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  • Ahnentafel: A German and Yankee Heritage

    Richard P. Draves

    Published Date : 1991-05-13
    My Yankee ancestors immigrated to New England, mostly from the British Isles, beginning in the Great Migration of ca. 1630-1642. Immigrants on other lines arrived in the middle Atlantic colonies in the eighteenth century. My German forebears, on the other hand, were among those who fled crop failures and political adversities during the 1848 revolutions in Europe. They settled in the “new American heartland” of Wisconsin shortly thereafter.

    My parents, Carl Z. Draves [#2], and Cornelia F. Powell [#3], met in Seattle, Washington, where their families were living after several generations of westward migration. The family histories of my eight great-grand parents reflect broad themes of American experience. The Woodruff family had settled as farmers in the Connecticut River Valley near Hartford ca. 1640. They were Congregationalists, as were most people in that region, and married into many Connecticut families well covered in the Society’s library.

    The forebears of Jeremiah Powell [#48] may have been Welsh or Welsh-descended immigrants to Massachusetts in the early eighteenth century, but a decade of frustrating research has not uncovered his origins. Jeremiah filed a pension application for Revolutionary War service in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Universalist Church at Utica, N.Y., an area settled by many New Englanders, celebrated his 100th birthday, which occurred 15 December 1850. Jeremiah’s grandson, Pardon A. Powell [#12], married Sarah W. Woodruff [#13] from Connecticut and in 1842 moved to Illinois and then to Wisconsin. The Powells were previously farmers, but Pardon became a boarding-house operator and railroad baggagemaster in Milwaukee. In 1861, his son, Charles F. Powell [#6], at 17, enlisted with the dashing Zouave regiment (Co. B, 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry), saw action with the Army of the Potomac, and was promoted to sergeant major. Upon a recommendation from his commanding officer for “soldierly courage and ability, faithful and brave conduct, and for gallantry on the field of battle,” young Powell was appointed to West Point by President Lincoln. He graduated in 1867 and served in the Army Corps of Engineers at numerous posts around the country. He was a commissioner of the District of Columbia during the second Cleveland administration, and retired with the rank of general.

    The Foster (or Forster) family, probably in flight from persecution in Ulster of the Covenanters (Steadfast Presbyterians), were Scotch-Irish farmers who settled in Pennsylvania. Reportedly the family came to America via the West Indies in the early eighteenth century. From Pennsylvania, my line migrated in the next century to Ohio and Indiana. From the latter James H. Foster [#14] rode by horseback over the Oregon Trail, choosing Oregon instead of the California gold fields at the last junction. He went into the provisioning business and grew prosperous milling flour in the Willamette Valley. His wife, Martha J. Gray [#15], was a schoolteacher and later (1870) a founding member of the Oregon Equal Suffrage Association. The Grays, Presbyterian farmers like the Fosters, also arrived in Pennsylvania from Ulster in the eighteenth century, but were loyalists who found refuge in Kentucky after the Revolution. Later they moved to Ohio and Indiana by river, and to Oregon by covered wagon. Margaret I. Foster [#7], daughter of James and Martha, was an early graduate of Albany College (later Lewis & Clark).

    My mother, Cornelia F. Powell [#3], raised six children, then turned to poetry, and published many of her haiku. My father, Carl Z. Draves [#2], obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry, was elected national president of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, and after his career in industry became a professor at Brooklyn College. He later taught at three New York-area community colleges.

    My patrilineal Drews (pronounced “Draves”) ancestors were leaseholding farmers in Mecklenburg-Schwerin (an independent grand duchy on the Baltic Sea in the northeast of what was recently East Germany). The surname is derived from the nickname for “Andreas.” A German, Hans Troebs, published Die Chronik den Drewes (2 vols., 1981), covering in 2126 pages all the lines he and his collaborators could find; mine is one of the few American branches included. In 1853, at 21, Carl C.H. Drews [#8] embarked alone at Hamburg on the bark Anna, bound for New York. The next year his parents and siblings sailed on the Sir Robert Peel and joined him, purchasing land in Jefferson Co., Wisconsin. Unlike his father and brother, Carl Drews (who changed his name to Charles C. Draves), gave up farming and worked as a sawyer and miller. His wife was a first cousin, Johanne Friederika Richert [#9], whose family had embarked with the Drews on the Anna in 1854. The Richerts came from an adjoining Evangelical Lutheran parish in Mecklenburg, where they had been farmhands and tobacco planters. The name is supposed to mean “rich” and “hard,” the original meaning of the Germanic personal name “Richard,” from which it may also) be derived.

