The Thonemann branch in Rimbeck

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Johann Heinrich Thonemann
Johann Heinrich Thonemann
Johann Thonemann


The direct Thonemann branch in Rimbeck
After Warburg and Scherfede the direct Thonemann branch Dülmen – Cloppenburg was continued in Rimbeck, whereas other Thonemann branches in Scherfede continued. Christoph Thonemann moved in the time between 1784 and 1790 from Scherfede to Rimbeck.

Joes Christoph Thonemann was the son of Johann Heinrich Thonemann from Scherfede, who was born in Scherfede on 1.11.1719 and on 28.8.1762 died in Scherfede at the age of only 43.

He married Anna Maria Wiemers – wedding date 8.2.1750 in Scherfede. She was born in 1716 and died in Scherfede at the age of 83 on 13.1.1800. They had three children: 1. Anna Maria Christina, born on 18.4.1751 in Scherfede; 2. Joes Heinrich, born on 18.4.1753. On 6.5.1787 he married Eva Margareta Engemann from Rimbeck, born on 9.1.1765, died on 1.1.1842. He died in Scherfede on 25.3.1814. Eva Margareta remarried, Philipp Feuth (Fuest), who died in 1849 seven years after the death of his wife.

The third child was Joes Christoph Thonemann, born in Scherfede on 4.2.1756. At the age of 28 he married Eva Maria Kohaupt from Scherfede – wedding day 9.7.1784 in Scherfede. She was 23 (born in 1761). They had five children, four sons and a daughter:1. Mathias, born on 14.8.1785, 2. Johann Heinrich, born on 7.1.1787 and died in the same year; 3. Johann Bernhard Heinrich, born on 9.6.1788; 4. Johann Heinrich, born on 14.2.1790; 5. Anna Maria Elisabeth, born on 17.2.1793, also died in the same year. The mother Eva-Maria died after only nine years of marriage – only 32 years old – on 18.3.1793, 4 weeks after the birth of her fifth child who also died shortly after the birth.

Christoph married again – which was understandable, as the five children were still small – and indeed in 1793 (the year his first wife died) Eva Maria Günther from Rimbeck, born in 1761, died on 28.10.1837. In the second marriage there were two sons: Franziskus Anton, born on 24.7.1794, died 1794; Johann Franziskus Josef Anton, born on 20.6.1801. Christoph died at the age of almost 82 on 25.1.1838 in Rimbeck. In the time around 1784 – marriage in Scherfede – and 1790 – birth of the son Johann Heinrich in Rimbeck – Christoph moved to Rimbeck. Christoph was not the eldest son and thus not the heir of his father’s farm in Scherfede. Therefore he tried his luck in Rimbeck.


Johann Heinrich Thonemann was born in Rimbeck on 14.2.1790 as the fourth child of Christoph Thonemann. At the age of 27 he married Anna Maria Blömeken in the parish church in Scherfede on 19.8.1817. She was 21 and had been born in Rimbeck on 5.12.1796. At the time Rimbeck was part of the parish of Scherfede. Anna Maria’s father was Philipp Blömeken in Rimbeck who was married to Catharina Jesper from Rimbeck. Johann Heinrich and Anna Maria had six children: 1. Johann Heinrich born in Rimbeck on 3.7.1819; 2. Maria Theresia, born on 30.6.1821, died at the age of seven in 1828; 3. Maria Gertrud born on 3.10.1823; 4. Catharina Elisabeth born on 6.3.1826; 5. Maria Theresia born on 15.3.1828; 6. Maria Anna, born on 19.12.1831. Johann Heinrich died at the age of 58 on 16.4.1847; his wife had died four and a half years earlier (25.11.1842) at the age of 46.


St. Elisabeth parish church in Rimbeck. Remarkable relief with Our Lady and St. Bernhard – from the former monastery church in Hardehausen – broken down in 1803.  

Johann Heinrich Thonemann, born in Rimbeck on 3.7.1819, Christened a Catholic on 5.7.1819, was the eldest son of Johann Heinrich and Anna Maria Blömeken in Rimbeck.

On 17.2.1844 at the age of 26 he got married in the parish church of Scherfede – his father was still alive, his mother two years dead – to Elisabeth Prott from Rimbeck, born on 28.3.1809 and thus ten years older than her husband. Her parents were Johann Prott and Anna Christina Blömeken (related to or even a sister of Anna Maria Blömeken?). Heinrich Thonemann died very young; on 24.11.1858 in Rimbeck. He was only 39 years old.

Johann Prott was born on 15.10.1780, Christened a Catholic, the son of Joseph Prott and Christina Tönen (related?) in Rimbeck.

Mathias Blömeken and Engeltraud Mellwich got married on 21.11.1806 in Scherfede parish church. Their daughter, Anna Christina Blömeken, was born on 9.3.1781.

Elisabeth Thonemann, née Prott, died at the age of 82 in Rimbeck on 13.11.1891. The woman survived her husband by 33 years. The couple was married for 13 years and had six children when the husband died. In the 33 years she survived her husband, Elisabeth will presumably have had no easy lot taking care of the children while the farm declined.

The couple’s six children were:
1. Xaver born on 18.7.1844, died 1844
2. Anna born on 31.7.1845.
3. Bernhard born on 19.2.1847, died in Dülmen on 4.4.1926
4. Bernhardine born on 8.3.1849
5. Theresia born on 8.3.1851, died 1852
6. Theresia born on 8.4.1854

A glance at the dates shows that two children died as babies. The eldest child was only 13 when the father died.

In 1847 Heinrich inherited the remainder of the farm on the early death of the father, as from the big, beautiful farm about half had to be sold by the father in the years 1844 and 1845. A sad inheritance that Heinrich entered upon and which led in a few years to many further sales and to giving up the farm.

The papers from the land registry office of the Höxter district give a clear picture of the gradual decline of the Thonemann farm in Rimbeck. The original land survey for the whole land register in the Warburg area was carried out from 1831 to 1834. The land registry office in Warburg was responsible at the time. The registry offices in North-Rhine Westphalia were communalised in the course of the administrative and regional reform of 1975 and the district of Warburg was dissolved. The district seat was granted to the town of Höxter for the enlarged district; the competence of the up to then state-run land registry office of Warburg was passed over to Höxter land registry office included in the administrative area of Höxter.


St. Elisabeth parish church in Rimbeck. Alabaster relief featuring Joachim and Anna – an old work of art from the monastery church in Hardehausen which was broken down in 1803.  

The register of 1834 showed a total property for Heinrich Thonemann, Rimbeck 71, of 23 ha when converted to today’s dimensions. The total of 87 sites were divided over six fields in the boundaries of Rimbeck, of different sizes and various kinds of cultivation, predominantly plough-land; the largest connected area of 1.5 ha. was a grade two meadow. The classes for the kinds of cultivation fields and meadows were from 1 to 5, whereby grade 1 was the best ground (soil of best quality) and had the highest net yield.

The Thonemann farm in Rimbeck with the dwelling house and farm buildings was almost in the middle of the village in the Gewanne "die Twentenhöfe” and comprised plots 248 and 249 with a size of 2,600 m2. The dwelling and commercial building was 23m x 13m.

From 1844 to 1846 plots were constantly being sold, particularly in 1844 and '45, namely 40 plots. At the time the father, Johann Heinrich, was still alive. He died in 1847. The farm was probably given up after the death of the father. In the ten years from 1844 to 1854 71 plots were sold, thus the largest part of the Thonemann farm was given up to 23 different buyers. In 1854 the dwelling house cum commercial building was sold as well as the yard room and garden, whereby the buyer was the neighbour Blömeke. It was agreed that the house would be jointly registered under the names Blömeke, August and Thonemann, Heinrich. Thus a place to live was ensured for Johann Heinrich’s family with the four small children still alive. Subsequently, from 1864, only a remainder of two plots survived from the total property, a small part of which was a garden of about 1400 m2.

What exactly led to the complete decline of the farm in Rimbeck cannot be answered today. Is anybody to blame at all? This question cannot be answered either. Family lore has it that two related officers contributed to great indebtedness. But the following point of view which describes the general agricultural survival level is added: agriculture had a hard time of it in those years; the whole farming community was heavily in debt and became more and more dependent on sly dealers and middlemen; the shortage of natural fertiliser, the shortage of food of the dry years, the famine year 1847 due to the drought which lasted years, the bad weather with damage caused by hail in 1856 and finally the many floods of the Diemel of these years or the various flood disasters, these blows affected all farmers badly, but the farmer who was "ill” anyhow, because other reasons were added, could be put out of business.

After the death of her husband Heinrich in 1858, Elisabeth Thonemann with the four children aged 13 (Anna), 11 (Bernhard), 9 (Bernardine) and 4 (Theresia) – Xaver and Theresia had already died in 1844 and 1852 respectively – was presumably dependent on the support of the neighbour and relative Blömeken. How long the mother stayed together with her four children in their home has not been established. Family lore has it that the eldest sister, Anna, and Bernhard, after Xaver’s death the eldest son, who would have inherited the farm in the normal course of events, were sent to relatives, because for the mother with the four children in the changed circumstances a sufficient livelihood was no longer available.

The Thonemann branch in Dülmen was continued with Bernhard.

Thus the Thonemann branch in Rimbeck ended at an absolute low level and in wretched conditions. What a difference to the patrician time and the wealth in Warburg! But despite the great decline and the hard blows, alertness, joy in work, fulfilment of duty for family and society and likewise great faith in God and the strong aspiration for improvement of the situation remained unbroken in the family. Today (1994) several bearers of the name Thonemann (names written the same way) live in the Warburg area, especially in Scherfede, Ossendorf, Nörde and Rimbeck. The Thonemanns living in the old monastery villages are the descendants of Johann Thonemann
, who held the office of judge in Scherfede for a long time in the first half of the 17th Century , also during the Thirty Years War.

The house of the judge used to be in "Münkenhof”, that is the old expression in the original map of the land registry of the year of the survey in this area, 1831; today this location is called "Mönchshof”; the house was on the main street, at the corner of the driveway to "Mönchshof”. The registration of the name in the local survey of the same time is under the name of the owner "Johann Thonemann”. The farmer Johann Thonemann, born in 1863 and died in 1943, likewise a descendant of Judge Johann Thonemann in Scherfede, according to his grandson Johann Heinrich Thonemann in Scherfede, born on 31.7.1936, lived there till 1906; then he moved into his new house at Poststraße 16 in Scherfede. The family of Johann Thonemann, born on 31.7.1936, still live there.