Bernhard Thonemann – Founding father of the Dülmen branch
Bernhard Thonemann continued the family branch from Warburg via Scherfede and Rimbeck in Dülmen: he was the founding father of the Dülmen branch. Bernhard was born in Rimbeck on 19.2.1847. The problems there in the Thonemann family have already been outlined. Where Bernhard stayed after leaving his parents‘ home cannot be ascertained unfortunately. Where his siblings stayed is also unknown. It can be assumed that he did not have an easy time in his youth. It has been handed down in his family that in later years he thought of Rimbeck only with bitterness and had suffered greatly having to leave Rimbeck and also as the eldest son not being able to take over the family farm. Where he served his time as an apprentice locksmith is just as unknown as his journeyman‘s years, customary in those times. We have more exact knowledge first from his permanent stay in Dülmen on. There the 31-year-old master locksmith Bernhard Thonemann married the 21-year-old Sophia Röckmann, born in Dülmen, in the parish church of Dülmen on 20.5.1878. Certain savings were available as he had bought a house on Tiberstrasse, in which he had set up a business with a shop and a locksmith‘s workshop. Later Bernhard‘s eldest son, Anton Thonemann, took over the home and business house, extended the successful business and expanded the bicycle shop to a car business.
Sophia Röckmann was the daughter of the haulage contractor Johann Bernhard Anton Röckmann from Ondrup near Seppenrade (district of Lüdinghausen), who was born on 6.1.1814 and died on 24.5.1888, and Anna Maria Elisabeth Terhorst born on 9.3.1819 in Haus Dülmen near Dülmen, whom he married on 21.2.1843 in Dülmen, and who died on 8.6.1888 also in Dülmen.
Johann Bernhard Anton Röckmann was the son of the farmer Johann Heinrich Starke, called Röckmann, born on 20.10.1767 in Seppenrade (father: Bernhard Heinrich Starke, Seppenrade; mother: Maria Flegge) and his wife – date of wedding 19.2.1803 in Seppenrade – Maria Catharina Röckmann, born on 22.3.1777 in Seppenrade (father: Bernhard Heinrich Röckmann in Seppenrade; mother: Catharina Horstmann in Seppenrade).
Anna Maria Elisabeth Terhorst was the daughter of Bernhard Terhorst, born on 23.5.1779 (father: Hermann Terhorst; mother: Catharina Klie) and Anna Maria Jürgens from Dallerup – married on 5.6.1809.
Bernhard Thonemann and Sophia Röckmann had nine children, six boys and three girls. Bernhard died at the age of 79 on 4.4.1926 in Dülmen. His wife Sophia died almost 83 years of age on 3.1.1940 in Dülmen.
Gertrud Eilebrecht, née Thonemann, was the eldest child, born on 16.6.1879 in Dülmen. After her schooling, first of all, she remained at home and helped out in the business and around the house as was customary at the time. She married Heinrich Eilebrecht, a foreman on the buildings from Bochum and also moved there. The husband who was born in Bochum on 12.4.1883, died already at the age of 56 on 21.12.1939. A few years later in the turmoil of the war the whole property was destroyed during an air raid on Bochum; Gertrud moved back to Dülmen; she died there at the age of 72 on 20.2.1951.
The couple had three children:
Alfons Eilebrecht was born on 17.10.1907 in Bochum, married Barbara Maria Waasen from Münstereifel. At the age of 50 she died on 20.11.1957.
Sophia Eilebrecht, the second child from the marriage of Heinrich and Gertrud Eilebrecht, was called Fia and was born on 17.7.1910. She never married and died at the age of eighty in Dülmen in 1990.
Sissi Eilebrecht was born in Dülmen on 4.4.1913. She married N.N. Heine (the Christian name is not known). She died on 27.8.1941, at the age of only 28.
