About PetersPioneersJohann and Elisabeth Krämer and Elizabeth Bitter Drüecke Family

Pastor Franz Rinschen, Volker Kennemann, Mark Riggleman, Toni Wurzburg Viertel, Paul Drueke, and Mary Lou Kritter Bohen contributed to this family history.

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Johann Born in 1743

German FlagElspe, 1743-1776. Johann Drüecke was born January 18, 1743, in Elspe. His name was originally Börger (see A House in Ostentrop).

Elspe is in the county of Olpe, or Kreis Olpe, 64 miles east of Cologne, or Köln.
St. Jakobus Church, Elspe
St. Jakobus Church, Elspe, Kreis Olpe, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Elspe, which is in postal code 57368, is 2 miles east of the Lenne River, just south of the Ebbe mountains, or Ebbegebirge, in a chain of hills called the Sauerland. The county of Olpe is in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, or Nordrhein-Westfalen. North Rhine and Westphalia were combined into one state after World War II.

At the time of Johann's birth in 1743, Elspe was part of the County of the Mark, which lay on both sides of the Ruhr River along the Volme and Lenne Rivers. Elspe is 30 miles southeast of Altena Castle, the where the Counts lived until 1200. The County of the Mark in turn was part of the Kingdom of Prussia. The king of Prussia was Frederick the Great, who was succeeded by Frederick William II in 1786 and Frederick William III in 1797. From 1807 to 1813, the County of the Mark passed from Prussia to France as a result of the Treaties of Tilsit and became part of what Napoleon called the Kingdom of Westphalia. It was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte, until the collapse of French power in 1813, when it returned to Prussia. In 1815, the Mark became part of the Province of Westphalia. The Hohenzollern Prussian sovereigns remained Counts of the "Prussian County of the Mark" until 1918. The "County of the Mark" has no official meaning anymore, but is used to informally refer to the region in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Westphalia is part of Old Saxony, which consisted of Lower Saxony and western Saxony-Anhalt in addition to Westphalia.

The Catholic Church in Elspe is St. Jakobus. Elspe is in the Archdiocese of Paderborn.

Y-Chromosome DNA

DNA test results for Paul Drueke, a great great great grandson of Johann, show that he matches up fairly closely with people whose ancestors are from England (Arnold, Bennett, Lowder, Ozment, Scott, Self, Wooten), Wales (Ellis, Price), Scotland (Armstrong, Russell), and Ireland (Moore). Many people with English names have Germanic origins. The term Anglo-Saxon is used by some historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Britain from the early 5th century up to the Norman conquest in 1066. Johann is from Westphalia, which was part of Old Saxony. See CTS10893 Saxon DNA.

Elisabeth Kramer Born in 1755

Anton Krämer German Flag
Heinrich Krämer
1715-1786
Elisabeth German Flag
Maria Elisabeth Krämer
1755-1790
Theodor Kallenstein
1665-1745
German Flag
Anna Margarethe Kallenstein 1715-1795
Anna Maria d. 1729 German Flag

German FlagOstentrop, 1755-1776. Maria Elisabeth Krämer was born December 1, 1755, in Ostentrop.

Ostentrop is in the county of Olpe, or Kreis Olpe. The postal code is 57413.

Elizabeth's parents were Heinrich and Anna Margarethe Kallenstein Krämer. Her paternal grandparents were Anton and Elisabeth Krämer. Her maternal grandparents were Theodor and Anna Maria Kallenstein. Theodor was born in Schnellenberg (Schmallenberg?) in 1665.

Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen
Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen, Kreis Olpe, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Ostentrop is part of the parish of Mariä Himmelfahrt in Schönholthausen and information about the Krämer family is included in the Schönholthausen Parish Register Pastor Franz Rinschen has provided for the Web site of the nearby Finnentrop Historical Society. Schönholthausen is in the Archdiocese of Paderborn.

The Kremer family lived in a house in Ostentrop built around 1740 at the intersection of Mittelweg and St. Lucia Straße.

Johann and Elisabeth Kramer Marry in 1776

Johann Drüecke, 33, and Elisabeth Krämer, 20, were married on June 10, 1776.

