of the Peit(h)mann Family Chronicle

by Denise Goppelt and Gudrun Wilde

with the assistance of Brian Huck

German Original written by Wilhelm Meier-Peithmann

published by the Peit(h)mann Family Association

(includes many photographs)



Part I




In this chronicle we look back on 6 centuries of family history. We undertake to present all known bearers of the name Peit(h)mann from the 14th to the 20th century and to pt them into their local, historical, and cultural context. The subtitle might be “A History of Everyday Civilization as Represented by the Peit(h)mann Families”.


A picture as vivid as possible should be drawn or the reader. Therefore, we will reproduce many documents from past centuries literally, in part or in full length. Starting with the seventies of the past century we can show photos of the family members. Most of the different parts of this chronicle will deal with larger groups of family members. For instance, some generations or family branches will deal with individuals for whom we have a great amount of information. A few articles will give information on more general topics, e. g. the family coat of arms or the family name.


I was unable to find an equal amount of information on dates, character, and achievements of every bearer of the name in the archives and through my questioning. Careful judgements had to be used in cases where information was based on recollections of relatives. Where I found a shadow cast on a character, I have tried to view it with reluctant goodwill and impartiality without palliating. A chronicler is always subject to personal influences on his selection or representation of facts in spite or because of the often great historical distance and of the accounting for daily circumstances. This family history, too, can only be an imperfect attempt to do justice to the ancestors.


We shall show the living only with important dates and without photos. The children of women née Peit(h)mann will only be mentioned with their names and dates of birth and death. We shall give places of birth and death only in cases where they are different form the given living places of their parents or from their own domiciles.


The contents of this chronicle should be verifiable. Therefore, we add lists of literature, unprinted sources, and names of informants to each chapter.


At the present date we are unable to give a complete history of the family. Several branches of the family are still subject to research. Also we lack the necessary funds to publish everything in one big volume. The chronicle will therefore be edited in sequences into which we shall incorporate such articles for which the research has come to a provisional end. We also intend to group topics in one sequence which relate to different branches of the family, to different centuries and geographical areas in order to arouse the interest of a widespread group of reader in our families.


The whole chronicle will consist of roughly 10 parts with 5 to 7 articles each of different length. We recommend to have them bound after the last part has been published together with an index of names and places and a chronological summary of all topics.


In order to facilitate the historical classification you may refer to the Commemoration Pamphlet “Six Centuries of Peit(h)mann Families from Stadthagen” published in 1980 at the occasion of the family reunion and comprising 22 tables of ancestors. In the summary of each single sequence we shall mention the number(s) of the respective table(s) for each article.


It would not be possible to edit the chronicle without the ready support of many members and descendants of Peit(h)mann families, who have let me have biographies, information, photos, documents and other material for study. My special thanks are addressed to Heinrich Peithmann (Rostock), who has established a comprehensive survey of all descendants with indefatigable application and who has thus created a firm basis for our genealogical research. Dr. Sigfrid Heesemann (Stadthagen) often surprised me with “new” bearers of the family name and accompanied my work with many suggestions and references. Thanks to the contacts of Gudrun Wilde (Bergisch Gladbach) to the branches in the USA we received detailed information on the American branches. Finally private researchers, and many ladies and gentlemen from institutes, archives, museums, parish registers, and genealogical associations supported our enterprise in many ways.


Bergen on Dumme, June 1982                                                       Wilhelm Meier-Peithmann







Contents of Part I


With annotations of the respective tables in the pamphlet “Six Centuries of Peit(h)mann Families from Stadthagen” (Stadthagen 1980)


Dr. Heinrich Peitmann (1914-1943) Pioneer of our Family Research            page 7

table 6


Of the first bearers of the name Peit(h)mann in and from Stadthagen                      page 13

table 1


Eberhard Peithman, died 1607, third Protestant Schoolmaster in Eutin                  page 17

table 1


The Pharmacist Georg Ludwig Peithmann (1744 - 1821) in Lintorf and                 page 23

his family

table 12


The Farmer Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann (1836 – 1916)                               page 29

in Südhemmern

table 15


The Farmer Frederick Peithmann (1853 – 1934) founds the Family                      page 51

Branch ”Sedalia” (Missouri, USA)

table 22







Dr. Heinrich Peitmann 1914 – 1943

Pioneer of our Family Research


As early as in the first decades of this century a few members of our families tried to do research on our ancestors. Thanks to them, too, we can start in this part to relate from the chronicle of the Peit(h)mann families. They set important “milestones” from which today’s investigators can penetrate into time and space in order to track down still unknown branches and bearers of the family name and to investigate their living conditions.


Dr. Wilhelm Eberhard  H e i n r i c h  Peitmann, called Heiner (born August 4th, 1914), son of Stadthagen-born medical superintendent Dr. Heinrich Peitmann, Sr. (1875 – 1954) in Dortmund-Hörde, acquired fundamental knowledge of the early history and subsequent branching out of the Peit(h)mann families. Even before him members of the Südhemmern branch of the family had gathered first information on the family history, on which Heiner could fall back.


The investigation of the Peit(h)mann families started in the last years of the 19th century. The Südhemmern-born theologian Dr. E. Christian H. Peithmann (1868 – 1943) probably learnt during his theological studies of the Peithmann-ministers some of whom were among his ancestors. He learnt that the origin of the families lay in Stadthagen.


Upon the request of Christian, who had emigrated to the United States before the turn of the century, his brother Heinrich (1872 – 1963) farmer and subsequently mayor in Südhemmern, had photos taken in 1909 of the life-sized portrait of chief preacher Master Ludolf Peithmann (1593 – 1648) in St. Martin’s Church in Stadthagen. Heinrich Peithmann also collected many genealogical dates by inspecting the parish registers of Bergkirchen and Frille near Minden as well as of Bad Essen and Stadthagen. Christian compiled the results into a family tree which he wrote into the still-existing prayer book of his grandfather, farmer Carl Rieher in Südhemmern. Upon tracing back their ancestors, Christian and Heinrich advanced as far as treasurer Dirich Peitemann, 1572 burger in Stadthagen. They were subject to errors as well. For instance, they assumed that chief preacher Ludolf Peithmann was their direct ancestor.


Heinrich Peithmann’s son Hermann (born 906), farmer and subsequently mayor in Südhemmern, continued the genealogical research from 1926. Sometime together with his cousin Ernst Krüger (1910 – 1979) from Hille, he rode his bicycle many times to the Stadthagen area to track down bearers of the Peit(h)mann name on gravestones and in parish registers. The provisional conclusion of these works was a family tree of the main branch “B” (Peithmann) drafted by Ernst Krüger. This tree shows the direct line from Tileke Poyteman (documented in Stadthagen in1406) over 12 generations to Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann (1809 – 1882) in Unterlübbe. With the sons of the latter, the splitting of the Westphalian branches started.-Reproductions of this representation of ancestors together with the coat of arms and the (trade) mark can still be seen in the houses of several Peithmann-families.


While he was on one of his visits to Stadthagen, Hermann Peithmann got to know the then law student Heiner Peitmann. It proved to be very beneficial to our family research that a member of the Stadthagen-Peitmann-line “A” and of the Westphalian-Peithmann-line “B” were able to compare and complete their results. Dr. med. Heinrich Peitmann, Sr., who was active as local historian and local poet in his native town Stadthagen after his retirement, paid great attention to the investigations undertaken by his son Heiner. Upon visit at Südhemmern he got information on the Westphalian branches from Heinrich and Hermann Peithmann.

The genealogical research accompanied Heiner along many stations of his life. During his schooldays in Dortmund-Hörde – from where he graduated in 1933 – history had been his favourite subject, and the woks of Frederick the Great were among his favourite books. Heiner gathered his first genealogical experience from the parish registers in Borgholzhausen at the Teutoburg Forest. The ancestors of his mother, Lilly née Riesberg, had lived there. In 1934 Heiner started correspondence pertaining to the family research and collected ecclesiastical and civil documents. In March 1935 he interrupted his university studies in Marburg after the first 4 semesters in order to do his labour service until September. He chose the camp in Sülbeck/Schaumburg-Lippe. From this place he was able to visit his relatives in Stadthagen and in Bückeburg regularly. He had already spent almost all of his school vacations in his father’s home town. Heiner intended to do genealogical research from Sülbeck. On his motorbike, which his father had given to him as a birthday present, he reached the places where he presumed to find bearers of the Peit(h)mann name.


During this period he obtained material for manufacturing a model of the old Peitmann house in Niedernstraße (=Lower Street) nr. 35 (old house number 175) in Stadthagen, which had been built in 1672 by the “Coal Mine Overseer of the Prince of Hesse” and financial administrator Johann Peitmann and in which later on 3 generations of ancestors had lived and worked as bakers. He inquired about the exterior and the dimensions of the building with many citizens of Stadthagen. Heiner gave the carefully manufactured model to his father for his 60th birthday.


His thorough sorting of the Stadthagen parish registers and of the documents in the municipal archives, as well as of the book written by M. Burchard “The Municipal Archives of Stadthagen as a Source for the History of the Population” (edited in Leipzig in 1927), resulted in the a card-index of ancestors, which he established with great application and perseverance. It comprise 219 personal cards and 18 summary cards. An introductory diagram shows the branching out over 15 generations. The members of the main line “A”, in today’s spelling

”Peitmann”, are shown on red cards; the members of the main line “B”, in today’s spelling “Peithmann”, are shown on green cards. Each generation is preceded by a numbered index of all its members. We find the following data on the cards: first name, family name, names of parents, dates of birth and death, profession, address, date of marriage and dates of the spouse as well as the names of the children. Very often further information is given or reference made to literature and parish registers. Heiner’s card-index is thought to be the most important document from the first decades f our family research. t is essential for our task today. We do not belittle Heiner’s merits by stating that the data on his cards also include errors. Following his labour service he studied for one semester at the University of Hamburg. He continued his work on the family history in the big libraries of the city. Especially he supposed to find “Peit(h)mann” among the old family names in Holstein. This hope was supported by a letter in the city archives of Stadthagen, written in 1472 by the town council of Stadthagen to the prior and the convent of the monastery Meldorf, claiming in the name o a Mrs. Poyteman the heritage of her son Diderich. This letter led Heiner to think that the first bearers of the name Peit(h)mann could have immigrated into the county Schaumburg from Hamburg. Heiner hit on the word Peute (Poyte) meaning a river or a canal with a dead end and which does not connect two waterways like a “Fleet”. The unison of this word with the first part of the family name confirmed Heiner in his presumption. Yet, up to this date, we have nor proof, let alone leads, of the origin of the first bearers of the family name. Heiner ignored that the name Poyteman was mentioned for Stadthagen as early as 1394.


Heiner continued his studies at the University of Bonn and passed his final exams in August 1937 with the grade “laudable”. Following this he did his 2 year military service with the heavy artillery near the home of his parents in Dortmund. Heiner Peitmann contributed his self-made Peitmann-family tree to the exhibition “Old Stadthagen” in October 1938. One of the two special shows displayed “Friedel Peitmann’s Works”. Those were water-colours, pen-and-ink drawings, sketches and poems by his father’s cousin. The library of the chief preacher Master Ludolf Peithmann (1593-1648) was to be seen at this exhibition. These books belonged to the old valuable library of the municipal school. For centuries they had been lying on the loft of the former Latin School behind St. Martini Church. At that time Heiner decided to take car of the partly decayed books. However, this plan as well as his projected genealogical investigations were not realised because World War II broke out. His manuscript “The Discovery of the Old Municipal School Library” deals especially with Master Ludolf Peithmann and his theological book collection. Today the valuable early impressions are in the State Archives of Lower Saxony in Bückeburg.


In 1940 Heiner spent the first months of the War in France. From October 1940 until April 1941 he was on leave of absence in order to enable him to finish his theses on “The Bases of Money in Civil Law”. When the war against Russia started on June 22nd, 1941, Heiner was sent to the Eastern Front. He had his last furlough in September 1942.


In his letter from Russia dated December 12th, 1942, addressed to his parents he showed great interest in the genealogical research. He expressed his satisfaction with his mother’s discovery of the death date of his great-great-grandmother Peitmann, for which he had been looking in vain. On January 31st, 1943, he posted his later letter from the area around Stalingrad. Years of uncertainty followed for his relatives and friends.