Anton Thonemann was the second child and eldest son of Bernhard and Sophia Thonemann and was born in Dülmen on 15.10.1880. He received his school education in Dülmen and his vocational training with his father as an apprentice. He concluded his journeyman’s years with the master examination. After returning to his parents’ home in Dülmen, he worked in his father’s business. On 12.4.1921 he married Auguste Büsse from Dülmen, born in 1885. He had already taken over the family business on Tiberstrasse in Dülmen, which he expanded and modernised. He laid the foundation stone for the later developed business of his children. At the age of eighty he died in Dülmen on 7.12.1961. His wife Auguste died on 10.6.1959 in Dülmen at the age of 74.
The couple had two children, a boy and a girl. Bernard Thonemann, the son, was born as the first child on 10.4.1923. He died at the age of 24 on 4.2.1947 from wounds received in the war.
Sophia Thonemann, the daughter, called Fia was born on 2.2.1925; today,1994, she lives in a new building from the eighties on Tiberstrasse close to the demolished family firm. Fia married Bernhard Wiesmann who was born on 20.4.1919 in Dülmen. Bernhard and Fia worked together in the firm. They were later divorced. Fia worked until a few years ago (1994) in the car business which she and her sons developed into one of the leading businesses in Dülmen and the surroundings.
Bernd Wiesmann was born in Dülmen on 11.5.1950 and received his vocational training in the family business; he got his special training in various special firms and workshops. With the help of his entrepreneurial mother, he acquired a big site in a favourable location on Haltener Strasse and built up a specialist BMW firm and car showrooms. A further branch of the firm was set up in Haltern. Bernd married Dorothea (called Doris) Compal from Haltern on 11.8./28.9.1981 in Dülmen. The family with two children live (1994) at Peppermühl 36, in Dülmen. The first child, Antonia Sophia, was born on 9.3.1982 in Haltern; the second child, Matthias Bernd Rudolf, on 23.10.1984 in Haltern. Doris was born on 17.1.1955 in Haltern.
Martin Wiesmann was born in Dülmen on 26.10.1952. He was the second child of Bernd and Fia Wiesmann. After attending school and graduating as an engineer as well as doing further training in various specialist firms, he and his brother Friedhelm, a business graduate, founded a firm for the production of high-grade special cars, the “Wiesmann-Roadster” based on the BMW, Cabrio accessories and hardtops. Martin married Mechthild Dörfer from Telgte on 1.1.1981. She had been born there on 13.4.1958. They had two children. Verena, born on 13.10.1982, and Philip, born on 27.12.1984, both in Dülmen.
Friedhelm Wiesmann was born in Dülmen on 26.8.1954.
Heinrich Thonemann (father of the author of the Thonemann family book) was the third child of Bernhard and Sophia Thonemann. He was born in Dülmen on 5.11.1882. After his basic and advanced vocational training he came to Löningen where he married Elisabeth Rosemeyer from Löningen on 12.6.1913 and took over the Josef Rosemeyer’s business. Elisabeth had been born on 27.11.1879 and died on 15.2.1961. The couple had four children: Heinz, Bernd, Alfons and Maria.
Franz Thonemann was born in Dülmen as the fourth child on 2.5.1885. He did an apprenticeship as a bookbinder, presumably in Dülmen, did his journeyman’s years, did the master examination and returned to Dülmen to work at his trade. On 4.6.1913 he married Toni Wolpers from Dülmen. She had been born in Roxel on 27.5.1884. Their home in Dülmen was completely destroyed during the Second World War; therefore the family moved to Coesfeld where Franz Thonemann – living with his daughter Maria in the last years – died at the age of 73 on 8.9.1958. His wife had died three years earlier, on 12.5.1955, at the age of 66. The couple had three children, a boy and two girls.
The first child, Alfons Thonemann, born on 19.7.1914 in Dülmen became a railway official. On 30.8.1943 he married Hedwig Eysing. She had been born in Dülmen on 23.9.1914. He died on 11.3.1994 in Dülmen. They had five children: Franz-Josef, born on 27.6.1945, Brigitte, born on 9.7.1947, Marianne, born on 4.9.1948, Alfons, born on 13.11.1949 and Ludger, born on 29.4.1951.
