The Research In America

Cincinnati Hennekes



Researching the Hennekes surname in America has indicated that the different families are basically of both Dutch and German descent.  In fact, there are a number of families living in both Holland and Germany even today.  The name is most likely common to both countries because they share a common border and territorial boundaries frequently changed  due to war, conflicts and conquests in early Europe.   Therefore, it would be speculative to say from which country the name orginated.

Most Hennekes now living in St Louis, Missouri, seem to have come from one common ancestor, Bernard Heinrich Hennekes, who lived in Germany from 1812 to 1879. In his short 67 years, he fathered 7 children and his genealogy has been recorded in the World Family Tree (WFT). From WFT records, I traced his descendents to several of the present-day living Hennekes.

I also found another curious note. From all of the direct descendents of Bernard Heinrich Hennekes, there was only one instance where the spelling of Hennekes changed  to Henneke. Consequently, some of the Henneke in this country are actually Hennekes.  However, it's still nice to know that most Hennekes kept the original spelling intact.

During my research, I had been emailing a Hennekes member in Kentucky.  Late last year, while he was travelling abroad, he happened to meet another Hennekes at a hotel he was staying in.  Afterwards, that Hennekes contacted his cousin, Barbara Salibi.

It turned out that Barbara is the 2d great granddaughter of the Bernard Heinrich Hennekes mentioned earlier.   She e-mailed the Hennekes from Kentucky, and he forwarded me a copy of that email.  Ever since then, we three have been sharing information about the "Hennekes Origins."  Barbara has been researching her Hennekes line since the middle 1980's.   She was kind enough to send me a copy of a well-researched report, outlining the "Family Tree" of Bernard Heinrich Hennekes.  Her report included personal family photographs, a copy of a marriage report, plus maps, pictures and biographical data.  I am extremely grateful to Barbara for having shared her family history with me, and I also appreciate that the Hennekes from Kentucky, who after knowing me for just a short while, made me feel like a part of his family.

Following below are some facts that I uncovered during my research:

24 year old Wilhelmina Hennekes was a passenger on the bark, Rose Standish, which in 1851, sailed from Amsterdam to New York. From the reference work of Dr. Robert P. Swierenga [Dutch Emigrants to the United States, South Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, 1835-1880], it is known that Wilhelmina was from Lichtenvoorde, in the province of Gelderland.   Her occupation was farming and her financial position was less-than-well-to-do.  She was Roman Catholic and her reason for leaving Holland was for economic improvement.  Wilhelmina listed her destination as Cincinnati, Ohio.

Paraphrased from the "Cincinnati Post" in an article entitled "Echoes of a century: 'Remember the Maine' " published on 2-14-98:

On February 15, 1898, Cincinnati sailor, Bernard Albert Hennekes, as a captain gunner, was among the 260 crewmen who died aboard the U.S. battleship Maine. Bernard was the son of a Cincinnati policeman and he was only 25 years old when he died. His military service was to have ended on January 10th of 1898; however, his discharge papers were delayed, presumably to protect American interests in Cuba. The sinking of the Maine was the origin of the patriotic slogan "Remember the Maine" which led to the United States declaring war against Spain in April 1898.

Cincinnati Police Division "Patrolman Henry Hennekes-On March 8, 1918, Patrolman Hennekes died from gun shot wounds and blows to the head four days after trying to arrest a black male. Patrolman Hennekes's great grandson, R. Hennekes, became a Cincinnati Police Officer and retired. Late in his career, he too was nearly killed as he was shot. While jogging off duty, and unarmed, he interceded in a bank holdup and was shot in the torso."  I emailed the Cincinnati Police Division, and below is their response about R. Hennekes:

"BTW, R. Hennekes was a hell of a cop. Very early in his career, he was tapped for undercover work. That was a pretty good plum in those days. Undercover work now often requires a young face, but back then it was rare. A picture of him in uniform was posted at every district and section to show model hair grooming standards and model placement of gear on the gun belt. About half way through his career, he was assigned to the very prestigious Homicide Squad and worked there for many years. Near the end of his career, he was assingned to an multi agency task force operating under the FBI to interdict major drugs.  Throughout his career, he kept himself in amazing shape, including jogging several miles several times a week. On one such jog, he passed by a bank that was being robbed. He had no weapon, but felt compelled to do something, so he jogged behind the bandits until they got to their getaway car. They noticed him and after a short exchange of words, shot him. He very nearly died except for some quick medical care, transport to a hospital, and excellent overall conditioning. He was able to give detailed information and, later, testimony in court. All were convicted. He was also jogging again well before the doctors thought he would be.  As one might suspect from this short account of his police career, R was a U.S. Marine prior to service with the CPD.   That's about all I know about him. I worked with him some 20+ years ago. My dad worked with him in Homicide. Hopefully this will help with your genealogy research..."