Wittrock Family Tree covers fifteen generations
of Wittrocks that originated in
the farming community of Brockdorf near the town of
Dinklage in the Oldenburg region of Germany. Early
records such as tax rolls and farm lists show that
a cottage farmer (Kötter) named Wittrock lived
in Brockdorf in 1593 and another Kötter named
Herman Wittrock was there in 1663. Both of these individuals
are probably our ancestors.
The earliest know ancestor to whom we
can trace our roots through church records was Johann
Wittrock, a Kötter who was born in Brockdorf
about 1636. Earlier church records for Brockdorf do
not exist. It is very likely that Johann inherited
his farm from Hermann Wittrock because there were
only 29 farms in Brockdorf and only one farm was owned
under he Wittrock name.
The Wittrock farm in Brockdorf passed
down through the family for at least 9 generations.
In the 9th generation, Anton Henry
Wittrock sold the family farm in 1885 and emigrated
to America. Three of his sisters also emigrated between
1875 and 1885. Our family tree lists the descendants
of the four immigrants as well as their Wittrock ancestors
back to about 1560. The tree also includes several
branches of Wittrocks that remained in Germany.
In two instances our Wittrock name was
passed on through the female
members of the Wittrock line. This practice, which
was common in Germany at that time, is a product of
the old German property and inheritance laws. Farms
were identified by a family surname. A farm could
be inherited only by the eldest son and in most cases
could not be split up among several heirs. When there
was no male heir, the farm could pass to the eldest
daughter, but only if her husband took his wife's
surname as his own. That way the farm stayed under
the family name. Sons who did not inherit often became
"Heuermann" (hired man or tenant farmer),
took up a trade, or emigrated.
here to see
a detailed family tree.
The outline tree format is an
indentured list with each person's generation number
shown before their name. Spouses are indicated with
a "+" symbol.
The ancestry data presented here is
a work in progress. Family members who would like
to share their branch of the family tree with other
Wittrock descendants are invited to contact the webmaster.
protect the privacy of living family members, their
birth and marriage dates and place names are not
included on this website.