Martin Golnik

Martin Golnik was christened on Oct. 23, 1787, in Mrotschen, Posen, Germany [now Mrocza, Poland]. His parents were Christian Golnik and Catherine Ratz or Raetz. He married Luise Ratz on November 27, 1814 in Mrotschen. They had at least 13 children, all born in Mrotschen: Johann, Eva Rosina, Carolina, Michael, Gottfried, Christoph, Wilhelmine, Christian, Martin, August, Louise, and Gottlieb.

He lived to be 72 years old and died on March 16, 1859 in Mrotschen. Luise died in Mrotschen on Christmas Day in 1876 at the age of 82.

Alvin Gollnick, a great grandson, wrote:

“This steel for striking on flint to cause a spark to make fire was originally owned by my great grandfather who was born and reared in Prussia which became Germany in 1871. He fought against Napoleon under General [Gebhard L. von] Blutcher in the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was fighting Wellington. Wellington was expecting Blutcher as reinforcement. He did not arrive, so they sent out scouts but could not find him. Blutcher had circled around and came to Napolean’s rears. There was a big rainstorm and the flintlock guns would not fire. Each one of the army was issued a pipe. They filled the pipes with punk [decayed wood used as tinder, a preparation that would smolder] and lighted the punk with this steel and flint. By smoking this they kept the fire hot. When they were ready to fire on Napoleon, they turned the fire in the pipes onto the powder tray of the flintlock guns and were thus able to fire on Napoleon and help win the battle of Waterloo. This steel was used to light the punk in the pipes in 1815. My great- grandfather [Martin] Gollnick gave it to his son, my grandfather Michael Gollnick, and he gave it to me, Alvin Michael Gollnick. My great grandfather never came to this country. My grandfather came here when my father, August Gollnick, was a young man. My mother, Amelia Wagner, came to this country with her folks when she was young.”

Excerpts from the Americana Encyclopedia,1946, Vol. 29, p. 71, talking about the Battle of Waterloo: “This battle culminated in the shortest and most decisive of all the Napoleonic campaigns and was fought June 18, 1815, near the village of Waterloo in Belgium, about 12 miles south of Brussels. Napoleon had already abdicated the power of France. He left Elba and returned to Paris in high hopes with only about 200,000 men available for field service. He planned his campaigns brilliantly. The English, under the Duke of Wellington had their headquarters in Belgium and the Prussians were under the command of Marshall Blutcher at Namur . . . [The maneuvers are described full and three maps are shown giving the details.] About 8 o’clock on the morning of the 18th of June a new formation was drawn up — even though the rain had been falling all night…At 7:30 that evening the main body of the Prussians arrived, and going into action, attacked the French and threw it into confusion…Napoleon reached Paris June 21 and signed the second abdication on the 22nd. The entire campaign had lasted but 3 days and the battle itself was one of the most remarkable and terrible of modern times and was decided in 8 and one half hours. The French lost in killed, wounded and missing about 31,000 men; the Allies about 23,000.”


1. Johann Gollnick – b. November 26, 1815. Johann married Marie Elisabeth Kreike on March 31, 1844. They had ten children: August Herrman, Wilhelmine Florentine, Bertha Emilie, Pauline Malwine, Auguste Louise, Friedrich Gustav, Florentine Justine, Ernestine, Ottilie Amalie, and Hulda Charlotte. Johann died on January 11, 1886, in Mrotschen, Posen, Prussia.

2. Eva Rosina Golnick – b. August 8, 1817. Eva Rosina married Jakob Jekert on December 26, 1838 in Mrotschen.

3. Carolina Golnik – b. July 18, 1819, and died when she was about 10 months old on May 12, 1820.

4. Michael Golnik – b. September 9, 1821. Michael married Caroline Charlotte Hartfiel in 1845 and they emigrated to America. Their story is told elsewhere on this website.

5. Gottfried Golnik – b. March 25, 1824, and died when he was a month old.

6. Christoph Gollnick – b. March 23, 1825. Christoph married Therese Wiederhoft on September 22, 1850, in Mrotschen. They had five children in Mrotschen: August Ferdinand, Paulene Johanne, Emilie Bertha, Louise Dorothea, and Ottilie Charlotte. They emigrated to America. Christoph died on July 8, 1897. An article in the Weyauwega Chronicle reported his death. He was buried at St. John’s Cemetery in Bloomfield, Waushara, Wisconsin. Therese died two years later on March 24, 1899, and is buried next to her husband.

7. Wilhelmine Gollnik – b. April 12, 1828, and died when she was about two months old.

8. Christian Gollnik – b. May 18, 1829.

9. Martin Golnik – b. January 11, 1832, and died when he was a little over a year old.

10. August Gollnik – b. March 10, 1834.

11. Louise Gollnick – b. March 19, 1835.


12. Wilhelm Gollnick – b. October 3, 1837. Wilhelm married Caroline Wilhelmine Fenner. They emigrated to America on the Everhard Delius with their two little daughters (11-month-old Louise and 3-year-old Emilie) and Wilhelm’s 16-year-old nephew, Johann Gollnick (son of Michael Golnik), arriving in New York on August 6, 1868. Wilhelm and Minnie are found in the 1870 and 1880 US Censuses in Bloomfield, Waushara, Wisconsin, where they settled and lived the remainder of their lives. They had ten children: Amelia, Henriette Louise Bertha, Wilhelmine, Alvine, Bertha Albertine, Albert, Emma, William Fred, Paul, and Henry August. Two of their children, Albert and Emma, died young on November 22, 1880. On the 1900 US Census, Wilhelm is listed as William Gobnnike – his name is written such that he cannot easily be found on an index because his last name is recorded as his first name, and Gollnick is not correctly spelled. Wilhelm died on June 11, 1908, in Bloomfield. In the 1910 US Census, Minnie is listed as a widow and her son William and his wife and children, as well as her son, Henry, are living with her. In the 1920 US Census, Minnie is living with her son William and his family. Minnie died on September 8, 1925, seventeen years after her husband’s death. Her obituary has been posted on the Waushara County Wisconsin GenWeb Project website. Wilhelm and Wilhelmine are buried in the Old German cemetery in Bloomfield, Wisconsin.

Wilhelm Gollnick Family
Standing left to right: Alvine, Bertha, Henry, Paul, William, Minnie
Sitting: Amelia, Wilhelmine, Louise

Gollnick Sisters
Bertha Kressin, Alvine Schurbert, Minnie Ziebell, and Louise Schmidt

13. Gottlieb Gollnick – b. January 28, 1841. Gottlieb married Charlotte Pjekarski on February 26, 1865, in Mrotschen. They had eleven children: Friedrich Wilhelm, Louise Wilhelmine, Adeline Auguste, August Herman, Albert Richard, Hermann Carl, Helmuth Johann, August, Gottlieb Reinhold, Edward Daniel, and Helene Charlotte Euphrosine. The youngest four all died in infancy.