Meyer - Siefkes Connection

Meyer - Siefkes Connection

Our extended cousin Hillrich Meyer and his wife, Annette, and their daughter, Marie-Louise, are coming from Germany to Kansas to visit this summer. They’ll be in Ellinwood, the first weekend in August. This web page is the key to find what you need and to benefit from our time together.

Hillrich speaks English. Marie-Louise has studied in the US and soon will be going off to college in England. Annette speaks English too. Hillrich is a great family historian. Since they're coming to visit, this is a great chance to get together. (The other day, my dad Richard Meyer said to me that Grandma Dena had said to him, "when I'm gone, you still need to get together.")

Members of the Meyer and Siefkes families are welcome as are other related families including those related by marriage as well as broader descendants of Gerdt Diekens (who was born in the early 1600s and actually tie the Meyer and Siefkes families together in common ancestry!). Friends old and new are certainly welcome to join in.

This is a great opportunity for us to get together, to reconnect with our heritage, and to show hospitality to a family guest. The family response has been absolutely incredible. It looks like we could have more than 140 persons in attendance.

Reserve Your Meal for the August 1, 2015 Family Get Together

IMPORTANT: If you haven't already, follow this link to reserve your meal If you've already done so, thank you. Final deadline is Saturday, July 18. If you can't join us for the meal for whatever reason, there's no cost for the afternoon's activities; join us for whatever activities fit within your schedule, travel needs, and other commitments. Everyone is welcome for as much as they can join in. Be sure to scroll down and read through this whole page, taking note of the day's agenda toward the end so you can plan accordingly.

Participate on Social Media

Stay connected and join: (if you're into that). 

Order Your Own Family History Album

Now available: a brand new, heirloom quality, 11x8.5" hardcover album.

Now available
  • Enjoy sixty-seven pages and more than 200 photos.
  • Discover how the Meyer name came about.
  • See the ancestral church and the ancestral Meyer farm in Germany.
  • Learn about an 1882 letter inviting FP Meyer to permanently immigrate to America.
  • See the family in the early 1900s: homesteading, farming, hunting, socializing, and dealing with the newly discovered extremes of Kansas weather.
  • Read Siefkes sisters' Ellis Island immigration records.
  • Recall short stories and summaries of family history.
  • See Fred, Dena, and Tena--the Sunday they met.
  • Rediscover a courting love letter from Fred to Dena.
  • See the faces of all the Meyers and all the Siefkes who immigrated.
  • Preserve wedding photos and family photos across generations.
  • Consider hand-written spiritual reflections by Dena Meyer.
  • Learn about the Siefkes family trip to Germany in 1956.
  • Look across the golden wheat fields of the Kansas Meyer farm in the summer of 2015.
  • See Grandma Dena baking bread; maybe give the recipe a try yourself.
  • Learn about a recently rediscovered backstory of more generations of strong women.
  • Possess genealogy charts of your ancestry with lines going back to the 1600s.
  • See a sampling of social media pics of the current generations.
  • Know a colorful story of local folk hero Pelican Pete.
  • Browse through detailed footnotes and more.

Order your family history album at It makes a great Christmas gift. To save money, be sure to check the website for a discount coupon code as soon as you get on the site. You can have it shipped to your home or to whoever you're wanting to give an album to as a gift. 

Flip through Old Photos

Working with cousins over recent weeks, we've gathered, scanned, and uploaded more than 400 family history photos. These photos span two continents and one hundred and fifty years.

Beyond the preview here, feel free to go to the Meyer and Siefkes family history photo archive at There are descriptions of each photo--who is in them and year taken where possible. Bookmark so you can later download and use for a school project, scrapbooking, or other needs. If you have more photos to contribute (prior to about 1955), please email me or otherwise let me know; we'll add them so all families have benefit of this treasure.

Explore Family History and Genealogy

Interested in diving deeper into the family history and genealogy?

Here are a few places to start: 

  • Get a free account at, search, and discover our family tree.
  • Take a virtual tour of cemeteries starting with the grave of Dena Meyer at
  • Note: You can pay for an account and you may want to for researching other lines, but much of the Meyer and Siefkes genealogical information is available for free at FamilySearch and thus easily accessible from MyHeritage and Geni too. (Yet, I must say thanks to for the free hosting of this web page.)

There's tremendous progress presently being made in hobby genealogy. 

Plan for the August 1 Family Get Together

Come as much as you can for the day's planned activities. There's a cost associated with the tunnels tour and the meal. The other activities have no cost. Join what you can, fitting in with your travel plans and other commitments. Everyone will be glad to see you.

8:30AMOptional Ellinwood Tunnels TourExplore the historic tunnels under Ellinwood. For those who are interested, we'll ensure we have a tour guide to guide you through this unique underground experience. There are two tours, one for each side of Main Street. The discounted cost is $4 per tour per person. Each tour takes about 45 minutes. Meet at the Wolf Hotel.
10:30AMFP / Fred / Milton Meyer Farm Walking Tour We'll walk around the farm and hear a few old stories. For directions, enter your starting address:

12:00PMGather at the Wolf HotelIf you have any old photos or other artifacts to share at the "show and tell" table, please bring them. Pick up and fill out a name tag. Enjoy conversation.
12:30PMMid-day MealWe'll do some introductions and brief announcements and enjoy the meal catered by the Hudson Wheatland Cafe. If you're participating in this activity of the day, remember, you need to reserve your meal in advance.
2:00PMQ&A SessionThere will be index cards on the table for you to fill in and ask questions for this session. Ask Hillrich question about the family in Germany. Ask the now older generation questions about the good ol' days. We'll go as long as the group has interest and ensure there's time for conversation so you can catch up and renew bonds with different families. For the kids, Carolyn is putting together some activity books and more.
~5:30PMDriving and Walking Tour of the CemeteryWe'll drive to the cemetery and visit the graves of those who have gone before us. We'll give you a map so you know where to park and where each of the family member graves are.

Weather and other unforeseen circumstances may require some changes. We ask for graciousness and flexibility to make this a good event.

If you're traveling from out of town, here are a couple hotel options to consider.

  • Wolf Hotel in Ellinwood: The owner is Chris McCord. Their number is 620-617-6915.
  • Angus Inn Best Western in Great Bend: The owner is Loren Unruh. He would be knowing my father Richard and my uncle Fred Meyer from church. Their number is 620-792-3541. They allow pets.

Feel free to participate in the activities as much as you'd like. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any particular special needs or ideas, feel free to contact me at gary at meyer dot net. Also feel free to reach out to Nancy Meyer Tucker, Carolyn Meyer Schneider, Ron Pauls, or Daryl Chenoweth as they have been closely involved in the preparation activities.