Ancestors of Anna Carolina Petroll Syska


The Petroll name is not common.  According to one source there are currently only 303 people with the name Petroll living in Germany, 64 in Brazil, 57 in the United states and 17 in Poland.  There appears to be a number of smaller countries, in particular, the slavic countries,who appear not to be included at all. According to Ancestry website, only a handful of Petrolls immigrated to the US in the 19th century, all from Prussia or Germany.

I was unable to find the source of the Petroll name, but the spellings of surnames were not rigid up until the 18th and 19th centuries.  Records show that many people used multiple spellings of their names throughout their own lives and we know many immigrants names were changed both intentionally and unintentionally.  There are a number of similar surnames including Petrolli, Petrolla, Petrolo etc.  The majority of people with related surnames live in Italy.


Ancestors of Anna Carolina Petroll Syska (my 2nd gr grandmother )

On Sept1830 petroll gumpert marriageember 26, 1830,  Johann Christian Petroll (1802-1855)  married Anna Dorothea Gumpert (1811-1853) in  Adelnau, Posen, Prussia.  According to the marriage record, he was 28 years old and his bride was 18. 

Christian and Dorothea had 5 children, 2 of whom died in childhood.  The children were Carl (b.1831), Carolina (1834-1895), Susane (1837-1841), Christian (1839-1839) and August (b. 1846).  

Dorothea died March 9, 1853 and Christian died Nov. 22, 1855 both in Posen, Prussia.  Their 2nd daughter, Carolina married Adolph Syska and emmigrated to the United States in 1885. 

1831 Birth Carl Petroll

Christian Petroll was born on June 8th, 1802 as the 5th child of George Friedrich Petroll (1761-1813) and Christine Rauhut Petroll (1765-1831). George Friedrich Petroll and Christine Rauhut were married in 1785 in Schwarzwald, Posen, Poland.  

Province of Posznan was part of Poland until 1793 when it was annexed in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1871 Poznan was made part of Germany and in 1918 it was finally returned to Poland .
Province of Posznan was part of Poland until 1793 when it was annexed in the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1871 Poznan was made part of Germany and in 1918 it was finally returned to Poland .

Although the family continued to live in the same region, their nationality was a moving target.  The Province of Posen/Poznan shifted from Poland to Prussia to Germany and back again to Poland between 1793 to 1918.  Today it remains part of Poland. 
George and Christine had 9 children from 1786 to 1808 including: Anna Marie (b.1786), Johann Gottlieb (1793-1835), George Friedrich (1794-1850), Johann Gottfried (1797-1855), Anna Christina (1799-1867), Johann Christian (1802-1855), Johann Carl Mathias (1804-1832), Christoph (1806-1816) and Johann Mathias (1808-1808).   George died in 1813 when he was 55 years old while Christine Rauhut Petroll passed away in 1831 at 66 years old 

As of now, that’s as far as I can trace the Petroll line.  I will be sharing information about the ancestry of Dorothea Gumpert in my next blog entry. 

churches poland1 churches poland2

** Special thanks to Barbara Moon for sharing all these wonderful records and photos**


Carolina Petroll Syska (1834-1895)

Carolina (Petroll) Syska about 1890 in NYC Back of photo says "S.W. Felt- 147 and 149 Chicago Ave"
Carolina (Petroll) Syska about 1890 in YC
Back of photo says “S.W. Felt- 147 and 149 Chicago Ave”



 Anna Carolina Petroll was born on March 29, 1834, the third child of  Christian & Dorothea (Gumpert) Petroll in Poznan, Prussia (also known as Posen, Germany or Adelnau, Poland.)


Carolina’s siblings included Johann Carl Petroll born in 1831, Anna Susana Petroll born in 1837, Johann Christian Petroll born in 1839, who died in infancy, and Johann August Petroll born in 1846.


   March 29, 1834 in Adelnau (Posen) Prussia

On June 9, 1851, Carolina Petroll married Johann Adolph Szyszka in Radlow, Oder-Spree, Germany.  The marriage record indicates that Carolina was 17 years old and Adolph was 27 years old.

Marriage of Carolina Petroll and adolph syska

Adolph & Caroline had 11 children between 1852 and 1875.   

Below are birth records from Adelnau for 4 of their children.  Their oldest daughter, Augusta was born in 1852. Second daughter, Amalie Emile, was born in January of 1854 only to pass away 2 months later (see record below).  Third child Anna Wilhemina is believed to have died in childbirth although date of her death is unknown.  Their first son, Julius was born in 1857 but passed away three months later. Next they had Mary Wanda, Adolph and Ottillie.  In December of 1866, their 8th child, Fredrich Wilhelm Szyska was born (see record below).  Pauline Bertha Szyszka, the 9th child, was born in 1869, followed by August in 1871 and Juliane Bertha in 1875 (see records of Pauline & Juliane’s birth’s below) .  

In all five girls and three boys survived: Augusta, Mary Wanda, Adolph, Ottillie,  William, Pauline, August and Bertha.    

Amalie Emilie Szyszka1866 WF Syska birth



pauline and bertha szyszka

More about Adolph & Caroline’s children can be read by accessing the prior post:

Descendants of immigrants Adolph and Carolina (Petroll) Syska

 In 1885 Carolina & Adolph emigrated to the USA with three of their children:  Pauline, August & Bertha.  They sailed from Bremen Germany aboard the Donau Ship,arriving in NY on June 5, 1885.  Adolph & Caroline’s other children had previously emigrated to the United States between 1876 and 1883.
hamburg passenger list

Adolph & Caroline settled in New York City.  They owned a meat market on 88th & Amsterdam.

syska family history images

Carolina passed away on Nov. 9, 1895 at 61 years old and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Carolina Petroll Syska death record

Johann Adolph Syska passed away in 1916 at 92 years old.   He was also buried at Woodlawn. 

Johann Adolph Syska death


Coming soon:  I’ll be posting more information about the Petroll ancestry in the next blog entry.