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Wulken and Wyssman or Wyssmann
Posted by: Ted Pack (ID *****6680) Date: July 17, 2004 at 07:27:38
  of 108

I have these people, who were in Seward County for a couple of decades. I'd be happy to learn more or swap privitized GEDCOMs. I'm particularly curious about August's brothers, Diedrich, John and Henry. At some point in the future (late fall 2004, maybe) I'll have a lot more Wyssmanns on my Roots Web World connect data base. Right now I have Anna's parents and siblings.


1. John Wilken 1,2,3 was born between 1818 and 1820 in Germany. He died before 1880. In "Germans to America" we find:

Ship: Therese
From: Bremen
To: New York
Arrived: 02 June 1864

(Passenger, Age, Sex, Occupation, Province, Village code, Destination)

John 45 M Farmer GR 000 UNK
Margarethe 37 F W[ife] GR 000 UNK
Diedrich 15 M S[tudent] GR 000 UNK
Johann 8 M Child GR 000 UNK
August 7 M Child GR 000 UNK
Heinr. Reinhd. 4 M Child GR 000 UNK

I have no proof that this is our John, but the names and birth years of Margarethe and the children match up pretty well to the birth years on the census. The fact he didn't tell anyone what village he came from or where he was going is just our luck, too. John was pretty elusive. Family legend says he backed the wrong side in a revolution, which might account for it. He could just have been illiterate, too.

In the 1870 census we find:

(Name, age, sex, race, occupation, value of real property, value of personal property, birthplace)

(House 339, family 339)
Wilken, Margarette, 43, F, W, Keeping House, 50, 200, Ohlenberg
Wilken, Johnny, 16, M, W, At Home, <>, <>, Ohlenberg
Wilken, August, 14, M, W, At Home, <>, <>, Ohlenberg
Wilken, Henry, 11, M, W, At Home, <>, <>, Ohlenberg

H/F 340 is a C. Davis, farmer, whose farm is also worth 500;

H/F 341 is Wilken, Deidric, 22 M, W, Farmer, $50, <>, Ohlenberg

In Margarette's entry the "te" in Margarette" slips into the age column and looks like a "6". The "3" in "43" is written above it. It could easily be mistaken for a "46". Her husband is not listed. He may have sent them ahead, and he may have died. Note also that August is two years younger than John.

In the 1880 census Precinct H, Seward, Nebraska, page, 452D we have this household:

(Name, Relation, Marital Status, Gender, Race, Age, Birthplace, Occupation, Father's Birthplace, Mother's Birthplace)

Margaret Welkins, Self, W, Female, W, 53, Germany, Farmer, Germany, Germany,
Deidrich Welkins, Son, S, Male, W, 41, Germany, Farmer, Germany, Germany,
August Welkins, Son, S, Male, W, 23, Germany, Farmer, Germany, Germany,
Anna Lehr, Other, S, Female, W, 8, England, England, England

Two problems immediately pop up. First, Margaret probably didn't marry at 11 and have Deidrich at 12; Germans tended to marry in their 20's in the early 1800's. The fact their name is spelled "Welkins" hints that someone who didn't know the family very well filled out the census for them. On the 1870 census the family name is Wilken, which indicates the enumerator had some contact. On the 1870 census, two houses away, is a Diedrich Wilken, age 22. I suspect his age is off by 10 in the 1880 census.

Second puzzle from the 1880 census - there are no other people named Lehr and born in England living in Seward County on the LDS transcription of the 1880 census. Where did that little girl come from?

In the 1890 Seward County Gazetteer, under "Farmers", is "Wilkens", Aug. (Note the mistaken plural -- my grandfather spent much of his life telling people "no 's' on the end"). August lived in Germantown. Germantown changed its name in 1918.

He was married to Margarethe Godchen between 1842 and 1849 in Germany. Margarethe Godchen 2,4,3 was born between 1826 and 1828 in Ohlenberg, Germany. She was also known as Margaret, Margaretta.
Margaret's maiden name came from several marriage licenses. It may not be accurate; there are darn few people named "Godchen" on any of the huge genealogy data bases.

