoba. His youngest daughter, Aganetha Wiens (1860-1827) married Johan Enns (1857-1929). Aganetha is the next person to make an entry into this record. The last entry in this item is written by this Johan Enns.

Also included are copies of a number of letters written to the periodical Mennonitische Rundschau by Jacob Wiens (1818-1888) as a correspondent for the village of Honffnungsfeld.

File List

Volume 2252

  1. Wiens Family diary including:
    1. Peter Wiens (1770- ) arithmetic book p. 1-175. – 1787-[179-?].
    2. Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) journal of stories of events, poems, home remedies, riddles and trip diary. – 1787-[ca.1959].
  2. Loose pages from the Wiens family diary, sections a-b.
  3. Loose pages from the Wiens family diary, sections c-g.

Volume 2253

  1. Copies of Peter Wiens (1770- ) arithmetic book p. 1-175.
  2. Copies of Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) journal of stories of events, poems, home remedies, riddles and trip diary. – 1787- [ca.1959]. – p. 196.
  3. 3. English translation of the Wiens family diary/ Jake K. Wiens. – 2001. – Note: this includes an index to the Peter Wiens arithmetic book, translation of the Jacob Wiens (1767-1845) page and translations of the Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) journal that have not already been translated and that are not poetry, riddles or home remedies with an index at the back. – 24 pages.
  4. Copies of the loose pages from the Wiens family diary.
  5. Transliterations and partial translation of the loose pages from the Wiens family diary/ Jake K. Wiens. – 2000.
  6. Copy of loose page recoding Jacob Wiens (1767-1845) birth and marriage.
  7. Copy of Grandfather Wiens’ Diary en Route Russia to Canada/ Translated by Nettie Kroeker. – 1961, [199-?].
  8. Copy of Gedichte aus der Alten und Neuen Heimat/ Compiled by Nettie Kroeker. – [196-].
  9. Copies of Jacob Wiens’ letters published in the Mennonitische Rundschau. – 1895-1899. – Note: also included are other family members letters.
  10. Articles regarding Jacob Wiens, Peter Wiens and the Weins family diary/ Delbert Plett in Preservings. – December 2000.

Volume 4580

  1. Jacob Wiens family records (copies & translations). – 2002.
  2. Jacob Wiens family record. - ca. 1824-1903. (original)
  3. This item consists of 2 sections of a notebook without covers or titles pages. There are 13 pages which have entries on them. The initial four pages contain financial records. The remaining pages contain genealogical records giving dates of birth, marriage and death. The dates range from 1748-1903.

Microfilm #785

  1. Wiens family diary. – 1787-1959.
  2. Jacob Wiens Family Record. – 1924-1903.
  3. Grandfather Wiens Diary en route Russia to Canada/ translated by Nettie Kroeker, 1961.
  4. Gedichte aus der Alten und neuen Heimat/ Compiled by Nettie Kroeker, [196-?].
  5. The Wiens Family Register/ Irvin Kroeker, 1963.

Index to the Wiens family diary:
  1. Peter Wiens’(b. 1770) Arithimatic book
    1. Numeration, Place Value, Counting, Latin and Roman numerals………………...................….pp.1-3
    2. Units of measurement…………......................................................................................………pp.4-9
    3. Peter Wiens’ birthday (1770)……………..............................................................…………….pp.10
    4. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division of whole numbers…….......................……pp.11-47
    5. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division of currency weights and measurements.....… pp.48-77
    6. Rules of proportion in whole numbers ..........................…………………………………………pp.78-93
    7. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division of fractions...............................................…pp.94-126
    8. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division of fractions with small denominators....…. pp.127-143
    9. Rules of proportion with …[Gebrochenen Zahlen]……………………….............................……pp. 144
    10. On the conversion of common Prussian Currency ………………………….............................……pp. 152
    11. Mόntz Verwechselung mit Lagio oder Auf Geld ( coins & currency problems ?).............................pp. 155
    12. On calculation of Interest …………………………….................................……………………… pp. 160
    13. Von der Gellselschaft Rechnung……….........................………………………………………… pp. 165
    14. Solve for the unknown X (Regula Falsi) ………………………………...............................………pp. 170
    15. Regula Cecis ad(?): Verginum ………………………..........................………………………...pp. 175

