The Simon Schmidt (1695) Family Tree
                    A long journey - Damflos, Germany to Chicago, Illinois Today (2006)

 Welcome to our site.

  Click here to begin.

        Family Tree

The primary focus of this site is to illuminate the genealogy and life events of the Johann Peter Schmidt Family immigrating, June 1840, from Damflos, Germany to New York and thence to Chicago in 1841.


You will find in this site the original German Passport of Johann Peter Schmidt, issued March 2, 1840, by Prussia that has been lovingly restored by Carol Turchan of the Chicago Historical Society and is held by David Fortman, author of this site.


You will find a passenger manifest of the US Flagged 440 Ton Sloop, “France” sailed by Master John H. Marshall that landed Johann Peter Schmidt “Sr” and his family on July 27th 1840 in New York City.


You will listen to Peter Jr build the 1870 grand Victorian House on Ridge Ave in Chicago.  Its lumber bill was $106.00 and skilled craftsman in that day earned $4.00 a week. A portion of this land and the Victorian house still remain in the family to this day.


You will read of tragedy and death in places such as Aspen Colorado when Peter Jr’s Brother Jacob accidentally kills himself with his Colt 45 “Peacemaker” at the spring on the road between Ashcroft and Crested Butte where the Tam O’Shanter Trail branches off.


You shall read of the Potawatami Indian Massacre of 108 men, women, and children of  Fort Dearborn (Chicago) on June 12, 1812.


You will see tombstones and St. Henry’s Church, a burial site of many of the early German settlers in Chicago.


You are about to read a family’s history from 1695’s, Simon Schmidt, to today’s generations.  It is an exciting 311 year adventure that began in Germany 203 years after Christopher Columbus discovered “the New World”.


Thank you for listening.


David A. Fortman


Special acknowledgements go to Jeanine Schultz and Allyson Moore Tilton

for their invaluable research and patient guidance.