Minick, Heath, Reed and Grobbel
Family History Page

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Here is a listing of the known ancestors and descendants of John Minick (1834-1905) and Mary Ann Gansen (1839-1908)
(last updated: 26 Aug 2003)

John Minick and Mary Ann Gansen

Their German Roots and Marriage in Detroit, Michigan

In the fall of 2002, I went to the Church of Latter Day Saints “Family Search” website , to see if I could find any German church records for either John Minick or his future wife, Mary Ann Gansen.

After a little searching, I came across the baptismal record for a “Joannes (John) Muench” who was baptized in the Catholic Church on 14 Nov 1834 in a German village named Duengenheim. Here is the information that was given in that baptismal record:

Joannes MUENCH
Sex: M
Christening: 14 Nov 1834, Katholisch, Duengenheim, Rheinland, Preussen
Father: Michaelis MUENCH
Mother: Mariae WILHELMY

This date happened to match the date traditionally given for John Minick’s birthdate and the village is located about 20 miles west-southwest of Koblenz, which had been regarded as John's traditional birthplace. Could this be the baptismal record and birthplace for our John Minick?

I felt that there was a strong possibility that this record could be his. For one thing, the names were nearly identical. That is because back in the 1870's, when the priest entered John's surname into the St. Clement church records, he spelled it like he heard it - "Münich", which is how "Muench" might sound. Also, the German letter "ü" is written in English as "ue".

However, in order to prove that this was our John Minick’s baptismal record, I would still need to find at least one more record. That record could either be one for John Minick that I would find here in the United States containing the same names of his parents or a German record that documents John Muench’s emigration from Duengenheim to Detroit.

I was also able to find out some more information about John Muench’s parents at the “Family Search” website:

• Michael Muench and Maria Wilhelmy were married in Duengenheim on 12 Feb 1834
• Michael Muench was christened in Duengenheim on 2 July 1800, and he was the son of Joseph Muench and Anna Sophiae Muller.

I put all of this new and speculative information on this web page and then set the puzzle aside for several months while I worked on other research. In March of 2003, I was contacted by Diane Nelson, who found this new information on my web page and gave me some additional information. According to Diane, Michael Muench had a brother named Mathias Joseph Muench, who emigrated to Chicago about 1848 and later moved to Kansas.

This new information from Diane whetted my appetite for further research, so in May of 2003, I made several trips to the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library to scroll through the microfilmed church records from the early German Parishes in Detroit.

On 14 May 2003, I found John Minick and Mary Ann Gansen's marriage record, which stated that they were married on 01 Sept 1868 at St. Joseph's Parish, Jay and Orleans Streets, which is near today's Eastern Market in Detroit. This record states that John Minick's parents were Michael Munich and Maria Wilhelmi, which is clear evidence that our John Minick and the Joannes Muench mentioned in the Duengenheim baptismal record are one and the same person.

Copy of microfilmed original record

Copy of the microfilmed marriage record for John Minick and Mary Ann Gansen.

I have also found Mary Ann Gansen's baptismal information at She was baptised on 08 Sept 1839 in the Catholic Church in Duengenheim, the daughter of Anton Jansen and Catharina Schwall.

From all of the available information, it is apparent that John and Mary Ann emigrated separately from Duengenheim to Michigan prior to 1868. According to the Historical Reference Directory in the Standard Atlas of Macomb County, Michigan, 1895:"John Minnick, a farmer in Section 8 of Warren Twp., has been a resident of Macomb County since 1860". The marriage was held at the bride's parish in Detroit (Wayne County), which served the Catholic German emigrant community. The marriage record lists Andrew and Margaret Wilhelmi as witnesses to the wedding, which indicates that some of John's maternal relatives also emigrated to Michigan.

Map of Koblenz, Germany and the area to the west, including Duengenheim (blue star)

Duengenheim (spelled Düngenheim in German) is a small village located about 20 miles west-southwest of Koblenz, which had been regarded as John's traditional birthplace. The village is located by a blue star in the map above.

Map showing the village of Duengenheim in relation to Autobahn 48

Düngenheim is shown in greater detail on this larger scale map.

Click here to view the photos I took in
Düngenheim and Kaisersesch on 22 September 2003

The Minick's in Macomb and Washtenaw Counties

John and Mary Ann (Gansen) Minick
Photo from the collection of Grace (Minick) Heath. 
Grace wrote on the back of this photo :
John and Mary Minick
Grandparents to Grace Minick Heath

(Photo courtesy of Clark E. Heath)

John Minick moved to Macomb County in 1860 and purchased a 40 acre farm in Section 8 of Warren Township. After his marriage to Mary Ann Gansen in 1868, John and Mary Ann prospered through their hard work. Four children were born to them in the first nine years of their marriage, Mary (1869), Anthony (1872), Gertrude (1874) and Anna Catherine (1877).

1895 map
This plat map shows Sections 8 and 17 of
Warren Township and is taken from the
Standard Atlas of Macomb County, Michigan, 1895.
By 1895, John owned 3 separate properties (indicated by a, b and c in the map at right) that all fronted onto 13 Mile Road between Ryan and Mound Roads. Parcel c was his original farm and homestead dating back to 1860 and the other parcels were purchased sometime between 1875 and 1895. The photo above of John and Mary Ann was likely taken on the porch of their home on parcel c .

Parcels b and c were located in Section 8, which is bounded by present-day 12 and 13 Mile Roads on the south and north, and by Ryan and Mound Roads on the west and east. According to the map, parcel b did not have a dwelling on it. Today, parcel c is part of a large area of vacant land that is owned by the General Motors Corp. and is slated for development within the next year or so.

According to Cresczentia "Grace" Heath (née Minick), when John's son, Anthony, married Frances Grobbel in 1895, the newlyweds moved into the house on parcel a. In 1902, John and Mary Ann moved into a home in nearby Warren Village and Anthony moved his family into his parent's former home on parcel c. John died on 22 Feb 1905, while Mary Ann survived him until 9 March 1908.

Prior to his father's death, Anthony had purchased the farmland from his father and he owned it free and clear. In addition to farming, Anthony also drilled wells for a living. In 1907, Anthony began working in the community of Big Beaver, located about 5 miles away in Troy Twp., Oakland County, MI. While Anthony was traveling in Oklahoma in 1909 looking to buy a farm, his wife Frances, and daughter Grace, both came down with typhoid fever. Anthony quickly came home, but Frances ultimately died of the disease on 15 Nov 1909.

Anthony J. Minick and Frances M. Grobbel
Wedding Portrait - They were married on
14 May 1895 in St. Clement Catholic Church,
in Center Line, Michigan.

After her death, Anthony moved his family to a farm near Ypsilanti and later on, in 1915, he moved them again to a farm in Willis, Augusta Twp., Washtenaw County, MI. He also owned land and a cabin on the shores of Joslin Lake in Lyndon Twp., Washtenaw County (about 1 mile southwest of Unadilla, MI). Using the cabin at Joslin Lake, Grace operated "Grace Cottage", which was a six-week summer camp for children from Detroit. She ran the camp each summer from 1939 through 1942, charging $8 per week for each child and accepting boys 10 and under as well as girls of all ages. (source: "A Touch of Grace - An Oral History of Grace Heath", an interview with Grace Heath that was conducted and recorded on 8 Feb 1980 by Clark E. Heath).

Mary Minick and Anthony J. Grobbel
Wedding Portrait - They were married on
27 June 1894 in St. Clement Catholic Church,
in Center Line, Michigan.
Anthony's wife, Frances, was the daughter of Anton and Elizabeth (née Göbel) Grobbel, whose farm is identified as parcel d on the map above. Parcel e belonged to the heirs of John Grobbel, Anton's younger brother, who was killed in a wagon accident in 1870.

Parcel f belonged to Frances' older brother Anthony Grobbel, and his wife, the former Mary Minick (and older sister of Anthony Minick). Follow these links for more photos and information about their family and to learn where Anthony and Mary built their new house in 1926.

Mike Grobbel
August 2003

4th of July Postcard - 1918 This is the postcard that Monica Reed (née Minick)
(b. 18 Dec. 1901) sent to her 1st cousin, Clement Grobbel. It was postmarked in Ypsilanti, MI on July 2, 1918. Six days earlier, Clem had arrived at Camp Custer in Battle Creek, MI to begin his U.S. Army basic training.

Monica was the daughter of Anthony and Frances Minick. She passed away on 30 Oct 2003, 48 days short of her 102nd birthday.

Dear Cousin, We are all well at present and hope you are too. We all wish we could have seen you before you left. Hoping you are enjoying life at camp. From your Cousin, Monica

Click here to read the transcripts of this postcard and the letters that Clem wrote to his family from North Russia during WW I

This photo of Rose Mary and Carl Hitchingham was taken in Naples, FL during the winter of 1979-80.

Rose Mary (1901- 1983) was the daughter of Anna Catharine Minick and Wendelin Sprenger.

Rose and Carl (1900-1986) were married on 19 Aug 1922.

Rose & Carl Hitchingham

Mike Grobbel Family Home Page

Grobbel Genealogy Home Page

Mike Grobbel
Created: 12 May 2002, Last revised: 19 July 2004
URL for this page is:

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