Descendents of Henry George Grabenhorst

Dorothea Grabenhorst

Dorothea was married twice and had nine children. Those nine children in turn gave her thirty one grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.

1-Dorothea (Dorothea Auguste Elizabeth) Grabenhorst, daughter of Henry George (Heinrich Georg) Grabenhorst and Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier (Brandes), was born on 11 Feb 1833 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany, died on 3 Nov 1914 in Loraine Twp, Henry, Illinois at age 81 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. 

Dorothea first married Jacob Ferdinand Fischer, son of John Fischer and Margaret Mann, In Pennsylvania. Jacob was born on 30 Dec 1825 in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, died on 15 Oct 1868 in Boone County, Iowa at age 42 and was buried in the Schlicht Cemetery, a small private family cemetery near Fraser in Boone County, Iowa. They had six children: Henry A, Caroline Dorothea, Jennie Johanna, Frederick J, Ferdinand Maximillian (Max), and Loretta.

2-Henry A Fisher was born on 10 Jul 1856 in Illinois, died on 20 Feb 1928 in Ogden, Weber, Utah at age 71, and was buried in Aultorest Memorial Park. 

Henry married Molena Wolf, daughter of John Jacob Wolf and Lessettia (Sadie) Fie, on 9 Mar 1878 in Henry County, Illinois. Molena was born on 26 Feb 1859 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois, died on 31 Jul 1924 in Ogden, Weber, Utah at age 65, and was buried in Aultorest Memorial Park. They had six children: Elizabeth Lessettia (Lizzie), Fred, George Faitman, Cora Christina, Iona Idella, and Dorothea Molena.

2-Caroline Dorothea Fisher was born on 2 Feb 1858 in Dayton, Webster, Iowa, died on 7 Jul 1936 in Geneseo, Henry, Illinois at age 78, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery. 

Caroline married John Jacob Holzinger, son of Johann Georg Holzinger and Elizabeth Vetter, on 19 Jun 1876 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois. John was born in Jul 1845 in Germany, died on 5 Sep 1926 in Geneseo, Henry, Illinois at age 81 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery. They had six children: Minnie, William, Wesley Franklin, Harrison Elmer, Alice Edith, and Herald Lowell.

2-Jennie Johanna Fisher was born on 7 Nov 1860 in Dayton, Webster, Iowa, died on 26 Sep 1910 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 50 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery.

Jennie married Jacob Wolf, son of Jacob Wolf and Ann Margarete Schafer, on 19 Feb 1880 in Henry County, Illinois. Jacob was born on 17 Jan 1859 in Yorktown, Henry, Illinois, died on 9 Jun 1923 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 64 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. They had eight children: Herman Elmer, Albin Henry, Leroy Jacob, Alma Ethel, Frederick William, Vernon, Ruth Elizabeth, and Dorothea Margarete.

2-Frederick Jacob Fischer was born on 31 Oct 1863 in Dayton, Webster, Iowa, died on 7 Dec 1891 in Luverne, Rock, Minnesota at age 28 and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery .

Fred married Ella Butzer, daughter of Jacob Butzer and Sarah Rickel, on 9 May 1889 in Yorktown, Henry, Illinois. Ella was born on 1 April 1869 in Geneseo, Henry, Illinois and died on 27 Dec 1951 in Eldora, Hardin, Iowa. They had one daughter: Jesse.

2-Ferdinand Maximillian (Max) Fisher was born on 30 Sept 1865 in Dayton, Webster, Iowa, died on 19 Jul 1931 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 65 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. 

Ferdinand married Catharine Anna (Katie) Berge, daughter of Charles Berge and Catherine Wetzel, on 27 Sep 1892 in Henry County, Illinois. Catharine was born on 27 Apr 1867 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois, died on 28 Mar 1916 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 48 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. They had no children.

