This 'General section' of the family history, which is offered to all family members and interested parties, brings together, to begin with, in a purely informative and 'dry' style, reports about names, coats of arms, origin and dissemination of our family. The genealogical tables of the
follow in a complete series with line I and line II along with the branches and sub-branches which today are still either occasionally blooming or extinct. The compilation is based upon documents, seals, old records, genealogical tables, pictures, epitaphs, gravestones and church records, as well as other written and oral traditions.
This work would never have been possible, had it not been for the valuable preliminary work of our fathers and grandfathers of both lines who, independent of one another, undertook the journey into their genealogical pasts at the end of the last and the beginning of this century and finally carried out fruitful work together.
It seems urgent to awaken a new a feeling of belonging together as a family, especially in an age in which horrible things have happened to the family branches during and following World War II through the hail of bombs and loss of the homeland in the East. A time in which the necessity of increased job flexibility arose scattering the family in all directions. An epoch of rational technical thought which not only has led to an alarming social, familial and human ruthlessness, but has also created a growingly problematical relationship to 'life' in general. The feeling of belonging together as a family which gave impetus to the formation of a family association in 1928 shall be strengthened in the volume you are holding now.
In the forthcoming volume 'Special Section' the life stories of the family members entered in the tables will be depicted. The period prior to 1500, chronologically the earliest part of the family history, can only be published following the termination of the research whose provisional results were gathered and processed in the family achieves. It will attempt to clarify the assumption that the family's origin stems from one of three locations called LENGERICH, and to encompass the chief alderman under bishop Bruno I. who was the first to be named to this post in 1257 in Osnabrück, the
Magistro notario domini episcopi
Henrico de Lengerike (1)
and his descendants up to the appearance of our ancestral father Jürgen (born about 1505), cited in this volume.
Weingarten, January 1980
Maja von Lengerken
A. The origin of the name 'von Lengerke(n)'
To begin, let us ask how family names in general came into being: In the old Germanic period there were only single names. Even in approximately 1000 A.D., no family dynasty carried a fixed family name. The giving of names was taken up first in the twelfth century, at first by landed officials, the forefathers of today's nobility. They chose names for their fortresses and country estates. Beginning in 1115, it was customary in cities for citizens also to take a family name derived from their places of origin or from their occupations.
In 1677 a Bavarian Elector codified the idea of a fixed family name into law. (2)
There are various opinions regarding the origin of our name. According to Schlaug (3), around 900 the single name Landger was an old Saxon first name authenticated in Helmstedt, a name which supposedly meant 'land' and 'ger,' "lance leader in the county." From Landger came Lenger (the way of writing it changed in earlier times from 'a' to 'ä' and then to 'e'). The often occurring lengthening sign 'h' in the way of writing our name --for example Lengherike, points back to 'ger.' The final syllable 'eke' and 'ike' are old diminutive forms. In this manner, there supposedly arose out of this first names Landger / Lendger and their diminutive form: Lengherike and Lengereke, which already at a very early stage were reduced to Lengerke. Finally the first names became estate names or family names respectively.
Now, where, did an estate name of Lengerke first appear? Three location for this name are documented at the very latest in the 10th to 11th centuries: first the present 'Margarethen' -- Lengerich-- Low German: Lengerke, -- near Osnabrück. There followed the estates 'Grosse und Lütke-Lengerich' in the former Haskenau in the fork of the Werde and Ems rivers, north of Münster (today leveled to the ground) and finally the huge SAL estate Lengerich (Sadelhof), 15 km east of Lingen on the Ems. All locations, in the course of time, underwent the most varying of spellings. And so Philippi found the Salhof Lengerich near Lingen named Le(n)gerke in 981, Lengeri(s)chi around 1000, Leingercho in 1160 (4). Tibus designates today's estate of approximately 17 hectares with Legreke (5); Goldschmidt cites the Salhof name Lengerich in a note as "originally Lüngeich," i.e. 'timber rich' (6). In the year 1269 a location and estate were called Lengericke, in 1500 Lengerke, which "with time changed to Lengerich" (7).
