Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

Back
All surnames included in this family tree to date; ABBOTT, ANDERSON, BEEBE, BROWN, BUCHHOLZ, BURKHARDT, CAMPBELL, COLLINS, COPENHEFER, CUTTER, DARGIE, DICKMANN, DORSEY, DRESHER, EGGEMEYER, EMERY, EVANS, FICKE, GERLING, GOLDING, HACKMAN, HAMILTON, HAMLETT, HAMM, HANER, HASEMEIER, HOCKSTETTER, HOLDCAMP, IGELMAN, ISENHOWER, KANKE, KASTING, KEMPER, KLEHFOTH, KLUTE, KNOLLENBERG, LEHR, MAIER, MASHMEYER, MATHEWSON, MAYER, McGUIRE, McNEILL, MELLE, MENDENHALL, MENKE, MEYER, MOLLENPAGE, MOSER, MYERS, NOE, NUSBAUM, OEHL, OTTE, PIEHL, PILLE, RAVENCRAFT, REIMER, REMMERT, ROBERTS, ROBINSON, RUEHL, SCHMIDT, SCHULTZ, SEEKER, SIMPSON, SITTLOH, SNYDER, SPERLING, STAUBER, STEEN, STEGMAN, STIENS, STUDYBAKER, SUDHOFF, TEUCKE, TIBBE, TURMAN, TURNER, VAN SCHOIACK, VEREGGE, VOSS, WARFEL, WEISS, WHALEY, WHITE, WILKER, WILSON.

To view detailed information on these surnames click here

JURGENS (alternate spellings found during research include JUERGENS, JERGANS, GERGAN, YERGENS, YERGAN, YERGEN, YERGINS, YANKINS, YEARONS, GEARONS, INGENS, FURGENS, FYRGENS)

Sincerest thanks are given to Roxanne Engle (Indiana) and Anke Waldmann (Germany) for their assistance during my research.

This webpage is dedicated to the lineage of Christopher Heinrich Jurgens, his elder brother Gerhardt Heinrich Jurgens, and their families.  This family line originates from the towns of Wellingen and Haltern, Parish of Belm, Osnabruck, Lower Saxony, Niedersachen-Westphalen (formerly Hanover/Prussia).

Maps of Belm, Osnabruck, Germany
Click on an image for a larger view

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OSNABRUCK, GERMANY

Belm CrestOsnabruck (or Osnabrueck) is in the region of Lower Saxony (Niedersachen-Westphalen) Germany (Low Germans). It is an ancient 1,200+ year old city which was once the Episcopal seat of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman emperor; it accepted the Protestant Reformation in 1534. In 1648 it became the seat for a Lutheran bishop; now it is predominantly Lutheran.

Most of the 19th century immigrants from the Osnabruck area were "Heuerlings" (farm hands or renters of small plots of ground), which virtually held them in the state of serfdom. Instead of paying money, they had to work the land owner's farm. The plot of land they rented was normally not big enough to live by just from the farming, so most of them had a second job. They sought escape to America from a depressing economic condition or from military service (military service became more of an issue after 1866 when the Kingdom of Hanover became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, and the people didn't want to fight for Prussia).

The Osnabruck area was well known for its linen production. The sought-after "Legge" seal showing the city's emblem, a wheel, became an internationally accepted mark of outstanding quality of the Osnabruck linen. Plagiarism of the stamp occurred many times. In 1618 traders of Hamburg falsified the seal and until the 18th century a Scottish clothmaker's town called itself "Osnaburg", named after the linen that was produced there. The robust linen of Osnabruck was mentioned in Scottish weavers songs and even in one of the novels of Isabell Allende, slaves in the New World wore the "Osnaburgh linen", so that the town of Osnabruck became famous worldwide.

Most tenants weaved at home and sold the linen. For a time they were able to make quite a good living this way. However, during the first half of the 19th century, the market for linen became worse (due to the Great Britain industrial revolution), so the tenants became very poor and many of them decided to leave their home country. In 1833 the town of Grambergen, near Belm, had 455 people living there. It is estimated that 60% of them emigrated. Most had been Heurling tenants.

THE VOYAGE TO AMERICA

Christopher Henrich Jurgens emigrated from Osnabruck at the age of 29 to America.  He departed Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on October 14, 1834 on the ship "Brig Vernon". Typically a voyage would have taken 6 weeks, double that if the weather was bad. His name on the ship log was recorded as "Heinrich Furgens." He made the trip with his wife Catharine Ellen Engel Jurgens age 30 . They had no children at that time. Also traveling on this same ship was his elder brother Gerhardt Heinrich Jurgens age 42, wife Catharine Elisabeth age 40, children Catharine Maria age 11, Gerhardt Heinrich age 7, and Marie Elisabeth age 3. The average cost of a fair was about $243 each, with children under 5 traveling at reduced rates or free.  Photocopies of the original ship logs for this voyage are shown below. They settled and made their homes in the city of Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, then a city of about 2,000 residents

The "Brig Vernon" was owned by "Smith & Titcomb" ship builders of Kennebunk, York County, Maine. She was mastered by Captain Jacob Merrill, Jr. She sailed from Bremen, Germany to New York and weighed 286 tons on this voyage.
 

The Titcomb shipyard on the Kennebunk River in the Kennebunk Landing section of town was the last functioning yard at The Landing. This late photograph of the yard and some of its workers was made from a daguerreotype thought to date from the 1850s. It is a rare view of a yard at The Landing, which was the earliest and most prolific location for shipbuilding on the Kennebunk River (from 1790 to about 1860). The shipyard's office building is on the left. Shipbuilding timbers, including a "ship's knee" lie on the ground in the foreground.

The majority of early German settlers in Richmond were from the Osnabruck region and had been farm hands or renters of small plots of ground, which virtually held them in the state of serfdom (they could not own the land). They sought escape in this country from depressing economic conditions, military service, and the state-ordered unification of the Lutheran church and state church (Reformed). Some of them had learned trades. In Richmond, they found employment in the trades and on nearby farms. They became home owners at an early date. The heavy tide of German immigration to Richmond began in the late 1830's and continued until 1850, gradually receding in the period immediately following the Civil War.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF RICHMOND, INDIANA

Richmond was settled in 1806 by North Carolina Quakers and is one of the older cities in Indiana. Quakers (called Friends) were drawn to the Northwest Territory by its cheap, fertile land and its prohibition on slavery.

Many of our descendants were laid to rest in Lutherania Cemetery, in Richmond. Click here for additional information and pictures.

Historic US-40 (National Road), the trail pioneers used as they made their way westward. This route was America's first interstate highway established by an act of Congress in 1806. The Indiana portion was built between 1829 and 1834, linking the eastern seashore with the western interior. In 1996, the Historic National Road was designated as a state scenic route. The "Madonna of the Trail" monument within Glen Miller Park, memorialized the early settlers who traveled this route.

Following are some historic photos of Richmond: The Madonna of the Trail monument, Morton Center, Richmond Senior High School, Glen Miller Park, Main Street Bridge, and the County Courthouse.

 

THE HISTORIC CHURCHES OF BELM, OSNABRUCK AND RICHMOND, INDIANA

The Jurgens brothers, Christopher and Gerhardt, both played important roles in the formation of the first Lutheran church in Richmond, Indiana. Click here for details and photos of these beautiful historic churches.

CEMETERY PHOTOS - click here

HOUSE PHOTOS - click here

FAMILY PHOTOS - click here