Spenge and Wallenbruck, Germany

The Dickenhorts emigrated from Spenge, Germany in 1845-1851, landing in St. Louis, and making their way up to Concordia, Missouri. To try to find out more about their German heritage, and specifically the relationship of Carolina to Frederich and to Hermann, I ordered in (on temporary loand) the microfilm of Spenge records:

#473691 -- baptisms 1729-1813 **(ordered in and examined in 2002)
#473692 -- baptisms 1814-1843 (permanently at LA)
#473693 -- baptisms 1844-1866 **(ordered in and examined in 2002)
#473694 -- baptisms 1867-1894
#473695 -- baptisms 1895-1912
#473696 -- baptisms 1913-1935
#473697 -- deaths 1768-1798 & 1799-1811, marriages 1768-1894 & 1795-1810
#473698 -- marriages 1814-1843 & 1844-1890
#473699 -- marriages 1891-1930
#473700 -- deaths 1815-1819 & 1820-1855
#473701 -- deaths 1856-1910

And there is also a set of duplicate books (not duplicate microfilms, the filming of a second set of church books, so sometimes a copy will be better quality, and note that these will not match exactly, perhaps having more or contradictory information) on six microfilms:
#1052327 -- births, marriages, deaths, banns (notices of intended marriages) for 1808-1810
#1052328 -- births, marriages, deaths, banns for 1810-1812 and marriage supplements for 1808-1812
#1052329 -- births, marriage, deaths for 1815-1829 **(ordered in and examined in 2002)
#1052330 -- births, marriages, deaths for 1829-1842 **(ordered in and examined in 2002)
#1052331 -- births, marriages, deaths for 1842-1865 **(ordered in and examined in 2002)
#1052332 -- births, marriages, deaths for 1866-1875

I was only interested in the records through 1851, so did not need the last tape of either set of books. It is noteworthy that as of 2002, there was no circulation of these records to family history centers in Europe, although they are readily available in America! Thus, I offer to do lookups in America for people in Spenge who can look up things that are only there (like local genealogy books or cemeteries).

Note also that these will not include a birth record for 1847 for Anna Maria Dickenhorst, our ancestor, who was born in nearby Neuenkirchen. Nor will it include the 1840 marriage record for her parents, Margarethe Grungras and Hermann Dickenshorst since it was in Wallenbruck.

Neunkirchen records are not microfilmed -- two Neuenkirchen towns in Westphalia were microfilmed: (1) Neuenkirchen (Kr. Steinfurt) Germany, Preußen, Westfalen, Neuenkirchen (Kr. Steinfurt) and (2) Neuenkirchen (Kr. Wiedenbrück) Germany, Preußen, Westfalen, Neuenkirchen (Kr. Wiedenbrück); I don't think either of these are the right area, and additionally, both are for Catholic churches not Lutheran.

Wallenbruck records for 1624-1964 were microfilmed onto 4 reels (and the Wallenbruck microfilms are not for circulation in the British Isles, Norway, Sweden, Finland or Iceland! and limited to LDS members in Europe!):
#473687 -- baptisms marriages deaths 1654-1687 & 1692-1694 & 1700-1761, baptisms 1762-1800 & 1801-1803, marriages 1767-1803, deaths 1762-1803, confirmations 1768-1805 (permanently in LA)
#473688 -- baptisms marriages deaths 1803-1818, marriages 1819-1839, baptisms 1819-1838, deaths for 1819-1841, confirmations for 1810-1817 & 1819-1832, communion 1890-1909, communications 1819-1862 -- this should have Anna Maria Margarethe's birth on 8/31/1820 assuming she was born in Wallenbruck
#473689 -- baptisms for 1838-1964
#473690 -- marriages 1840-1961, deaths 1842-1935 -- this should have the Grungras-Dickenhorst marriage

First Spenge record: 1774 (click on picture for a larger view)
In general, the older the record, the harder it is to read. This is not because the paper is more worn or the ink more faded, but the handwriting is too different from what we are used to. I had sent records to Uncle Elmer Widmann (not these, but more recent ones similar to these but from his parents' homes in Hesse), and even though he used to write similar records himself, in German, for the Lutheran Church as a pastor, he oftentimes could not decipher the writing. It is somewhat easier to use the original microfilms, but these copies have the advantage of having been somewhat improved and can be enlarged.

