Peter Heinrich Ratz (1867-1934), Kingdom of Württemberg, Renounces German Citizenship

This document pertains to my 2nd great grandfather, Peter Heinrich “Henry” Ratz (1867-1934). It was in the same stash of documents recently unearthed by my father that included Henry’s birth certitificate.

Henry Ratz Citizenship Reduced sized.jpg

I don’t have a word for word translation. In fact, when I sent the document off for a professional translation they returned it because of the very difficult to read script.

But, with the help of one of my favorite Facebook genealogy groups, Genealogy Translations, I was able to get the gist of the document.

It appears to be an official document from the “Kingdom of Württemberg” giving Henry permission to emigrate to North America by losing his German citizenship. On the document he is listed as “Peter Heinirch Ratz” born on June 27, 1867.

Peter Heinrich Ratz (1867-1934) on right with unidentified man on the left

Peter Heinrich Ratz (1867-1934) on right with unidentified man on the left

Somewhere on the document it is purported to say “he learned to be a carpenter”, although once he settled in the U.S. he apparently became an unsuccessful butcher.

The document above appears to be dated September 20, 1883. There is still some confusion as to when Henry actually emigrated to the United States. He would eventually settle in Michigan.

It also says that he resides in “Westernhausen, county of Künzelsau”, which matches the location on his birth certificate. In fact, on his birth certificate it says:

“Empire of Germany, Kingdom of Württemberg, superior bailiwick of Künzelsau, deanery of Amrichshausen, parish of Westernhausen”

I have yet to fully understand all of the German geographic and historical designations (e.g. Kingdom, bailiwick, deanery, city, etc). But, Künzelsau appears to be a town about 90 miles west of Nuremburg, in south central Germany. Here is a map of that location.


I would still like to get a full translation of this document in case there are any other helpful nuggest of family history information.

Here some other posts that I have written about Henry and our family. I hope you will take a look.

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