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.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The parents of Catharine Reck Batke

On July 14, 1937, Catharine Reck Batke filled out an application for a Social Security Number. She was living at 714 Vine Street in St. Joseph, Michigan and working at the Berrien Packing Company, also in St. Joseph. She stated her birthday as October 14, 1891 on the typed copy, however in the section which reads: "subject to later verification" the year is corrected to 1890. This later date is consistent with Catharine's other documents. She also notes she was born in Russia. The SS# provided her is: 367-12-0849.

Best of all, she lists her father as John Reck (you can see the correction from Rek to Reck) and her mother as Renata Shirk.

An email note received from Don Fredrick, grandson of Catherine Reck Batke, shared the following information on March 11, 2011 to Elaine Beaudoin:

In a note recently discovered from a visit to my grandmother Catherine Batke, wife of Henry Batke, by the Don Fredrick family before she died and while she was in the nursing home, we find that Renata Scherk, Shierk, Shirk was mentioned by her as the wife of her father John Reck.  We assumed at the time of the visit that John and Renata, according to Catherine, did not leave Germany to come to Canada or the US.  We wrote down on our note at the time that the spelling was Scherk, not Shirk.   Are you sure about the spelling of Renata "Shirk"?

Until more proof is provided, all the spellings -- Scherk, Shierk and Shirk -- should be researched.   Thanks Don for the note.

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