Henricus Zimmerman and his wife Maria Jannert were the first of the Foster’s Meadow Zimmerman family to arrive in the United States. Henricus was born on November 9, 1825 in Heimbach, Neuwied in the former German state of Prussia, to Johann Zimmerman and Anna Maria Wertgen. Neuwied is located on the east bank of the Rhine River which separated Prussia from France. He was one of at least six children, and possibly the only one to survive into adulthood.
Maria V. Jannert
Maria Veronika Jannert was born on September 26, 1825 in Sinkt Sabastian, Engers, Neuwied, Prussia to Johannes/Henricus Jannert and Anna Margaretha Moskopp. Some official and family records indicate Maria was born in France.
Henricus and Maria were married on November 25, 1851 at Katholisch, Heimbach, Neuwied, Rheinland, Prussia. They immigrated to America in early 1856.
Records indicate that Henricus was first employed as a shoemaker or bootmaker – but there is some indication that he worked as a farm laborer to supplement his income - and that in 1860 they lived in Islip. By 1870 they were living in Fosters Meadow – next to the Herman’s Hotel. Henricus died on September 19, 1908 in Fosters Meadow and according to his death certificate was buried in a cemetery in Elmont. Maria died around 1900, also in Fosters Meadow.
Henricus and Maria had at least six children, as follows:
Henry Zimmerman was born on May 14, 1856 in Islip, Long Island. Records indicate that as early as the age of 14 he worked as a farm laborer. Both Henry and Magdalena grew up in Fosters Meadow – and on April 24, 1883 he married Magdalena - also known as “Lena”. Henry farmed on Three Mile Mill Road in Fosters Meadow and he and Lena had 15 children over the next 24 years. The first four children were baptized at St. Boniface, but there is some indication the family changed their allegiance to St. Monica’s RC Church in Jamaica. In 1910 he lived with Lena and their many children on a farm in Foster’s Meadow Queens, which they rented. At that time he was a “truck farmer” who “trucked” his farm products to markets - and his sons were laborers.
By 1915 they had moved with their children to Riverhead, and in 1918 lived on Jamesport Road in Riverhead. In 1920 they owned a farm in Riverhead, and in 1930, their farm, located at 927 Peconic Blvd in Riverhead was valued at $20,000.
An interesting story about Henry is that in 1931, while plowing his fields in Jamesport, he unearthed an “Indian Tomahawk” which weighed over nine pounds and was about 11 inches long. He donated the Indian Relic to the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead.
Henry passed away at the age of 91 on February 24, 1948 in Southampton. Henry’s obituary noted that he was survived by 45 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.
Magdalena “Lena” Richter was born on June 22, 1863 in Fosters Meadow, Queens to Johannes Richter and Anna Maria Kruetzer. She passed away in Riverhead on January 1, 1938. Both Henry and Magdalena are buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Riverhead.
Children of Henry Zimmerman and Magdalena Richter:
Children of Dora Zimmerman and William Thomas Westland:
Children of William Peter Zimmerman and Katharina D. Simon
Children of William Peter Zimmerman and Carolyn Morlock
This research is based on records provided to my mother, Joan Anne Bergen-Sypher by her Zimmerman cousins, as well as online records research. If any of my Zimmerman cousins would like to provide additional information or documents, please feel free to contact me.
Submitted by Kathy Castagnetta, 3rd great-granddaughter of Henricus Zimmerman and Maria Jannert Zimmerman.