Ostentrop, 1776-1790. After the wedding, Johann and Elisabeth Krämer Drüecke lived in one of the two houses Johann owned in Ostentrop.

Johann Drüecke trade route
173-mile trade route of Johann Drüecke superimposed on 2007 Michelin map showing from north to south: Münster, Ostentrop, Selters, and Frankfurt.
Pastor Franz Rinschen of Mariä Himmelfahrt Church in Schönholthausen has a copy of handwritten book of accounts of Johann Drüecke that indicates that Johann was a trader. He bought cured hams from processors in the Ostentrop area and transported them by horse and wagon to Münster, 66 miles to the north, and to Frankfurt, 107 miles to the south. He also dealt in mineral water from the town of Selters (where the name seltzer water originated). Selters is on the route between Ostentrop and Frankfurt, 68 miles from Ostentrop. According to a modern-day ham processor by the name of Abraham, "The production of ham has scarcely changed over the centuries. Westphalian ham has its very own typical shape and flavour. It is salted on the bone for five weeks, then smoked for another four to five weeks over beech wood and juniper twigs. The bone is only removed after a total maturing period of two to three months: only then does the ham achieve its typically seasoned Westphalian flavor."

In 2013, Volker Kennemann wrote article about Johann Drüecke as a trader and transporter. The article entitled "Johann Drücke – ein Händler (trader) und Fuhrunternehmer (transporter) aus Ostentrop," appeared in the magazine of the local historical society, "An Bigge, Lenne und Fretter - Heimatkundliche Beiträge (local history magazine) aus der Gemeinde (from the municipality) Finnentrop." The magazine is published twice a year in June and December. Appearing in the December 2013 edition, it was 20 pages long. Volker Kennemann is the magazine's editorial director. The article was spotted in December 2016 by Mark Riggleman, who had recently matched my cousin Paul Drueke's Y-DNA. He decided to research the "Johann Druecke" listed as his most distant paternal ancestor. In doing so he stumbled across this website, but he "also found (as a German speaker) an interesting newspaper article from 2013 that is promoting a local history publication which gives the birth name of Johann Drücke. My translation: 'Transporters in Sauerland were very busy up until the second half of the 19th Century with products from the area (or "countryside"). One of them was a certain Johann Börger, who was born in Elspe, moved to Ostentrop, renamed himself Johann Drücke there, and built up a flourishing transport company there. His career has been researched and written up by Kennemann.' The original German can be found here: Sauerland Courier.

In 1786, Johann Drüecke built a half-timbered house next to his wife's family's house in Ostentrop. Elisabeth Krämer had five siblings. They were all older but died at a young age. Her father Heinrich Krämer died November 18, 1786 at age 71. As a result, Elisabeth Krämer Drüecke inherited her father's house in Ostentrop even though her mother Anna Margarethe Kallenstein Krämer was still alive. The two houses are still standing and are owned by two brothers, Markus and Andre Eckert, who are renovating the houses for use as their own residences.

Johann and Elisabeth had no children.

Johann Drüecke house in Ostentrop
2007 photo of home built by Johann Drüecke in Ostentrop in 1786. A larger view shows the words on the third horizontal timber from the top are in Latin and German and in English read "All for the Honor and Glory of God."
Drüecke house in Ostentrop
Oil painting of an idyllic scene in Ostentrop, Germany, just to the north of the intersection of Mittelweg and St. Lucia Straße. To the right is a house built around 1740, which was the home of Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke from 1790 to 1798. To the left is a half-timbered structure built by Johann Drüeke in 1786, prior to their marriage. The structures are now owned by two brothers, Andre and Markus Eckert, who are renovating them for use as their own homes. Between the two structures in the background is St. Lucia Chapel. Source: Stefan Schröder.

Johann Widowed at Age 47

On April 1, 1790, Johann's wife, Maria Elisabeth Kremer Drüecke, died after 13 years of marriage. They had no children. Johann, 47, became a widower with two houses in Ostentrop.

