Update 07/30/18

Phase one of creating this website dedicated to family ancestry is now complete with the addition of the Berensmeyer family. In total, phase one consisted solely of adding all known names, birth dates, marriage dates, and death dates of the father and mother of each family’s generation that led up to the union between the Mebruer and Bexten families. Phase two is now being initiated.

Phase two will consist of adding all media content in my possession, this includes family photos, immigration documents, federal census sheets, military draft registrations, and citing sources of church related information that I do not have documents for, such as birth dates, christenings/baptisms, and marriages.

Phase three will take the longest, it will require me to write the story of each family generation featured on the site, which will also include some brief information about siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I anticipate this last phase taking about a year to complete.

Update 07/22/18

New information and photos have been added to the Bauer, Brendel and Reichel family sections.  Information on this website will continually be updated as time allows.  Eventually there will be information about all children of the ancestors featured on this site, all photos in my possession will be uploaded to this site as well, and more federal census and immigration papers will be uploaded as time allows.

Understanding Given (First) Names and Surnames in Historical Records

The surname of my father, Mebruer, appeared in historical records and church records many different ways, such as Mehlbreuer, Mebrauer, Mebreuer, but these translations and sometimes document transcript errors, do not mean these surnames are not the same.  In fact, as you will learn, surnames were seldom maintained centuries ago, and even given first names were not always retained.  My great X 6 grandfather, Joannes Petrus Mehlbreuer, his first name is sometimes Joannes, sometimes Petrus, and sometimes Petri depending on where you’re looking, but both middle names are the same as Peter.  This fluctuation in the first name suggests he may have had a brother named Joannes, and therefore he sometimes used his middle name.  Petrus is the Dutch form of the name commonly used in Germany, whereas Petri is the alternate form more often used in Finland. Many of the given names in the kingdoms of Germany were derived from German, Dutch, or Latin languages.

The name “John” was particularly common throughout the many kingdoms and principalities. In the German language this name is written as Johann, but was also common in Germany in its Latin form, Joannes, sometimes also spelled Johannes. Other shortened unisex variations for this name were used, including the name Jois and Joes. It was very common for parents to name several of their children the same first name as the child’s father, mother, aunt, uncle or grandparent, and on top of that they would name several of the children the exact same first name to make sure that at least one child would survive to adulthood with that name. Despite high mortality rates centuries ago, if all of those children happened to survive, most would then go by their second name or their baptismal name to differentiate them from their siblings.

Translating or even following surnames through historical records can be quite the debacle. Any surname could have multiple spellings, all the while those with varying spellings could be from the same bloodline or even be the same person. These alternate spellings often occurred for various reasons from preferential spellings to mistranslations. Surnames before the 1800’s were not viewed the same way we view them now. Today, surnames tell us who may be related to who and are passed on to spouse through marriage and children at birth. Beyond indicating the ancestral homeland of the paternal bloodline, they hold little other meaning in our society.

Prior to the 1800’s, surnames were far more interesting and far more telling of historical importance. They told stories, described individuals, and told people what region you were from, or what trade, occupation or family business you or your father practiced. For instance, the name Schumacher is derived from “shoe” and “maker,” indicating that your ancestor who first took on that surname was likely a cobbler.

The surnames that end in “son” and “sen” are all derived from the relation of father and son through their given names, this practice is called patronymic naming. As an example, the surname Peterson, literally means “son of Peter,” the name Hansen, literally means “son of Han,” the name Patterson literally means “son of Patrick,” and the name Anderson means “son of Andre.” There are other variations on this practice, such as the name O’Reily or O’Brien, these derive from “of Reilly” and “of Brien,” meaning that person is the offspring of that particular father. The letter “s” or letters “es” at the end of a given or first name were also possessive indication for “the child of.”  The letters “en” following a surname can also indicate the surname changed along with the proceeding generation and refers to the younger generation.  For example, a father may call himself Wilhelm Lars and give his son the same first name, but his son will go by the name Wilhelm Larsen, indicating to others that he is Wilhelm the younger.

Surnames can also tell a story or describe the first person who started using it. Such things as the color of their hair, their eyes, their height, or even skin color were used to form surnames. Surnames were also derived from locations where families lived and if the family moved to another location they would change their last name to match their new province, township, or village. Not only did they change their names if they moved, they also changed them if the predominant language in the region was different. This practice was continued when many emigrated from their home countries and came to the United States. Altering their last names from the old Germanic, Dutch, or Latin versions and choosing instead more English versions so that they could blend in with those already living in the region.