    C.C. Draves [#8] moved to South Dakota in 1883 after fire destroyed the flour mill where he was head miller. He opened a hardware store, invested in land, [58] and became president of a local bank. His son, Albert C. Draves [#4] was a harness-maker, but in 1904, just as the automobile age was beginning, Albert’s wife, Lena F. Buntrock [#5], insisted for purposes of her sons’ education that the family move to Seattle.

    The Buntrocks and Runges were Evangelical Lutheran laborers and small farmers east of the Oder River in the Greifenberg district of Pommern (Pomerania), near Szczezin (Stettin) in what is now Poland. “Buntrock” means a colorful cloak, while “Runge” is a slat, or rang, of a cart. Friedrich W. Buntrock [#10] with his wife, Marie C. (Range) Bentert #11], and three small daughters arrived at Quebec city, Canada, in 1856, aboard the Elise from Hamburg. They soon moved to a large German community at Watertown, Wisconsin, where their daughter Lena F. Buntrock [#5], before her marriage, worked as a live-in seamstress.

    C.C. Draves [#8] and his brother John avoided service during the Civil War by paying for substitutes. Friedrich Buntrock [#10] is said to have fled military service in Prussia. On the other hand, Powells and Fosters served in the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Before entering West Point, the last duty of Charles F. Powell [#6] with his unit was to quell draft riots in New York City and Albany. Shortly before “shipping out” to France in World War I, my second-generation German father married my “Yankee” mother in 1918. My own two brothers served in World War II (in Europe and the Pacific), and in Korea. All of my ancestors in this table somehow survived their tour of duty. And my Mecklenburg cousins, some of whom live near a twelfth-century Jördenstorf parish church where Drews once worshipped (and which I visited over ten years ago) now reside in a united Germany and are once again our friends and allies.

    In 1923, a year before C. C. Draves died aged 93, my father asked him his birthplace and the names of his parents. Luckily the notes were preserved. Of the Buntrocks and Runges my father knew only that they had emigrated ca. 1854 from Pommern. Much more work was required to extend these slim clues. Spending days at microfilm readers, I was able to find my elusive ancestors in embarkation lists for the port of Hamburg and passenger arrival lists for New York.

    My source for events in Mecklenburg-Schwerin is the Domarchiv (Evangelical Lutheran) at Ratzeburg about 20 km south of Lübeck, just across from the former East German border. During World War II records from Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s Evangelical Lutheran churches were stored in a mine for safekeeping; after the war these records were taken to the western occupation zone. I corresponded with the archive at length, and visited in 1979. For a fee, the archive will do research and send photocopies of original church books and certificates.

    Events were recorded by the parish pastor; thus parishes as well as towns were noted. Germans usually kept very complete records which permit reasonably easy tracing; however, because most earlier Mecklenburg-Schwerin church books were destroyed during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648); it is difficult to trace further than the mid-seventeenth century. Civil registration in this area did not begin until 1875, after Germany was unified by Bismarck. For other Mecklenburg church and civil census material, and for emigration permit data for the Drews and Richert families, I also corresponded with the Staatsarchiv Schwerin (a state archive in Schwerin, then East Germany).

    Pommern is divided into “Kreis” (counties), but parishes were noted here too. Kreis Greifenberg, where the Buntrocks and Ranges originated, now lies in Poland. To trace these lines I used LDS microfilms of church books duplicated before World War II. Most of the original books were lost in the war, but a few survive at the Polish archive in Szczecin (Stettin). I found the Staatsarchiv Greifswald, which is responsible for Pommern, not as helpful as that at Schwerm. It will be interesting to see if I have better luck now that the government has changed.