In 1185 a Latin chronicle added to the location named Lengerich near Lingen, "upper Wallahagen" (5), and Goldschmidt mentions, in a similar manner, the location "1350 Lengerike uppe Wallaghe" (6). This epithet for the Salhof Lengerich further clarifies the meaning of the original name. Meier reports of an enclosing of the Salhof Lengerich by means of a live hedge on a low wall of earth (8). Jellinghaus identifies Wallage with hedge, since he assumes that Lengeriki = 'Länger Vehc,' (i.e. an extending hedge =
'Hagen'). According Schriever (9), the way of writing it changed from Waleghen in 1241, to Wallaache in 1278, and to Wallaghe in the 14th century.
The way of writing our name underwent still further transformations: Lengerike, Lengherke, Lengerich, Lencgerke, Lengercke, Lengerken, Lengerke etc.
Today the name is pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable.
Often we are asked about the reasons for the differing names Lengerke / Lengerken as they are used today. After the family first appeared in the Gotha (the Genealogical book of noble families) in 1928, it was useful to set down in the writing of the names of the single respective branches a fixed spelling significant for the single respective branches. The ancestral father Jürgen and his sons usually spelled the name as Lengerken. The descendants of line I branch 1 were and are so named with the exception of the family members who emigrated to the USA in the 19th century: Lengerken. In branch 2 and in line ll the final 'n' was used into the 17th century with very few exceptions. Today they use only the form Lengerke.
B. Origin and dissemination of the family
Osnabrück was first dawn into the light of history by Charlemagne, and the earliest documented mention of the city dates back to the year 1147. The major concern of Charlemagne was the spreading of Christianity which he underscored with the creation of the bishop seat in the city. Only secondarily did he aim at the political annexation of the Saxon Kingdom to Frankony. With the glorious age of the Staufers under Emperor Friedrich 1, the economic rise came for Osnabrück around 1152. The money economy followed the barter economy. Counts made their bishops into sovereigns, and so it came to be that a bishop-official stood at the top of the city government; this, however, would change again in the 13th century. The clergy felt itself strongly threatened by the worldly lords in the region of the city and rightly so. It came to bitter feuds, in the wake of which their influence in the city government diminished. Following the great fire catastrophe which struck Osnabrück in the year 1250, a city self-government took shape which instituted the election of the first city mayor.
In the year 1257 there appeared in Osnabrück under Bishop Bruno I. the first person to carry the family name and the predecessor of our ancestral father Jürgen
Henrico de Lengerike (1)
From this it may be assumed that the family, whose history can be traced as far back as Jürgen, 1505-1549 (1), in a complete series, had already been residing in Osnabrück for 250 years.
Since the records of the citizens of the New City of Osnabrück do not begin prior to 1377 and of the Old City prior to 1454, it is impossible to determine the exact dates for the births and deaths of the first ancestors of our family.
Where do the earliest of all Lengerke(n)s come from? That will have to be the subject of a further study. Only the following can be offered here in the way of brief information:
The family researchers of our century traced their origins back to Saalhof Lengerich near Lingen on Ems (see the Gotha of 1928), Which is still called 'Lengerke' today in Low German.
In 1890 our family member Carl Lengerke, 1827-1911, (90/107) (Line II) wrote the following in his meticulously compiled family record:
"It is almost certain to assume that the family took the name of what is now the little town of Lengerich which belongs to the governmental district of Münster and lies in the vicinity of Tecklenburg. Only very sparse information exists concerning this point, yet the information nevertheless offers at least a few starting points for further investigation. One such is a report written in an Osnabrück chronicle, stating that the family von Lengerke had received from the bishop of Osnabrück lands in that region as feudal tenure, yet the family lost these because of their siding with the reformation."
