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edited by a Hommerding descendant, Barbara Halliday

The Red "X" indicates the general area of Germany where our Hommerding ancestors lived
[ Map of Germany provided by:]


The "Hommerding" surname appears to have originated in the "Eifel" region of present-day Germany which borders the small country of Luxembourg. Extensive research has been done on the Hommerdings in the United States by several descendants. Through the Internet we have been able to combine our information and now have a pretty clear picture of where the Hommerdings lived in Germany, and where they now reside in the U.S.A.

C. Thielen, who has provided the records of the Hommerdings in Germany, also gave some interesting background on the name Hommerding:

"The name Hommerding was written phonetically; so you may find Hommerding, Hommerdinger, Homerding, Hummerding, Hammerding and Hommertgen (which is the phonetical pronunciation of the little village Hommerdingen). The name had its origin about 1600 without any doubt from this village, located in [the] German Eifel area, near the border of the actual German-Luxembourg frontier.

About 1600 there was only one farm called Hommerdingen, later on there came some other farms to this spot. Later on the Hommerdinger spread around in other nearby villages, like Nusbaum, Ferschweiler, Bollendorf, Kruchten, etc."

Today, in the United States, several family branches use "Homerding" while others retain the extra "m" making it "Hommerding." In 2014 the mystery of the extra "m" was finally clarified by   Kathy Murzyn and Ray Atwell.  In the old German script style called "Kurrent" a bar called a "macron" was placed above the "m" as a short form of the double consonant.  Apparently using the "macron" fell out of favor and we are now left with  the two slightly different surnames. For consistency, I'm spelling the name "Hommerding" throughout these pages. [BH]


"The Founding Father "

This is probably the most intriguing fact about the Hommerdings in the U.S.A: ALL the Hommerding descendants whom we have located so far can be traced back in just a few generations to one man--Johann Peter Hommerding (1780-1848).

Johann Peter was born and lived out his life in Nusbaum, Germany near the little village of Hommerdingen. Nusbaum is just a few miles from the eastern border of Luxembourg, and about equidistant from both France and Belgium. While Johann Peter never left Germany, several of his sons and grandsons emigrated to the United States. The linked "Google" map shows the villages of Nusbaum and Hommerdingen.
[These Google maps are"interactive"--you can move the "hand" around to see more of the map area, zoom in, select the satellite image or a highway map, look at photos of the area, etc.]

Johann Peter had nine children with each of his wives, Susanne Liser (1776-1823), and Margaretha Wagener (1793-1866). To give his future descendants a tougher challenge while researching their family tree, he frequently bestowed the same first name on more than one of his eighteen children! So, we have TWO sons named "Mathias" among the four who left Germany for the U.S.A. I have christened them "Mathias No. 1 (1804-1882) and "Mathias No. 2" (1825-1892).

Descendant Chart showing Johann Peter Hommerding, and his offspring
who are responsible for Hommerding descendants in the United States.
The locales where the emigrants lived in the U.S.A. are noted.
Chart courtesy of R. Atwell


Since this web article was first published, there have been some exciting new developments.

Our Brazilian Cousins have been found!

We are now in touch with the Brazilian descendants of yet another of Johann Peter's sons. 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! In 1856 Johann Peter's son, Cornelius Agidius Hommerding, together with his wife and two children left his home in [probably] Bollendorf, Germany and sailed to Brazil.

An American Hommerding Descendant visited Hommerdingen and Biesdorf, Germany in July, 2010.

Dave Homerding of Idledale, Colorado included two of the Hommerding ancestral villages in his European trip. See "Hommerdingen" and "Biesdorf" in Chapter 3, "German Villages" for more information on Dave's visit and his photographs.

The Emigrants -- to the U.S.A. and Brazil

These web pages will deal with Johann Peter Hommerding's four sons and two grandsons who emigrated to the U.S.A. at different times between 1853 and 1885. As far as we know, these six are responsible for the many Hommerding descendants who have lived in the U.S.A. since 1853.

[The links will take you to the page about where the emigrant settled in the U.S. ]

Johann Peter's son by his first wife, Susanne Liser:
Mathias Homerding No. 1(1804-1882), emigrated from Germany with his wife, Eva Becker (1801-1881) and three sons in 1855. They settled in Will County, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois.

Cornelius Homerding (1811-??), emigrated from Germany in 1856 with his wife, Maria Feltz (1820 - ??) and son Peter and daughter Margaretha. They settled in Brazil, in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Johann Peter's and Susanne's two grandsons :
Michael Hommerding (1848-1905) (son of Johann, 1816-1889) came to the U.S. in 1872. He was single at the time. He went to Nebraska and later to Lemont, Cook County, Illinois.

William Hommerding
(1855-1914) (son of Johann,1816-1889) arrived in the U.S. in 1875. He was single at the time. He apparently joined his brother, Michael, in Nebraska and later in Illinois.
[One other grandson, Otto (son of Johann,1816-1889), also came to the U.S., but did not establish a line of Hommerdings here]

Johann Peter's sons by his second wife, Margaretha Wagener:
Mathias Hommerding No. 2 (1825-1892), his wife, Susanna Dockendorf (1830-1919) and his family came to the US in 1881. They settled in St. Nicholas, Stearns County, Minnesota.

Jacob Hommerding (1828-1878) and his first wife, Anna Maria Dauven (1833-before 1856) arrived in New York in 1853. They settled in Chicago, Illinois. Jacob and his second wife, Marian/Maria Anna Butzen (1833-1912) lived in LaPorte, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois and New Buffalo, Michigan.

Johann Hommerding (1837-after 1910), arrived in New York in 1885 with his wife,
Magdalena Mertes (1836 - ??), and family. In the U.S. they lived in Marathon and Waupaca Counties in Wisconsin.

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Next--The Hommerdings' Homeland--the Eifel



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