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Mesenbring / Mesenbrink Surname

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Profiles

  • Anna Eilers (deceased)
    Anna and her husband are mentioned next to Anna Hoper and her husband, as well as Wichman Mesenbring and his wife, all as living in Nortdrever (Norddrebber). (Page 282 of Die Register des alten Amts N...
  • Heinrich Mesenbrink (1695 - 1763)
    Mentioned on page 5 of the Helstorf church book (which started in 1729 - see attached document for transcription): Claus Mesenbrink, nachher (later) Hans Henr. Bremer, jetzo (now) Hinrich Mesenbrink. D...
  • Hans Mesenbring (1660 - d.)
    W???? Mesenbrings sohn Hans 24 June 1660

Origin and Meaning of the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink Name

The origin of the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name is most likely either Northern Germany (Lower Saxony) or the Netherlands. It's also possible the name has multiple origin points from similarly-named family farms.

With the exception of a handful of Mesenbrinks who originated in the Netherlands, the vast majority of Mesenbrinks can be traced to the villages surrounding the cities Nienburg and Neustadt Am Rübenberge in the Hanover region of Germany.

Spelling Variations

There are a lot of variations of the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name. Common variations on spelling include: Mesenbring, Mesenbrink, and Mesenbrinck, as well as variations with two s's.

Many of the early records in the 1500s and 1600s omit the first "n:" Mesebring, Mesebrink, Mesebrinck. In a few early records, the name is spelled with both a g and a k at the end: "Mesenbringk." Some spell the first vowel as "ei" or "ee:" Meisenbrink, Meesenbrink, etc.

The last name is sometimes written with an "s" or "es" at the end, as in "Mesenbrings" and "Mesenbringes." This is often followed by another word like "sohn" (son) or "tochter" (daughter) or "uxor" (Latin for wife). The -s / -es is the possessive ending.

Up until the 1800s, there are many examples of individuals whose name started out as Mesenbrink and later became Mesenbring, or vice-versa. This is because the k and g sounds are very close to one another and were used interchangeably. Eventually, some families permanently became Mesenbrings (such as those who migrated to Minnesota) and others became Mesenbrinks (such as those who migrated to Iowa). In addition, some of the Mesenbrinks who migrated to the U.S. spelled the name as "Masonbrink."

The Meaning and Origin of "Brink"

It was common in Lower Saxony and in the Netherlands to use the word "brink" to refer to a grassy meadow on a hill or on the side of a hill. It was common to use the word 'brink' in the name of a plot of land or a family farm. One of the earliest ways that Germans assigned last names was based on the name of the family farm where they lived or were born. Accordingly, many German last names contain the name "Brink."

The Meaning and Origin of "Mesen"

The meaning of "Mesen" is not known for sure, but its origin probably did not have the letter "n" (in German adding an "n" is one of the ways to form a compound noun.)

Mese may be derived from the surname "Mese," which was a name used in the Hanover region and is attested in the Lower Saxony archives as early as the early 1400s. In the 1909 book about the village of Basse, the meaning of the surname "Mese" was said to be derived from "Meise," the german word for the titmouse bird (part of the chickadee family).

It is also possible the farm was named after the bird directly rather than being named for the Mese surname.

The 'titmouse chickadee' meaning is supported by the fact that in Herman Mesenbrinck's daughter Anne Mesenbrinck 's 1569 baptism record in Paris, there is a note that explains the meaning of the name in French is "mesange" (the French word for the titmouse chickadee).

It could also come from the surnames 'Messe' or 'Meese.' Alternatively, it could be derived from the German word "Messe" (market or fair) or the Latin word mesa, the derivatives of which meant "table," "food," or "measurement."

Searching for the Original Mesenbrink Family Farm

If all of the people with the last name of Mesenbring / Mesenbrink are descended from the same person, then there is likely a place that was once called "Mesenbrink" or something similar, and it might be possible to locate it in old maps or records of places. It's also possible that there was more than one place called "Mesenbrink," and more than one origin of the name. The Mesenbring / Mesenbrink last name likely originated in the 1300s or 1400s, given the number of attestations of the name (in all its varieties) in modern-day Germany and the Netherlands throughout the 1500s and 1600s.

Possible locations for the original "Mesenbrink" farm include:

Earliest Mesenbring / Mesenbrink records

1526: Gertrud or Geseke Mesebrinck in Wunstorf

Gertrud Mesebrinck (or Geseke Mesenbrink) is mentioned in a record dated 01/26/1526. In that record it says that the city council of Wunstorf testified to a donation made by Gertrud Mesebrinck. Wunstorf is a city near Neustadt. The record is mentioned in two places, once in the Lower Saxony archives (http://www.arcinsys.niedersachsen.de/arcinsys/detailAction?detailid...) and once in a book (full version not available online): https://www.google.com/books/edition/Urkundenbuch_der_Stadt_Wunstor...

1541: Herman Mesenbrinck, the Dutch Goldsmith

Herman Mesenbrinck, Jr. (spelled a variety of ways) was a Dutch goldsmith from Eindhoven, Netherlands. The first record that mentions him is a will from 1541 in Eindhoven. Subsequent documents record that he eventually moved to Paris and was involved in the fine arts community there. His fathers' name may have also been Herman Mesenbrinck, and he had at least one daughter, Sara Mesenbrinck, who married a master painter in Paris. There are several other records of variations on the Mesenbrink name in France in the late 1500s and early 1600s, all of whom are likely descendants of Herman.

1560: Friedrich Mesenbring, Church Elder in Neustadt

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There are two records mentioning a church elder in Neustadt Am Rübenberge named Friedrich Mesenbring in the year 1560 (https://www.arcinsys.niedersachsen.de/arcinsys/detailAction?detaili...). Neustadt and the surrounding country became Evangelical Lutheran in 1543, so Friederich was one of the church leaders during the Protestant Reformation.

1577: Heinrich Mesenbringk

The name Heinrich Mesenbringk appears on a fragmentary record dated to 1577 in the Lower Saxony archives: http://www.arcinsys.niedersachsen.de/arcinsys/detailAction?detailid...

1585 Calenberg Muster Roll

There are nine men with variations on the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name in the 1585 Calenberg Muster Roll (Musterungsrolle), which was a list of able-bodied men over 20 and an inventory of what weapons they had.

Mesenbrings in Osterwald:

  • Ludeke Mesenbring age 30
  • Hans Mesenbring age 34
  • Berend Mesenbringk age 60

Mesenbrings in Ericshagen:

  • Hans Mesenbringk age 78
  • Ludeke Mesenbrinck age 37

Other Mesenbrings:

  • Jacob Mesenbringk age 37 in Bordenau near Wunstorf (see below)
  • Wichmann Mesenbringk age 40 in Norddrebber near Gilten
  • Friedrich Mesenbring (this time spelled Meisenbring), age 70 in Neustadt (see above)
  • Heinrich Mesenbringk in Schmerjohanns hof in hannover (see above)

1589: Jakob Mesenbrink in Hannover

There is a record with a date of 1589 mentioning Jakob Mesenbrink in connection with the Holy Spirit Hospital of Hannover. It's possible that he worked in that hospital. http://www.arcinsys.niedersachsen.de/arcinsys/detailAction?detailid...

1613: Christoph Mesenbring beheaded in Leipzig

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Christoph Mesenbring is mentioned in a Latin-language legal document. The document says he was executed by beheading in May of 1613 in Leipzig, Germany: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Thesaurus_Iuris_Provincialis_E...

1630s and beyond: Mesenbrings and Mesenbrinks in Church Records

The most important records for constructing family trees for Mesenbring / Mesenbrink ancestors are the church record books. Churches in Germany started recording baptisms, marriages and burials in the 1600s. By the late 1600s and early 1700s, most of the people with the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name were in villages in the Hannover region near the towns of Neustadt and Nienburg.

media.geni.com/p14/db/cc/c2/d1/5344486223b440ec/curdt_mosenbrinick_1640_marriage_record_large.jpg?hash=ffb05503ce4dc65144f101ad70a9d83a899ce57142f5c14580f97f0a12f9adae.1716620399
An early example in the church record books is this marriage record of Curdt Mesenbring (spelled Mesenbrinck here) and Adelheid Mesenbring on 06/09/1640 in Holtorf: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPNZ-91HH . All the Mesenbrings who were born in Erichshagen in the 1600s and 1700s are his descendants.

Additional early Mesenbrings / Mesenbrinks

Resources for researching the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name

Browsing Church Records

The church record book in Holtorf from 1639 - 1785 is available for free on FamilySearch.org:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPNZ-91HH

Most of the German church record books and indexes are available on the German archive site https://archion.de. This site requires a paid subscription to view the records.

1689 Poll Tax Register

Another important source is the 1689 poll tax register (Kopfsteuerbeschreibung) which served as a kind of census of the region. It shows the households of Curdt Mesenbring in Erichshagen and Ludeke Mesenbring in Basse, among others. Each volume has an (incomplete) index of last names and places at the end.

Genealogy Sites

Lots of information on people with the Mesenbrink last name can be found on these German genealogy sites:

Digital Archives and Libraries

These sites have archives of old books and documents that show records of early Mesenbrings / Mesenbrinks:

Geni profiles

Click on one of the links below to see geni profiles with variations of the Mesenbring / Mesenbrink name:

Reading records with 1600s - 1800s German handwriting

media.geni.com/p14/6b/74/80/92/5344486223b667a9/jacob_mosenbrink_1655_witness_on_baptism_record_in_the_netherlands_large.jpg?hash=5545b63e1d26863e1e1ef87b59e82904cc3575607f02288af74aad2c5fae9ca7.1716620399

See these pages for information on reading old German handwriting: