21 March 2009

How Many Ways to Spell Fruechtenicht?

John Frederick Fruechtenicht is my father's father's mother's father.

- John Frederick Fruechtenicht
- Mary Louise Fruechtenicht / Wesley Armfield
- Alfred Armfield Johnson
- Lester Johnson
- me

John Frederick was born 10 Feb 1831 in Esens, Ostfriesland, what is now the north coast of Germany. He died 18 Feb 1916 in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa. He married Almuth Maria Juergens, who was born 13 Oct 1833 in Thunum, Oldenburg and died 28 Dec 1903 in LeMars, Plymouth County, Iowa. I have a marriage year of 1858 in Cleveland, Ohio but haven't yet located the documentation on that.

Family lore states that John Frederick was a member of the King's Guard in Hanover and had to flee for his life when his side was defeated in war. The same story says John Frederick had several brothers, all of whom also fled. Family lore says these brothers did not come to America but settled instead in the Dutch East Indies. (I'll be tackling to prove or disprove this family lore as soon as I get a break from planning the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.)

John Frederick and Almuth were not married when they arrived on 6 Oct 1857 aboard the Clio, which sailed from Bremen to New York. They had adjoining cabins and were the only passengers listed on the ship's manifest. Both were listed using their middle names. Hiding perhaps?

Here is his obituary:

LeMars Sentinel, 22 February 1916. P1 Col 1

John F. Fruechtenicht Succumbs to Long Illness
Lived here Thirty-Five Years

Decedent was a Native of Hanover and Came to America When a Young Man and Lived in Dixon, Illinois Before Coming Here

John F. Fruechtenicht, a pioneer citizen and a well known resident of LeMars for the past thirty-five years, died at St. Vincent's hospital in Sioux City on Friday night. His death was due to cancer, from which he had suffered for the past three years. While getting shaved in a barber shop a barber cut his lip, engendering a small sore, which developed cancer. Mr. Fruechtenicht suffered greatly in his long illness and death came as a relief. The body was brought here Saturday evening.

John Frederick Fruechtenicht was born on February 10, 1831, at Esens, East Friesland, Hanover, Germany, where he spent his boyhood and grew to manhood. In 1857 he came to America and located in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1858 he was united in marriage with Almuth Marie Jurgens, with whom he lived a long and happy wedded life until her death on December 26, 1903.

To their union eight children were born, one of whom, a boy, died in infancy. The children who mourn their father's death are: Mrs. Eliza Lucia of Lyndon, Illinois; Mrs. Len Fritz, Estherville, Iowa; Mrs. Maria Hart, White Lake, South Dakota; Mrs. Emma Schauer, Herndon Kansas; Mrs. Tillie Duerig, Long Pine Nebraska; Will Fruechtenicht, of St. Joseph, Mo., and Otto Fruechtenicht, of Sioux City.

Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Fruechtenicht moved to Dixon, Illinois, going there in 1864, where they lived until 1881 when they came to LeMars, which has been the home of the family ever since. Mr. Fruechtenicht was a carpenter by trade and was a skilled mechanic. While in Dixon he became a member of the Masonic fraternity and also the order of Odd Fellows. He was a member of the United Evangelical Church and a regular attendant at services until his health failed.

Mr. Fruechtenicht was well known in a large circle especially among the older residents. He was a good citizen and neighbor and was respected by many.

The funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at the Bosley undertaking parlors, Rev. O. Halsebus, of the Emanuel United Evangelical church officiating; and the remains were laid to rest beside those of his wife in the city cemetery. The sons and daughters came to attend the funeral.

He is buried in LeMars City Cemetery, LeMars, Plymouth County, Iowa. The cemetery headstone has an incorrect spelling of the surname.

I was bored one Labor Day weekend and emailed every Fruechtenicht I could find on the Internet, and I managed to find the genealogist with the Fruechtenict surname study. He was an invaluable connection and was able to provide a wealth of information from Ostfriesland. If you're ever bored and have a unique name, try it out.

Oh, in answer to the question how many ways to spell Fruechtenticht?
...so far...


  1. And I thought the Fichtelmann family on my husband's side was a spelling challenge!

  2. Great blog and welcome to geneabloggers. Trying to prove or disprove the family lore may be a good one to ad to our Madness Monday starting this Monday. Good Luck.

  3. I am printing this and adding it to my scrapbook. Thanks so much. You are a wealth of knowledge.

  4. I have a William Fruechtenicht who was my great grandfather. He came from Germany and lived as a lawyer in Indiana. If there's any way I could get any info about the Fruechtenicht surname researcher that'd be amazing. You can hit me up at jaymberg@gmail.com.