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THELEN Family...................................................................................
Our Thelen branch originally settled in Stearns County, Minnesota in the mid to late 1800s.  They were originally from Koblenz and the Rhineland and Trier districts of Germany.  Common surnames on the Thelen side include Laubenthal, Goihl, Schneider, Riedel, Klapperich, Homberg, Nathe, Weymann, Loehr, Ahles, Bauer, Roerig, Besting, Ernst, Dahm, Andres, and Weber.

Our Thelen family ancestors settled in the Stearns County, Minnesota region during the mid to late 1800s. This family includes two distinct branches, the Thelen's and the Klapperich's, both of which immigrated from Germany.  John and Mary Thelen

The first Thelen's to arrive in the United States were Martin and Maria Anna Laubenthal Thelen.  They arrived on May 28, 1880 via the port of Antwerp, Germany on Ship Zeeland (Red Star Line).  Martin was born in Niederbaar, Koblenz, Adenau, Germany in 1843 and died in Stearns County, MN in 1899. Maria Anna was born in Germany in 1848 and died in Stearns County, MN in 1914. 

Martin's parents were Servaz Thelen (1812-aft 1843) and Maria Gertrude Weber (?- aft 1843).  The only information we have on Maria Anna's parents is that they were born in Germany and that her mother's name was Mary.  Martin and Maria Thelen's son John Thelen was born in Meeker Co., Minnesota in 1882 and died in Stearns County, Minnesota in 1956.  John married Mary Bertha Goihl (1886-1971).

Much more is known about the Klapperich branch.  The first Klapperich's to arrive in the U.S. were Nicholas (1816-1871) and Maria Catherine "Kath" Roerig Klapperich (1823-1908).  Nicholas and Kath were born in Hausten, Rhineland, Germany. They arrived in America between 1852 and 1862 and their son Jacob (1862-1940) was born in St. Anna, Calumet Co., Wisconsin.  Jacob moved with his family to Stearns County, Minnesota where he later married Apollonia Homberg (1858-1940).  Jacob and Apollonia had a son named Peter Jacob (1897-1982) who married Elizabeth Rose Weymann (1899-1976).  Elizabeth's parents were Johann (1867-1943) and Mary Ahles Weymann (1876-1951). Mary's parents, Johann (1836-1921) and Lucy Bauer Ahles (1844-1913), were born in Trier, Germany and died in Stearns County, Minnesota. Johann Weymann's father Johann immigrated from Germany around 1853.  He was born in Villa St. Johann, Kyllburg, Kreis Bitburg, Rheingland, Eifel, Germany in 1829 and died in Stearns County in 1907.  Johann's mother, Elizabeth Loehr was born in Fon-du-Lac, Wisconsin in 1847 and died in Stearns County in 1913.  Elizabeth's parents, Johann (1810-1876) and Anna Gertrud Keuler Loehr (1814-1889), were born in Adenau, Germany and died in Stearns County, Minnesota.  


Our Colbert branch originally settled in the St. Paul, Ramsey County and Renville County areas of  Minnesota and the Dubuque County, Iowa area in the mid 1800s. This side of the family contains two distinct lines of national heritage. The first, including the surnames Fleissner, Stopfer (Steiner), Beck, Eckel, and Guhl, immigrated from the Bohemia district of Austria including the towns of Albertsville (Albersdorf) and Pilsen. The second, including the surnames Colbert, Woulfe, McAuliffe, and Duhig, came from County Limerick, Ireland.  Ancestors with the surnames Kennedy, Woods, Glynn, and Purcell came from an unknown part of Ireland.     

Our Colbert family ancestors settled in Minnesota during the mid to late 1800s, mainly in the St. Paul region.  The first ancestors on this side of the family were the Kennedy's who arrived in the frontier town of St. Paul around 1852.  Thomas F. Kennedy and Mary E. Woods were married in St. Paul by Bishop Cretin in 1852 and had their first son, John Daniel Kennedy in 1853.  Less than 20,000 people lived in Minnesota Territory at the time. Thomas was born in Ireland in 1823 and immigrated to the U.S. between 1847 and 1850.  He died in Minnesota in 1905.  Mary E. Woods was born in Ireland in 1828, daughter of Daniel Woods who was buried in St. Paul in 1886.  Mary died in St. Paul in 1912. Richard Colbert

