The name Meyer is from Middle High German meier, a status name for a steward, bailiff, or overseer.  (Dictionary of American Family Names)

Because nearly every village had its own “meier”, the name Meyer/Meier/Myers (or other similar spellings) is a very common German name.  My emigrant ancestors were August and Augusta Meyer.  For years, I despaired of ever discovering where they were from. The names of Rehren, Hessen or Kurhesse were sometimes mentioned, but I wasn’t sure where they were located.

Thanks to help from my friend Anke Waldmann in Germany, I obtained a copy of the February 16, 1865 Wochenblatt of Schaumburg in which the dyer Friedrich Wilhelm August Meyer of Rehren A.O. requested for himself and his family the dismissal as subjects of Kurhessen, so that they could be able to emigrate to America.  This type of newspaper announcement was common at the time.  Germany was not a unified country and permission had to be requested so that people didn’t leave without paying their creditors.

I knew that August Meyer had supposedly owned a dye factory in Germany, and I also knew that many Germans from Rehren A. O., which is part of the parish of Hattendorf, had emigrated to Bremer Co., Iowa. I then hired Falk Leibezeit, a German researcher, to find more information.  This was indeed “my” August Meyer.  Mr. Leibezeit did a wonderful job and I received more information about this family than I ever though I would be able to find.  Click here to see a map that shows both Rehren and Hattendorf.

Note:  Although my family in the U.S. has always spelled their name Meyer, occasionally I have seen it spelled Meier.  Based on the records in Germany, this Meyer/Meier confusion has been going on for some time. 


Henry Carl John Meyer and
Marie Caroline Louise Boderman

Henry & Marie Meyer wedding


Adolph Otto Frank Meyer and
Ida Marie Friederike Caroline Dorothea Vogt

Adolph & Ida Meyer


Friedrich Wilhelm August Meyer and
Dorothee Auguste Charlotte Wendt

August Meyer, Blaufärber (dyer of blue cloth) was born February 22, 1825, legitimate son of Christian David Meyer and his wife Sophie Eleonore nee Wademann.  Augusta Wendt was born April 7th, 1827, the legitimate daughter of Carl Heinrich Eberhard Went and his wife, Charlotte Friederike nee Weitenauer of Rohden, parish of Segelhorst.

August and Augusta were married June 7th, 1851, at the church at Hattendorf.  While living in Germany, they became the parents of seven children.  Two died and were buried in Germany. 

August and Augusta Meyer, with their five surviving children, came to the United States on the ship America, from Bremen to New York, arriving on 27 March 1865.  They came directly to Bremer Co., Iowa.  This was not surprising, because many Germans from the same area in Germany settled in Bremer Co., probably because they knew people living there, and also because it looked a lot like home.

The Meyer family became members of St. John's Lutheran Church at Spring Fountain.  Photos of the church and cemetery are also online here.

Karen Rowe has a wonderful website with many links relating to people from Germany who settled in Bremer Co., Iowa.  I have links to specific pages above.  If you have ancestors who lived in Bremer County, you might want to see Karen's site.


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