The second child of Franz and Toni Thonemann was called Mathilde. She was born on 29.8.1920 in Dülmen. She married Wilhelm Kockmann, a master joiner, on 18.10./13.6.1951. He came from Lette, born there on 2.4.1915; died in Coesfeld on 30.12.1978.
They had six children: Heinz Kockmann, born on 29.3.1952, Alfred Kockmann, born on 25.3.1954, Maria Kockmann, born on 13.9.1955, Bernd Kockmann, born on 24.10.1957, Franz-Josef Kockmann, born on 26.9.1959 and Cilli Kockmann, born on 16.2.1961.
The third child of Franz and Toni Thonemann was a girl, baptised Maria and called Mieze, born on 6.1.1922. After her school education she learnt the knitting trade and worked in Dülmen first of all. She lost everything as the result of a bombing raid. She became a master knitter and opened a knitting mill after the war in Coesfeld in 1946. Then there was enough work as after the war there was a shortage of underwear, pullovers and waistcoats. In 1950 she bought a former chemist’s shop, a bombed site on Münsterstrasse, and promoted the rebuilding of the house for her knitting mill. Franz Buddenkotte, her later husband, who had returned from captivity in 1951, did his apprenticeship with her, as a job in his own trade as baker was out of the question due to the “baker’s illness”. A few years later he did the master’s examination in the knitting trade. The wedding of Franz Buddenkotte and Maria Thonemann took place on 3.10.1951. The business, at first only a shop of 12 square metres, was reconstructed and extended and in 1964 expanded to over 200 m2 by the removal of non-profitable knitting. As chief master of the knitting mills of the Coesfeld – Borken – Ahaus district, Franz Buddenkotte could not prevent the development towards a decline of production of knitted goods by hand. This modern fashion knitwear specialist shop, the oldest clothing business in the town of Coesfeld, was handed on to the eldest son Günter and his wife Maria on 1 January 1995.
The children of Franz and Maria Buddenkotte are Günter Buddenkotte, born on 8.4.1955, Gerd Buddenkotte, born on 4.2.1958, Klaus Buddenkotte, born on 4.4.1959 and Silvia Buddenkotte, born on 8.3.1964.
Maria Thonemann was the fifth child of Bernhard and Sophia Thonemann. She was born in Dülmen on 25.2.1887. She remained single and in the family home. In 1961 at the age of 74 she died in Dülmen.
Bernhard Thonemann was the next child, born on 6.4.1889; Bernhard learned the bookbinding trade. He died in the fighting for Verdun during the First World War on 11.9.1916.
The seventh child, a little girl, was too weak to live; was baptised Anna, but died as an infant.
The eighth child was called Alfons Thonemann, born on 31.1.1894 in Dülmen. After attending school, Alfons studied theology in Münster; he was ordained a priest in the cathedral there on 10.6.1922 – 28 years old. He received his first position as chaplain in Beckum. He was there in the Liebfrauenkirche from 1922 to 1928, then in St. Mauritz in Münster for four years and finally in St. Joseph in Lintfort from 1932 to 1935, also as chaplain. From 1935 to 1936 he worked in Berlin-Schöneberg at St. Elisabethkirche, 1936 to 1937 as a curate in Königswusterhausen. Afterwards he was headmaster and parson in Moers-Hochstraß for a period of 16 years (1937 to 1953). Due to his bad health, he was excused from his duties as a parson at the age of sixty and lived for 22 years from 1953 to his death as retired parson and house chaplain in Maria-Ludwig-Stift in Dülmen.
He died there on 18.12.1975 at the age of almost 82. He was a good priest for a period of 53 years and worked beneficially at all places. He improved churches and chapels or reconstructed or expanded them, also built new ones. He also concerned himself for the people, the Catholic societies and associations, especially the old and weak in the working population. The Catholic family home was the healthy fertile soil for his step to the priesthood. He was a happy person, open to the world. He loved conversation in happy company. He kept good and regular contact to his relations. His housekeeper, Miss Günnewig, was a true companion to him for his whole life.
The last and ninth child of Bernhard and Sophia Thonemann in Dülmen was called Viktor and died as a small child.