Ferdinand next married Elizabeth Gerber, daughter of Frank Otto Gerber and Elizabeth Arnold and widow of Philip Wiederhold, on 21 Jun 1917 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois. Elizabeth was born in Apr 1877 in Sundhausen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, died 31 Jan 1964 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 86 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. They had no children.

2-Lauretta E Fisher was born 1 Dec 1867 in Dayton, Webster, Iowa and died on 25 Dec 1945 in Olympia, Thurston, Washington at age 78. She was cremated and at her request her ashes were sent to her son Bernard to be buried in Memorial Vale Cemetery Hysham, Treasure, Montana. with her second husband, William Lawton.

Lauretta married William H Baker, son of Marquis Lafette Baker and Anna Maria Losee, on 29 Dec 1889 in Laverne, Rock, Minnesota. William was born in Apr 1873 in Minnesota, died on 20 Dec 1956 in Olympia, Thurston, Washington at age 83 and was buried in Memorial Vale Cemetery Hysham, Treasure, Montana.They had six children: Iza, Bernice, Bernard William, Helen, Jay Otis, and Thelma. They were divorced.

Lauretta next married a widower, William James Lawton, son of George Lawton and Susan Hackett, whose wife, Maria Matilda Hoppes, had died in 1907. They were married on 11 Jan 1911 in Olympia, Thurston, Washington. William was born on 10 April 1861 in Page Brook, Chenango, New York, died on 10 Feb 1919 in Rosebud County, Montana at age 58, and was buried in Memorial Vale Cemetery Hysham, Treasure, Montana.

Lauretta last married (Grant) George Murphy, son of George Washington Murphy and Mary Ann Taylor, on 1 Aug 1925 in Buffalo, Johnson, Wyoming. George was born on 11 Feb 1877 in Wheatland, Hickory, Missouri, died on 10 Nov 1935 in Natrona County, Wyoming and was buried in Highland Cemetery.

Dorothea next married Barnhardt (Benhart) Wolf, son of Johann Adam Wolf and Katharina Elisabeth Schafer, on 7 Mar 1871 in Boone County, Iowa. Barnhardt was born on 1 Apr 1819 in Niederaula, Hesse-Kassel , Germany and died on 29 Jan 1896 in Yorktown, Henry, Illinois at age 76 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. They had three children: Benjamin, Lovina D, and Margaret (Maggie).

2-Benjamin Wolf was born on 19 Dec 1872 in Yorktown, Henry, Illinois, died on 15 Sep 1948 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 75 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. 

Benjamin married Cora Rapp, daughter of Jacob Rapp and Elizabeth Krimbill, on 31 Oct 1895 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois. Cora was born on 5 Sep 1876 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois, died on 22 Jul 1955 in Hooppole, Henry, Illinois at age 78 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery.  They had two children: Ruby Irene and Viola E.

2-Lovina Dorothea Wolf was born on 14 Oct 1874 in Illinois, died on 4 Jan 1948 in Henry County, Illinois at age 73, and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. 

Lovina married Edward John Seyller, son of Conrad Seyller and Josephine Clementz, on 5 Sep 1899 in Henry County, Illinois. Edward was born on 8 Oct 1873 in Illinois, died on 14 Apr 1929 in Yorktown, Henry, Illinois at age 55, and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. They had two children: Conrad Merrian and John Clark.

2-Margaret (Maggie) Wolf was born on 14 Nov 1877 in Bureau County, Illinois, died on 30 Jun 1958 in Sacramento, Sacramento, California at age 80 and was buried in East Lawn Memorial Park.

Margaret married Calvin Franklin Wolever, son of Robert William Wolever and Roena Foster, on 5 Sep 1898 in Henry County, Illinois. Calvin was born on 16 Jun 1875 in Atkinson, Henry, Illinois and died on 9 Mar 1965 in Fillmore County, Minnesota at age 89 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. They had one son: Robert Wolf.

