The Branstner family originates in the state of Thüringen in central Germany. Thüringen is roughly located at the point where West Germany, East Germany and Czechoslovakia formerly intersected. As you are probably already aware of, the family is very small. There are only about 60 listed Branstner phone numbers in the US and less than that in Germany. If you run across the name, you can be certain that they are related.
We have been able to determine that members of the family migrated to the United States on at least four separate occasions. There was a rumor that some also emigrated to South America, but we have not been able to verify that migration.
The first immigration occurred in the early 1880s when two brothers, Friedrich Christian (1859-1930) and August (1862(?)-1898) emigrated to Iowa, probably from Liebengrün, Thüringen, Germany. The descendants of August Branstner remained in Iowa, but Friedrich Christian Branstner's family moved to Minnesota. The majority of the Branstners in the US are descendants of these two brothers.
The next migration occurred about 1908, when Frederick Robert Branstner (1888-1942) emigrated to Portland, Oregon. There he married and had three daughters, Louise W., Mildred G., and Barbara J. Although we don’t know exactly where in Germany Frederick Robert migrated from, we do know that his parents were Karl Branstner and Wilhelmina (Sella) Branstner. We have lost track of this branch of the family and would be greatly interested in contacting any descendants.
The third migration involves a nephew of Friedrich Christian and August Branstner. In 1925, my grandfather (Friedrich August Branstner, 1899-1987) emigrated from Selbitz, Bavaria to Flint, Michigan. Over the next several years, he also brought over two of his brothers (Hans and Bruno) and two sisters (Loni and Ruth). Many of the Branstners in the eastern US are descendants of this branch of the family.
The final migration also appears to have begun in the 1920s, when Hans Martin Branstner (1903 <1985) emigrated to New Jersey from Pössneck, Thüringen. Hans was later followed by his father, Karl Branstner, and two of his brothers (Fritz Karl and Carl). Although descendants of this branch of the family remain living in both New Jersey and Germany, all but one of the surviving New Jersey children appear to have been female and the name has all but disappeared.
In conjunction with several other family researchers, it is our ultimate goal to document the genealogy of the entire Branstner family, both in the US and in Germany. If you can help us in this task, we would be greatly interested in corresponding with you.
Warmest regards and thanks in advance. Please visit my homepage for a photo of my grandparents and my dad:
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