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The people behind the surnames of Crøger, Krøger, Loodtz, Westfalen and Wessel.

Who were they and where did they come from?

Most of these particular surnames reflect a former immigration of people from the European continent in three big seperate wawes.

The first happened in the middle of the fifteenth-century when Bergen welcomed people from many parts of Denmark, Germany, Scotland and the Netherlands.

The second flow of immigration from Bremen and Niedersachsen (including workers from some other Danish and German cities) came in 1670, continuing in 1777 with a new big wawe of migrating people from NiederSachsen.

Friesland, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg and NiederSachsen represents one big area with a common culture and language like Plattdeutch, Dutch and Frisian. The Frisians and Hanseatics were both typical trading people. Crøger/Krøger.

The surnames of Krøger (Kroeger, Kroger), Crøger (Croeger, Croger), Wessel and Lootz (Loots) originate from Friesland, Mecklenburg and Niedersachsen. Especially the members of the patrician Crøger-family from Schleswig-Holstein were persons of great account and played an important role first as inkeepers* later as high officials and artists in their own local society.

*Crögher, Krögher>= Orig. Kromand = innkeeper. (From Crøger=jug)

With the Norwegian minister Jonas Wessel Crøger (1807-1867) the Telemark part (1857) of the Crøgers married into the Frisian-Schleswig-Holstenske line of the Lodtz-Westphal-family in Bergen where they were working primarily in the cloth- and garment-industry, and in maritime trading.

The surname of Lodtz, Lotz, Lootz or Loodtz goes back to one and the same family (Assumed ancestress: Zidselle Lodtz, born 1688, died 1768) originating from the Rostock-area, Northern part of Germany.

In the last part of the sixteen century what seems to be another branch of the Loodtz dynasty moved to Bergen via Kristiansand from Mecklenburg, Flandern and the Netherlands. They were boatswains, captains on merchant-ships, sailors, ship-builders* and mastertailors.

Persons with surnames of Lootz and Lodtz have both emigrated from Norway and the Northern part of Germany to USA.

*Norwegian Blokkmaker or Blokkdreier making blocks and tackles for ships.

*Examples: Westhal (Census 1801) Westphaff, Westphael  (Census 1801) Westfal-Larsen & Co (Firm, Bergen 1997) Westfalden (Letter, Jan Crøger 1995)

1606 Giert Giertsen (Starff) 1606 Henningh Krøger 1617 Jochum Krøger, baker (Wismar) 1618 Jochum Kröger (Rodenborg) 1640 (4/8) Hans Kröger (Hamburg) 1694 Morten Krøger, weaver (Lüneburg Land) (Nedre/Øvre Sachsen) 1724 Franz Krøger, weaver (Bergen) 1731 Henrich Henrichsen Kröger, mastertailor (Rudkjøbing, Langeland, Denmark) 1739 (10/2) Conrat Krøger, merchant (Petershaven, Bremen) 1728 1645 Hans Loess (Ratzeburg) 1607 Hans Westfall 1609 Jacob Westfallenn 1630 Christoffer Wesfalen (Wulstro, Niedersachsen) Danish-German Sources: Krøger: Johannes Krogher (Danish? Jan 1432 og Apr. 1445 UnivMatr Rostock) Bertoldi Krøgers (Notarius Publicus in Malmö, Sweden) Hans Krogher, Husum (9/4 1458) Jesse Krogher, fisherman, Ugle H. (22/8 1463) Pether Krøgher, head of a boat's crew (on Warship in the harbour of Kbh. (1487 KHaRegnsk 74) Henrick Krogher (1487 KHaRegnsk 75) Henrich Krøgher (Onboard another battleship in Kbh. Clawes Krøger, citizen of Haderslev U.D. 1498) Anthonius Kroger (Jan 1505 UnivMatr Rostock) Henrick Krogher (1504 DrKRegnsk 164, mentioned in Ribe Toldregnskaber) Oluff Krøger (1536 G&Lsk I 650)

Norwegian sources: Various censuses, Bergen Register of Citizens 1530-1800. Bergen: 1662 1769 (15/8) 1701 (Census) (State Archive, Oslo) 1702 (Census) (State Archive, Oslo ) 1815 (Nominativ, microfilm, State Archive, Oslo) 1875 Bergen's Address-Book (Griegs Adressebog for Bergen): 1884, 1891, 1895, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905-06, 1908-09, 1909-10, 1910-11 November 1997

November 2001
Åge Skjelborg