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The Grahmann Family in Germany and America - A Look Back

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Presented at 2013 Grahmann Family Reunion in Hallettsville, Texas

Presented at 2013 Grahmann Family Reunion in Hallettsville, Texas

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  • There are many hundreds of Grahmanns here today, and I would like to ask you to wonder with me where we all came from. How did we get here? Who were our ancestors? What was everyday life like for them? What was going on in the world around them that would have an influence on their lives and ours?I think there is one Grahmann we all relate to because some of you in this audience may have met him. Many of you have heard stories about him. His name was Hermann Friedrich Anton Grahmann. He was called Hermann. Take a good look at the picture. Every one of us is descended from him.Now let’s go back and start with the earliest Gramann we know. Hermann’s great grandfather.
  • When Johan Gramann was born, there was no Texas, no United States. He may have heard about the American revolution and the French revolution in 1789, but it would have meant little to him. Life on the farm was essentially subsistence living and it is likely that Johan was a peasant who did not own his own land, and he probably could not read or write.It is interesting to note that the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and the Brothers of the Christian Schools were founded in France in the 1700’s, and would have a profound impact on education in Europe and America; and Johan’s distant descendants would be members of both organizations. His baptismal record in the Catholic parish church of St. Nikolaus in Ankum shows he was born in 1733, but the month and day are not clear. It also shows that one of his sponsors atbaptism was Johan Peter Graman, whose baptism is recorded in 1687. The genealogist in Ankum who researched the family stated that, in accord with the custom fairly common even today in that part of Germany, Johan Peter was probably Johan Herman’s uncle.
  • During Johann Bernhard’s short life, work on the farm was still primarily manual labor with teams of oxen and some rudimentary plows.The American revolution ended and the United States was established. The Louisiana purchase was made in 1803.Germany was not a country but a collection of associated states, with Prussia being the largest.Community life would have centered around St. Nikolaus church in Ankum, which had been in existence many centuries.
  • Hermann Heinrich was also a farmer in Ankum. He may have been aware of the Texas revolution and was likely aware of the American civil war.He would have seen profound changes in Germany as the various states became a country near the end of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution was sweeping Europe and waves of immigrants began to leave Germany and much of Europe for America.Hermann Heinrich did not live to see his son emigrate to America in 1884, but I am sure he knew it was a possibility, since many neighbors had left and wrote of the great life they found in America
  • Hermann FA Grahmann emigrated to America in August 1884. He was influenced by his wife’s family who emigrated in 1882 and wrote letters about how easy it was to find and own land. The family took a steamboat from Bremerhaven Germany and landed in Galveston – October 2, 1884 (129 years ago).From Galveston, they traveled by ferry to Pt. Lavaca and then by rented wagon to Lavaca county.They were able to buy land next to the Hulefelds and immediately start building a house and barns. They bought cattle, mules, chickens and farm equipment to prepare for the 1885 planting season. Hermann became an American citizen in 1891He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville
  • All children included from both wives, except Sister Aloysius
  • It was taken on Aug. 6, 1923, when he was close to 80 years old, and Wilhelmina was nearly 67. They had 13 children together and he had seven with his first wife
  • When Johan Gramann was born, there was no Texas, no United States. He may have heard about the American revolution and the French revolution in 1789, but it would have meant little to him. Life on the farm was essentially subsistence living and it is likely that Johan was a peasant who did not own his own land, and he probably could not read or write.It is interesting to note that the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and the Brothers of the Christian Schools were founded in France in the 1700’s, and would have a profound impact on education in Europe and America; and Johan’s distant descendants would be members of both organizations. His baptismal record in the Catholic parish church of St. Nikolaus in Ankum shows he was born in 1733, but the month and day are not clear. It also shows that one of his sponsors atbaptism was Johan Peter Graman, whose baptism is recorded in 1687. The genealogist in Ankum who researched the family stated that, in accord with the custom fairly common even today in that part of Germany, Johan Peter was probably Johan Herman’s uncle.
  • During Johann Bernhard’s short life, work on the farm was still primarily manual labor with teams of oxen and some rudimentary plows.The American revolution ended and the United States was established. The Louisiana purchase was made in 1803.Germany was not a country but a collection of associated states, with Prussia being the largest.Community life would have centered around St. Nikolaus church in Ankum, which had been in existence many centuries.
  • Grandpa Grahmann told his children that the only family he had left was an older brother who migrated to New York about the same time he migrated to Texas and that they never got in touch with each other. There was nobody left in Germany to write to because Grandma Grahmann’s family (Huehlefeld) had all migrated to Texas. As some of the Nicholas Grahmann family visited their Grafe relatives in and around Ankum in the 1950s and 1960s we were surprised to see the name Grahmann several times. Our Grafe relatives contacted all of them, and none of them had a record or a memory of anyone in their family who had migrated to Texas. We checked the records of nearby parish churches and found the name Grahmann, but none were connected to the Grahmanns in Ankum. Finally, in the spring of 1988 Albert C. Grahmann (whose father Carl was one of the 15) made one more try. This time the church secretary in Ankum spotted the name “Neve-Grahmann” and wondered if there was a connection. There was. His father’s name was Hermann Julius Grahmann, who had died in November 1918 during the world-wide flu epidemic at the end of World War I. Neve-Grahmann’s grandfather was Bernhard Heinrich Grahmann, our Grandpa Grahmann’s brother. We also discovered that Bernhard Heinrich had a daughter named Maria Elisabeth Antoinette who married Friedrich JakobBerens and that their son Hermann Berens moved to Gemuenden on the west bank of the Rhine near Frankfort and raised a family there. We visited Josef Bernhard Neve-Grahmann and his family on their farm near Ankum and Hermann Berens and his family in Gemuenden. We have had regular contacts with most of these cousins. They are not part of our family tree, but they are our Grandpa Grahmann’s nieces and nephews.
  • Hermann Julius Grahmann is the son of Hermann FA Grahmann’s brother, Bernhard Heinrich Grahmann. Hermann is first cousin to Hermann FA Grahmann’s children.Josef Neve-Grahmann is the son of Hermann Julius Grahmann. He was adopted by the Neve family after his father and mother both died during the influenza epidemic of 1918.
  • Transcript

