Note: I have intentionally continued to use the spelling of Ollerrich for the elder and Ohlrich for the younger to help the reader differentiate between which one I am referring to. The alternate spellings are provided for each family member to help tie them to the typical spelling used in Iowa. The spelling for Eckhoff is based on the church records, which varied the spelling with Eckhof for other branches.
I am still pouring through the newly found Kücks ancestors and familiarizing myself with them while searching for additional records. Additional records will help me paint a picture, small as they may be, of their individual lives.
This week, I will tell you more about the resolved mystery surrounding the mother of Ohlrich Kücks (the younger).
I had been back and forth on who Ollerrich the elder’s wives were. At first, I suspected they were sisters because both of their maiden names were Schröder. This was based on information from a German genealogist who pointed me to an online family book that gave no source citations.
Then, I noticed the 1900 Census recorded Ollerrich and Anna Metta’s marriage as 1853, near the time of Ohlrich’s birth. This made me wonder if Maria and Anna Metta were the same women, implying Ollerrich was only married once. Since English American’s tend to misinterpret foreign names, I wondered if Metta and Maria were synonymous names. As it turns out, the name Metta (pronounced MEE tah or MEH tah) is a nickname for Margaret, not Maria or Mary.
Lastly, I questioned whether Ohlrich’s mother was named Schröder as his death certificate named her as “Eckhoff.” This would counter-imply that Ollerrich was married twice, once to a woman whose maiden name was Ekchoff and second to a woman whose maiden name was Schröder.
So which hypothesis was correct? I will give you the short answer first. All of them contain elements of truth.
Now, here is the long answer.
Maria Schröder was the daughter of Dirk Schröder and Maria Merkens of Godenstedt, a little village south of Bremervörde in the Kingdom of Hanover. She was born on 8 September 1826 in Godenstedt. Her parents took her to the Lutheran Church at Selsingen to baptize her on 12 September 1826. All Lutheran marriages, baptisms, and burials appear to have taken place at Selsingen.
She married a Godenstedt neighbor, Johann Hinrich Eckhoff before 1849. This marriage ended in annulment (the transcription reads “Annulierung” which translates to canceled) and produced one son, Peter.
She then married another Godenstedt neighbor, Öhlrich Kücks (the elder, spelling in church records) on 22 May 1853 in the parish of Selsingen and immediately moved to Sassenholz to raise their family. Together they had four children:
- Öhlerich was born on 22 August 1853 (three months after his parents were married. Hmmmm) in Sassenholz and was baptized on 03 September 1853 at Selsingen. He left for the United States in April or May 1870 on the ship Hansa, where he settled in Iowa and married Margaretha Hinkel.
- Johann Hinrich (known as Henry in Iowa) was born on 29 April 1855 in Sassenholz and was baptized on 9 May 1855 at Selsingen. He arrived in The United States separately from Ohlrick and their parents, sometime between 1880 and 1881.
- Unnamed infant boy was born and died on 23 April 1857 at Sassenholz. He was buried on 25 April 1857 at Selsingen.
- Maria was born on 16 July 1858 in Sassenholz and was baptized on 24 July 1858 at Selsingen. She died on 11 April 1945 at Ober Ochtenhausen No. 32.
Maria Schröder died on 19 October 1858 while the family was living in Sassenholz. She was brought to Selsingen to be buried at the Lutheran Church.
Ollerrich then married Maria’s younger sister, Anna Metta Schröder, on 29 May 1859 at the Lutheran Church in Selsingen. She was born on 23 March 1838 in Godenstedt. She and Ollerrich stayed in Sassenholz for a couple of years and then relocated the family to Ostereistedt, the town Ohlrich listed as his residence on his 1870 passenger list. Ollerrich reported his occupation on his 1884 passenger list as a shoemaker. Anna Metta and Ollerrich had seven children.
- Lütje (known as Louis in Iowa) was born on 31 December 1859 in Sassenholz and baptized on 9 January 1860 at Selsingen. He arrived in The United States separately from Ohlrick and their parents, sometime in 1881.
- Johann was born on 11 February 1862 Sassenholz and baptized on 21 February 1862 at Selsingen. He arrived in The United States separately from Ohlrick and their parents, sometime between 1880 and 1884.
- Diedrich was born on 12 November 1863 Ostereistedt and baptized on 4 December 1863 at Selsingen.
- Klaus (Claus in Iowa) was born on 11 October 1866 Ostereistedt and baptized on 2 November 1866 at Selsingen. Traveled to the United States with his parents on the ship Donau in November 1884 and also reported his occupation as a shoemaker. He married Cathrine Brandt in Iowa.
- Anna Metta was born on 13 October 1870 Ostereistedt and baptized on 2 November 1870 at Selsingen. Traveled to the United States with her parents on the ship Donau in November 1884.
- Unnamed infant daughter was born and died on 27 April 1873 Ostereistedt. She was buried on 1 May 1873 at Selsingen.
- Katharina was born on 21 July 1874 in Ostereistedt and baptized on 14 August 1874 at Selsingen. Traveled to the United States with her parents on the ship Donau in November 1884.
Maria and Ollerrich’s daughter, Maria, married Hinrich Eckhof in 1882, and they remained in Ostereistedt after the last of the Kücks left for The United States in 1884. Hinrich was another Eckhof connection; he was the son of Johann Eckhof and Katharina Schröder. I’m not sure what their exact connections are to the Kücks relations, but they may be cousins of some degree.
To summarize, Ollerrich married two different women. Maria and Anna Metta Schröder were sisters. Maria was known as Maria Eckhoff before marrying Ollerrich Kücks. Ollerrich did marry in 1853, but to Maria, who had died in 1858.
Ohlrich’s son-in-law was partially correct as the informant on Ohlrich’s death certificate but didn’t know Maria (Schröder) (Eckhoff) Kücks’ full story. The informant on the 1900 Census was correct that Ollerrich married his wife in 1853 but did not realize he was on his second marriage OR the informant misunderstood the question and gave the first marriage year for Ollerich.