Documents and Articles



Dorothea was born Dorothea Auguste Elizabeth on 11 February 1833 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany to Henry George (Heinrich Georg) Grabenhorst and Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier (aka Brandes). Dorothea was the only daughter of Henry George's children. She had a brother, Andrew, born in 1825, a brother Henry Christian born in 1829 and a brother, Frederick, born in 1835.

Dorothea's mother, also Dorothea, was Henry George's third wife. His first wife, Johanne Rosine Henriette Waupke, was the mother of Andrew and Henry Christian. She died 17 June 1831 from a rupture. Three months after Johanne Rosine Henriette’s death, Henry George married Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg. The marriage did not last. In an extraordinary move for that time in Germany, they were divorced. The reason for the divorce is unknown. It is known that a child, Johann Friedrich Andreas, was recorded in the church books as having been born to Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg and Heinrich Georg Grabenhorst five and a half months after their wedding on 9 Mar 1832 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany. The little boy died one month later. One can speculate that perhaps this child was not the child of Henry George and thus the subsequent divorce. Whatever the reason for the divorce, this second marriage and the subsequent birth and death of the infant Johann Friedrich Andreas were not common knowledge to later generations of the family until the German researcher Walter Lehmann discovered it in the church record books. Henry George was always said to have been married twice, not three times as it turns out was the case.

Eight months after his marriage to Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg and two weeks after the death of the child, Johann Friedrich Andreas, Henry George married Dorothea's mother, Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier, on 27 Apr 1832 in Wittmar, Braunschweig, Germany. In their marriage document he is listed as a divorced husband.  Anna Dorothea Elizabeth was the daughter of a carpenter named Brandes from Kissenbruck and the widow Catharina Elizabeth Lohr Neddemeier.  Illegitimate children born during this time in Germany were given the surname of their mother but their biological father was often listed on the birth record. Later, after moving to America, Dorothea maiden name was said to be Brandes or Branders.

At the time of her birth, Dorothea's father, Henry George, was working as a master tailor in Klein Vahlberg. Dorothea's family had always lived in this same area of Brunswick although they lived in several different villages. At the time of his wedding to Dorothea in 1832, Henry George, along with Andrew and Henry Christian, were living in Wittmar. In Wittmar Henry George worked as a tailor and baker.  In 1835 Dorothea's brother Frederick was born in Klein Vahlberg. In 1839 her brother Andrew was confirmed in Wittmar. In 1847 Dorothea was confirmed in Klein Winnigstedt. Frederick was also confirmed in Klein Winnigstedt in 1849. Like most Germans of that time, the Grabenhorsts belonged to the Lutheran Church. While living in Klein Winnigstedt, Henry George's occupations were recorded as a landlord and a baker and, shortly before the family immigrated to America in 1850, as the owner of a pub. 

In the spring of 1850, Dorothea, along with her father Henry George, her mother Dorothea, her brother Frederick and her brother Andrew left Klein Winnigstedt and traveled to Bremen where they boarded the ship Europe to go to America. They landed in New York on 27 May 1850 and joined Dorothea's brother, Henry Christian, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Henry Christian had left Klein Winnigstedt for America in September of 1849 to check out whether or not immigration was feasible.  Obviously things were to his liking because he sent word for the rest of the family to come. Being industrious, the whole family wasted no time in getting jobs. In the 1850 census twenty four year old Andrew and twenty year old Henry Christian were listed as living in the household of Conrad Bode in East Vincent and working as laborers. Henry George and Dorothea were also living in East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania where he is working as a tailor. Seventeen year old Dorothea was living in the household of Joseph Ebner in East Vincent and working as a servant. Fifteen year old Frederick was also working as a laborer in East Vincent and is listed in the household of Samuel Whitby and also in the household of John Hause. It was here in Chester County that Dorothy met and married her first husband, Jacob Fischer, on 25 May 1853.

Dorothea's father, Henry George, did not want to pursue being a tailor in his new county. He started farming while in Pennsylvania but he was interested in owning his own farm. In the spring of 1854 he, his wife Dorothea, his son Frederick, daughter Dorothea and son-in-law Jacob moved to Illinois, locating eight miles north of Chicago. Dorothea and Jacob's first son, Henry Fisher, was born there on 10 July 1856.

Henry George and the rest of the family were not completely satisfied with what they found in Illinois and they made the decision to move to Iowa. In the summer of 1855 he went to Webster County, Iowa, and filed on two parcels of land totaling 315.40 acres or just under a half-section (320 acres) northeast of what would become Dayton. In the spring of 1856 Henry George, Dorothea, their son Frederick along with their daughter Dorothea,  son-in-law Jacob Fisher and Dorothea and Jacob's son Henry Fisher, moved into a log house that was standing on the 315 acres Henry George had filed on the summer before. In the 1856 Iowa State census Henry George, Dorothea, Frederick and Jacob and Dorothea Fisher are shown as residing and farming in Yell township, Webster, Iowa.  At that point, Dayton did not exist.  Their nearest post office was Homer, which was then the county seat of Webster County.  Iowa City was their nearest market where they had to go for supplies.  With the help of his son-in-law, Jacob Fisher, Henry George raised the first house in Dayton.

Dorothea and Jacob added five more children to their family while living and farming in the Dayton area. Caroline Dorothea was born in 1858, Jennie Johanna was born in 1860, Frederick Jacob was born in 1863, Ferdinand Maximillian (Max) was born in 1865 and Loretta was born in 1868. On 15 Oct 1868 Jacob died in Pilot Mound and was buried in the small private Schlicht family cemetery. He left Dorothea a widow with a large family to support. In the 1870 census she is living alone on her farm between Dayton and Pilot Mound with her children.

Two and a half years after Jacob's death, on 7 March 1871, Dorothea married Barnhardt Wolf, a widower with seven children, three daughters of whom were still loving at home. Barnhardt was born 1 April 1819 in Niederaula, Hesse-Kassel, Germany. He immigrated to America with his brothers in 1840 and moved to Illinois. In 1852 he was one of the first settlers to Yorktown township with his brothers: Jacob, John and Judah. Dorothea was Barnhardt's third wife. His first wife, Mary Ann Luther, died in 1864 at age 32. They were married in 1849 and had  six children: Louisa born in 1848, Caroline born in 1850, John born in 1851, William born in 1855, Elizabeth, born in 1859 and Mary Matilda (Tillie) born in 1862. In 1867 he married his second wife, Celia Balcom Heitz who also died. They had one daughter, Linda, born in 1867.  Dorothea and Barnhardt had three children together: Benjamin born in 1872, Lovina born in 1874, and Margaret (Maggie) born in 1877. Barnhardt died in 29 January1896 at age 76 in Yorktown.

In 1900 Dorothea's brother, Andrew, came to live with her after the death of his wife, Catherine. Prior to moving to Illinois, Andrew had lived in Chester county, Pennsylvania for many years.  On 26 Mar 1904 he died from a morphine overdose. According to the coroner's inquest he had been in the habit of taking small doses of morphine for years for various physical ailments and on the day of his death he had taken a larger dose because of a severe headache.

Dorothea died on 3 Nov 1914 in Loraine Twp, Henry, Illinois at age 81 and was buried in Hooppole Cemetery. 


Dorothy and Barnhardt with  Ben and Lovina
circa 1877

Documents and Articles


Excerpt from Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois. Originally published 1885, Biographical Pub Co., Chicago, IL

Yorktown Township, Henry County, IL

This is the northeast township of the county, its boundary lines on the east and north, being also the county lines. No part of it is traversed by a railroad, and hence, to some extent, its settlement was mostly the overflow from the adjoining townships that were filling so rapidly by the excitement of the first railroad building in the county in 1853-54.