In some cases men would take on the maiden name of their spouse if she inherited land, a business, or some other estate from her father. This practice would strengthen the man’s claim to his wife’s inheritance and since women at that time were not considered capable of dealing in land ownership or business, it was customary for the husband of the eldest daughter to take over his father-in-law’s affairs if the deceased father-in-law did not have any sons. Sometimes her husband would take her maiden name and cease using his own surname or he would retain his surname and add in her maiden name, with the word “genannt” appearing in between the two last names. An example would be Ivan Borgmeyer genannt Stroud. The word “genannt” means “called,” which tells people that even though this person may have been born a Borgmeyer, he is also legally entitled to the estate or business of the Stroud family.

The practice of changing surnames in the German kingdoms and imperial principalities continued well into the 1800’s when most of them began to issue decrees requiring the practice to stop. While it took another couple generations for it to end, it finally fell out of common practice before the turn of the century.

Given first names were also often changed for various reasons. Locations and religions played heavily into the giving of first names and how many of them were given at birth or christening. Germany was not always one single country, instead it was many kingdoms, territories and imperial principalities divided up, and the states in the west were not the same heritage as those in the east. Religion played a major role in the conflicts between these different states, particularly between those that were Catholic and those that were Protestant. Prominent kingdoms that would later arise at the dawn of the 19th century in Germany included the Kingdom of Hanover, the Kingdom of Saxony, the Kingdom of Hessen, the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Westfalen, and the list goes on and on. Though some of these kingdoms were short-lived, others such as the Prussian Kingdom rose to take over most of what is now Germany.

The surname Mehlbreuer is the most Germanic form of the surname, where as Mebreuer is the more Latin form often used by those of the Catholic religion. It is highly likely that most versions of this name originated as Mehlbreuer, but the more Latin version was favored as the Catholic Church still held sway in the German kingdoms and principalities in direct opposition to the rise of Protestant churches; both of which replaced the old Germanic folk religions of that time. Other versions of this surname existed, but were less common. These include Melbreuer and Mebrauer, but in the historical records they occur few and far between and may simply be mistranslated spellings. Regardless of the spelling, the origin of the name remains the same. “Mehl” is the German word for malt or flour, and the German word “breuer” literally means brewer.

Therefore, the origin of the German name Mehlbreuer has an occupational link. The ancestor that first took on this surname was likely in the fermentation business, perhaps making various types of fermented drinks from dried grains, but may also have been using dried fruits which were becoming popular in Germany at the time, drinks such as wine and brandy, and a drink called kirschwasser which was particularly popular and was made from cherries.

Much of what we know about ancestry dating back before the 1800’s was retained in Catholic and Protestant church record books and civil registers, where births, baptisms, and marriages were recorded. Dates of death are often unknown for this reason, as recording deaths was not as common and would remain so until the 1800’s in Germany and the early 1900’s in the United States. The records for birth, baptism (christening), and marriages, were usually not very detailed. In most cases we are given dates for all types of records, the name of the child and at least one parent with the location if it was a baptismal record, and the names of parents and the church if it was a marriage record.

If you are just beginning to research your own family history, I believe this advice will serve you well as you navigate the difficult, mind-bending, exhaustive work of tracing your ancestry through generations, spanning both centuries of time and geographical distances.

In Addendum: The Family History of John Paul Mehlbreuer

In Addendum:
The Family History of John Paul Mehlbreuer

My cousin who has done research on the Mebruer family got in touch with a distant cousin living in Germany. This distant cousin is a descendant of John Paul Mehlbreuer, Peter II’s brother. Due to this unique situation, I would like to take some time to explore the family of this “ancestral uncle,” if I may call him that. So let’s follow this family’s bloodline through several generations noting the historical records left behind. As we are beginning with John Paul and not his father, we will refer to him as the second generation (2nd Gen) and we will continue on with that pattern until we get to today’s living generation.

2nd Gen: John Paul Mehlbreuer

Parents: Joannes Petrus Mehlbreuer I and Catharina Unknown
Birth: Circa October 24, 1677
Marriage: January 6, 1717
Death: April 6, 1734

Wife: Maria Magdalena Bohler

Parents: Unknown
Birth: Circa 1701
Death: December 18, 1772

In my search for information about John Paul, I came up with nothing. The information provided above was solely sourced from the individuals I mentioned at the beginning. As the generations continue I will be able to site records that I have found and these will provide us with much more verifiable information.

