Old map of Grafschaft Bentheim

Resources on Grafschaft Bentheim

General Resources

Arbeitskreis Familienforschung der Emsländischen Landschaft—The Family Research Workgroup for the Emsland Region promotes cultural and historical research in Emsland and Grafschaft Bentheim. Publisher of the Emsländische und Bentheimer Familienforschung (EBF). Older issues are available to download; click on “Publikationen,” and then “Zeitschrift.”

Die Grafschaft Bentheim in der Geschichte—An online publication of Hamsterkiste Verlag Neuenhaus, the Bentheim County in History website provides valuable summaries and articles about the county, organized by time period. Includes links to additional sources; written for teachers but useful for genealogists and others interested in the history of Grafschaft Bentheim.

Heimatverein Grafschaft Bentheim—The Bentheim County Historical Society’s goal is to research the county and its rich history, as well as to “cultivate its native character.” Publisher of the Bentheimer Jahrbuch (Bentheim Yearbook), the monthly Grafschafter, and other local history publications (available for purchase under “Shop”). Genealogists and historians will find links to town/city local history societies as well (click on “Links,” which will be auto-translated to “Left”).

Landkreis Grafschaft Bentheim—Current information about the county in a magazine format. Under “Bürgerservice, Kreishaus & Politik” (Citizen Service, District House & Politics), the Profil/Profile link provides historical, culinary, and personality overviews. The “Tourismus, Freizeit & Kultur” provides information about the county’s tourism, free time, and cultural offerings. This website can transform the genealogist and historian into armchair tourists!

Online Ortsfamilienbücher (OFBs)—Part of the monumental Verein für Computergenealogie website, OFBs includes searchable church records. To find county church records, locate the Emsland/Bentheim section under “Niedersachsen” in the right column.

Grafschaft Bentheim Tourismus—Bentheim County Tourism’s website provides indispensable information for visitors. Downloadable PDFs of catalogs, brochures, and maps are available, and they also have a blog.

Burg Bentheim (Bentheim Castle)

Burg Bentheim—Official website of the Bentheim Castle, northwestern Germany’s largest hill fort. Take a virtual tour of the castle and learn about its history and its residents.

Burg Bentheim im Niedersachsen—Jürgen Heidorn’s “Bentheim Castle in Lower Saxony” is a Youtube video tour of the castle.

Bird’s Eye View of Bentheim Castle—Aerial drone footage of the castle from Youtuber ole 211.

Personal Websites

Pastor iR Dr. Gerrit Jan Beuker—Pastor Beuker  presents information on church, church history, and the history of Ostfriesland and Grafschaft Bentheim (including a separate page for Laar local history).

Paul Budde History—A descendant of Grafschaft Bentheim emigrants, the Australian Paul Budde writes extensively on history. Of special interest are his sections on the Budde families from Nordhorn and Wietmarschen. His writing demonstrates how genealogists can weave history into the telling of their families’ stories.

Local Historical Societies

Emlichheim and Surrounding Area
Heimatfreunde Emlichheim und Umgebung—The Hometown Friends of Emlichheim and Surrounding Area’s objectives include maintaining exhibitions at Haus Ringerbrüggen and preserving customs and traditions, as well as the Low German language. Another focus is on history, including that of the war and post–war period.

Georgsdorfer Mühlenverein—The Georgsdorf Mill Society is an “association for the care of native customs.” Notably, its website features photographs and information about Georgsdorf’s mill, miller’s house, and half-timber barn, as well as harvesting buckwheat (a crop that has traditionally been grown in Georgsdorf). The Georgsdorf mill is of the Gallerieholländer type, also known as a smock mill in English.

Heimatverein Hoogstede–Arkel—Established in 2005, the Hoogstede–Arkel Historical Society includes Hoogstede, Arkel, Bathorn, Scheerhorn, Berge, Kalle, and Tinholt. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and explore objects, customs, and events, as well as to cultivate the Low German language through exhibitions and lectures. The society’s activities have included building stork nests on the Vechte River and cross–border midwinter horn blowing events. The society’s Ortschronik (town chronicle) is available for downloading as PDF files.

Heimatfreunde Neuenhaus—The Neuenhaus Historical Society’s website presents a wealth of historical information, maps, photographs, biographies, and church histories. Hint: to translate desired information into English, copy and paste text into Google Translate (opened in a separate browser window).

Bauernmuseum Osterwald—The Farm Museum of Osterwald presents the living history activities found at the open–air museum located in Osterwald. Museum grounds feature a half–timber barn built in 1900 (originally from the Oldekamp Farm in Alte Piccardie); a farmhouse built using a typical Grafschafter construction method known as Hochrähm; a farmer’s garden, with herbs, vegetables, and flowers; and a meadow, with wildflowers and heirloom fruit trees.

Heimatverein Schüttorf—The Schüttorf Historical Society is active with Low German evening events and monthly history workshops; the society also operates the historic Alte Kirchschule, a fully–furnished school museum. The society has worked diligently to record the city’s rich textile industry history, publishing the book Obergrafschafter Textilindustrie (Upper County Textile Industry) in 2015. The website also contains a link to the Engden Historical Society, which has restored the Döbben Spieker (Speicher in High German), a 200–year–old half–timber grain silo.

Uelsen and Surrounding Area
Heimatverein Uelsen und Umgebung—The Historical Society of Uelsen and Surrounding Area’s website features information on Uelsen’s Kleine Heimatmuseum (Small Hometown Museum) and restored windmill, the history of watermills in the surrounding area, and multiple photographs and maps. To access the photographs, click on the Bilder (Photographs) link at the top of the homepage.

Veldhausen and Surrounding Area
Mühlen und Brauchtumsverein Veldhausen und Umgebung—Veldhausen’s open–air museum exhibits demonstrate the theme, “From grain to bread.” The museum features a restored windmill, miller’s house, barn, bakehouse, apiary, and pond. Buildings date to the 1700s, and multiple agricultural and blacksmithing equipment allow visitors the chance to see a historical farm in action.

Heimatverein Wilsum—The Wilsum Historical Society maintains the 700–year–old Schoneveld watermill, as well as a miller’s house, bakehouse, and threshing barn. Also present at the open–air museum are an apiary and carpentry, blacksmithing, and shoemaking workshops. In 2012, the society published Wilsum 851–2012 (the Wilsum Village Chronicle), a 400+ page book written by the VHS History Workshop. It can be purchased via email.

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