Elisabeth Krämer Dies in 1790

On April 1, 1790, Maria Elisabeth Kremer Drüecke died. She was age 34. They had no children.

Elisabeth Bitter Born in 1770

Johann Eberhard Bitter
1712-1783
German Flag
Johann Peter Bitter
1737-1804
Maria Margarethe Elisabeth Seller
1709-1769
German Flag
Maria Elisabeth Bitter
1770-1835
Philipp Kallenstein
1700-1777
German Flag
Maria (Anna) Elisabeth Kallenstein
1742-1810
Anna Gertrud Korte
1705-1769
German Flag

German FlagFretter, 1770-1790. Maria Elisabeth Bitter was born December 12, 1770, in Fretter.

Fretter is in the county of Olpe, or Kreis Olpe, 1.3 miles east of Ostentrop. The postal code is 57413, the same as Ostentrop.

Elizabeth's parents were Johann Peter and Maria Elisabeth Kallenstein Bitter. Her paternal grandparents were from Fretter: Johann Eberhard and Maria Margarethe Elisabeth Seller. Her maternal grandparents were from Fretter: Philipp and Anna Gertrud Korte Kallenstein.

Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen
Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen, Kreis Olpe, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Fretter is part of the parish of Mariä Himmelfahrt in Schönholthausen and information about the Bitter family is included in the Schönholthausen Parish Register Pastor Franz Rinschen has provided for the Web site of the nearby Finnentrop Historical Society.

Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Marry in 1790, Have 4 Children

Johann Drüecke, 47, and Elisabeth Bitter, 19, were married on May 23, 1790.

Ostentrop, 1790-1798. After the wedding, Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke lived in one of the two houses Johann owned in Ostentrop.

On July 24, 1791, Johann and Elisabeth had the first of their four children, Johann Joseph.

On April 17, 1793, Johann and Elisabeth had the second of their four children, Johann Wilhelm.

Anna Margarethe Kallenstein Kremer, mother of Johann Drüecke's first wife, Maria Elisabeth Kremer Drüecke, died on February 23, 1795.

On November 8, 1795, Johann and Elisabeth had the third of their four children, Franz Anton.

On July 1, 1797, Johann and Elisabeth had the last of their four children, Maria Katharina.

Johann Drüecke signature
Signature of Johan Drüecke from page 77 of his ledger book. See: Trader and Transporter.

Johann Dies in 1798 at Age 55

On May 4, 1798, Johann Drüecke died at age 55. He was survived by his wife Elisabeth Bitter and their four children.

* * *

Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke eventually had 18 grandchildren. From 1852 to 1883, seven of these 18 grandchildren emigrated to the United States:

  • 1852 to Chanhassen, Minnesota: Franz Carl Drüecke (Carl Drucke) 1826-1911  m. Appolonia 1837-1893
  • 1853 to Chanhassen, Minnesota: Peter Drüecke 1829-1907  m. 1862 Anna Saber 1839-1912
  • 1857 to Grand Rapids, Michigan; ca. 1860 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Everhard Drüeke (Eberhard Druecke) 1835-1900s  m. Caroline 1843-1910s
  • 1871 to New York, New York; 1873 to Grand Rapids, Michigan: Anna Sophia Drüeke 1846-1884   m. 1871 Frederick William Wurzburg 1833-1924
  • 1871 to New York, New York; 1873 to Grand Rapids, Michigan: Peter Wilhelm Drüeke (William Peter Drueke) 1853-1926  m. 1882 Elizabeth Berles 1858-1941
  • 1880 to Grand Rapids, Michigan: Carl Ferdinand Drüecke (Charles Drueke) 1857-1928  m. 1887 Josephine Berles 1866-1945
  • 1883 to Grand Rapids, Michigan: Charlotte Drüeke 1837-1921   m. 1862 Joseph Vogt 1827-1910

Elisabeth Bitter Widowed at Age 27

Ostentrop, 1798-1798. With Johann's death in 1798, Elisabeth Bitter was widowed after seven years of marriage.

On December 27, 1798, Maria Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke married Ferdinand Wortmann from Lenhausen.

