Knights and other renown Buddes in history


At the top of the feudal system was the king. Chosen by God, the king had a ‘divine right’ to rule. The king gave his lands and manors (or fiefs – which is where the word feudal comes from) to important lords or tenants–in-chief. In return for the fiefs, the lords or nobles became the king’s vassals and swore an oath of loyalty (fealty) and paid homage to him. Homage consisted of the vassal surrendering himself to the lord, symbolized by his kneeling and giving his joined hands to the lord, who clasped them in his own, thus accepting the surrender.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe slowly started to recover under the Merovingians and the Franks. Around 800 Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne started to unite large parts of Europe again. After his death his sons and grandsons however, started  to divide the territory.  Over time the Frankish kings lost their power and increasingly had to reward their military commanders with land and these people rapidly started to act as ‘little rulers’ themselves. This led, during the 12th and 13th centuries, to the start of what we now call the  feudal system. The term knight refers to a mounted warrior of secondary noble rank. Often the younger son of a hereditary peer (the knight), began his training as a young boy (page) by entering the services of an overlord. At the age of 15,16 he was raised to the rank of squire and began his period of trial.

There were literally thousands of these knights and squires scattered over the area. With their military background it comes as no surprise that they started to engage in an ongoing battle for power, wealth and territory. They often started under the excuse of defending the ‘honour of the knight’.  This was also the situation with some of the key people in this part of the Budde story, who lived in what is now the border region of the Netherlands and Germany.

To provide some insights in the complex and often competing situations, here are some examples from this region.

The counts of Bentheim, Twente, Tecklenburg and Lingen (often related to each other through marriage) all at one time or another and most probably at several occasions have fought each other, especially over feudal rights. In 1144  Otto III of Bentheim was imprisoned in Ootmarsum by the bishop of Utrecht, a few year later however troops from Drente, related to Otto I from Gelre burn down the church in Oud Ootmarsum (see: Sünte Marienrode) during their rampage against the Count of Coevorden. The Duke of Brabant negotiated a peace treaty. Sophie van Bentheim marries Dirk VI from Holland who is involved in the crusades; he also included nobility related to Sophie in his followers. A stone engraving from the 12th century of Dirk and his mother Petronella from still exists in the Monastery of Egmond.

There are two noble Budde families of whom I have traced their history both in research and in following their footsteps during trips we have made in 1999 and 2002 and 2016.  The earliest known Budde’s lived around the Baltic coast of Germany in Mecklenburg and in (Vor)Pommeren and the other branch more in the areas of our branch of the family.


Map 1678 – Buddes in Pommeren, Osnabruck, Munster, Bentheim (Wietmarschen, Nordhorn), Ootmarsum and Oss

Coat of Arms

Heraldry is important when researching noble families. Before fixed family names came into use, patronymics were used to distinguish father from son and so on. Family names first became the tradition among noblemen, this happened in Germany before 1200.

There are some 10 coats of arms of the various Budde families. One has been registered in the Netherlands (Deventer), but there is no direct link with our branch. The Deventer branch starts with Henricus Budde, born in 1658 in Hamm, Wesfalen. He established himself in Deventer in 1687. Several members of this branch, who were allowed to add the name Cost to their name in 1831, are living in the east and west Netherlands. The Deventer branch are of the Protestant religion, whilst our branch has always remained Catholic.

The other coats of arms are coming from Ost Friesland, Pommeren, Courlande (Letland), USA (from immigrants)  and a general German one – the unicorn, checkers  and the French Lily are prominent features. On the picture below, the third on the left (top) might be one of the earliest Coat of Arms from Pommeren/ Mecklenburg.

Both a family name and a coat of arms is inherited from father to children. Before family names were fixed, the coat of arms is a better proof of family connection than the name.

In family naming other problems arrive. In the feudal system the family name belonged to the farm, so if a daughter stayed on the farm and married, her husband would took the family name from his wife.

Google images. Coats of Arms various Budde families.

Budde history trips 1999 and 2002

In 1999 Louise and I travelled  to Bentheim and Munster to explore the Budde history of this part of Germany. This is also close to where we find the first information about our branch of the family in Wietmarschen and Ensburen.

June  2002 we traveled through northern Germany: Rügen and Pommern and from there to Estonia and Latvia following the trail of the Budde nobilities who lived in these areas from 1100 till 1700.

Back in early 2001, I had made contact with Tanja-Isabel Budde in Greifswald. She studied in Greifswald but her family comes from Westphalia, so there is no connection between her and the Buddes in Pommern. She had already provided me with a very valuable ‘starting kit’ about the region and an excellent road map that had all the places on it that we wanted to visit. Once in Pommern we of course met up with her and she offered us to be our guide and with her we traveled though Ost-Vorpommern.

From here we flew to Tallinn and followed the Budde trail in Estonia, – in particular the island of Saareema – and in Latvia.

As the oldest Budde records come from what is now the Bundesland Meckelenburg – Vorpommern, we will start our story here. The core area for us is Vorpommern (West Pomerania). The eastern part of Pomerania is now part of Poland.

Mecklenburg and (Vor)Pommern

While there are no direct links established between the various Buddes that lived here, there are good reasons to believe they all are part of The House Budde from  Neetzow (see below), they are sometimes referred to as belonging to this House and are also known as the nobility of Pommern and also sometimes as belonging to the nobility of Mecklenburg.

The first recorded Budde ever is Alard Budde in 1130 in Stralsund (Strelasund) at that time Stralsund was part of the Kingdom of the Slavic tribe the Rani (Ruani, Ruaju). During the migration period they had replaced the Germanic tribe of the Rugii. Both archaeological research and the name similarities indicate that there was some sort of continuation rather than a replacement. Both names Alard and Budde also have a strong linguistic Germanic link (not Slavic).

In 1168 the Danes conquered the Rani and established the Danish Principality of Rügen (Fürstentum Rügen). It consisted also both the island of Rügen and the adjacent mainland, including Stralsund. They occupied it  from 1168 until 1325. It was governed by a local dynasty of princes of the Wizlawiden (House of Wizlaw) dynasty. For at least part of this period, Rügen was subject to the Holy Roman Empire.

This part of the Budde family appears throughout the area of the old Principality of Rügen, which also included parts what became consequently parts of Pommern and Mecklenburg.

 History of Pommern

The Baltic coast remained ‘pagan’ land occupied by west-Slavic tribes. From the 8th century the Vikings began their raids on Europe and the Vikings from Denmark became the controlling power on the Baltic coasts. In the 10th century several of these tribes united under the first Polish dynasty of the Piasts. Pommern was part of unification process and became part of the initial territory of (larger) Poland.

Around 1150 Poland entered into a two-century period of feudal disintegration, which resulted in painful territorial losses, mainly to the German feudal lords. The margraves of Brandenburg launched a frontal attack on Pomerania, destroying the former territorial and political, administrative and church structures and leading to the formation of the New March, while in the eastern part of Pomerania a similar role began to be played by the Order of the Teutonic Knights.

As a result of consistent colonisation of Western Pomerania and the Germanisation of the ducal dynasties, Brandenburg established strong influences over this region. The expansion towards linking up the Teutonic areas with those occupied by Brandenburg was halted by the great battle at Grunwald (1410) and later by the 13-year war that ended with the peace of Torun (1466), in which Kazimierz the Jagiellon regained Gdansk Pomerania and subordinated the rest of the lands taken by the Teutonic Knights as a fiefdom.

After the 30-Years-War (1648) Pommern consisted of two areas: Swedish-Pommern in the West under Swedish rule and the Eastern area under the rule of the Brandenburg Electors (Prussia).

After the defeat of Napoleon, Sweden in 1815 renounced all her claims to areas in Germany including Pommern. Pommern west of the Oder River was also called Vorpommern (Cis-Pomerania) while east of the Oder River Hinterpommern was called (Trans-Pomerania).

In 1938 areas from the former provinces of Westpreussen and Posen which were lost after WWI were added in an administrative reform. In 1945, Poland took all Pommern East of the Oder River (Hinterpommern) as well as the area around Stettin (Szczecin).

The Teutonic Knights

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1230, named Reval, which in 1939 was changed into Tallinn (this means in Estii town of the Danes). The lesser coat of arms of Tallinn depicts the Dannebrog cross of the Teutonic Order.

A regular order developed, during the third crusade, from the German Hospital Society (1190) set up by German merchants in Akko, Palestine. The members, who were nobles, became a knights’ order in 1198 to fight ‘infidels’ in northeastern Europe. In this process they acquired a large number of properties all over northern Europe. They assisted the German emperor to conquer the ‘heathens’ in Prussia. In return they were allowed to establish their own territory between Thorn and Kulm (this later became Prussia, of which Pommern formed a part). This process of ‘christening’ led to many quarrels and wars with a rapidly disintegrating Poland. In 1237 the Teutonic Knights  merged with the Knights of the Swords. This also brought the Knights into Courland, expanding the German influence to the borders with Lithuania, which they never conquered. This region became known as Livonia and included what is now Estonia and Latvia. In 1308 they conquered Pommern. They lost Courland in 1558, when it became an independent duchy.

The Teutonic Knights also obtained properties in Ootmarsum, the Netherlands, where we come across our branch of the Budde family in the the 19th century.

