Pastor Franz Rinschen, Volker Kennemann, Hilge Drueke Hurford, Mark Riggleman, Toni Wurzburg Viertel, Paul Drueke, and Mary Lou Kritter Bohen contributed to this family history.
Index A House in Ostentrop Trader and Transporter Parish Register Descendants MGS 2017 MGS 2021 4th Cousins Home Page
Johann Born in 1743
Elspe, 1743-1776. Johann Drücke was born January 18, 1743, in Elspe. His name was originally Börger.
Elspe is in the municipality of Lennestadt, which is just southeast of Finnentrop in the county of Olpe (Kreis Olpe). It is 64 miles east of Cologne, or Köln.
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, 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.
According to Volker Kenneman's Johann Drücke – a Trader and Transporter from Ostentrop, "This Johann Drücke . . . came from Elspe where he was born on 18th of January 1743 as Johann Börger (Boerger). Looking at the Boerger family tree, which sadly doesn't give birth dates, he could be the Johann Hermann Boerger of Borghof ("Borg Farm") in Elspe. The so-called Borghof lay to the west of the village on a hill, well protected on the Salmecke Creek. This may have been the earlier site of the Vogt's or King's court in Elspe. Johann Hermann was one of seven children of Wilhelm Boerger and his wife Anna Katharina König from Meggen.4 Through the center of his home village Elspe led from Cologne via Attendorn past the church the old long-distance routes and then shared once in the direction Altenvalbert (Römerweg) and "Upper Elspe" and Wormbach (Heidenstraße). Thus, the village life was strongly influenced by the steady traffic, the midst of the village moving freight carts of merchants. Perhaps this has impressed the young Johann Börger so much that he even felt the desire to take the profession of a merchant."
Elisabeth Kramer Born in 1755
Ostentrop, 1755-1776. Maria Elisabeth Krämer was born December 1, 1755, in Ostentrop.
Ostentrop is in the municipality of Finnentrop, which is just northwest of Lennestadt in the county of Olpe (Kreis Olpe). The postal code is 57413.
Elisabeth'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.
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 Drücke, 33, and Elisabeth Krämer, 20, were married on June 10, 1776.
Ostentrop, 1776-1790. After the wedding, Johann and Elisabeth Krämer Drücke lived in one of the two houses Johann owned in Ostentrop.
Pastor Franz Rinschen of Mariä Himmelfahrt Church in Schönholthausen has a copy of handwritten book of accounts of Johann Drücke 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 Drücke 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 Drücke 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 Drücke 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 Widowed at Age 47
On April 1, 1790, Johann's wife, Maria Elisabeth Kremer Drücke, 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 Drücke died. She was age 34. They had no children.
Elisabeth Bitter Born in 1770
Fretter, 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.
Elisabeth'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.
Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Marry in 1790, Have 4 Children
Johann Drücke, 47, and Elisabeth Bitter, 19, were married on May 23, 1790.
Ostentrop, 1790-1798. After the wedding, Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke 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 Drücke's first wife, Maria Elisabeth Kremer Drücke, 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 Dies in 1798 at Age 55
On May 4, 1798, Johann Drücke died at age 55. He was survived by his wife Elisabeth Bitter and their four children.
* * *
Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke eventually had 18 grandchildren. From 1852 to 1883, seven of these 18 grandchildren, and one great great great grandchild, emigrated to the United States:
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 Drücke married Ferdinand Wortmann from Lenhausen.
Binolen, 1798-1835. Following their marriage, Ferdinand and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke 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 Drücke, 23, married Franz Anton Gottschalk. On November 6, Johann Joseph Drücke, 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 Drüke, 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 Drüke 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 Drüke married Bernardina Josephina Heller from Rieflinghausen. They had seven children. Their first child, Klemens Franz Wilhelm Anton Drüke, was born December 4, 1833. Maria Katharina Drücke Gottschalk was godmother.
Elisabeth Bitter Dies in 1835 at Age 64
On May 2, 1835, Elisabeth Bitter Drücke Wortmann died. She was 64 years old.
Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke: 4 children, 18 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren
Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke and Selected Descendents
Hilge Drueke Hurford called Peter Biggins in April 2021. Hilge told him she grew up in Schönholthausen, a town next to Ostentrop where Peter's Drueke ancestors are from. She emigrated to New York City in 1969, at age 24. This was almost 100 years after Peter's great grandfather William Peter Drueke emigrated in 1871, at age 18. Hilge married a New Yorker, John Hurford, in 1981. John died in 2000. Hilge still lives in New York City.
Hilge sent Peter information about her Drueke ancestors, which allowed him to determine that they were 4th cousins. Their parents were 3rd cousins. Their children are fifth cousins. Hilge and Peter wrote on article about being Fourth Cousins for the June 2021 issue of the Newsletter of the Middlesex Genealogicl Society.
