Ernst Dietrick Christian Humbke (1845 Windheim, Germany to 1899 Hancock County, Iowa, USA)

S.S. Neckar built 1874

In 1883 ERNST Dietrich Christian Humbke (referred to as ERNST throughout this post), the oldest of 6 children of Ernest (1821-1909) and Sophie Louise Humbke Wiebke (1819-1866), boarded the “Neckar” on July 25, 1883 in Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York with his wife and four of their children on Aug. 4, 1883. The “Neckar” (iron hull, single screw, 1 funnel and 2 masts), was built in Scotland for North German Lloyd Line who used it from 1873-96 to transport German Immigrants from Bremen to New York and the far East.

Neckar-Third Class Bedroom
Neckar-Third Class Bedroom
Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, New York
Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, New York

His younger brother (Christian) had arrived in South Dakota in 1879. ERNST‘s oldest child, Ernest Dietrich Friedrich Humbke Sr at age 13, had arrived in May of 1883 and was with his uncle Christian in South Dakota.

ERNST’s family was as follows:

ERNST Dietrich Christian Humbke b. Aug. 2, 1845 #57 Windheim, Germany d. Jul. 21, 1899 Woden, Iowa m. Oct. 27, 1867 to Marie Louise (Schnepel) b. Sep. 11, 1843 Dohren, Windheim d. Nov. 24, 1930 Wetaskwin, Alberta, Canada


Ernst Dietrich Friedrich Humbke Sr b. Oct. 30, 1867 m. Maria Westenfeldt

Katherine Sophie Maria Humbke b. Oct. 17, 1869 m. Henrich Conradi

Sophie Wilhelmine Louise  Humbke b. Aug. 30, 1872 – d. Nov. 4, 1872

Sophie Louise Humbke b. Oct 3, 1873 – d. Feb. 13, 1878

Louise Wilhelmine Marie Humbke b. Jun. 17, 1876 m. Carl Callies

Marie Louise Lisettte Humbke b. Apr. 1, 1879 m. Joe George

Dietrich Friedrich Ernst Humbke b. Feb.21, 1882 m. Hulda Wickland

Alvina Maria Sophia Louise Humbke b. Apr 14, 1885 m. Dave Fontaine

Emma Marie Humbke b. Jan. 29, 1890 m William Harris

All members of the family were born in Windeheim, Westphalia, Germany with exception of Alvina and Maria who were born in White Lake, South Dakota.

The family came from the Duchy of Prussia which was established during the Protestant Reformation in 1525 and was the first Lutheran duchy with a dominant German speaking population. It was elevated to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and in 1807-1813 Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Kingdom of Westphalia. In 1815 the Province of Westphalia was formed. Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Nazis in 1933 and became the State of North Rhine – Westphalia after World War II. It is known as the “breadbasket of Western Europe (in German – kornkammer, or grannery). For those who have a greater interest I recommend reading the “Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947″ by Christopher Clark (2009).

The Iron Kingdom

Windheim is a Church District which contains 7 villages one of which is Windheim on the Weser River. The village is located 380 Kilometers North of Frankfurt or 3.5 hours by car. Population is appx. 500.


5 thoughts on “FAMILY HISTORY BLOG”

  1. I found errors in family history of MARIE (Mary) Louise Lisitte Humbke George.
    born April 1, 1879 and married JOE GEORGE;
    they had 10 children but 2 died at birth–
    Earl, Benjamin, Frederick, James, William, Agnes, Louise and Lloyd were their children and I am the daughter of Louise.
    My name is Betty Marie Catherine Yelden and I live in Victoria BC

    1. Thanks for the information Betty. I will be sure to include the information.

      As a boy, my brothers and I use to haul bales for Bill and Jim George as their farms were close to ours. Every chance I go I visited Ben as I loved listening to him play the saxaphone. His youngest son, Murray, was a friend of mine.


  2. Wow another part of the Humbke history comes to light. Never thought it was so diverse. Ties in very well with the work Dan has done. Looking forward to more info.

    1. I appreciate your comment and that fact that there are relatives out there who are interested in knowing about their ancestors and relatives. While living in Vancouver in the late 90’s I spent an enjoyable Sunday with your dad talking about the families. Some other members of your family where around, but outside of your mom I don’t remember who.

      Are you in Nova Scotia and specifically in Halifax? If so I regret not knowing, as in the late 2000’s I visited Chinese students at the Universities there on a number of occasions and did some sightseeing on the side – just loved the friendly pubs and good food in Halifax, especially the lobster.

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