C.F. Schmidt

C.F. Schmidt lithograph
ca. 1853


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Johanne Christiane Kast

Johann Carl Friedrich Schmidt

  • Born: 1811, Stettin, Province of Pomerania
  • Marriage: Johanne Christiane Kast about 1832
  • Died: 1890, Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia at age 79

  General Notes:

The ancestral Johann Carl Friedrich Schmidt and his wife Johanne Christiane Kast are recorded as the parents of the ancestral Johann Christian Julius Schmidt in the Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Online biographical information on the German botanist Carl Friedrich (C.F.) Schmidt state that he was married to Johanne Christiane Kast. As this is the same wife, it would appear that the ancestor is in fact the famous botanist.

Background: During years of research there was a small level of reluctance to claim the "Akademishem Künstler zu Berlin" as the ancestor since doing so would be merely trusting someone else's research. Was the botanist C.F. Schmidt indeed married to J. Christiane Kast? Or did someone else find the records for the ancestral Schmidt and claim that this was the botanist C.F. Schmidt, when they actually were two different Schmidts? It was known that the ancestor's son was born in Blankenburg am Harz, Germany, from original baptismal papers in this researcher's possession. What on earth would a renowned botanical artist and lithographer be doing living in a small town in east-central Germany, when he was born in far-away Pommern, was a contemporary of another scientist at Berlin University, and had in fact collaborated with him on a number of books over a period of decades?

In 2014, an internet search for the botanist C.F. Schmidt revealed a photo of him for sale on ebay. The front of the photo is imprinted with the name of C.F. Schmidt, and a logo for "C.F. Schmidt Photographisches Institut" is artistically presented on the back. The studio is located in Halberstadt at Schmiede-Strasse No.37. The small (6cm x 10cm) card was what was termed a "Carte de visite", the equivalent of todays business card. A Carte de visite is a small version of a Cabinet Card. Both were in use from the 1850's to early 1900's, but were most popular in the 1860's and 1870's. Additionally, it was discovered that Halberstadt is a slightly larger town located only 12km from the ancestor's known village of Blankenburg am Harz. This discovery removes all doubt that in fact the ancestor Johann Carl Friedrich Schmidt, and the botanist/lithographer C.F. Schmidt are one in the same.


Carl Friedrich (C.F.) Schmidt (1811, Stettin - 1890) was a German botanist. He was a specialist in spermatophytes and a renowned artist and lithographer. He was also a prolific botanical artist who illustrated many of the Germanic botanical works of the period. To link to the Wikipedia article on C.F. Schmidt, click here.

In 1832 he married Christiane Johanne Kast.

With Otto Karl Berg (1815-1866), Schmidt published Darstellung und Beschreibung in den Pharmacopoea Sämtliche Borussica offizinellen Gewächse aufgeführten (1853). Berg was professor of pharmaceutical botany at Berlin University. Schmidt both drew and lithographed the plates.

They also published the Pharmacopoea Borusica aufgeführten offizinellen Gewächse in 1846.

C.F. Schmidt was a contributing artist to the work Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen.
Published: Gera-Untermhaus : F.E. Köhler, [1883-1914] Medizinal Pflanzen, was published in 1887 in Gera, an east-central German city south of Leipzig. The set of four volumes was a noteworthy achievement and included plants of medicinal interest from several European nations. It was described by Sitwell and Blunt as "From the botanical standpoint the finest and most useful series of illustrations of medicinal plants." Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen was edited by Gustav Pabst, a German botanist.

The remarkable feature of the publication is its nearly 300 finely detailed illustrations, expertly drawn by the artists L. Müeller and C.F. Schmidt, which were skillfully rendered by K. Gunther in chromolithography. Chromolithography is the process of rendering images on stone or zinc plates, then inking them with color inks to yield color pictures.

C.F. Schmidt should not be confused with Friedrich Karl Schmidt, (1832-1908), a.k.a. Fedor Bogdanovich. F.K. Schmidt, or F.B., was Lavonian (eastern Baltic) botanist and geologist that discovered the The Sakhalin Fir, Abies sachalinensis, a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family. It is found in Japan and Russia.

The website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_sachalinensis (which may now be corrected) had the following erroneous information regarding the Sakhalin Fir:
"The first 'discovery' by a European was by Carl Friedrich Schmidt (1811-1890), the German botanist on the Russian island of Sakhalin in 1866, but he did not introduce it to Europe. The plant was re-discovered by the English plant-collector, Charles Maries in 1877 near Aomori on the main Japanese island of Honshu, who initially thought it to be a variety of Abies veitchii. References: ^ James Herbert Veitch (2006 reprint). Hortus Veitchii. Caradoc Doy. pp. 80. ISBN 0-9553515-0-2. Conifer Specialist Group 1998. Abies sachalinensis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species."

This botanical discovery was by F.K. Schmidt, not C.F. Schmidt, and any internet reference of C.F. Schmidt to the Sakhalin Fir should be disregarded.


Otto Karl Berg (August 18, 1815, Stettin - November 20, 1866, Berlin) was a German botanist and pharmacist. The official abbreviation of his name, in botany, is O. Berg.
The abbreviation is used to indicate Otto Karl Berg as an authority on the scientific description and classification of plants.

He was the son of Johann Friedrich and Wilhelmine Friederike Berg. He studied in Berlin and married in 1848, Caroline Albertine Florentine Witthaus, with whom he had six children.

He joined the faculty of Botany and Pharmacology at the University of Berlin in 1849. In 1862 he was appointed associate professor. He helped make pharmacology an independent discipline. He also specialized in South American flora.

Otto Berg and the ancestral Carl Friedrich (C.F.) Schmidt were both born in Stettin, Pommern. Schmidt in 1811 and Berg four years later in 1815. Since they were both botanists and collaborated on numerous books, one would presume that they were childhood friends, or at least knew each other in Stettin.

Johann married Johanne Christiane Kast about 1832. (Johanne Christiane Kast was born about 1812.)

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