The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors

The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors
Pictured in the photo: (Back row, standing, left to right) Herman Fredrick, Anna Batke, Henry Batke, Sr., Selma Batke, Henry Robert Batke, William Batke and Arthur Engler. (Front row/sitting, left to right) Donald Fredrick, Robert Fredrick, Katherine Batke Fredrick, Ruth Batke, Edwin Batke, Katherine Reck Batke, Jerald Batke, Edna Kwiatkowski Batke, Mary Batke Engler and Elaine Engler. Taken c1940, possibly to celebrate Henry and Katherine’s 30th wedding anniversary, October 22, 1940. Photo courtesy: Don Fredrick.

About Henry Batke and Katherine Reck

Heinrich Batke, the son of Martin Batke (c1848-b1912) and Anna Lock (1848-1939) was born in Chortitza, Russia on September 7, 1877. Also in Russia, Catharina Reck was born on October 14, 1890. Her parents were John Reck and Renata Shirk. Henry and Katherine married in Russia on September 22, 1910. On July 13, 1912, Henry, his wife and seven month old daughter, Katherine, sailed from the Port of Bremen, Germany on the ship Pallanza. They traveled to Quebec City, Canada arriving on July 28, 1912. They immediately left on a special Canadian Pacific Railroad train to Saskatchewan, Canada. The Batkes homesteaded in Lydiard, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan between 1913 and 1918. On October 3, 1917 Henry Batke became a citizen of Canada. Due to England's sovereignty over Canada, he became a British citizen. Finding farming in Canada difficult, on December 7, 1921 the Batke family, now also including Mary, William and Selma, left for Yellow Pine, Alabama. After the birth of Anna and much hardship in Alabama, the family moved to St. Joseph, Michigan where children Henry, Ruth and Edwin were born. Henry, a furniture maker in Russia, became a machine operator at the 1900 Corporation, a fore-runner of Whirlpool, in St. Joseph. After Henry's death on April 7, 1949, Katherine Reck Batke married Gustav Schmeichel in 1959. Katherine Reck Batke Schmeichel died at the Claremont Nursing Home in Benton, Michigan on October 28, 1979.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pallanza/Chancellor 1891

The ship the Batkes traveled on from Bremen to Quebec in 1912 was the Pallanza. The following description of the ship is provided on The Ships List.

"4,606 gross tons, length 398.6 ft x beam 47.1 ft, one funnel, three masts, single screw and a speed of 12 knots. There was accomodation for 850-3rd class passengers. Built by C. S. Swan & Hunter, Wallsend-on-Tyne, she was launched as the Chancellor for T. & J. Harrison of Liverpool on 11th of May 1891. Sold to Sloman Line of Hamburg in 1901, she was renamed Pallanza and started her first Hamburg - New York voyage on 25th Jul. 1902. Chartered by the Hamburg-American Line in May 1903, she was purchased by this company on 9th Jan. 1907. On 16th Jan. 1907 she started her first Hamburg - Philadelphia sailing and on 17th May 1912 commenced her first Hamburg - Quebec - Montreal sailing. Her last voyage on this service stared on 12th June 1914 and she arrived back at Hamburg on 21st Jul. 1914. Used as a German Naval Auxiliary, she was sunk by a mine near Borkum on 11th Nov. 1915. Source: North Atlantic Seaway by N. R. P. Bonsor, vol. 1, p.409"

From the Batke Pallanza passenger list, it notes the ship had 378 adults and 104 children, or 482 individuals, on their July, 1912 voyage. It states the voyage started in Hamburg on July 13, departed Bremen on July 14 and finally departed Rotterdam on July 15. Its last port of call was Quebec, arriving on July 28, 1912.

The trip from Bremen, the port from which the Batkes departed, to Quebec was 14 days in all.

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