The first written reference to the first ancestor Martin Hertzke is found in the church book of Politzig (Policko, Poland), where he, as a gardener from Bobelwitz (Bobowicko) marries Dorothea Baudoch in 1786. At that time he is about 24 years old. Nothing is known about the place of origin or his parents, and so far it is a dead end. The Hertzkes are represented from circa 1780 in Bobelwitz, Carlsruh and Janau. Prior to that there are no entries recorded in the Politzig church records. There is a theory that there could be a reference to the Catholic Herzke/Hercyg from the church book Betsche (Pszczew). But this is unconfirmed so far.

From Bobelwitz my continuous Protestant Hertzke line goes to Ober Görzig (Gorzyca), Weissensee (Chycina) and Schloss Tirschtiegel (Trzciel Zamek) to Kranz (Kręcko), a small village in the former district of Meseritz.

It came to the last stop in what was then Prussia, the village of Kranz, where my great-grandfather Carl Ernst Hertzke married into the house of his wife, Johanne Wilhelmine Auguste Löchel, there in 1919. Since 1850 the farm Kranz No. 11 was in the possession of her family and had a garden, fields, a carpenter’s workshop and a stable. It cost my ancestors 635 thalers (about 4800€).

Hertzke house in Kranz 1928
Kranz no. 11 – 1928
Hertzke house in Kranz 2016
Kręcko no. 11A – 2016

Until they fled, they lived in the house that I visited with my family in 2016. The property was divided into two halves and the front door was walled up. At the moment, only the right side seems inhabited and the left side looks dilapidated. The carpenter’s workshop was sold and turned into a complete house (Kręcko no. 11B), while the stable was completely demolished. Overall, the whole village seems to be in pretty bad shape. Not all streets are paved, some houses are abandoned, the newer cemetery is partially decayed and of the old cemetery, outside Kranz, only the border can be seen. The area itself was destroyed during the Second World War and since then has become overgrown. Here are a few impressions of the place currently:

After the war, the family, like many other refugees, lived in Berlin, from where the children dispersed. Even today, Berlin has the highest Hertzke density.

Hertzke in Posen

Not only in the district of Meseritz and in the district of Züllichau-Schwiebus there was a cluster of Hertzkes, but also in other regions. Other places with very early Hertzke mentions are the surroundings of Graudenz (Grudziądz), Scharnikau (Czarnków) and the districts of Samter and Thorn.

Unfortunately, no connection of the different Hertzke groups has been established yet. All name representatives, which could not be assigned to my family so far, you find under name bearers.