Binolen, 1798-1835. Following their marriage, Ferdinand and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke Wortmann and their family moved to Binolen, which is on the Hönne River 23 miles north northwest of Ostentrop, near Balve. Ferdinand and Elisabeth had two children of their own.

In 1821, two of Johann and Elisabeth's children married into the Gottschalk family. On June 25, Maria Katharina Drüecke, 23, married Franz Anton Gottschalk. On November 6, Johann Joseph Drüecke, 30, married Antonette Margarethe Gottschalk. Johann Joseph and Antonette Margarethe had nine children.

On October 30, 1827, Johann and Elisabeth's second child, Johann Wilhelm Drüeke, 34, married Anna Maria Struck, 28, from Niederhelden. They lived in Niederhelden and in 1828 had a daughter, Maria Elisabeth Margaretta, whose godfather was Ferdinand Wortmann. They had a second daughter who died at birth in 1831.

Anna Maria Struck Drüeke died in Niederhelden on December 6, 1831. She was 33 years old. Their daughter Maria Elisabeth Margaretta was 4.

On February 12, 1833, Johann Wilhelm Drüeke married Bernardina Josephina Heller from Rieflinghausen. They had seven children. Their first child, Klemens Franz Wilhelm Anton Drüeke, was born December 4, 1833. Maria Katharina Drüecke Gottschalk was godmother.

Elisabeth Bitter Dies in 1835 at Age 64

On May 2, 1835, Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke Wortmann died. She was 64 years old.

Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke: 4 children, 18 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren

Johann Joseph Drüecke 1791-1869  m. 1821 Antonette Margarethe Gottschalk 1797-1849