Four brothers, Jacob, Barnhart, John and Judah Wolf and Benj. Goble and J. Luther, were the first settlers. Of these, we suppose from the best obtainable authority, Benj. Goble and John Luther were here first of all as permanent setters. J.J. Wolf still resides in the township, the only one remaining of the first settlers. Phillip Ott, now a prominent and wealthy citizen of Geneseo, came in 1854 and to this fortunate fact is due mostly the coming of the large settlement of Germans that are now thrifty farmers in this part of the country. He was accompanied in his immigration here by his brother, Jacob Ott. The two brothers came to this State and settled in Cook County in 1836. They were the fine type of the Pennsylvania Germans, whose great brick and stone barns are the chief characteristics of the German and American farmers of Pennsylvania. Phillip Ott visited his old home and wrote to friends and influenced Germans fresh from the fatherland to come and look at the cheap, rich lands of this part of Illinois. The first of the natives to come to the township made their improvements, and after a few years sold out to some new German arrival and went West. Some of the Gobles went to Oregon. The rush of immigration was in the high tide in 1855. Among these were George Seyller, from DuPage County, George Clemens and John Gross. A school-house was built in 1854 on section 30 , in the grove just west of the lake, and in this building was taught the first school by Delia Wilmot, who came from Cook County. The building was a rough log house, and it had been put up by the neighbors interested gathering and doing the work without money and without price.


Dorothy Grabenhorst Fischer Wolf

Geneseo Republic Obituary, November 1914
Mrs. Dorothy Augusta Elizabeth (nee Grabenhorst) Wolf, was born in Walhberg, Brunswick, Germany February 11, 1833, and fell asleep on November 4, 1914, at the age of 81 years, 8 months and 23 days. She came to America with her parents in 1847. They settled near East Pikeland, Pa. There she was joined in holy wedlock to Jacob Fisher, May 25th, 1853. In the spring of 1854, they emigrated to Des Plaines, Ill. and later to Dayton, Iowa, and then to Pilot Mound, Iowa, at which place Mr. Fisher passed to the spirit world October 15th, 1867.To this union were born three children, who all survive, the seven children left to mourn being: Henry Fisher of Ogden, Utah; Ms. Caroline Holzinger, of Geneseo, Ill.; Max Fisher of Hooppole; Mrs. Lauretta Lawton, of Turn Water, Washington; Mr. Benjamin Wolf and Mrs. Ed. Seyller, of Hooppole, Ill.; and Mrs. Cal Wolever, of Dodge Center, Minn. There are 31 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren and two brothers, Henry Grabenhorst of Salem, Oregon and Fred Grabenhorst, of Boone, Iowa. Her end was peaceful, leaving the assurance that she had peace with God, having the use of her mind to the very last moment of her earthly career. She being a faithful member of the Lutheran church, the funeral services were conducted by Rev. Wm. E. Krebs, of Rock Falls, Ill., pastor of Emanuel's Lutheran church.
We cannot tell the glories they are viewing
In that blest Paradise where they abide;
We only know that they are satisfied;
Awakened in his likeness, fair and sweet,
Vessels of glory for his praise made meet
We cannot wish them back from that fair haven
Amid the storm and breakers gathered here,
Since joy unspeakable to them is given,
Forever wiped away is every tear.
Have they not heard the Master's sweet "Well done,


Barnhardt Wolf

Geneseo Republic Obituary, February 1897
Barnhardt Wolf, whose death on Jan. 29th, 1896, we briefly mentioned last week was a native of Nieder Aula, Hesse Cassel, now a district of the Prussian province of Nassau. With other members of his family he emigrated to New Orleans and from there came to Peoria, from whence he came to Henry county at an early day. He amassed a fine property here by industry and frugality. He was three times married. By the first marriage there survive Mrs. Louisa Rapp, of Dakota, Mrs. Caroline Kinkner and Mrs. Matilda Mullen, and Joh Wolf, of Iowa. The one child of the second marriage is Mrs. Melinda Zunkel, of Iowa. In 1871 he was married to Mrs. Dorothy Fisher, who, together with their three children, Ben, Lavina and Margaret, survive him. The funeral was held at Calvary church Hoop Pole at 12 m Friday, Rev. H. Moser, assisted by Revs. Unangst and Luehring, officiating. The service was largely attended. He was a good citizen and leaves a fine family.


Immigration Records

Dorothea Grabenhorst immigrated to America in 1950 on the Europe along with her father, Henry George, her mother Dorothea, her brother Andrew and her brother Frederick. Her brother, Henry Christian, immigrated in 1849.

Passenger Manifest


Grabenhorst, D

Date of Arrival:

27 May, 1850

Port of Arrival: New York, New York





Marital Status:


Ship of Travel:


Port of Departure:

Bremen, Germany

Census Records

1850 census  

Joseph Ebner age 31 born in Germany farmer
Mary age 26 born in Pennsylvania
Theodore age 5 born in Pennsylvania
Frederick age 3 born in Pennsylvania
servant Dorothy Grabinhurst age 17 born in Germany
East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania Page: 61 Roll: M432_765

1856 census
856 Webster County Iowa Census for Yell Township shows Jisiah Fisher age 23 born in Germany living with his wife Doritha age 23 born in Germany next to Henry and Doritha Grabhart
1860 census  

Jacob Fisher age 33 born in Holland
Daratha Fisher age 27 born in Braunschweig / Brunswick
Henry Fisher age 4 born in Illinois
Catherine age 2 born in Iowa
Dayton, Webster, Iowa Post Office: Dayton Roll: M653_345 Page: 49

1870 census  

Dorothy Fisher age 36 born in Germany keeps house
Henry A age 15 born in Illinois
Caroline D age 12 born in Iowa
Jennie F age 10 born in Iowa
Frederick J age 8 born in Iowa
Mac M age 5 born in Iowa
Loretta age 2 born in Iowa
Iowa, Boone, Pilot Mound Township M593 Roll 378 Page 149

1880 census  

Barnhardt Wolf age 61 born in Germany farmer parents born in Germany
Doherty age 47 born in Germany keeping house
parents born in Germany
Frederick age17 born in Iowa
parents born in Germany
Wm. Maximil age15
born in Iowa parents born in Germany
Loretta age12
born in Iowa at school parents born in Germany
Benjamin age 9
born in Illinois at school parents born in Germany
Lovina D.
born in Illinois parents born in Germany
born in Illinois parents born in Germany
Yorktown, Henry, Illinois Family History Library Film 1254213 NA Film Number T9-0213 Page Number 514D

1900 census  

Wolf Dortha widow age 63 born 1833 in Germany 9 children born/living
Yorktown, Henry, Illinois Series: T623 Roll: 305 Page: 201

1910 census not found

Vital Records

Marriage Records

Name: Doratha Fisher Spouse: Bernard Wolf 
Marriage Date: 07 Mar 1871
County: Boone State: IA
Iowa Marriage Database 1851-1900 (

Death Records         

Henry County Death Records Index
Wolf Dorothy
Date of Death: Nov 3 1914
Loraine Twp Nov 3 1914 book 6 page 515
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Record
  Name: Dorothea Grabenhorst Wolf
Death Age: 81
Event Type: Burial
Birth Date: 11 Feb 1833
Death Date: 4 Nov 1914
Burial Date: 6 Nov 1914
Burial Place: Hooppole
Church Name: Walnut Church Location: Walnut, Illinois


Dorothea Grabenhorst Fischer Wolf
Hooppole Cemetery

Hooppole, Henry, Illinois

Jacob Ferdinand Fischer
Schlicht Cemetery
Fraser, Boone, Iowa

Benhart (Barnhardt) Wolf
Hooppole Cemetery
Hooppole, Henry, Illinois

A very special thanks to  Audrey Polson for all the materials and help on Dorothea and her descendents.
Audrey's husband, Dwain Polson, is a descendent of Dorothea through her daughter Jennie Fisher Wolf.


Title Page

For questions or comments contact:

Stephany Smith