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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Rothemeier

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 889-890 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Settled originally by the Dutch, and early peopled by immigrants from northern Europe, the Hudson and Mohawk valleys have always had an especial attraction for Germans, and for those of the states or countries once independent, now walled together, forming the German Empire. Steady and domestic in their habits, honest and faithful in their endeavor, they have found homes and fortunes in their adopted country, where they have made the best of citizens. The family of Rothemeier is native to Westphalia, Germany, where they were largely tillers of the soil, although they have had many representatives in the arts and trades. Since the Reformation, they have as a family been members of the Lutheran church. The local habitation of the family from which Henry of Amsterdam, New York, now descends, was at Hille, province of Westphalia. His grandfather was a farmer, an upright Christian man, who died at an advanced age. He was married and had issue, among whom was a son, Frederick Rothemeier, born in Hille. He was a farmer, like his father, whose virtues he inherited and practiced in his daily life. He married a girl of his native village, Caroline Rothemeier, not, however, a blood relative. They had one child, Henry F., who is the first of his family in the United States. Caroline Rothemeier survived her husband and married (second) Frederick Ossenfort, a farmer of Hille, who later operated a grocery. They continued to reside at Hille until death. Their four children all came to the United States. The Ossenfort children are:

  1. Caroline, married Peter Berkel, a market gardener of Amsterdam, New York, and has sons, Henry and Peter, both living in Amsterdam; their only daughter, Gertrude, married Henry Tollner.
  2. Frederick (2), resident of Schenectady, New York.
  3. Christian, lived for many years in Boston, Massachusetts.
  4. Charles, settled in Schenectady, married Caroline Myer and has Charles, Robert, Frederick, Henry, Anna, Mamie, Helen and Mary, who was accidentally killed.

Henry F., only child of Frederick and Caroline Rothemeier, was born in Hille, Westphalia, Germany, December 18, 1847. He was as well educated as the schools of his town and province allowed, and worked with his stepfather until the death of the latter, in 1865. Believing the United States offered better opportunities for a young man of energy than his own land, he bade farewell to his native land and friends, to seek his fortune there. He was then eighteen years of age. He sailed from Bremen on the sailing vessel "Johannah," and after a passage of seven weeks, arrived safely in New York City. He did not long tarry there, but proceeded north to Schenectady, where he remained for a time. Eventually he settled in Amsterdam, and became a broom-maker, a business he followed for forty years. He has prospered and secured for his declining years an ample competence. He has a comfortable home in Amsterdam overlooking the beautiful landscape of the Mohawk valley. He has all his life been a Lutheran, and is also interested in the Christian Science faith. Mr. Rothemeier married, in Amsterdam, December 27, 1871, Louise Schwennker, born in Westphalia, Germany, December 5, 1853. She made the journey from Europe alone, in 1870, and settled in Amsterdam, where one year later she was married. Her parents were William and Catherine (Rahtert) Schwennker, of Friederwalde, Westphalia. Her Grandfather Schwennker was born in Holland, but ended his days in Westphalia with his son William. William Schwennker died in Westphalia, Germany, in 1871. In 1873 Mrs. Schwennker came to the United States and ended her days in Amsterdam with her children, dying in Troy, while on a visit in 1889, having attained a very old age. She was mother of nine children, all of whom emigrated to the United States.

  1. Caroline, married Christopher Meinholtz, and has Frederick, Christian, William and Minnie Meinholtz; she is a resident of St. Louis, Missouri.
  2. Christian, was a farmer of Saratoga county; married Mary Horstman and left children: William, Charles, Henry, Frederick, Lillian and Carrie.
  3. William, died in Schenectady, New York; his wife was Minnie Burmeister; they had two sons, Walter and Benjamin.
  4. Marie, wife of Herman Schutte; they reside in Amsterdam and have Carrie, John, Charles, Rose and Harry Schutte.
  5. Anna, widow of Frederick Krah; resides in Amsterdam with children: William, Anna and Laura Krah.
  6. Louise (Mrs. Henry F. Rothemeier).
  7. Frederick (deceased); left two sons, Albert and Harry.
  8. Fredericka, married Edward Vosburgh; resides in Amsterdam.
  9. Catherine, married Charles Ostrander Lytle, of Brooklyn, New York, connected in the printing department of the New York World. Their children are Robert and Edwina.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Rothemeier are parents of two daughters, born in Amsterdam:

  1. Marie L., November 8, 1872; resides with her parents.
  2. Anna C., November 11, 1874; married Henry W. Grieme, and has
    1. Doris L., born May, 1903;
    2. Henry C., October 17, 1904, and
    3. Marie F., January 17, 1906.
    Mr. Grieme is one of the successful architects and builders of Amsterdam.

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