Friedrich Puschke

Here rests

Teacher F.A. PUSCHKE 

born 24 May 1811

died. 23 March 1874

Back: You live on in our hearts.

Puschkes were already numerous in and around Steinort in the 18th century. Almost all of them, like most people in the area, worked as ownerless farm workers for the Lehndorffs.[1] A Friedrich and a Johann Puschke were among the men from the Lehndorff estates, who were drafted to the 1st East Prussian Infantry Regiment and fought in the Napoleonic Wars. A Puschke was also registered in 1811 as a coachman of the Lehndorffs. However, he earned little more than most of the servants.[2]

A few, however, achieved social advancement through education. One of them was Friedrich Puschke, who was born in 1811. From 1835 at the latest, he was the only teacher who educated students at the school in Groß Steinort. Of course, being a teacher was not too easy either. Of the few he earned from teaching, Friedrich Puschke could not feed himself and his family of many. Like other teachers in the region, he had therefore been allocated farmland by the landlord in order to grow crops on it. Because the plots allocated to him were far apart and were also too little fertile, Friedrich Puschke turned to the “most gracious” and “high-born count” in 1854 “with a submissive request”: The land assigned to the school was “distributed in three fields within such distance from the estate that the other teachers can probably have done half their field work before I can get there. If I want to look at my fields in one day, which is often necessary, I have to face a path of almost a mile. But this is not the only, not even the biggest disadvantage. It is mainly the unfavourable location of the land that very often causes me significant losses. This applies in particular to the plots at the small Eichwald and at the Orgelberg.

In snowy winters, the snow usually settles there, driven together by the storm, to such an extent that the spring sun can handle it very late and the winter seed mostly, if not all, suffocates it. In the same way, wet years bring the failure and loss of seeds and crops in the water.

Although this year can be called a blessed in every respect for crops, the yields of my plots are very sparse, even meagre. So I have hardly 5 for every 2 seeds. Of 2 wheat seeded I have only harvested 10. From this, your Highness may graciously judge how much I have cultivated in bad years.

If I now subtract the seed and the threshing wage from this yield, I have very little left to me and look forward to the future only with gloomy glances.

In order to achieve perhaps happier results from my fields in the future, hereby I would like to ask your Highness to grant me a single plot of land not too far from the local school.

In comforting hope of a gracious hearing of my request, I remain reverently your Highness most humble servant Friedrich Puschke”.[3]

Probably on October 17, 1834, Puschke married Louise Bartsch in the church of Rosengarten.[4] She is buried in the cemetery of Groß Steinort next to him. In 1835 their eldest daughter Pauline Adelheid was born. She married the master carpenter Carl Poltzien, with whom she is also buried in the cemetery of Groß Steinort.[5] In the next years the children Louise Emilie, (Rosalie) He(i)nriette, Anna Maria, Friedrich and Albert Ferdinand were born.[6] (Rosalie) Henriette died in 1871 and is also buried there. She was probably the first wife of carpenter Carl Poltzien. After her death Carl married her sister Pauline in second marriage. Nothing else is known about the other siblings, maybe they died early. In 1846 and 1848 the sons Carl Ludwig and Heinrich Theodor were born, both of whom were mentioned as conscripts in the Angerburger Kreisblatt in the late 1860s.[7] The last son, Richard Franz, who was born in 1853, succeeded his father as a teacher in Groß Steinort after his death in 1874. He, too, is buried in the cemetery there.

[2] Gaby Huch, Die Lehndorffs, Berlin 2020, S. 146, 171.

[3] Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, XX. HA Rep. 54 Gutsarchiv Lehndorff-Steinort, Nr. 821 =

[4] (the dating here to 1824 must be a prescriber, Puschke was only 13 years old at that time. In addition, the first child together was born in 1835).

[5] (definitely incorrect information on this, citing in, the tenant Anna Puschke, named here as the mother of Friedrich Puschke, is not included in the church registers)