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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Those 4 Vinup (Vienop) Brothers - Real Quick!

My  plan with this post is to say it fast and throw out what I know about the Vinup Brothers coming to America.  I'll work on sourcing it later, or rather as my uncle would say, proving it!

Ernest (Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Vinup b. 1848) and Fred (Friedrich Wilhelm Vinup b. 1844) Vienop were brother's who immigrated to the USA in 1865.  Why they left Germany is a question that I have.  There were basic reasons people immigrated back then.  They wanted religious and political freedoms, land that they could call their own, and/or thought the new world was the way to go. 

Anyway, they showed up in the U.S. and settled in St. Louis.  They seem to be the ones who changed the last name to the spelling of Vienop.  It is very possible that happened during their immigration and arrival.  Both of them got married.  For the life of me, I can't seem to tell what happened to Ernest's wife.  Fred and his wife, Charlotte Spricks, had 4 children that we know of.  Fred died in 1877.  His son Ernest Julius made his way to Napa, California by 1901 and I'm assuming he made his stop in Daykin, Nebraska like several other Vienop's.

Back to 1878.  Ernest went back to Germany after his brother Fred had passed away.  He returned to the U.S. with him his baby brother, John Henry Vienop b. 1862.  They were in Baltimore, MD for a while and then moved to St. Louis.

During this time, an older brother, John Henry Vienop, b. 1850, immigrated from Germany in 1881 with his family to Ohio.  He had a lot of children.  They moved onto Daykin, Nebraska.

Confused yet?  Yes, there were two brothers in the same family both known at John Henry Vienop.  They had the same parents - Ernst Vinup (b. 1799) and Anne Marie Gurges (b. 1820).  In my experience with German naming patterns both John Henrys' probably had a third given name in there and were not both called Henry or John Henry in Germany (Prussia at the time).  I think that we are missing the third name for both of them.   I do know that the 1862 John Henry went by Henry in the U.S.  I think that the 1850 John Henry went by Henry in Daykin, NE.  I guess we might refer to this naming and surnaming issue as "lost in translation via immigration".   

In 1889, the 1862 John Henry went back to Boerninghausen, Germany and returned to Missouri with his wife, Anna Marie Koch, and his mother, Anne Marie Gurges Vienop.  John Henry and Anna Marie had a few children while living in Missouri.  They moved onto Daykin, Nebraska, where they had at least one more child.  Anna Marie Gurges Vienop passed away in Daykin.

From Daykin, Nebraska, 10 Vienop's (John Henry 1862, Anna Marie, Ernest, Mary, John Henry Jr., Minnie, Cousin Ernest J., Ricky, George, and Uncle Ernst) moved to Napa, CA in 1901 while the oldest John Henry (1850) remained on his farm with his family for the rest of his life in NE.  I'm not sure what came of the Vienop's in Missouri.  The Vienop's moved to Napa, CA for a more temperate climate for Anna Marie Koch Vienop's health issues.

Wow, that's the quick version.  By the way, my uncle has proven most of this already.  Thank you!


  1. I sent you an e-mail before reading this blog. I'll have to check it against my database, but a few things sound familiar. You mentioned them adding an "e" to the name making it Vienop. The reason is that the German spelling had an umlaut over the "i". An 'e" was added to give it the same pronunciation I guess. My Damkroger had an umlaut over the "o" and for awhile it was spelled Dammkroeger with that "e" and one "m" evetually dropped. Germans with more than one given name usually were called by the second one in Germany and when coming to America they found people usually went by their first given name so they just turned them around - makes searching for them difficult and confusing. Since you are so close to Sacramento, I would rec\commend you join the Sacramento German Genealogical Society. I've been a member for ?30 years. They have an exceptional quarterly and very professional speakers at the monthly meetings.The annual all-day seminar is coming up May 10.