John Huelsman from Ohio in the footsteps of his ancestors in the community of Bakum

The text is also available in English at the end of this homepage.

(Hubert Kroeger) John Huelsman from Ohio was three days for the first time in the footsteps of his ancestors in the Bakum community. His great-urcient parents left in 1836 forever their homeland Märschendorf. The reason for his visit was for John Huelsman to learn why you leave his homeland forever.

A few weeks ago, he contacted the hometown club Bakum. On the homepage of the home association he had learned that in the archives of the home association numerous documents History of emigrants in the 19th century is located. The concept of the Heuerhaus was foreign to him.

In the following remarks, we set the situation of the emigrants in the 19th comments. Century and the ancestors of John Huelsman.

Johann Hermann Hülsmann married on 17. May 1831 Anna Margaretha Ording (both from Märschendorf). They lived on a small haytry site of the farmer Pungenhorst in Märschendorf. In the years 3 children were born until 1836.

  • 12. 04.1832 Maria Catharina Hülsmann - she died immediately after birth on 09.06.1832
  • 10.12.1833 Johan Bernard Hülsmann
  • 28.01.1836 Anna Maria Hülsmann

In the course of 1836, the Hülsmann family's decision to leave the homeland of Märschendorf and their relationship forever came to a happen and wandered under extreme conditions with the two Young children to America. The brother Hermann Heinrich Hülsmann with his wife Elisabeth née Also belonged to these emigrants. Dünhöft and another couple from Neuenkirchen Bernhard Knapke and Mrs. Margret Mesher.

Marriage of Hermann Heinrich Hülsmann and Josephine Elisabeth Dünhöft on the 3rd February 1836

When the three couples from Bakum and Neuenkirchen gave up their homeland forever in 1836, they were not the only emigrants in this region. People were driving major social problems an emigration. It was the sheer need that made the population "emigrants". The barren and narrow soil did not give enough for the population in the countryside. The life of the Thiningists under the peasant's rule was often arduous and painful.

From the distant North and South America it was heard that the person who wanted to work could build up something with his work, while they continued to go downhill in our region. Also reports from migrants were believed that the land of opportunity could bring very quickly such property. You could not fare badly.

From 1820 the first wave of emigration began. The emigrants often went with the whole family. They had no property. They had killed the crossing costs. You did not shy away with the entire portable belonging to Bremerhaven. Here they waited for days for the crossing with sailing ships to America, which often lasted 6 to 8 weeks. They went into an uncertain future, but they all hoped for a better life.

Especially from northwestern Germany, East Frisia, the Emsland and the Oldenburg region, the people left their homeland. There were several waves of emigration in the decades of the 19th century. It is reported that e.g. from the Bramsche area in 1833 alone, 150 to 200 people emigrated.

In a report of the office of Vechta to the Oldenburg government of 25. On July 1834, it says about the spiritual attitude of the emigrants: "The indifference with which the next relatives separated, and incomprehensible the peace with which people entrust themselves to a ship who have never seen the sea before. The Appearance that often women who never come out of their parish have encouraged their husbands to this journey and young girls, the admonition of their relatives regardless of the Connect emigration trains."

The temptations of emigration were great. Letters from emigrates to homeland were learned here in southern Oldenburg that the merit of a servant or a maid was much higher as here in the barren farms and villages of the region. In the USA, farmland was plentiful and cheaply available. In a good three days one hectare was earned. Also, the USA promised Freedom and equality. They had previously lived as a hayermann without perspective here, wrote after five years in America that they were cultivating their own land and also enlarge their wooden hut could.

The Oldenburg government tried to make emigration even more difficult with threats and hoped that most of the emigrants would change their decision at the sight of the sea, or soon return.

A stark case was the municipality of Bakum. In 30 years, 3,000 people left home.

In Bakum, merchant Clemens Rosenbaum was in the last decades of the 19th century. Contact persons from the municipality of Bakum and surrounding communities. He for these people, all the formalities of emigration. He worked on a commission basis with the Fischer & Behmer community in Bremen. In a showcase of the local home are handwritten documents of this time.

