A short story of the Hintz - Ziemer family of Wisconsin
When Heinrich Ziemer married Bertha Hintz in Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA,
in 1870, did two old Pommern families unite? We don't know for certain, but
we think so.
We know that Bertha Hintz was born in the little hamlet of Wefelow, just
east of Klatkow, Kreis Greifenberg, in 1850. Her two sisters, Wilhelmine and
Pauline, and her brother Ferdinand, were born in the nearby town of Gumtow.
Bertha's father was Johann Ferdinand Hintz, born in Woedtke in 1819. The
Hintz family of Woedtke is a large and ancient family there. Records trace the
Hintz family back to about 1620 in Woedtke. Johann Hintz's father David Hintz
(born in Woedtke about 1783) had been a Cavallerie man (in 1816), a waggoneer
(in 1819) and a herder (in 1841.) Johann's mother was Dorothea Louise Eratha,
geb. Voigt, of Borntin, daughter of Wilhelm Voigt and Marie Elisabeth Wille or
Witte; Dorothea was born about 1787. David Hintz born 1783 was one of nine
sons of Erdmann Hintz of Woedtke, who had been deaf and dumb since his youth.
It is easy to see, from the many sons in the Hintz family of Woedtke, why this
is such a common name.
Johann Ferdinand Hintz and his wife Fredericke Bischof, of the Sellin area
near the town of Greifenberg, brought their four children to America in 1868.
They landed in the city of Baltimore, near Washington, D.C., in June, 1868,
having traveled the distance from Hamburg on the ship "Ocean." Cousins of
Johann Hintz also arrived in the US about this time; they were also
descendants of Erdmann Hintz. One of these cousins, known as Wilhelm Hintze
in America, also eventually settled in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The
Hintze family and the Hintz family belonged to the same church in the
Milwaukee area -- their religion in the US was not old Lutheran but was
Johann and Fredericke lived most of the time until their deaths with their
daughter Bertha and her husband Heinrich Johann Ziemer, apparently in a house
on their farmland in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Bertha and
Heinrich became the parents of eight children. Bertha died in 1941. Her
brother Ferdinand became a carpenter and married Katherine Paul and they had
several children, many of whom died within the first year of life. Among
their descendants was their daughter Norma, who married Daniel Carlton.
Wilhelmine Hintz married Katherine Paul's brother Valentin and although she
died young she left some descendants, apparently with the family name of
McGowan, in Milwaukee. Pauline was married but widowed and lived in Chicago
where she ran an interior decorating business until her death, probably in the
1930's. She had no descendants.
The family of Heinrich Ziemer remains a mystery. We believe that his
parents were Carl and Wilhelmine Grunewald Ziemer, probably of Pommern. Since
the area of Woedtke and Goerke, Kreis Greifenberg, contains many Ziemers in
its history, we expect someday to find a link of Heinrich to Pommern.
Among the descendants of Heinrich and Bertha in the US were or are a mechanic
and trumpet player, teachers, university professors, journalists and writers,
a watercolor painter, a baker, singers, a minister, a robotics design expert,
telephone engineers, and a veterinarian.
Penny Ziemer Ford
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