On March 25th,1947, a civil servant from the local administration in Minden visited Heiner’s parents in Stadthagen to tell them about their son’s fate. This comrade from Minden had lived in the same officers’ camp to which Heiner had been attached as orderly officer. He knew the name Peit(h)mann, for many bearers of the name (main line “B”) live in the villages around the city of Minden. In the camp he had heard someone calling “first lieutenant Peitmann”, had introduced himself to Heiner and had heard about his origin and his homeland.


Heiner had initially survived the horrors of the siege to Stalingrad and the transport to a Russian prisoners’ camp. But like many others he caught typhus. Before he was hospitalised he gave a small, red photo album to the comrade from Minden, which he had taken to Stalingrad. Heiner died in a military hospital in March 1943. The small photo album was a last farewell to his parents.


In commemoration of her son his mother wrote a detailed, warm-hearted report on his life and his activities, from which the author was able to borrow many details. Her report ends: “It is not only we who have had to give our dear son. We know that thanks to his talents and to his character he could have rendered valuable services to all his relatives and friends, who mourn for him, even o his German home country.” This remark is especially true for the genealogical research in our families, which came to a standstill for three and a half decades.





I thank Mr. Hermann Peithmann, Sr. (Hille-Südhemmern) for his information on the history of our family research. Dr. Anne-Liese Maass-Peitman (Stadthagen), Mrs. Margot Peitman (Düsseldorf) and Mr. Gerhard Peitmann (Schwerte) made the photos available.





The first Bearers of the Name Peit(h)mann

in and from Stadthagen


The history of the Peit(h)mann families starts at the end of the 14th century in Stadthagen. Especially in the beginning it is strongly linked to the history of his town. In this chapter it is therefore indispensable to make some brief remarks on the origin and early development of this place. The authors named in the bibliography, to whom I refer here, have written summaries of the municipal history.


Presumably about 1224 Count Adolf III of Schaumburg founded the town, which was later named after him “Grevenalveshagen” (=Count Adolf’ Hagen), as the Northern corner-pillar of his territory. Today’s name Stadthagen has prevailed from the 16th century. In an episcopal document from Minden of the year 1244 “civitas et castrum” are first mentioned for Stadthagen, i. e. settlement and castle. Mainly craftsmen and merchants from other parts of the country established themselves in this new settlement. There was a lot of immigration from Westphalia, from the Lippe area and from the areas along the river Weser (Jähel in Bernstdorf 1958). Stadthagen soon developed into n economic centre in the Schaumburg territory, which can also be attributed t its favourable location at the Hellweg, an old highway between Hannover and Minden.


To our present knowledge “Poyteman”, an early form of our family name, was first mentioned in the year 1394. This was a year during the period of immigration of foreign, among whom may have been a bearer of our family name. However, we do not know where the first Poyteman in Stadthagen came from.


314 citizens are mentioned by name in the register of inhabitants of Stadthagen which was installed in 1382 upon the order of Count Otto I on the occasion of the Westphalian Public Peace being confirmed by oath. Each year between 10 and 30 new citizens were added, about hall of them were natives, about half of them were immigrants. Among the citizens who had to confirm the Public Peace by oath in Stadthagen in 1382 there was no bearer of the name Poyteman yet. However, it is possible that a member of the family lived in the town at that time without being a citizen. For next to the citizens lived so-called “medewohner” (0co-inhabitants) who had their permanent residence in the town but who could not or did not want to get the formal citizenship.


The first bearer of our family name is not mentioned in the public documents as a citizen but as a new member of a guild of craftsmen. From the oldest accounts of Stadthagen of 1378 – 1401, which have been kept in the Royal Library in Copenhagen since 1785and of which a copy is to be found in the Municipal Archives of Stadthagen, we learn details of the municipal economy and administration in the late Middle Ages. The taking and the expenses were put down in these accounts in italics, probably by the then schoolmaster and town clerk Martin and based upon the notes and the receipts of the municipal treasurer. Persons who had to pay an admission fee to the local council upon entering a guild where mentioned by name. Among the receipts for the year 1394 it is mentioned at the 32nd place (see picture nr. 1):


Likewise 3 s (=shillings) Elzeke Poytemanes from the linen weavers’ guild”.


Elzeke is the older form of the name Else (=Elsie). She probably entered the linen weavers’ guild in June 1394, for the following entry concerns June 29th.



Picture nr. 1: Section of page 16 of the Stadthagen Accounts with the entry for Elzeke

                     Poytemanes in the year 1394 (Municipal Archives Stadthagen)


The admission fee differed according to the income and the social status of the art. The linen weavers’ guild in Stadthagen consisted exclusively of women. The municipal council granted them the same rights of guild as it granted to men. This female guild was headed by 2 elected female guild-masters.


In a list from 1410 we see that already 12 different guilds existed in the town, a proof of the bus industrial and trade activities in those times. The guilds were corporations in the largest sense of the word for the different craftsmen, tradesmen, and farmers. They did not only exercise economic but also political, military, social, and welfare functions.


In the year 1406 the family name is mentioned for the second time. In one of the copies of documents, which are also contained in the register of citizens of Stadthagen, it is said for the year 1406 that Tileke Poyteman had to pay “Schoß” (=property tax).


Johan Kron and Wolter van Tzersen appeared as guarantors (Burchard 1927). Tileke is an older form of the name Dietrich. “Schoß” is to be understood as a kind of property tax. This tax indicates that Tileke already owned real estate.


We dispose of no information as to any family links between Tileke and Elzeke. The interval between the years in which the documents were issued does not exclude that they were mother and son. G. Naumann (letter) assumed that Elzeke descended from a native family and that she had taken the name Poyteman upon marrying Tileke before she entered the weavers’ guild.


We do not know exactly what Tileke did for a living. But since it was customary that the whole family was busy in the same trade we may safely assume that Tileke was also engaged in the weaving trade. In the year 1429 Henneke Poyteman was the first bearer of our family name to be accepted as a citizen of Stadthagen (Burchard 1927). Those who wished to be accepted as citizens had to pay a citizen fee to the municipal council. During the period from 1378 to 1401 at least it figured between 2 and 12 shillings, and after the codification of the municipal laws in the 15th century the fee was 1 Mark (Brosius 1968). It was also provided in the municipal statutes that only a citizen was allowed to acquire real estate within the precincts of the town (= “wicbilde gut”). One became a citizen usually a the age of 25.  Henneke was very probably a son of Tileke (and Elzeke) and therefore a native of Stadthagen. Outside of the information on Henneke’s citizenship we do not know any further details of his life.


We may assume that Hans and Arndt Poyteman, who became citizens in 1465 and 1477 respectively, were sons of Henneke (Burchard 1927). Hans does not appear after that. Probably Henneke had a son by the name of Diderick, too. For in 1472 the council of Stadthagen addresses a letter to the prior and the convent of the monastery Meldorf in Holstein for the “Poyteman woman”, who was probably Henneke’s wife, claiming the estate of her son Diderick Poyteman. Herman Stofreghen and Hans Merhoff, possibly an uncle of Arndt’s wife, appear as guarantors. Hardly more than 20 monks and a certain number of lay brothers lived in the Dominican monastery “Marienaue” in Meldorf, which was dissolved in 1540. The ledger of the monastery only mentions the names of the three leading monks in 1468 (Kamphausen 1953). So we do not know whether Diderick was a cleric or a lay brother. Neither are we able to speculate on the circumstances under which Diderick entered the monastery in Meldorf. After Adolph IV of Schaumburg had abdicated in 1239 his territory had been divided among his sons. Only part of the former estate Holstein, an area between (Hamburg-)Altona and Elmshorn, had remained with the counts. The names of the monks mentioned earlier do not show any connection between the monastery in Meldorf and Stadthagen.


Picture 2: Entry in the “Great Municipal Book” of Stadthagen in 1472, Thursday octava visitatio Mariae, i. e. July 2nd (section of page 248a). The Council of Stadthagen writes to the prior and convent of the monastery in Meldorf for ”the Poyteman woman” to claim the estate of her son Diderick Poyteman (Municipal Archives Stadthagen).


Arndt Poyteman, also spelt “Arnt(d) Poitman”, is the first directly traceable ancestor of today’s bearers of the name Peit(h)mann of the main lines “A” and “B”. He was married to Greteke Merhoff, daughter of Brun Merhoff, who became a citizen in 1453, and granddaughter of Beneke Merhoff, who had died by 1475 (table 11 in Burchard 1927). The Municipal Archives of Stadthagen contain 2 more files referring to Arndt. Son in the year 1487 he becomes “guardian” together with Hans Merhoff, a cousin of his wife, when the brother-in-law of Hans Merhoff, Hans Busse, pays off his children (Burchard 1927). In 1526 Arndt and his son Brun are mentioned in connection with the conveyance of a piece of land (Burchard 1927).


Information on 5 children of Arndt, either documented or presumed children, has come to us: one daughter, Brun, Tomas, Hans and Everd.


The daughter married N. Vischk (Fischer). At least 4 children were born to this marriage: Ludolf Vischk (1548 citizen and later mayor in Stadthagen), Franz in Hannover, Wubecke  (wife of Cord Schnoor) and one daughter, who married a Bokelmann (Table 11 in Burchard 1927).


Arndt’s sons Brun and Tomas became citizens in Stadthagen in 1510 and 1511 respectively and founded the main lines “A” (Peitmann) and “B” (Peithmann).


Burchard (1927) shows a son Hans living in Hannover on Table 11. This one could e identical with the “Hans Porthmann” who, according to the personal file of F. K. Leonhardt which is kept in the State Archives in Hannover, came to Hannover as a shoemaker in 1518. The file is the result of a computation of all minutes of the senate of the years1428 – 1550 (H. Zimmerman in a letter). Hans married Borgerit Stekel, the sister of Hans and Heinrich Stekel and widow of Henning Bock, in Hannover between June 26th, 1517, and November 21st, 1522. They lived in the house Kramer Street 94, which the wife had brought into the marriage. Hans died before April 12th, 1532. In a financial status of this day a daughter and a son from Borgerit’s marriage to “Hans Porthman” are mentioned. In a third marriage Borgerit Stekel married Henning Lange before April 12, 1532, who took over the house Kramer Street 94. He engaged himself to grant his stepsons from his wife’s first and second marriage “what has been agreed upon in the bridal letter” (Leonhardt’s personal file). The daughter may be that “Margarete Poitman” whom Burchard shows on his Table 11 (1927) and whose daughter was married to the councillor Jacob Lange in Hannover, son of minister Bernhard Lange and possibly grandson of the above mentioned Henning Lange (H. Zimmermann in a letter).


Leonhardt notes in his personal file that “Everd Peithman”, who had come to Hannover in 1512 as a citizen and a shoemaker, was a brother of “Hans Porthman”. Therefore the latter is to be considered as a son of Arndt as well. Everd became the founder of the main line “C”  in today’s capital of Lower Saxony (= Hannover). Special contributions are planned to deal with the descendants of Brun, Tomas and Everd.




We thank the following gentlemen for their discussion contributions, essays, information on sources, and other assistance: D. G. Naumann, formerly councillor of the Federal Reserve Bank (Frankfurt/Main), Dr. Nissen of the Museum of Dithmarschen in Meldorf as well as F. Bartels (Stadthagen) and H. Zimmermann (Hannover).




see German text








Eberhard Peithman, died 1606,

third Protestant Schoolmaster in Eutin


Ever since the existence of Diderick Poyteman in Meldorf in 1472 single members of the Peit(h)mann families have lived in the territory of today’s state of Schleswig-Holstein, through all centuries and right into our days. Here we present one of the bearers of the name on whose origin and descendants we have no direct proof. However, some sources allow respective assumptions.


“The Uthinian City Memorial” is the title of a printed document concerning the city of Eutin in East Holstein. The book was written in 1679 by the theologian and later vice-principal Friedericus Cogelius and was published again in 1712 in a completed version by Town Clerk Alexander Molde. The paragraphs 10 through 15 in the “6th division” on pages 48 and 49 deal with the school of the city of Eutin.