Senior councillor of study Alfons Schwerter from Lohne (born in Lohe) has dealt extensively with the situation of the Bakumn emigrants and has found many documents in the Oldenburg State Archives. Many individual evidence of emigrant applications is presented by him.

This is also what appears on the 26th August 1854 the Kötter Bernd Johanns from Westerbakum with his 18-year-old son on the Bakum office at the Vogt weed (comparable to mayor). The son declares that he wanted to emigrate to America "where 2 of my sisters already live and stay there. For this purpose, I come from the local citizenship law, please look at me as emigrated and not to move to me by name to the slogan of the conscripts". The father then says: "I keep 3 sons with me and believe that my son Bernd will better advance in America will be found as here".

The complete documentation of Alfons Schwerter can be opened here.

Senior councillor of study Alfons Schwerter

How many people actually left their home in southern Olden is not exactly known, since some have not deregistered for indefinite reasons. From 1820 to 1855, in the context of the first wave, there are 20,000 emigrants. In the following years until 1895 there are another 16,155 persons. In various documents it is repeatedly pointed out that approx. 20% of the Overall population of our region emigrated.

Those who went to North America visited the area from which he knew he met the ones who had gone before him. With one of the main starting points was Cincinnati / Ohio.

From Hülsmann, Huelsman

In 1954 and 1959, Myron and Anthony Huelsman put together the history of the Huelsman family in Ohio for the first time. A comprehensive data was updated by Arlene in 1976 Huelsman. Myron Huelsman had succeeded in continuing the research. The data and names of the numerous family members have been revised and supplemented. Arlene Huelsman was a granddaughter of youngest son Joseph the emigrant from Märschendorf, who was born in their new homeland.

Furthermore, it is described in the preface that John Herman Huelsman and his wife Anna Marie née Marie. Ording at the end of 1836 reached the United States. In addition to the two children, Hermann Henry Huelsman also belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth Dunhof and Bernard Knapke with Mrs. Margaret née B. Mesh to the emigrant group. The official arrival date in the USA was the 24th an early year. November 1836.

Your place of arrival was located in what is now Cranberry / Ohio. The three couples with the children spent their first winter in a hut, which was hasty and very quickly provisionally constructed was. It must have been a very strict winter.

Excerpt from map Google Maps

The red bordered area was the new home of the Märschendorf emigrants. The memorial plaque in Cranberry describes the natural history of Ohio. Cranberry was named the cranberries present here, which were grown in a large swamp area. Before German farmers had begun around 1860, the swamp in fertile farmland large moorland areas were present here. The great-grandfather of John Huelsman was also a farmer in the Cranberry area for many years. During the world economic sphere late twenties Years of the last century he lost his entire property.

The descendants of the couple Johann Hermann Hülsmann and his wife Margaretha née. Ording with the two children has extensively worked through the family history. Regularly in the last years to revise the family documents. During his visit, John Huelsman provided parts of the family chronicle to the home association.

The chronicle also describes the former homeland of the emigrants from the perspective of the American descendants of John Hermann Huelsman and Anna Marie.


