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Stessman Family History

Family of Adolph and Elisabeth (Maiworm) Stessman
Frank A (6/26/1859 - 1898), married Gertrude BLANKE
Mary (12/8/1862 - 8/13/1917), married Anton MERTENS
John (5/15/1864 - 4/13/1944), married Elisabeth (Bertha) SCHNEIDER
Elisabeth (abt 1866 - unknown), died at age 8
Theodore (9/15/1869 - 6/28/1954), married Elizabeth (Bertha) HUETTEMAN
Adolph (bet 1858-1871), twin of Joseph, died in infancy
Joseph (abt 1858-1871), twin of Adolph, died in infancy

Adolph Stessman (Steßmann) was born on May 19, 1823 in or near the small village of
Meggen, Westfalen, Preussen (Germany). Stessman family history suggests that Adolph's father was named Henirich, however German records indicate his parents were named Anton and Gertrud (Willmes) Stessmann. Anton Stessmann, age 30, and Gertrudis Willmes, age 31, were married on February 11, 1821 according to the records of Kirchveischede, Westfalen, Preussen. The Westfalen birth/baptismal records provide the names of their children: Adolph, born May 19, 1823 in Meggen and christened on May 20, 1823; Johann Heinrich, born August 29, 1826 and christened on August 30, 1826; and Maria Elisabeth, born born March 02, 1831 and christened on March 04, 1831.

Based on the records Adolph was the eldest of three known children born to Anton Stessmann and Gertrud Willmes. The family lived in the Meggen-Maukmke area of Germany. At that time Meggen was included in the Catholic parish of Elspe while Maumke was part of the Catholic parish of Förde (Foerde). Family history mentions that Adolph had a sister and a brother. His sister Elizabeth married a Ferber and had daughters named Anna and Theresa. Adolph's brother Heinrich died of tuberculosis at about the age of 25 years.
The German records indicate that Adolph's sister, Maria Elisabeth married Daniel Ferber on June 14, 1860. The marriage record indicates her parents were A. Stessman and Gertrud Willmes. Birth records indicate the Ferbers had four known children born to them: Heinrich (1861), Maria Elisabeth (1862), Anna Brigitta (1864), and Theresa (1866). Family history suggests that Elizabeth Stessmann Ferber died sometime prior to the early deaths of her daughters Anna and Thesesa. Since her husband Daniel Ferber had married again on November 28, 1872, at or near Elspe, Elizabeth's death must have occurred sometime prior to that.

Adolph was educated and grew to manhood in the Meggen area. Upon reaching the age to serve in the military he was not called upon because his father had died and as the eldest son he was caring for his widowed mother. Adolph Stessmann married Anna Elisabeth Maiworm (Maywurm) in 1857. There are two records which indicate their marriage. The first suggests Adolph Stessman married Elisabeth Maiworm on November 6, 1857, the marriage recorded in the Catholic records for Kirchhundem, Westfalen, Preussen. The second suggests that 34 year old Adolph Stessmann married 28 year old Anna Elisabeth Maywurm on November 17, 1857, this marriage originating from the records of Elspe (Kreis Olpe), Westfalen, Preussen. In the latter marriage record, Adolph's parents are cited as Anton Stessmann and Gertrud Willmes, while Elisabeth's parents are cited as Johann Maywurm and Anna Maria Stute.

Elisabeth Maiworm was born September 15, 1829 in the village of Maumke only a couple of kilmometers west of Meggen. Both villages are located between mountains in the valley of the river Lenne in beautiful Sauerland. At the time this region was part of the Westfalen district of Preussen (Westphalia district of Prussia). Prussia was one of the separate German states prior to their unification under Otto von Bismarck about 1870.

Adolph Stessman helped on the construction of the Westphalia Railroad which was operated in connection with the sulphuric rock mines of the Ruhr Valley in the Westfalia province of west-central Germany. After marriage to Elisabeth (Bertha) Maiworm (aka Mayworm, Maywurm, or Maiwurm), they lived in Meggen, county (Kreise) of Olpe, district (Regierungsbezirke) of Arnsberg, state of Westphalen, Prussia, and later moved to Am Rott 29 in Maumke. They lived in the same house where Elisabeth was born. It was of stone construction like many of the houses in the village. It had a slate roof with timbers exposed on the outside. Adolph kept a daily paper in Maumke and also farmed small patches outside the village. He grew rye, potatoes and vegetables. they had one cow, a few pigs and some chickens. Adolph and Elisabeth had seven children: Adolph and Joseph, twin boys who died shortly after birth; Frank; Mary; John; Elisabeth, who died at age eight; and Theodore. Theodore, and perhaps his brothers, were employed at the I'enne-Ruhr Iron Works, one of the industrial steel plants of the Ruhr Valley.

The birth/baptismal records for the surviving children of Adolph and Elisabeth include son Franz (aka Frank) Anton Stessmann who was born June 26, 1859 (christened June 28); daughter Maria (aka Mary) Theresia Stessmann who was born November 10, 1861 (christened November 12); son Johann (aka John) Stessmann who was born May 15, 1864 (christened May 17); and son Theodor Stessmann who was born September 19, 1869 (christened September 21). The records of the elder children cite Elspe as the location, while the location cited in Theodore's record is Förde, Westfalen, Preußen. The spelling of their mother's maiden name in these records appears to be standardized as Maiwurm.

Having reached the age of military training Frank Stessman, the eldest surviving son, set out for the U.S. in the early 1880's and found work in Detriot, Michigan. It was here that he married Getrude Blanke on May 05, 1885. Due probably to the poor economic conditions of the time, the remaining Stessmans would soon set out for the U.S. as well. The second oldest, Mary, married in Germany about 1885. Her husband, Anton Mertens, a son of Heinrich and Theresa Anna Mertens, was already living in Shelby County, Iowa and made the trip back. Anton and Mary Mertens arrived in the U.S. in August of the same year, listing their destination as Earling, Iowa. The other members of the family followed the next year and arrived from Antwerp to New York aboard the ship Waesland on April 29, 1886. They listed their destination as Detroit to join Frank. The ship manifest for the Waesland lists the family as Adolf Stessman (60), Elisab (55), Johann (25) and Theod (17).

Frank and Gertrude Stessman had two children in Detroit: John and Florentine. Frank was listed as a machinist at 429 Orleans in Detroit in 1890. For the same year Adolph was listed as a laborer, John a machinist, and Theodore a blacksmith, all at the address of 83 Jay in Detroit. On May 26, 1891, John Stessman married Elisabeth (Bertha) M Schneider in Detroit. She was a daughter of Caspar and Josephine (Huetteman) Schneider. On October 18, 1894, at Old St. Mary's Church in Detroit, Theodore Stessman married Elizabeth (Bertha) Huetteman, a daughter of Frank and Bernadina (Wessel) Huetteman. Frank and Josephine Huetteman (Hüttemann) were brother and sister, so John and Theodore Stessman's wives were 1st cousins.

By the latter half of the 1890s circumstances began to change for the Stessmans. Adolph's wife Elisabeth passed away on February 13, 1896. Frank Stessman, still in his thirties, died in Detroit in 1898. It was about this timeframe that sons John and Theodore moved to Shelby County, Iowa, near where Mary (Stessman) Mertens was living. By 1900 John was farming in Union township and Theodore was farming in Grove township, Shelby County.

Adolph Stessman later died on May 25, 1910 near Earling, Iowa and he is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Earling. The families of Mary Mertens, John and Theodore Stessman continued farming in the Shelby County area, raising their families. Mary passed away at the age of 54 on August 13, 1917, and she is buried at St. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Defiance, Iowa. John and family remained in the Earling area and he lived to be almost 80 years of age, passing away on April 13, 1944. John is buried at St. Josephs in Earling. Theodore and family farmed near Panama, Iowa and he died at almost 84 years of age on June 28, 1954. Theodore is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery at Panama.

Postscript - Ancestors of Adolph Stessman:
The February 11, 1821 marriage record of Anton Stessmann, born about 1791, and Gertrud Willmes, born about 1790, mention the names of their parents. Anton was a son of Johann Stessmann and Anna Elisabeth Boehmer. Gertrud was the daughter of Franz Willmes and Anna Maria Dikhof. The names of Anton's parents also appear to be mentioned in a letter from the Catholic Parish Office of St. Jakobus in Elspe, received by Gen Oppold in 1982. In the letter it mentions that Franziskus Antonius (aka Franz Anton) Stessmann was born December 12, 1790 in/near Meggen, a son of Joannes Stessmann and Anna Maria Elisabeth Bömer (Boemer). It seems more than a coincidence the eldest surviving son of Adolph Stessman was named Franz Anton, aka Frank. Adolph's father was also named Franz Anton, and the elder Franz Anton was a son of Joannes Stessmann. The letter then goes on to cite the parents of the latter Joannes Stessmann.
According to the February 03, 1790 marriage record of Joes. (read Joannes, aka John) Stessmann and Anna Elisabeth Bömer, the parents of the bridegroom are given as Caspari Stesmann and Clara Brincker. The parents of the bride are given as Rotgeri Sivert (known as Bömer) and Elizabeth Bömer. The witnesses at their wedding were Caspar Stesmann of Elspe and Theodor Drosten of Meggen. Joannes Stessmann is probably the Johann Stesmann who died July 20, 1806 in/near Meggen at about age 45.