We find, in fact, our ancestors as fief-holders in the area of Münster with their seat in Osnabrück. The first of these was the city judge of Osnabrück, Georg von Lengerke, 1538-1612, (1/5), son of the ancestral father Jürgen. It is known that the feudal holdings went to his son Rudolff, 1583-1624, (5/16), and later to his grandson, the Lübeck physician Christian von Lengerken, M.D., d. 1638, (16/30), who, however, renounced them to the benefit of his brother Rudolff in 1654, who at that time was still living in Osnabrück. (Source: Münster State Archive, Münster-Lehen No 142)
The Reformation and Counter-Reformation had already swept over Osnabrück by this time. The last recorded holder of the fief, Rudolff, in his capacity as vassal asked his lord, Prince Christoph Bernardt Burggraf at Stromberg, bishop of Münster, to protect his feudal holdings from the demands of creditors.
That Jürgen, 1505-1549, (1) is recognized as the oldest ancestor of. a continuous line of descent is attributable solely to the work of Lodtmann whose Tables of Osnabrück Families are in the Osnabrück National Archive.
During the period of the Reformation, Osnabrück was officially Catholic up until 1543. The Augustine monk D. Hecker, a very learned man, began as early as 1521 to preach Lutherism in Osnabrück, the first such city in Westfalia. With his death in 1536, the first attempt to bring the Reformation to Osnabrück came to an end. Seven years later, in 1543, the city was able to win the Senior Minister Hermann Bonnus from Lübeck for the position of Protestant preacher in the Church of St. Marien.
We cannot assume that the eight children of Jürgen born between 1534 and 1549, probably were, at least in regards to the last born, baptized in accordance with the Protestant faith. Jürgen's grandchildren definitely were Protestant believers.
Since 1967, a Catholic sub-branch has been developing; however, for some time now this has no longer been in Osnabrück .
Those descendants of Jürgen still living today (line I, branch .1) were, with Justus Gerhard Ernst, 1787-1842, (98/115) , out of sub-branch 1 of the first branch (USA sub-branch) up until about 1824, and in sub-branch 2 up until the 6th generation with Gerhard, 1661-1725, (34/52), residents of Osnabrück serving as assemblymen, mayors, guild masters, and lawyers. Justus' descendants moved to the United States by way of Quakenbrück- Oldenburg; Gerhard, holding both legal doctorates, acquired the noble estate Harderburg near Osnabrück in 1714 and thereby turned his back to his home city. His great-grandchild Gerhard Wilhelm August, 1764-1804, (83/92), took over a pharmacy in Ankum 40 km north of Osnabrück which remained in the family up until the fourth generation. The penultimate owner of the pharmacy, Otto Friedrich, 1825-1894, (116/134), returned with his wife to Osnabrück in 1890's as a well-to-do private gentleman. In 1943 his daughter-in-law, Julie, 1863-1943, (134), died as the last of the branch residing in Osnabrück .
Branch 2 of line I remained in Osnabrück for five generation. Johann-Heinrich Lengerke, 1704-1764, (38/56), left Osnabrück like his third cousin Gerhard (see above) had done approximately 15 years earlier, this time for Bremen. No descendant of this branch returned to the old home city.
Already with the third son of the ancestral father Jürgen, namely Ameling the Elder, 1536-1618, (1/4), line II had left the city. Only a single descendant is to be found in Osnabrück, and more out of mere coincidence, at that: Charlotte Lengerke, 1867-1954, (108), returned as a high school teacher and city assembly member, and remained there until her retirement in 1932.
Today there are no direct descendants to be found in the city. Still extant are coats of arms, pictures, tombstones in the Church of St. Marien, documents and a gravestone in the Hase cemetery. Numerous files and documents are in the Osnabrück State Archive.
We encounter still today an isolated family with the name Lengerke without 'von,' existing in 16th century Osnabrück yet bearing Christian names that are totally uncommon in our family: Tobias, Theus, Jakob and Bernd. This family could belong to a documented Berndt Wybrinck (Wybrück), "also called von Lengerke" who emigrated to Osnabrück from Lengerich in Westfalia not before the beginning of the 16th century. According to the opinion of many a genealogist (e.g. G. Brawe), we are dealing here with a so-called 'middle name' as was common during that time; Today there are still four Lengerke families living in Osnabrück who have no point of contact with our family line.
C. Emigration to the Hanseatic Cities, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria and the United States
The Hanse was the voluntary association of North German trade cities ranging from the Netherlands to Reval. It is a documented fact that Osnabrück belonged to that league since 1412.