    On a 1979 business trip to Europe I made a detour to East Berlin, rented a car and drove north to Jördenstorf parish in Mecklenburg where I had arranged to stay at a small inn. There I met a man who offered to show me the churches I had previously identified. Most were abandoned and in disrepair, but the one at Jördenstorf had just been renovated with contributions from West Germany. In the churchyard I found the pastor beating a carpet on a line. When I explained that I was visiting where my Drews and Richert ancestors had lived, he told me that he knew of no one, living or dead, by these names in his congregation, but would inquire further.

    Months later I received a note from the pastor, who had found an old man whose mother had been a Richert. Shortly thereafter the old man’s son wrote me. Through later correspondence and research we established that the son and I were fourth cousins. In 1982 I took advantage of another business trip to repeat “breaching the wall” and visited this family at their farmhouse. The East German regime had expropriated all their land. Although I could not stay with these cousins, we enjoyed a day’s visit and have kept in touch since.

    I learned that the churches at Jördenstorf and Petschow, which date from the twelfth or thirteenth century, still survive. In the Thirty Years War, strife and pestilence reduced Jordenstorf’s population to eight persons. Today about 2,000 live there. I found that because graves are used over and over, searching for tomb-stones in cemeteries adjacent to churches was of no use.

    In the table below, asterisks highlight immigrant ancestors; American place names, where not specified, are in Connecticut. Mr. Draves welcomes correspondence with anyone wishing to provide documented additions and corrections. Please write him at 135 Old Suffolk Drive, Monroeville, PA 15146-4807.

    Generation I

    1. Richard Powell Draves (Sr.), 1935-, Springfield, Mass.; res. Monroeville, Penn.


    Generation II

    2. Carl Zeno Draves (Sr.), 1894-1981, Wilmot, S.D-West Islip, N.Y.
    3. Cornelia Foster Powell, 1896-1981, Washington, D.C.-Ridgewood, N.J. 

    Generation III

    4. Albert Ignaz (Albert C.) Draves, 1861-1940, Milford, Wisc. -Seattle, Wasb.
    5. Caroline Friedericka (Lena F.) Buntrock, 1858-1936, Watertown, Wisc.-Seattle, Wasb.
    6. Charles Francis Powell, 1843-1907, Jacksonville, Ill.-St. Paul, Minn.
    7. Margaret Isabelle Foster, 1859-1923, Albany, Ore-Seattle, Wasb.

    Generation IV

    8. Carl Christian Heinrich Drews (Charles C Draves)*,1831-1924, Neu-Gehmkendorf, Jördenstorf par., Mccklenburg-Schwenin (henceforth M-S)-Aberdeen, S.D.
    9. Johanne Friederica Marie Louise Richert*, 1841-1921, Alt-Pannekow, Alt-Kalenn par., M-S--Aberdeen, S.D.
    10. Friedrich Wilhelm Buntrock*, 1820-ca 1862, Zmnow, Zarben par., Kreis [county] Greifenberg, Pommern (Pomerania), Prussia-poss. Watertown, Wisc.
    11. Marie Charlotte (Runge) Benterr, 1824-1900, Mittelhagen, Lagenhagen par., Kreis Greifenberg, Ponmmern--Watertown, Wisc.
    12. Pardon Archibald Powell, ca. 1810-1863, Whitestown, Oneida Co., N.Y .-Milwaukee, Wisc.
    13. Sarah Webster Woodruff, 1819-1891, Farmington -St. Louis, Mo.
    14. James Hearst Foster, 1821-1888, Limestone Twp., Columbia Co., Penn.-Albany, Ore.
    15. Martha Jane Gray, 1825-1881, Israel Twp., Preble Co., Ohio-Albany, Ore. 

    Generation V

    16. Carl Friedrich Christoph Drews (Charles Draves)*, 1799-1871, Gehunkendorf, Jördenstorf par., M-S---Milford, Wisc.
    17. Dorothea Christina Louise Richert,* 1803-1868, Gross Bützen, Belitz par., M-S--Milford, Wise. (sister of #18)
    18. Heinrich Friedrich Ludwig Richert*, 1814-1855, Schwiessel, Belitz par., M-S---Chicago, Ill. (brother of #17)
    19. Johanne Mane Joacbinie Kayser*, 1815-1855, Alt-Pannekow, Alt-Kalen par., M-S---Chicago
    20. Martin Buntrock, 1763-1829, Zamow, Zarben par., Kreis Grefenberg, Pommenr
    21. Engel Dumke, 1783-1826, Hagenow par., Kreis Greifenberg-Zamow
    22. Martin Runge, 1787-1848, Zamow-Mittelhagen
    23. Catherine Ramthun, 1797-1859, Kreis Greifenberg-Mittelhagen
    24. Phio Powell, 1790-1875, German Flats, Montgomery Co., N.Y-Clark Mills, Oneida Co., N.Y.
    25. Charlotte ---, 1788-1826, d. Utica, Oneida Co., N.Y.
    26. Jeremiah Woodruff, 1785-1826, Farmington-Berlin, Conn.
    27. Margaret Keeney, 1786-1825, East Hartford-Farmington
    28. Robert Foster/Forster, 1787-1843, Buffalo Twp., Northumberland Co., Penn.-Clear Creek Twp., Richland Co., Ohio
    29. Isabella Hearst, 1797-1852, ]uniata Twp., Cumberland Co Penn. - Osolo Twp., Elkhart Co., Ind.
    30. James Gray, 1797-1859, Bourbon, Co., Ky. - Linn Co., Ore.
    31. Margaret Paxton, 1807-1852, Rockbridge Co., Va. - Fugit Twp., Decatur Co., Ind.

    Generation VI

    32. (Johann) Ott(o) Julius Drews, 1757-1829, Petschow, Petschow par., M-S---Neu-Gelumkendorf
    33. Magdalena Maria Sophia Sliegmann, 1770-1847, Gehmkendorf, Jördenstorf par., M-S--Klein Markow, Jördenstorf par.
    34. Christoph Christian Joachim Richert, 1770-1831, Cämerich, Schorrentin par., M-S -- Schwasdorf , Jördenstorf par.
    35. Christina Anna Maria Hopp, 1774-1841, Klein Roge, Teterow par., M-S-Schwasdorf
    36-37. see #34-35.
    38. Otto Joachim Dietrich Kayser, 1776-1849, Mistorf, Schorrentin par.-Alt-Pannekow
    39. Magdalena Sophia Helena/Eleonore Eggebrecht, 1781-1848, Rey, Alt-Kalen par.-Alt-Pannekow
    44. Hans Runge, 1754-1815, Zanow
    46. David Ramthun, res. Zarhen or Langenhagen par.
    48. Jeremiah Powell, 1750-1852, Bellingham, Mass.-Whitestown, N.Y.
    49. Elizabeth Sayles, 1759-1843, Smithfield, RI-Whitestown, N.Y. (not placed in Judith A. Hurst, Sayles Country [1986] or Sayles Country II [1990])
    52. Joshua Woodruff (Jr.), 1748- 1822, Farmington
    53. Prudence Curtis, 1749-1822, Southington-Farmington
    54. Alexander Keeney (Jr.), 1741-1809, East Hartford-Farmington
    55. Sarah Webster, 1744-1815, East Hartford-Farmington
    56. Andrew Foster/Forster, 1751-1817, Hanover Twp., Lancaster Co., Penn-Turbot Twp., Northumberland Co., Penn.
    57. Eleanor Graham, 1750-1810, Lancaster Co., Penn-Turbot Twp., Penn.
    58. John Hearst, 1760-1806, Rye Twp., Cumberland Co., Penn.-Juniata Twp., Cumberland Co., Ohio
    59. Mary Campbell, 1761-1837, Ulster-Clear Creek Twp., Richmond Co., Ohio
    60. David Gray, 1765- 1841, Penn.-Israel Twp., Ohio
    61. Nancy Mooney, 1768-1837, Va-Israel Twp., Ohio
    62. Samuel Paxton (IV), 1777-1854, Cumberland Twp., York Co., Penn.--Israel Twp., Ohio
    63. Rachel Whileman, 1780-1854, Rockbridge Co., Va-Israel Twp 

    Generation VII

    64. Johann Joachim Drews, m. 1753, Petschow, M-S
    65. Magdalena Elisabeth Russow, of Petschow par.
    66. Jurgen Stiegmann, of Gelunkendorf
    68. Tobias Richert, m. 1759, Alt-Kalen
    69. Elisabeth Dorothea Prestin, of Pannekow
    70. Jochen Hopp, of Tetrow par.
    72-74 see #68-70.
    76. Joachim Dieterich Kayser, b. 1728, Beckendorf, Schorrentin par.
    77. Dorothea Elisabeth Ladig, of Schorrentin par.
    78. Johann Heinrich Eggebrecht, 1719-1801, Alt-Kalen par., M-S – Rey, Alt-Kalen par.
    79. Magdalena Sophia Helena Tiedemann, 1742-1823, Warsow, Schorrentin par.-Rey 


    104. Joshua Woodruff, 1708-1776, Farmington
    105. Rebecca Woodford, 1716-1782, Farmington
    106. Peter Curtis, 1713-1756, Wallingford-Simsbury
    107. Justina/Chestina Parker, 1714-1777, Wallingford-Simsbury
    108. Alexander Keeney, of East Hartford
    110. Ezekiel Webster, 1712-1756, Glastonbury-Oswego Co., N.Y. (killed by Indians)
    111. Rebecca Gaines, 1709-1796, d. Farmington
    112. John Foster/Forster,* ca. 1720-1783, poss. Ulster- Buffalo Twp., Northumberland Co., Penn.
    113. Margaret Young, d. 1792, poss. Lancaster Co., Penn.-Buffalo Twp., Penn.
    116. Robert Hearst*, d. ca. 1786, Ulster-Cumberland Co., Penn.
    117. Mary Chambers*,Ulster-Cumberland Co., Penn.
    120. James Gray*, 1725-1795, Ulster-Paris, Bourbon Co., Ky.
    121. Martha Jackson*, 1733-1803, Ulster-Paris, Ky.
    122. ---- Mooney, Kentucky
    124. Samuel Paxlon, b. ca 1746, Cumberland Twp., York Co., Penn.
    126. Samuel Whiteman (III),b. Wales
    127. Sarah Paxton, b. Maryland 

    Generation VIII

    158. Jacob Christian Tiedemann, 1720-1790, of Warsaw, Schorrentin par., M-S
    159. Louise Domtliea Papcke, b. 1716, Warsaw, Schorrentin par.
    208. Matthew Woodruff (III), 1669-1751, Milford-Farmington
    209. Elizabeth Baldwin, 1673-1729, Milford-Farmington
    210. Joseph Woodford (Jr.), 1677-1760, Farmington
    211. Lydia Smith, b. ca. 1684, d. Farmington
    212. Joseph Curtis, 1691-1776, Wallingford-Farmington
    213. Martha Collins, ca. 1688-1769, b. New Haven
    214. Eliphalet Parker, ca. 1687-1758, Wallingford
    215. Hannah Beach, 1684-1749, Wallingford
    220. Jonathan Webster (Jr.), 1681-1758, Hartford-Glastonbury
    221. Esther Judd, 1686-1782, Farmington-Barnardston, Mass.
    222. Samuel Gaines, ca. 1670-1750, Hartford-East Hartford
    223. (prob.) Rebecca Couch, b. 1671, Wethersfield
    224. Thomas Foster/Forster*, ca. 1690-poss. ca. 1725, Ulster- West Indies
    225. Christina Sproule*,Ulser-Lancaster Co., Penn.
    244. Patrick Mooney, “1681-1799”, prob. Ulster-Kentucky
    245. Jane Beard*, ca. 1706/7-1806, prob. Ulster-Kentucky
    248. Samuel Paxton (Jr.), ca. 1705-1793, Ulster-Cumberland Twp., York Co., Penn.
    254. see #248.
    255. Rachel --- 

