Johann (John) Gerhard was the subject of last week’s post. This week I’ll be talking about his father, Gerrit Jans Woltermann. Gerrit was born 21 November 1792 in Stapelmoorheide, Ostfriesland, Germany to Jan Geerds Woltermann and Gepke (Boelen) Woltermann. His brother Jan was born 6 October 1797, and brother Hindertje about 1804 in the same town.
On 29 March 1829, Gerrit married Helena Jans Boze in Hannover. Helena was born in Brual, Emsland, Germany, which is 4 km from Stapelmoorheide but 260 km from Hannover. Why were they married in Hannover? The Cross Church in Stapelmoor would have been much closer since it was just 3.5 km away.
Gerrit and Helena set up their household in Stapelmoorheide, where son Johann (John) Gerhard was born on 24 June 1829. (Maybe they married in Hannover because Helena was 6 months pregnant at the time of their marriage?) Their daughter Antje was born 16 September 1832. Antje married Johann Eugene Williams around 1852, and they had three sons: Wilhelm born in 1853, Heinrich born in 1857, and Johann born in 1862. Unfortunately, Antje died on 23 October 1865 at the age of 33.
Gerrit and Helena made the decision to leave their homeland in 1869. His brother Hindertje had died in 1828, and his brother Jan in 1859, With the passing of their daughter Antje in 1865, perhaps they felt there was nothing keeping them in Germany. Especially since their son Johann had emigrated with his family in 1868.
When Gerrit and Helena left Germany, their daughter's three sons accompanied them. I have no information on whether Antje’s husband Johann was still alive at that time or not. He was not listed as being on the ship with them. Gerrit was 77, Helena 70, Wilhelm 17, Heinrich 12, and Johann 6. They traveled aboard the bark "Olbers".
Herman Dieke was Master of the "Olbers", which sailed from the Port of Bremen to Baltimore, Maryland. There were 392 passengers on this particular passage. In notes that were transcribed by the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, it is noted that the Woltermann family was from Stapelmoor, Ostriesland, and that the three children were the grandchildren of Gerrit. It also states that Helena was the second wife of Gerrit, and that her maiden name was Boose/Boze. So far I have seen no records to indicate that Gerrit was married prior to his 1829 marriage to Helena. Most importantly, it is also recorded that Gerrit died on the journey and was buried at sea.
By 1880 Johann (John) and Anna had moved to Carroll County, Iowa and Helena went with them. She died after 1880, probably in Wheatland Township, Carroll, Iowa. It is unclear where she was buried. I do not see a burial listing for her at Saint Bernard Cemetery in Breda, which is where her son and some of his family were laid to rest.
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