"Our ancestors came from small towns, Bakum, Steinfeld and Neukirchen in Oldenburg, which were only a few kilometres apart. These cities are located near the The south-eastern border of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg and is located about 25 miles north of Osnabrück and about 40 miles east of the Dutch border.
Most of the area is flat and crossed by drainage channels. There are some groups of low hills. Large areas are moorland (sweeps), which is largely agricultural is used. The landscape is not too different from the land that our ancestors found here. It is still a predominantly agricultural area with numerous villages and important churches. The villages, houses, gardens and farms are extremely neat - a reflection of the great diligence of the people. There are still ruins of Windmills. Undoubtedly, its purpose was to pump water, similar to the Netherlands. Previous records occasionally talk about flooding. Also ruins of There are quite numerous water mills that have served to grind cereals, sawing tree trunks, etc. A similarity with Holland is determined by the fact that there are often Wooden boots were worn. Even in America, the production of wooden shoes for a while was an important profession in our area.
Why did they leave Germany?
The answer is very complicated. Surely there was not enough land. The industry in the cities was not yet designed to accommodate farmers who are not inherited land had. Many families earned a little more money from the cultivation of flax and the spinning and weaving of linen. But this was made by newly created textile factories that weave cotton, displaced. Some men from this area travelled to Holland and Denmark, even to Poland, to sting peat (as fuel) and earn something more money. Maybe explain such works as to why the emigrants owned a few possessions and were able to buy a crossing.
The emigrants from Oldenburg mostly left Germany via Bremen, the nearest large harbour. The flow of passengers was so constant that some ships repeatedly almost like shuttles from Bremen to Baltimore. A look at the arrival lists of the Balitmore port will certainly convey this picture. Other ports of the United States were also used, but Baltimore, Maryland received the most ships from Bremen.
Most of these trips took place in small sailing ships and lasted 30 to 100 days or more. As bad weather slowed down the crossing, we can only imagine what kind of must have been terrible conditions: overcrowding, spousal food and water, rationing, necessity, accommodation under deck during stormy times, restricted hygiene facilities, seasickness and other diseases. Abuses must have been included, because in 1847 the Bremen authorities issued a number of regulations, which include the number of the permitted passengers who determined food and water requirements per passenger for 13 weeks and the like. Since our ancestors left Germany before 1847, it is quite possible that their sea voyages were full of hardships."
This material was researched by: Luke B. Knapke

In 1856, the German immigrants founded an independent parish in honour of St. Francis of Assisi in Cranberry. A short time later, a simple Brick church. In 1906, a new church was built. Even today, a stained glass window is found in this church, which is founded by the immigrants from Märschendorf was. Several members of the Huelsman families are also buried here near the church in Cranberry.

The joy when John Huelsman was the baptismal stone of his ancestors from Märschendorf in the presence of pastor Bernd Holtkamp in the Bakumer St. St. John's Church could visit.

After almost 190 years, a "Huelsman" returned to the homeland of his ancestors for the first time. He was extremely friendly by the family Pungehorst in Märschendorf received. Johann Hermann Hülsmann and Anna Margaretha Hülsmann and their 2 children left their homeland forever on a haymaking site of the Pungenhorst farm. You can see on the photo Andrea Pungenhorst, father Clemens Pungenhorst, John Huelsman and Franz-Josef Tegenkamp. Several Heuerhäuser belonged to the farm Pungenhorst, including the above Heuerhaus, which was built in the seventies of the was broken off before.

For several hours, John Huelsman (left) and Franz-Josef Tegenkamp exchanged extensive data from the Hülsmann/Huelsman family. Thus John Huelsman was able to further ancestors of the Märschendorf family back to the 18th century. receive the century. Franz-Josef Tegenkamp from Lohne is an excellent connoisseur of emigration as a family researcher during the 19th and 20th centuries. century. He also frequently conducted research in the USA and thus collected a lot of data. Numerous publications are available by Franz-Josef Tegenkamp on the Internet to find. They were very valuable for the exchange of perfect English skills by Franz-Josef Tegenkamp.

The visiting programme also included a visit to the house of the ancestors by the emigrants Hülsmann in Wulfenau. Here is the name "Hülsmann" in read the very old beam of the house still well.

A visit to the home courtyard was also part of John Huelsman's program. For the first time he was able to take a look at a Heuerhaus. By li. Hubert Kröger, Werner Kreutzmann, Yvonne Lawson from Hausstette (Yvonne provided a smooth communication as an interpreter) and Franz-Josef Göttke

Thanks and with many new findings about the life of the Hülsmanns in the old home of Märschendorf, John Huelsman left after a three-day stay again the community of Bakum towards Ohio. John Huelsman lives with his family in Minster, a small town founded by German immigrants. Only a few kilometres from Minster away you will also find the city of New Bremen. US citizens still live here today.


Chronicle Carum - once & now, Chronicle 800 Years Vestrup, emigrants from the old community of Bakum by Alfons Schwerter, Descendants of John Herman and Anna Marie Huelsmann 1993 by Arlene Huelsman, Myron and Anthony Huelsman

We greet all members of the Huelsman families in Ohio / USA from Bakum, the old home of their ancestors

A translation into English is possible via the browser.