Heinrich Rademacher & Maria Gertrude Esch

My great, great, great-grandparents were Henry and Mary Rademacher.

Heinrich "Henry" Rademacher was born in the Eifel region of Germany on July 15, 1806. Maria Gertrude "Mary" Esch was born January 12, 1812, in Wimbach, in the Eifel region of Germany. The couple, along with three children, Anna Gertrude, 7, Anna Appolonia, 4, and my great, great-grandfather Gerhard, 1 left Wimbach, Germany about March 29, 1846. They arrived in America five months later. They sailed on the ship John N. Gosler from London, England and arrived at the Port of New York on August 25, 1846.

London was a port where they could have changed ships for an ocean voyage. It would be interesting to know where the family traveled during their five month journey. Did they visit relatives? Did they encounter some misfortune that delayed their journey?

Once in America the family made their way to Michigan and settled in a small German community in Westphalia Township, Clinton County, Michigan. In 1850 Heinrich received a land patent for their 40 acres of land in section 15. Six years later he was granted a patent for an additional 40 acres. A land patent is an exclusive claim on, or conveyance of, public lands.

An 1864 Michigan agricultural census shows the 80 acre Rademacher farm with 35 acres of improved land. 6 acres were then sowed with wheat. During the preceding year, they harvested 1.5 acres of corn, 10 acres of wheat (15 bushels), 70 bushels of potatoes, and 5 tons of hay. During that same year they marketed 300 pounds of pork, made 100 pounds of butter and 40 pounds of sugar. They had 4 cattle, 2 work oxen, 3 milk cows, 6 sheep, and 3 pigs.

As Henry and Mary got older, their son George took over the family farm and they lived with him. Mary died May 9, 1886 and Henry died in January 1899. They are buried in St. Mary's cemetery along side his son George and his wife Appolonia Büchel. They share a common tombstone, with Henry and Mary's inscription on one side and George and Appolonia's on the other.

-- Mike Voisin


  • Michigan State Archives, Census of Clinton County 1864 (LDS microfilm #915297).
  • Scheben, Joseph, Untersuchungen zur Methode und Technik der deutschamerikanishen Wanderungsforschung. (Bonn: Ludwig Röhrscheid Verlag, 1939), pp. 70-73.
  • Westphalia [Michigan] Centennial 1836-1936.
  • Weiland, Evelyn A. (ed.), Of Pilgrimage, Prayer and Promise: A Story of St. Mary's, Westphalia [Michigan] 1836-1986.

Contact: Mike Voisin

Revised: November 16, 2010
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