The age difference between John Paul and Maria Magdalena suggests to me that she was likely not his first wife. When there is a large amount of age difference between a couple who lived during this time, it is typically due to one of them losing their first spouse. Though John Paul’s birth year is an estimate, even if we make him five years younger, he still would have already been 35 by the time he was married to her. In a time when most men were lucky to live beyond 50, I find it too unlikely that Maria Magdalena was his first wife.

We mentioned John Paul’s birth in the previous article about his father, Peter I, so we will not cover that again here. His wife, Maria Magdalena Bohler, was born in a small town called Winkel in the state of Hesse. The town itself is actually about two miles east of Geisenheim, where John Paul grew up. In later history, the town of Winkel merged with another, and is today known as Oestrich-Winkel.

From the marriage of these two came at least one child. While I did not find his baptismal record, I have found a lot of other information about him and his descendants.

  1. Richardum Mehlbreuer (born circa November 2, 1727)

John Paul died in 1734 of unknown causes, but considering he would have been turning 57 that year, it was not an unusual age that would make me think he died from unnatural causes or of any uncommon disease.

Maria Magdalena would have been about 33 years of age at this time. Though there were no records that I could find of her re-marrying, she would have almost certainly done so as Richardum would have only been about 7 years old. A single mother of at least one young child would have made marriage her most important goal. To remain single would have almost certainly been a death sentence for her and her son.

Due to the span of time between when Richardum was born and John Paul died, I believe there was likely at least one other child born. At this point in history, not having a child about every three years was unusual and would only occur if one of the parents was ill, or if the family was going through immense financial hardship, or if political unrest made it too much of a burden to have additional children.

If for one of those reasons John Paul and Maria Magdalena did not have additional children, she would have certainly had more children when she remarried. Considering she lived until she was in her 70’s, I strongly believe there were other children if not with John Paul, then at least with a second marriage.

3rd Gen: Richardum Mehlbreuer

Richardum was born November 2, 1727, his name is the Latin version of the name Richard, its use tells us this family was Catholic and that the area John Paul and Maria Magdalena were living in at the time of his birth was still under the influence of the Holy Roman Empire, which would remain in power in the region until at least 1789. Richardum continued to use the Latin version of his name up until his marriage, but after that he began using the spelling of Richardo.

At first I couldn’t figure out why he changed the spelling of his given name, until I researched his wife’s family and then it all made sense. Prior to the 18th century, the lands along the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea were becoming increasingly under the control of the Duchy of Prussia, a power that would soon become known as the Kingdom of Prussia and grow to be the largest kingdom in the German confederation by the end of the century.

Richardo’s wife, Anna Maria Zirvas (also spelled Servas), was born on September 29, 1727 to Matthiae Zirvas and Margarethae Brewers, and baptized one day later in the Liebfrauen Katholisch of Koblenz. The name of this church in English is the Catholic Church of Our Lady. This church is one of the oldest in the city, dating back to the 5th century, it is still standing today and can be seen in this photo. Anna Maria’s baptismal record is archived in batch# C97097-3 of the Germany-ODM system, with a microfilm number 585883 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

The lands of her father’s heritage were along the coast of the Baltic Sea and are now modern day Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Her father’s surname is a Lithuanian name. The name Richardo is the Lithuanian version of Richard, so it would appear to me that he changed his name after marrying into Anna Maria’s family to blend in with her father’s heritage.

Though Anna Maria’s father’s ancestral homeland was near the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, she herself was born in Koblenz Stadt, Rheinland, Prussia, known today as Koblenz, Germany. This German stadt (city) is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Roman Empire in the year 8 BC, making it 2,026 years old as I write this.

Anna Maria and Richardo were married on February 12, 1760, both at the age of 32, in the same church as her baptism. This marriage can be found in the same church records, archived in batch# M97097-8 of the Germany-ODM system, with a microfilm number 585888 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929).

Together they had five children, consisting of three daughters and two sons. The baptisms of the first four children are archived from the same church in batch#’s C97097-4 and C97097-5 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm numbers 585884 and 585885:

  1. Anna Sybilla Mehlbreuer (born on or before February 20, 1761)
  2. Maria Anna Mehlbreuer (born on or before January 8, 1763)
  3. Joannes Mehlbreuer (born on or before November 1, 1764)
  4. Anna Maria Mehlbreuer (born on or before February 11, 1768)
  5. Matthiae Mehlbreuer (born on or before July 27, 1770)

Matthiae’s baptismal record could not be located, his records do not begin until his marriage, there will be more about him later. No further records could be found for Richardo and Anna Maria, including when they passed away. However, via the cousins mentioned earlier, Richardo is believed to have passed away sometime around 1775. I do have several records for their children and we will be exploring those. Anna Maria and Richardo would have both been around 48 years of age when he passed away, and their children ranging from 5 to 14 years in age. For this reason, I believe she likely remarried. At this time in history she would have almost certainly had to in order for them to have survived to adulthood.

Their first child, Anna Sybilla married Martino Lang, the son of Mathia Lang and Gertrudi Miltzin of Koblenz. Martino was born on July 23, 1755. They were wed on January 12, 1790 in the same church as her parents. This marriage is archived in batch# M97097-9 of the Germany-ODM system, with the microfilm number 585889. From their marriage came a daughter and a son.

  1. Maria Clara Lang (born on or before November 12, 1790)
  2. No-Name Lang (born on or before April 25, 1795)

Anna Sybilla’s son was not given a first name on his baptismal record, referred to only as Lang and noted as male. The record also indicates that he was deceased, likely a stillbirth or miscarriage. Both children are archived in batch# C97097-6 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 585886 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). Anna Sybilla died in Koblenz on May 23, 1799 and was buried two days later. Her death is archived in batch# B03541-5 of the Germany-EASy system, with microfilm number 590876 and reference ID P51 (Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958). With a young daughter it is likely Martino remarried, however, I was not able to find any further records for them.

Richardo’s second child, Maria Anna married Adolphus Knip on August 21, 1798 at the Catholic Church of Our Lady in Koblenz, just like her sister and parents. This marriage is archived in batch# M97098-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 566363 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). I searched for more records on this couple, including for baptisms of children and who the parents of Adolphus were, but came up empty handed.

Richardo’s third child, Joannes was even more elusive, I have found no records containing information about him beyond his baptism. It may be that he died before reaching adulthood.

Richardo’s fourth child, Anna Maria, was named after her mother. She married Joannes Nuppeney on January 12, 1800 in the same church as the rest of the family. This marriage is archived in the same records as her sister Maria Anna’s. Joannes, who often went by the shortened version of his name, Jois, was born on December 12, 1770 to Petro Nuppeney and Anna Catharina Steinebache, his baptism is archived in the same records as his wife’s. Together they had two children, a girl and a boy.

  1. Anna Maria Nuppeney (born on June 7, 1802)
  2. Matthiae Nuppeney (born on or before October 10, 1807)

Their daughter Anna Maria married a Joannes Becker on June 27, 1825 at the Saint Peter Catholic Church in Koblenz-Neuendorf, Rheinland, Prussia. The building of this church along the Rhine River was completed in 1725, meaning Joannes and Anna Maria were married on the 100th anniversary of the church’s construction. The church still stands today and photos of it can be found online and an article on Wikipedia can be found here. Their marriage was archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065. I was not able to find additional information about this family.

We now come to possibly one of the saddest family stories I’ve had to write thus far. Their son Matthiae and his first wife endured some of the most tragic experiences a young couple can go through. Matthiae Nuppeney married Elisabetha Oster on January 18, 1832 at the Saint Peter Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz. He was 24 at the time, but I’ve not been able to find her birth or baptism record and so we don’t know her age. I’ve been able to find records for four sons born to this couple:

  1. Joannes Nuppeney (born on November 29, 1832)
  2. Joannes Josephus Nuppeney (born on August 21, 1834)
  3. Thaddeus Nuppeney (born on August 17, 1835)
  4. Henricus Nuppeney (born on October 3, 1838)

The baptisms for these children are all archived in batch# J97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). The tragedy begins with their first born son, on January 12, 1834, two months after his first birthday, Joannes passed away of undocumented causes. Seven months later his brother, Joannes Josephus, was born and then died of undocumented causes just five days later on August 26, 1834. One year later the couple gave birth to Thaddeus, he would be the only son to survive to adulthood. On October 3, 1838 Henricus was born, but survived only twenty-three days before passing away, again of undocumented causes.

What occurred during this time that resulted in the deaths of three of their four children is not known, their deaths are stated in their birth records, but no cause is given. Historically, the city of Koblenz came under Prussian rule in 1815 after the Congress of Vienna and became the seat of power for the Kingdom of Prussia in this region in 1822. Perhaps an increase in the population brought with it an increase in contagions. Though mortality rates in children lowered during the 19th century, it would seem that this particular family was not spared such mercy.

Further mystery is the death of Elisabetha herself. Between 1838 and 1855 this family falls into silence and I cannot find any records for them during this time. However, on September 28, 1855, Matthiae married his sister’s in-law Catharina Becker at Saint Peter Catholic Church. He was then 48 years old. I looked for records of births and baptisms from this marriage and could not find any. At some point during that span of time Elisabetha passed away, and if we take customs from that era into consideration, it is likely she passed away within the year before Matthiae Nuppeney and Catharina Becker’s marriage.

As far as Thaddeus goes, he did survive to adulthood and at the age of 28 he married Elisabeth Kabalo on November 19, 1863 at the Saint Peter Catholic Church as archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Less than a year later this young couple gave birth to a daughter, Margaretha Nuppeney, on September 19, 1864, her baptism is archived in batch# K97099-1 in the same system and microfilm number as her parents’ marriage.

4th Gen: Matthiae Mehlbreuer

Richardo’s fifth child, Matthiae Mehlbreuer, married Anna Maria Rosbach in the Catholic Church of Our Lady in Koblenz on January 1, 1799. Their marriage is archived in batch# M97098-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 566363 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929).

From their marriage came at least seven children:

  1. Bartholomaeus Mehlbreuer (born on November 8, 1799)
  2. Gertrudis Margaretha Mehlbreuer (born on March 16, 1801)
  3. Anna Maria Mehlbreuer (born on October 2, 1802)
  4. Joannes Mehlbreuer (born on or before June 16, 1806)
  5. Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer (born on or before September 28, 1808)
  6. Maria Catharina Mehlbreuer (born on or before August 29, 1810)
  7. Barbara Mehlbreuer (born on or before November 12, 1812)

Matthiae and Anna Maria’s first three children were baptized at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Koblenz and are archived in batch#’s J97098-1 and K97098-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 566363. The other four children were baptized further north, in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz at the Saint Peter Catholic Church. Their baptism are archived in batch#’s J97099-1, C97099-1 and K97099-1, of the Germany-ODM and Germany-EASy systems, with microfilm number 578065. Why there was a change in churches for the childrens’ baptisms interested me so I did some digging. In 1803, renovations on the Catholic Church of Our Lady began and continued through 1808, making it necessary to perform these sacraments elsewhere.

I was not able to find anymore information about Matthiae and his wife Anna Maria, but I do have more information about their children, particularly Bartholomaeus, as he was the great grandfather of the distant cousin I mentioned at the beginning. Because we will be following him as the next generation, I will skip him and go to the next sibling in line. I will end this generation and then begin the next with Bartholomaeus and his family.

Matthiae’s second child, Gertrudis Margareta, married Joannes Georgius Roehn on January 29, 1822 at the Saint Peter Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz. This marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Her husband, Joannes Georgius, went by a shortened version of his middle name, Georgii. He was the son of Georgio Roehn and Anna Gertrudis Guthmann, born on August 17, 1795, and baptized the same day at the Catholic Church of Our Lady in Koblenz, Prussia, as archived in batch# C97097-6 of the Germany-EASy system, with microfilm number 585886 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

This marriage produced at least five children, I say at least because it took five years from the time they were married until they had their first child. I believe there may have been other children born before 1827, who died in infancy or perhaps were miscarriages. It is highly unusual for couples during this time period to go so long without having children after their marriage.

  1. Matthias Roehn (born on August 2, 1827)
  2. Matthias Roehn (born on September 7, 1834)
  3. Joannes Roehn (born on July 30, 1836)
  4. Maria Anna Roehn (born September 25, 1837)
  5. Joannes Roehn (born on June 17, 1840)

Both of their sons named Joannes died within the first month of life, the third child dying on August 25, 1836, and the fifth child dying on June 23, 1840. I searched briefly for information about their two sons both named Matthias, but I didn’t find information about them. One of them would have gone by their middle name, but since their baptismal record made no mention of a middle name I have no way of knowing what to look for in other records. The only thing I found for Maria was a marriage record. It states she married a Sebastianus Mehlbreuer. It is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, microfilm number 578065.

I immediately found this alarming as her mother is a Mehlbreuer, so I set out trying to figure out who this Sebastianus was. Sometimes marriage records will state who the parents were, but this one did not list any for either spouse. The only Sebastianus I found who lived in that area at the time and was of marrying age, and in fact just one year younger than her, was the son of Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer.

Which as it turns out was Maria Anna’s uncle. This would make Sebastianus and Maria Anna first cousins. While first cousins marrying was not a rare thing during this time period in Europe, it isn’t something you expect to come across. The practice of cousins marrying one another continued well into the later part of the 19th century. Beyond this event, I could not find anymore information about Maria Anna or her husband.

Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s third child, Anna Maria Mehlbreuer married Joannes Georgius Bondkirch on February 3, 1829 in Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz as archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Joannes Georgius was the son of Joannes Petrus Bondkirch II and Barbara Miltz. Their son was born August 28, 1802, his baptism at the Catholic Church of Our Lady is archived in batch# C97098-1 of the Germany-EASy system, with microfilm number 566363 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). From Joannes Georgius and Anna Maria’s marriage came four children.

  1. Joannes Bondkirch (born on or before July 20, 1830)
  2. Anna Maria Aloysia Bondkirch (born on April 7, 1832)
  3. Barbara Bondkirch (born on May 7, 1834)
  4. Josephus Bondkirch (born on or before May 4, 1839)

Their baptisms are archived in batch#’s J97099-1 and K97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065. I could not find information about their first child beyond his baptismal record. Their second child, Anna Maria married Jacobus Schaefer on November 23, 1858 in Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz. This marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929).

From their marriage came six children, their baptisms are archived in batch#’s J97099-1 and K97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

  1. Joannes Schaefer (born on January 14, 1861)
  2. Barbara Schaefer (born on July 7, 1862)
  3. Anna Maria Schaefer (born on September 19, 1863)
  4. Gertrudis Schaefer (born on July 30, 1865)
  5. Josephus Arnoldus Schaefer (born on July 19, 1868)
  6. Jacobus Schaefer II (born on or before March 24, 1873)

There first child, Joannes, passed away on March 12, 1861 of unknown causes. I could not find any records for the rest of their children.

Anna Maria Mehlbreuer and Joannes Georgius Bondkirch’s third child, Barbara, married Petrus Welter on January 10, 1861 at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. Their marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). I could only find one baptismal record for this couple located at this church, it was for a son named Petrus Josephus Welter, born on or before September 9, 1866. It is archived in batch# J97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). No further information was found for this family.

Josephus, the fourth child of Anna Maria and Joannes Georgius Bondkirch, married Catharina Hollingshausen on January 25, 1872 at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz. Their marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Catharina was the daughter of Philippi Hollingshausen and Catharina Windhaeuser. She was born on September 9, 1845 and was baptized in the same church she was married in. Her baptism is archived in batch# K97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065 (Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

Josephus Bondkirch and Catharina Hollingshausen were married on January 25, 1872 in Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. This marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). From their marriage came three children.

  1. Catharina Bondkirch (born on January 29, 1873)
  2. Jacobus Bondkirch (born on September 6, 1874)
  3. Petrus Bondkirch (born on October 1, 1875)

Their baptisms are archived in batch#’s C97099-1 and K97099-1 of the Germany-EASy and Germany-ODM systems, with microfilm number 578065 (Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). No additional information was found for this family.

Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s fourth child, Joannes Mehlbreuer, could not be found in the record data sets I reviewed, he may have died young or may have moved out of the area.

Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s fifth child, Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer, married Elisabetha Bondkirch on January 31, 1831 at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz, as archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Elisabetha was the daughter of Maternus Bondkirch and Margaretha Struempf, and was born on or just before February 13, 1807 as outlined in her baptismal record archived in batch# K97099-1 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

Of interest to note is that Elisabetha was the second-cousin of Joannes Georgius Bondkirch, both of them being the grandchildren of Joannes Petrus Bondkirch I, but sharing different grandmothers as their grandfather married twice. The Bondkirch family has had a long history within the region that is now the modern German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, their family has mostly remained within the two settlements of Kobern-Gondorf near the Niederburg Castle and the ancient city of Koblenz for more than two centuries. This family’s history can be traced around this eight mile region, spanning eight generations. From the earliest member, Georgii Bondkirch born in Circa 1600, to his great X 7 grandson, Petrus Bondkirch, born October 1, 1875. The generations have likely continued and the family may very well still live in the area today.

Elisabetha and Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer eventually had eight children. Their baptisms are archived in batch#’s C97099-1 and K97099-1 of the Germany-EASy and Germany-ODM systems, with microfilm number 578065 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898):

  1. Mathias Maternus Mehlbreuer (born on April 13, 1832)
  2. Antonius Martinus Mehlbreuer (born on November 11, 1833)
  3. Sebastianus Mehlbreuer (born on February 5, 1836)
  4. Philippus Jacobus Mehlbreuer (born on January 13, 1839)
  5. Josephus Mehlbreuer (born on January 16, 1841)
  6. Joannes Josephus Mehlbreuer (born on March 16, 1844)
  7. Fredericus Wilhelmus Mehlbreuer (born on August 20, 1846)
  8. Elisabetha Mehlbreuer (born on January 10, 1849)

I could not find any additional records for their first two children. Their third son, Sebastianus, was the young man I previously mentioned who married his first cousin Maria Anna Roehn, the daughter of Joannes Georgius Roehn and Gertrudis Margareta Mehlbreuer. No further information was found for them or any of the other above mentioned children, except for the young Elisabetha. Two months after her birth, she passed away on March 24, 1849 of unknown causes.

Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s sixth child, Maria Catharina Mehlbreuer, could not be found in any records.

Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s seventh child, Barbara Mehlbreuer, could not be found in any records.

5th Gen: Bartholomaeus Mehlbreuer

On February 10, 1824, Matthiae Mehlbreuer’s first born, Bartholomaeus Mehlbreuer, married Catharina Reiff at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the Neuendorf district of Koblenz. Their marriage is archived in batch# M97099-1 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 578065. Catharina was the daughter of Matthiae Reiff and Clara Winnen. Catharina was born on July 28, 1801 and baptized the next day. Her baptism took place in the Mayen district of Koblenz, which is directly west of Neuendorf. Her baptism is archived in batch# C98957-1 of the Germany-ODM, with a microfilm number 464885 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

The village listed in Catharina’s baptismal record is Kaerlich, though a church is not named specifically, it is noted as a Katholisch (Catholic) church. The village of Kaerlich is still around today and merged with another. It is now the German city of Mülheim-Kärlich. Of interest to note is that the village of Kaerlich was once home to a settlement of Celts. Today most Celtic culture has been lost on mainland Europe, having been pushed out by the Romans. Celtic language and traditions remain mostly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and also on the Brittany Peninsula of France.

Bartholomaeus and Catharina are recorded as having eight children:

  1. Joannes Mehlbreuer (born on May 15, 1825)
  2. Matthias Mehlbreuer (born on August 16, 1827)
  3. Anna Maria Mehlbreuer (born on October 22, 1829)
  4. Margaretha Mehlbreuer (born on October 30, 1831)
  5. Johannes Hugo Mehlbreuer (born on October 2, 1834)
  6. Maria Catharina Mehlbreuer (born on August 25, 18 1837)
  7. Bartholomaeus Mehlbreuer II (born on July 11, 1840)
  8. Joannes Georgius Mehlbreuer (born on October 3, 1844)

The baptisms of all of these children are archived in batch# C97065-2 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). Once again a specific church is not named, only noted to be a Catholic church in the Kesselheim district of Koblenz, Prussia, which is directly north of the Neuendorf district. The only Catholic church I could find here that’s still standing today is the St. Martin’s Catholic Church, which can be seen in this photo. I could not find when this church was built, so I’m not sure if this was the church the children were baptized in, but based on the architecture my assumption is that this is the one.

Their first child, Joannes, has no records to be found. Their second son, Matthias, had two wives and four children. He was first married on November 8, 1864 to Anna Stein at a Catholic church in Kesselheim, I presume it to also be St. Martin’s. Anna was the daughter of Jonah Stein and Catharina Volk according to her marriage record, this marriage is archived in batch# M97065-2 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). If it wasn’t for her marriage record naming her parents, I would have not known, as I couldn’t find her baptismal record. From their marriage came a son and a daughter.

  1. Mathildis Mehlbreuer (born on August 10, 1865)
  2. Antonius Mehlbreuer (born on August 27, 1867)

Their baptisms occurred at the same church in the Kesselheim district and are archived in batch# C97065-2 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). No further information could be found for these two. Matthias’ first wife Anna passed away sometime around the end of 1871.

Matthias married again, this time to Margaretha Klas, on January 8, 1872, presumably at the Catholic Church of St. Martin in Kesselheim, as their marriage is recorded in the same archives as his first marriage and only states the location, not the specific church. Margaretha Klas was the daughter of Petri Klas and Maria Magdalena Zirfes according to their daughter’s marriage record. Just as with his first wife, I could not find the baptismal record for his second wife and only know of her parents because they are named on the church record for her marriage.

From this marriage came the following children:

  1. Apollonia Mehlbreuer (born on February 18, 1873)
  2. Joannes Mehlbreuer (born on April 8, 1874)

Their baptismal records are archived in the same batch and microfilm numbers as Matthias’ first two children. And just like the other two, I could not find any further records for them or their parents.