The children of Joes. Stessmann and Anna Elisabeth Bömer included the following:
* Franziskus Antonius Stesmann, born Dec 12, 1790
* Joseph Stesmann, born Sep 30,1799
* Johannes Stesmann, born July 31, 1802 (perhaps the Johannes Stesmann who died on March 7, 1803)
* Johannes Henricus Stessmann, born Feb 11, 1804 and baptized Feb 12, 1804.

Postscript - The Maiworn/Mayworm family:
The marriage record of Elisabeth and Adolph Stessman cites her name as Anna Elisabeth Maywurm, born about 1829 to Johann Maywurm and Anna Maria Stute. A christening/birth record for Elisabeth cites she was christened Anna Elisabeth Cunibertha Mayworm on September 16, 1829 based on the records for Foerde, Westfalen, Preussen. The record also cites she was born September 15, 1829 to Joh. Mayworm and Anna Maria Stute.
The records for Foerde, Westfalen, Preussen also cite the marriage of Johannes Anton Meiworm (age 25) and Anna Maria Stutte (age 27) on September 27, 1825, and in the record both of their parents are named. The records also mention two brothers of Elisabeth, the first cited as Casparus Meiworm who was christened on September 12, 1826 (birth September 11, 1826), and the second as Theodor Henrich Mayworm who was christened on November 11, 1832 (birth November 9, 1932).
NOTES: In 1683 Förde (Foerde) became an independent parish which included the villages of Förde, Bonzel and Maumke. In 1930 the municipality of Förde was renamed Grevenbrück, and together with Maumke, Meggen, Elspe, and others, form the district of Lennestadt.

Postscript - The Wessel family:
Bertha Huettemen married Theodore Stessman, while her sister Josephine Huetteman married William Freund. Bertha and Josephine were both daughters of Frank Huetteman and Bernadina Wessel. Bernadina was born Maria Bernadina Wessel on July 17, 1850 at Weringhausen-Schoenholthausen, Westfalen, Preussen, and was the daughter Johann Theodor Wessel and Anna Maria Hoeynk (or Hoeink). Family history suggests Bernadina was the daughter of Caspar Wessel, born in October 1833, however this Caspar was Bernadina's older brother who had also lived in Detroit. In addition to Caspar, another brother of Bernadina lived in Detroit - this was Frank Wessel (Wessell) who married Frances Dunnebacke and had a large family. Frank Wessel was born Franz Wessel on May 26, 1847 at Weringhausen, Westfalen, Preussen. The Weringhausen-Schoeholthausen area of Germany is located between Endorf (home of the Huetteman family) and Meggen-Maumke (home of the Stessman family).
The Wessel family arrived in the U.S. from Bremen to New York on 14 May 1857. Bernadina's mother Maria arrived with her children: Therese, Kaspar, Eliza., Lizette, Ann M., Francis, and Dina.

The children of Johann Theodor Wessel and Anna Maria Hoeynk (or Hoeink), who married November 25, 1830 at Schönholthausen, Westfalen, Preussen, included the following:
* Theresia Wessel, born October 08, 1831, christened at Schoenholthausen; arrived in the U.S. with the family in 1857
* Caspar Wessel, born October 06, 1833, at Weringhausen; did not marry; died September 23, 1895 (of Michigan), buried at Mt. Elliot Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.
* Theodor Wessel, born April 03, 1836, at Weringhausen
* Maria Elisabeth Wessel, born March 25, 1838, at Weringhausen; apparent spouse of John Spielman; she died August 21, 1879 in Detroit, buried at Mt. Elliot Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.
* Maria Gertrud Wessel, born November 18, 1842, at Weringhausen
* Anna Maria Wessel, born January 11, 1845, at Weringhausen; arrived in the U.S. with the family in 1857
* Franz (Frank) W Wessel, born May 26, 1847, at Weringhausen; married Frances Dunnebacke; Frank died February 16, 1938 in Detroit, buried at Mt. Elliot Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.
* Maria Bernadina Wessel, born July 17, 1850 at Weringhausen; married Franz (Frank) Josef Huetteman in Detroit. She died October 29, 1904 in Detroit, her father Theodore Wessel cited in the death record.
Note: the mother of this family, Anna Maria Höynck (Hoeynck, Hoeink, Hoeing), died August 23, 1866, and is buried at Mt. Elliot Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan,

Article compiled by Dennis Walsh, July 2004. Updated May 2010.