Husband: Johan Jacob Britzius (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8)
Born: 27 Mar 1788 in Bisterschied, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany
Married: 19 Feb 1809 in Bisterschied, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 05 May 1866 in St. Charles, Winona Co., MN
Father: Theobald Britzius
Mother: Catharine Charlotte Gerlach
Spouses:
Wife: Catharina Elisabethe Schwartz (9 10 11)
Born: 22 Dec 1786 in Bisterschied, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 16 Feb 1838 in Bisterschied, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany, House #68 (12)
Father: Johann Adam Schwartz
Mother: Phillipina Sundheimer
Spouses:
Children
01 (F): Catharina Britzius (13)
Born: 27 Mar 1810 in Bisterschied, House # 51, Canton Rockenhausen, Bavaria (14)
Died:
Spouses: Johann Schnell
02 (M): Jacob Heinrich Britzius (15 16 17)
Born: 03 Sep 1812 in Bisterschied, Canton Rockenhausen, Rheinland-Pflaz, Bavaria
Died: 05 Apr 1892 in Mt Vernon Twsp, Winona Co, MN
Spouses: Maria Catherine Wasem
03 (M): Theobald H. Britzius (18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25)
Born: 12 Feb 1820 in Bisterschied, Canton Rockenhausen, Rheinland- Pfalz (26)
Died: 14 Jun 1896 in St. Charles, Winona Co., MN (27)
Spouses: Christina Elizabeth Maurer
04 (F): Elizabeth Britzius (28)
Born: 08 Nov 1823 in Bisterschied, Canton Rockenhausen, Bavaria
Died: 03 Feb 1891 in Montrose, Wright Co, MN
Spouses: Heinrich Jacob Wasem
Additional Information

Johan Jacob Britzius:

Christened: 25 Apr 1788

Buried: Little Valley Cemetery, Quincy Twsp, Olmsted co., MN

Notes:

Per death record for Katarina Schwarz, Jakob was a cooper, making casks and tubs.

Johan Jacob was from Bisterschied, a village east of Rockhausen, north of Kaiserlautern
State - Rhineland- Palatinate
District - Donnersbergkreis

At the time of his emigration the area of Germany that includes Bisterscheid was part of Bavaria. As French power declined after 1815, Kaiserslautern and the Palatinate became a Bavarian province and remained so until 1918. Now Bisterschied is in the German state called Rheinland-Palatinate often abbreviated to Rheinland Pflaz.

"The Britzius Story" by Dianne Z. Stevens 2013:
The Britzius Story

19 June 2013

Dear Children,

I am writing to tell you about our Britzius Family.. My great grandmother on my father's father's side was a Britzius. Almost everything we know about the Britzius line has come by way of Bill Moyer, a researcher in Dallas, Texas. Twice Bill and various family members traveled to Bisterschied, Germany in search of his wife's Britzius roots. Bill was able to uncover roots going back as far as 1546. He visited many sites of family history interest, brought back copies of original birth and death records, and wrote reams of descriptions and stories which I shall now try to summarize.

The first Britzius of whom we know anything was Wendel Britzius (1546 Sötern, Saarland – 1618 Sötern, Saarland). His wife was Elizabeth (b abt 1580 Sötern). Sötern is a small village just west of where the rest of our German Britzius story takes place in the German state of Pfalz. Sötern is in an important iron producing region along the Saar River. Bill writes, “A souterrain in French is a tunnel, and the town has deep tunnels under it, though nobody now knows why.” Previously an entirely Catholic region, the Palatinate accepted Calvinism under Elector Friedrich III during the 1560's, when Wendel was a boy. So all our Britzius ancestors were Protestants.

Our Britzius ancestors came from the Palatine. What is The Palatine? There was no Germany when Wendel was born. Look on the map on the next page and find Rheinland Pfalz. It's pink. Palatine is frequently abbreviated to "Pflaz." It's the same place. The Palatine is an area of what is now Germany that has very beautiful forests and very confusing history. It was a Celtic region of Europe when it was conquered by Rome in about 12 B.C. It was conquered by French people in 496. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire until 1806, when that empire dissolved. So our Wendel was born during the Holy Roman Empire period. By the time he was born the heart of the Holy Roman Empire had been split into realms of princes and states. The most important states belonged to the seven Electors. These were men who selected the Holy Roman Emperor. One Elector was the Elector Palatine or Count Palatine of the Rhine. Actually German princes (meaning old time princes of areas that are part of todays Germany) could do as wished. The were seldom interfered with by Rome. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. For a short while during the Napoleon era our ancestors homeland became French, part of Alsace, and Britzius was spelled Brisseau. After Napoleon the Palatine became a Bavarian Province until 1918. After WWII Rhineland-Palatine became a German state. At the time our Britzius ancestor emigrated in 1840 their area was part of Bavaria.

The word Palatine comes from Rome.
“In legend, the Palatine Hill in Rome was said to be the one on whose foot the twins Romulus and Remus were deposited when they escaped the flood of the Tiber River. It became the initial center of Rome and retained this importance for most of the life of the later Empire. The Roman emperors designated some of their local officials with the title "palatine" after the name of the hill.” (From an article, “Rhineland-Pfalz” on genealogy.net)
Later "Count Palatine" was used as a title for an official sent to report on a remote region owned by the Holy Roman Empire. Eventually the counts palatine became responsible for general government functions. Over the centuries the term came to be the name for a huge state in what is now Germany called Rhineland-Pfalz or Rhineland-Palatinate or Rheinland-Palatine or just Pfalz for short.

Origins

No matter how far you go back in any family history people always wonder about what came before. In the Britzius case there are several stories about where the Britziuses originated. I'll relate several and you can choose whichever you wish as there is no way to know for sure.

A granddaughter of a Britzius family in Bisterschied told Mr. Moyer that she believed the family had originally immigrated from Austria. Mr. Moyer thinks this theory came from a misreading of the name Sötern in Wendel's record.

Here's another story: A Gunter Britzius told Mr. Moyer that during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) the loss of life in the Pfalz was so great that the nobles who owned the land sought immigrants from all over to come and repopulate so they could continue to receive their taxes and rents. The Britzius family immigrated at that time with other Huguenots from France because of the oppression of the Protestants by French King Louis the XIV. But wait! Louie XIV reigned from 1643 to 1715 and our Wendel had already lived and died in the Pfalz before that time.

Then there is the fairly tale origin, a legend passed down through Bill's wife's Britzius family. According to this legend the name was originally 'Brisseau.' Two of it's progenitors are said to have been a young soldier and a young lady attached to a French court. They eloped, a quite scandalous action in that time and place. In order to escape censure they fled from France to the Rhineland-Palatinate.

The final story is the one Mr. Moyer finds most believable. There is a type of rock called brescia. It is found in northern Italy in a place called Brescia. The area is named after an ancient tribe, the Brescii. This story is from a Rhineland-Pfalz Family Society magazine, April 1990. “In 1310-1312, Wirich, Lord of Sponheim, was a close associate of Kaiser Henry VII and of Henry's brother, Archbishop Baldwin of Trier, in the Italian campaign. In the fighting in Brescia, he took prisoner the leader of the opposition, Theobald of the Brusciati. . . For his valor he was given the new title, 'King of the Hill' by the Kaiser.” The Italian leader he captured was Theobaldo de Brusciati, a name very close to Theobald Britzius, of which there are several in our direct line of genealogy. The Knight Wirich who captured him may well have brought him back to his home near Sponheim, Pfalz, very near to Sötern, Bisterschied, and all the other villages from whence our Britzius ancestors have been traced. In fact Sponheim is about 20 kilometers north of Bisterschied.

Johannes Britzius (b. 1602) was a son of Wendel and Elizabeth. He was also known as Hans. He married Anna Weber (1602 Buhlenburg, Pfalz – 1670 North Brickenberg, Pfalz) whose parents, Johannes Weber (1578 Birkenfeld, Pflaz - 1634 Buhlenburg, Pfalz) and Elizabeth, and grandparents, Johannes Weber (abt 1550 Buhlenburg, Pfalz - 1602 Buhlenburg, Pfalz ) and Katharina Trein (abt 1550 - 1587 Buhlenburg, Pfalz). Buhlenberg and Birkenfeld are little villages within a few miles of Sötern where Wendel Britzius was born.

It was when this Johannes (1602) was growing up that the Thirty Years War began. It lasted from 1618 until 1648. Initially it was about Catholics versus Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire. The Palatine at that time was Protestant. But the war gradually evolved into a conflict involving all the Germanic states, France, Spain, Holland, Denmark,even England and Sweden.. For thirty years all these armies were running back and forth over the land of our Britzius ancestors, killing, maiming, pillaging, burning.

To understand how devastating this war was, it helps to know how armies operated at that time. The soldiers weren't paid wages. They were expected to support themselves by loot and tribute, whatever they could steal from the inhabitants. In other words, vicious lawlessness. Crops were destroyed leading to widespread famine and disease. Many villages in central Europe were literally wiped off the map during this time. The village of Altheim, further south, where our Zimmerman ancestors came from, lost two thirds of it's population. It was a horrible time!

Nevertheless, Johannes and Anna got married in the middle of all this madness on April 23, 1627 and had a son, Johann Nicklaus Britzius on January 6, 1628, in Achtelsbach another little village in the same neighborhood., about 2 km. northeast of Sötern. We don't know how long Johannes lived or how they coped with the war or whether he and Anna had any more children. By the way, there are 5 Johannes Britzius's in this story so it's important to note their birthdates. Then there are three more that have middle names as well. And not to be confused with the five additional Johann Britziuses!

Johann Nicklaus Britzius (1628 Achtelsbach, Pfalz – 1712 Achtelsbach, Pfalz) also known as Hans Nickel, was born during the Thirty Years War and married Christina Schuch (1630 Traunen, Pfalz – 1702 Achtelsbach, Pfalz) right after it was over on Jan 23, 1649. After this war the Pfalz was owned by Bavaria, a country far to the east. Mr. Moyer was able to trace Christinas ancestors back to Johannes Schuch, probably born about (1530 Bruecken, Pfalz), even earlier than Wendel! Hans Nickel and Christina lived a long life in Achtelsbach and had at least six children, so life must have settled down a little. Johann lived to be 84 and Christina, 72. These were ripe old ages for that time and place.

Another sign life had settled down, their son, Johannes Britzius (1658 Achtelsbach, Pfalz – 1732 Achtelsbach, Pfalz) and his wife, Elisabeth Katharina (1663 - Achtelsbach, Pfalz – 1731 Achtelsbach, Pfalz) were both born and died in Achtelsbach. I'm thinking that means they didn't need to become refugees from their home village. They also had at least six children including a Hans and three boys whose first names were Johannes. I don't claim to understand German names. Usually, if they have two given names, they use the second one. This was true even of our German Kleasner relatives who were born in Missouri after 1900. Mr. Moyer explained it thusly, “I was told Germans name many boys Johannes in honor of John the Baptist, and many girls Maria in honor of the Virgin Mary, after which they append other names the children are more likely to use. The second name is usually the one kids go by.” All we know of this Johannes is the one given name.

Just because the Thirty Years War was over, don't think our Britzius ancestors ever had it easy. All the people lived at the whim of the nobles that owned the land. And your village, your district, your whole world as you knew it, could be inherited or given away. In 1685 the Palatinate was inherited by Philip William, Count Palatine of Neuberg. In 1742 the Palatine was inherited by Duke Charles Theodore of Sulzbach, who also inherited Bavaria. (Imagine inheriting Texas or Canada!) And then there was The War of the Grand Alliance in which Louis XIV of France claimed part of the Palatinate. It lasted from 1689-1697. Besides wars there was always the weather. It could be devastating and cause famine. During the winter of 1708-09 it was so cold “Wine froze into ice. Grapevines died. Cattle died in their sheds. Many Palatines traveled down the Rhine to Rotterdam in late February and March. In Rotterdam they were housed in shacks covered with reeds. The ones who made it to London were housed in 1,600 tents surrounding the city. Londoners were resentful. Other Palatines were sent to other places, such as Ireland, the Scilly Isles, the West Indies, and New York.” (from Genealogy.net) (This is when our Palatine DeMouth ancestors arrived in New York.) This was the more 'settled' time?


Johannes and Elisabeth Katharina had a son, Johannes Mathias Britzius (1700 Achtelsbach, Pfalz – 1766 Bisterschied, Pfalz). This Britzius went by the name of Mathias. He married Maria Elisabetha Reissdorf (1701 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1766 Bisterschied, Pfalz). Mathias, besides being a farmer, worked as a decorative gardener and a porter at the Castle Sötern. Early church records of this area are kept in archives in Speyer, Germany. These records are very interesting because as well as giving genealogical information, they also tell about occupations people have such as Matthias being a gardener at the castle.

Johannes Mathais and Maria Elisabetha had five children that we know of. The youngest was Theobald Britzius (1742 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1803 Bisterschied, Pfalz). In 1767 he married Catharine Charlotte Gerlach (1748 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1816 Bisterschied, Pfalz). Both her parents lived their whole lives in Bisterschied. A church record telling about this Theobald says he came from Teschenmoschel. That's about a mile SW of Bisterschied. That church record also tells us that besides being a farmer, Theobald was a cooper and a beer brewer.

Now I will tell you a little bit about Bisterschied. It lies in hilly country with many streams which flow northward and empty eventually into the Rhine River. When Bill Moyer visited he found it to be a quaint little village surrounded by bright yellow fields of rapeseed plants. This is the seed that canola oil comes from. The farmers also grow other grains and lots of cherries. For centuries the people of Bisterschied were known for the special care they put into cattle breeding. Millstones from local granite were manufactured here in the 1600's and 1700's . In the 1800's bricks were made from local clay. And there was a great deal of metal mining around the mountain in earlier times, perhaps accounting for an heirloom pewter plate. (I'll tell you about that soon.) Another traditional occupation was linen weaving.

Bisterschied now belongs to a collective municipality with Rockenhausen as it's seat. That is a group of little villages with all the main government functions centralized in one town. Several of these collective municipalities belong to the district of Donnersbergkries, which is named for the Donnersberg, the highest mountain of the Pfalz, right near Bisterschied. Mr. Moyer tells a little about the mountain, “the Donnersberg. It's a pretty big mountain, ... but with gradual slopes and a highway going up. 'Donner' is 'thunder'... and 'Donnersberg' means 'Thunder Mountain' Once I was looking at the old records after Napoleon conquered that part of Germany, and the name of the mountain had become 'Mont Tennerre' which means the same thing in French...Peoples' names had changed too! 'Johann' became 'Jean' when written by a French clerk.” In the Middle Ages, five castles surrounded the mountain: Tannenfels, Wildenstein, Hohenfels, Falkenstein and Ruppertsecken but today, only ruins remain. Another interesting feature of Donnersbergkries is a fragment of an old Roman road just east of Bisterschied.

Theobald and Charlotte Gerlach Britzius had at least five children including our immigrant ancestor Johan Jacob Britzius (1788 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1866 St. Charles, Minnesota) He married Catharina Elisabethe Schwarz (1786 Bisterschied, Pfalz - 1838 Bisterschied, Pfalz). Johan Jacob, was a cooper making casks and tubs. In 1838 Catharina Elisabethe died. Two years later Johan Jacob became our Britzius immigrant ancestor, one of them. He and four children boarded the ship Leopard in LeHavre, France and arrived in New York on July 6, 1840. The ship's log lists the children and their ages as Catharina Britzius born 1813, Jacob born 1820, Dewold born 1821, and Lisbeth born 1823. We now know some of these names and dates to be not quite right, for instance Dewold was our second Britzius immigrant ancestor, Theobald.

This misspelling points up the various spellings of names in records. Here are some of the ways Britzius has been misspelled over the centuries: Bretzius, Printgins, Pritzius, Brizeau, Pretorius, Buzas, Pretzeus, Britzies, Brizius, Britzins, Britzions, Brytius, Bretches, and Pretzius.

When Johan Jacob arrived with his children, they settled in Auburn Township, Tuscarawas County Ohio, perhaps because extended family was already there. We don't know for certain. I did find an entry on the 1840 census for Tuscarawas Co., Ohio, Bucks township for, it looks like, Adam Pretzius. Jacob and Theobald are in Bucks Township on the 1850 census and Bucks is right next door to Auburn township. And we know how Britzius got misspelled! So this Adam could be the relative our Britzius family followed. We know there was another Britzius family in Ohio here from that part of Germany because of the letter My Trip to America which is posted with Christina Elizabeth Maurer's information.

Johan Jacob brought two heirloom items with him from the old country which survived at least until recently. One was a pewter plate inscribed with the date 1773 and the initials I. B. ('J' was often written 'I'). Perhaps it may have been made by Johann Jakob Britzius (b. 1737). He was not a direct ancestor . We don't really know who made it. This plate was said to have been part of a set that ended up being used to feed the pigs when the family lived in Minnesota. I'm glad one was rescued! The other item is a pottery pitcher said to have been made by our immigrant Britzius ancestor, probably Johan Jacob. Both these items were last known to be in the possession of Ruth Britzius Wolfe, a great-granddaughter of Johan Jacob





Here is what we know about the children of Johan Jacob and Catharina Elisabethe Schwarz Britzius who all immigrated to America with their father.:

Catharina Britzius (b 1810- Bisterschied, Pfalz) married a man named Johann Schnell.

Jacob Heinrich Britzius (1812 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1892 Mt. Vernon, Minnesota) married Catherine Elizabeth Wasem.

Here is a story about Jacob Heinrich that appeared in a book about Winona County, Minnesota in 1883.:

"Jacob Brizius, farmer, was born in Germany in 1812. He was apprenticed to the cooper trade, working at the trade for some years. He enlisted in the Bavarian army and served twelve years, raising to the rank of sergent. In 1847 he came to America, settling in Ohio, where he worked at his trade for some ten years, when he came west to the Trout Valley. With his wife he trudged his way through the valley, becoming lost and almost discouraged by the difficulties he experienced, but like the old soldier he was, he pushed on until he found the place he thought would suit him, which he settled on and where he has remained ever since. He has by dint of hard work and perseverance gotten himself one of the finest farms in the valley. He was married in 1848 to Miss Catherine Wasem, by whom he has thirteen children, three of whom are dead. Jacob has held the position of supervisor. He is Evangelical in religion and a republican in politics. He is a man of sterling integrity and is looked upon as one of the fathers of the settlement. He is still a hale, hearty old man and takes an active interest in public affairs." (History of Winona County, page 714).

Theobald H is our 2nd immigrant ancestor. More about him later.

Elizabeth Britzius (1823 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1891 Montrose, Minnesota), married Heinrich Jacob Wasem.

Heinrich Jacob Wasem and Catherine Elizabeth Wasem were brother and sister, children of Johann Heinrich and Charlotta Catharina Spitz Wasem who came from Teschmoschel, Pfalz about the same time as our Britzius family. I'm betting they all knew one another before they emigrated. The two Britzius-Wasem marriages took place in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.


Our next ancestor is the son of Johan Jacob and Catharina Elisabethe Schwarz Britzius, Theobald H. Britzius (1820 Bisterschied, Pfalz – 1896 St. Charles, Minnesota). He came with his father, one brother and two sisters to America in 1840. They settled in Little Valley, Quincy Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. On Dec 7, 1843 he married Christina Elizabeth Maurer (1827 Waldgrehweiler, Pfalz – 1902 St. Charles, Minnesota) in Fiat, Bucks Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The most interesting thing I've found out about these two is they were the parents of 15 children! Can you imagine raising fifteen children without running water? Twelve survived to adulthood. Sometime between the birth of baby number twelve and baby number thirteen they moved, along with papa Johan Jacob Britzius (1788), to Quincy, Olmsted County, Minnesota.


Here is a little about each or their fifteen children:

1 – Elizabeth Britzius is our direct ancestor. More about her later.

2 - George Britzius ( 1845 Ohio – 1924 Minnesota) – Bill Moyer sent the following information about George.

"(George) was a Lutheran minister in rural Minnesota, gave his sermons in German. Earned $600 a year, sent $100 to his 'boys' homesteading in Montana. George may have originally obtained the land in Montana (near Harlowton) for his sons to settle. . . Don Russell, grandson of George's, son of Lydia) wrote me in 1978 about his grandparents as follows: . . .'And my grandfather had strong opinions about telling the truth--as well as card playing, booze, Catholics and Jews; all bad. He was a strong believer in honesty, hard work, his church, fairness as he saw it. And he was a pretty good natural physician (meaning he believed in the curative power of natural herbs). In some of his parishes he was the only 'doctor' in the area. He was also kind and generous, so it was only natural (one obituary said) that friends came to his funeral from as far away as 100 miles. His medical assistance was usually rewarded with farm produce; from laying hens to a barrel of fall apples - sometimes spring plowing help. His chief vanity was the ownership of the best looking pair of horses in his parish - he knew how to drive them, too. You could say he loved good horses the way I like my red Cadillac."

3 – Philopena Britzius (1846 Ohio – 1928 Minnesota) was called Phoebe. She married Jacob Harshman. They had five children and settled in Minnesota.

4 - Katherine Britzius (1848 Ohio – 1882 Minnesota) married Andreas Stefan. She died at the age of 34 of TB.

5 – Theobald Britzius (b 1849 Ohio) died as an infant while the family still lived in Ohio.

6 – Margaret Britzius (1851 Ohio – 1879 Iowa) married Peter Von Lackum, a physian from Prussia. He was a widower that brought 4 children to the marriage. Maggie and Peter had at least two children. They lived in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. Then Maggie died in childbirth at the age of 28. The 1880 census shows H. Von Lakum, Maggie’s 8 year old son, living with the family of Theobald and Christina Maurer Britzius.

7 – Addicum Britzius (1852 Ohio – 1912 South Dakota), known as Adam, married Luisa Haber and they had five children. One died as a two-year old. After the children were born they moved to Marshall County, South Dakota. Adam died at the age of 60 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

8 – Gabriel Britzius (b 1854 Ohio) - I have found no further record of Gabriel.

9 – Jacob Britzius (1855 Ohio – 1925 South Dakota) also called Jake bought land in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1883. In 1898 he served on the committee that bought land for the Aberdeen town hall. He married Mary Merten and they had two children.

10 – Nikolaus Britzius (1857 Ohio – 1864 Minnesota) died six days after his sister Maria was born.

11 – Johannes Britzius (1859 Ohio – 1936 Alaska), known as John, according to the 1920 census he was single and worked as a gas supplier for a gold dredger. He died in Nome, Alaska in 1936.

12 - Heinrich Britzius ( Dec 1861 Ohio – 1928 California), also known as Henry, was the last child of Theobald and Christina Elizabeth to be born in Ohio. He married Lettie Frances Moore in Faulkton, South Dakota and had four children. They moved to California. The 1920 census shows Henry is a jeweler running his own business in Gilroy, California.

13 – Maria Britzius (1864 Minnesota – 1930 Minnesota), also known as Mary, was the first child of Theobald and Christina Elizabeth to be born in Minnesota. She was born in Quincy Township, Olmsted Co, MN. She married Gunter John Fredrick Schmidt and they had seven children all born in Minnesota.

14 – Theobald D. Britzius (1866 Minnesota – 1930 Minnesota), called Tim, married Mary Schield and had two children. They stayed in Minnesota. Their son, Elmer died in the crash of a plane he was piloting in 1950. I found the following article on Ancestry.com. It is from June 28, 1950 Winona Republican - p. 1 and 4 The article has two photos of the mangled plane and also pictures of the two little girls.

"Dover Mayor, Two Girls Killed in Plane Crash

(Photo Caption) - Dover's Mayor And Two Young Girls died when a plane crashed near St. Charles early Tuesday night. The twisted wreckage is shown in a ditch along highway 14 shortly after the crash. Traffic on the highway was blocked in both directions for some time as civil aeronautics officials investigated.

Dover, Minn. - (Special) - Three persons died in a plane crash near here Tuesday night, turning into tragedy an early evening pleasure ride for Dover's mayor and two little girls.
Elmer A. Britzius, 57, candidate for the state legislature, widely known retired farmer and businessman, and Joan Herman, nine, were killed outright; Mary Rose Herman, ten, died en route to a Rochester hospital.
The plane crashed on highway 14, two miles west of St. Charles about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Britzius was flying his own plane and had been taking the two sisters for a pleasure ride to Winona and back.
Witnesses said the machine came in for an apparent landing on a field next to the highway, its engine sputtered, and then a wing tip grazed the concrete highway, throwing the plane around and into a ditch.

Rush to Plane

Motorists reportedly rushed to the wreckage and succeeded in pulling Mary Rose from the debris unconscious but breathing. She died a short time later.
Britzius was pinned under the engine and the other young passenger was also trapped in the wreckage. Both were dead when witnesses got to the plane.
The two sisters had often gone for rides with Britzius as had scores of other youngsters in the area. In fact, several were waiting at the landing strip on Britzius' farm near-by for the plane to return, having been promised rides last night.
Britzius held a pilot's license and had made a practice of giving neighborhood children free rides. He was a man of many interests, owning several farms in the area, a hotel in Dover, and having invented a number of articles.
When only 17, Britzius invented and patented a milk strainer. One of his later inventions - a cone-shaped paper popcorn sack -led to the opening of a small manufacturing plant here, which his only son, Edison, managed.

Mayor of Dover
A Life-long resident of this area, Britzius had been mayor here for three terms and had filed recently as a candidate for the state house of representatives.
The two girls were daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Herman, Dover. There are four other children in the family: Oka May, Alvin, Rex, Rodney, all of Dover. Mr. Herman is a carpenter.
Britzius is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son: Mrs. Burton Henry, Dover, Mrs. Vernon Anderson, Rochester, Mrs. T. R. Kangas, Guam, and Edison, Dover, and one sister, Mrs. Leroy Millard, Dover. A son, Harold, is dead.
He married Mabel Cunningham at Viola, Minn., August 15, 1914. Britzius was born in Quincy township near here October 14, 1892.
Funeral services for Britzius will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at the Dover Methodist church with burial in Evergreen cemetery. Friends may call at Rendernick's funeral parlor, St. Charles.
Services for the two girls will be held at the school house here, but the time has not been set.

(Photo Caption) - A Wing Of Elmer A. Britzius' Plane, shown above after it crashed last night, reportedly grazed the concrete highway, throwing the ship around and into a ditch. Witnesses said the pilot apparently was coming in for a landing on a farm field and then changed his mind. As he tried to gain altitude the motor sputtered and the plane crashed."

15 - Caroline Britzius (1869 Minnesota – 1940 Ohio), also called Carrie, married Frederick Grimm. They had twelve children. They started out in Minnesota but moved back to Ohio.

Elizabeth Britzius (1844 Ohio – 1911 Oregon) married Adam Zimmerman (1837 Canada – 1899 Oregon) in 1868 in Olmsted County, Minnesota. He had lost four children and his first wife, Eve Hopp, in the eight years from 1859 to 1867 at their farm home near Preston, Minnesota. Eve died in December of 1867. Adam married Elizabeth Britzius in March of 1868. He was no doubt, desperate for help with his three remaining children, and you must remember there was no fast food in those days. Who better to get things under control that the eldest of fifteen siblings! We shall continue with Adam and Elizabeth's story when we get to Adam Zimmerman.

So for now, dear children, we come to the end of the story of our wonderful Britzius ancestors that struggled through centuries of war in Pfalz, Germany, survived their immigration to America and have left us with hundreds, perhaps thousands of cousins we don't know.


So HOORAY for the Britziuses!!!

Love,
Granny

Catharina Elisabethe Schwartz:

Notes:

On the death record her name is spelled Katarina by the translator.

Footnotes
  1. Sheri Wheeler@qwest.net, Wheeler Family Tree (Ancestry.com).
  2. compiled by Lee Ann Aigner, Research of Claude B. Finley & Others Family Tree.
  3. Goettel, Steve, Britzius, Mathias-Descendants of (EMail).
  4. Bill Moyer, Britzius File I (received via USPS 24 Feb 2005).
  5. Census, Federal 1850, Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio.

    Name: Jacob Buzas
    [Jacob Britziius]
    [Jacob Britzius]
    Age: 62
    Birth Year: abt 1788
    Birthplace: Germany
    Home in 1850: Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio
    Gender: Male
    Family Number: 238
    Household Members: Name Age
    Theobald Buzas 30
    Elizabeth Buzas 23
    Elizabeth Buzas 6
    George Buzas 4
    Phebe Buzas 3
    Catharine Buzas 2
    Theobald Buzas 0
    Jacob Buzas 62

  6. Census, Federal 1860, Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio.

    Name: Jacob Pretzeus
    [Jacob Britzius]
    Age in 1860: 69
    Birth Year: abt 1791
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1860: Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Ragersville
    Value of real estate: View Image
    Household Members: Name Age
    Delnalp Pretzeus 38
    Elizabeth Pretzeus 35
    Elizabeth Pretzeus 17
    Geo Pretzeus 14
    Margaret Pretzeus 12
    Adam Pretzeus 10
    Jacob Pretzeus 7
    Nicholas Pretzeus 5
    John Pretzeus 2
    Jacob Pretzeus 69

  7. Findagrave (http://www.findagrave.com/).

    Birth: unknown
    Death: May 5, 1866


    Family links:
    Children:
    Jacob Britzius (1812 - 1892)*

    *Calculated relationship

    Inscription:
    Age 78y 11d

    Burial:
    Little Valley Cemetery
    Olmsted County
    Minnesota, USA
    Plot: Row 7 - 21

    Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

    Maintained by: Lance
    Originally Created by: Jill G.
    Record added: Jan 26, 2010
    Find A Grave Memorial# 47145128

  8. Bill Moyer.

    Per Britzius file III p. 4 "On the ship 'Leopard' arriving New York 6 July 1840, departing Europe from Le Havre, were Jacob Britzius born 1788, Catharina Britzius born 1813, Jacob born 1820, 'Dewold' (Theobald) born 1821, and Lisbeth born 1823. . . Jakob Britzius lost his wife, Katarina Elizabeth Schwartz, in Bisterschied in 1838. Two years later he emigrated (we learn from above record) with four of his children including 20 - year old Theobald, who later married Christine Elizabeth Maurer. . .also young Jakob Britzius, 16, who later married Catherine Wasem. The ship's record lists the family as coming from 'Bavaria.'"

  9. Sheri Wheeler@qwest.net, Wheeler Family Tree (Ancestry.com).
  10. compiled by Lee Ann Aigner, Research of Claude B. Finley & Others Family Tree.
  11. Bill Moyer, Britzius File I (received via USPS 24 Feb 2005).
  12. Britzius File III, p.25.

    Death record of Katarina Schwarz

    Translation: In 1838, on the 17th of February at 9 a.m., there appeared before me, Adam Lanzer, mayor (or record-keeper) of Bisterschied, Bavaria, Johann Balter, deputy (to the mayor?) and farmer, 60 years old, and Heinrich Lanzer, farmer, 22 years old, both residents of Bisterschied and neighbors of the desceased. They declare that Katarina Schwarz, 52 years old, wife of Jakob Britzius the first, cooper (maker of casks and tubs), resident of Bisterschied, daughter of Adam Schwarz and Philippina Sundheimer, who when living were a farming couple in Bisterschied, died on the 16th of February at 9 p.m. in House #68 in Bisterschied

    [This is a copy of an original German death record, and the English translation.]

  13. Ibid.
  14. Ancestry.com, Wasem/Block Family Tree.
  15. Britzius File III, p. 4.
  16. Ancestry.com, Tschumper-Einhorn Family Tree.
  17. Hill, H.H. and company, History of Winona County (Chicago, H. H. Hill 1883), p. 714.

    Jacob Brizius, farmer, was born in Germany in 1812. He was apprenticed to the cooper trade, working at the trade for some years. He enlisted in the Bavarian army and served twelve years, raising to the rank of sergent. In 1847 he came to America, settling in Ohio, where he worked at his trade for some ten years, when he came west to the Trout valley. With his wife he trudged his way through the valley, becoming lost and almost discourged by the difficulties he experienced, but like the old soldier he was, he pushed on until he found the place he thought would suit him, which he settled on and where he has remained ever since. He has by dint of hard work and perseverance gotten himself one of the finest farms in the valley. He was married in 1848 to Miss Catherine Wasen, by whom he has thirteen children, three of whom are dead. Jacob has held the position of supervisor. He is Evangelical in religion and a republican in politics. He is a man of sterling integrity and is looked upon as one of the fathers of the settlement. He is still a hale, hearty old man and takes an active interest in public affairs. (History of Winona County, page 714).

  18. Goettel, Steve, Britzius, Mathias-Descendants of (EMail).
  19. Goettel Steve, Maurer Descendants.
  20. Census, Federal - 1870 - Olmsted Co., Minnesota, Quincy Twsp, PO Little Valley, Ancestry page 11.
    (10 Aug 1870)

    Line 27

    Britzius T. age 51 Farmer RE: $7,000 PE: $2,350 born: Biow
    Elizabeth 44 keeping house Biow
    Addicum 17 Ohio
    Jacob 14 Ohio
    John 10 Ohio
    Henry 7 Ohio
    Mary 6 MN
    Theobald 4 MN
    Caroline 1 MN
    Line 36

    Britzius Geo. 24 Farmer PE: $300 Ohio
    Margurite 20 Keeping House Ohio

  21. Census, Federal - 1880 - Olmstead Co., MN, Quincy ED 197, Ancestry p. 11 of 15.

    Name: Theobuld Britzins
    [Theobuld Britzius]
    [Theobald Britzins]
    [Theobald Britzius]
    Age: 60
    Birth Year: abt 1820
    Birthplace: Germany
    Home in 1880: Quincy, Olmsted, Minnesota
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
    Marital Status: Married
    Spouse's Name: Elizabeth Britzins
    Father's Birthplace: Germany
    Mother's Birthplace: Ger.
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Occupation: Farmer

    Household Members: Name Age
    Theobuld Britzins 60
    Elizabeth Britzins 53
    John Britzins 20
    Henry Britzins 18
    Mary Britzins 16
    Theobuld Britzins 14
    Caroline Britzins 11
    H. Van Lackum 8

  22. Census, Federal 1850, Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio.

    Name: Theobald Buzas
    [Theobald Britzius]
    Age: 30
    Birth Year: abt 1820
    Birthplace: Germany
    Home in 1850: Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio
    Gender: Male
    Family Number: 238
    Household Members: Name Age
    Theobald Buzas 30
    Elizabeth Buzas 23
    Elizabeth Buzas 6
    George Buzas 4
    Phebe Buzas 3
    Catharine Buzas 2
    Theobald Buzas 0
    Jacob Buzas 62

  23. Census, Federal 1860, Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio.

    Name: Delnalp Pretzeus
    [Theobald Britzius]
    Age in 1860: 38
    Birth Year: abt 1822
    Birthplace: Bavaria
    Home in 1860: Auburn, Tuscarawas, Ohio
    Gender: Male
    Post Office: Ragersville
    Value of real estate: View Image
    Household Members: Name Age
    Delnalp Pretzeus 38
    Elizabeth Pretzeus 35
    Elizabeth Pretzeus 17
    Geo Pretzeus 14
    Margaret Pretzeus 12
    Adam Pretzeus 10
    Jacob Pretzeus 7
    Nicholas Pretzeus 5
    John Pretzeus 2
    Jacob Pretzeus 69

  24. Ancestry.com, Minnesota County History Name Index.

    Given Name: T.
    Surname: Britzius
    Book: OLMSTED CO. PLAT
    Year: 1878
    Town: Quincy
    Section: 1 15

  25. Bill Moyer.

    Theobald was born in House # 51

    Per B. Moyer - in 1864 Theobald is living in Quincey, near Dover, Minn.

    From Bill Moyer, 5 Mar 2005: "On the earliest immigration record for Theobald Britzius, old Theo is
    listed in English, by an English customs official or ship clerk as "Dewold."
    He got the sound okay but boy is it confusing for people like us."

    Per Britzius file III p. 4 "On the ship 'Leopard' arriving New York 6 July 1840, departing Europe from Le Havre, were Jacob Britzius born 1788, Catharina Britzius born 1813, Jacob born 1820, 'Dewold' (Theobald) born 1821, and Lisbeth born 1823. . . Jakob Britzius lost his wife, Katarina Elizabeth Schwartz, in Bisterschied in 1838. Two years later he emigrated (we learn from above record) with four of his children including 20 - year old Theobald, who later married Christine Elizabeth Maurer. . .also young Jakob Britzius, 16, who later married Catherine Wasem. The ship's record lists the family as coming from 'Bavaria.'"

    History of the Bisterscheid area of Germany - per Britzius File III, p. 2
    "We asked about the history of the Bisterschied area. Frau Matheis said that long ago stone was cut there for millstones and people moved in from Franken/Wurzburg to work and live. Frau Poth said grapes were once grown in the area, but there was insufficient labor to maintain the vineyards and the crops now are mostly grain plus some vegetables. Gunter Brizius said he understood that during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) loss of life in the Pfalz was so great that after the war was over the nobles who owned the land sought immigrants from all over to repopulate the area and restore the flow of taxes and rents. He was told that the Brizius family immigrated with other Huguenots from France because of the oppression by Louis XIV of the Protestants. . . . I also asked about metal mining in the area because of the pewter plate that was passed down in the britzius family in Minnesota, and was told that indeed there had been considerable metal mining all around the Donnersberg."

    Britzius File III p. 8 " (Frau Dahler) heard that the Britzius family immigrated originally from Austria."


    Britzius File III - about the Pfalz - "The Pfalz has the largest forests in Germany, even larger than the Black Forest. . . In 1814 the Pfalz area west of the Moselle came under Prussian rule, the area to the (east) going to Austria - Bavaria. At the Congress of Vienna the Pfalz was given to Bavaria. . .Bavaria was Catholic whereas most of the people of the Pfalz were Protestant.

    Britzius File III - pp. 10 - 12 "My Trip to America" a letter from a person who emigrated from the Pfalz to Ohio in 1832

    Britzius File II p. 4
    "I told her the legend in my Mother-in-law's family that the name had originally been "Brisseau and two of its progenitors were said to have been a young soldier and a young lady 'attached to the French court' who had eloped, which was considered scandalous and resulted in their moving to another place."
    p. 17 " A legend in George Britzius's family (related to Margaret Russell Sutton by her mother, Leona Britzius Russell) was that his grandmother was 'a lady of the French court' who married a soldier and eloped, going to Alsace-Lorraine for a generation. The name was Brizeau (or Briseau) in French. It was very scandalous to elope in those days. I haven't been able to find any confirmation of this story, although the Bisterschied area is on the French/German border and did go back and forth between the two countries as part of the general area of Alsace-Lorraine at the time of Napoleon and subsequently. 'The French Court' could also mean 'a' French court such as in the town of Saarbrucken, Metz, Strasbourg, etc., wherever a noble had his court, and this possibility would open up quite a few opportunities for the story to have validity. Counts, dukes, and princes in such cities (not just Paris) had sizeable retinues of soldiers, maids, and artisans. Occassionally a listing of such court personnel is given in Pfalzisch-Rheinische Familienkunde, a genealogical and historical magazine. . . The Dec. 1987 issue lists the members of the 1734 court of the Duke of Zweibrucken - 176 people in all, including 20 nobles and many lesser specialists such as trumpeters, bakers, guards, porters, a tailor, a clockmaster, a forest game master, teachers, archivists, etc."


    Brizius File II p. 12 - Linen Weaving was a traditional Bisterschied occupation.

  26. Britzius File III, p.30.

    Birth Record of Theobald Britzius

    Translation: In 1820, on the 13th of February at one p.m., there appeared before me, Peter Lanzer, mayor of Bisterschied, Bavaria, Jacob Britzius, 32 years old, farmer living in Bisterschied. He declares to me that on the twelfth of February at 7 a.m. his wife Catharina (nee) Schwarz gave birth to a male child in House # 51 in Bisterschied. They have named the baby Theobald. This declaration is witnessed by Erasmus Bernhard, 47, farmer liivng in Bisterschied, and Johann Gerler, 33, farmer living in Bisterschied.

    Signed:

    Jacob Britzius Erasmus Bernhard Johannes Gehler Lantzer

    [copy of an original German birth certificate and its translation.]

  27. Sheri Wheeler@qwest.net, Wheeler Family Tree (Ancestry.com).
  28. Britzius File III, p. 4.
Surnames | Index

Revised: November 26, 2016