Margarethe Bruckmeyer née Maaß

UPDATED: The photo has been returned to the family! Plus a HUGE update below!

First of all, Happy New Year of 2021 to everyone! Thank you for taking interest in my blog about persons and their photos lost to history! Let’s hope 2021 will allow me to return more of those lost photos to their families! Let’s start this year off with some research!

Today I have another toddler photo for you. This one came to me from Flensburg, together with the Sönnichsen photos (see a previous blog post on them).

The back of the photo reads: Margarethe Maaß, *17.4.1885 in Flensburg, +4.7.1955 in Flensburg. oo Wilh. Bruckmeyer, *5.8.1873 in Bremen, + 28.2.1944 in Bremen

Margaretha Maaß and Wilhelm Theodor Hermann Bruckmeyer were married on May 15th, 1904, in Flensburg. Their marriage record confirms the birthdate of Wilhelm as noted on the back of the above photograph, and Margarethe’s birthdate is recorded to have been April 19th, 1885, not 17th. Wilhelm was 31 years old and Margerethe 19 at the time of their wedding (Click HERE for their marriage record as available on Ancestry). In 1910, Margarethe and Wilhelm welcomed their son Wolfgang.

Margarethe’s father E. Maaß was a teacher and professor in Flensburg and at the time of her marriage, her parents were living in Flensburg. But I don’t know if she had any siblings.

There is quite a lot to read about the man Margarethe married: Wilhelm Bruckmeyer was a Marine Captain with a very impressive military career. A résumé of his life, as I found on Ancestry, states an interesting fact about their marriage as well – the couple got divorced in July 1926! (Click HERE to see the documents on Ancestry in German).

The résumé goes on to state that Wilhelm married a widow Marie Engeling Samuelson in December of the same year. Could the reason of their divorce have been a love triangle?

Margarethe kept her husband’s surname and we find her on a passenger list of the ship M/S “Milwaukee” travelling to New York in February 1938 (Click HERE to see the passenger list). Margarethe was 52 years old at the time. The passenger list gives us some more information about her. She was about 173cm tall, had dark hair and grey eyes. She had not been to the United States before. And the person to contact in case of emergency was her son Dr. Wolfgang Bruckmeyer, resident of Bremen in Germany. Since the passenger list does not state any relatives she was going to visit in the United states, I suppose this was a cruise. She travelled on the same cruise ship to the United States again in January 1939, this time on a cruise to Miami.


Margarethe’s (or Gretchen as she was lovingly nicknamed) family has reached out to me and the childhood photo of Margarethe has been returned to them. Moreover, I now have copies of photos of Margarethe as a grown woman. Wasn’t she just stunning! Here on her wedding day with Wilhelm in 1903.

Margarethe and Wilhelm had two children: Wolfgang Bruckmeyer who became a lawyer. He got married in 1943 in Lüneburg and lived there for a while after WWII. Margarethe and Wilhelm’s daughter Edith Bruckmeyer’s paper trail couldn not be reconstructed so far. She was born in 1905. Unfortunately nothing is known of their possible descendents.

A fun fact about Margarethe herself. In June 1938, she became a certified teacher of the game of bridge!

The family has lost all their photo albums. Those were sold on ebay some years ago and are now in the possession of many different hands, scattered all around. If you have found a photo album of the families MAAß and BRUCKMEYER, please let me know!

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