    • 1. A BRIEF LOOK BACK 1733 – GERMANY TO 2013 - USA The Hermann FA Grahmann Family Reunion October 20, 2013
    • 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  The following information is taken from “The Grahmanns From Ankum,” published in 1999 and written by Brother James Nicholas Grahmann. Brother Nick did virtually all of the research, to develop the Grahmann family history both in the United States and in Germany, with some assistance from both American and German cousins. Most of the information comes from church records from St. Nikolaus Catholic Church in Ankum, or churches in surrounding villages.
    • 3. THE GRAHMANN FAMILY: FROM ANKUM TO HALLETTSVILLE
    • 4. FIRST GENERATION – GRAMAN Johan Gramann 1733 - 1806 1759 -- M. Luzia Adelheid Bange (1737 – 1789) (6 Children) 1791 -- M. Anna Marie Schroeder (1 Child) 1700 1800 1789 – French Revolution 1718 – New Orleans founded by France 1740’s -- War of Austrian Succession 1776 – American Revolution
    • 5. SECOND GENERATION – GRAMANN Johann Bernhard Gramann 1771 - 1804 1795 -- M. Elisabeth Kölker (1769– 1726) (4 Children) 1750 1800 1850 1789 – French Revolution 1776 – American Revolution 1836 – Texas Independence 1803 – Louisiana Purchase
    • 6. THIRD GENERATION – GRAMANN Hermann Heinrich Gramann 1803 - 1870 1829 -- M Anna Maria Gertrud Wellmann (1803– 1867 (4 Children) 1800 1850 1900 1836 – Texas Independence 1803 – Louisiana Purchase US Civil War 1884 – Hermann FA Grahmann (son) immigrates to Texas
    • 7. FOURTH GENERATION – GRAHMANN Hermann Friedrich Anton Grahmann 1843- 1925 1775 - M Maria Bernardina Hülefeld,1855– 1885 (7 Children) 1886 -- M Maria Wilhelmina Hülefeld,1866– 1946 (13 Children) 1800 1850 1836 – Texas Independence US Civil War 1900 1884 – Hermann FA Grahmann immigrates to Texas 1950 World War 2 World War 1
    • 8. THE HERMAN F.A. GRAHMANN FAMILY
    • 9. HERMANN FA GRAHMANN FAMILY REUNION AUGUST 6, 1923
    • 10. FIFTH GENERATION AND BEYOND  Herman FA Grahmann had 20 Children with his two wives, over 136 grandchildren and countless greatgrandchildren. Maria Bernardina Maria Wilhelmina Hülefeld Hülefeld 1 Mary Ellizabeth (Sr. Aloysius) Grahmann 2 Frank Grahmann 3 Henry Grahmann 4 August Grahmann 5 Kathrina (Grahmann) Haas 6 Theodore Grahmann 7 Child died with Mother during childbirth 1 Mary (Grahmann) Haas 2 Baby Girl died as infant 3 Bernardina (Grahmann) Bludau 4 Joseph Grahmann 5 Hermann Grahmann 6 Agnes (Sr. Alphonse) Grahmann 7 Alois Grahmann 8 Alfons Grahmann 9 Nicholas Grahmann 10 Julius Grahmann 11 John Grahmann 12 Baby Boy died as infant
    • 11. FIRST GENERATION    Johan Hermann Gramann was born in Ankum in 1733 and died there in 1806 at the age of 73. His first wife was Luzia Adelheid Bange, who was born in Ankum in 1737. They married in Ankum in 1759 had six children. Luzia died in Ankum in 1789. Johan married again in Ankum in 1791. His second wife was Anna Marie Schroeder. They had one child. Information about her birth and death is not legible in the church record. 1733 - 1806 × × × When Johan Gramann was born, there was no Texas, no United States. He may have heard about the American revolution and the French revolution in 1789, but it would have meant little to him. Life on the farm was essentially subsistence living and it is likely that Johan was a peasant who did not own his own land, and he probably could not read or write. It is interesting to note that the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and the Brothers of the Christian Schools were founded in France in the 1700’s, and would have a profound impact on education in Europe and America; and Johan’s distant descendants would be members of both organizations
    • 12. SECOND GENERATION   Johann Bernhard Gramann was born in Ankum in 1771 and died there in 1804 at the age of 33, two years before his father. He married Elisabeth Kölker in Ankum in 1795, and they had 4 children. She was born in Ankum in 1769. She did not remarry and raised the children by herself. She died in Ankum in 1826.     During Johann Bernhard’s short life, work on the farm was still primarily manual labor with teams of oxen and some rudimentary plows. The American revolution ended and the United States was established. The Louisiana purchase was made in 1803. Germany was not a country but a collection of associated states, with Prussia being the largest. Community life would have centered around St. Nikolaus church in Ankum, which had been in existence many centuries.
    • 13. THIRD GENERATION   Hermann Heinrich Gramann was born in Ankum in 1803 and died in Rüssel in1870 at the age of 67. He married Anna Maria Gertrud Wellmann in Ankum in 1829, and they had four children. She was born in Rüssel in1803 and died there in1867 at the age of 64.     Hermann Heinrich was also a farmer in Ankum. He may have been aware of the Texas revolution and was likely aware of the American civil war. He would have seen profound changes in Germany as the various states became a country near the end of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution was sweeping Europe and waves of immigrants began to leave Germany and much of Europe for America. Hermann Heinrich did not live to see his son emigrate to America in 1884, but I am sure he knew it was a possibility, since many neighbors had left and wrote of the great life they found in America
    • 14. FOURTH GENERATION    Hermann Friedrich Anton Grahmann was born in Ankum in 1843 and died in Hallettsville, Texas, in 1925 three days after he turned 82. His first wife, Maria Bernardina Hülefeld, was born in Rüssel in 1855. They married in Ankum in 1875, and they had six children in Germany. They migrated to Texas in 1884. She died delivering her seventh child in Hallettsville in October 1885. He married her younger sister, Maria Wilhelmina, who was born in Rüssel in 1866 and was 19 when they married in 1886. They had 13 children. She died in 1946 at the      Hermann FA Grahmann emigrated to America in August 1884. He was influenced by his wife’s family who emigrated in 1882 and wrote letters about how easy it was to find and own land. The family took a steamboat from Bremerhaven Germany and landed in Galveston – October 2, 1884 (129 years ago). From Galveston, they traveled by ferry to Pt. Lavaca and then by rented wagon to Lavaca county. They were able to buy land next to the Hulefelds and immediately start building a house and barns. They bought cattle, mules, chickens and farm equipment to prepare for the 1885 planting season. Hermann became an American citizen in 1891 He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville
    • 15. FOURTH GENERATION HERMANN F. A. GRAHMANN’S MISSING BROTHER   Bernhard Heinrich Grahmann: was born in Rüssel in 1833 and married his first wife, Maria Gertrud Krümberg in Ankum in 1865. They had one child. She was born in Tütingen in 1844 and died in Rüssel in November 1868. Five months later he married his second wife, Maria Elisabeth Pohlmann in Ankum and they had 5 children. She was born in Besten in 1838 but no record of her death was found. He died in Brickwedde in October 1885, 14 months after his brother, Hermann Friedrich left for Texas.    Hermann Grahmann told family members that he had a brother who migrated to New York about the same time Hermann left for Texas; but records show that Bernhard never left Germany. Hermann Grahmann’s older children born in Ankum may have known their Uncle Bernhard, but the oldest, Mary Elizabeth (Sr. Aloysius) was only 8 years old when they left for America. Bernhard Heinrich’s son Herman Julius and daughter Maria Elizabeth Antoinette have descendants in Ankum and Frankfurt Germany.
    • 16. FROM ANKUM TO HALLETTSVILLE St. Nikolaus Church, Ankum Germany Sacred Heart Church, Hallettsville, TX USA (Original Church built in 1882) (First mentioned in documents in 1178)
    • 17. FIFTH AND SIXTH GENERATION IN GERMANY DESCENDANTS OF HERMAN FA GRAHMANN’S BROTHER

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