The Bringewatt Family lived at Borninghausen Number 16 in old county Lubbecke, in the eastern-most part of Westphalia. It is believed that Frank (Franz) Bringewatt, who emigrated to America with his wife and four children, was an only child and that his decision to move to the United States was a disappointment to his parents.

Westphalia in 1883 was in a state of rapid industrialization, urbanization and social change and had only been part of the newly formed Deutsches Kaiserreich (or German Rhelm) for about a decade. Originally part of the Holy Roman Empire, Westphalia fell to Napoleon in 1806, who made it part of a vasal state known as the Confederation of the Rhine. After the Battle of Waterloo, Westphalia became part of Prussia. War between the German states and France was a common thing in the Nineteenth Century and took a hard toll on the land and the people. Another war with France in 1870-71 was one of the reasons that inspired Prussia, Bavaria, Wurttenburg and Baden to form the Deutsches Kaiserreich.

No explicit reason is recorded why Frank decided to emigrate to America. Perhaps he felt that his property at Borninghausen Number 16 was too small for his family to thrive on and new land was too hard to come by. Perhaps the countryside near Lubbecke was becoming over-populated. What is known is that the 1880s was a time of mass migration from Germany to America and that Frank knew people who had already made the move and wrote home to encourage others to do so. Frank sold his property to Farmer Stukemeir and used the money to pay for his family's passage to the United States.

Frank, Catherine and their four children sail for America, arriving in New York City on May 19, 1883.

All the buildings at Borninghausen Number 16 were destroyed by fire in 1934. Instead of replacing them, the Stukemeirs planted an apple orchard on the property. As of 1986, the land still belongs to the Stukemeir family.



The Bringewatt Family in America

The Bringewatts settle at Pemberville, Ohio, where presumably they have friends who emigrated before them. Almost immediately they adopt Anglicanized versions of their first names, at least when dealing with anyone outside the immediate family: Franz becomes Frank; Wilhelm becomes William; Heinrich becomes Henry; and so on... There is no indication that any of them used the Germanic versions of their names, even in private, after the anti-German sentiment that accompanied America's involvement in World War I.

Frank receives his citizenship papers June 21, 1887 from the court of Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio. Frank and Catherine have 2 more children while living in Ohio.

Sometime between August 1887 (when their son Johann was born) and 1891 (when their last child, Elsie, was born) the Bringewatts moved to Clatonia, Nebraska, presumably due to the availability of cheap farmland. Some of their children have left home by this time, but at least three

of their children were still living with Frank and Catherine when they moved.

It is not known when the Bringewatts met the Drees Family. In Germany their homes were only about five miles apart. Frank's son Henry married Anna Drees in 1903. Frank and Catherine Bringewatt moved to Daykin, buying a farm only a few miles from where the Drees Family was then living, in 1904. Minnie Bringewatt married Herman Drees in 1905 and August Bringewatt married Mary Drees in 1907. The families became extremely close; when Herman and Minnie moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1920, so did Henry and Anna.

Frank Bringewatt died in 1911.

Catherine Bringewatt moved to Grand Forks in 1920 to live with her daughter Minnie and her husband Herman. Catherine died in 1931.

Heinrich Friederick Bringewatt
b. 1754

Franz Heinrich Wilhelm Bringewatt
1844 - 1911

Franz emigrates from Westphalia in 1883 with his wife and four children. They originally settle in Ohio but later move to Nebraska.
Catherine Wilhelmine "Minnie" Bringewatt
1884 - 1936

Minnie is one of three of Frank Bringewatts children to marry into the Drees family.


Names Index

BRINGEWATT, Albert
BRINGEWATT, Alene
BRINGEWATT, Alfred
BRINGEWATT, Anna Marie Elise
BRINGEWATT, Anna Marie Louise
BRINGEWATT, Arnold
BRINGEWATT, Catherine "Kate"
BRINGEWATT, Catherine "Minnie"
BRINGEWATT, Elsie Anna
BRINGEWATT, Elsie Emma
BRINGEWATT, Franz "Frank"
BRINGEWATT, Franz "William"
BRINGEWATT, George
BRINGEWATT, Harold
BRINGEWATT, Heinrich "August"
BRINGEWATT, Heinrich "Henry"
BRINGEWATT, Johann "John"
BRINGEWATT, Lawrence
BRINGEWATT, Lena
BRINGEWATT, Leo
BRINGEWATT, Minnie

BRINGEWATT, Nora
BRINGEWATT, Ralph
BRINGEWATT, Wilhelm
COKER, Carolina
CUDA, Nora
DREES, Albert
DREES, Albert Jr.
DREES, Barbara
DREES, Carolina
DREES, Catherine
DREES, Donald
DREES, Doris
DREES, Dorothy
DREES, Elmer
DREES, Howard
DREES, John
DREES, Mary
DREES, Minnie
DREES, Viola
DREES, Walter E.

GANZER, Alene
HAAKE, Catherine
HAAKE, Erma
HAAKE, Norman
HOOEY, Mary
KUGEL, Edgar
KUGEL, Elsie
KUGEL, Harry
KUGEL, Loren
KUGEL, Marvin
KUGEL, Wayne
KULESZA, Barbara
KUSTER, Viola
PEDERSON, Barbara
RACHOW, Doris
RACHOW, Mark
SCHROETER, Dorothy
SCHROETER, Shawn
SHERMAN, Lena
SPICER, Elsie

Thanks to Donna Widenhoefer for her recollections and research on the Bringewatt family as contained in 'A Genealogy and History for the Family of Albert and Ethel Drees' (2000). Recognition should also go to Elsie Spicer, whose research into the family is contained in 'The Drees Family Tree, Book 2 (1987).