Hi, my name is Bailey Konzen Martin and I’m a Konzen descendant – this sounds a little bit like I’m introducing myself and confessing to an addiction at a group therapy session. My love of genealogy might be described by some as an addiction, but to me it’s just about enjoying another part of history. History’s important to me. I’ve always loved it.
I grew up hanging out with my grandpa Kermit Konzen who was a huge history buff. His house resembled a museum with wall decorations ranging from Charlie Russell’s prints to hardtack (Basically a really stale cracker that was eaten by soldiers during the 1800s) to American Indian pieces. My grandpa was such a history buff that he participated in at least one archaelogical dig at the Little Bighorn Battlefield and he used to reenact the Battle of the Little Bighorn for his kids. Growing up around him, I couldn’t help but love history.
Unfortunately my grandpa died before I was old enough to ask him questions about his family. With the help of my grandpa’s siblings and genealogy sources and websites, I started doing the genealogy of my grandpa’s family about 10 years ago. But I kept running into walls. I was able to find out a lot about my grandpa’s mother’s family, the Kuskes, because my grandpa’s siblings, Kay and Karl, had quite a bit of information about them – and they weren’t as complicated as the Konzens. However, all that I knew about the Konzens were that my grandpa’s father (my great grandfather) was named John Charles; he was German; he was born in 1870 in Iowa City, Iowa; went to business college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he died in Montevideo, Minnesota, in 1942; and his parents were John and Katherine Konzen.
Eventually, I tracked John Charles and his parents back to Chickasaw County, Iowa, all the way to the 1860 census – he wasn’t born in Iowa City by the way (I’m not sure who ever came up with Iowa City, either). Then through records and looking at other people’s family trees, I started believing that John was the son of Peter and Theresa Konzen. I hit another roadblock because I was unable to confirm any of my suspicions, but someone wonderful named Michelle contacted me in May of 2011. Michelle, another Konzen descendant, shared information with me about some books written on our Konzens by Vernon Auderer. According to Vernon’s books and research John was the son of Peter and Theresa Konzen and the brother of Theodore Konzen, Catherine Konzen Meyer, and Susanna Angela Konzen Hansen. We later determined that Catherine Konzen Meyer and Susanna Angela Konzen Hansen were not siblings of Theodore and John. However we did find four more siblings for them, Johan Mathias Konzen, Anton Konzen, Maria Konzen, and Margaretha Konzen Kout.
But, Vernon didn’t know my side of the family’s story because John moved from Dubuque County, Iowa (where the rest of the family settled) to Chickasaw County. So I was able to provide Vernon (He’s descended from Susanna Angela) and Michelle (She’s descended from Theodore) with information about John’s family and they gave me information about the rest of the siblings. In the months, Michelle and I have been sharing information and finding new facts, Paula (a descendant of Susanna Angela) has joined us on our hunt for Konzen information and genealogy. Michelle also found Sandy, a descendant of John Konzen and Catherine Pitz, and she is a ton of fun and has done a lot of research on her side of the family.
I’ve created this blog to make the hunt for Konzen genealogy easier for others, to find more family members, to share my family tree, and to share with readers the “search” for the answers to the Konzen questions.
Bailey, I have a printout of Chickasaw County, Utic Township landowners in 1892. There is a listing for a Sophia Konzen, Section #s 30 and 31. She had 40 acres in #30 and 80 acres in #31/ There is also a listing for a “M. Konzen” in Stapelton Township. This listing is for 40 acres in Section #04. My Great-Grandfather Mathias Kout (Kauth) had a plot of land in Section #04 as well. Could’ve been neighbors back then. He also had land in Section #05. In addtion, he had some land in Utica Towhship. I lived in Chickasaw County until I was 8 yro but I don’t personally remember the Konzen name.
Jim, Sophia was married to Mathias Konzen (M. Konzen). We suspect that Mathias was either a child of Peter & Theresa Konzen or a very close relative because he came over on the same ship as Peter & Theresa and their son Theodore. And he also moved from Dubuque to Chickasaw about the same time as Peter & Theresa’s son John. I do think the Konzens and your great grandparents were neighbors in Chickasaw because in at least one census Mathias Konzen, Mathias Kout, and John Konzen were listed next to each other on the census. After we found out that your great grandmother Margaretha was a Konzen that census record made so much sense (I think Mathias Kout’s house was between the two Konzens). Thanks for the info on the Konzen land ownings! I always love finding out more Konzen information.
I’m not sure that the Konzens were very significant in Chickasaw during your childhood, but I don’t really know anything about the Konzens in Chickasaw except for what I’ve learned from census records and newspaper articles. I don’t think that my grandfather Kermit Konzen’s family was very close with the Konzen side of their family because my great aunt and uncle don’t really have any memories of that family.
Thanks for your efforts. I have been looking for much of the info you have provided. One thing both you and Vernon have mentioned is the ship they arrived on but neither of you have mentioned it’s name nor the port it departed from. I understand from his research it arrived in New Orleans. Do you have any of this information?
