BerkeFamily.org - RogerBerke.com
Wilhelmis Berke was an Architect in Berlin and said to have contributed to one of the cathedrals built in his day. Maria was a countess, the younger sister of several brothers. When she married Willhelmius - a Catholic - she was disinherited and divested of everything except her right to spend her last years in a home in Berlin where she died in 1914.
The family's move to America started during the reign of Bismarck "The Iron Chancellor" with number 2 and 3 sons, Frederick and Ludwig. One (Probably Ferdinand) was in the German army, the other due for call-up. Both took off for America -- probably in the mid 1850's to early 1860's. They settled in Northfield, Minnesota where Ludwig lived out his life. Ferdinand was was still there at the time of Jesse James' raid (September 7, 1876), later moving to Los Angeles, His home was at 145 South Bunker Hill Avenue, Los Angels, CA. The house was torn down in the 1950's
Frederick and Ludwig were followed to America by Herman and Albert - Number 1 and 2 sons of Wilhelm, the oldest son of Willhelmius and Maria - who joined Uncles Fredrick and Ludwig in Northfield Minnesota probably in late 1860's to early 1870's.
In 1874 Frederick, Ludwig and Nephews Herman and Albert brought oldest brother Wilhelm, wife Veronica and three youngest children, Anna, Mary and Roman (Age 5) over to Northfield.
Wilhelm, Frederick and Ludwig's sister Caroline remained in Germany.