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In March, 2010 I was contacted by André Adelar Hommerding who lives in southern Brazil. His home is in a small town in the state of Santa Catarina, on the border with Argentina and the state of Paraná. We shared our Hommerding genealogies and discovered that Andre is also a descendant of Johann Peter Hommerding!


Map of Brazil
The first generations of Hommerdings settled in the southernmost Brasilian state, Rio Grande Do Sul.

Map of the Brazilian states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande Do Sul. The Brazilian Hommerdings first settled in Rio Grande Do Sul.
Ándre Adelar Hommerding
presently lives in the state of Santa Catarina near the border with Argentina and the Brazilian state of Parana.


[Per Wikipedia] "The cradle of the German settlement in Brazil was São Leopoldo, in 1824. At that time Southern Brazil had a very low population density. Most of its inhabitants were concentrated on the coast and a few in the Pampas. The interior was covered by forests and populated by Indians. This lack of population was a problem, because Southern Brazil could easily be invaded by neighboring countries. Since Brazil was recently independent from Portugal, it was not possible to bring Portuguese immigrants. Germany was suffering the effects of the wars against Napoleon, overpopulation and poverty in the countryside. Many Germans were willing to immigrate to Brazil. Furthermore, Brazil's Empress, Maria Leopoldina, was Austrian and encouraged the arrival of German immigrants.

Major Schaeffer, a German who was living in Brazil, was sent to Germany in order to bring immigrants. He brought immigrants and soldiers from Rhineland-Palatinate. To attract the immigrants, the Brazilian government had promised large tracts of land where they could settle with their families and colonize the region. In fact, these lands were in the middle of big forests. Colonies (colônias in Portuguese) were created by the Brazilian government, and the lands were distributed among the immigrants. They had to construct their own houses and cultivate the land.
The first years were not easy. Many Germans died of tropical disease, while others left the colonies to find better living conditions. The German colony of São Leopoldo was a disaster. Nevertheless, in the following years, a further 4,830 Germans arrived at São Leopoldo, and then the colony started to develop, with the immigrants establishing the town of Novo Hamburgo (New Hamburg). From São Leopoldo and Novo Hamburgo, the German immigrants spread into other areas of Rio Grande do Sul, mainly close to sources of rivers. The whole region of Vale dos Sinos was populated by Germans."

Ándre Adelar Hommerding also noted:  "Settling the German immigrants in the Rio Grande do Sul state was a strategic position for the Brazilian government.  The area was a wild place, and there had been many border wars against the Spanish from Uruguay and Argentina. At that time, the Germans were known as good carpenters, builders, soldiers and other manufacturer’s workers. This was really hard to find in Brazil at that time."


Cornelius Agidius Hommerding (1811-??),  his wife, Maria Albertina Feltz and their children, Peter and Margaretha came to Brazil  in 1856. They probably lived in Bollendorf, Germany before emigrating. Ándre Adelar Hommerding commented that he believes Cornelius left Germany because of the very bad economic situation there. Cornelius was a son of Johann Peter Hommerding and his first wife, Susanne Liser. Cornelius and his family settled in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.  It is not known whether Cornelius died in Brazil or went back to Germany.

Both of Cornelius' children married other German immigrants in Brazil.  Today the list of Hommerding descendants of  Cornelius and Maria is a lengthy one!  

Ándre Adelar Hommerding has provided genealogical information on Cornelius and his descendants.  These are pdf files and can be viewed and printed out if desired.
The Descendants of Cornelius Hommerding
Pedigree Chart for
Ándre Adelar Hommerding

If you would like more information on Cornelius Hommerding and his descendants, please contact Ándre at:

To print this chapter, open the PDF file and click on printer icon in upper left corner.


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Unless otherwise noted, text and photos are the property of Barbara Halliday, © 2013