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What's Our Connection with Wellenkamps and Menzels?

   Buermeyer is a relatively new name first appearing in church records in the early 1700's. "Buer" represents a small town surrounded by a farming community in northwestern Germany near Osnabrueck. "Meyer" is derived from one of the oldest farms in the Buer area and one of the earliest free-owned farms in Europe.

   The "Meyerhof" was established 1000 years ago and became the center for independent farmers who were not tied to local rulers and land owners. "Meyer", with its many varients, is one of the most widespread Germanic surnames. People added prefixes and suffixes to the root name in order to distinguish themselves from others bearing the same name. One reason why "Meyer" is so common is that it originated in the European Merovingian Dynasty of the fifth century and comes from the Gallo-Roman term "major" , meaning "someone in a higher position".

The Buermeyer Farm

   Historian Wolfgang Dreuse provided a census written in 1775 that describes the "inhabitants" of the Buermeyer farm:

   "25 people live on the farm and its adjacent cottages. In the main building live: farmer, his wife, 2 sons and 3 daughters (under age 14), 1 farm laborer and 2 farm lassies." Johann Friedrich Buermeyer (b.1733-d.1799) and Anna Marie (Aring) (d.1793) would be the "farmer and his wife". Clara Marie (b.1762), Charlotte Marie (b.1765) and Johanne Margarethe (b.1771) are the "3 daughters" Clamor Adolf (b.1767) and Johann Friedrich (b.1775) were the "2 sons".

The Town of Buer-1830's
A lithograph depicting the town of Buer in the 1850's

   The early 1800's saw great progress in farm mechanization, forcing down the price of flax and driving many European farms into debt. Germany was also imposing economic and religious sanctions that the population resented. News of low taxes, abundant land and religious freedom in the New World influenced an exodus that exploded in 1832 when 10,000 Germans emigrated to the U.S. They were referred to as the "Thirty-twoers".

   One of those immigrants may have been Ernst Heinrich Buermeyer when he and his wife Louisa (Beyer) settled in New York The Broad Street House - 1886and ran "Fraunce's Tavern", known at the time as "The Broad Street House". Fraunce's Tavern still exists today in New York City as a National Historic site.

   There are now at least nine Buermeyer families in North America. The internet has provided a great opportunity to learn more about our families and connect with branches of the lineage we didn't know existed. My research has provided fascinating insight into our past. We refereed in the Olympics, served as mayors, authored books and fought in the Civil War. Did you know a Buermeyer was the first boxer to knock-out an opponent in Madison Square Gardens? We were leaders, researchers and organizers. Not bad for a name in existence less than 300 years!

   I'm hoping this website will encourage you to share information about your family's history. I'm putting together a photo family tree consisting of Buermeyers from past to present and from all branches of the lineage including Spelmeyer, Wellenkamp and Menzel. I encourage you to drop me an e-mail and, if possible, send a few jpgs of your family! Feedback is always welcome!

   There are also families with similar surnames : Buersmeyer, Burmeyer, Bermeyer and Buermeier that I'd love to hear from.

   Please check out the links and downloads and re-visit the site from time to time. There will be more added as information is gathered.

Eric Buermeyer

   Eric Buermeyer is a filmmaker and videographer. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1956. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after the war. His brother, John and sister, Barbara were also born and raised in Canada.

Contact Eric

A Link to the Maternal side of the family.
This is a Genealogy site.