contents ©2016 by Harold Pfohl
Among the North German people caught up in the vision of the New World’s promises of land, prosperity, freedom, and status were four families with the names of Niemann, Lüders, Fromm, and Brüss.
The Niemann, Fromm, and Lüders families were located in the vicinity of Schwerin, in Mecklenburg (red underline). The Brüss family was located in Trieglaff, Pomerania (red X).
Joachim & Dorothea Marie Niemann
The Niemanns were foresters on a great estate near Spornitz in Mecklenberg- Schwerin. The family emigrated in 1852 and consisted of Johann I, a widower, age 60, his only surviving child (four others died as small children), Joachim, 34, Joachim’s wife Dorothea Marie (nee Kogerupp and known as Marie) 30, and their young children: Johann II, 10, Marie Dorothea, 8, Dorothea Maria, 5, Johann Joachim, 2, and infant Carl, born April 20, 1852, six weeks before they left Germany. And, see: Niemann Family
Joachim had been active in opposition politics and was politically discontented. In 1848, Joachim, a Social Democrat, was not on the winning side of the political turmoil. Although probably not the primary reason for his decision to leave Germany, it must have been a contributing factor. Additionally, the year preceding emigration had been a grievous one for the Niemanns. Johann’s wife, Marie Helmke, died March 5, 1851 and five weeks later on April 14 Joachim and Marie’s one-year-old baby, died.
Parting from Spornitz must have been very painful; a number of family members did not leave Germany. Marie’s parents lived long after she and Joachim left: her father died 27 years later (1879) at age 85, and mother died 18 years (1870), at 72. Marie’s maternal grandmother, Catharina Maria (nee Poel) lived until the age of 90 in 1856. However, the irreversible commitment was made and in early June of 1852, soon after Carl’s birth, they headed for the New World and Wisconsin.
Johann & Johanna Fromm
The Fromms were shepherds from Goldenbow near Schwerin in the German province of Mecklenberg-Schwerin. The family emigrated in the fall of 1851 and according to tradition, left Germany in a big hurry – we don’t know why. The family consisted of Johann (known as “Rotebart ‘or Redbeard), age 36; Johanna, 34; and their children: Sophia, 6; John, 4; Caroline Sophia, 3; and Charles, 1. Their ship was at sea for 66 days during which time little Caroline died and was buried at sea. It was not uncommon for lives to be lost on such an arduous, cramped journey. And see: Fromm Family
Johann Lüders Jr., his wife, Wilhelmina, and brother Joachim Lüders
The Lüders were also from Spornitz, Mecklenberg-Schwerin. Except for Joachim, who was a tailor, the manner in which the family made their living is not known. They emigrated in 1854. The immigrant party consisted of Johann Lüders Sr. age 51; his wife Eva Dorothea Leitz, 55; their eldest son Johann Jr., 27; and his wife Wilhemina (nee Jaap) 21; their second son Joachim, 25; and his wife Henrietta Marie (nee Heinke) 24. There were no children in the family, although Henrietta was pregnant with her first child at the time of their departure from Spornitz. The trip was a honeymoon for Johann and Wilhelmina (Minna), who married Tuesday, August 29, 1854, and sailed for America on the following Friday, September 1. And see: Lüders Family
The immigrants were at sea for six weeks. While the voyage and prospect of America must have been exciting to the newlyweds, the rough autumn seas on the North Atlantic and the extremely cramped quarters could not have been very romantic.
Schwerin, Mecklenburg – see:
The Brüss family was from Treiglaff near Greiffenberg in the Prussian province of Pomerania. On the modern map of Germany Greiffenberg is shown as “Gryfice” and appears just above the circle identifying the location of Trieglaff. As a result of World War II, Trieglaff is now a part of Poland.
Brüsses were “Old Lutherans,” refusing to compromise their religious dogma in order to accommodate the Prussian Government’s desire to consolidate various Protestant creeds into a uniform state church. Persecution and harassment resulted from this religious fortitude: ministers were prohibited from holding services, performing marriages and sacraments, etc. In the late 1830s and early 1840s, “Old Lutherans” from this area founded churches in and near Freistadt, Kirchhayn, Jackson, Random Lake and other locations in Wisconsin, upstate New York, Ontario, Indiana, and even Australia.
In 1859, Carl Brüss, age 29, his wife Friedericka, 28, their infant baby, Augusta, Carl’s sister Albertina, 26, and some brothers, left Trieglaff for America. The parents, Daniel and Helene (nee Goetzke), did not accompany them. Albertina’s marriage certificate of Dec. 22, 1863 to Joachim Lüders notes her parents as deceased. Perhaps the children left Trieglaff after their parents died. And see: Brüss Siblings
By the time the Brüsses emigrated, the “Old Lutherans” were no longer being harassed in Prussia. Although persecution could no longer be a motive for departure, memories of past wrongs did not enhance ties to the homeland. A friendly and intensely religious environment welcomed them where they settled at Jackson, near Kirchhayn and not far from Cedarburg.
Trieglaff, Pomerania – see:
The Niemanns and Lüders pioneered their land in Cedarburg township, Ozaukee Co., Brüss bought a small holding near Kirchayn by Jackson, Washington Co., and the Fromms settled in the Township of Barton, northwest of West Bend in Washington Co. This story follows their destinies in Wisconsin as they were intertwined in Cedarburg through their descendants.