I estimated her marriage date by assuming she was at least 16 when she married, which would put it at 1842, and was married before Diedrich was born in 1849. Those are extremes. They were probably married 1 - 2 years before their first was born. If Diedrich was the oldest, they were married 1847 - 1848. John Wilken and Margarethe Godchen had the following children:

       2       i.       Diedrich Wilken 2,4,3 was born between 1847 and 1849 in Ohlenberg, Germany.
                     Diedrich is a stretch. I'm guessing that the 22-year old Diedrich who is two houses away from the widowed Margarethe in the 1870 census really was 22 in 1870, and the Diedrich aged 41 on the 1880 census really is Margaret's son, with his age off by 10 years. This family is very small for German-Americans in the middle 1800's.
       3       ii.       Johann John Wilken 1,2,3 was born between 1853 and 1856 in Ohlenberg, Germany. Johann is 8 in 1864 on the ship's manifest, which makes him born in 1855 - 1857. He is 16 in 1870, which makes him born in 1853 - 1855. I combined the two.
       +4       iii.       August Wilken .
       5       iv.       Heinrich Reinhardt Henry Wilken 1,2,3 was born between 1858 and 1860 in Ohlenberg, Germany.
                     Heinrich is 4 in 1864 on the ship's manifest, which points to an 1860 birth year.

                     His name on the manifest is "Heinr. Reinhd.' I'm guessing at the middle name.


4. August Wilken 1,2,5,4,3,6 was born on 25 Oct 1854 in Ohlenberg, Germany. He emigrated in 1858 from USA. He died on 17 Mar 1933 in La Puente, Los Angeles, California. He was buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles, California. Clipping from unknown newspaper dated Thursday, March 23, 1933

Heart Attack Calls Rancher
August Wilken Passes Away
Deceased Had Resided on His Valley Boulevard Ranch for Twenty-One Years.

August Wilken, for the past twenty-one years a resident of Puente, died Friday night at his home on Valley Boulevard, at the age of 78 years. Mr. Wilken had been ill for a short time of heart trouble, and was seized with the fatal attack only a short time before his passing. He had been in ordinary health all that day and had been out and about, even having partaken of a hearty supper a few hours before.

With the death of Mr. Wilken, another of the late day pioneers of the Puente community, has passed.

The Wilken family came here in 1912, settling on the ranch on Valley Boulevard which has been their home ever since. He devoted his interests entirely to agriculture, working in his walnut grove, and proving a true husband of the soil

Born in Oldenberg, [Ohlenberg] Germany, Oct. 25, 1854, Mr. Wilken came to the United States when still a child. He heard the call of the new country, and gradually came west. More than 67 years ago he went via ox-drawn wagon on a route from Iowa to Nebraska, and assisted in opening the now country to settlement, breaking the ground, living in a sod house, later in a log cabin. The call to the new country in the San Gabriel Valley came in 1912, and he brought the members of his family to Puente, one of the pioneers in the walnut Industry. Frugal, industrious, a good neighbor, a good farmer, a loving husband and father, Mr. Wilken assisted in laying the foundation for the present day enjoyments in this community.

On February 23, 1882, Mr. Wilken was united in marriage to Miss Anna Wyssman at Seward, Nebraska, who has proved a true helpmate and a loyal, loving companion during all these years. A year ago last month they quietly celebrated their golden wedding anniversary here, in a manner that was most cherished by both Mr. and Mrs. Wilken, with members of their family in attendance.

To the Wilken home were born eleven children, and Mr. Wilken's death marks the first break in the immediate family. Forty-three grandchildren were born into the family, and of these 41 are living.