Picture 1: Names of the teachers in Eutin from 1588 until 1710 on page 49 of the publication

                edited in 1712 “The Uthinian City Memorial”


There “Eberhard Peuthman” (elsewhere spelt “Peithmann”, too) is listed for the years from 1591 until 1607 as the third teacher after the Reformation (see picture 1). We are not given any further information relating to him.


But from the “Uthinian City Memorial” we learn details of the conditions under which Eberhard Peithman as well as his predecessors and followers in his office worked as teachers in the city of Eutin which was then part of the archbishopric of Lübeck:


§ 10  As to the local school/ it is easy to understand/ that it could not be forgotten/ upon the

         foundation of the city/ institution of the council/ and establishment of the churches/ of

         the same/ as a horticulture of the common weal. Although there is no real news of the

         early school existence until the Protestant teaching period.

§ 11  This much is certain/ and was noted then/ that in the year 1558 before Bishop Johan

         Tiedeman ruled/ Thomas Küßel/ Pastor at St. Mary’s in Lübeck/ donated his home here

         at the cemetery as a school building/ where Henricus Börries, Canonicus taught our    

         youth for the first time.

§ 12  Wherefore we assume/ that one of the Uthinian Canons must have taught during all the

         time that the Chapter existed. Until the time of the prebendary today’s honorary title

         “Scholasticus” or “Scholastes”/ showed someone to be a teacher/ or it used to be an

         official name for a schoolmaster.

§ 13  Bishop Eberhard von Holle kept this well in mind: therefore he held and ordered in the

         1566th Christian year of the Cathedral-Chapter/ one prebend situated in the Uthinian

         Chapter, in fact the sixth in rank/ to provide constant educational services/ to be

         administered by a priest appointed from the Chapter: as shown by the Constitution or

         Foundation written on parchment and laid down in the original at the townhall.

§ 14  How this schoolhouse was transformed into 2 apartments in 1625 and how a new school

         was erected on Castle Street in 1702 has been shown above in the appropriate place.


The expenses of the school system were paid out of the revenues of a prebend, i. e. of a donation. About 1240, 12 prebend had already been given, whose revenues were attributed to the civil servants of the princely episcopate (Schütt). On August 28th, 1566, Bishop Eberhard II of Holle, who ruled from 1561 until 1586 as spiritual and worldly head and who finally enforced the Reformation in Eutin, granted two of these donations for the appointments of the chaplain  and the schoolmaster, who were to be “pious and learned people” (Körber 1977). In this way the bishop tried to strengthen the Protestant preachers and the school of Eutin as opposed to the Catholic tradition. In a copy of the list of the prebend, which had originally been established in 1585, Eberhard Peithman was mentioned as Ludimagistro, i. e. schoolmaster, and as holder of the second prebend (see page 19 picture 2).


A “Canonicus” was to provide the “school-service”, a canonicus being a member of a spiritual corporate body established at the church. This institution had the task of “binding the church closer to the congregation through intensive pastoral-diaconical work and by numerous and liturgically rich offer of church services” (Körber 1977). In the bills, which are preserved in the State Archives of Schleswig-Holstein (section 269 nr.70) seven names appear among which Eberhard Peithman was the third.


The first Protestant teachers in Eutin were called Ludimagister, later on they were called Vice-Principals and Principals. Eberhard Peithman probably held his classes in the house in Eutin “right here at the cemetery”, in the house which Thomas Küsel, Pastor at St. Mary’s in Lübeck, donated in 1558 for the foundation of the school.


Picture 2: Copy of he list of the prebend of Eutin, originally established in 1595, where Ludimagister Eberhard Peithman is mentioned as holder of the 2nd prebend (State Archives of Schleswig-Holstein, section 400.4, nr. I A. 12. 14)


The “schoolmaster and canonicus Eberhard Peitman” died in the year 1607. His widow Margaret – whose maiden name is unknown  married Wolf Schein in 1608. The latter was “cornwriter”, meaning steward in the service of the Prince-Bishop. Probably in order to increase his income he played the organ in the city church. Wolf Schein is documented in Eutin for 1606, 1610 and 1614. In his first marriage he had been married to Catharina Schünemann, daughter of Pastor Dionysius Schünemann at St. Mary’s in Lübeck and widow of Paul Junge, Pastor in Eutin (Volkart 1969).


The university registers of Rostock and Helmstedt give clues as to the origin of Eberhard Peithman. So “Eberhard Peitman, Hanoverensis” was enrolled in Helmstedt on March 6th, 1578. In a footnote to this entry it says “January and August 1585 still in Helmstedt” – as Erhardus Peutman – (Zimmermann 1926). In April 1586 “Eberhardus Peitman, Hanoverensis” was enrolled in Rostock (Hofmeister 1891). The following aspects vote for the fact that the person mentioned there is the Eberhard Peithman later at work in Eutin:


  1. The years if studying in Helmstedt (March 1578 with interruptions? – until at least August 1585) and in Rostock (from April 1586) as well as the beginning of his teaching activity in Eutin (1591) follow each other closely.
  2. The registers of the German-speaking universities do not seem to contain any further names that could be related.
  3. The last place of studies – Rostock – and the place of later activities-  Eutin – are relatively near by.


The registers of both universities prove that Eberhard Peithman came from Hannover. In the 16th century “Evert Peitman, married to Kunna Mäwers from Münden and who had three grandsons – Evert, Hans and Tönnies from his son Evert” – (Burchard 1927) lived in that city. Here Burchard refers to documents in the former Archives of the city of (Bad) Münder (at the Deister mountains) which burned during World War II – according to H. Zimmermann – in the State Archives of Hannover. The Evert mentioned first could be the shoemaker “Everd Peithman” who came to Hannover in 1512 (see page 16). His grandson Evert (this name was also spelt Ebbert, Ebert, Eberhard or Erhard) would then have been the student in Helmstedt and Rostock and subsequent schoolmaster in Eutin. However, we have no proof of this.


In the “Homeister Collection” (volume 87, nr. 30) in the Municipal Archives of Hannover there is a long wedding poem in Latin by “Eberhardo Peitmano Hanoverano” for the bride Elisabeth Reiche and bridegroom Valentin Herbst. It was printed in 1583 by Jacobus Lucius in Helmstedt (H. Zimmermann in a letter).


We do not find any descendants of Eberhard Peithman in the parish registers of Eutin (M. Rogge). At least from 1653 a certain Zacharias Peithmann worked as schoolmaster at first in Meeschendorf and then in Dänschendorf on the island of Fehmarn. We have no clues as to his origin as yet. But seeing the small distance between his place of living and his lifetime and those of the schoolmaster of Eutin one is tempted to assume that he is a descendant of the latter.




I thank Mrs. M. Rogge (Lutheran Church Office in Eutin) as well as Mr. G. Laage (Burg on Fehmarn),  Dr. Prange (State Archives of Schleswig-Holstein, Gottorf Palace), Mr. Schütt(Municipal Archives of Hannover) for their information and assistance.




see German text






The Pharmacist Georg Ludwig Peithmann

1744 – 1821 in Lintorf and His Family


In 1688 when the later consistorial councillor Ludwig Peithmann (1662 - 1731) took over the first rectory in (Bad) Essen, the family history in the then Prince-Bishopric Osnabrück started, which was to last until the second half of the 19th century. More will be said about this in further chapters of the Peit(h)man Chronicle. This contribution is dedicated to the pharmacist Georg Ludwig Peithmann in Lintorf, a grandson of the minister in (Bad) Essen.


Georg Ludwig Peithmann was born on June 29th, 1744, as the first child of Johan Ludwig Peithmann (1709 – 1782) and Anna Louysa Isenbarth. At that time his father served as “steward for the noble House of Streithorst” near Hunterburg in the parish of Dielingen under Clamor Eberhard von dem Bussche, prebendary (or canon) in Magdeburg and Halberstadt.


We have no information on Georg Ludwig’s childhood and youth. His training as pharmacist was still subject to the edict of July 16th, 1657, by which the bishop of Osnabrück had made an exam compulsory for the pharmacists in his prince-bishopric. “According to this decree non-certified pharmacists will have to appear before the physician in ordinary to the prince-bishop, to the bishopric and to the palace on the 16th of the coming month of August, and they shall be ready to prove their knowledge, science and their books and be duly examined and to be certified or not to be certified”. On September 6th, 1731, the archbishop of Cologne as governing bishop of Osnabrück confirmed in a decree that “nobody shall sell/ nor prepare/ any poisons without notice/ knowledge and permission of the authorities” (Adlung 1931).


Georg Ludwig Peithmann must have been employed as assistant in the pharmacy in (Bad) Essen until he got married, for in the wedding register it says after his name “from Essen”. On September 4th, 1773, in the neighbouring Lintorf he married Henriette Dorothea Gräber, born about 1754.She was the daughter of the Lintorf merchant Heinrich Gräber (1720 – 1771) and his first wife Anna Sophia Sorgel (1731 – 1759).


No information is available on the origin of the Lintorf pharmacy being one of the oldest in the area. In 1755 “on the day of the seven brothers” 52 houses of Lintorf burned down. The framework of the pharmacy was rebuilt, too (see picture 1). On the beams at the front of the house it says among other things:


In 1775 on the 10th of July – Hermanhenerich Gräber and Annasophia Sorgels married couple


Evidently the family of the merchant Gräber had moved to Lintorf at that time or shortly before. Only for the period after this we find entries in the parish registers.


In 1774 Georg Ludwig Peithmann applied at the administration of the high chapter of Osnabrück for the permission to open a pharmacy in Lintorf and to act as a “surgeon” (= first-aid-man). On May 6th, 1774, the authorities in charge of Lintorf, the office in Wittlage, rendered the following opinion:


“We do not have any objections to granting G. L. Peithmann the required Permission to open a pharmacy in Lintorf; however, since Surgeon Busch has already been received for Lintorf and since he has been lucky in curing even very dangerous damage, since it would be impossible to make a living out of surgery there, it is our opinion without prejudice that the requested concession for surgery should only be granted within the limits of the certificate attributed by the district physician, i. e. restricted to small fleshwounds, small ulcers and in times of need restricted to blood-letting”. (State Archives Osnabrück Rep. 150 Wit).


Picture 1: Front of the pharmacy building erected after the great fire of 1755 (4th Wittlage

                Home Leaflet 1960)


From the marriage of Georg Ludwig Peithmann and Henriette Dorothea Gräber 8 children were born in Lintorf: Ludwig Heinrich (christened April 4th, 1775), Amalie Louise (christened May 8th, 1778), Clamor Adolph (christened April 13th, 1781, buried December 12th , 1781), Fri(e)derica Wilhelmina (christened February 2nd, 1783), Carl Conrad (born January 21st, 1787), Clamor Adolph Theodor (christened May 12th, 1790), Christian Friedrich Wilhelm (born September 27th, 1794, died of small pox and buried September 6th, 1797), and Friedrich Arnold (born October 15th, 1800). Nothing is known to us as yet of the life of the children: Ludwig Heinrich, Carl Conrad, Clamor Adolph Theodor, and Friedrich Arnold.


Amalie Louise married August Joseph Breier “from Bavaria, Prussian hussar in the Goeking regiment under Squadronleader H. Major von Wiering”. The couple had 2 children christened in Lintorf: Georg Ludwig (born December 8th, 1797) and Henrietta Dorothea (born June 2nd, 1800).


Georg Ludwig Peithmann’s daughter Friederica Wilhelmina married the pharmacist Carl Georg Seippel on November 7th, 1815, the son of minister Carl Ludwig Seippel and Sophia Dunkeln from (Bad) Nenndorf. The son-in-law probably worked in the Lintorf pharmacy after his marriage. From august 1816 he is mentioned – as well as Georg Ludwig Peithmann  in his death entry 1821 – in the parish registers as “pharmacist and cemeterian”. The cemeterian lived in the house “on the cemetery”, i. e. the formerly fortified houses around the former cemetery and castle, to which the pharmacy belonged as well.


The pharmacist Georg Ludwig Peithmann died on January 14th, 1821, at the age of 76 after his wife Henriette Dorothea Gräber had preceded him in January 8th, 1820.


A letter from the “Royal Government of Great Britain and Hannover” in Osnabrück – the former bishopric Osnabrück had become part of the kingdom of Hannover during the Vienna Congress in 1815 – addressed to the “Royal Office Wittlage – Hunteburg” on February 5th, 1821, gives information on the continuation of the pharmacy. It is said there among other things:


“The son-in-law of the pharmacist Peithmann in Lintorf, who recently died, Carl Georg Christian Seipel has notified that his father-in-law had transferred the pharmacy to him as early as in April 1818 with all its appurtenances; wherefore he now applies for the privilege of continuing the same.” In this letter  the government subjects the license to the fulfilment of the requirements laid down in the decree of December 19th, 1820, i. e. that the applicant takes the prescribed exams and that he presents the necessary certificate. We read in the report of the “Royal Medical Examination Board For Great Britain and Hannover” of June 26th, 1821: “Considering that the assistant pharmacist Carl Georg Christian Seipel, born in Nenndorf in the county of Schaumburg, has sufficiently demonstrated that he has finished his 25th year of age, that he has learned the art of pharmacy in accordance with the laws and that he ahs exercised it in practice to the satisfaction of his superiors for a considerable time, we have not been able to oppose his request to be examined by us, and this has been done on the 23rd of this month. We testify now that has well satisfied us as to his fundamental knowledge and skills as a pharmacist so that we do not have any scruples to declare him apt to manage a pharmacy and to teach apprentices the basic elements” (State Archives Osnabrück, Rep. 150 Wit).


Carl Georg Christian Seippel and Friederica Wilhelmina Peithmann had two children born in Lintorf: Carl Ludwig (August 2nd, 1816) and Carl August Ferdinand (August 19th, 1820 – August 23rd, 1820). On September 8th, 1824  the wife died of tuberculosis at the age of 41 years and 7 months.


On May 18th, 1825,Carl Georg Christian Seippel married for the second time, the second cousin of his wife Eleanore Catherine Friederica Peithmann (born in Holte May 18th, 1782). She was the daughter of the minister Clamor Albrecht Peithmann (1705 – 1770) in Gehrde near Bersenbrück, brother of the steward Johann Ludwig Peithmann.


In 1826 the pharmacist Seippel added a framework barn to the pharmacy building. The barn was torn down in 1979. On the beam topping the gate decorated with flower ornaments there was the following inscription:


G.CH. Carl Seippel and C. L. Friederica Seippel née Peithmann

Master Wissmann – May 11th, 1826


Two more blows of fate in his family hit the pharmacist Seippel. After the stillbirth of their first child on November 30th, 1827, his second wife died in childbed on January 4th, 1828, at the age of 44.


When Carl Georg Christian Seippel himself died of pneumonia on June 26th, 1833, at the age of 54, he left as his only descendant his almost 17 year old son Carl Ludwig. Upon his father’s death, the latter had been an apprentice with the pharmacist Dr. Meine in Hessisch Oldendorf for 2 years. The guardians of the minor heir were Carl Ludwig’s uncle Philipp Seippel, civil servant in Spenge, and the sexton Johann Wilhelm Bockelmann in Lintorf, who had been given the keys of the pharmacy, which had been locked and sealed following an order of July 4th, 1833. On July 8th, 1833, Carl Ludwig Seippel applied for “the privilege of practising as pharmacist in Lintorf very son”. In order to confirm the “most obedient notice and request to the Royal Office Wittlage-Hunteburg” it is said in this letter inter alia:


“As mentioned above there has been a pharmacy in Lintorf for many years, for the former pharmacist Peithmann, my grandfather, set it up there. In view of the growing population and of the manifold illnesses existing now, yet unknown in the past, it cannot be assumed that the pharmacy in Lintorf is redundant, on the contrary it has become even more indispensable. I may add that my ancestors, especially my grandfather, incurred considerable expenses in the process of establishing the pharmacy, and I consider it as a matter of equity that I should profit from these sacrifices.” – “Finally my father became reduced in his financial circumstances due to several adverse incidents.” –“If I am fortunate enough to retain the privilege of exercising the art of pharmacy in Lintorf in the near future, it will be possible to pay all creditors by selling my late father’s  furniture, by collecting his outstanding claims and by letting the pharmacy on lease for the time being...” (State Archives Osnabrück Rep. 350 Wit.).


The “Royal British and Hannoverian District” let the “Royal Office Wittlage-Hunteburg” know by their letter of July 12th, 1833, that they were “not disinclined to allow the provisional lease or administration until the heir has qualified for taking over.”


Following this on October 28th, 1833, the “candidate of pharmacy and administrator of the branch pharmacy in Wellingholzhausen”, Johann Wilhelm Mühe from Brake, received the authorisation to run the pharmacy in Lintorf, which he had leased on October 18th, 1833, from the Seippel guardians for 12 years on the basis of “a hundred and thirty Thalers Prussian Courant”. Mühe took over “also the inventory of the pharmacy including the drugs in stock as specified in he register established by bailiff Heilmann in Essen and assessed by the pharmacists Runge from Oldendorf and Pagenstecker from Ostercappeln at the price of 612 imperial Thalers 27 Mgr. and 6 Pfennigs” (State Archives Osnabrück, Rep. 350 Wit.).


However, Seippel jr. died in Spenge on November 14th, 1841. According to his last will Carl Ludwig’s godfather and foster-father Philipp Seippel in Spenge inherited the pharmacy. In March 1842 the latter sold it with all its inventory to the guardians of the equally deceased pharmacist Mühe at the price of 3.050 imperial Thalers (Schroeder).




I thank Mrs. Marianne Peithmann (Bad Essen-Wimmer) for her unflinching assistance with the checking of parish registers and archives. Dr. Helmut Vester of the Institute for the History and Pharmacy at the Main State Archives of Düsseldorf gave valuable advice and referred me to literature.


Unprinted Sources:


1.      Parish registers of Lintorf and Bad Essen (district of Osnabrück) as well as Dielingen (district of Minden-Lübbecke)

  1. The files concerning the pharmacy in Lintorf in the Lower Saxon State Archives in Osnabrück, especially:

a)      Requested License for the exercise of the art of pharmacy, as well as the establishment of the pharmacy in Lintorf. Years 1774 – 1821 (Rep. 150 Wit nr. 201)

b)      The revision of the pharmacy in Lintorf. Years 1829 – 1866 (Rep. 335 Wit nr. 4040)

c)      The Seissel Pharmacy in Lintorf. Years 1833 – 1847 (Rep. 350 Wit nr. 476)




see German text





The Farmer Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann

1836 – 1916 in Südhemmern and his Descendants


Of the 13 children of Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann (1809 – 1882), farmer in nr. 16 Unterlübbe in the Minden region, and his wife Marie Louise Peper (1808 – 1889) from Hilverdingsen, 6 sons were the founders of the so-called Westphalian family branches:


E r n s t  Ludwig Andreas (1836 – 1916) “Südhemmern” branch,

Eberhard Richard  H e r m a n n  (1838 – 1919) „Hoyleton“ (USA) branch,

August Heinrich  W i l h e l m  (1841 – 1919) „Unterlübbe“ branch,

Eberhard   H e i n r i c h  Ludwig (1844 – 1897) „Frotheim“ branch,

Wilhelm  L u d w i g  Eberhard (1848 – 1920) “Wulferdingsen” branch, and

F r i e d r i c h , „Frederick“, (1853 – 1934) „Sedalia“ (USA) branch.



Picture 1 and 2: Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann and Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher as

                        newly-weds and in their old age


Ernst Ludwig Andreas was born the fifth child on November 2nd, 1836. When he left school he first worked on his parents’ farm, where he was the eldest remaining son.


On July 1st, 1864, Ernst married Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher (born September 22nd, 1844, died April 19th, 1920) who was to inherit the farm nr. 21 Südhemmern in the Minden region. She was the daughter of the farmer Carl Andreas Rieher and his wife Marie Ilsabein née Fabri, widowed Wiese.


The engagement agreement of 1864 has survived; it is as follows:


“The following contract has been discussed and drawn up between Farmer Eberhard Peithmann, nr. 16 Unterlübbe and Farmer Rieher, nr. 21 Südhemmern:


The son of Farmer Peithmann, Ernst Peithmann, and the daughter of Farmer Rieher, Wilhelmine Caroline Regine Rieher, have become engaged with their parents’ consent and intend to marry in church within a short time. In the case of this marriage the father of the bridegroom Farmer Eberhard Peithmann is to pay the sum of 3.200 Thalers Corant  (i.e. fully valued money) at Christmas this year to Farmer Rieher the bride’s father as his son Ernst Peithmann’s share of the inheritance. At the same time as putting money into the property as is the custom in this district. The bridal carriage is to be delivered in the autumn of this year and the money at the time of the engagement.

Both parties are bound to honour this agreement once it is signed. As acknowledgement of this, having read the agreement, the signatures follow.

Südhemmern, the 3rd of June 1864

Carl Rieher nr. 21 Südhemmern

Er. Peper as witness.“


As well as the agreed sum of 3.200 Thalers Ernst Peithmann brought from his parents’ farm in Südhemmern a further 800 Thalers. For this reason Carl Rieher handed over his property t his son-in-law on his daughter’s marriage.


The farm had 56 morgens of arable land and grassland (1 morgen equals about 2 acres). The still existent door post of the timbered house which was demolished in 1976 has this inscription with the name of the farm’s owner and builder:





The thatched farm house had a perpendicular gable at the front. The entrance lay back under it and afforded a protection from rain when unharnessing the horses. As was often the case in the Minden region the living quarters were under the overhanging eaves. A postcard of the year 1912 shows this south gable in a pen-and-ink sketch by G. Wedepohl from Bünde (see picture 3). The stork’s nest was occupied until 1950.



Picture 3: The living quarters gable of the Peithmann farm house nr. 21 Südhemmern from a postcard drawing of 1912


Ernst Peithmann had to work hard on his newly acquired farm. He managed to do well by his children and to hand on the property of 38 morgens free of debts. His grandchildren say of him that he was always concerned for honesty in business and never erred from this honesty. The inhabitants of Südhemmern entrusted him with responsibility in the community. At that time it was unusual that Ernst, who married into a farm, should have been a member of the Parochial Council from 1890 – 1903. In addition he was a member of Südhemmern’s school committee from 1886 – 1903. Ernst never missed going to church on Sunday. He died on the April 16th, 1916.


Picture 4: Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann and Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher (middle row) with children, son- and daughters-in-law and grandchildren in 1912. Top row from the left: Marie Röthemeier née Peithmann, Christian Röthemeier, Wilhelmine Peithmann née Tüting, Friedrich Peithmann, Dr. Christian Peithmann, Heinrich Peithmann and Luise Peithmann née Röthemeier. Middle row: Left Friederike Peithmann and right Wilhelmine Peithmann. bottom row from left: Hermann Peithmann, Friedrich Peithmann, Erna Peithmann, Erna Peithmann, Marie Röthemeier, Mimmi Peithmann and Heinrich Peithmann.


Ernst Ludwig Andreas Peithmann and Caroline Wilhelmine Regine Rieher had twelve children: Louise, Christian, Sophie, Heinrich, August, Karoline, Friedrich, Marie, August Ludwig, Hermann, Wilhelmine, and Friederike.



born July 1st, 1866, died February 17th, 1943


On December 30th, 1886, the eldest daughter Louise married Friedrich (Fred) Krüger (born October 19th, 1858, died September 7th, 1936) who owned a farm of 18 morgens in Hille. But this small farm could hardly feed a family. Just 18 years after their marriage the couple emigrated to the USA with their eight children all of whom had been born in Hille.


Friedrich Krüger’s eldest brother Heinrich had already emigrated to Gilead, Nebraska in 1899 to prepare for the settling of the family. He was supported in this by Friedrich’s eldest son who followed Heinrich. The family sold the farm in Hille and left Germany in 1904. The ship left Bremerhaven on May 6th only about a month before the youngest daughter Louise had been born. In Gilead Friedrich Krüger bought a farm with 160 acres of land. The family also erected a church on their property.


In the following years other brothers and sisters of Louise followed her example and attempted a new start in the USA. Two of them returned to Germany.


Fred Krüger and Louise Peithmann had 5 sons and 3 daughters: Farmer Fred (born December 1st, 1887, died in Denver, Colorado August 11th, 1975); Pastor Christian Friedrich Hermann (born February 27th, 1892, died in Jacksonville, Florida March 16th, 1970); Louise Sophie Fangmeier (born December 23rd, 1893, died in Gilead, Nebraska November 20th, 1978); Dr. med. Fred William (born October 17th, 1896, died in Jacksonville July 5th, 1948); Farmer Christian August (born August 17th, 1900); Marie Louise Fangmeier (born November 17th, 1901, died in Hebron, Nebraska July 10th, 1978); and Louise Hellbusch (born April 2nd, 1904, died in Gilead, Nebraska July 24th, 1961).


Picture 5: Peithmann brothers and sisters. top row from left: Marie Röthemeier, Friederike Meyer, Wilhelmine Meyer, and Karoline Krüger. bottom row from left: Heinrich, Louise Krüger, Sophie Becker and Friedrich.




Ernst Christian Heinrich

born May 3rd, 1868, died 1943


Christian carried on the century long theology tradition of the Peit(h)manns. Before him his great-great-grandfather Eberhard David Peithmann (1743 – 1814) had been pastor in Frille. After his study Christian turned to gnostic beliefs which he later influenced. In 1887 he passed his final school exams with good marks at the Stiftische Grammar School in Gütersloh and studied theology in Greifswald (1887 – 1888), Leipzig (1888 – 1889) and Bonn (1889 – 1890). He passed the first theological exam in Münster in 1890. After that Christian worked as a teacher in the Rektoratsschule in Petershagen near Minden. He passed the second theological exam in 1892, again in Münster. The theme of his written work was “In What are the Origins of Rationalism?”


Christian was an officer cadet for one year from April 1892 onwards, although he was not considered suitable for service. There arose in the obviously very sensitive young theologian a strong dislike of the strict and rough service in his barracks. After this he was qualified to work in a parish. On August 1st, 1894 he informed the Konsistorium in Münster that he intended to travel to America to look for work there. At the same time he asked them to continue considering him as a candidate. He and his younger brother August Ludwig are listed amongst the Minden region’s emigrants for the year 1898 (Müller 1981).


The same year Ernst Christian Peithmann received his doctorate at the University of Minnesota as a theologian specialising in philosophy with the theme “Investigations of Kant’s Conception of Experience”. In Webster, North Dakota Christian was given a living. Apparently this work was connected with his application for church wok in the Diaspora abroad.


In a “Greeting to the German Women’s Club in Hardwick, Minnesota, on the occasion of its 5th anniversary, October 3rd, 1913”, Christian encourages the German emigrants to go their way as Christians in the New World. Three of the verses are as follows:


As Jesus once sent out his disciples

So has he put you here,

In order that the light, which shone in him,

Should lighten the dark world still today.

You have taken upon you the duty

Of binding the bleeding wounds,

In a world, which is burdened by sin,

You have done your work of love.


And God has blessed your work

Has led you along the right path.

Consolation has come from heaven

When the way was dark for you.

God has accepted in grace

What you gave to his kingdom-

The songs you sang in the choir

Have come to God.


Now continue to god’s glory

In love and unity.

Add stones to the sanctuary

For time and eternity.

And may the number of members,

Which has more than tripled,

Be doubled again at the next celebration,

That is my wish, prayer and council.


Christian returned to Südhemmern for his parents’ golden wedding anniversary in 1914. Because of the outbreak of World War I he had to stay in German until 1916. During this time he published “The German Sword; War Poems of the Years 1914-1915-1916”. In the meantime the USA had entered the war and the publication of the poetry book caused Christian difficulties.


Picture 6: Dr. Christian Peithmann and his wife Luise née Pagmann


The subject matter of his examination thesis are inclinations of the philosophical inclination of the theologian Christian Peithmann. He thought of himself as a gnostic and starting in 1901 published. besides 36 essays, numerous works of which the following titles are known:


Ancient Greek Philosophers (Bitterfeld and Leipzig1901 – 1902)

  1. Heraclitus
  2. Parmenides
  3. Empedocles
  4. Anaxagoras
  5. Democritus


Socrates’ Philosophy of Nature


Gnostic Fathers (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1903 – 1904)

  1. The Naassens
  2. The Perates and Settians
  3. The Doctrine of Creation
  4. Justinus and Simon Magus
  5. The Valentinians
  6. The Valentinians
  7. Mark
  8. Basilides
  9. The Marosians


The Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1903)


The Gnostic Communities in Ancient and Modern Times (Schmiedeberg and Leipzig)


Gnostic Catechism (Bitterfeld and Leipzig 1904)


  1. The Most Holy and the Holy
  2. The Outer court. The Secrets of the Third Proceeding. The Spheres of Fate. Our World. The Demons. The Outer Darkness


Secret Christian Teaching of the First Two Centuries (Schmiedeberg 1905 – 1906)

      3.    What is Man?

      4.    The nether Jesus

             (nr. 3 and 4 of the Gnostic Catechism)


Secret Conversations between Jesus and his Disciples (Schmiedeberg 1909)

1.        Jesus’ Transfiguration and Ascension


In the appendix to several of his works Christian mentioned further works for which there were already manuscripts. It is known whether they were printed. In “Socrates Philosophy of Nature” which was written in 1898 and published in 1902 in the respected “Archive for the History of Philosophy” the title of professor accompanies his name. With “Dr. Peithmann’s Works for Educated and Thinking People” his publications were advertised and offered by his publishing firm. The work “The Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible” is an example of Christian’s philosophical interpretation of biblical contexts. In it he distinguishes between the “literal” explanation of the Bible, which is founded in the historical data of biblical accounts, and the “spiritual” or symbolic explanation, in which the historical happenings are just symbols for the “eternal deeds in the higher world”. “These spiritual people represent...the true invisible church.”


In “Gnostic Catechism” Christian seeks to make religious thought of late antiquity fitting to his own time. It is not possible here to go further into the content of his other publications, the process of his thinking, and his contact with other gnostics; for one thing as in his case little investigated undercurrents of German history of philosophy cross each other (H. Möller in a letter).


On March 29th, 1878 Christian married Luise Pagemann, who was born in Springfield, Illinois, the daughter of Mecklenburg parents. Some years after their marriage the couple moved to Germany and from June 25th, 1927 lived in Südhemmern nr. 4. Here he founded a gnostic society and received like-minded believers from many countries of the earth. Soon after the National Socialists seized power Christian had to leave Germany quickly on March 10th, 1933. He did not return from the USA where he died childless at the age of 75 in 1943.



Sophie Caroline Wilhelmine

born February 24th, 1870, died September 6th, 1941


On October 31st, 1891 Sophie married the teacher Christian Friedrich Heinrich (called Engelkemeier) Becker (born September 10th, 1858, died December 2nd, 1933) who was born in Holsen near Schnathorst. He had attended the preparatory courses and teachers’ training college in Petershagen. Christian taught in Nammen, Eickhorst, and Wasserstraße in the Minden district as well as in Bielefeld. He acquired three houses in Minden where the family lived after his early retirement. There were five children: Martha Schultes (born in Eickhorst October 1st, 1892, died April 2nd, 1978); Elisabeth (born Schlüsselburg-Wasserstraße June 25th, 1894, died December 13th, 1959); Johannes Martin Walter (born Schlüsselburg-Wasserstraße April 2nd, 1896, died in Bremen December 6th, 1947); Martin Christian Karl (born Schlüsselburg-Wasserstraße December 3rd, 1899, died Minden January 2nd, 1968); and Paul (born in Bielefeld February 6th, 1907, died August 1st, 1974).




born February 20th, 1872, died July 1st, 1963


Ernst Peithmann’s second eldest son Heinrich became heir to the farm in Südhemmern nr. 21. On July 1st, 1902 he married Luise Röthemeier (born August 26th, 1873, died November 29th, 1951), daughter of the farmer Cord Heinrich Christian Röthemeier and his wife Caroline Marie Luise Tiemann in the Specken district of Südhemmern.


From 1893 – 1895 Heinrich served in the “4th Infantry Guard Regiment” in Berlin and was the first cyclist in the Imperial Army. As of March 1915he took part in World War I; he spent 2 years until November 1917 on the Beresina in Russia.


As the income from the farm was not enough to support the family, Heinrich earned extra money. In the period from about 1896 – 1900 he worked  when farming allowed – in the food store of the Minden barracks. Here he worked daily ten hours for 2 Marks. He walked the distance of 20 km there and back. He gave up this irksome additional work when Hille Dairy gave the transport of milk cans to the Südhemmern farmers. Heinrich applied asking 1,40 Marks a day and was given additional money. He did this with his cart and team of horses until 1902.


Heinrich had no labourers and had to do all the work himself. Every year he mowed all the cereal produce alone with a scythe. As a beekeeper he had up to 40 colonies of bees. In addition he had bought rights to hunt in Südhemmern. While hunting in 1925 he lost an eye from a stray bullet.


Picture 8: Pastor Heinrich Peithmann


From 1925 until the National Socialists seized power in 1933 Heinrich was Mayor of Südhemmern after he had been elected to the Parochial Council the year before. In this office he concerned himself chiefly with the building of roads. Amongst other things he had a 2 km long link road built between the village and the district of Grefte.


Heinrich Peithmann and Luise Röthemeier had two sons: Heinrich and Hermann.


The eldest son Eberhard Karl Ernst Christian Heinrich (born June 14thm 1903, die in Bünde August 3rd, 1073) became a pastor. In 1923 he passed the final exams at the humanistic grammar school in Minden. It was a time of economic depression then and he sent the following eighteen months in financial administration. He studied theology at the universities of Münster (192 4– 1925 and 1927 – 1928) and Tübingen (1925 -  1927). In order to finance the studies Heinrich’s parents borrowed money on which they had to pay 18% interest. Amongst his teachers were famous professors including Karl Barth, Karl Heim Otto Schmitz, and Gerhard Kittel. In 1929 he passed the first exam at the Konsistorium in Münster. Then he  was a curate in Ibbenbüren for six months. After a year’s stay at the Domkandidatenstift (Cathedral candidates’ foundation) in Berlin and a preachers’ training college of all member churches  of the then old Prussian Union he passed the second exam in 1931, again in Münster. Heinrich was ordained on June 21st, 1931 and for a year was an assistant preacher in Bochum-Altenbochum. In 1932 the church congregation of Königssteele (today Essen-Steele) elected him as their pastor. Here he was also the superintendent of the evangelical hospital. In 1933 he joined the “Professing Church” and helped fight against the falsification of the Gospels on the part of the “German Christians”. He escaped persecution and imminent arrest by the Gestapo when he had to become a soldier in April 1942.


From 1945 – 1949 Heinrich held several honorary offices in the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. He was chairman of the Society of Evangelical Hospitals in the Rhineland and member of the Rhenish Synod. In 1948 and 1949 he worked too as a synodal pastor for young people in the diocese of Essen.


From 1949 until he retired in 1967 Heinrich was a vicar in Mennighüffen in the district of Herford. During this time he belonged to the financial committees of both the Westphalian synod and the diocese of Herford, to the latter as chairman.


On July 1st, 1932 Heinrich married Friederike von Behren, daughter of August von Behren and Sophie Ehrich in Südhemmern. The couple had 3 children: Marie-Luise, Erika, and Eberhard.


Marie-Luise (born Essen-Steele April 30th, 1933) passed her final school exams at Königin-Mathilde School in Herford in 1953. After her training as an academic librarian at the librarians college in Cologne, she worked from 1956 – 1954 in the library of the Technical College in Aachen. On April 2nd, 1963 she married the physicist Harold Leinhos (born in Weimar/Thuringia November 7th, 1935) who was a project group leader of the firm “Elektronik-System-Gesellschaft mbH München” (Electronic Systems Ltd. Munich). the couple have been living in Oberkochem since 1967 and have two children: Jan-Dirk (born in Bad Oeynhausen June 1st, 1964) and Amelie (born Aalen September 12, 1973)-

E r i k a  Herta Regina (born in Essen-Steele April 21st, 1935) attended secondary schools in Essen and Herford and from 1955  1956 studied at the college of education in Bielefeld. On October 18th, 1957 she married Pastor Eberhard Kölling (born in Rhaden/Westphalia September 1st, 1930). They had three children: a daughter Annedore (born in Bünde July 15th, 1958, died Stift Quernheim May 8th, 1969) and two sons both of whom were born in Bad Oeynhausen: Christian (born January 17th, 1960) and Friedemann (born September 1st, 1962). From 1957 – 1969 Eberhard Kölling was pastor in Stift Quernheim in the Herford Diocese. He now has a parish in Frankfort(Main.


E b e r h a r d  Ernst (born in Essen-Steele June 29th, 1936) Passed his final school exams at Friedrichs Grammar School in Herford in 1956. From 1956 – 1959 he studied theology in Münster and Heidelberg; from 1960 – 1963 he studied physics in Aachen; from 1964 – 1966 he studied theology again in Münster. In 1968 he was ordained and has been pastor in Löhne (Herford Diocese) since 1969. On September 26th, 1968 he married the kindergarten teacher Imme Schäffer (born in Mennighüffen February 26th, 1942). The couple have three children: Jens Konrad (born in Minden July 30th, 1969), Juliane (born in Bünde December 26th, 1971) , and Henrike Karoline (born in Bünde January 6th, 1974).


Heinrich’s younger son Christian August Hermann (born April 7th, 1906) attended secondary school in Minden. He inherited his parents’ farm in Südhemmern and in 1931 became local representative of the Farming Insurance Association in Münster. For five years during World War II he was a soldier in Russia. In 1945 Hermann was made mayor of Südhemmern, an office which he kept until 1964. In 1970 he was mayor of Hartum. On July 1st, 1932 in Südhemmern he married Marie Spilker (born April 10th, 1906, died April 9th, 1969), daughter of the farmer Christian Heinrich August Spilker and his wife Caroline Marie Luise Röthemeier. They had one son Hermann (born February 26th, 1934). When he finished secondary school Hermann worked on his father’s farm. In 1960 he took over the insurance agency and in 1971 the farm in Südhemmern, today a district of Hille. On July 1st, 1960 Hermann Jr. married Elisabeth Niederstucke (born February 16th, 1936) from Rothenuffeln, county of Minden. Their son Gotthard Andreas was born on December 12th, 1968 and their daughter Friederike Susanne on August 7th, 1971.




born March 29th, 1874, died February 9th, 1878


August was not quite four years old when he died of a nervous complaint. He had the first grave in the newly consecrated cemetery in Südhemmern in 1878.



Wilhelmine Karoline Marie

born May 27th, 1876, died November 12, 1967


Karoline spent the years 1903 – 1909 in the USA. Her brother Christian who was already living in America got her a job in a hospital in St. Louis where she became a nurse. In 1904 she visited the World Exhibition on this town.


After her return from the USA she married on April 23rd, 1909 Christian Friedrich Krüger (born October 22nd, 1873, died May 16th, 1944), a half brother of Friedrich Krüger (see picture 32). When he left school Christian had trained to become a mechanic in the workshop of Bethel Institution and had then attended the technical college in Mittweida/Saxony. He had to stop short his training with the foreman’s exam as his father died during his studies. Following this he was employed in an armaments’ factory owned by the Krupp company in Essen. He worked for 4 years in the USA; amongst other places of work he worked in a railway workshop. Through the mediation of a friend Christian took over after his marriage the job of a foreman to Count Willy zu Dohna in Little Kotzenau (Silesia); the Count owned amongst other things a saw-mill, a box factory, and a starch factory. Karoline used to say that at that time her husband was addressed as “Your Honour” by the workers and took part at the Count’s New Year reception in morning coat and top hat.


In World War I Christian was a soldier with the naval artillery on the Island of Wangerooge. Already in 1912 he had begin working for himself in Hille. In 1926 he built here his own house with a workshop for agricultural machines.


The two sons Christian Ernst (born June 11, 1910. died June 27th, 1979) and Heinrich Friedrich (born June 19th, 1911) were born in Little Kotzenau and the daughter Else (born December 14th, 1912, died October 9th, 1920) in Hille.



August Friedrich Ludwig

born August 7th, 1878, died February 19th, 1952


Friedrich became a master baker. He learned his trace in a bakery in Valdorf near Vlotho. He walked there and back from Südhemmern. He was a soldier with the “Guards” in Berlin. When in 1900 the Chinese secret society of Boxers wanted to free China from the influence of foreign powers with an uprising, Friedrich – apparently after an appeal in his garrison – volunteered for the international force under the leadership of the German Count Waldersee. When his letter containing this information arrived at home, his father left straight way to stop him from this adventure at the harbour. The ship, however, had already left port. Friedrich did not to take part in the fights in China, though. Upon his arrival the uprising had already been put down. But many soldiers became very ill because of inadequate food and did not survive the journey. In World War I he fought in France.


Picture 9: Master baker Friedrich Peithmann and his future wife Wilhelmine Tüting on the day of their  engagement


Soon after his return from China, Friedrich built a house for a bakery at Südhemmern nr. 134 which was opened in 1902. He extended his business with a general store, drugstore, and coal business. In 1930 he added a floor to the building. As a master baker Friedrich had a good reputation far and wide. As a master baker Friedrich had a good reputation far and wide. Even from far-lying districts customers came to Südhemmern to shop at the Peithmann bakery. For a time he delivered bread to neighbouring villages with his horse and carriage. To ensure food for his large family, he kept a cow as well as animals for slaughter in times of financial need. Up to his death he was a keen beekeeper and breeder of small animals.


Picture 10: The Peithmann Bakery in Südhemmern in 1915. Adults from left: Louise Krüger

                  née Peithmann, Dr. Christian Peithmann, Wilhelmine and Friedrich Peithmann,

                  Wilhelmine Peithmann.


On August 6th, 1904 in Kutenhausen, Minden he married Wilhelmine Friederike Tüting (born April 30th, 1878, died January 29th, 1927), daughter of the farmer Christian Tüting and his wife Wilhelmine Poos. Friedrich’s wife died at the age of 48 of a heart complaint while spending a holiday with her teacher brother August Tüting in Hagen, Westphalia. Friedrich did not remarry and devoted himself completely to his eight children: Mimmi, Frieda, Erna, Friedrich, Marie, Heinrich, Luise and Elisabeth.


The eldest daughter Mimmi (born February 7th, 1905, died February 13th, 1981) supported her ailing mother and nursed her when she left school. From October 1928 to November 1941 she was a nurse in Altscherbitz Hospital in Schkeuditz near Leipzig. Here too she trained as a nurse for mental patients. Until 1944 she lived in Leipzig where she married her husband Thilo Bock (born in Nordhausen October 24th, 1900, died February 22, 1982). From the 1950’s onwards the couple, who were childless, lived in Remagen and Sinzig/Rhine. Especially in her old age Mimmi was very sad to have to live far away from her bothers’ and sisters’ families.


Picture 11: Erna Meier née Peithmann

Picture 12: Mimmi bock née Peithmann


Frieda (born October 30th, 1906, died July 26th, 1969). When she left secondary school in Minden, Frieda worked in the “Volkshalle” boarding-house in Bielefeld. In this YMCA establishment people who worked in the town but lived outside could eat and live. Frieda never married and from 1930 onwards managed her father’s and later her brother Friedrich’s bakery and general stores. Apart from this she did the bookkeeping for the business. After her brother’s death she continued in the renovated business together with her sister-in-law for over ten years.


Erna (born April 23rd, 1908, died October 6th, 1970) also attended secondary school in Minden and then joined the household of the Bünde lawyer Appelius. In order to overcome her mother’s early death, her father advised her to join her sister Frieda in the “Volkshalle” in Bielefeld. Erna joined the household staff here and afterwards took charge of the kitchen. In the spring of 1929 she rejoined her father’s household and dedicated herself especially to her younger brothers and sisters.


On May 9th, 1939 she married the farmer Friedrich Meier (born January 19th, 1905) on the farm in Dünne, Herford, nr. 15. She devoted all her strength to her family and the farm. She kept up very close contact with all her brothers and sisters. Erna died at the age of 62, seven years after her first serious collapse. She had two sons: Wilhelm (born May 29th, 1940) , author of this chronicle, and Friedrich (born September 17th, 1942).


Friedrich (born February 6th, 1910, died April 9th, 1958) was apprentice bake in Gustav Schmidt’s Minden bakery and then worked for two years in Bielefeld. He passed the master’s exam in 1935, again in Bielefeld. He spent World War II on the front in France. After he returned from a prisoner-of-war camp he took over his father’s bakery in Südhemmern. Friedrich died at the age of 48 of a heart embolism. On December 7th 1947 he married Lilli Gießmann (born December 7th, 1919) who was born in Suhrs in the district of Windau in Latvia. They had four children: Friedrich Wilhelm (born June 3rd, 1948, die March 27th, 1949 of epilepsy), Magdalene (born March 31st, 1950), Monika (born March 27th, 1952), and Friedrich-Ernst (born March 31st, 1950) who became a mechanic.


Picture 13: Frieda Peithmann and Marie Spilker (future wife of Hermann Peithmann) in

                 Minden-Ravensburg costume in the year 1928


Monika married Harmut Schnare (born October 12th, 1948) on July 13th, 1973 in Externtal-Kükenbruch in the district of Detmold. their daughter Yvonne was von October 29th, 1974 and their son Tim on August 14th, 1978.


Marie (born September 26th, 1912). After attending the commercial college in Minden and working for a time in  households in Bethel and Minden, Marie worked from 1930 – 1936 as bookkeeper in the Minden coal wholesale firm of Ruoff Co.. On June 6th, 1936 she married the carpenter and later owner of a chair frame factory Hermann Kruse (born July 17th, 1908) in Nordhemmern, in the district of Minden. Their only son Hermann Jr. (born December 7th, 1938) is carrying on his father’s firm.


Picture 14: Master baker Friedrich Peithmann


Heinrich (born May 23rd, 1917, missing in action 1945) attended secondary school in Südhemmern and then worked for the local administration in Hartum, in the district of Minden. From the beginning to the end of 1939 he worked for the administration in Hausberge. He then became a soldier and fought on both the East and West fronts. In the spring of 1945 he became a Russian prisoner-of-war in Berlin. Many of the prisoners were set free in Frankfurt/Oder because they had dysentery and typhoid fever. Among the names of those liberated prisoners-of-war, which were given out by the radio, was also “Heinrich Peithmann”. A few days after this report Heinrich’s wife received a letter from a Berlin comrade who asked whether he had arrived home safely. But for the next few months there was no more news of his whereabouts. As his family could no longer bear the uncertainty and waiting, Heinrich’s wife and sister Marie travelled to Berlin and Frankfurt/Oder in September 1946. They learned that his name was missing in the list of the discharges. Presumably he died on the evening before his planned discharge. Not until 1980 did Heinrich’s wife hear from the German Red Cross that her husband had probably died in Frankfurt/Oder.


Heinrich married Anna Rohlfing (born February 10th, 1918) on June 10th, 1938 in Nordhemmern. His son Heinrich Jr. (born September 10th, 1938) is a chief inspector with the German railways and lives in Nordhemmern, which is today a district of Hille. In 1964 he married Renate Teich (born May 22nd, 1941) and they have a son Frank (born September 5th, 1965).


Picture 15: Elisabeth Peithmann

Picture 16: Heinrich Peithmann


Luise (born May 23rd, 1917), Heinrich’s twin sister, worked in the household of Dr. Uphoff in Minden when she left school. On April 6th, 1942 she married the ship’s master Johann Schneckenberger of Neckargemünd (born October 20th, 1906, died March 23rd, 1970). With a freight ship of the “Rhenus” shipping company they travelled along the waterways of the Federal Republic of Germany and Holland for the most part. In Südhemmern they built a house in which the family has been living since Johann’s early retirement. The couple had two children: Hans-Friedrich (born February 26th, 1951) and Marie-Luise (born November 7th, 1952).


Elisabeth (born November 11, 1919, died August 2nd, 1966) learnt housekeeping in Bethel. She remained unmarried and worked until her death first in her father’s household, then in that of her brothers. Thanks to her consistently carefree, open-hearted and cheerful disposition she was equally popular among relatives and fellow inhabitants of Südhemmern.



Caroline  M a r i e  Friederike

born February 1st, 1881, died January 25th, 1971


ON July 1st, 1902 Marie married Heinrich Christian Röthemeier (born November 18th, 1870, died June 18th, 1963) the brother of her sister-in-law Luise Peithmann, née Röthemeier. He owned a small farm of 18 morgens in Specken, a district of Südhemmern, from which the family lived. The couple had a hard start as Christian’s father had died early at the age of 35 as the result of war wounds. They had one child, a daughter, Marie Luise Nowak (born July 21st , 1907, died February 22nd, 1978).


Verses by Christian Röthemeier have been handed down, in which he wrote his thoughts about both life and death and the meaning of life. In a poem he writes:


We all go together one way.

Nobody finds another path.

At the beginning of the way brown hair

At the middle the man in his best years.

At the end the old man stands with bent head.

His hair shines silvery-white

Bleached by the fullness of years.


And all hope for the old man’s goal

yet those who reach it are not very many

Most of them come earlier to the bier

Death exercises its uncanny power

And spares neither young nor old.

And even if you close the cemeteries

You still find them.


Whether young or old, poor or rich,

In death they are all alike.

Fame and honour do not count

Nor human virtue and wisdom.

There is no more mistake and deception

You see the naked truth.


Life is just a moment,

Then matter returns to matter.

Yet the spirit, which gave the matter life

Does not sink down with it into the dark grave.

When it has departed here

It must return some day to its origin.



August Ludwig

born May 5th, 1883, died 1952


After he left school August spent two years as an apprentice with the Reichspost (Post Office). Apparently his brother Christian then advised him to go to the USA with him in 1898. while most country emigrants first sought work with a farmer, August worked in a bakery. this job had the advantage that he had a wage and food in the winter. Here he learnt enough to set himself up in his own business later by his own enterprise. It was not necessary to undergo an apprenticeship- He probably took out a mortgage and bought a bakery in St. Louis, Missouri which he worked together with his first wife Emma. He had married at the age of 20. To sell his goods he used a bread cart drawn by one horse.


August became a widower early and married a second time. Of this wife, too, we only know the forename Evelyn. He did not continue the bakery with her but accepted a position offered to him in a hotel bakery in St. Louis.


August had no children. He completely lost touch with his brothers and sisters. He only exchanged letters with his mother. He died in 1952 without ever having returned to his birthplace Südhemmern.


Picture 17: “Gus. Peithmann Bakery and Confectionary” in St. Louis between about 1910 and 1915. August Peithmann and his first wife Emma are standing in the doorway. August’s nephew Fred Krüger is sitting on the bread cart.



Otto Ernst  H e r m a n n  Eberhard

born April 12th, 1886, died November 22nd, 1948


Doubtless due to the instigation of his brother Christian, 16 year old Hermann came to the USA in 1902. In the first five years he was a salesman in a slaughterhouse and in a general store in St. Louis, where his brother Christian also lived. then he journeyed to Germany to visit his relatives. In 1908 he returned to the USA and worked on a farm in Nebraska until his marriage. On March 26th, 1913 he married Friederike (Frieda) Wilhelmine Meyer (born June 10th, 1894 in Reynolds, Nebraska). In 1922 Hermann bought a 160 acres farm in Hubbell, Nebraska. In 1929 he bought a further 160 acres which he worked until his death. His two sons Ernst and William were both born in Reynolds, Nebraska.


Ernst Henry Edward (born August 7th, 1915) has worked since 1935 for the agricultural ministry and as “Thayer County Executive Director” he heads an agricultural board in Nebraska. On January 10th, 1941 he married the teacher Gladys  M a r i e Beachler (born in Reynolds, Nebraska May 18th, 1919) and lives in Hebron, Nebraska. the couple has 3 children all of whom were born in Fairbury, Nebraska: Allen, Ann Marie , and Loren.


A l l e n Ernst (born December 29th, 1941) is manager of a leasing firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. On April 22nd, 1972 he married Sharon Ann Elder (born in Hebron, Nebraska June 1st, 1946), a manager of a jewellery store. Their son Allen E. was born on August 28th, 1978 in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Picture 18: Hermann Peithmann and his wife Friederike née Meyer on their silver wedding

                  anniversary in 1938

Picture 19: August Peithmann


A n n M a r i e (born April 18th, 1946) married on August 27th, 1966 Willard Norman Grummert (born April 3rd, 1944), an inland retail sales director for the firm “Gyp-Crete- Corporation of Hamel” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The couple have three children: Jill Marie (born February 9th, 1969), Juli Ann (born July 29th, 1972), and Jeffrey Scott (born February 12th, 1977).


L o r e n  Edward (born September 13th, 1947) works on a grain and cattle farm of 800 acres near Hubbell, Nebraska. Since the death of his grandfather Hermann in 1948, his father Ernst, his Uncle William and he himself have added 500 acres to the farm. On June 18th, 1977 he married Ann Kathryn Petersen (born in Omaha, Nebraska April 25th, 1949) and they have a son Aaron (born January 28th, 1980). His wife teaches singing at Hebron Public School, Hebron, Nebraska.


William Frederick (born June 28th, 1917) did not marry. He lives with his mother on the family farm in Hubbell, Nebraska.




born September 14th, 1887, died September 12th, 1962


Wilhelmine learned housekeeping in the “Red House”, an estate in Hille and then form spring 1913 onwards was cook for a year in a boarding school for German and foreign schoolboys in Bad Godesberg. In April 1914 she gave up this work and nursed her youngest sister Friederike in Hahlen near Minden who had just had a baby. When after the outbreak of World War I her brother and heir to the farm Heinrich was conscripted, she managed Farm nr. 21 in Südhemmern together with her sister-in-law Luise from 1914 – 1918 and took care of her parents.


her brother-in-law in Hahlen was manager of a branch of the  Bastert cigar factory based in Bünde. Here she met her husband Karl Friedrich Meyer (born April 24th, 1889, died August 16th, 1967) from Altenhüffen near Bünde who as private chauffeur visited the branches of the Bastert firm. After the wedding on October 18th, 1917 the couple settled in Bünde. In 1911 Karl Meyer drove in Bünde for his firm the first private car, a “Hansa”. In 1939 he entered the service of the Bünde Brölhorst furniture factory and retired at the age of 68.


Their daughter Anneliese Stoppkotte was born on October 22nd, 1919. Their son Ernst Werner was born on September 14th, 1921 and was listed as missing in August 1944 in World War II.



born December 6th, died March 22nd, 1969


Friederike lived from 1907 – 1912 in the USA. there she trained as a nurse. After her return she married Christian Meyer (born October 28th, 1880, died December 13th, 1945) in October 1912 in Hahlen. It was intended that Christian who was the eldest son should inherit his parents’ farm in Hahlen. But he lost a leg in an accident with a threshing machine. Thereupon in 1912 he built a factory on the piece of land nr. 304 in Hahlen, which he leased to the Bünde Bastert cigar firm and managed as foreman. In the building to which an extra floor was added in 1933 up to 200 people worked. Christian Meyer and Friederike Peithmann had 3 sons: Ernst (born April 13th, 1914); Martin (born November 10th, 1916, killed in action in Hungary December 24th, 1944); and Eberhard (born February 13th, 1920, killed in action in Finland October 6th, 1943).




I should like to thank the following relatives for information and particulars:

William Fangmeier (Hebron, Nebraska), Friedrich Krüger (Hille), Marie Kruse (Hille-Nordhemmern), Eberhard Peithmann (Löhne), Friederike Peithmann (Hubbell, Nebraska), Friedrich Ernst Peithmann (Hille-Südhemmern), Hermann Peithmann Sr. and Jr. (Hille-Südhemmern), Luise Schneckenberger, and Anneliese Stoppkotte (Bünde). Prof. Helmut Möller (Göttingen) supplied me with ample information about Dr. E. Christian H. Peithmann.


Unprinted Sources:


Church books of Bergkirchen and Hille (Minden-Lübbecke)




see German text



The Farmer Frederick Peithmann

1853-1934 founds the family branch ‘Sedalia


In the time from 1848 to 1904 nine members of the Westphalian ‘Peithmann-branch B’ emigrated either alone or with their families to the United States of America. The majority of these men and women left numerous descendants in the New World. In the first part of the Peithmann chronicle therefore an account of an American family branch should not be missing. We give an account here of Friedrich Peithmann from Unterlübbe and his descendants. This branch was called after Sedalia in the state of Missouri, in which Friedrich spent the greater part of his life.


On the 24th January 1853 in Unterlübbe Nr. 16 a son, the thirteenth and last child was born to the farmer Eberhard Friedrich Gottlieb Peithmann (1809 – 1882) and his wife Marie Louise Peper (1808 – 1889). The parents gave him the name Friedrich, as their first son Friedrich, born in 1830, had emigrated to the USA and had died in Nashville in the state of Illinois on the 16th October 1851.


When he left school Friedrich first worked on his parents’ farm  as did his brothers and sisters before him. Two brothers and two sisters had already emigrated to the USA: the already mentioned Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Eberhard as well as Karoline Louise Wilhelmine Huck (1833 – 173), Friederike Wilhelmine Christine Krughoff (1835 – 1910) and Eberhard Friedrich Hermann (1838 – 1920).

There is still in existence a letter of the year 1878 which Friedrich sent to his brother Hermann in the USA. As he gives a detailed account of himself and his family an unabbreviated reproduction of the text is given here:



18th May 1878


The Grace of God

Dear Brother and sister-in-Law,

               Since we haven’t exchanged letters for a long time and you were the last to write, I can no longer put off writing you a few lines. Didn’t you think we had forgotten you? You are spoken about so much and then we say we must write to you and that’s how far it gets.

            We are all well here and hope the same is true of you. I want to let you know that our brother Wilhelm has remarried. His wife is Karoline Volle called Sander from Rothenuffeln. Our brother Ludwig’s wife passed away in the spring of this year which has left him in sorry predicament as she left him a lot of children, seven in all, five from the first and two from the second marriage. The youngest child, Ludwig was in care with us and died at the age of nine months. Now he must place his trust in God. Whoever does that will not be left wanting.

            We have here ideal weather conditions, old people can’t remember such a spring. We are now in the middle of May. and the rye is beginning to shoot. It looks as if we’re going to have an early harvest.

            Our parents are nearing their end, especially our dear mother. She is becoming very weak. She is in her 70th year, the Lord’s Will be done.

           I have always said, if only I were with you too. But my inclination to travel is still lacking. I must trust on divine guidance, without which I cannot do anything.

            We’re hovering here between war and peace, and if war should break out, then I shall be one of the first for I have been a soldier. You know I served in the infantry of the 7th Guard Regiment in Spandau, which is two hours from our capital Berlin.

            Last week a criminal fired two shots at our emperor but neither of them hit him. The criminal has been arrested.

               I haven’t any more news. I will close in the hope that you aren’t cross that we haven’t written sooner.

              Just one more thing, our sister Friederike told us she wrote to you last year but received no answer. they didn’t know whether you had received the letter. Please let us know. Please give greetings to the Krughoffs and Hucks. They shouldn’t be offended either.

               Our dear mother speaks so often about you all, too. She would so like to see you again in this world. If one of you would grant her this pleasure, we should all be very pleased.

               You, dear brother, could perhaps manage it best of all, because you are now with your parents-in-law. If you can, come over and bring your wife with you. Many greetings from all of us here to you, your wife and parents-in-law.

               I am and remain your ever-loving brother, brother-in-law and uncle.

                                                              Friedrich Peithmann

Write again soon.


Friedrich realised what he hinted at in the letter to his brother; he emigrated to the USA in the year 1883 at the age of 30. As many other younger sons on farms in the region of Minden, who didn’t want to become labourers, he saw no other possibility of leading an independent and better life. The final decision to emigrate, however, may have come from the fear of the outbreak of war.


The name “Friedrich Peithmann” is missing from the list of emigrants of the Minden region, which draws on persons to whom emigration permits and documents of freedom from the Prussian state were given (re. Müller 1981). Apparently Friedrich followed the example of other young men and attempted to escape a threatening conscription by a ‘secret’ emigration.


Frederick, as he now called himself in the USA, settled in Beaucoup in the state of Illinois near his relatives, who had emigrated before him. On 3rd April 1884 he married Helene Garnholz (born 27th February 1858) in Hoyleton (Illinois). The marriage ceremony was conducted by a pastor of German origin, W. Kleinschmidt. Friederich’s brother Hermann Peithmann and sister-in-law Anna Garnholz acted as witnesses.


Helene Garnholz came from (Bad) Zwischenahn near Oldenburg and had come to the USA at the age of 14 with her family. Her parents Dietrich Garnholz and Louise née Hake had bought farmland in the state of Illinois, where today members of the Garnholz family still live.


picture 1: The farmer Frederick Peithmann and his family in the year 1906. Top row from the left: Laura M., Ella F., Elizabeth I. and Edgar F.. Bottom row from the left: Oscar W., mother Helene née Garnholz. father Frederick, Lydia W. and Homer L.


First of all Frederick Peithmann had general stores in Beaucoup. Then he bought a small farm there. In 1896 Frederick resold his holding to buy an area of farmland of 640 acres near Houston in the state of Texas. without having seen it beforehand. According to his descendants this was the only big wrong decision he made during his working life. The sandy and frequently flooded land proved unsuitable for Frederick Peithmann’s methods of farming. For this reason he soon exchanged the 640 acres near Houston for 40 acres of good farmland north of Sedalia in the state of Missouri. His family moved to Sedalia in the year 1900. In the following years Frederick increased his farm by buying more fields.


A farmhouse, which burnt down in 1905, was part of the new acquisitions. The family had so spend the rest of the winter in a barn. In the following spring the neighbours helped erect a new building. The necessary wood was chopped down in the 40 acre large wood which Frederick had also acquired in the meantime.


Frederick died on 30th January 1934 at the age of 1981. His wife followed him on 26th July 1936. Both were buried in Sedalia.


The couple had seven children. Lydia, Oscar, Homer and Laura were born in Beaucoup, Ella and Elizabeth in Nashville (Illinois) and Edgar Frederick in Sedalia.


picture 2: Frederick Peithmann’s farmhouse near Sedalia about 1907



Lydia Wilhelmina

* 15. 1. 1885 died 3. 6. 1974


Frederick’s eldest daughter Lydia married Robert Walter Sandfort, son of John Henry Sandfort and Sophia Elisabeth Steininger on 14th April 1909 in the farmhouse in Sedalia. Robert’s grandfather Johann Heinrich Sandfort, born about 1795 probably in Münsterland, Germany, had emigrated with his family to Cole County in the state of Missouri in 1834.


The young newlyweds first earned their living on a rented farm near Humboldt in the state of Nebraska. But such a tenancy did not bring the desired satisfaction and hoped for success. So Robert took a job with a smith and car mechanic. At that time in that part of Nebraska there were already a few cars, which were repaired in the workshop under his supervision.


Wit the help of a correspondence course Robert improved his knowledge of engineering. About 1913 he joined a firm of dairy products ‘Fairmont Creamery Co’ in Crete, Nebraska as an engineer. In the following years he was sent by his company first to Green Bay in the state of Wisconsin and then to Columbus in the state of Ohio, where in 1919 the family settled. Robert became chief engineer and stayed with his firm until he retired at the age of 72.


In his wife Robert W. Sandfort had a conscientious housekeeper, good cook and clever seamstress. Her daughter Helen tells that her mother constantly devoted herself in a loving and selfless way to her family and home. The two children of the marriage were born in Humboldt: Helen Elizabeth (* 11. 3. 1910 died 16. 8. 2002) and John Frederick (* 18. 7. 1911). Lydia’s last resting-place is the Union Cemetery in Ohio.


picture 3: The married couple Robert W. Sandfort and Lydia W. Peithmann in the year 1909



Oscar William

* 12. 6. 1887 died 10. 3. 1960


The eldest son Oscar attended the Missouri Business College in Sedalia and took part in World War I. For over thirty years he was owner and manager of the general stores ‘O. W. Peithmann Mercantile Co’ in Knob Knoster in the state of Missouri. He had numerous honorary functions. He was chairman of the local school board ‘Knob Noster School Board’, member of the County Board of Education, County Judge and president of the ‘Knob Noster Chamber of Commerce. For more than 40 years he was an active member of his church, the United Methodist Church.


On the 1st January 1920 in Sedalia Oscar married Cora Belle Lamm (* 12. 10. 1888 died 30. 1. 1972) also of Sedalia and daughter of John J. Lamm and Cora Belle Elliott. She was a graduate of Missouri State Normal School and taught in a preparatory school until her marriage. during the 40 years which the couple spent together in Knob Noster Cora was an active member in private, church and school organisations. For 30 years she taught in the church Sunday school.


picture 4: Oscar W. Peithmann

picture 5: Homer L. Peithmann 1958


Oscar Peithmann and Cora Lamm had three children, all of whom were born in Knob Noster: Patricia, John Frederick and Louise. the couple were burned in Crown Hill Cemetery in Sedalia.


The older daughter Patricia Alice (* 26. 12. 1920) attended Missouri Valley College and Central State College in Warrensburg and for five years worked as a consultant for Sonotone Hearing Aid Company in Kansas City. On 28th July 1946 she married Harvey Lee Baker (* 3. 5. 1917) the son of Leo F. Baker and Anna Mae Harvey. Their son David Brent Parker was born 1st March 1953 in Wichita (Kansas). For 35 years the Bakers were co-directors of Baker Printing Co., which Harvey managed. Today they live in Kansas City.


John Frederick who was born on 21st June 1922 died in the September of the same year.


Oscar’s daughter Elizabeth Louise (* 17. 10. 1923) studied at Missouri University and Washington University (School for Social Work) in St. Louis and then worked at the Methodist Children’s Home in St. Louis. On 26th December 1947 in Knob Noster she married John Stanley Barrett (* 31. 7. 1922) son of Maurice Lamm Barrett and Grace B. Jones. Stanley is an engineer for the TRW company and holder of 10 industrial patens. The four children of the marriage were born in St. Louis: John Stanley jr. (*27. 11. 1949), Rachel Louise (* 27. 9. 1951), Stephen William (*23. 6. 1955) and David Samuel (* 7. 5. 1958). Today the family lives in Rancho Palos Verdes in the state of California.



Homer Louis

* 12. 5. 1889 died 15. 6. 1956


Homer married Emma Steinwald on  14th March 1919. The marriage was childless. He was a successful farmer in Livington near his birthplace in Illinois. In the memory of his brothers and sisters Homer was the storyteller in the family. He had an excellent sense of Humour and could imitate other people’s voices. The couple spoke ‘Low German’ (=Plattdeutsch). They did however use many English words for such objects, which had been invented after their emigration to the USA eg. recorder. When the USA entered World War I in 1917 the German language was forbidden in schools and churches. Yet they could continue speaking to each other in ‘Low German’, as Americans of other origins didn’t realise it was German.


When Homer was still living on his parents’ farm, he was kicked by a horse so badly, that he had to have a kidney removed. In those days this was still a very dangerous operation. It was not, however, the loss of a kidney but asthma which later weakened his health. He died of this at the age of 70 in Livington.



Laura Maryanna

* 28. 1. 1892 died Dec. 1979


Up till her marriage Laura taught for 4 years at a school in Sedalia. On 5th July 1915 she married Bert Scott Frye (*15. 8. 1893 died 16. 2. 1973) who was born in Palmyra (Missouri) a 7th generation descendant of Heinrich Frey, who had emigrated to America from Heilbronn in 1680. Descendants of the said Heinrich Frey spread gradually from east to west all over the USA. Bert’s parents Walter Scott Frye and Lola Morgat had first settled in Monroe in the state of Missouri where Bert, one of five children, was born. For a short time Bert S. Frye lived with his wife in Fortuna in the state of Missouri and worked as a barber. Then the couple took over a farm in Sedalia, which they worked for over fifty years. The last years of their life they spent in Dresden near Sedalia.


The couple had seven children: Laurel Bertice (* 24. 10. 1917 in Sedalia), Bernice Mae born in Hughesville in the state of Missouri (* 1. 12. 1919), James Frederick (*22. 6. 1922), Robert Samuel (* 18. 11. 1923), Richard (* 14. 2. 1925), Jane Elizabeth (* 20. 4. 1927) and Edgar Eugene (born in La Monte in Missouri 29. 3. 1934).



Ella Flora

* 28. 1. 1894 died 14. 2. 1978


Ella did not marry and was a secretary all her working life. During World War I she worked in the capital Washington and then for a short time in Columbus in the state of Ohio. She then moved to Sedalia and lived with her parents, who for reasons of age had given up working their farm. Ella kept up contact with her brothers’ and sisters’ families, who were scattered all over from east to the west coast. Together with her sister Elizabeth she also visited relations in Germany and her father’s birthplace in Unterlübbe.



picture 6: The sisters Elizabeth I., Ella F. and Laura M. (from left to right)


Elizabeth Ida

* 4. 4. 1896


After attending Warrensburg State Normal School Elizabeth also taught until her marriage. On 21st August 1922 in Sedalia she married Harley Edwin Holden (* 6. 8. 1894 died 24. 6. 1963), who was born in Johnstone in the state of Nebraska the son of John William Holden and Jennie Estella Holt. Harley had studied journalism at the University of Kansas and had been in the US Navy in World War I. First of all he was local editor of a daily paper in Kansas. Then the couple bought their first own paper, a weekly, in Thayer (Kansas). In 1929 they exchanged this for a paper which appeared twice weekly in Baxter Springs (Kansas). This they sold again in 1943. The following year the couple bought a daily paper in Loveland in the state of Colorado. Their son John Edwin Holden who was born on 10th February 1924 entered his parents’ concern as a partner in 1947. After a heart attack Harley left the firm in 1959.



Edgar Frederick

* 23. 12. 1902 died July 1980


The youngest son Edgar became a lawyer. First of all he worked as a legal adviser for insurance companies in the states of Oregon and Washington. During this time his interest in the insurance business grew to such an extent that he founded and built up his own insurance company. He saw the opening for insurances in Alaska, after this north western part of the American continent had become the 49th State of the USA. So especially in the early days of his business he made many trips to Alaska. He was a successful businessman and much respected citizen in Seattle in the state of Washington. Together with his wife he lived last of all in San Diego in the state of California.


Edgar had a fine sense of humour and could tell stories well. It was he who passed on most of the details about the first decades of the family branch ‘Sedalia’. He died after a long illness at the age of 78.


Edgar married Genevieve Laura Perkins (* St. Louis 8. 1. 1903) daughter of Henry Clay Perkins and Idora Virginia Sharp on 14th October 1928. The couple had two adopted children who were born in the state of Ohio: Helen and Frederick.


picture 7: The married couple Edgar F. Peithmann and Genvieve L. Perkins on their Ruby wedding anniversary in 1968


Helen Virginia (* 19. 2. 1932) married Donald Marvin Johnson (* 1. 8. 1930) son of Marvin Lewis Johnson and Muriel Lenora Bellingham on 31st January 1953 in Seattle. The two children of the marriage were born in Seattle: Mark Lloyd Johnson (*23. 1. 1954) and Kathleen Gene Johnson (* 19. 9. 1960).


Frederick Clay (* 21. 11. 1936) is manager of an insurance company for a large chain of food stores and lives in Arcadia in the state of California. From his first marriage on 22. 12. 1959 to Davideen Sandra Price (* 6. 2. 1940) he has three children: Edgar Frederick (* 21. 10. 1960), Leslie Ann (* 23. 8. 1961) and Cassandra Lynn (* 9. 4. 1966). His second marriage to Martha McKinna, a bank manageress, took place on 19th December 1981.





Ms Helen Sandfort in Columbus in the state of Ohio and granddaughter of Frederick Peithmann, gathered together the greater part of the material about the family branch ‘Sedalia’. Frau Gudrun Wilde-Peithmann (Bergisch Gladbach) and Mrs. Genevieve Peithmann (San Diego in California) supplemented the information.



Unprinted Sources


Church books of Bergkirchen in Minden-Lübbecke





Müller. F. (1981) Westphalian emigrants in the 19th century – emigration from the Minden region, Part I 1816 – 1900 (Permitted emigration) Westphalian family backgrounds 38 – 39, Page 1 - 711