To no other city are there such strong familial ties as to Lübeck, Osnabrück being the nearest neighboring city. Not many emigrants of Osnabrück were fortunate enough to find success and happiness in Lübeck as merchants. At that time, an emigrant and world trader wagered not only his fortune but also his life, a fact which today we can hardly imagine (11).
The first emigrant of our family to go to Lübeck is recorded in a Latin text in 1420:
Johann de Lengerke
'Member or the Calendar Brethren of the Holy Ghost' (12). Twelve years after Osnabrück first participated in Lübeck Hanse-Day, this Johann de Lengerke, outfitted as a clergyman by his father living in Osnabrück (see document of May 14, 1424) (12), appeared. Supposedly Johann later returned to Osnabrück.
As the second family member we find around 1590, a grandson of the ancestral father Jürgen, the son of Ameling the Elder who emigrated to Kiel and later became mayor (see above and below) (line II): Georg Lengerken, 1569-1645, (4/14). He was soon to gain recognition in his newly-chosen home city where he was councilman and assembly member and merchant. His two sisters, Gertrud Rodebart, b. around 1580 (4), and Margaretha Füchting, 1582-1636 (4), both like him born in Kiel, married in Lübeck. Georg's son Hermann, l607-1668, (14/26), born in Lübeck, was council member there, financial adviser and representative of Lübeck to Copenhagen, Denmark. His younger son Georg, d. 1662, (26/46), returned to Lübeck as a merchant where his descendants lived up until the end of the 18th century either as residents of Lübeck or of neighboring Herrnburg and Schlutup, which today form part of Lübeck.
Hermann's elder son of the same name, d. 1702, (26/45), saw his daughter Elisabeth, d. 1718, (45/64), married to the Commerce Minister or the Dutch Westindian Company, Abraham v. KlØcker. Their son Hermann, l706- 1756, (64/76), Royal Danish State Councilor and Vice Mayor of Copenhagen, received, in 1757, a Danish certificate of nobility with a confirmation of a coat of arms (see above) and the form address "Lengecken v. KlØcker;" in 1760 naturalization to Danish nobility took place. His son Frederik Abraham, 1762-1824, (76), died in Denmark without successors.
The sixth son of the Georg (see above) who moved from Kiel to Lübeck, namely Johann, 1602-1664, (14/28), left Lübeck and emigrated, like many other merchant families, from the medieval and already waning Lübeck to the up-and-coming city of Hamburg. Here Johann's first son Georq, 1649-1692, (28/47), was a merchant, and his second son Peter, 1651-1709, (28/48), was a widely acclaimed mayor from 1697 up until his death. The male descendant of Georg died out in Hamburg with the wealthy manufacturer Johann Cornelius Peter, 1788-1848, (91); his sister's descendants in Hamburg today still carry the legitimate name Berger von Lengercken.
The descendant's of Mayor Peter remained at first in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. His son Caspar the Elder, 1683-1738, (48/68), was a lawyer there and, moreover, his son Caspar the Younger, 1729-1811, (68/79), first a merchant, was later a civil servant in his own city of Hamburg.
His grandson Gustav, 1801-1866, (92/110), decided, as a teacher of paintimg, to emigrate to Vienna, the stronghold of art and culture, where his sub-branch died out in 1913 with his two childless sons.
Gustav's brother Alexander, 1802-1853, (92), noted, among other things, for his Agricultural Help-and-Write Almanac mentzel/Lengerke, and. his brother Cäsar, 1803-1855, (92/111), were both excellent scholars in their days. Both of them died, separated from their Hamburg home, in Berlin and Elbing, respectively.
What was the fate of our family in Kiel? A son of the ancestral father Jürgen, namely Ameling the Elder, 1536-1618, (1/4), was the first to come to Kiel, founded line II of the family, and was, for more than 43 years, a very highly regarded but also troubled mayor of the city. His eldest son Heinrich, 1566-1619 (4/13), remained as a city councilor and merchant in his home city. His son, again an Ameling, 1602-1655, (13/24), left Kiel for unknown reasons and established himself as a doctor in Wernigerode in the Harz region where a son, grandson, and great- grandson, the latter Royal Hessan Major General Georg Emanuel, 1728-1798, (60/75), were born. With this latter, the so-called Royal Hessan sub- branch begins which, almost without exception, produced high-ranking officers up through the First World War (1914-1918).