Surviving are the grief-stricken widow, and the following sons and daughters:
Henry of Los Angeles; Mrs. Lena Lubbe of Beaver Crossing, Nebraska; John of Bee, Nebraska; Mrs. Margaret Mueller, Porterfield, Wisconsin; August, Turlock [California]; Mrs. Clara Busboom, Glendale [California]; Rudolph, Baldwin Park [California]; Mrs. Anna Cole, Anson, Texas; Mrs. Ida VanHuekelon, South Gate, [California]; Emmanuel, Turlock [California]; Mrs. Dorothy Martin, Oakland [California].

Funeral services were conducted yesterday afternoon from the Baldwin Park Funeral Home, Rev. Henry 0. Kringel, pastor of Zion Lutheran church, Glendale, officiating, Singing was by Mrs. Erwin Luttermoser of Glendale. Interment was In Rose Hill Memorial Park, the pallbearers being Henry and Frank Nash of Los Angeles, L. T. Hammersley, Conrad Graf, H. C. Kenagy and Otto Herman.

In 1930, August was in Rowland Township, Los Angeles:
Valley Boulevard, HH 384, fam 387:
August Wilken, 75, Head, b. Germany, occupation farmer
Annie Wilken, 68, Wife
Emanuel Wilken, 31, Son, occupation roofer
Alberta Wilken, 34, Daughter-in-law
M. Wilken
G. Wilken

He was married to Anna Wyssmann (daughter of Rudolph Wyssmann and Anna Barbara Affolter ) on 23 Feb 1882 in Seward, Seward, Nebraska. Anna Wyssmann 7,8,4,6,2 was born on 16 Dec 1861 in Herzogenbuchsee, Bern, Switzerland (prob). She died on 4 Apr 1946 in Los Angeles County, California. She was also known as Weissmann, Weissman.
The family surname is spelled "Wyssmann" on sister Elise's baptismal record in Switzerland. It is spelled Wyssmann, Wiesman, Wiessman, Wiesmann, Wiessmann and Whysmann on assorted obituaries and marriage license applications of her children. August Wilken and Anna Wyssmann had the following children:

       +6       i.       Henry J. Wilken.
       +7       ii.       Lena Wilken.
       +8       iii.       John Wilken.
       +9       iv.       Margaret Wilken.
       +10       v.       August F Wilken.
       +11       vi.       Clara Louise Wilken.
       +12       vii.       Rudolph William Wilken.
       +13       viii.       Anna Wilken.
       +14       ix.       Ida Wilken.
       +15       x.       Emanuel August Wilken .
       +16       xi.       Dorothy Adele Wilken.


6. Henry J. Wilken8,9,6,6,10 was born on 4 Jan 1883 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. He died on 22 Oct 1977 in Los Angeles County, California. He was buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles, California.
Henry J. Wilken married Elizabeth Beckman.

In 1920 they were living in Rowland Heights, Los Angeles, California:

Wilken, Henry head, 36, b. Nebraska, occupation farmer
---, Elizabeth M, wife, 32, b. Nebraska

[Children not shown for privacy]

In 1930 he was divorced and living in the home of a cousin, Edna Evete, in Belvedere, Los Angeles, California

His children are with Elizabeth:

(Rowland, Los Angeles, California)

Elizabeth Wilkin, 43, Head, Divorced, b. Nebraska, both parents b. Hanover, Germany; occupation, housekeeping in private facilities.

F Wilkin , saleslady in department store
M Wilkin , saleslady in department store
W Wilkin . mechanic in garage
L Wilkin , mechanic in garage
L Wilkin
M Wilkin
H Wilkin

The family is keeping itself together as best it can. The oldest four have jobs and Elizabeth keeps house for rich people. Nobody goes to the malt shop after class to dance to the records on the juke box.

He was married to Elizabeth Beckman between 1902 and 1908 in Nebraska. Elizabeth Beckman6,10 was born between 1886 and 1888 in Nebraska.

7. Lena Wilken 13,14,10,6 was born on 4 Sep 1884 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. She died in Jul 1987 in Seward, Seward, Nebraska.
Lena Wilken married Carl Lubbe.

She was married to Carl Luebbe on 10 Mar 1904 in Seward, Seward, Nebraska. Carl Luebbe 13,10,6 was born between 1874 and 1876 in Hanover, Germany. He died in 1952.
Carl was 45 on the 1920 census.

In 1930 we find them living in Township K, Seward, Nebraska. Everyone except Carl is born in Nebraska

Carl H Luebbe, 55, head, b. Germany
Leora Luebbe, 46, Wife
A Luebbe
J Luebbe
E Luebbe
A Luebbe
E Luebbe
P Luebbe
L Luebbe

8. John Wilken 15,6 was born on 6 Apr 1886 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. He died on 28 Feb 1963 in Seward County, Nebraska.
In 1930 we find:

(Surname, Given, relationship, age, marital status, birthplace, father's birthplace, mother's birthplace)

Wilkens, John, Head, 44, M, Nebraska, Iowa, Sweden
----, Clara, Wife, 27, M, Nebraska, Illinois, Germany
----, L,
----, L ,
----, L ,

John's father, August, came though Iowa when he was four or five, but he was born in Germany. John's mother was born in Switzerland. We will never know who fluffed that one, John or the enumerator.

In addition, the form says John was 26 and Clara was 20 when they married; John rents and is a farmer.

He was married to Clara Grueber between 1912 and 1914. Clara Grueber 6,16 was born between 1892 and 1894 in Nebraska.
Clara's Grandfather started all the Lutheran Churches from Seward to Aurora.

9. Margaret Wilken 17,18,14,6,5 was born on 30 Nov 1887 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. She died in Mar 1983 in Marinette, Marinette, Wisconsin.
Margaret Wilken married William John Mueller. She is Margaretha on the SSDI.

She was married to William John Mueller on 20 Nov 1908. William John Mueller 18,6 was born in 1888/89 in Nebraska. He died on 22 May 1963.

In 1930 They were living in Porterfield, Marinette, Wisconsin:
William Miller, 41, Head, b. Nebraska, father & mother b. Germany, occupation farmer
Margareth Miller, 41, Wife
E G Miller
M C Miller
I C E Miller
D L Miller
A W Miller

10. August F Wilken 1,6 was born about 1889/90 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska.
In 1930 August and Bertha were living in Whittier, Los Angeles, California:
August F Wilken, 40, b. Nebraska, Head; proprietor of a tire shop.
Bertha I Wilken, 34, Wife, b. Nebraska, father b. Germany, mother b. Nebraska
D E Wilken,
L V Wilken
J M Wilken

August was 25 at first marriage, Bertha 18.

He was married to Bertha xxxx between 1914 and 1915. Bertha xxxx6 was born in 1896/97 in Nebraska. August F Wilken and Bertha xxxx had the following children:

11. Clara Louise Wilken 1,18,11 was born on 7 Mar 1891 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. She Lived in 1983 in Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California. She died on 21 Feb 1985 in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California. Clara Wilken married Fred Busboom.

She was married to Fred Henry Busboom between 1906 and 1922.
Fred Henry Busboom 18,14,11,6 was born on 14 Aug 1887 in Nebraska. He died on 17 Oct 1982 in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California.

In 1930 they were living in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California:

Fred H Busboom, 42, Head, b. Nebraska. Father b. Gemany, mother b. Nebraska, Occupation dairyman.

Clara L Busboom, 39, Wife, b. Nebraska, father b. Germany, mother b. Switzerland.
R A Busboom
A F Busboom
C L Busboom

12. Rudolph William Wilken 8,19,14,6 was born on 11 Jan 1893 in Seward County, Nebraska. He died on 19 Jun 1959 in Los Angeles County, California. He was buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles, California.
Rudolph William Wilken married Julia Lyons. In 1930 they were living on Vineland Avenue, Rowland Township, Los Angeles, California:

Rudolph W Wilken, 37, Head, b. Nebraska,
Julia A Wilken, 35, Wife, b. Missouri, father b. Indiana, mother b, Arkansas
B A Wilken
A Wilken

Rudolph was 27 at first marriage, Julia 25. Rudolph is working as a contractor in a cement yard.