The record to the left is from Spenge for 1774 -- I believe it to be the May 23 christening record for our ancestor Catrina Maria Obervahrenholz. Now what is most fascinating about this record other than it is so hard to read, is that her father's name was Johann Heinrich Feldmann and her mother Catharina Elizabeth Obervahrenholz. In Spenge, and probably in other places in Germany, it was not unheard of for the husbands to change their surnames to that of their wives. This was done either because she had a more prestigious name (so naturally you would want to give that to your children), or because she had inherited the property, and surnames were to be descriptive -- e.g., Johann Heinrich of the Obervahrenholz estate. This tradition curiously enough was repeated for this child Catrina Maria who first married a Dickenhorst and upon his death married a Hoermann who then assumed the name of Dickenhorst. In fact, none of the American Dickenhorsts were actually Dickenhorsts -- they were all Hoermann!!

The Dickenhorst records I found in Spenge were (and at that time I was only looking for my direct ancestors, trying to determine who the parents and grandparents of Hermann were -- and the microfilms are only on loan for a month):
1774, 5/16 birth of Catharina Maria Obervahrenholz
1798, 1/4 birth of (Peter) Johann Heinrich to Bernard Dickenhorst and (Catharina) Anna Maria Ilsabein Obervahrenholz.
1802, 2/10 birth of Anna Maria to Johann Peter Dickenhorst and Catharina Maria (who were married 3-15-1801)
1804, 9/11 birth of Johann Peter born to Johan Peter Dickenhorst and Maria Catherina Obervahrenholz
1807, 7/15 birth of Catherine Ilsab born to Johan Peter Dickenhorst and Catharine Marie Vahrenholz (who were married 1801)
1810, November birth of Catharina Maria to Johann Peter Dickenhorst and Catherina Maria Obervahrenholz (who were married 3/1/1801)
1815, 1/24 birth of Hermann Heinrich to Peter Dickenhorst and Maria Obervahrenholz
1818, 6/9 birth of Hermann Henrich to Johan Peter Dickenhorst and Catharina Maria
1824, 7/14 marriage of Johann Peter Dieckenhorst (born Hoermann), widower of Catharina Maria Dickenhorst (born Obervahrenholz) to Anne Marie Ilsabein Kaemper (born Horskotte).
1833, 12/1 birth of Friedrich Wilhelm to Johann Heinrich Dickenhorst and Catharina Ilsabein Gehring.
1842 1/23 birth of Anna Margaretha Ilsebein to Herman Heinrich Dickenhorst and Anne Marie Grungras
1842, 9/28 birth of Hermann Heinrich to Johann Heinrich Dickenhorst and Catharina Ilsabein Gehring.
1843, 1/18 death of Johann Peter Dickenhorst, born Hoermann, age 60 years and 10 months and 0 days. It looks like it says he was born in Horsthollen, and he had four children. But it also says he was born 3-18-1779 which was 63 years ago....

On the internet, the following was available from IGI (based on #105332):
1866 -- 8/13 marriage of Marie Elsebain Dickenhorst (daughter of Johann Heinr and Cath Ilsebaein Gehring) to Johann Heinrich Gehring
1868 -- 5/10 marriage of Herman Heinrich Groengress (son of Joh Heinrich and Marie Ilseb Waechter) to Catharine Marie Luemkemann
1868 -- 7/14 marriage of Hanne Friedrike Dickenhorst (daughter of Joh Peter Dickenhorst and A. M. Elisab. Kaemper) to Gottlieb Friedrich Saarmann
1871 -- 7/9 marriage of Anne Marie Dickenhorst (daughter of Joh Peter Dickenhorst and Anne Marie Elisab Kaemper) to Gottlieb Friedrich Boekstiegel (I believe this family may have emigrated to Concordia -- and note that Fred Dickenhorst (1813-1864) married Catharina Bokstiel in Concordia, MO in 1853)
1871 -- 8/13 marriage of Friedrich Wilhelm Dickenhorst (son of Joh Heinr and Cath Ilsebain Gehring) to Anne Marie Elsebain Heermann
1873 -- 8/22 marriage of Peter Heinrich Gronegress (son of Joh Wilh and Marg Ils Waechter) to Anne Catharine Blomeyer
1874 -- 5/4 marriage of Anne Marie Dickenhorst (daughter of Joh Heinrich D. and Cath Ils Gehring) to Hermann Heinrich Windelhage
1874 -- 9/25 marriage of Herman Heinrich Dickenhorst (son of John Heirnr D. and Cath Ils Gehring) to Anne Marie Lippelmann

Hermann, born 1818 is definitely a brother to Fred, born 1812. It is not certain if Caroline, who based on census data was born circa 1809 is a sister or a cousin. There is a record for Catharina Ilsabein born November 1810 which could be the Carolina Dickenhorst Frerking who emigrated in 1845 to Concordia, MO, but it is so far uncertain this is a match.

There were two other records found that were family records -- a summary of a couple and the children they had. Neither of these had the information I was looking for -- Feldmann and Obervahrenholz

Finally, as there were many Dickenhorst records, and I didn't feel like copying them all onto paper at 25 cents a page (and sometimes you need to do more than one to adjust the brightness for legibility), I made notations of other records I found. (Also, just a note, a couple of records were filmed in reverse polarity -- where the background is dark and the writing is light, to try to improve legibility. Current microfilm machines now have the ability to go straight from film to digital copies, which are much easier, with better quality, and much cheaper at 10 cents a page.)

1833 -- Friedrich Wilhelm born 12-8 to Johan Heinrich Dieckenhorst and Catherina Gehring
1835 -- Johan Peter Dickenhorst (born 9-11-1803, father: Johan Peter Dickenhorst, mother Cathr. Mar Obervahrenholz) married Anne Marie Elizabeth Kaemper on 7-3-1835
1837 -- Anne Ilsebain borm 12-7 to Johan Peter Dickenhorst and Anne Marie Elizabth Kaemper
1840 -- Catherine Jesbein (Ilsebein?) born 8-3 to Johan Peter Dickenhorst and Anne Marie Elizabeth Kaemper
1839 -- Marie Jesebain born 9-26 to Johan Heinrich Dickenhorst and Catharine Jesebain Gehring
1844 -- Catherine Marie Dickenhorst married to Wessel gave birn in 1844
1849 -- Catherine Marie Dickenhorst married to Sandwennrmann gave birth to Marie in 1849
undated -- Maria born to Johan Heinrich Dickenhorst and Catherina Gehring

It is noteworthy too that especially in this part of the country, children had many given names to honor many relatives. Often all the children started with the same name, and it was their middle names that they then used in life. And sometimes, just to make things really confusing, they adopted a name that was not even on their birth record. Usually in this last case, it can be confirmed since the marriage records list date of birth and parents. But it does make the reconstruction of family composition difficult.

Caveats: As can be seen, the records can be difficult to interpret. There will be errors in my interpretation of names and dates. Oh yes, there is no computer search capability, of course, and no index in virtually all these books, so you have to read every entry to try to find the ones you want, as of course, you don't even know what you are looking for. There will be ommissions for records skipped.

1775: Mararethe Elsabein born to Heinr Herm Grunegrass and Mar Elisab Braesin 1779: Catha Ilsabein born to Ernst Heinr Grunegrass and Cathar Els Boehner
1780: Ernst Heinr born to Heinr Herma Grunegrass and Mar Elisab Braesin
1782: Johann Heinr born to Ernst Heinr Grunegrass and Cathar Els Boehnner
1787: Marie Elsabeth born to Joh Heinr Grunegrass and Mar Louise Brunings
1790: Cathar Elsabein born to Joh Heinr Grunegrass and Mar Louisa Brunings
1792 Peter Heinrich born to Joh Heinr Grunegrass and Anne Mari Louise Brungings
1795: Jurgen Heinrich born to Joh Heinr Grunegrass and Louise Brunings

1725 -- 10/22 Catrina Isabein Diekenhorst marries Johann Heinrich Beckmann
1749 -- 12/30 Anna Cathrina Diekenhorst marries Johann Hermann Grahmann
1738 -- 10/30 Anna Catrina Diekenhorst marries Johann Philip Speckmann