  1. Jacob Wiens’ (b.1767) personal birth and marriage data (1 loose page)
  2. Jacob Wiens (1816-1888) journal of stories of events, poems, home remedies, riddles and trip diary. (section with pagination and index as follow)
    1. Cholera in Rosengart 1
    2. Invitation to the Mennonites in Danzig to emigrate to Russia 2
    3. Protecting and encouragement in perseverance to emigrate 4
    4. The privilege given by Kaiser Paul 17
    5. The agreement of the Mennonite delegates and the Russian officials regarding settlement 26
    6. For the wilted Roses 37
    7. For headaches or "Barengruend" 37
    8. For the Horse "Scherf" 37
    9. When a cow that cannot get cleaned 38
    10. To make soap 38
    11. For a sore throat 39
    12. To make a barometer 39
    13. Riddles 40
    14. To make "Stieffebewichte"? 42
    15. To make gun cotton and to take the smoke from the lamp oil 43
    16. How charcoal can be used for medicine 43
    17. Things that can be used against cholera and cattle contagious disease 47
    18. Russian Easter Account 48
    19. For headneck spasm 49
    20. For a good mouth grease 49
    21. For eye water and spider bites 50
    22. For bad children heads 50
    23. The Same as a Storm, Snow, and Rain - From the Occasion of Unrest in the Church 51
    24. For cholera 51
    25. Telegraph alphabet code 53
    26. Chest syrup 54
    27. For haemorrhoids 54
    28. Against convulsive fits and the related feminine sicknesses 55
    29. Determining on which week day a certain earlier or later day falls 56
    30. Praise God the Winter has Past - From the previous Occasion 58
    31. My Heart swings itself Upward. - Spring 59
    32. A half a Century is over Today - Golden Wedding 59
    33. The weather cannot always be nice - A cold Spring Day 60
    34. How Magnificent is the Evening Glow. - A Spring Evening 61
    35. Oh, How the World stands in the Evil - Good Friday 62
    36. Today Christ has Risen. - Easter 63
    37. O God, You show us Your Power. - After prolonged Bells on April 30 63
    38. Date of death of Mrs. Abraham Wiebe 63
    39. O, Father! Abeyance of Your Kindness? A nice Rain after a Long Drought 64
    40. What is Wrong, you my heavy Spirit. - At the great Sickness of our Daughter Katharina 65
    41. O, Good-bye now to this Child! At the Death of our Daughter Katharine 66
    42. Lord I come to Praise You. - On New Years Day 67
    43. On a Church Gable Wall - The Saved Lamb 68
    44. You Fields and you Meadows. - The Good-bye 71
    45. Praise God with Contentment. - The Rainbow 73
    46. On a Soul covered Roof - On the day father-in-law died 74
    47. Almighty God! I want to praise You - after a nice rain 75
    48. Singing my Praise Song to my God - Christmas Day 76
    49. Almighty God! I want to raise You - At the End of the Year 77
    50. I am, Yes Lord, in Your Hands. -At the End of August 1941 79
    51. O God! You Who has Maintained Us. - On June 2, 1842 80
    52. The time goes by and one hardly Notices - In the later Years of Mrs. A.W. 80
    53. Misfortune from a storm in Tomakonka? and on the sheepfold 83
    54. Election of Jacob W. Kronsthal as teacher and J. Dyck as deacon 83
    55. Thoughts about the booklet of Klaas Epp 83
    56. The star from Bethlehem 86
    57. Password from David's Son -Encouragement under the Cross 88
    58. Letter to the Grand Prince Konstantin about our faith 95
    59. Spurgern's writings to the Lords of France and Germany 98
    60. As far as the Heaven Goes. - Praise God 102
    61. Most Gracious Saviour of all Sinners. - Jesus Wounds 103
    62. O Jesus! To sink upon Your Heart. The Blood of Jesus 105
    63. There is another Rest Coming - The Eternal Rest 107
    64. Letter from Mr. Joh. Dyck 110
    65. Departure to Cherson on May 12, 1876 111
    66. How will it be with me? When I see You Jesus? The Everlasting Bliss of my Soul 112
    67. Wrapped up in joy(?). - The Desire of the Soul to be Free 113
    68. Jesus! Saviour of my Soul Refuge to Jesus on the Cross 114
    69. The First Thing that you do - Etiquette Regulations 115
    70. From the 13th to 15th from Cherson to Odessa and to Podwoletschiska? Goliuen 118
    71. From the 16th to the 19th from Podwoletschiska to Hamburg 120
    72. From the 20th to the 23d from Hamburg to Hull, England 122
    73. From the 24th to the 26th from Hull to Liverpool 123
    74. From the 27th to the 28th from Liverpool to Ireland 126
    75. From the 29th to the 30th on the ocean 128
    76. From the 31st to June 4 a strong wind - Kaethlers child died 130
    77. June 4 - Iceberg 132
    78. From the 5th to the 6th Saw Newfoundland and America 134
    79. From the 7th to the 9th arrived in Quebec and to Toronto 136
    80. From the 10th to the 15th from Toronto to Duluth 138
    81. The 15th and 16th in Duluth and to Brainert 140
    82. From the 17th to the 19th from Brainert to Emerson and the Immigration House 142
    83. From the 20th to the 28th from the Immigration House to and in Reinland 144
    84. From the 29th to July 7 what we experienced(?) . Big storm and hail 146
    85. From the 8th to the 19th. Those children that were left behind in Liverpool arrived; We saw several plans and decided to settle on the last one and to call it Hoffnungsfeld 148
    86. From the 20th to August 4 we moved with our families to Chortitz, build in Hoffnungsfeld and finally moved to here 150
    87. O Rock of Hope! Born in Bethlehem. - About our Emigration and our Settlement 151

  3. Founding of the village and church at Kronstal, Russia
  4. Provinance of this Wiens Family Diary / written by C.J. Funk). – after 1945.
  5. History of Mennonites in Manitoba / written by C.J. Funk . – ca. 1959.
  6. Blank pages
  7. Recipe for making wine (upside-down in original)
  8. Register of Poems
  9. Register of recipes (remedies), riddles and other items
  10. Register of other topics and happenings
  11. Miscellaneous loose pages.
    1. [A Teacher’s Poem]
    2. Account of migration in 1788 from Danzig to Russia (missing edges and missing pages)
    3. Letter written by Jacob Wiens, Hoffnungsfeld, dated 29 May 1879.
    4. Letter from _____, Schoenhorst, dated 8 January 1887
    5. Letter address to Aganetha Wiens from Russia (?), undated
    6. Christmas wish (poem)
    7. Poem : Nach der Schule zu Hause"