Name: Behrend Schwitters

Born: October 21, 1737 in Burhafe, Prussia

Died: February 19, 1809 in Berdum, Prussia

Spouse: Frauke Fremers, married August 30, 1765

Notes: If you are following the Schwitters line backwards, Behrend is as far as you can go without a break.  His father was Schwittert Hinrichs; Behrend got his surname under the patronymic system.  But the paternal surname system was adopted before Behrend's children were born, so the Schwitters surname has been around ever since.

Behrend, like his father, was a schoolmaster and organist.  After at least 100 years in Burhafe, this generation spread out.  Behrend moved to Berdum (which is only 6 miles away).  Two of his brothers, Johann and Enno, were schoolmasters and organists in Werdum and Stedesdorf.

If you look at Berdum with Google Earth, you will see that there are only about 50 buildings surrounded by farmland.  There probably was not full-time schoolmastering and organisting to be done; Behrend farmed too.  In fact he was taken to court in 1886 and fined because Frauke had 10-year-old Enno take wheat to be ground in a neighboring town--by law it was only to be ground in Berdum.  For shame; Behrend had even been Deputy Mayor of Berdum in 1763.

Behrend, his wife Frauke, and his son Enno lived in Berdumer Alte Mitteldeich, about 2 miles due North of Berdum.  There are only four houses there, although we are not certain which one was theirs (Dee Ann Schwitters Johnson, b1942, has visited). 

This is the church in Berdum: