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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A rootdiggers genealogy of the Meyer family

I began my search on and Rootsweb back in 2001. I was able to browse for free for a short amount of time. My memory is a bit foggy now about what I was allowed to do. I did leave many many posts all over the message boards at Rootsweb. Also at the family tree maker boards now called I had many email addresses, which I have used over this time period. I had to change them often because my posting history would get so long. After someone finds my post, and clicks on to my post, my email is shown there. Then they may write to me personally. Or they can just reply to my posting message at that board. The program is set up that it will notify me, when someone replies to my post. However, if I no longer have the email that is shown there, I have to remember to check back. Or I can leave a new mail address. That way I shouldn't miss out on that very important reply post.

Okay, I have missed a few notifications of other reply postings. I did lose a few emails for many many reasons. I guess that is a good reason to mention documentation is a good idea. [I guess that is why I want to journal my genealogy journey.] I have heard notepad is a good for a method of taking notes like a notebook. [I recently heard about google's notepad. I am going to check that out.] You can add your date from day to day and then add whatever you wish to your blog. Then transfer over to a real blog, if you want. Though you have to make a few changes to the text. [ It's easy to miss a few things]

I am hoping a blog is my answer for the best way to store my steps and processes my various jabberings about it all. Blogging is even better than Notepad, because the information can be found by simply browsing over the web. It could lead lost descendents to me. That is what I am really hoping will happen. I especially want long lost relatives with all the answers to my questions to show up! I am hoping the long lost relatives will find their answers as well! They could pass along the information to others after they email me. That would be great. I love talking or writing genealogy with others!

I really do believe, if you get the genealogy information out there, they will come. I am long past due to get the entire information out there. I mean with everything all in one spot as if in a bucket. The Meyer name is actually only a cup worth in a five gallon bucket. There are many more surnames to cover. Though I suppose, I could fill half the bucket with the names that mix with the Meyer surname.

As I said that in order to find anything in detail, I had to go from the fourteen day trial period offer, [which one can get with some credit card entries ] to subscription. After while, a person has to try something new to find what he or she is looking for in their surname and genealogy search. So, I ventured into the Mailing lists that one finds at the top of the page at Rootsweb. One can find an assortment of these according to your needs. I subscribed to Meyer mailing list, and I also browsed various other surnames and regions. [Celle, Uelzen, Gohrde, Bleckede, Bohemia, Dannenberg]

I knew I needed the region that was mentioned in the church records of St. Peters Luthern church records in Iowa. This is where I had found that the Meyer family settled in 1800's. It was in that area of Farnhamville with Calhoun and Greene county people as it's church members. It is a wide spanned area in Iowa.
The members would reach into Webster county to the east as well. In the church records, I found the birth origination information of Fred Meyer. His family was listed to be from Bleckede. His wife Dorothea Schenk as well. The 1870 census verified the region Hanover and other years of the census mentioned Germany.

In another source of my information a few years later, the 'Meyer Book', listed the birth area for brother William as Eichdorf. I knew that these two areas were in the Hannover Kingdom. I also knew the Hannover kingdom and Prussia had a certain time period and various boundaries accordingly.

Hannover Kingdom started being called that in 1814. Hannover Kingdom changed to Prussian monarchy in fall of 1866. Once can be vague and say Germany or Niedersachen. But one will run into someone at various times, who will correct you. I am not good at this description of the various time periods of this region in Niedersachen, so maybe here would be a good place to review.

Many times I have read that the previous residence listed on a census was that they were from Hannover, Hanover, or Prussia. I started out thinking Meyer came from Oldenburg or even Nurenburg. Possibly even Frankfort. But the census settled that question. So far I know that the time span of residence in 'germany' is the year 1772 - to latest birth of a Meyer in Prussia, which is the year 1884. And then there was the Emmigration of Juergen Hch. Wilhelm Meyer in February 1884 to Hamburg.

Since, I liked the Rootsweb Hannover Kingdom mailing list around 2003, I became active with my posting. The following information is taken from one of my first inquiries about the Meyer name at Radenbeck. I can find this by checking old posts at my various email accounts. I can find it by googling certain words and Hannover list. I can also find it by browsing the archives of the list and the archives of rootswebs archives of mailing lists.

The results of the posting on the Hannover Kingdom Mailing list about Radenbeck and the Meyer family. [ Familie and familien is basically about the german word for family, which I use while cruising the internet.]

From: Hans"[HN] Meyer, RadenbeckDate: 2003/02/15 21:12:29
There are two "Radenbeck" in Germany:1)Radenbeck bei Dahlenburg = 21401 Thomasburg, Kreis Lüneburg (nowadays postal address)2)Radenbeck bei Wittingen, Nieders. = 29378 Wittingen (nowadays postal address)
As there are more connections into the region Lüneburg, I´m almost sure your Radenbeck is that one you reach by
21401 Thomasburg,
OT Radenbeck
In an elderly peace of family researching work :
Borstelmann, Heinrich: Familien- kunde des alten Amtes Lüne, Lüneburg 1935, I found in this Radenbeck the following mentioning of inhabitants, which the author took from tax-lists and other official documents. So you can´t expect dates of birth, death and marriages, but you get hints for further research.
Meyer, Meier, Meyger mentioned for 21401 Radenbeck with date of mentioning:
1450: de Meyger, H. ( the last "H." stands for Höfner)
1776: Jürgen Meyer
1785: Jürgen Hinr.,Hh.;ehem. Jacob Sommer ("Hh." means Halbhöfner and the added "ehem. Jacob Sommer" says, that he took over a half, means a small one, farm from this Jacob Sommer
1791 und 1795: Jürgen Chr., Krüger (Krüger means he had and Inn, was allowed to sell drinks, engage musicians, etc., in short words, he hold the place for feasts)

As you see, up to now there is yet no name: Heinrich Christoph Meyer. That is not astonishing, if he was not the eldest one, or that one who overtook the place of his father. I think, there must be good chance, to find the date of birth of your Heinrich Christoph Meyer in the Church Book of Thomasburg (Evangelische Kirchengemeinde,21401 Thomasburg).

Some years ago, I made myself researches in these Books, but I wouldn`t be able to go there before the summer, so you have to try and find someone directly under the address of the church or otherwise. Otherwise contact me in Juli or August03". ________________________________________

Many times a person in the list will post in the german language and it is up to me to translate in any fashion I want. I was lucky that this Hans posted in English. I have more of his postings, which I found very helpful. He didn't give me the information from Radenbeck- Thomasburg church as he had mentioned in his post. I had been hopeful that he would. I think that I may have dropped out of the list for a time because of some kind of technical problem due to my not being able to properly read a german email notice about the list. And then my failure to respond. Later on I joined the list again. He has always been a saint. I wish I could help him back someday.

[HN] Meyer, Radenbeck, 2.MitteilungDate: 2003/02/15 22:29:12
From: Hans

"A second time, same subject Meyer von Radenbeck,found a newer work, revisiting almost the same documents as the author Borstel- mann respecting by this the meantime progress in historical science:
Horst-Dieter Freiherr von Enzberg/Dietmar Gehrke: Aus der Vergangenheit der Dörfer der Samtgemeinde Ostheide. Von den Anfängen bis in das 19.Jahrhundert,Samtgemeinde Ostheide (Hrsg.),Barendorf 2001

There I found Meyer in Radenbeck:
1723: Dieterich Meyer, : ein Köthner, nach Scharnebeck abgabenpflichtig
1756 und 1760 Meyer : this is a comparision before and during, respectivlely after the "Siebenjähriger Krieg", which was von 1756 to 1763, and says, this Meyer had before, 1 male worker(son or farm hand), 1 female farmworker, 2 horses, 6 oxes and 20acre land, afterwards it remained 1 female worker, 2 horses, 6 oxes , and 20 acre land. that means there were 2 workers lost. The other people lost in most cases more than this Meyer.
1825: Heinrich Dieterich Meyer, Halbhöfner, 231 Morgen Land
Jürgen Hinrich Meyer, Halbhöfner, 184 Morgen Land
Claus Jürgen Meyer, Anbauer, 13 Morgen Land
That`s, what I can tell you in the moment,

best wishes,


So that was information from the area of Radenbeck with church in Thomasburg. Still nothing on the shepherd Heinrich Christoph Meyer from that church.

I think it was before christmas of last year that I discovered that I could order that book:
"Enzberg, Horst-Dieter Freiherr von; Gehrke, Dietmar: Aus der Vergangenheit der Dörfer der Samtgemeinde Ostheide[3-89876-034-0]12,95
Aus der Vergangenheit der Dörfer der Samtgemeinde Ostheidesubtitle: Von den Anfängen bis in das 19. Jahrhundert
editor/anthologist: Horst-Dieter Freiherr von Enzberg, Dietmar Gehrke product information: 191 p., numerous photos in colour and black/white, hardcoveryear of publication: 2001
price Euro: 12,95ISBN 10: 3-89876-034-0
ISBN 13: 978-3-89876-034-8
publishing house: Husum Verlag
Die Geschichte der Dörfer der Samtgemeinde Ostheide (Barendorf, Neetze, Reinstorf, Thomasburg, Vastorf und Wendisch Evern)

I did get it. I found that there are many more lists of Meyer family in various villages. It tells how many pigs and chickens they owned. etc. There are other surnames listed as well. It is a very good book written all in german, of course. I like the fact that this book gives the names and information in tables. It cuts down on the process of translating to much less time spent on words unnecessary to my needs!

I would be happy to look up any surname you think lived there in various time periods. Because the book does start with information very early after the caveman time period.

If you have an interest in the names of the villages, I can help you with that as well. Just email me and I will try to answer your question.

Some understanding for research about our peasants Meyers and others came to me from this posting by Hans.

Date: 2003/02/17 21:48:56 From: Hans
"as my anchestors were sheperds and musicians as far as I could find them back and they had the same name as I, perhaps I can help a bit another time.
At first during since the middle age up to about 185o the landscape "Lüneburger Heide", all places you told me belong there to, had shortness of trees. That was needed in Lüneburg for getting the salt out of salt-water and on the baldness gr especially the Erica. These places were not useful for other beasts than sheep. That`s the reason why you find so much shepherds in the parish books.

Where there have been monasteries, these had often their own flock and for that their shepherds. In the villages the shepherd had to keep care of all sheeps of the village people, as there were also herdsman for pigs and cows. The places were the different herds and flocks were kept and nourished were first common places of the village, what was not valid for the farms. These were led on own account of the "Höfner, Halbhöfner" , but belonged to the "Grundherr", to whom had to be paid for the lend. In social hierarchy, the shepherds were beyond this peasants. But nevertheless they were part of the community and stayed in the village. So they didn`t have to turn around the country looking for new existence and frh nourishment for sheeps. Everywhere they could go, they would have come upon other villages and shepherds. So things were regulated by the possibilities inside the borders of a village.

It may be of that reason, that there are so many documents in the archives. Everything had to be regulated. The developement went to more individualisation. So the common property of the village was given up and everyone cared about his own horses cattle, pigs, and sheeps. For everyone tried to earn his living by peasantry, the sheep ground was more and more used for woodproduktion, grain etc. So the shepherds became less and had to look for other professions. For example mine became musicians, others peasants. The whole differentiation of tailors, shoemaker, slaughter increased. Between 1820 and 1840 the common used places came to an end. There were build new farms into these former area, whereever it seemed possible to keep a new farm alive.

So that`s in short form the developement, which is in the concrete cases and with it´s changes over the hundreds of years much more complicated. As there were no idea of love-marriages in the country people, everyone looked to keep his stan- ding in the village. The rich peasants did not marry to the poor peasants and so on. So that doesn`t mean, that there was no vertical change at all possible. But that took work of generations, later on because of increase of population there were more people than traditional and grown positions in such villages. That was the time of beginning migration.

I forgot to answer the question, if they could be landowners. Everyone was a gardener in the village and kept as much beast as possible. But as you could not buy the nourishment as nowadays it was limited to the possibility of producing capacities in form from green land etc. If someone managed to get this by and by, you`ll find them later one in registers with the "Höfner". I never found something similar for the shepherds in form of guilds as there has been for craftsman.

One word more to your "Twisselhop". I`m almost sure that that place is the "Visselhövede" I told you. The explanation is "Twisselhop" is just the "plattdeutsche" word for "Visselhövede". I was puzzling, because I wasn`t aware anyware deep in the United States someone speaks this dialect. Tell me one day, if I was right". _________________________________________

I had been reading the interpretation of the book interpreted by google about Dahlenburg written by Charlotte Wodaege. In her book was mention of various guilds that the villagers belonged to. So what Hans said about the peasants answers to any thoughts I had of finding family in such posted guilds at Dahlenburg.

Hans was not right about Twisselhop or Twiselhop location. Also, I had been searching for some other places that I had learned from the various records from the churches. My source had said in various spellings Kreutzen Rezbez Lueneburg. Of course Hans helped me later solve that puzzle as well. I will leave that discovery and the area of Kruetzen for another day.

Okay, maybe a few more clues. This was the area that I had to find for Maria Dorothea Heins, who married Jurgen Heinrich Wilhelm [William] Meyer of Eichdorf and Farnhamville church [ colony] area in Calhoun county, Iowa. When he married Maria Dorothea Heins from Celle, I think he lived in Oldendorf in der Goehrde. He and his family attended the Nahrendorf Church. He did work at village Horn. I am not sure who his employer was.

Brother Fred Meyer was first at Galena, then Jackson county, Iowa and later to Churdan in Greene county, Iowa. He immigrated 1869. William Immigrated to USA April 6 1884 on the ship FRISIA. Later there will be more about the Immigrations and the ship list of Frisia.

I have received other correspondence not yet shared here. I have received information from the web such as other trees. I will get into those another time.

I think I have covered alot of my research of Thomasburg and Radenbeck. Did you notice that in this research it involved five book sources. There was that mention of Radenbeck - Thomasburg church records, that of Heinrich Borstelmanns book of region Luene, that of the Ostheide region book by Gehrke and Freiherr von Enzberg, and the book written by Charlotte Wodaege. [That one became practically my bible.] I am sure they will be mentioned a few times more.

It's seems to me that I have shown a little bit on which to snack. What we need is a little lunch! We need here some real meat and potatoes on our plate. So good bye until next time, when we get some meat and potatoes.

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