“Memory of the Day of Confirmation.” Those German words are written in ornate lettering across a beautiful certificate commemorating the confirmation of Karl (we know him as Carl) Hanneman on June 11, 1916. The roughly 11×17 inch document, found among the papers and photographs of David D. Hanneman, is remarkably well preserved and speaks to a time before Carl’s conversion to Catholicism. The certificate is written entirely in German and reads:
“Karl Hanneman received instruction in the Word of God on 11 June 1916 in the First Moravian Church, Grand Rapids, Wis.” At the bottom of the certificate it reads: Gottes Furcht is aller Weisheit Anfang, which roughly means “All Wisdom Begins with Fear of God.” The document was signed by the Rev C.A. Meilicke.
We know Carl’s father, Charles Hanneman, was raised as a Lutheran, as were most of the Hannemans. The marriage certificate for Charles and Rosine Hanneman (nee: Ostermann) only says their wedding was a “Divine Service” and does not indicate a church. In 1907, Charles and Rosine and their four sons joined the First Moravian Church of Wisconsin Rapids, a congregation of some 450 people in a brick church on First Avenue South.
The Moravian Church is one of the oldest Protestant denominations and traces its roots to the 1450s in Bohemia and Moravia. The area is now part of the modern day Czech Republic. It is possible the family’s connection to the Moravian Church came from Rosine (Ostermann) Hanneman, whose father emigrated from Saxony in what is now eastern Germany.
Carl and Ruby Hanneman were both converts to Catholicism, but we’ll save those stories for another entry.
©2014 The Hanneman Archive