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Loose Ends in the Overbeck Family Tree

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Location: Hiddinghausen, Niedersachsen, Deutschlandmap
Surnames/tags: Overbeck Averbeck Averbecke
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Here we will showcase profiles of Averbeck/Overbeck ancestors who have no attainable information on their lives (and who haven't been confirmed as having no offspring), but might serve as "missing links" to other unconnected groups of Averbecks/Overbecks.

There are records of Averbecks living in the vicinity of Bakum as far back as 1490, so while there is a possibility of those Averbecks being descendants of one who may have departed the Hof in Hiddinghausen at some point before 1600, any Averbecks or Overbecks from there would have no connections to any descendants of Frantz Averbecke of the late 1500s.

Sometimes, when a man married a woman who was an heiress of her family's estate, he would change his surname so that the estate would stay in the female's family name, a custom still in practice today as noted with current Anerbe Cora Averbeck and her husband Michael Averbeck (formerly Lilier). So chances are good that these "loose ends" may not prove to be "missing links", but simply patriarchs who would live out the rest of their lives under a different surname.

Sources for all information, unless otherwise noted, are from Alvin H. Overbeck's comprehensive family history The Sippe (Clan) Averbeck-Overbeck.


We start off with the earliest question mark on the tree: Johann Averbecke, Averbeck-12. (born sometime in the late 1580s)

Alvin pointed out that "Most of the time, but not always, the oldest son was designated Anerbe" (the male heir who alone has the right to inherit the title of the entire Hof, or farming estate). His assumption was that the Averbecks followed the oldest-son rule, when actually, as discovered by Anke Waldmann, the estate passed to the youngest of the children. So he assumed that Johann had died early on since Frans inherited the Hof. But now it can also be assumed that Johann simply moved on and raised a family in another part of the region. There is a slight chance that he may actually be Caspar Overbeck (the eldest patriarch in a family line that includes famous painter Johann Friedrich Overbeck), who fled from religious persecution in Westphalia to settle in Lueneburg in 1615, and it would make sense that he would assume a different name in the process.

Next is the Unknown male Averbeck, Averbeck-79. (born sometime in the 1610s)

Alvin writes, "References in 1628 and 1630 indicate that Wessel Averbeck (the Anerbe) was then residing on the Hof with his brother, his sister and his father (retired)." This Averbeck brother, whose name wasn't identified by Alvin, would be too young to have been the aforementioned Caspar, but he may have moved elsewhere and raised a family whose some of the descendants would eventually settle in America.

Adam Averbeck, Averbeck-14 (born 1639)

Originally thought to have succumbed to a deadly illness at a young age, Adam actually lived to the year 1695 (according to Anke Waldmann). No other info regarding marriage or children (or lack thereof) was available, however.

Two sons of Anna Averbeck:

Gisbert, Averbeck-21 (born 23 Mar 1670)

Herman, Averbeck-22 (born 8 Jan 1673)

They both have definitive birthdates, but no dates of death. And although I listed their deaths at 1750, the years are actually unknown... so they could've passed on much sooner and without offspring.

Sons of Joes Hermann Averbeck:

Johann Heinrich, Averbeck-27 (born 25 Mar 1741, died 19 Apr 1804)

Caspar Heinrich, Averbeck-30 (born 1 Nov 1751, died 13 Oct 1783)

Hermann, Averbeck-31 (born 27 Jan 1755, died 4 Jan 1825)

The fact that there are precise dates of death for these three may indicate that they stayed in the general area of Germany and Holland.

Sons of Adam Gisbert Averbeck (another son of Joes):

Johann Adam, Averbeck-41 (born 22 Sep 1785)

Adam Heinrich, Averbeck-43 (born 27 Jun 1791)

Johann Friedrich (not the painter), Averbeck-44 (born 22 Feb 1794)

The only sons (out of eight children) without definitive death dates, any one of them could have settled in other parts of Europe or the United States.


Balthasar Adam, the son of Joes who was designated Anerbe, had eight children, of which five married into neighboring families at Hiddinghausen, Grambergen and Astrup. These branches of the family tend to disappear from the records at Schledehausen, leaving mainly the records of Gerhard Heinrich Overbeck's descendants. Gerhard's brother Johann Adam Averbeck-34 had two grandsons that later emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Ohio:

Herman Overbeck, Overbeck-115 (born 26 Jan 1824, died 28 Jan 1901) Originally a Hermann Heinrich, he settled in the town of Oregon, Ohio and married a Marie Hager Hager-1201 (born 24 Apr 1829, died 2 Nov 1913). No further info has been discovered on this couple.

The other brother, John Overbeck Overbeck-115 (aka Johann Hermann, born 18 May 1821, died 31 Mar 1899), is well-documented, having settled in Toledo and sired three children with wife Mary.

Gerhard's Anerbe-designated son Christoph had a couple of children that moved to America. One was a daughter, Maria Engel Overbeck-113 (born 19 Jan 1843), whose whereabouts in America could not be validated. The other was son John Frederick Overbeck-115 (born 21 Mar 1834, died 24 Aug 1888), formerly Johann Friedrich, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1860 and settled in Toledo, marrying a woman named Frederica and siring two sons, born approximately in 1870 and 1872. No other info is known about John and Frederica, and it is unknown if he had any contact with his Toledo-resident cousins.

Gerhard's son Hermann Heinrich Overbeck, Overbeck-71 (born 9 Jul 1812, died 1849) was a complete mystery to Alvin, having only correspondence regarding daughter Elizabeth Wildey to work from; however, Elizabeth's descendants have been pinpointed down to the present. It is unclear whether or not Hermann had other children, though, despite the numerous Overbecks living in Cincinnati and the rest of Ohio throughout the 19th century.


My goal with all these loose ends is to try and bring their lineage up to date, hopefully in the process connecting with currently unconnected Overbeck branches that inhabit St. Louis, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other parts of the northeastern U.S. I am currently in contact with an Overbeck that lives in Central Texas who has ancestors that lived in New Jersey, so it would be especially nice if a connection was found there.





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Categories: Family Mysteries