The Marriage of H. F. A. Utermohlen and Gesine Margarethe Wachtendorf

August was married to Gesine Margarethe Wachtendorf on the 12th of February 1856, in Zetel, a small town Northwest of Oldenburg (see the map on the page about Oldenburg and Nienburg). After changing hands several times, Zetel became part of the lands attached to Oldenburg in 1517. It is located in the Friesische Wehde, a low land of marshes and rich farms.

Gesine Margarethe Wachtendorf was born in Bohlenberge (now a part of Zetel) on the 19th of November 1832, the daughter of Gerd Wachtendorf and Elizabeth Buchner. Elizabeth Buchner was family of Ludwig Buchner (1824-1899) (?her brother), physician, author, philosopher, and teacher, and Georg Buchner (1813-1837), playwright and revolutionary, and also a physician. Ludwig Buchner was a supporter of Darwinian theories and an effective and popular exponent of materialism, through his many books, including the most famous one, "Kraft und Stoff" ("Force and Matter"). Although Georg Buchner died very young, his three plays, "Dantons Tod," "Leonce und Lena," and especially "Woyzeck" - which provided the libretto for the opera by Alban Berg - strongly influenced the development of Expressionism in the 20th century. Thus Elizabeth Buchner came from a family of free-thinking, highly creative physicians.

As of this writing, I have not found any further information on Margarethe's parents or family.

How the couple met I don't know, but it is interesting to speculate that perhaps it was through a visit by August to the great pipe organ in the church of St. Cosmas and Damian in Bockhorn, also a part of Zetel. This pipe organ is still held in international esteem today.

On the right is a picture of their marriage certificate.

Copyright V. Utermohlen
Updated December 29th, 2001.