Holthouse Family

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Johan Bernard Holthouse, Sr.

Decatur IN Covered Bridge

Born:    5 Aug 1812 Hastrup, Parish Bersenbruck, Osnabruck, Germany
Died:       26 Oct 1870 Decatur, IN
Buried:  St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Decatur, IN

Married:Joanna Catherine Mescher 9 Sep 1837 in Decatur, IN
Born:     15 Feb 1813 Hastrup, Parish Bersenbruck, Osnabruck, Germany
Died:      21 Feb 1868 Decatur, IN
Buried:  St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Decatur, IN

Johan Bernard Holthouse's parents were Johan Herman Bernard Holthouse, born 8 July 1772 in Hastrup, Osnabruck, Germany, and Johan's wife, Anna Maria Catherina Henrietta Stolle, born 14 February 1787  in the same town.  They married 15 Oct 1811 in Bersenbruck, Osnabruck, Germany.  They both died in the same town in which they were born.

Johan Bernard and Joanna Catherine Holthouse had 6 children, all born in Decatur, IN:

Wilhelmina Catherine Holthouse

Born 25 Dec 1838, Decatur, IN
Died 5 Sep 1864, Decatur, IN
Married Conrad Brake 19 Jan 1859 in Decatur, IN

Peter Holthouse

Born: 25 Oct 1841 in Decatur, IN
Died: 1 Nov 1912 in Decatur, IN


Anthony Bernard Holthouse

Born: 10Apr 1844, Decatur, IN
Died: 31 Dec 1906, Jonesboro, AR
Married: Margaret Schoen 24 Aug 1868, Decatur, IN

Henry Gerald Holthouse

Born: 10 Jun 1848, Decatur, IN
Died: 2 Sep 1871

Catherine Holthouse

Born:  10 Feb 1851, Decatur, IN
Died:  15 Nor 1927, Jonesboro, AR


John Bernard Holthouse, Jr.

Born: 22 Feb 1855, Decatur, IN
Died:  23 Jan 1916, Decatur, IN

Adam County, IN Courthouse ---->

The following was taken from the book “A Holthouse Family History”, published by Angela M. Quinn and Lori A. Brubaker in 1994.


Johan Bernd Holthaus, also known as Bernard or Barney, was born on Aug. 5, 1812 at Hastrup, Parish Bersenbruck, Osnabruck, in what is today the German State of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). This area of Northern Germany went through numerous rulers and boundary changes,thus creating complications for genealogy research.  Bersenbruck was a part of the Principality of Osnabruck until 1803, when the Province of Hannover took over full control of Osnabruck. Then, in 1806, Napolean added the area of Osnabruck, including Bersenbruck, to the French Empire.


In 1815 Hannover regained control of this area, at the same time that Hannover itself was elevated to Kingdom status, ruled by King George the III - also the King of England!! Thus Bernard Holthaus' father was born in Osnabruck, Bernard was born in the French Empire, and his sisters were born in the Kingdom of Hannover - and all of this happened in the town of Bersenbruck.


Bernard's parents were Johan Herm Bernd Hollthuss, the son of Gerd Henrich Hollthuss and Anna Maria Hussmann, and Maria Catherine Henriette Stolle, from Hastrup, the daughter of Joannes Bernd Sandbrink modo Stollelio and Maria Catherina Stolle.


Her parents were married Jan. 24, 1774 at St. Vincentius, Bersenbruck. Margret von der Haar of Bersenbruck writes that:  In the case of the Stolle-family Maria Catharina Stolle was the landowner and Johan Bernd Sandbrink took her family-name, also the children had her family name STOLLE.


Bernard Holthaus arrived in New York City in May, 1836. During the fall of 1836 he moved to Adams County, IN. He entered a tract of Govt. timberland in Washington Twp., 2 miles west of Decatur. He built a log house, cleared his land, and farmed there until his death in 1871. Bernard was one of the first five Catholic settlers in Adams Co., and a founding member of St. Mary's parish in Decatur.

Built by Johann Lange, Vegesak/Grohn, and launched on 10 May 1835 for the Bremen firm of Albers & Koncke. In 1850, she belonged half to the firm of J. D. Koncke Hermanns Sohn and half to Ferdinand Henschen.
177 Commerzlasten/415 tons register; 31,4 x 8,8 x 5,1 meters (length x beam x depth of hold).
The ELISE was originally rigged as a ship, but sometime in late 1852 or early 1853, she was re-rigged as a bark.
The maritime news columns of the New York newspapers report the following: Bremen ship Elise, Gatjen, master, arrived at New York on 28 August 1851, 38 days from Bremen, with merchandise and 175 passengers:- Bremen bark Elise, Nordenholdt, master, arrived at New York on 28 September 1856, 53 days from Bremen, with merchandise and 171 passengers. On the return leg of this last voyage, the crew of the ELISE rescued 16 survivors from the sunken French steamer LYONNAIS, as reported in the Weser-Zeitung for 4 December 1856.
In 1857, the Bremen bark ELISE was sold to O. C. Reinhardt & D.Isaachsen, of Christiansand, Norway, who renamed her VESTA; her captain under the Norwegian flag was T. A. Torjussen. In May 1863, she was stranded at Newfoundland, and became a total loss
[Peter-Michael Pawlik, Von der Weser in die Welt; Die Geschichte der Segelschiffe von Weser und Lesum und ihrer Bauwerften 1770 bis 1893, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, Bd. 33 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1993), pp. 187-188. Pawlik's work contains a photograph of the newspaper announcement of the launching of the ELISE in 1835, but the vessel pictured is a steamship, and the picture is probably a stylized representation of the river steamer BREMEN that carried onlookers to the launching from Bremen to Vegesack and back to Bremen. [E-mail from Michael Palmer - 9 December 1997]

Bernard married Johanna Catherine Mescher on Sep. 9 1837, at the Cathedral in Fort Wayne, IN (then St. Augustine parish). Catherine and her twin sister Maria Elisabeth were born Feb. 2, 1813 at Hertmann/Quadenort, parish Bersenbruck.


Catherine emigrated to the U.S. in 1836 also, but it is not known if she traveled with her future husband. It is known that her sister Anna Margaretha (Knapke) emigrated from Bersenbruck on Aug. 15, 1836, and arrived in the fall of 1836 in the Minster, OH area (20miles from Decatur, IN). The 1945 Family Tree created by Sr. Mary Grace Holthouse suggests that Johanna lived in Minster, before marrying Bernard.


Johanna Catherine Mescher Holthaus died Feb.21, 1868 in Adams Co.


Bernard married Anna Rolth Brake on Oct. 13, 1868 at St. Mary's.  Bernard died Oct. 26, 1870 and is buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery at Decatur. Anna Rolth Brake Holthaus died Aug. 12, 1872. She and Johanna Catherine are buried near Bernard.


It is to be assumed that Anna Rolth Brake was in some way related to both Herman Brake and Conrad Brake, but that relationship is not certain.