The farm Harhof before the great fire in 1900

 translated by Ingrid Seliger, January 2014


Haermeyer from the historical farm "Harhof" in Recke


The first mention of the (farm) Harhof is to be found in a deed of donation of the nobleman Wicobold of Horstmar to the bishop of Osnabrück in 1189; it is mentioned as “Harhof” in the document, where also the place of Recke is first mentioned. It is one of the oldest farms of Recke. The Harhof, utmost north in Westphalia, was owned by Haermeyers. The owner of the Harhof called themselves Harmeyer, later Haermeyer. Heinrich Joseph Haermeyer was the last farmer of the Haerhof, and he sold this farm to the company Langemeyer of Mettingen in 1895.

I am connected with the Haermeyer family by marriage, and I heard many interesting stories of my Haermeyer relatives; so I decided to research the history of the family. A visit on the former Haerhof (today Verfarth) inspired me, to bring order into the available informations and to register all the people of the name Haermeyer, who are descendents of the Haerhof in Recke. But there are still many unknown details concerning the branches of the family, because there are so many datas.

I am grateful to all persons, who helped me, to collect all the datas.

In 1987/88 the author Hugo Georg Harhoff described the history of the Harhof Recke in a study about

“Die historischen Höfe auf den Fluren der westfälischen Haren mit dem Hof- und Familiennamen Harhoff”  (The Historical Farms on the Farmlands of Westphalian ‘Haren’ with the Name Harhoff).

In his story “Geschichte des Harhofs reicht weit zurück” (The History of the Harhof begins in Old Times)  the local historian and former parish priest Werner Heukamp published (in Nether German dialect) an interesting occurrence, which took place at the end of the 30years War in Recke.

During five decades the so called “Haermeyer-Colonat”, including all distributions of smaller farms, cottages and so on, was the origin of many descendants. In the 17th/18th century a considerable part of the Haermeyer children traded as so called “Tödden” with the nearby Netherlands.

The “Tödden” were traders, especially found in the area of Recke-Mettingen, who moved around to trade. In this connection I refer to the book of the local historian Hubert Rickelmann “Die Tüötten in ihrem Handel und Wandel und die Wolle- und Leinenerzeugung im Tecklenburger Land” (The “Tödden” as they Moved Around and Traded and the Production of Wool and Linen in the Area of Tecklenburg).

The part of Haermeyers, who emigrated overseas, is quite more difficult to research. The writing of the surname was partly altered in Haermeier, Harmeyer, Harmeier, Harmejer, Haarmeier, Haarmeyer.

Who is interested in my researches, can select the results in the data base.

A highlight of family history is for me, to reconstruct the way of life of individuel ascendents. In her research and detailed presentation Anna Maria Catharina Haarmeyer – Lebensbild einer Pionierin (Anna Maria Catharina Haarmeyer – Way of Life of a Pioneer) Marlene Sprute was very successful in this way. Catharina Haarmeyer, born january, 9th, 1791 in Alfhausen, was the daughter of Herman Heinrich Haarmeyer of the Harhof Recke, who settled 1775 as tradesman (linen trade) in Alfhausen. The numerous descendents of the Haarmeyers of Alfhausen were researched by Bernd Schlarmann; I represent them here in detail.

I would like to come in contact and exchange with other Haermeyer researchers all over the world to find and to document further interesting traces of this family.



The history of the Harhof goes back a long time

Author:   Werner Heukamp 

Transleted by Ingrid Seliger, January 2014

The following story is part of his series “Unnerwäggens düör Riecke” (“Going around in Recke”); based on his written licence of august, 28th, 2012 it may be published here.

The history of the Harhof goes back a long time

The Harhof is one of oldest farms in Recke. Probably it was founded already about 400 a. C. in Saxonian times. In the deed of donation (1189) to found a monastery in Recke, the Harhof was mentioned as Harhus. The historical Harhof was lying on a relatively good high and therefore never had to suffer from the water of the Aa (river, transl.). The depth of the top soil of the old Esche (special field, manured by sod plugging, transl.) is one Meter (1,0936 yards) as the Agraramt (office for agriculture) of Münster found out. Fertilization of the soil only by manure was not enough, therefore it was additionally done by sod plugging.

Up to 100 tons of sods had to be brought for the Harhof every year. The owners of the Harhof called themselves Harmeyer, later Haermeyer. The last heir of the farm sold the Harhof in 1895 to the Langemeyer company in Mettingen. After Langemeyer bought additional land he at last owned 80 ha (197,688 acres), which is the same as 320 Morgen of fields and meadows. That was large enough to have a hunting area at his own. A tenant and eight farm workers cultivated the farm. In 1900 some barns and the 200 years old farm house with farmstead and cattle sheds were destroyed by fire.

A pen drawing gives an impression of this magnificent building. The front of the old Westphalian house in frame work was plentifully arranged and decorated on the top with horse heads. In 1981 the community of Recke bought the Harhof of the Langemeyer company, so that the farmer Verfahrt could move to the Harhof, who had to leave his farm because of land consolidation. The buildings, 1900 constructed, were taken down because they were damaged.

(It follows a story, concerning the Harhof, in Nether German dialect. Transl.)

Et was an’n Enne van den 30-jäöhrigen Krieg. Eenes Dages tröck düör uese Duorp en utländsket Regiment. De Böverste van de Truppe lait den Vogt van Riecke kuemen un sagg to em: „Breng us 300 Goldmark. Wenn du’t nich döös, dann plünnert wi jue Hüser. Wi wochtet bes de Sunne unnergaiht“. De Vogt raip gau ne Koppel Kerls bineen un schickte se nao de Buern to’t Kollekteern. Män et was kien Geld uptodriewen. De Lüe wassen daomauls, äs man so sägg, arm äs’ne Kiärkenmuus. Den Harhoff hadden de Mannslüen noch nich besocht. Villicht was dao doch noch wat to halen.

Gau laip een van de Kerls lös nao den Hoff buten Duorps un sagg wier sien Sprüeksken up. De Buer verschrock sik. Män wat dai de Mann? He klaide nao de Upkammer un halde en Strump met 300 Goldmark, de he in dat Inkästken van de Truhe verstoppt hadde, und gaff em den Buoden.

Et was kiegen Klock of sieben. De Sunn stonn al daip. Nu was kiene Tied mähr to verlaisen. Up Socken kann ik gauer laupen, sinnerde de Mann, und lait siene Holsken up’n Harhoff stauhn. Unnerwäggens flog em noch den Hood van den Kopp in’n Grawen. He lait em liggen. Bloss nich to late kuemen, dachte he, denn de Sunne sackte in’n Westen ümmer daiper to de Äer.

De Vogt stönn up’n Riecker Markt un saog den Laiper al van wieten, ielde em in de Möite, namm den Strump met dat Geld un brachte em gau nao de Soldauten. De können sik nu bi de Kauplüe, de alltied  ächter de Truppe hertröcken, dat besuorgen, wat iähr feilde. De Lüe van Riecke föll en Steen van’t Hiärt. De Buer van’n Harhoff hadde se vör en graut Leed bewahrt.

History Recker Harhoff



Transleted by Ingrid Seliger, January 2014


This history of the Harhoff Recke was in 1987/88 published in the compilation about the historical Harhöfe of Westphalia


The Harhoff Recke – lonely lying in the Har of Recke in the lowland of the river Aa


The community of Recke which belonged always to Westphalia, is lying on the northern border of the county of Steinfurt and the border of Nordrhein-Westphalia. It is one of the four old parishes of Tecklenburg and belonged – as Ibbenbüren, Mettingen and Brochterbeck – to the main shire of Lingen. In the west and northwest direction the community of Hopsten is neighbouring, in the south the town of Ibbenbüren, in the southeast the community of Mettingen and in the northeast beyond the Nether Saxonian border which was established in 1815 by law, the former Westphalian county of Osnabrück.

Read more: History Recker Harhoff

Anna Maria Catharina Haarmeyer - Portrait of a Pioneer

Author:  Marlene Sprute

Translation and editing: Edwin, Sr. Margie, Gerry Schroering

On 9 June 1835 a family of seven embarked from the village of Alfhausen, belonging to the Kingdom of Hanover, for a new life in North America. This date appears in penciled-notes by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Mähler in the Parish Church's baptismal register. Even if there had been some immigration previously, this was one of the first Alfhausen families to reach such a decision. No one knew how many other families from Alfhausen would follow.

What may have influenced such a decision and why did this family decide to leave?

The life of Catharina Schröring touches on a lot of background issues, in connections with which many found themselves forced to leave their ancestral homeland. At the same time, it portrays the life of a most exceptional, strong and admirable woman.

Haarmeyer House near the Church in Alfhausen

Read more: Anna Maria Catharina Haarmeyer - Portrait of a Pioneer