An old custom in northwestern Germany dictates that some surnames remain with a farm after a marriage. Understanding this practice is key to understanding how the family name Holtermann continued on in Germany.
In the late 1600s a man named Johann Roggenkamp married Catharina Holtermann. Because the Holtermann name was connected to a farm, Roggenkamp became Johann Holtermann and his children also went by Holtermann. One of the children, also named Johann Holtermann, married Catharina Göbbel on 8 November 1722 in Nordkirchen, Westfalen. They had three children before Johann died circa 1727.
The widow Catharina (Göbbel) Holtermann retained that name when she married Jodocus Hagemann in Nordkirchen on 19 June 1728. Their sons, Jodocus Heinrich, Bernhard Anton and Johann Heinrich, also took the name Holtermann, not their father's Hagemann. As an adult Johann Heinrich took his wife's name of Uhlenbrock. Catharina (Göbbel) Holtermann died 20 April 1771 in Nordkichen.
Bernhard Anton Holtermann moved to Wadersloh after he married Margaretha Elisabeth Tommel in 1762. They had four children — Maria Catharina Elisabeth Holtermann, Heinrich Josef Holtermann, Maria Christiane Holtermann and Arnold Heinrich Holtermann — before she died in 1770. Bernhard Anton then married Maria Gertud Badde from Westkirchen on 27 August 1771 in her hometown. Bernhard Anton and Maria Gertrud had eight children in Wadersloh: Heinrich Jodocus Johann Holtermann, Anna Maria Elisabeth Holtermann, Hermann Heinrich Holtermann, Maria Anna Holtermann, Jodocus Anton Holtermann, Bernhard Josef Holtermann, Maria Anna Elisabeth Catharina Holtermann and Johann Gerhard Holtermann. Maria Gertrud (Badde) Holtermann died 9 June 1794 and husband Bernhard Anton Holtermann died 9 October 1795, both in Wadersloh.
Jodocus Anton Holtermann was a backer, hired hand and farmer in Wadersloh and usually went by the name Anton. It is not known when or where Anton married Friederike Hülsmann, nor are any details about Friederike's birthplace known. The couple had nine children, though names and dates for only eight are known. The children were: Franz Holtermann, Maria Elisabeth Holtermann, Bernhard Josef Holtermann, Maria Anna Holtermann, Anna Sophie Holtermann, Wilhelm Holtermann, Catharina Elisabeth Holtermann and Franz Holtermann. Anton and Friederike's first child was not baptized in Wadersloh, which may indicate the couple married and lived elsewhere before coming back to Anton's hometown. In 1829 the Holtermann children were orphaned after Friederike died on February 18th and Anton died on May 24th.
Two of the orphaned children, Wilhelm and Bernhard Josef Holtermann, came to America in the early to mid-1840s and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Their sister Catharina Elisabeth may have also come to St. Louis, and at least one cousin settled in Osage County, Missouri.
Wilhelm "William" Holtermann married Dorothea Lodenkemper and they had nine children in St. Louis: Clement August Holtermann, Catharina Elisabeth Holtermann, Franz Ferdinand Holtermann, Maria Catharina Holtermann, Friederike Elisabeth Holtermann, Johann Anton Holtermann, Johann Wilhelm Holtermann, Margaretha Maria Holtermann and Anna Maria Holtermann. A marriage record for William Holtermann and Dorothea Lodenkemper has not yet been found. William worked as a molder, laborer and night watchman.
Dorothea (Lodenkemper) Holtermann died 21 July 1868. After Dorothea's death William remarried but had no more children. William died 27 July 1901.
Friederike Elisabeth Holtermann married Martin Nicolaus Ebert at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in St. Louis on 26 September 1872. Elisabeth had five children before she died on 20 October 1883.
Nordkirchen (51.7333, 7.5333) is approximately 30-35 kilometers south of Münster in northwestern Germany. Wadersloh (51.7180, 8.2181) is about 60 kilometers southeast of Münster and 45 kilometers west of Paderborn in northwestern Germany. These towns are in an area that is mostly Catholic.