Hi, Mathias & his future wife Sophia, Theodore & his wife, Theresa, and Peter came on the ship Caroline & Mary Clark from Antwerp to New Orleans. They arrived on 12 Sep 1952. Margaretha & her husband came on the Atlas from Antwerp to New York. They arrived on 22 May 1856. We still don’t know when John, Catherine, or Angela Susanna arrived, but from records we’ve found it appears that John owned land before the others so he probably arrived first.
Vernon has done some great research, hasn’t he?! He’s a great guy. Which Konzen are you descended from? I still haven’t met anyone else (besides the descendents of my great grandfather John Charles) who is descended from John Konzen.
Oh, and according to the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, John arrived in 1851.
I am not decended from any of the Konzens. However, the Konzens I call my family are Theodore-Mathew-Peter J. decendants. We took some pictures of tombstones at Holy Cross we could find. Others were available on the Iowa genweb site. Thanks for the ship info. I had gone through a lot of the ship logs but was unable to find that info.
I know, it seems ridiculously hard to find some of them in the ship logs. I’ve been looking for John’s record for a while, but I still haven’t been able to find it, yet. I think Peter, Theresa, & Theodore are on the ship’s passenger list as Conzen and Mathias is down as Canzen a little bit farther down the same page. And their names might not even be transcribed on Ancestry with that spelling. Do you have pictures of Peter & Theresa’s headstones or of Theodore’s headstone?
I have a picture of Peter’s headstone. I think I got it off the Iowa Genweb site for Holy Cross Cemetery. There are 10 people listed on the one stone and I understand it is dirty and in bad shape. Names as shown on the website say Peter D-at age 75, Theresia D – at age 85, Maria D – At age 66, Maria D – Oct 14, 1895, Theo B -1821 D 02/24/1905, Elizabeth (Died at age 6),
Children of Theo & Maria Konzen
Charley (Died age 6)
Maria (Died at age 11)
theodor (Died at age 7)
Theo M. (Died at age 2)
It is in Section A, Row #15, Plot #15.
We did not see the above stone as I only discovered the information after we had returned.
Mathew and Katherine are Section A, Row 3, Plot #9
this stone we did see
Thanks for the info! I didn’t know that there were cemetery pictures online through the Dubuque County GenWeb site. I live in Montana, so being able to get the picture of their gravestone online is wonderful. Thanks again!
wondering if your family has any connection to the chicago Konzens
I’m not sure Lynn, but I’d love to find out. We’re always trying to connect all of the Konzens. If you have any genealogical information on those Konzens, let me know and I’ll see if I can make a connection.
I noticed you have my grandpa on here. His name is Gregory Pitz. He was Elmer J Pitz’s brother. I am looking for information on the Pitz side. Did you happen to find anything in regards to the Pitzs that I could possible look at? If it helps, I am originally from New Hampton, Iowa and would be willing to help you with documents from Chickasaw Co if needed.
Hi Mandy, it’s great to meet someone from the Pitz side of the family! I’ll send you an email about info I have on Gregory Pitz and the Pitz family.
My name is Mark Konzen and I’m originally from Chicago (b. 1963). My father (Frederick Konzen) was from Chicago (b. 1921) as was my grandfather (Henry A. Konzen). Sorry I don’t have more information for you, but thought it might be helpful
Thanks for the info, Mark! I get interested in all different Konzen families and I want to try and trace them to see I can find how at least some of them are related to each other. I’ll check out your Chicago branch and I’ll see what I can find. Thanks again!
Mark, I just wrote a post about your Konzen family called “Chicago Konzens”. If you want any more information on your Konzens, let me know.
I have a brother Mark Konzen. He is living in chicago. Our father is bernard J Konzen(b.1930)
His father was Bernard Konzen as well. We do have a henry in our family line.
Lynn Marie Konzen
Lynn, I just wrote a post about your Konzens entitled “Chicago Konzens”. Let me know if you want more information.
Hi Lynn, thanks for all your work on this. My grandmother is a Konzen (daughter of Peter J. And Veronica Pins) and both sides of my family are from the Trier / Freiburg areas. I’m in Germany / Luxembourg and will be doing some exploring of Kruchten, Treirweiler, Olingen, Lellig etc. checking out cemeteries etc. please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to take a look at or photograph and I’ll send the results to you.
Hi Jim! I’d love any photos from Kruchten, Trierweiler, Olingen, and Lellig! If you find any family graves or just any Konzen graves I’d appreciate photos of those, too. You can email me at konzengenealogy at hotmail.com. Thank you and I hope you have a great time!
The Lloyd and Mary grave stone caption is incorrect my grandfather isn’t dead yet
Kyle, thank you for catching my mistake! I have corrected the caption. Thanks again!