Bartholomaeus and Catharina’s third and fourth children, Anna Maria and Margaretha respectively, had no records to be found. Their fifth child, Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer, is the bloodline that we will be continuing with and so for now I will skip him and come back to him later to start the next generation. So moving on to Bartholomaeus’ sixth child, Maria Catharina.

Maria Catharina married Matthiae Schaefer on November 18, 1862 at a Catholic church in the Kesselheim district of Koblenz, presumably the Catholic Church of St. Martin. Matthiae was the third of four children born to Petri Schaefer and Margaretha Sturm, and was born on March 7, 1831. His baptism is archived in batch# C97065-2 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898). His marriage to Maria Catharina is archived in batch# M97065-2 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929).

Matthiae and Catharina had five children, their baptisms are archived in batch# C97065-2 of the Germany-ODM system, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898).

  1. Catharina Schaefer (born on August 29, 1863)
  2. Bartholomaeus Schaefer (born on July 28, 1865)
  3. Joannes Hugo Schaefer (born on July 14, 1867)
  4. Antonius Schaefer (born on June 5, 1869)
  5. Barbara Schaefer (born on June 25, 1872)

I could not find any further information about them or any of their children.

Bartholomaeus and Catharina’s seventh child, Bartholomaeus Mehlbreuer II, married Elisabetha Mueller on January 16, 1872 at a Catholic church in Kesselheim, Prussia, presumably the Catholic Church of St. Martin. Their marriage is archived in batch# M97065-2 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Elisabetha was the fourth of ten children born to Martinus Mueller and Apollonia Schmitz, she was born on October 9, 1843. Her baptism is archived in the same batch and microfilm numbers as her husband.

Together they had one daughter, Barbara Mehlbreuer, she was born on August 12, 1873, and her baptismal record is archived in the same batch and microfilm numbers as her parents. No additional records could be found for this family.

We have finally made it to the last of Bartholomaeus and Catharina’s children, and sadly it’s not a happy ending. Their youngest child, Joannes Georgius Mehlbreuer, died on June 25, 1845, less than a year after he was born. This brings our research on this family to and end, and we will continue with the next generation of the bloodline that we are following.

6th Gen: Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer

We begin by returning to the fifth child of Bartholomaeus and Catharina, that we had previously passed over. Joannes Hugo Mehlbreuer, born October 2, 1834, married Elisabetha Jechel on February 27, 1870 in Kesselheim, Prussia, most likely at St. Martin’s Catholic Church. This marriage is archived in batch# M97065-2 of the Germany-ODM, with microfilm number 464890 (Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929). Elisabetha was the daughter of Antonii Jechel and Elisabetha Kesselheim, oddly enough the name of the district in which they were living. Perhaps her family was tied to the founding of the area? Whatever the case, that is how the names of the parents are listed on the marriage record, could be a mistranslation or a goof-up, but that’s the maiden name we’ll go with.

I could not find any further records for this family, however, due to this bloodline being the one that led to the distant cousin I mentioned in the very beginning of this examination, I do have data provided by this descendant. Joannes Hugo and Elisabetha had one son, named Joannes Hugo, born on October 6, 1858, and for the sake of differentiating the two I will refer to him as the II. Joannes Hugo I, died on December 30, 1892 at the age of only 58.

I have not received a lot of information about this particular family and because these generations are not in historical documents, my scope of knowledge on this family is limited. That doesn’t mean the information doesn’t exist, I just don’t have the information in my possession. We will continue with what I know so far. The family continued to live within or near the Kesselheim district of Koblenz, Germany. Joannes Hugo II married and had at least one son, Anton Hugo Mehlbreuer, born on November 4, 1885. Joannes Hugo II passed away on December 21, 1941. His son, Anton, married and had at least one son, Jakob Anton Mehlbreuer, born July 31, 1916. Anton passed away on April 11, 1976. His son, Jakob Anton married and had at least one son, the distant cousin I’ve mentioned before. Jakob Anton passed away on May 3, 2000.

Update! 02/25/18

A new baptismal record has been found for Peter III and his first wife Anna Maria. Initially I only had two records available, one for their daughter Maria Elisabetha and one for Magdalena, but I have now found one in the same church records for a Susanna Mebreuer, baptized on February 15, 1759, with the parents listed as Petri (Latin version of Peter) Mebreuer and Anna Maria, and the church location in Geisenheim, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia. This age puts her in between her two sisters. I had previously pointed out that there were six years in age between them, noting it as peculiar for that time in history. So now, the mystery has been solved. I have updated the main article for Peter III with this new information.