13. Anna Wilken5 was born about 1894. She lived in 1933 in Anson, Jones, Texas.
She was married to Jess E. Cole between 1910 and 1926. Jess E. Cole5,6 was born in 1887/88 in Arkansas.
In 1930 the family was in Anson, Jones, Texas:

Jess E Cole 42, Arkansas, working as janitor in a high school; both parents b. Texas
Anna Cole 41, Wife [Age is wrong], b. Nebraska, father b. Iowa, mother b. Illinois
[Anna either wasn't home when the enumerator came by, or she lied.]
H Cole,
C Cole,
P Cole
P Cole,

14. Ida Wilken 1,11,6 was born on 28 May 1897 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. She Lived in 1983 in Altadena, Los Angeles, California. She died on 20 Jun 1993 in Los Angeles County, California. She was married to Raymond VanHeukelon between 1913 and 1929. Raymond VanHeukelon18,11,6 was born on 9 Feb 1894 in Wisconsin. He died on 4 Apr 1970 in Los Angeles County, California.
In 1930 the family is living in South Gate, Los Angeles, California:

Ray G Van Heukelon 36, Head, b. Wisconsin
Ida M Van Heukelon, 32, Wife
B J Van Heukelon,
B L Van Heukelon,

The image looks like "Van Heukelon" but they are indexed as "Vanhewston".

Raymond is an estimator for a lumber company and has "Yes" in the column for veterans.

15. Emanuel August Wilken 1,6 was born on 7 Dec 1898 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. He died on 31 Oct 1987 in Modesto, Stanislaus, California.

He was married to Fanny Alberta Cady (daughter of George Waterman Cady and Ada Zimmerman) on 22 Aug 1922 in Southern California. Fanny Alberta Cady 7,20,21,6 was born on 30 Dec 1892 in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas.

16. Dorothy Adele Wilken1,8,11 was born on 5 Dec 1901 in Middle Creek, Seward, Nebraska. She Lived in 1933 in Oakland, Alameda, California. She died on 3 Sep 1971 in Los Angeles County, California. She was buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles, California.

In August Wilken's obituary (1933) Dorothy is listed as Dorothy Martin. In her funeral program she is listed as Dorothy Stagg. She may have had more marriages.


1. Ted Pack. Personal knowledge, obtained via letter, telephone call or conversation with the person, person's parent, child or spouse. May also be scraps of paper with spidery handwriting.

2. United States Census - 1870.

3. Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filby. Germans to America
Lists of passengers Arriving at US Ports. Scholarly resources, Inc.
Wilmington. Delaware.

4. United States Census - 1880.

5. August Wilken obituary
Clipping from unknown newspaper dated Thursday, March 23, 1933.

6. United States Census - 1930.

7. Cady Family Tradition - Mainly a long talk with Fanny Alberta Cady Wilken one summer afternoon in 1973. She had scraps of paper from the Cady family bible and other sources. Other conversations as well.

8. Rose Hills Memorial Park - Letter from the records management supervisor.

9. Henry J. Wilken funeral program.

10. United States Census - 1920.

11. California Death Index (On-line)
Death information 1940 - 1999. Data from The California Department of Health Services Office of Health Information and Research vital Statistics Section. Via RootsWeb.

12. California Birth Index - on-line data from California Department of Health Services Office of Health Information and Research vital Statistics Section, via RootsWeb.

13. Lena Lubbe reunion article
Clipping from un-named Seward County newspaper dated 1979 about Lena's 95th birthday.

14. Social Security Death Index
There are several on the Internet. Family Legends allows year ranges in its search.

15. Wilken, John - funeral program.

16. J. Wilken.

17. Margaret Wilken Mueller funeral program.

18. Margaret Wilken Mueller obituary.

19. Rudolph W. Wilken funeral program.

20. University of Kansas Alumni Directory through 1928.

21. Lawrence (KS) City Directory.

22. Dorothy Wilken Stagg funeral program.

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