Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holdorf, Oldenburg, Germany

Three years ago, Bill and I had the privilege of traveling to Germany. At the time, our nephew and his wife, Christopher and Sarah were living in Frankfurt. In addition to exploring the beauty of the entire country (plus parts of Denmark), we had two primary goals: 1) visiting the home of our von der Heide ancestors in Holdorf, and 2) attending Oktoberfest with Chris, Sarah and their friends in Munich. As I look over the pictures and information collected when we were there, I long to go back. What a beautiful country!

When you travel to the "homeland", you constantly have to remind yourself that although you may be walking the same streets, it is NOT the same place. Holdorf today is a modern, up-to-date small town in northwest Germany in a country that is part of the European Union. When our ancestors lived there, Germany as a country, was just beginning to exist as a unified country.

Our ancestors came from the Duchy of Oldenburg. If you look at the naturalization papers of "Henry Vonderheide" (first and last name Americanized), Henry renounced his allegiance to the "Grand Duke of Oldenburg and the Emperor of Germany." Henry was 47 years old when he appeared in the Mayor's Court in Covington, Kentucky on November 2, 1886. He had been in this country for five years.

When Henry and his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children left Holdorf, they were near the end of a massive migration from this area to the United States. Werner Honkomp, mentioned in the previous post, helped me discover the von der Heide history in Oldenburg. I've attached a copy of the document he prepared for me. (You can probably enlarge it by clicking on the document. If you are a family member and want a copy, leave a message in the comments section and I'll try to accomodate you).

Interestingly, when a child was baptized in the Catholic Church at that time, the priest often recorded the name of the farming community where the parents lived. At times you could tell from the baptismal record if the parent was a land owner, had a cottage or worked was a non-landowning hired-hand (Heuerleute). From these records we know that Hermann Henrich (Henry) vdH was Heuerleute by Colon gr. Bolling in Holdorf at the time of his marriage. (Colon means big farmer).

Sometime between 1870 and 1873 when "Henry" and Elizabeth were having their children, they relocated to the Heuerhaus of the Lampe-Gossling farm. That farm still exists and is located right on the Gross-Strasse (Main Street) of Holdorf. The next post will include pictures of the two possible places where the young Vonderheide family lived before making the decision to emigrate.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy,My Stratemann-Strathmann family also is also from Holdorf and I've traced mine back to Herman Stratrmann who married Cathrina Haverkamp 13 Aug,1655 in Catholic Church Records Holdorf=Damme Oldenburg Germany To Herman Strathmann and his wife Elizabeth Borgerding.Their children and my ancestor John Herman Heinrich Strathmann and his sister came to America in 1837 to St Louis Mo and Herman Strathmann and Elizabeth Borgerding and the rest of the family came to America in 1839 and settled in St.Libory St.Clair County in 1840.I did research through the LDS Church Record of Damme and Holdorf Germany and had a professional Genealogist also do research for me. I did find a John Strateman=Strathmann who married a Cathrina Gosling May 6 1691 and they had Margaretha born 1692 and Cathrina born 1697 and may have had more children but could not find any.Shewent by the last name Lampe-Goshing.Also A Wolteke married a Lucke Bolling 1651 and they had children Margaretha 1653,Anna 1656,Cathrina 1659,Lucke 1662,and Johan 1666.the Strathmann family came to America because the farm was heavy in debt.They had the Strathmann farm reserved to them for 10 years but since land was so cheap in the States they bought land and stayed.Of the Strathmann family only (John) Herman Heinrich Strathmann survied the chorera that was so prevelant in those early days.Agnes Strathmann married Detrick Lemkohl and had daughters and one married a Voss but her children died young.the first Strathmanns were farmers until my great grandfather John H Strathmann got into the photography bussiness as did his two brothers Frank Bernard Strathmann and Theodore Herman Strathmann.It all started in Holdorf Germany. William Strathman


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