But to continue, in Kiel the second eldest son of the old mayor Ameling- baptized Ameling the Younger, 1570-1626, (4/15), after his father was --elected mayor of Kiel (1623-1626). After his death his widow Catherina Blome acquired the estate of Ausacker in the dukedom of Schleswig-Hol- stein from a Jakob Jordt (Hirsch) in 1635 in order to escape difficult disputes over the inheritance in Kiel. Two years later, her son Johann (Hans), 1605-1655, (15/29), took over this land. "In order to leave no doubt about the reputation of his family, he (i.e. Hans) dropped the patronymic last syllable from his name and kept the name v. Lengern for himself and his family. Only after six generations did the land leave the hands of the v. Lengern family. A son of his grandson Dietrich, 1665- 1706, (49/70), who worked in Flensburg, by the name of Anthon, b.1689, (70/81), apparently tried to start a life in Stettin and later in Holland. His children and his childrens'' children finally died out poverty-stricken in Stettin in the mid 18th century.
A further son of Dietrich, again an Ameling, 1690-1777, (70/82), ended up as a merchant in Bergen, Norway. His children and grandchildren could not get a floothold there and they, too, died out in the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The children of the. above-mentioned Heinrich, 1566-1619, (4/13),-with the exception of those who died in Kiel-emigrated from their home city. And so his second-born, Georg, 1603-1655, (3/25)-the brother of Ameling who emigrated to Wernigerode--moved to Göteburg, Sweden in the year 1627 as a merchant. His eldest son Gerhard, 1631-1684, (25/42), legal advisor and president of the building council, was accepted into the Swedish nobility in 1660 with the name 'Leijonorantz till Hellerup' and received a new coat of arms (see fig. 6). In 1677 he was Burggraf in Göteborg. With his son Carl, d. 1684, who died young as a student in the same year as his father, this sub-branch also disappeared.
Georg's second eldest son, Gerhard's brother Hendrik (25/43), had sons who are supposed to have appeared in Stockholm now and then, yet nothing is known of their descendants. Gerhard's brother Martin (25/44) lived in Göteburg in 1660. before he returned from Sweden to the home of his fore fathers, Hille near Oeynhausen in Westfalia. There his sub-branch died out with his youngest son and his wife in 1714. His eldest son Christian Martin died in Stockholm in the 18th century, without leaving any successors.
Of line I, branch 2, Johann-Heinrich, l704-1764, (38/56), was the first to move to Bremen, as shown above. He and his offspring were not only able to win recognition as wholesale merchants through their astute management and overseas trade connections right up until the fourth generation, they also gained wealth. This wealth allowed his eldest grandson Johann Abraham 1775-1831, (74/86), to acquire the estate of Dohnsen on the Weser in 1819 which became, following the death of his wife in 1888, an inheritance partnership in toto still in existence today. Oskar, b. 1864, (101/119), died there in 1924 as the last Lengerke.
A great-grandchild of the first emigrant to Bremen, and like him named Johann Heinrich, 1825-1906, (87/104), gained the baron's estate Steinbeck in the idyllic scenery of Lippe in 1865 where direct descendants are still living today.
Modern economic developments had led to fundamental changes in middle-class society in the second half of the 19th century. The competitive rise of industrial powers brought difficult crises in the years of reckless financial speculation.
Justus Lengerke, 1854-1929, (132/145), at the age of seventeen, emigrated to the United States even before his father's armament firm went bankrupt in Oldenburg in 1876 due. the financial speculation crisis. There he and his eight siblings who followed him rose to recognition as businessman and acquired a beautiful piece of real estate, 'Stag Lake.' This sub- branch of line I, branch I is still living today in the fourth generation on their land in Andover, New Jersey, and still bear the name 'Justus.'
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Last edited, 10 Apr 1999 by Hans Juergen von Lengerke