Hi I’m Jody Meister (mclevish) wife of Jeff Meister you have some of our children listed wrong. Here is the correct list 1. Joshua Daniel Meister 2. Elizabeth viola Meister 3. Bryan Lee Meister 4.Jacob Allen Meister 5. Sarah Kay Meister. Also some additional information Joshua is married to Jamie and they have a son named Joel Daniel Meister. Elizabeth has a daughter name Kaiah Lynn Runge. Bryan is married to Rachael and they have a so named Ethan Charles Meister. Jacob is married to Jessica no kids yet. Sarah is married to Andy Cashman no kids yet she is now Sarah Cashman. Here is my email address if you would like more information. Jmeister44@yahoo.com I also am very interested in our family history it so much fun looking into the lives of the people we came from. Hope to hear from you.
Hi Jody, somehow your comment slipped past me until just now. Thank you for the information, I’ve made changes accordingly. I’ll be emailing you for more information.
My email was wrong here is Correct email firstname.lastname@example.org
Just tried to send you an email at email@example.com. My gmail did not recognize that as a valid address. I can send you info and pictures if I can get the correct email address.
Hi Connie! konzengenealogy at hotmail.com should be working, but there must be some internet glitch. You can also email me at baileynkonzen at hotmail.com and that should work, too. Thanks, Connie! And I’m sorry again about the email issue.
Just heard about this woman who died at Dubuque today.
Virginia M. “Ginny” (Lehman) Konzen
Heard she died at Dubuque today:
Virginia M. “Ginny” (Lehman) Konzen
Thanks for letting us know!
Hi I have never signed up for a blog before so help!!! I am Susan Konzen of Chicago, IL daughter of Ronald Konzen of Cedar Rapids, IA. I just read your article on Bad Peter who was, unfortunately, the grandfather I never knew. I like finding all this our about the Konzens.
Thanks for doing all this research. I find it fascinating.
Hi Susan! It’s nice to meet you. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. By signing up for Konzen Genealogy, you’ll get emails when I make posts to the blog. Let me know if you have any questions!
Bailey, what a wonderful tribute to your grandpa Kermit. I started working at exxon in 1974. I worked with your grandpa for roughly 12 years. He was my chief operator, and we worked pretty much shift for shift. We went thru a lot. Power failures, fires, and the normal routine of trying to stay awake on night shifts. His enthuasiam was contagious, whether it was a cat unit emergency situation or what route did benteen take, during the custer battle. He was a patient man, but he like all the old timers, demanded respect, rightly deserved. He always said,”dont run to an emergency, walk, and think about what you are going to do, when you get there.” He also said,”when you go thru the gate, be aware of the direction of the wind.” He was witty, and always ready for a challenge. I had the honor of tagging along a few times, on one of his indian hunts as he called it. We spent time at the crows nest, fort phil kearney, and the custer battlefield. When he retired I became the chief operator. Many was the time when I would ask myself, what would kermit, do? We would think about it for a little while, and always seemed to come up with the right solution. I like to think, that he was watching over us, taking care of us, like he always did. When my youngest son came home on leave from Iraq, on his first deployment, he requested that we go to the battle of the rosebud site..It was a cool February day, and we walked the entire battlefield, and we were pretty tired, but he stated that it was an awsome day. He went back finished his deployment, and did two more deployments, without a scratch. Some would say luck, but I maybe kermit, might have still been looking out for us. Im new to the world of computers, etc. and really enjoyed reading your work on your grandpas life, you have done a marvelous job, it truly made my day. I wish you good health, and continued success. sincerely, Lars Loberg
Hi Lars, Thank you so much for your comment! That is exactly how I remember my grandpa, too, and it meat a lot to me to hear another story about him. I read your comment to my parents Kim & Everett, David, and Randy at a family dinner. They all remembered you and Randy says he thinks he has some “Lars for Pope” memorabilia around the house still. They all appreciated your nice words and they said to tell you Grandpa thought a lot of you, too.
Hello Bailey, My name is Dick Offerman and I am the g-g grandson of Theodore and Maria Demuth Konzen. My g grandmother was their daughter Theresa Konzen Duster. I have enjoyed looking at your website and one of the treasures I found was the picture of the Konzen house in Herborn, Lux. My wife and I visited that region in 2019 and found the Konzen house which now been transformed into a business office. We took a number of pictures including some that were posted inside the office of the remodeling effort. We also spoke with a woman who worked there and she emailed us additional pictures of the remodel in progress. I would love to share these pictures of the inside of the building with you. If you would like, please send me your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do have Theresa’s family information if you would like that as well.
Hi Dick, I just sent you an email! 🙂
I got your email and I am cleaning up some of my docs before I give them to you.
I sent you an email with a DropBox link. Please let me know if you got the email. It might be in your Spam folder.
Welcome back Bailey. I for one have missed you. My Konzen family, of which I am only an honorary member, appreciates the work you, Michelle, and others have done. I love the way you talk about hitting blank walls and being a detective trying to solve a crime. It is amazing how as you get into tracking a family the addiction grows. Hang in there girl and I can hardly wait to see where you guys are taking us. I know that this family had no idea who their relatives were other than back a couple of generations. My motto is that everyone deserves to know where they came from and who they are related to but this is one huge family.
Thanks, Connie! I hope you’re doing well!