  • Johann Wilhelm Drüecke b. 1823  m. 1853 Lisette Korte 1830-1890
    • Friedrich Anton Drüecke b. 1854
    • Carl Ferdinand Drüecke (Charles Drueke) 1857-1928 (1880 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)  m. 1887 Josephine Berles 1866-1945
    • Johann Wilhelm Drüecke b. 1860
    • Johann Anton Drüecke b. 1862 (to USA)
    • Franz Anton Drüecke 1865-1868
    • Maria Elisabeth Drüecke 1868-1868
    • Franz Joseph Drüecke b. 1869  m. 1895 Anna Luise Lubeley
    • Maria Bernhardine Drüecke b. 1873
  • Maria Katharina Drüecke b. 1825  m. 1844 Anton Hachen
    • Maria Katharina Franziska Hachen b. 1846
    • Johann Anton Hachen b. 1847  m. 1879 Bertha Hufnagel b. 1854
    • Maria Theresia Hachen 1850-1852
    • Maria Theresia Hachen b. 1852
    • Franz ASugust Hachen b. 1854
    • Franz Ferdinand Hachen b. 1855
    • Maria Elisabeth Hachen b. 1856
    • Maria Bernhardina Hachen 1859-1880
    • Franz Joseph Hachen 1862-1870
  • Franz Carl Drüecke (Carl Drucke) 1826-1911 (1852 to Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA)  m. Appolonia 1837-1893
    • Charles Druke b. 1859
    • John Druke b. 1861  m. 1889 Margaret J. b. 1872
    • Frank (Frederick) Druke b. 1863  m. 1891 Anna b. 1868
    • Anna Druke b. 1865
    • Regina Druke 1866-1921  m. 1885 George Dietrich b. 1863
    • August Druke b. 1869  m. Celia b. 1875
    • Leo Druke b. 1878
  • Peter Drüecke 1829-1907 (1853 to Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA)  m. 1862 Anna Saber 1839-1912
    • Carl Gustave Druke b. 1863  m. 1891 Mary b. 1866
    • Anna Druke b. 1866  m. 1887 Gerhard Pass b. 1862
    • Pauline Druke b. 1869
    • Josephine Drueke b. 1873
    • Edward Druke 1875-1887
    • Henry Drucke b. 1877  m. 1905 Catherine M. Goergen b. 1879
    • Angelina Druke b. 1880  m. 1911 Maximillion Vogel
  • Franz Joseph Drüecke b. 1831
  • Anna Theresia Drüecke 1835-1837
  • Friedrich Drüecke 1835-1838
  • Johann Drüecke 1839-1839
  • Joseph Drüecke 1839-1839
Johann Wilhelm Drüecke (Drüeke) 1793-1854  m. 1827 Anna Maria Struck 1799-1831
  • Maria Elisabeth Antonetta Drüke b. 1828
  • Daughter 1831-1831
m. 1833 Josephine Bernardina Heller 1812-1887
  • Klemens Franz Wilhelm Anton Drüeke 1833-1870  m. 1866 Josephine Drüecke 1840-1916
    • Herman Wilhelm Drüke b. 1868
    • Emma Charlotte Drüke b. 1870
  • Everhard Drüeke (Eberhard Druecke) 1835-1900s (1857 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA; ca. 1860 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin)  m. Caroline 1843-1910s
    • William Druecke 1863-1924
    • Joseph J. Druecke 1865-1931  m. Louisa M. 1866-1948
    • Mary Druecke b. 1867  m. 1890 Francis Xavier Kritter b. 1866
    • Anna Druecke b. 1869
    • Emilie Druecke b. 1874  m. 1901 Edward S. Tracy
    • Rose Druecke b. 1879  m. 1900 Archie Richardson b. 1876
    • Caroline Druecke b. 1880  m. Edward Kuntz b. 1882
  • Charlotte Drüeke 1837-1921   m. 1862 Joseph Vogt 1827-1910 (1883 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
    • Benardine Vogt 1863-1939  m. 1887 John Knape 1862-1914
    • Johann Clemens Vogt b. 1864
    • Emma Josephine Vogt b. 1866
    • Englebert Vogt 1868-1931  m. 1900 Lilah Sexton
    • Wilhelm Vogt b. 1870
    • August Hubert Vogt b. 1873
    • Pauline Vogt b. 1876
    • Frank Vogt b. 1877
    • Felix Vogt b. 1881
  • Anna Maria Sophia Klementina Drüeke 1840-1925  m. 1867 Clemens Henze b. 1835
    • Josephine Bernhardine Henze b. 1868
    • Emma Josephine Henze b. 1870
  • Anna Elisabeth Drüeke 1843-1864
  • Anna Sophia Drüeke 1846-1884   m. 1871 Frederick William Wurzburg 1833-1924 (1871 to New York, New York, USA; 1873 to Grand Rapids, Michigan)
    • Louisa Anna Wurzburg 1873-1918  m. 1898 Charles N. Hudson 1872-1903
    • Antoinette Wurzburg 1875-1948  m. 1906 Benjamin E. West 1863-1931
    • Francis Lewis Wurzburg 1877-1954  m. 1905 Evelyn Noble Craw 1879-1864
    • Edmund Walter Wurzburg 1879-1928  m. 1905 Marguerite S. Clark 1884-1948
    • Bertha Theresa Wurzburg 1881-1968  m. 1907 William Garfield Logie 1881-1977
    • Charlotte Wurzburg 1883-1883
  • Peter Wilhelm Drüeke (William Peter Drueke) 1853-1926 (1871 to New York, New York, USA; 1873 to Grand Rapids, Michigan)  m. 1882 Elizabeth Berles 1858-1941
    • William Francis Drueke 1883-1956  m. 1906 Rose Viola Smith 1882-1973
    • Antoinette Regina Drueke 1885-1963  m. 1909 George Alphonse Matthews 1884-1963
    • Francis Xavier Drueke 1886-1949  m. 1919 Bertha Reidel 1896-19766
    • Louise A. Drueke 1889-1965  m. 1913 Joseph John Hesse 1888-1975
    • Bernice Drueke 1893-1981  m. 1925 Claude Russel Cheney 1895-199
    • Richard Karl Drueke 1894-1923
    • Edwin Drueke 1897-1906
    • Clarence Anthony Drueke 1898-1963  m. 1931 Elizabeth A. "Betty"
Franz Anton Drüecke b. 1795

Maria Katharina Drüecke b. 1797  m. 1821 Franz Anton Gottschalk

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