Compiled by Glenn Gohr

The GENSMER surname is German, and the earliest ancestor in my branch of the family hails from Alt Ruednitz, Prussia (now Stara Rudnica), a small hamlet on the banks of the Oder River on the modern-day border between Germany and Poland. Some of the family here is the U.S. also spell the name as Genzmer. I have also seen the name spelled as Genschmar as well as Gentzmer in the areas of Germany close to Alt Ruednitz.

And there is a family in Pennsylvania that use the last name of Gensemer. They came to the U.S. at a different time. No connection has been found with that family, but the spelling is very similar, and they also are of German stock from about the same region of Germany/Prussia. Further research could possibly indicate a connection.

I started research on this family in 1973 and visited Waterville, and Elysian, Minnesota in 1977 and 1978 to meet distant relatives there and to learn more about the Gensmer family history. Others of the Minnesota cousins are also researching this family. My last visit to Minnesota was in August 1995. I hope to return soon to do more research.

I have been placing updated information on the Gensmer/Genzmer family (along with other Gensmer families from Prussia) on the WorldConnect site with Rootsweb. The basic source of information used is a book History of the Genzmer Family written by Elmer Genzmer in 1936. I have added information taken from census records and the social security death index, as well as new information supplied by others. The database includes the basic information on every family member traced (except I have omitted birth and marriage dates on living family members, for privacy reasons.). The Worldwide Gensmer/Genzmer Database on WorldConnect can be accessed at:

Here is my GENSMER lineage as far as it has been proven:

  1. Martin GENZMER, Sr., b. ca. 1788 Alt Ruednitz (now Stara Rudnica), Brandenberg Province, Prussia, d. ca. 1849 Dodge Co., WI; md. ca. 1808 Alt Ruednitz, Brandenberg Province, Prussia to Dorothea DEWITZ or DREWITZ, b. abt. 1788 Alt Ruednitz (now Stara Rudnica), Brandenberg Province, Prusia, d. ca. 1848 Dodge Co., WI
  2. Martin Friedrich GENSMER, Jr., b. 10 May 1809 Alt Ruednitz (now Stara Rudnica), Brandenberg Province, Prussia, d. 26 January 1902 Norton, Winona Co., MN; md. ca. 1830 Alt Ruednitz, Brandenberg Province, Prussia to Caroline KASTNER, b. 8 March 1810 Hohenkranig, Brandenberg Province, Prussia, d. 1907 Winona Co., MN (both buried at Norton Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Winona Co., MN)
  3. Maria Louisa Dorothea GENSMER, b. 27 Aug. 1831 Grenneberg, Germany, d. 22 Dec. 1922 Elysian, Le Sueur Co., MN; md. 24 Oct. 1852 Mayville, Dodge Co., WI to Traugott ROEMHILDT, b. 26 Aug. 1824 Lohlen, Schwarzburch, Rudolfstaht, Germany, d. 1 May 1898 Elysian, Le Sueur Co., MN (both buried at St. Peter's "Bell" Lutheran Cemetery at Elysian, MN)
  4. Holda Augusta ROEMHILDT, b. 1 Jan. 1855 Mayville, Dodge Co., WI, d. 15 Aug. 1926 Monte Vista, Rio Grande Co., CO; md. 19 Dec. 1878 Elysian, Le Sueur Co., MN to Christoph August QUIRAM, b. 25 Dec. 1853 Schonlanke, Germany (now Trzcianka, Poland), d. 29 Nov. 1937 Porterville, Tulare Co., CA (both buried in the Monte Vista Cemetery)
  5. Frieda Helma QUIRAM, b. 24 May1890 Elysian, Le Sueur Co., MN, d. 18 July 1987 Monte Vista, Rio Grande Co., CO; md. 25 Nov. 1917 Monte Vista, Rio Grande Co., CO to Alexander Fredrick Emil GOHR, b. 31 Jan. 1887 Kossuth Co., IA, d. 18 June 1968 Monte Vista, Rio Grande Co., CO (both buried in the Monte Vista Cemetery) *These are my grandparents.


If you have queries concerning the GENSMER surname, you may post these at the Gensmer Family Genealogy List which I manager.

Gensmer Genealogy List is a part of the Rootsweb e-mail discussion lists. It offers free queries and discussion on the Gensmer surname and variant spellings.

To subscribe, send an e-mail to:
Leave subject line blank (This will be ignored).
In the body of the message type: subscribe

Then a welcome message will be sent telling how to post messages. Once you are subscribed, you may send a query to everyone on the list by sending e-mail to:

Archived postings to the Gensmer e-mail list can be found on the WEB at:

When prompted, type in GENSMER for the name of the list. A second screen will appear where you can choose a year and type in a search word(s). If you type in GENSMER you would probably get all the previous postings to the list. You can also type in a person's name instead or a locality to narrow your search. If you wish to do a search by date, try entering it in quotation marks with the day and then the month as "01 Mar" using single digit dates preceded by a zero and only the first three letter of the month.


There are several Message Boards on Rootsweb which are set up for the GENSMER surname. These boards are for posting information in the following categories: BIBLE, BIOGRAPHY, BIRTH, CEMETERY, CENSUS, DEATH, DEED, IMMIGRATION, LOOKUP, MARRIAGE, MILITARY, OBITUARY, PENSION, QUERIES, and WILLS. The search perameters and drop down screen on the main page allow you to do a key word search or to view all postings according to one of the above categories. Click on the icon below to access the Gensmer Message Boards.

Query Post a query (or information from any one of the above categories) on any GENSMER name or related family. Please give dates, and locations they lived. Try to give as much information as possible.

An online genealogy forum for posting queries has also been set up specifically for the GENSMER family. It can be found at the following address:

***Note***During the Fall of 1998, GenForum combined with Family Tree Maker, which means that all queries and information posted to that site becomes the property of Family Tree Maker. This is still a good site to look up information and get contact names for the GENSMER lines you are searching, but be advised that if you now post a new query or a response to something on that site, chances are that sometime in the future Family Tree Maker will include that information on a CD-ROM which they will sell for profit to anyone who is interested. I do not like the idea of someone else using my hard researched information and ideas and selling them for a profit without my knowledge. This same practice is evident on all of the Family Tree Maker pages which are found on the internet, if you will read the disclaimer notices on those pages. I recommend the Family Tree Maker pages as good look up pages, but I don't recommend posting information there. Similar things can be said for and which are connected to each other and seek to make a profit from genealogical materials on the internet.

Some excellent researchers I have made contact with on the GENSMER line are Michael Loren Roemhildt, a grandson of Hugo Roemhildt and great-grandson of Hermann Roemhildt (Hermann was a brother of Holda Roemhildt listed in my lineage above); and Renata Anderson who descends from the Gensmers in several ways. Her mother was Serena (Roemhildt) Gensmer (who was a daughter of Rudolph Roemhildt, who was a brother of Holda Roemhildt in my lineage) and her father was August GENSMER; also Kathy Zelus who has helped a lot with the KASTNER lineage through using church records in Eastern Europe; also Billy Gensmer, who is from Winona County, Minnesota, and while in the military was stationed near Alt Ruednitz at one time and visited there.

Copyright (c) 1998-2003.

Last updated June 1, 2003.

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