Monday, January 30, 2006

Farmer issues call from the fatherland

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells of a German farmer who is looking for long-lost American cousins, descendants of the TONJES family.

I've run across this surname quite a bit in my research. It's not relevant to me personally, that I know of, but many of my ancestors lived near Bielefeld. More precisely, Kölkebeck is close to the ancestral homes of the HOLZ, KOCH, VOSSIEK and WIEDEY families, as well as the other related families. Melle and Buer, where even more ancestors lived, are just a bit further north. While researching the church records of some of these towns -- Borgholzhausen and Bockhorst, as I recall -- I've seen the TONJES (TOENJES) name more than a few times, so the name seems to have been well represented in the region.

As far as St. Charles goes, I can't remember whether I've come across the name in local records. I vaguely recall seeing the TONJES name, though.

I do have one TOENJES family in my database. They appear to be St. Louis Catholics. I don't have many details because it's like this: A TOENJES woman married a NOFTSINGER man, whose father married a RICK woman -- RICK being my primary interest in this case. In other words, I'm the 3rd cousin, once removed of the children of this TOENJES woman. I'll have to do a little digging to see if there might be a connection to the TONJES brothers mentioned in the article.


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