Researched by Donald Joseph Holthaus
507 Carlyn Court
Sunnyvale, CA 94086-6331
The Rethmann (the double "N" is used in the German records) came from the Saxony part of Germany known as the Grande Duchy of Oldenburg. History has recorded that the first mention of this part of Germany is in the writings of Caesar about his Conquest of Saxony. The area is similar to Holland and is good farm land. In 1545, the Council of Trent required the Catholic Church to keep all family records. Records before mid-1600 were destroyed by the Swedish Army during the 30 Year War (1618-1648). Rethmann family records go uninterrupted back to the mid 1600s. There are a few land owners records that go back to 1200 but are very incomplete.
The Rethmann family can be traced back some 18 generations using land deeds or church records. The Rethmann's were well to do land owners of some importance, but as time went and families grew, inheritance, taxes and division of land took its toll.
The town that the family roots are in is Lohne and the records can be found there in St. Nicholas Catholic Church. One Rethman family member moved to Holthausen, Oldenburg, Germany, and it is from this stock that Clemens Rethman, born 13 September 1843 in Holthausen, came to the USA in 1867. Both his and his wife's birth and baptism records exist in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Steinfeld, Oldenburg, Germany. Donald Holthaus has copies of all of these records. Clemens Rethman married Maria Agnes Lutmerding (born 23 August 1844 in Holthausen) on 23 April 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio, upon their arrival in this country.
Donald's grandparents were Frank Henry (FH) Holthaus who was born in Muhlen, Oldenburg, Germany, on 14 June 1875, and Josephine Mary Rethman, born in Marion Township, Nemaha County, Kansas, on 15 March 1877, the daughter of Clemens Rethman and Maria Agnes Lutmerding. Donald's father was Joseph Francis Holthaus, son of Frank Henry Holthaus and Josephine Mary Rethman. His mother was Mildred Frances Karnowski. Donald was born 11 April 1930 in Axtell, Kansas.
Donald is an avid researcher of the Holthaus/Rethman families of Nemaha County. He is willing to exchange family data, especially data from the 1900's to the present time.
County Genealogical Society Newsletter
Nemaha County Genealogical Society || Seneca, Kansas