Bierbrodt family information comes from conversations between Barbara L. Van Norsdall and her father, Ross Amos Van Norsdall and her aunt, Threasa Marguerite Van Norsdall Goodwin, in the late 1950's. Also from conversations, in the summer of 2000, with Robert Merle Bierbrodt, his wife Patricia Lee "Pat" Sherly Bierbrodt and daughter Deborah Beckmeyer. And with Carl Gerald "Jerry" Bierbrodt and his daugheter Tonya Farley. These cousins live in Coffeyville, Kansas. Debbie sent a copy of the Lutz Family Tree. Debbie says that the Bierbrodts and Lutzs came to the United States at the same time.
Barbara was raised in Nevada and as a result had very little contact with the Bierbrodt families. The only contact was infrequent famly vacations in Arkansas. Barbara remembers one vacation about 1950 when her great grandmother, Threasa Maze Bierbrodt came from Kansas. She was about 90 at the time. She still spoke with a heavy German accent and Barbara had great difficulty understanding her.
The earliest Bierbrodt that is in the family record is Barney, who was born in Germany. He married Threasa Maze in Germany and their first child, Gertrude Marie, was born in Essen., Germany. Barney, Threasa, and Gertrude came to the United States about February 1880. Barney had a brother, John, and a sister, Kate, who also came to the U.S. Supposedly Gertrude was age two or less when they came here. A family story has them coming to America to keep out of military service.
Searches through the German Passenger and Immigration Lists have not revealed a lot of information. There was a Johann Bierbroth and his wife who went to Ohio in 1881. There was a Brei. Bierbrodt, 26 years old, a farmer, who arrived the 22 Feb 1881 on the ship City of Richmond in New York, from Liverpool and Queenstown. There was a John Bierbrodt, age 22, from Prussia, with a 1 year old child, Hermann, who arrived in New York 9 Sep 1881 on the ship, Nederland, from Antwerp. There was a Theresa Bierbrad, Age 19, from Alsace, with Gertrude, an infant, age 11 months, arrived 2 Dec 1881, in Philadelphia on the ship Hecla from Antwerp. If this last person was our Threasa, where was Barney?
It is not known where they first settled in the United States. The descendants of Minnie Bierbrodt and Virgil Benjamin Smith have her being born in Illinois. Threasa Marguerite Van Norsdall said she thought that her father, Ishmael Wayne Van Norsdall was born in Peru, Illinois. But this was wrong, he was born in Wyandot Co. Ohio. It could be that the Bierbrodts were in Peru, Illinois at one time. Both John and Kate were in Kansas in the early 1900's but they moved. Carl Gerald "Jerry" Bierbrodt and Robert Merle Bierbrodt say there is a family story that "several of Barney's brothers and sisters returned to Germany. John Bierbrodt was in Kansas about 1910-1915 because he appears in a picture with his nephews Joe and "Hub" about that time. It is doubtful that he would have been in the United States for that length of time and then returned to Germany. It is possible that they returned to Illinois, if they lived there before they came to Kansas.
Members of the Lutz family have prepared a family tree. They say that the progenitor of their family, Frederick Lutz, born about 1820-30 was brought from Germany to Odessa, Russia along with 200-250 other families of "high blood" as a wedding present from Catherine The Great's father in honor of her marriage to the Czar of Russia. Frederick Lutz was reportedly a probate judge. His youngest son was Frederick W. Lutz. The Lutz family says that the Bierbrodts and Lutzs came to the US at the same time. There is no family story that have the Bierbrodts being in Russia.
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