In 1992, Hilge started a discussion of Drueke genealogy with Peter's Uncle William Francis Drueke. He sent her a list of Drueke names. His daughter Carole Drueke Gohl sent Hilge a letter about the Druekes in Grand Rapids. Hilge had also contacted Robert J. "Bob" Drueke in 1992. He sent her genealogical information on his Druekes. Hilge ran across all this material in April 2021. She decided to reopen the discussion and found Peter's phone number on PetersPioneers.com
Hilge's grandfather, Franz Josef Drüke (1869-1954) founded Gasthof Pension Drüke in Schönholthausen im Bold in 1906.
In 2007, Peter and Marilyn toured Germany, Switzerland, and Italy with Marilyn's sister Micki and her husband Johnny Varro, who was playing piano at jazz clubs around Stuttgart for a couple weeks. Before the tour, Peter and Marilyn visited a few towns in Germany looking for Peter's ancestry. The last town was Schönholthausen, site of the Mariä Himmelfahrt Church. They knocked on the door of the rectory. Pastor Franz Rinschen answered the door. Peter told him he was from America and looking for information about his ancestors named Drueke. "Drücken!" he said, "I think I have something your going to like." He had done genealogical house histories for Schönholthausen and Ostentrop. He directed their attention to the Drücke House in Ostentrop which was owned by Peter's great great great grandparents, Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drücke. The house, designated by Pastor Rinschen as HAUS 08, appears on pages 39-43 of his unpublished 1998 history of approximately 30 houses in Ostentrop.
Pastor Rinschen also showed them a copy of handwritten book of accounts of Johann Drücke. The book of accounts indicates that Johann was a Trader and Transporter. He bought cured hams from processors in the Schönholthausen and 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."
After meeting with Peter and Marilyn for an hour and a half in his study, Pastor Rinschen took them to the Drücke House in Ostentrop. The Drücke house was built around 1740. It was the home of Hilge's and Peter's great great great grandparents from 1790 to 1798. The current owner took Peter and Marilyn on a tour of the house.
In December 2013, a 20-page article was published on Hilge's and Peter's great great great grandfather, Johann Drücke. The title was "Johann Drücke – ein Händler (trader) und Fuhrunternehmer (transporter) aus Ostentrop." It 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 municipality of Finnentrop includes the Bigge, Lenne, and Fretter rivers. The Bigge and Fretter flow into the Lenne, which flows into the Ruhr, the Rhine, and the North Sea. The magazine is published, twice a year in June and December, by the local history society of Finnentrop, Heimatbund Gemeinde Finnentrop. The article was written by the magazine's editorial director, Volker Kennemann.
The Trader and Transporter article says that the original of the book of accounts is in the possession Liesel Hümmler. By meeting Hilge, Peter learned that Liesel Hümmler is Hilge's older sister in Schönholthausen--another fourth cousin!
Peter learned of the article from Mark Riggleman in 2016. Mark had just gotten results from his Y-chromosome DNA test at Family Tree DNA showing that he matched the Saxon DNA of Peter's first cousin Paul Drueke. Seeing that Paul's most distant paternal ancestor was Johann Drücke, he Googled that name and found Peter's family history for Johann Drücke.
All male Drückes have a Y-DNA mutation called BY3323. Y-DNA test results for Peter's first cousin Paul Drueke are R-U106, Z301, L48, Z9, Z30, Z27 Z345, Z2, Z7, CTS10893, A6389, BY3323. He matches up fairly closely with people whose ancestors are from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. 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.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's grandson William Peter Drueke (1853-1926) emigrated in 1871 to New York City with his sister Anna and husband Frederick Wurzburg. In 1873 they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he founded Drueke-Lynch wholesale liquors.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's great grandson William Francis Drueke founded Drueke Game Company. His son William Francis Drueke continued Drueke Game Company - and sent Hilge a list of Drueke names in 1992.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's great grandson Joseph William Drueke founded Blue Chip Game Company. His son Paul had his Y-chromosome DNA tested and found that he had Saxon Y-DNA named BY3323 by Family tree DNA. Many of his matches are men with English ancestry. All pf the Drueke men in the table have this DNA.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's granddaughter, Anna Sophia Drüke (1846-1884) married in 1871 Frederick William Wurzburg (1833-1924), who founded Wurzburg Department Store in 1872 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's great great great granddaughter, Toni Wurzburg Viertel, lives in New York City and started working on her genealogy in 1995. She discovered much of the ancestry on the table.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's great great great grandson, John H. Logie, was Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1992 to 2003.
Johann Wilhelm Drücke's great great grenddaughter, Elizabeth Ann Logie (1913-1998), married in 1938 William Stevenson Bloomer (1910-1997), a brother of Betty Ford (1918-2011), who was First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, as the wife of President Gerald Ford.
Index A House in Ostentrop Trader and Transporter Parish Register Top MGS 2017 MGS 2021 4th Cousins Home Page