John Daniel Kennedy married Bridget A. Glynn (1860-1919) in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1882.  Bridget was the daughter of two Irish born immigrants, Nicholas Glynn and Mary O. Purcell, who settled in  Scott County, Minnesota before 1856.   John and Bridget lived in Morton County, MN and their son Thomas Francis Kennedy was born there in 1888.  Thomas married Philomena "Minnie" Catherine Stemper in 1913.  Philomena was the daughter of Nicholas Stemper and Caroline "Carrie" Claus from Dubuque, Iowa.  Caroline's father Bernhard was an immigrant from Alsace Lorraine, France in 1844 and her mother Catharine Schleicher was born in Baden, Germany.

Thomas and Minnie Kennedy's daughter married the son of William Richard Colbert and Gertrude Rose Fleissner (Michael Fleissner family pictured above).  William Colbert's parents were Richard and Johanna Woulfe who immigrated from Ireland between 1880 and 1882.  Richard was born in County Limerick in 1860 and Johanna was born in 1865, most likely in County Limerick.  Richard's parents were William Colbert and Bridget Woulfe.  Johanna's parents were Richard "Dick" Woulfe Jr. and Mary McAuliff, who were both born and died in County Limerick, Ireland.  Gertrude Rose Fleissner's parents were Michael Fleissner (1864-1941) and Margaret "Maggie" Beck (1869-1931). Michael and Margaret were married in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1888 after immigrating from Austria between 1870 and 1881. Michael's parents were Johann Fleissner and Maria Anna (Steiner) Stopfer.  Margaret's parents were Jacob (Becht) Beck and Barbara Eckel.   

Our Margraf family ancestors settled in Northern Indiana between 1850 and 1900.  The first Margraf's to arrive in the United States were Peter Margraf (1810-1901), his wife Maria Eva Schaefer (1811-1890), and their son Simon Margraf (1846-1919).  Peter and Maria were from Nohn, Kreis Mezig-Wadern, Saarland (present day southwest portion of Germany) and arrived in the United States in 1868. The port of entry was listed as Illinois.  Their son Simon married Angela Helfen (1854-1926) who immigrated with her parents Jakob Helfen (1815-1899) and Katherine Boos (abt. 1821- aft. 1857). Jakob and Katherine were from Waldholzbach, Kreis Mezig-Wadern, Saarland (Germany).  The Helfen family arrived in the United States through the port of New York on February 11, 1857. 

Simon and Angela Margraf lived in Dyer, Lake County, Indiana where their son Peter Peter Mary Anna Margraf(1878-1902) was born.  Peter married Mary Anna Elizabeth Govert (1879-1956), the daughter of John Govert (1855-1940) and Mary Rietman (1857-1940). Mary's Rietman and Moeller ancestors emigrated from Duhmen and Olfen, Westphalia, Germany to Dyer, Lake County, Indiana in 1853. 

Peter and Mary's son Philbert Simon Margraf (1903-1972) married Mary G. Morgan (1906-1999) in Joliet, Illinois in 1934. Philbert and Mary Margraf settled in Elkart, Indiana.  Mary's parents were Neil Morgan (1861-1937) and Catherine "Katie" Dobbs (1885-1949). Neil was born in County Antrimi, Ireland and Catherine was from an unknown location in Ireland. Neil and Katie married in Pontiac, Illinois in 1903.

Our Margraf branch originally settled in the Dyer, Lake County, Indiana area in the mid 1800s. They were originally from Saarland district of Germany.  Common surnames on the Margraf side include Govert, Kloss (Cloos), Rietman, Moeller, Morgan, Schaefer, Helfen, Lang, Boos, Kirschenback, and Schommer 


Our Schelle branch has been in North America the longest and has been the most researched line due to the close proximity of records and the lack of a language barrier.  There are at least four distinct lines. The first line is of English Quaker ancestry during the mid 1600s.  This branch first lived in present day southeast Pennsylvania, then moved to Frederick County, Virginia (present day Berkeley Co., WV), then Guilford County, North Carolina, then Indiana.  Surnames are numerous and include Mendenhall, Brown, Yaughar, Albertson, Thomas, Moslander, Jester, Miskell, Pierson, Dixon, Maris, Beeson, Rudduck, Pennington, Kemp, Clothier, Clayland, Clark, and Church.

