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Bruns Family Trace

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 411
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Bruns Family Trace Reply with quote

One of the new members of the message board, Judy Lohe, is tracing her Bruns ancestors and trying to resolve the relationship between families. That got me started looking into the Bruns family because I knew our family tree included ties to it.

The Bruns families are among the earliest settlers of Concordia. The oldest Bruns’ listed in the early St. Paul’s Cemetery records is Johann Heinrich Bruns, born January 17, 1796, died December 27, 1842 and next to Dorothea (his wife?) born 1800, died February 28, 1869. Note. Johann Heinrich’s death is not listed in the official church records because only baptisms were recorded until Pastor Franke’s arrival in 1847. On the date of his wife’s death, the church records list the death of a “Doretta” Dedeke, wife of Juergen Dedeke. Did she remarry but was buried with her first husband? The 1850 census lists a “Dortha” living with John Dedeke (spelled Dedica) and children Fredrick Brun(n)s age 20, William age 18, and Conrad age 12 along with two young Dedeke daughters, Dortha age 12 and Christina age 10. (The 1850 census is filled with spelling errors by the non-German speaking enumerator.)

The Bruns’ purchased a considerable amount of land directly from the government (at $1.25/acre or $50 for standard 40 acre plot) as listed in the St. Paul’s Church sesquicentennial history (Rodewald et al, Descending Grace…)

First was a 40 acre plot purchased by Ferdinand on Aug. 8, 1839 just nine months after Friedrich Dierking, the original settler of the German community around Concordia first came there. (See Frizell, Independent Immigrants) That land, northwest of Concordia, was later owned by J. Bruns in 1877.

Henry received 5 land patents in 1840. (It appears that Johann Heinrich was commonly known as Henry and used that name on the land transactions.) Henry must have been a shrewd trader. He first bought 40 acres from Frederick Hahne who had originally purchased the land from the government earlier and sold it for $55, i.e. a $5 profit for Hahne over the time he had owned it. Henry then purchased the other 5 pieces of property (totaling another 240 acres) in the next few months. Henry’s wife Dorothea was assigned another plot in 1841. That property was all north of Concordia, directly east of what now is Highway 23. By 1877, the land was owned by various families including his grandson Louis Stuenkel, part of which became my grandfather Jacob Pape’s farm.

Henry was one of the 10 founding members of St. Paul’s who signed the agreement in 1842 to build a church. He then donated a piece of his land for the original log church and the late old brick church where St. Paul’s Cemetery now stands.

Finally, Heinrich David (H.D.) Bruns purchased land directly west of Concordia in 1842. However, this appears to be slightly southwest of the property that H.D. owned in 1877 and south of the property that H.C. Bruns owned in 1877.

One of the better known Bruns families was that of H. D. Bruns. H.D.’s wife Catherine "Maria" Dorothea was Conrad Stuenkel’s younger sister. They were married back in Esperke, Hanover in 1839 before immigrating to the U.S.

I had previously posted an article about H. D. under ‘Old Plat Maps’ in the Concordia Memories forum. It included an excerpt of the 1870 census listing his family and the hired hands, one of whom John Runge (Sr.) married his youngest daughter Mathilda. The 1880 census gives another snapshot of the family. HD Bruns (72) was still living with his wife Mary (64) on the homestead. Son Martin (30) and his wife Mary Oetting Bruns (30) were living in the same household running the farm. Their children were Theodore (3), Laura (2) and Edmund (7 mos.) A photo of the family taken about that time was sent to me by Judy and is posted below.

After Martin died in 1893, wife Mary shows up in the 1900 census living in Concordia with the rest of her family, except for Theodore (23) who was working for the Brockhoff family north of Concordia. Martin’s brother-in-law John Runge apparently took over the Bruns family farm by that time. Older brother Henry had another farm. Son Theodore would have been too young in 1893 to inherit the farm.

By 1910, Mary is now living at 412 Gordon St. in the house that Judy said her grandfather Theodore had built for his mother. A photo taken from the backyard of that home is also posted below. Some of you will probably remember the Bruns sisters, Bertha and Martha, as well as sister Hulda Bruns Hartmann living there into the 1960s.

One of the other colorful figures was Heinrich Johann (John Henry) Bruns, son of Johann Heinrich. John Henry was my great-great-grandfather on the Stuenkel side of the family. He first married Marie “Christine” Frerking on Sept 9, 1849. Christine was one of the Frerking children that came to the U.S. from Esperke, Hanover in 1845. Their oldest daughter, Maria “Sophia”, married Heinrich Friedrich “Louis” Stuenkel, son of Conrad Stuenkel. Again, we have a connection between the Bruns and Stuenkel families.

The 1850 census shows young John H. Bruns with his wife Christine and boarders Pastor Adolph Franke and wife “Fredrica”. So the active support of St. Paul’s Church continued into the next generation.

Christine died Mar. 6, 1857 (possibly during childbirth of son Johann Heinrich who was not baptized until Aug. 9, 1857) John Henry then married Anna Detmar the following year (May 7, 1858) to care for the young family. That was shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. John Henry was killed in the fateful bushwacker raid of Oct. 10, 1864 along with Friedrich (his younger brother?) The Brackmann neighbors also suffered heavily in the bushwacker raids. The Brackmann home was looted and burned. Friedrich D. Brackmann and young nephew William were killed in that same raid. Son-in-law August Brockhoff had been killed a year earlier in another raid. There are a number of accounts of the bushwacker raids during the Civil War. Perhaps, the most accurate account can be found in Frizzell’s Independent Immigrants. One can also find a biographical clip of John Henry’s son August on p. 599 of Young’s History of Lafayette County, Missouri written in 1910

Early census records generally provide a good means of tracing family relationships. So I did a quick search of these records for the Bruns family.

In the 1840 census for Freedom Township (Series M704 Roll 224 Page 148) only one Bruns family is listed; the head-of-household Henry Bruns (Johann Heinrich), between 40 and 50, two males between 20 and 30, two males between 10 and 15, one male between 5 and 10, one male under 5, one female between 30 and 40 (Dorothea), one female between 15 and 20, and one female between 5 and 10. Because Henry died before the 1850 census when all of the names in a household were listed, it is more difficult to identify his family relationships.

Ferdinand’s name is not listed in the Freedom Township portion of the 1840 census even though he was a landowner in the area by that time. Since his property was slightly farther north, he may have been part of the Davis Township enumeration. However, I was unable to find his name anywhere in the Lafayette County listing. He may have been missed by the enumerator.

The 1850 Freedom Township census records include the Henry D., Frederick, and John H. family groups as well as “Dortha” and three Bruns sons, Fredrick, William, and Conrad, living with John Dedeke as noted above. There is also two Bruns boys, Henry W age 8 and John J age 5, living in the George Helms household. (Was George’s wife Charlotte a Bruns?) Again, there is no mention of the original settler Ferdinand. Some later census information was noted above.

The St. Paul’s Church records contain a number of Bruns entries. However, because of the limited amount of information that was transcribed in this source, not much that would indicate family relations is included. There are only occasional notes in the death records.

If any of you have additional information about the Bruns family, sign up on the message board and send Judy Lohe an e-mail with the information or post it in this forum.



Heinrich David Bruns & Family.jpg
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Heinrich David Bruns & Family.jpg



Winter at 412 Gordon St.jpg
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Winter at 412 Gordon St.jpg


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