Gravert-Book Society
Welcome to
Genealogy made easy

Family Research in the Kremper and Kollmar Marsh
Johannes Gravert (1845 - 1923)

In 1911 Johannes Gravert, a farmer in Krempdorf, handed his farmstead over to his son, only to devote himself entirely to family research
in his home region.
At the end of the 19th century, people knew very little about their families and ancestors. Most of them only knew their parents, sisters, brothers, and grandparents. But amongst them were people who realised the necessity for a wider perspective on their families‘ origins and on their consanguinity. People like Johannes Gravert saw the need to educate others that consanguineous marriages, like marriages between siblings, may have fatal consequences.
Johannes Gravert squeamishly collected all available data of farmers and their families in the Kremper and Kollmar Marsh. Unfortunately, he could not complete his work. His two companions Pastor Emil Holst from Barmstedt and Theodor Ahsbahs from Hamburg completed his work in 1929. With the help of the Kremper Marsh savings bank they published the book.

Johannes Gravert

The Farms

The Kremper and Kollmar Marsh

This book contains the history and data of 1,270 farming families in the Stör, Elbe, and Krückau region as well as in the adjacent villages in the geest. It covers 24 rural communities in an area of 30,000 hectare.
According to the original Gravert Book, most farmer families in our region are descendants of the first inhabitants in the Kremper and Kollmar Marsh.
Today nobody can tell if the names of these families are of Saxon or Dutch origin. At the time of dyking men had a first name only. Family names were introduced only after 1300 a. D., with "Hahn" being the first registered family name here.
The family name "Grauwer" (Gravert) appeared in 1500 a. D. in the Kremper Marsh for the very first time.
A German magazine wrote: "...No other German region holds such a detailed register of its inhabitants, of their families, and of their properties...“
Right after publication of the Gravert Book in 1929, first plans for a supplementary series were made. In 1946 Pastor Holst organised the first planning meeting. Volunteers led by Pastor Loetje published the first, content-rich supplementary series to the Gravert Book in October 1953.
A new generation grew up. Dr. Hellmut Augustin lead a large team of volunteers in their work toward the second supplementary series,
which was published in 1976.
Hans-Peter Ahsbahs was elected chairman of the Gravert Book Society in 1995. Over the next years he and his board members Karl-August Linnepe, Kerstin Stäcker, and Gertrude Gravert, with the help from many volunteers prepared the third supplementary series of the Gravert Book.
This "Supplement Series 1 / 2 / 3 - The Farms in the Kremper and Kollmar Marsh" of 1999 was a huge success.
Later this positive feedback encouraged the board of the Gravert Book Society to plan for a modern coloured photographic portrait book.


The photo book

In the early 80s the idea for an illustrated photo book was born. Soon after the first edition of this photo book was published. The book was sold out immediately, although for cost reasons it contained black and white pictures only.
The huge success of the third Supplement Series in 1999 triggered the demand for a new edition of the photo book amongst members of the Gravert Book Society and people from the region. With the full support of all society members the board began to plan for an all new edition of the photo book in 2002.
After solving all privacy and financial issues, the search for the right photographer began. The call was received by H. Dietrich Habbe - a well known and recognised landscape photographer from Molfsee, Schleswig Holstein, Germany. An excellent choice!
Between 2005 and 2006 more than 20,000 high quality pictures were taken in the Kremper and Kollmar Marsh. From this huge collection 1,196 pictures were selected for a unique and outstanding photographic portrait book. This photo book is a must for every household - not only in our region. This book provides fantastic impressions of our beautiful home region.o