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The Twins from Two Different Countries

Updated: Mar 6

It's a funny thing: I always thought that my mother's side of the family was 100% German. In a way, they were, but as I've dug a little deeper into my family genealogy, it's a little more – and really quite fascinating.

Hans Bruhn

Hans and Thomas were twins from a tiny village near Flensburg in northern Germany. Hans was my mother’s maternal grandfather, one of nine children of Jurgen and Helene Bruhn. Like many families in those days, the couple had a large family, nine kids, although two died young. The kids started moving to the United States in the 1890s, and eventually they all moved (although Thomas actually used papers from one of his cousins to enter).

My great-great-grandmother, Helene had long wanted to move to the United States. After his horse tragically trampled Jurgen as he was trying to cut ice from the inlet for his sister's tavern, Helene decided to sell the family farm and come with her remaining children, including my great-grandfather Hans, to the US in 1901.

Thomas Bruhn