    Generation IX

    318. Martin Papcke, 1683-1771, Warsaw, Schorrentin par., M-S
    416. Matthew Woodruff, 1647-1691, Farmington
    417. Mary Plumb, 1645-ca. 1681, Milford
    418. Sylvanus Baldwin, 1646-1727, b. Milford
    419. Mildred Prudden, 1653-1712, Milford
    420. Joseph Woodford, ca. 1647-ca. 1710, prob. England-Farmington
    421. Rebecca Newell, ca. 1643-ca. 1699, b. Farmington
    422. Joseph Smith, 1 655-ca. 1718, Middletcnvn-Farmingtown
    423. Lydia ---, , d. ca. 1690
    424. Thomas Curtis, 1649-ca. 1736, Stratford-Wallingford
    425. Mary Merrinian, b. 1657, New Haven
    426. William Collins, d. 1716, Fair Haven
    427. Sarah Morrill, b. 1650, New Haven
    428. John Parker, ca. 1648-1711, New Haven
    429. Hannah Bassett, 1650-1726, New Haven- Wallingford
    430. John Beach, 1655-1709, New Haven-Wallingford
    431. Mary Royce, b. 1658, Norwich- Wallingford
    440. Jonathan Webster, 1656-1735, Middletown-Hartford
    441. Dorcas Hopkins, d. 1695
    442. Benjamin Judd, ca. 1642-1689, Farmington
    443. Mary Lewis, 1645-ca. 1692, Farmington
    448. David Foster/Forster*,Ulster Lancaster Co., Penn.
    496. Samuel Paxton, ca. 1670-ca. 1745, Ulster-Cumberland Twp., York Co., Penn.
    508. see #496.

    Generation X

    636. Zacharias Päpcke, res. Warsaw, Schorrentin par., M-S
    832. Matthew Woodruff’~, d. 1682, England-Farmington
    833. Hannah ____*
    834. Robert Plumb*, 1617-1655, Ridgewell, Essex-Milford
    835. Mary Baldwin*, 1621-1708, Aston Clinton, Bucks - Milford
    836. Richard Baldwin*, ca. 1622-1665, Aston Clinton, Bucks. Milford
    837. Elizabeth Alsop*, 1625-1688, Alsop-in the-Dale, Derbyshire-Milford
    838. (Rev.) Peter Prudden*, 1601-1656, prob. Luton, Bedfordshire or Kings Walden:, Herts.-Milford
    839. Johanna Boyse*, d. 1683, prob. Kent, England-prob. Stamford
    842. Thomas Newell*, d. 1689, Hertfordshire-Farmington
    843. Rebecca Olmstead*, d. 1698, Fairsted, Essex-Farmington
    844. William Smith*, d. 1670, d. Farmington
    845. Elizabeth ---*, d. 1678, Farmington
    848. John Curtis(s)*, ca. 1615-1707, Nazeing, Essex-Stratford
    849. Elizabeth ---, d. 1682, Stratford
    850. Nathaniel Merriman*, ca. 1614-1694, London, Eng.- Wallingford
    851. Joan ---*, ca. 1628-1709, prob. England-Wallingford
    854. Henry Morrill*, d. 1665, prob. England-New Haven
    855. Blanche ---, d. 1684, prob. England-New Haven
    856. Edward Parker*, d. 1662, prob. England-New Haven
    857. Elizabeth (---) Potter*, d. 1675, prob. Eng.-New Haven
    858. William Bassett, d. 1684, prob. England-New Haven
    859. Hannah (---) Ives*, prob. England-New Haven
    860. Thomas Beach, d. 1662, Milford
    861. Sarah Platt, ca. 1636-1670, Milford
    862. Jonathan Royce, d. 1690, Norwich
    863. Mary Spinning, d. 1658?, Norwich
    880. Robert Webster,* 1627-1676, Warwickshire-Hartford
    881. Susannah Trear, 1629-1705, Pitminster, Somerset-Hartford
    882. Stephen Hopkins, ca. 1637-1689, Hartford
    883. Dorcas Bronson*, 1633-1697, Earls Colne, Essex-Hartford
    884. Thomas Judd, d. 1688, Hartford
    885. Elizabeth , d. 1678, Hartford
    886. William Lewis, Farmington
    887. Mary Hopkins, d. ca. 1670, Farmington 

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