Peter A Schmidt

A Biographical Sketch


Pete was born in Chicago IL in 1950.  His family moved to Niles IL in 1952 where he lived with an older sister Frances, an older brother John and a younger brother Robert.  After 10 years his parents were separated and later divorced.  This forced Pete and his younger brother Robert into a series of children’s homes between 1962-63.  From 1964-968 Pete resided at Hoosier Boys Town in Indiana.  After high school he attended a two-year college for Computer Programming and Systems Engineering in Chicago, before joining the US Air Force in 1970. 


Initially he didn’t plan to make the Air Force a career, but changes in the military after Vietnam kept him interested in staying on.  During his almost 21 year career in the Air Force he had been stationed in Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, South Carolina, Okinawa Japan and the Philippines.


 In 1972 he married Anastacia Giray, who is from the island of Samar in the Philippines.  After four years they began raising a family.  Their first daughter, Anna was born in 1976, on their 4th wedding anniversary, later  they added Andrea-born in Okinawa Japan in 1978, Angela-born in the Philippines in 1982 and finally Donna born in Illinois in 1987. The family photo shown was taken in 1996.


Pete retired from the Air Force after the first Gulf War in March 1991.  He only had an Associates degree in Information Systems Management, but his military experience allowed him to accept a position with the Systems Development Institute of the University of Tennessee.  There he worked as a software developer and later became a senior researcher on computer simulation software projects at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Dept. of Energy and the Dept. of Defense. 


Pete attended college in the evening and in 1997 he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Logistics and Transportation.  Pete continued his studies and in May of 2000, he received his Master of Science degree in Computer Science-Software Engineering.  Part of his Master’s degree work involved a software development project to support NASA’s simulation and testing systems for the Space Station. 


In April 2000 he accepted a position with DRPA Inc. where he is a Senior Systems Programmer/Analyst developing software for critical command and control-decision support systems.


Pete’s interest in genealogy was kindled after the loss of his father in 1991.  He began using his computer skills to develop software in order to better organize his family history information.  Over time he made several contacts with people on the Banat List via the Internet.  He was fascinated by the work David Dreyer was doing and had seen some of his work on the Internet.  He began collaborating with him to make it easier for Dave to publish his work on the web.  He developed a database program that allows Dave to organize the data he extracts from the National Archives.  With other software he developed Dave’s database is converted into more than a thousand web pages which make up David Dreyer’s Banat Ship Extractions Web-Site:


Other websites Pete has created and manages include:


The Village of Glogowatz


…the Banat Data Index.


…and a website to honor the memory of Josef Marx (Pete’s Step-Grandfather) who published the Heimatbote (a German language newspaper) and the Deutsch-Ungarisher Familienkalenders (German Hungarian Family Kalenders)


In 2001-2002 Pete used a lot of email to coordinate an effort to digitize the microfilm of the Glogowatz church records (1770-1897).  With the aid of Dave Dreyer, Erwin Kilzheimer, the Glogowatz HOG, Jake Dumelle and the volunteer financial support of over 20 other researchers this project was successful in bringing that recorded history into the homes of the descendants of Glogowatz.  The most difficult and time consuming task for Pete was to track and index the 3,350 images from the microfilm by month and year.


Pete continues to work on developing a website, that will make the Subscription lists of the Deutsch-Ungarisher Familien Kalenders available to researchers..  In January 2002, Pete was telling his Aunt Kate about David Dreyer’s extractions of these Kalenders and she revealed to him that these Kalenders were developed and published by her father, Josef Marx and her mother, Eva Klein Schmidt Marx (Pete’s paternal grandmother).  It was a moment in Pete’s life he will never forget, and his efforts to preserve this material will help insure that others will never forget either.


On another project, Pete recently began collaborating with George Bretträgger, also a contact on the Banat List, who is translating the Glogowatz Heimatbuch into English with permission of the Glogowatz HOG and Dr. Hans Gehl.  This project should be completed by the in 2004.  George has worked very hard over the past year on this 724 page translation challenge which will be an invaluable reference for researchers of Glogowatz.