Family Tree – Bramsche (Leiden / Stark – Ohio)


This extensive family tree dates back to around 1600 in Bramsche in Germany (near Osnabrück). One branch remained in Bramsche where it is extinct, another branch went from Bramsche to the US in the middle of the 19th century, where a small branch probably still exists and a third branch went to Leiden in the mid-18th century, from which a large branch still exists in the Netherlands. Around 1800 a large branch arose from here to Stark in Ohio, which still extends extensively in the US. Another branch split off to the Dutch East Indies in the mid-19th century and from there came back to the Netherlands in the early 20th century with a small spread to the US. The tribe in Bramsche itself is completely extinct.

Ancestor Analysis

The ancestor is Hermann, born around 1612 in Bramsche and died in June 1670.
Furthermore, there are the following starting points and observations:

  • Unfortunately, Hermann’s husband and father are unknown
  • From the beginning of the 17th century the administrations in Bramsche started (church books, house tax)
  • In 1601 there are three Van Dorsten households in Bramsche:
    • Albert with 4 persons
    • Heinrich with 3 persons
    • Hermann with 2 Persons
  • In 1628 there are two Van Dorsten households in Bramsche:
    • Heinrich with wife, son and daughter
    • Dierich with wife and son
  • Calculating it might well be that Heinrich and Hermann are two older sons of Albert. It seems that the tribe died out with Heinrich. The Hermann (1601) could be the father of the ancestor. What is remarkable, however, is that the ancestor Hermann cannot be placed in the two households of 1628!
  • Perhaps the Diederich from 1628 is a son of a Diederich who lived with his parents in 1601. In that case, the son could be Hermann.
  • Little can be said about where the family came from before 1600. It could have originated from people who came directly from the town of Dorsten. It may also have been derived from the Neuenhaus family tree. In the first half of the 16th century, Borchard van Dorsten from that family tree already conducted a lawsuit in Osnabrück near Bramsche.

Further Analysis

The trunk has been almost completely imaged. Only in the US not all recent branches are fully visible yet, but there is a good overview.

  • In 1733 Harmen van Dorsten from Braams (same place?) In Amsterdam married Swaantje Alberts. If it is from this family tree, there is only as an option the Herman from 1678 van Arend.
  • The Dorsten family tree (without “van”) is originated in Vechta / Visbek (~ 1800), which is quite close to Bramsche. It could very well have evolved from this family tree.
  • Around 1850 Hermann Heinrich from Bramsche left for the United States. He got quite a few descendants there and although no living descendants have been found yet, the chance is good.
  • Hermanus Bernardus (1766) from Leiden fights in the Napoleonic wars and is captured in the US in 1796. He then ended up in Ohio, had many children and was the founder of large branches in the US with many descendants. His tombstone can still be admired.
  • The brothers Hendrik (Jan) from 1797 and Cornelis from 1799 both left a narrow branch that continues into the present day and at least a living descendant of Cornelis has been found (which will not continue the branch).
  • Pieter from 1825 in Leiden ended up as a soldier in Tapanoeli in the Dutch East Indies in the fifties. It is very strong that from 1854-1858 (died 1859) a Marinus Leonard from Leiden, but from the Neuenhaus family tree, was stationed at the administration of the Militia in Tapanoeli. This one was born in 1829. They must have known each other! Both Van Dorsten, both from Leiden. In 1858 Pieter fathered a child with a native woman (not married) for which he arranged a training in the army (happened often). As a soldier, this son had a son Hendrik at the age of 16 from an indigenous woman, who then started a decent family with various descendants. A few of these children later return to the Netherlands (with descendants) and a few others remain with children in the now independent Indonesia.

Sources and Do You Know

There are some interesting facts about the references in the archives:

  • In 1665 there is a reference to Hermann in Quakenbrück, this is probably the ancestor from 1612.
  • The reference to Johann 1726-1733 in Osnabrück could be someone from Bramsche.
  • The reference to Jan Hendrik 1752 from Münster could well be the Jan Hendrik from Bramsche 1734.
  • For the family tree of Leiden itself there are between 1750 and 1810 various archive messages, which especially comes to witnesses, wills, property and shipping. Also a couple where they act as a Baker.
  • There were quite a lot of bakers in the family. The ancestor was baker and through him (and sons) also other Baker’s servants came from Germany to Leiden.
  • In 1803 there was already a formal divorce in this family.
  • Richard Hendrik (Rotterdam 1860) was Professor Doctor, teacher of mathematics at the Erasmiaansch Gymnasium, mathematical Advisor of the national life insurance bank, Board Member Physics Society, Associate Professor Dutch Trade College, Director Secretary Bataafsch Society, Board Member Rotterdam Read Cabinet, Commissioner of supervision of primary education.

Actual Status

You can find large parts of this family tree on Geneanet, however there is more information available than shown there:

Below is an overview of the tribal region. Under the menu option Genealogy you can find all details of this family tree.




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