Hey everybody --

If you're part of the Ortman-Berneburg clan, then this site is for you.  I've been researching our family genealogy for a while and thought I'd start this website to let you know what I'm discovering, because a lot of it is exciting for me.   It's like a treasure hunt, and discovering any little nugget adds to the  treasure.

So . . . what am I excited about today?  Anna Christina Schwietering Ortmann, the great-grandmother of Deb, Chris, and me, the great-great grandmother of Devin, Aub, Joe, Jer, Nathan, and Andy, and the great-great-great-grandmother of the 3Z's and Wyatt.  I'm excited because for a long time, I was researching Anna Schweitering (notice the difference in spelling) and getting nowhere, but when I finally got the spelling right, all of a sudden I got a bunch of hints (ancestry.com gives you "hints" about records or family trees that include your ancestor).

Anna, or Annie as she was called, was the wife of Joseph Ortmann.  Both she and Joseph were emigrants from Germany, but they married in New York in 1875, when she was 19.  She and Joseph had nine children:  Mary Theresa (1876), Anna M. (1877), Augustus (1878), Adelaide (1881), Joseph B. (1883), Catherine (1887), Herman H. (1888), Henry A. (1891), and William John (1893), the father of Grandpa Bill Ortman. She was 20 when her first child was born and 37 when William John was born -- many kids in a what seems like a few years!

Family lore says that the Ortmann clan, staunch Catholics, were not happy when William J. came home and said he wanted to marry a Lutheran girl:  Mary A. Siegler, known as Mae, our grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother.  When he insisted on marrying her, he was disowned and never saw anyone in his family again.  This means we have a *boatload* of cousins we have never met.  I have a few of their names, but not much else.  William J. attended Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Queens, NY, for the rest of his life, with his wife.

So back to Annie.  She was born on the 25th of April, 1856, in Nienborg, Borken, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, not far from where I spent a summer in Muenster with Grandma Berneburg's sister and family.  

Her father was Bernard Heinrich Schwietering, born in 1821, and her mother, Anna Adelheid Kokamp, date of birth not yet established.  Bernard's father was Joann (Johann) Bernd Josephus Schwietering, born on the 9th of March, 1788, in Ahaus, just a few kilometers from Nienborg.  And I can go back further!  Joann's father was Joann Heinrich Swietering, born 26 February, 1769, and hey!  All of a sudden we're back before the American Revolution.  How cool is that?

But wait, there's more!  One more -- Joann Heinrich's father was Herman Schwietering or Schwitring, but I don't have much information on him (yet).  This is the problem -- in the olden days, they didn't spell things at all consistently, so you have to be kind of loose about the spelling and look at things that are similar, if not exact.  Just wait until I write about Landolin Hug . . .

So, here we are, at the end of this particular post, having followed the trail back from Grandpa/Great-Grandpa Bill, all the way back to my generation's great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Herman Schwietering, and for you little Z's and Wyatt, your great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, probably back some time in the 1740's, I'm guessing.

Pretty neat, huh?  Here's a picture of the Nienborger Kirche -- I wonder if Annie was baptized there?

Or if she walked in these woods?

See you next time --


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