The Frerich Claassen Rüstmann Family

"My Family's Relation"

"Genealogy of Course"

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"The Frerich Claassen Rüstmann Family"

Bottom row, from left to right
Peter.... Frerich.... Dorothea.... Jetina
Top Row, from left to right>
Frank.... George.... John

On October 10, 1835, Johann Heien Rüstmann, son of Foke Janssen Rüstmann and Lucea Maria Antons, married Trienke (Tena) Claassen, daughter of Frerich Claassen, and Ettie Harms, in Hartward, Ost-Friesland. They were the parents of twelve children. Fooke Janssen, born April 3, 1837, Frerich Claassen, born September 13, 1838, Johann Peters, born January 23, 1841, twins, Gresche Margaretha, and Gesche Margretha, born January 25, 1842, Etta Margretha, born March 6, 1945, Lucea Maria, born June 13, 1845, Janken was born May 7, 1850,and died 12 July, 1853, Schwittert Janssen, born June 18, 1855, died 4 June, 1856, Schwittert Janssen, born March 12, 1857, Janken, born July 5, 1861.

In 1863, at the age of 25, Frerich Claassen imigrated to America. He came inland to Benson Illinois and settled on a farm close by. The area around Benson, Minonk, and Flanagan was the landing place for many Ostfriesland settlers in the mid 1800's.

Miss Dorothea Elizabeth Gerdes Ennen was born in Neu-Barstede, Ost-Friesland, on May 10, 1848. In 1868, she and her family imigrated to the United States and settled in the Benson area also.

On March 15, 1872, Frerich and Dorothea were married in Minonk, Illinois, in German United Evangelical Lutheran Church. They continued to farm the land just north of Benson. They also started their family. First was John Frederich in 1873, then George Ennen in 1874.

Frerich and Dorothea then purchased an 80 acre farm a mile and a half west of Minonk. They farmed this land until 1908, when they retired to Minonk. It is still in the Ruestman family today.

The family then grew with Frank next on July 11, 1877, Jetina Magdalina on January 27, 1880,and the last, Peter, born on January 6, 1885.

On October 18, 1863, Johann Peter Rüstmann, Frerich's brother, was married to Amke Harms Hagen in Nord Dunum, Dunum, Ost-Friesland. They had eight children. Johann Haien, Harms Haien, Trinke Margaretha, Born 10 Feb. 1868, Died 20 April 1868, Frerich Classen, Trienke Margaretha, Jantje Margaretha, Dorothea Elisabeth, and Ehe Catherina. On April 1, 1879, Johann Peter took some cows to market in Ostfriesland, very near the North Sea. On the way home he was robbed and killed, then his body was thrown into the North Sea.

In 1881, Johann Peter's widow, Anke(Anna), her mother-in-law, Trientje(Tena) Claassen Rüstmann,and Anna's seven children immigrated to the United States. They settled in the Minonk--Flanagan area, close to Frerich. Ehe Catherina was just 3 years old.

The call to Iowa, to the so called 'bread basket' of the world, was being talked about in the German communities in the new America. Amke, her son Frerich (Frank), and two of her daughters, Trienke(Tena) and Jantje(Anna), decided to go to Lyon County, Iowa, near George, Iowa. Lyon County is in the very north-west corner of Iowa and was fast becoming a Ostfriesland settlement. It is approxmatley 600 miles from Flanagan. In the late 1800's, this was quite an undertaking! As they were farmers, after the move, frank went back to farming. Land in the George area was selling from $4 to $12 an acre. Frank farmed, and in the fall worked on a threshing crew of Joe Fiihr, running the separator. He married Martha Kruse in 1900. Tena married Joe Fiihr, and Anna married Chris Locker.

Back in Illinois, Schwittert married Anna Kleen, a widow with 3 children. They had 2 more children. Johann Heien married Gretje Baumann, and they had four children. Harms Heien married Tjede Baumann, they also had four children.

Frerich Claassen, always known as 'Frank C.' and Dorothea prospered on their farm, and they added another 40 acres to it. As each of their 5 children married, Frank C. purchased an 80 acre farm for them to get them started. All the farms were in the Minonk area. Several of these farms are still in the family today. Peter was the last to marry, and the home place became his farm.