The Brown branch has been in North America for over three centuries.  Not much is know about the ancestors of Lewis Caswell Brown, but much is know about Elizabeth Mendenhall's ancestors.

The Mendenhall family originally came to America from England between 1660 and 1685 and settled with other Quaker families in Southeast Pennsylvania.  The first Mendenhall in America was John M. Mendenhall, Sr. (1659-1743) who married Elizabeth Maris (1665-1707) in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  John and Elizabeth's decendants moved from Pennsylvania to establish new Quaker communities in Guilford County, North Carolina in the early 1700s. Next the family decendents moved to the Frederick County, Maryland and Martinsburg, West Virginia areas during the late 1700s and early 1800s.  In the mid 1800s, some family members moved to Quaker meeting houses in present day Indiana.

The second line is of German ancestry and settled in the South Bend, Indiana area in the late 1800s.  Surnames include Schelle, Schultz, Drelse, Jannaschk, Grabia, Deixler, Albinus, Neschapar, and Gussor

The Schelle branch was originally from Germany and can be traced in the "old country" as far back as the late 1600s.  The first family member to arrive in the United States was Kurt Otto Willy "John" Schelle via merchant marine ship docked in Baltimore Harbor around 1916.  Kurt was born in Cottbus, Germany in 1893 and died in South Bend, Indiana in 1961.  His parents, who were both born and died in Germany, were Otto Emil Oskar Schelle (1865-1893) and Bertha Emilie Minna Schulz (1868- abt 1950).  Kurt married Hazel Anna Brown in 1917 in South Bend, Indiana.  Hazel was born in South Bend in 1895 and died in Dayton, Ohio in 1970.  Hazel's parents were Lewis "Cazz" Caswell Brown and Elizabeth Mendenhall.

The third line is of Belgian ancestry and settled in the South Bend, Indiana area around 1900.  Surnames include Van Holsbeke, Moorman, Brusseel, Belsens, Casteleyn, Baerle, Coryn, de Vos, Quequeburne, and de Vyl.  The Van Holsbeke branch immigrated from Belgium between 1885 and 1889.  The family was originally from Merendree, Gand, Oost Vlaanderen, Belgium.  Augustus "August" Francies Van Holsbeke, his wife Marie Prudence Moorman, and their children settled in the Belgian district of Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana before 1889 when their first "American" child was born. Their daughter, Marie Augusta Van Holsbeke (1884-1959), married John Charles Chandonia Sr. (1886-1948) in St. Joseph County, Indiana in 1904.    

The fourth line is of Potawatomie Indian and French ancestry.  The Native American branch lived in present day Michigan and northern Indiana during the 17th and 18th centuries. Ancestors names include Kewinaquot (Returning Cloud), Neshkeek, Nesxesouexite, Kinochamec, Aniquiba, and Ni Non Chau Sie.  The French branch settled in the Montreal and Quebec City area of present day Quebec, Canada during the mid to late 1600s. 

This branch was involved in the fur trade and eventually made its way to Michigan and Indiana around 1800. Surnames include Chandonia, Pellitier, Delisle, Descaeaffes, De Graff, Marcotte, Salle, Morissette, Coquin, Meloche, Robert, Becquemont, Ptolomee, Caron, Mouflet, Levasseur, Campeau, Catin, Chapoton, Esteve, Cesire, Girard, Bouron, and St. Aubin.
Madeleine La Fromboise
The Chandonia (Chandonnet) branch is of French and native ancestry.  This branch consists of mainly early French settlers to Quebec in the 1600s and early 1700s who were either members of the French Army transferred to "Lower Canada" forts or fur traders who crossed the ocean to join in the lucrative business as Coeur de Bois or Voyageurs. 

These families and their descendants spread from the Quebec City and Montreal area in the 1600s westward into the Great Lakes Region and present day Michigan and Indiana.  A few of these families were pioneers in the Detroit Region during the early 1700s.  Others were fur traders who wintered in the Mackinaw, Michigan area and eventually spread west to Fort Dearborn (Chicago), Fort St. Joseph (Niles, Michigan) and other posts to trade furs and goods with native peoples.  Several fur traders married into native tribes such as the Pottawatomi and Ottawa nations since several nations would only trade goods with family.  The children of the French fur traders and their native spouses were called "Metis" and many continued in the fur trade for several generations.  They eventually settled in areas including present day South Bend, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan.