Two Drachhausen first cousins, Liese JURK (Jr.) and Martin RIESE (born 22 Feb 1839), were married in Drachhausen on 22 May 1868. Their mother’s were sisters, Liese GOSCHMANN JURK, b about 1820 and Anna GOSCHMANN BARTELL, who was also known by the name of RIESE, b. 27 Jun 1811. Thirteen days later the two newlyweds left for America, with 13 other Wends, with a final destination of FORT MADISON, IOWA. On the ship:


1)      Martin RIESE, is listed as Martin BARTELL, 29,

2)      and his new bride is quickly Americanized to Louise JURK BARTELL, 23


In the wedding record, the groom was identified as a 29 year old single man and legitimate son “Martin RIESE genant BARTELL.”   His father is identified as “Christan RIESE gen, BARTELL.” Genant means “also known as” or “having taken the name.” One of the peculiarities of Wendish culture is that when a family purchased a farm, or when a farm was passed down to a female heir (who might marry and change her name), deeds sometimes insisted that the purchasing or marrying male change his surname to the name of the farm or the father-in-law. This sometimes happened on the death of the parent. This custom, still practiced in Drachhausen, creates a real challenge in deciphering Wendish records!


In the groom’s birth record and those of his 4 siblings; each is identified as the child of Christian BARTELL.  In the last birth, of son, Gottfried BARTELL (in 1853); his father is identified as “Christian BARTELL gen. RIESE;” meaning he has now taken the name of RIESE. It is likely that a land transfer has forced Christian to change his name and it is also possible his mother was a RIESE. Of the siblings, Gottfried and Martin adopted the BARTELL name as adults; Liese and Christian kept the name RIESE.


Martin and Louise BARTELL had two daughters in FORT MADISON, IOWA.  The oldest, Hannah “Emma” BARTELL married another Wendish immigrant, from Drachhausen, Matthes KULLOWATZ, the day after Christmas 1894.


Martin BARTELL must have kept his relationship with friends and relatives back in Drachhausen, all his life. The words “America -12 Dec 1911” with a small cross beside it (which denotes death); was added as a notation below his birth record in Drachhausen Church Books.

New: 25 Nov 2006





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