German Kin Visit Breda

The Breda News, August 8, 2007

Nieland Descendants Gather in Breda

by Kay (Buelt) Davis

“Now let’s see, were any of my forefathers related to the Nielands?” This quote from David Nieland’s 1965 book titled Stammbaum Der Familie Nieland: The Nieland Family Tree, 1740 – 1965 was repeated many times in the last week as family gathered to greet German visitors.

Photo caption: Father James McAlpin, Verena (Nieland) Sinnhuber, Bernd Sinnhuber and Father Claire Boes at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breda

Bernd and Verena (Nieland) Sinnhuber traveled from their home in Dortmund, Germany for their first visit with cousins in California, Washington and Iowa. The young couple got to see dolphins in the Pacific Ocean, Fisherman’s Wharf, giant redwood trees, the Space Needle and Snoqualmie Falls and the rolling hills of western Iowa. They enjoyed seeing all the sights and learning just how big a place America is.

“The land in Iowa looks like the land of the Nieland farm near Ramsdorf,” said Verena. “I can see why the early ones wanted to live here.”

Mass at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breda on July 24th was the start of their visit to Iowa. The mass was concelebrated by Father Claire Boes and Father James McAlpin. Myrna Snyder was the lector, Mary Lou Grabner directed the music, Lydia Schettler sang the responsorial verses and “Grosser Gott”, and Marilyn Huendling played the organ. The visitors were pleased to see the many cousins from the Nieland Family Tree at the mass. They were greeted in German by Father Boes and felt right at home with the German verse of the hymn after mass.

While they were in the Breda area, they enjoyed learning more about the German heritage of Carroll County. David Nieland showed them many of the early churches in the area, especially St. Bernard Catholic Church and the Wheatland Presbyterian Church. Charles Huendling, a descendant of Rev. Lubke Huendling who began publication of the German language newspaper, “Die Ostfriesische Nachrichton”, reviewed some of the history of the German immigrants to the area. At the Carroll Historical Museum, they met Marilyn Setzler and got to ask more questions about German immigrants in the county. They enjoyed seeing the farms of the Nieland ancestors and current Nieland family farmers.

On Friday, July 27, members of the Nieland family from Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, and Washington, gathered at the American Legion Hall in Breda for an Open House hosted by David Nieland, Norman and Gladys Nieland and Leone Buelt. Many people brought old photos and memorabilia to share with the family and the room was filled with stories of the old times.

John Henry Nieland (1809-1888) and Elizabeth Osterholt (1812-1890) had five children—all born in Eschlohn, baptized in Südlohn and raised in Ramsdorf, which is in the Westphalia region of Germany. Three of John Henry and Elizabeth Nieland's children, Henry Nieland, Maria Anna (Nieland) Boes, and Maria Angela (Nieland) Hoebing, immigrated to America. All three married, settled in Iowa, and raised families. Their two other children, Gerhard Nieland and Maria Gertrud (Nieland) Funke, remained in Germany. In the next generation, three children of Gerhard Nieland (1840-1919) also immigrated to America. These children were Henrich (H.J.), Bernard and Herman Nieland. Today the family tree numbers almost eight thousand members in Germany and the USA. Details on the family history can be seen on the web site using the address,  <>.


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