Julia Dorthea Treter Kinsel

This is the beginning of an occasional series where I attempt to flesh out the lives of our ancestors.  This will likely lean heavily toward the Kinsel side of things (sorry Mom) since the Mongomery line has lots of stories and work done.


Julia “Dora” Treter Kinsel was born in Yurneschavo, Cries Schroda Province, Posen, Germany.   Here parents were Daniel and Julia Baumert Treter. She had 3 brothers and one sister-, Ferdinand, Edward, Ameal (possibly Emil) and Anna.

In 1964, when Dora was just 14, her family left from Hamburg, Germany on the ship Thuringia.  She and her family settled in Caroll, Ohio.  Her father is listed in both the passenger list and in the 1889 census as being a “farmer”.   During the 1800’s, many German immigrants came to Ohio to take part in the American dream.  Most of their neighbors  in the 1880 census are all from Germany or Prussia, so it perhaps wasn’t as much of a “culture-shock” as we might think to move from her home in Germany to Ohio.

Dora met Otto “Adam” Emil Kinsel, another German Immigrant, and they were married 11 Mar, 1883. They had 6 children- 5 boys Emil Otto, Edward August, Henry Willie, Alfred August and Otto Godfriedt.  Their oldest was their only girl- Matilda Dorthea.


Dora and her sons in 1946.

Adam died when Matilda was just 13 years old.  According to his obituary, he was “attempting to raise a bent” (i learned that a “bent” is an individual assembled section of timber that makes up the framework of a barn) with his wife and two brothers. One of the posts slipped and he fell and got caught between the plank and a sill.  His head was “mangled” and had a number of ribs broken.

I can only imagine what it must have been like for Dora- not only did she lose her husband, but her children weren’t old enough to really help out with the farm – their only means of income.  The 1900 census shows that they had a hird laborer working for them on the farm. That must have been a big help.

Dora died 2 September, 1950 at the age of 89.


March 6, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized.


  1. Kate replied:

    That is so awesome Mak! I hope you do this again. I’m very interested in learning more about dad’s side of the family.

    Just out of curiosity, how do we fit in? I want to say that Alfred is Grandpa’s dad, is that right? So that would make Dora our great great grandmother?

  2. makphilips replied:

    you got it- Alfred is Richard (Grandpa JKinsel’s) Dad, so she is our gggrandmother.

  3. Jane replied:

    Keep up the good work. It is awesome to make these accessible to the family. According to Grandma Clara Kinsel, she was a stalwart and amazing woman.

    (FYI..noted a date error 1900 something in the beginning. You know how that transposed date can confuse people!)
    Grandpa Alfred Kinsel is second from the right.

  4. Matilda Elisabeth Draeger Kinsel « Keeping My Wits About Me replied:

    […] Uncategorized Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of Matilda, but I wanted to continue my occasional blog series featuring some of my ancestors and their stories and she is an interesting one to […]

  5. Jeffrey Marion replied:

    Gosh I don’t even know who I’m writing to here! I’m just so excited to see my greatgrandma Julia’s picture here. AND my grandfather Otto Kinsel as well. I was just googling his name and this popped up. I’m VERY moved because I really had not up until recently been interested in family history. My mother, Laura Marion, is Otto’s daughter, born and stillliving in the same house she born in 1925 … the same house Otto built.

  6. Karen Kinsel replied:

    Hello, Kathy sent me to your site, she and I met many years ago over AOL when I was asking if we were related? I have recently done some more research on my Great Grandfather “Mike” Kinsel who we know came from Germany and his wife Margariet Kinsel who also came from Germany, but we had no other info on either. My old notes from a distant Aunt mention that my Grandfather Amiel Kinsel had a brother Otto but nothing more? Kathy and I have always felt we were related but we haven’t yet made the connection. If we are, it must be distant, but how interesting?

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