Author Topic: Renate Wolter from Schwerte area, NRW Germany - Help with identifying father?  (Read 205 times)

Offline Hopefulone

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Hello everyone,

I am from England and with some difficulty, I am trying to research my German family line and keep hitting brick walls, one of which is the following...

It would be fabulous if anyone has any information about Renate Wolter, originally from Wesel, NRW, Germany. She was born in January 1935 in Sandstasse 12, Wesel, which was a large palatial family home, with many family members living there. However, it appears that her father Karl left the family home within a few short years, leaving her mother Hanna to cope on her own with Renate during wartime.

At this difficult time, it was decided that Renate should go to live in Schwerte with her mother's sister, tante Maria and her husband Friedrich Schulte. For reasons which are unclear, Renate did not return to live with her mother, and lived with her aunt and uncle (as their own child) until she got married (in England).

However, prior to her marriage in 1960, Renate became pregnant by an unknown man in the first half of 1958, and gave birth to her first son, in early 1959, in Iserlohn (not the military hospital). An older family member has limited recollection that the child did not live with his mother immediately after his birth, though it is unclear with whom or where the child initially stayed, albeit for a brief period. But it was evident that the father was not going to be involved in either of their lives, and indeed no father's surname was added to the birth certificate. However, the child did re-join the family, either with Renate or tante Maria by February 1961.

Iserlohn army base was Renate's place of work, as a telephonist, and it seems fair to assume that this is where she met the English soldier who she went on to marry. But this liaison began sometime after her child was born. It seems the soldier was unaware that Renate already had a child when they met. The couple started married life in Iserlohn married quarters, but after having her second child, now as a married woman, and heavily pregnant with her third, the family (including her first born) moved to England in late 1963 to make a new life. This is when Renate de-registered as a resident of Schwerte - not Iserlohn, oddly.

However, once in England, her illegitimate son started to use the married family name, but after investigations, there is no evidence of a formal adoption taking place. He grew up as the Englishman's son and for reasons as yet unknown, both "parents"  never gave him any information about his beginnings. The mystery is still firmly in the closet, unless someone can help us now.

In the attached photo, taken around 1960, Renate (died in 2016, England) is centre, tante Maria (died in 1980, Schwerte) and uncle Friedrich (died in 1967, Schwerte) are both on the right, and her new husband (died in 1993, England) is on the far left.

So, if anyone has any information, however small, that could help unravel the mystery, that would be great, thanks.

Offline garstonite

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Re: Renate Wolter from Schwerte area, NRW Germany - Help with identifying father?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 09 July 20 07:17 BST (UK) »
to try and narrow it down
Renate H C Wolter to Windom S Barr - Spen Valley 1960

do you know what the H C stand for as Renates middle names ??
oakes,liverpool..neston..backford..poulton cum spittal(bebington)middlewich,cheshire......   sacht,helgoland  .......merrick,herefordshire adams,shropshire...tipping..ellis..  jones,garston,liverpool..hartley.dunham massey..barker. salford

Offline Hopefulone

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Re: Renate Wolter from Schwerte area, NRW Germany - Help with identifying father?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 09 July 20 11:39 BST (UK) »
Hello garstonite
Thanks for coming back to me on this.
Yes, Renate's middle names were Hanna Charlotte, though it looks like it could be 'Charlotta' on the birth certificate.


Offline Hopefulone

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Re: Renate Wolter from Schwerte area, NRW Germany - Help with identifying father?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 22:51 BST (UK) »
Just to clarify,  Windom (Senior) Barr  is not the child's biological father - H.