Allied Families

The following allied families are in our direct Boettcher ancestry: Schramm, Allmer, Schorzmann (Schortzmann), Sperr, Laitenberger, Seuffer, Theurer, Schwenk, Ringle, Ade, Ebinger, Fandrich (Wandry), Hoffmann, Ehrmann, Strieb, Haug (Hauck), Schmidt, Knoertzer, Strueber, Boschitzky (Boschatzke), Boepple, Fritz, Mueller-Bader, Suess, Feuerbacher, Anhorn, Lutz, Schaupp, Frey, Graf, Benz, von Ohlhausen (von Olnhausen), Gruen, Mueller

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Essay on Johannes Sperr of Rielingshausen, Württemberg, Germany

Below is an essay written by Alexandra "Lexi" Bettcher on our ancestor Johannes Sperr. Alexandra won the Runner-up Award for the Middle School Division of the 2008 Germans from Russia Heritage Society Essay Contest.

A Man Possessed With Wanderlust

At the age of eleven, Johannes Sperr began the adventure of a lifetime that would take him across many regions of the world. Johannes was my great, great, great, great grandfather, but I'll call him Grandpa John.

Grandpa John was born on March 8, 1821 in Rielingshausen, Wurttemberg, Germany.
In the year 1832, his father Phillipp decided to take advantage of the opportunity to have free land, offered by the Czar of Russia. So John, along with his parents, Phillipp and Margaretha, his older sister, Maria Katharina, his younger brother, Gottlieb and his two younger sisters, Anna Magdelena and Christina, began their trek to South RussiaWhile their destination was Bessarabia, they stopped in the city of Odessa where John's mother Margaretha died. The family was then assigned to one of the newest colonies, Friedenstal, Bessarabia, founded in 1833. John's father remarried in 1834 and three more sisters and one brother were added to his family.

Because of the lack of land in Friedenstal, the family once again decided to relocate, this time across the Danube River to the province of Dobrudscha in the country of Turkey. The year was 1842, and John was 21 years old. At this early age, he was already a subject of three different countries. The family finally settled in the small village of Atmagea. In 1845, Grandpa John married Louisa Fandrich, whose family had also come from Bessaarabia. She was born in 1827 in the village of Brienne.

After the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-78, Dobrudscha came under Romanian Rule. At age 57, Grandpa John was subject of a fourth country. John and Louisa had three daughters. On of the daughters, Maria Elisabeth, married a newcomer to the area, Samuel Bettcher. Samuel was born in 1857 in Paris, Bessarabia and moved to Atmagea
in 1875 with his family to avoid the conscription into the Russian army. In 1898, John,
who was then widowed, immigrated to the United States with his daughter and son-in-law, Samuel Bettcher and their children. They traveled by train to Hamburg, Germany,
then sailed to New York City on the S.S. Furst Bismark.

From New York City they took the train to North Dakota. At age 77, Grandpa John filed a homestead claim in what is today Rosenfeld Township, Sheridan County. He was now subject of his fifth country. After living there only twelve years, wanderlust
again set in. Samuel Bettcher, Grandpa John's son-in-law, traveled to both Havana,
Cuba and Montana to evaluate land opportunities. After careful consideration,
opportunities appeared best in Canada. In 1910, Grandpa John relocated to Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan, Canada with his family. At age 89, he once again filed a homestead claim and naturalization intent, making him a subject of his sixth country.

On September 30, 1912, Grandpa John died at the age of 91. He is buried in the Rosenfeld Cemetery, near Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan. Grandpa John was a very brave and adventuresome man. He loved life and experienced it fully in his 91 years. By the time I was eleven years old, the age Grandpa John began his adventure, I had already lived in 5 homes. The Wanderlust lives on.


  1. If Grandpa John is buried at the Rosenfeld cemetery,is anyone looking after the grave site to restore the memory of this man?
    My name is Reg Martin, a grandson of John and Mary Bettcher, (my mother was Elsie Bettcher that married to Sam Martin).
    My email add is

  2. Reg, great to see your comment. I'll check with my dad, Gary Bettcher -- I would guess that you probably know him. Please share this blog with all our relatives, the more that use it the better! Greetings from Minnesota. Andrew