Napoleon, in 1809, dissolved the Order.

Stralsund is a  attractive Hanse city, with the merchant houses, churches, a town hall and street plans that are so typical to these cities. The interior of the church is an absolute jewel with lots of very early wall paintings in spectacular colours. The Hanse was a highly successfull trading network established in the 13th century in Lübeck. Some 170 cities in north-western Europe were loosely participating in this network.

We visited Lübeck in 2011.

Stralow, the Slavic name for the city, was established on the strip of the Pommern coast, which belonged to the Kingdom of Rügen. On October 13th, 1234, Witzlaw I Prince of Rügen granted the settlement at the sound the status of a town. Trade and shipping became the most important sectors resulting in the town’s rise, a fact which is revealed by port regulations issued already in 1278, and, in particular, by Stralsund joining the Hanseatic League at the end of the 13th century. The economic rise ran parallel to an increase in political strength in opposition to the town ruler, who first was the (Slavic) Prince of Rügen and, from 1325, the new ruler the Duke of Pomerania.

Rathaus Stralsund – 2002

On May 24th, 1370, after a several-year lasting war with the Danes, the Treaty of Stralsund was concluded between the Hanseatic League and the Danish Kingdom in the town hall of the town at the Strelasound. From that time onward the city grew in power and richness and this provided it with many privileges, granted by the various dukes and princes. This provided unprecedented freedom to its citizens, this enlightened rule also had its effect on Rügen, where most farmers were able to also buy themselves free and many wealthy farmers married into the various noble families on the island.

As mentioned the first recorded Budde ever is Alard Budde in 1130 in Stralsund. Other members of the Budde family in Stralsund are recorded in the ‘Stadtbuch’:

Henning Budde – Stralsund


  • Arnold Budde 1350
  • Hermann Budde 1358
  • Gotscalaus Budde 1415
  • Heinrich (Henning) Budde 1437

We visited the Rathaus where these documents are and made contact with the archivist, however consequent emails remained unanswered.

Henning Sleffe ceded in 1449  some farms (or land) at Papenhagen and Müggenwalde (both ca 20 kms to the south of Stralsund) to the Stralsunder citizen Henning Budde.

Principality of Rügen

Collapsing Nazi Resort Prora Rügen

On the other side of the Sound, the narrow 2.5 km waterway,  lays the island of Rügen. There is a bridge and a causeway from Stralsund that leads to the island. We travelled here for a day and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere. The natural environment of the island is stunning with lakes, wetlands, beaches, a few hills and forests. It is one of the major holiday places for the Germans. In 1942 Hitler decided to build holiday accommodation for 20,000 people. While the project was completed before the end of the war, the kilometres-long row of ugly apartment building along the beautiful beach was never used. It is now an eerie ghost ‘town’ with partly collapsed buildings.

In Rügen we also come across Buddes. They appeared to have belonged to the Neetzow branch. They were first mentioned in 1304 when a Hennig von Budde was mentioned as a Councillor to Prince Wizlaw III of Rugen.

The family also appeared in neighboring  Mecklenburg since 1353 (at that stage part of the the Duchy of Saxon).


After the last ice age, the Baltic Sea started to fill up with water but left the highest parts of what now is the island of Rügen dry. Over the years silt filled up the areas between the peaks and large parts of the island became swamps (bodden). Germanic hunters and gatherers visited the island from 6,000 BC onward. However, around 600/700 AD the Slavs replaced them. These people ruled independently and had their own kings. Around 1100 Danish Vikings conquered the island, after they already has conquered large parts of the neighbouring mainland. However, the Rüganen where able to maintain their independence and equally operated as ‘Vikings’ raiding the coast of Denmark.

Swantewit at Arkona Rügen – 2002

They withstood a crusade under Bernard von Clairvaux  and battles with Danish and Swedish fleets. They were able to defend themselves against all odds until 1168, when a combined force of Danish, Saxons and Pommerns attacked the island under the fanatic leadership of Bishop Absalon. Not just to conquer them but even more importantly to convert them to Christianity! Their sacred site at Arkona, where they worshipped their god Swantewit was totally destroyed. Still the island was able to maintain, as a Slavic island, a certain rule of independence, be it now with a new religion. Despite Danish rule the colonisation that followed the christening of the island brought in Germans rather than Danes. By 1400 the Slavic language and culture was totally replaced. After the violent years during the 12th century, a peaceful time followed that in particular brought great wealth to the above-mentioned new city of Stralsund on the mainland of the Kingdom of Rügen. After the death of the last Slavic king in 1325, the duke of Pommern inherited Rügen.

A new master arrived after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, when the Swedes took over, this ended in 1815, when it became part of Prussia.


Glewitz – Rugen,

In 1349 a Johannes Budde was named as the owner of the Glewitzer farmstead; this was sold in that same year to the Gristow family who sold it to city of Greifswald. (The name next to the relevant red dot on the map above says: Glewitzer). The ferry and ferry house had previously also formed part of the property, but they were split off in 1337 and in 1401 sold to the city of Stralsund. Glewitzer (Slavic: ‘Chlevec’ which means stable) is situated in the south, close to the Stelasund. Seven hundreds years later, the ferry still exists and while the buildings might be different there is still only one farmhouse here.

St. Lawrence’s Church Zudar Rügen – 2002



Possible other members of this family include Eckard Budde sealed a document with a foot of a bird of prey in the shield. Seals with a Wolfsangel (a German heraldic-wolf trap – emblem) are known from a Henning Budde from Lexow from 1342 and one from Dietrich von Budde from Walow dated 1357.  Both are believed from an early Mecklenburg noble family, but there are no known links to  the Rügischen Budde family.

Damgur (Damgarten)

The town’s name derives in the Slavic settlements Rybanis (ryba means fish) and Damgor (dǫbǔ means oak tree, gora means hill), located on opposite sides of the mouth of the Recknitz river. This formed the border between Mecklenburg and Pomerania. At the ford a castle was built about 1200 on the Mecklenburg side. The Danish princes of Rügen responded by erecting a fortress on the opposite side that later became the town of Damgarten.

Damgarten was granted city privileges in 1258 by Jaromar II, Duke of Rügen, as Damechore. In that document Johannes Budde is mentioned. In the years 1295-1302 Domini Ernesti Budde ( a son or brother of Ernest?) is mentioned several times. In 1295 he also appeared under Werlischen chivalry. The County of Werle was part of Mecklenburg.


Buddenhagen with Tanja-Isabel Budde – 2002

In Pommern we also visited Buddenhagen; this place is named after Eghart Budde who in the 14th century owned a watermill in the woods of Wolgastland. Buddenhagen was first mentioned in 1387.

In 1633 the body of the Swedish king laid in state in the local forestry.

At the start of the new millennium the village had 500 inhabitants. There was not a lot to see, only one old place which possibly could have been the old site of the original land of Eghart. In the 14th century ‘hagen’ was added to a surname to indicate the ownership of a property most probably bounded by hedges.

There is also a small community called Buddenhagen, part of Sassnitz Council in the northeast of Rügen.


Fisherman fountain and Town Hall Greifswald -2002

This town is also a Hanse city, but smaller than Stralsund the city has a similar amount of beautiful buildings. We climbed the steeple, which provided us with a great view over the city in which the university clearly dominates the city. Tanja studies in Greifswald at one of the first universities of northern Europe, founded around 1440. The same university at which Jons Budde studied around 1468 and Matthias Budde in 1566.

Article on Jons Budde in Finnish Newspaper

Johannes Andreas (Jons) was most probably born in 1437 (perhaps in Botnia, the Swedish speaking part of Finland). He was a Franciscan monk and is mentioned in a document from the Pope Nicolas II in 1453 in reference to his appointment to the administrative function of archdeacon in Vasteros, Sweden.

He is the first known Finnish author who lived from about 1462 till 1491 (probably the year of his death) in the Brigittene monastery at Naatalin. He mainly translating from Latin to Swedish (stories about the saints, including Saint Birgitta from Naatalin), but he also wrote a few things of his own. Codex Aboensis, written probably in Turku in the 1440’s, is an important collection of law texts; Missale Aboense printed in 1488 for the Finnish church is a beautiful book and a source of medieval Finnish religious life.

Henning Budde from the Neetzow branch was a Councillor in Greifswald in 1454. He died before 1462 and had at least one child, Agnes Budde, her 2nd husband was a Bertram von Lubeck, burgomaster at Stralsund (died before 1488). This Henning could be the same as the one recorded in the Stralsund Stadtbuch (as mentioned above).


From here we travelled to Anklam. Here we have a Franz Budde, born 20th May 1634.He was a Praepositus (Abbot) of the Lutheran church in this town. He died here on 15 July 1705. He was married to Catharina Balthasar. There son Franz was born on 25 June 1667 in Anklam and moved to Thuringen in Gotha, where he married Catharina Posner, he died on 18 November 1729. From here the family continues in Thuringen. These Buddes were parish priests both in Anklam and Thuringen.

After some touring around we established which of churches was the Luthern one, but as so many other historic buildings, also this one had been seriously neglected during the Soviet period. The church was closed and is undergoing serious restoration, leaving us wandering around the foot of this building.

Neetzow – Matthias and Godslev Budde 

Neetzow Vorpommern
Neetzow – 2002

All Buddes investigating their family history will come across Matthias Budde, the most famous ‘cousin’ of the family.

This family resided at the mansion in Neetzow  (Nessow, Reezow, Netzkow) – a small village between Greifswald and Anklam – and had other manors in Gramzow and Rinow. They belonged to the nobility of Mecklenburg and Pommern. This family later on went to Denmark, Norway and Osel (Oesel) in what is now Estonia.

Around 1500 Andreas (Drewes) Budde lived, with his wife Margaretha Winterfeld, in Neetzow. We visited the sizable castle of Neetzow, most probable the place were Andreas lived. The current castle however dates from the 19th century and was at time under restoration.

Puzzling is a reference to a Hennig Budde from Neetzow married to Katharina von Dewitz and a Margarethe Budde born in Neetzow before 1567, she died after 1625 and married around 1600 with Bernhard von Zepplin. This could indicate relationships with Stralsund and Rügen.

The family still had a manor in Rinow (south of Berlin) in 1686, but disappears from the records after that. Other records indicate that they died in poverty.

But back to their heydays. In 1517 Drewes  received from Count Bogislaw X of Pommern, the rights to two farmsteads as well as a farmstead with a cottage in the village of Nessow. This was changed to a feudal tenure the following year. These rights also applied to his sons Hans (Henning?) and Matthias.  Henning Budde  was married to Dorothea Ruske (Rausche). They had at least two children (sons) Matthias and Godslev. In June 1566 Matthias was enrolled at the University of Greifswald.

Another family member Joachim von Budde († 1617) held the influential office of Marshal of the Duchy (Hofmarschall) of Pomerania-Wolgast. The family later settled in Hinterpommern where, through marriage, they established  family ties with  the influential families of the Podewils and the Blanckenburg.. At the beginning of the 17th century Christoph von Budde was Pomeranian Hofmeister, Court and District Council and Canon of Kamin and Kolberg.  However at the beginning of the 18th century the Budde family in Pommern had died out.

While I have not been able to directly link the Buddes in Stralsund and Rügen to the Neetzow branch it could well be that it were descendants of this family who received the above mentioned land from Count Bogislaw X.


Drewes grandsons Matthias and Godslev moved to Denmark around 1570  and they, as well as their descendants, formed an important part of the Danish nobility during the next 100 years (at that time Pommern was part of the Danish empire).

They must have been able to build up a name and reputation for themselves,  as they received positions at the royal court. They built up close ties with the Danish Royal Family especially with King Frederik II (1557-1632) and Queen Sophia (married in 1572).

Godslev also accompanied the Danish princess Anna on a trip to Scotland. Matthias held several diplomatic positions and represented Denmark or Danish matters in England and in Poland.

In 1575 Matthias became secretary in the German Chancellery. In 1577 he was appointed Hofjunker and 1580 invested with the provost Thyholm.

I also received the following information in relation to Mathias. He worked as a mediator between the two kings during  a war with Poland. Here are two abstracts.

” Meanwhile Johann Behr returned to Pilten with a Danish legate, Matthias Budde, who had been ordered to go to Poland. (Budde later became the royal governor of Arensburg on Ösel, but he was deposed soon thereafter.) Behr not only brought a favorable response from the Danish king, but also several artillery pieces, shot, powder, materiel, etc., with which to better preserve the arrangement. The people of the diocese were so emboldened that they most carelessly and rashly set out after the knight Oborsky…”

“During this warfare in the diocese the two kings sent legates back and forth, making arguments pro and con, each of the kings lodging accusations against the other. Matthias was sent to Poland to argue the case of the King of Denmark, namely that the king and his predecessors had had right and claim to the diocese in the time of the first settlement of the lands of Livonia. The King of Poland for his part based his case on the right of possession and said that this right should not be challenged or disputed in spite of the fact that some subjects were in rebellion. He offered to submit the matter to arbitration, confident that he could justify his claim on the basis of the right of actual possession. When the royal and illustrious Margrave of Prussia, Georg Friedrich, saw that nothing could be achieved through this dispatching back and forth, writing and rebutting, and exchange of hostile words, [122] since hard stones are rarely ground down, he intervened as a peace-loving prince and offered to act as intermediary for the sake of the poor diocese and also so that these two mighty potentates not become further entangled in misunderstandings.”

Greater Denmark

Norway (blue) Sweden 1330s–1350s (puple)  Denmark (brown) Conquered by Denmark in 1219 (green),  Livonia (red) before 1343 – Wikepedia

The Denmark of today was only a small part of the huge kingdom which Christian III took over in 1536 after victory in the civil war. At that time, Denmark included Scania, Halland, Blekinge, Gothland and Oesel (the latter on the map the island in green)). Furthermore, Norway and its extensive North Atlantic possessions (the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland) had formed a personal union with Denmark since the Kalmar Union was established in 1397. The section concerning Norway in Christian III’s coronation charter emphasised that Norway was as much a part of Denmark as Jutland. Furthermore, the Oldenburg monarch was Duke of Holstein and also Duke of Schleswig, which was under an oath of fealty to the Danish Crown (green parts on the mainland).

Saaremaa – Estonia

In relation to the Budde history in Estonia, Saaremaa was the main aim of our trip in 2002. We arrived here via the smaller island of Muhu, linked by a causeway with Saareema. Here we visited Koguva an exceptionally well-preserved old-fashioned island village. All of its 105 houses are protected as an open-air museum (no cars allowed!).

Oesel – Saaremaa

In Scandinavian sagas of the 8th – 10th centuries Saaremaa was mentioned as Eysysla. In old German Danish, Swedish and Russian sources its name was Oesel. The name Saaremaa replaced Oesel in 1945.

In January 1227 the Teutonic Knights brought an army of 20,000 across the frozen sea and established German rule, which would last, despite frequent rebellions, until 1559.

During the Livonian and following wars the island remained a battle field the Danes, then the Swedes to be followed by another Danish invasion, then the Russians and finally the Swedes again in 1645. After the Brömsebro Peace Treaty Saaremaa became permanently Swedish. In 1651 Queen Christine from Sweden confirmed the property rights of the Buddes on Saaremaa. Eventually however the Buddes left Oesel and moved back to Denmark.

The Swedes lost their Baltic possessions to the Russians in 1710. The Tsarist Empire came to an end in 1917, but Saareema was immediately reoccupied by German troops who left in November 1918. It then finally became part of a new independent Estonia after WWI in 1918.

After WWII, the Russian ‘liberators’ decided to stay and it wasn’t until 1991 that they finally left.

Angla Saareema Estonia

The landscape is very flat; as is most of the Baltic. The island is steeped in history and there are many remnants from the past in the small villages and communities. At the time of the Teutonic invasion more Estii lived on the island than on the mainland. It has fortress-like churches with very impressive towers and thick walls. Of its original 800 wooden windmills only a handful are still left.

Arendsburg – The castle was originally built in wood between 1338 and 1380.

The jewel in Saaremaa’s crown however, is the 14th century castle Arendsburg in the capital Kuressaare. We immediately fell in love with this unpretentious little town it certainly has character. Already in Australia I had made contact with Olavi Pesti, the conservator of the castle and we met up with him during the trip and he showed us around

Lossi, our hotel was within the grounds of the castle between the first and second moat.

After the German Knights of the Sword finally conquered in 1227, the island was split in two. The island Muhu and the eastern and north-eastern part of Saaremaa came under the authority of the Knights. They were headquartered in Põide (see below). The Haapsalu-based bishop of Oesel-Wiek got the rest. In 1260 he built the first castle in Kuressaare. However, the local population revolted several times and it was not until 1345 before the Germans sealed their authority. The current castle and its fortifications were built between 1338 and 1380. Over 90% of this castle is still intact. It is an absolutely fantastic place with endless corridors, a medieval central heating system, interconnected rooms, secret staircase and even has an entombed prisoner!

In 1559 the last bishop of the island, Johannes Münchausen sold Kuressaare (the capital) together with his other possessions to King Frederik II of Denmark. After which the Budde’s as Danish Stadtholders occupied the castle.

The Stadtholders changed often and represented the occupying countries (Danes, Swedes, Germans and Russian). They in turn were represented by the captains of the knighthood on the island. Local nobility councils (Landrat) did the day-to-day governing; there were six of them on Saaremaa.

From 1584 to 1589 Matthias was Stadtholder (governor) of Saaremaa or Ösel as it was named in German after the Teutonic Order took control over these lands.

He married Ursula Behr a daughter of Johann Behr, the Danish governor in Kurland (Courland now Latvia)  and his wife Margaretha Grotthufi. Matthias had one daughter Karin and one son Friedrich.

Friedrich and his wife Anna Urup had six daughters and six sons:

  • Matthias, was, according to his father’s last will, judged to be obstinate and was disinherited. He moved to Courland, where he in a dishonest way took the inheritance of his dead brother Axel from Ullrich Behr (his grandmother’s family?). He threatened his father with sword and pistols and would have killed him if others hadn’t stopped him. He was also involved in several ‘irregularities’ in Denmark. Nevertheless he served at the royal court in Denmark, was an officer in Denmark/Noway and ended as a lieutenant colonel and lord of a manor.
  • Friederich Otto, see below in chapter Norway.
  • Axel he died in 1649 and is buried in Copenhagen
  • The twins Helle and Ursulla – Helle married Reinholdt van Hove, he died in 1684 without a male heir.
  • Anne Catherina, married to Peter Wibe and Joachim Bind, she died in Copenhagen in 1665.
  • Joachim, was a lieutenant in 1658.  He inherited Tõlluste, but this property went to Johann after his death in 1666. He left Oesel with his wife and children and moved to Denmark.
  • Johann was, around 1650, involved in, and survived, a duel with Otto Orning near Malmo in Sweden, in which Otto died. He didn’t follow his father’s advice and was initially disinherited; however, after he had fallen ill this was changed and he inherited Pia after the death of his mother. In Friederich’s will (27 November 1651) he left the Manor Pia (Pichtendahl) to his (divorced?) wife Catherina Urup, who lived in Denmark at that time. She didn’t accept it and went to Johann After his dead inn the winter of 1684/85. Pia went to his daughter Adelheid Catherina and through her to her husband Christian Poll (1618-1693).
  • Christopher Heinrich, who became a major in the army
  • Ellen married Odert von Poll, she inherited Koelljall, together with the village Fack acquired by her father and a farm at Buckelschen.
  • Sophia married with Jürgen v. der Osten-Sacken, who later also became a governor of Oesel.

Matthias acquired, a range of properties, they include the manor houses of:

  • Tollist (Tõlluste – near Sandla – he bought this estate from Johan Taube for 9000 Reichsthalers),
  • Koelljall (Koeljala – near Valjala),
  • Randefer (Randvere – near Kihelkonna),
  • Hasik (Haeska – near Leisi),
  • Pichtendahl or Pia (Pihtla),
  • Schultzenhof (Nolgimois – on the western end of Kuressaare),
  • Mullut (Mullutu – near Kuressaare) and
  • Uppel (Upa, north of Kuressaare).

During our trip we visited several of these estates with Tina Seppe (see below).



Tõlluste with Tonu and Tina Seppe

Matthias died in 1591, and his brother Godslev became the guardian of the estate. Matthias only son Friedrich reached adulthood in 1612 and became the owner of Tõlluste. They had 12 children 6 boys and 6 girls. Friedrich died before 1658. Initially Friedrich’s son Johann was supposed to inherit Tõlluste. However as indicated below that did not eventuate and his other son Joachim, a lieutenant in the Danish army, inherited the estate. But in a twist of faith the property still ended up with Johann after Joachim’s death in 1666. After Johann died in the winter of 1684/85 Tõlluste was sold on April the 8th 1685.

Olavi Peski (Curator of the Kuressaare castle) had brought us in contact with Tonu Seppe, who was at that stage the owner of Tõlluste (since sold to a Swedish lady, who has started the restoration of this place). Tonu is an archaeologist and his wife Tina a tourist guide. Tina was our guide on the island. She not only showed us several of the old Budde estates, but also lots more of beautiful Saaremaa.

Tonu started with the restoration of Tõlluste, but the financial situation for the restoration significantly improved under the new ownership. There are several buildings on the property.

  • The mansion itself, in which Tonu and Tina live and for which Tonu is developing a restoration plan.
  • A beautifully restored thatched-roofed, two-stories granary, with arched storage rooms on the ground floor and an arcade and wooden gallery on the second floor.
  • A separate house built in a very special architecture (it reminded us of South African Boer architecture). Tonu was restoring this house, which will be turned into a guesthouse, while we were there.

The property is also home to some protected trees, perhaps dating back to the 16th century(?).

 Tõlluste Manor

Tõlluste Manor was founded in 1528 when the Bishop of Oesel-Wiek (Saare – Lääne), G. von Tiesenhausen, expropriated the land. During the second half of the 16th century, the neighbouring Tõlsen lands were added. In 1590 Matthias Budde acquired the property. The manor apparently got its name from the Tõlsen family. However, another legend is that the manor received its name from Saaremaa’s folk hero, the giant Suur Tõll. He fought many battles around the island against devils and fiends. Big Tõll is supposed to be buried close by.

F.B.A.V 1646

The coats of arms of Godslev son, Friedrich and his wife, Anna Urup, are in the back wall of the mansion (F.B.A.V 1646).

It is believed that the manor was ruined in 1704, during the Great Northern War. According to Tina part of the cellars date back to the period before that war.

In more recent times (1920-1980) the manor has housed a school, local folk-house and a library.

After the Swedes took over control of Saareema, the Buddes left some went back to Denmark others settled in  Norway. With no family members left in Saaremaa, their estate Tölluste was sold by the family on April 8th  1685.

Pihtla (Pia)
Pihtla (Pia) Saareema Estonia

Pihtla was sold to Friedrich Budde in 1630 for 800 thaler and stayed in the Budde family for 70 years.

Friedrich’s son Johann was, around 1650, involved in, and survived, a duel with Otto Orning near Malmo in Sweden. He didn’t follow his father’s advice and was initially disinherited; however, after he had fallen ill this was changed and he inherited Pia after the death of his mother. In his will (27 November 1651) he left the Manor Pia (Pichtendahl) to his (divorced?) wife Catherina Urup, who lived in Denmark at that time. She didn’t accept it and Pia went to his daughter Adelheid Catherina and through her to her husband Christian Poll, who became ‘Landrat’ (administrative head of a region) on Oesel. Their son Johann Friedrich Poll inherited Pia.

In the 19th century the Swiss Schlupp family, who established here a cheese-making factory, bought the property. Under the Soviet regime the estate became a kolkhoz. It is now back in the hands of the Schalap family. When we visited the mansion in 2002, it was in total ruins and in desperate need of very urgent and massive restoration.

Kõljala (Coejall)
Kõljala – Saareema Estonia

Bought by Friedrich Budde in 1609 from Wulf to pay for his liabilities. He sold it 1628 for 5300 thaler to Fr. Rantzov. In 1638 he bought the place back for the same sum.

Friedrich’s daughter Ellen inherited the mansion in 1651 together with the village Tack acquired by her father and a farm at Ruckelsche.

She married Odert Poll after 1677, and the mansion was thus passed over to this family.

The Kõljala mansion, also seriously renovated over the centuries, was in 2002, in a much better shape than Pihtla. But similarly also this estate was turned into a kolkhoz. However, it was refurbished and maintained during the Soviet period as the regional head office. A Danish family currently owns the building.

Haeske mõis Saareema Estonia

Friedrich Budde acquired this mansion from the inheritors of Jacob Becke sometimes after 1617. In 1632 Friedrich sold it to Heimart Nolcken, whose family continued to own it until 1919.


Randevere, Schultzenhof and Mullutu
Randevere mõis Saareema Estonia

These properties were bought by Friedrich Budde in 1628 from J.Churtlandt for 7000 thaler and sold together in 1632 from 8500 thaler to Heimart von Nolcken.

There is nothing left of Schultzenhof (Nolgimõisa).

The mansion of Randevere, a simple wooden building, was used as an elementarily school during the communist era.

Mullutu no longer exists but was situated in Kaaarma. (Karmel in German). It was first mentioned in 1560.

Uppel – Upa

According to Tina’s investigations a small mansion was not built here before the beginning of the 18th century. The most likely situation might have been that the Budde family had land in the area.

F.B.A.V 1637

An engraved stone plaque, similar to the one in Tõlluste Mansion, is on the outside wall of the (Lutheran) St Laurentius church of Kuressaare (F.B.A.V 1637). The initials of Godlev’s son Friedrich and his wife Anna Urup. The church was pretty new at that stage, built in 1612, as the (new) town of Kuressaare was established a kilometre or so to the north of the castle. The plaque is the only one in the whole church and survived two renovations one in 1726 and another one in 1826.

In the castle hangs a picture of a portrait of Christian Poll, he was married (3rd wife) to Adelheid Catherina Budde and became one the next governor of Saaremaa. Adelheid was the granddaughter of Matthias, and the daughter of Johann.

In the meantime I have made contact with one of his descendants, Odert von Poll, who lives in Frankfurt. He also owns the original oil painting from which the picture at Kuressaare is taken.


There was also an inscription in the altar chalice of Peude (Põide) reading: “Johann Budde Anna Treiden IFVVHMCVK Geschenkt in Peude Kirche”.

Johann is the same one as mentioned above under Tõlluste. Anna Treiden was his first wife. They married in 1648.

We did find the church, however the building was struck by lightning in 1940 or 1941. We couldn’t find the original altar, while there were bits and pieces on exhibition; a new altar had been installed after the destruction. The church looks more like a fortress, very tall and very robust. It was the head office the Teutonic Order on the island.

Põide Church.

Põide St. Mary’s church dominates the surrounding low countryside. Due to its massive size, it gives the impression of a fortress rather than a church. Indeed, its history is entwined with Saaremaa’s battles and fortresses. After the conquest of Saaremaa in 1227, the eastern part of Saaremaa belonged to the Livonian Order, who built a fortress at Põide as their headquarters during the second half of the 13th century. The Saarlanders destroyed this fortress during the wave of uprisings against the occupying forces that took place in Estonia and Saaremaa during the St. George’s Night uprisings of 1343. There was a chapel on the southern side of the fortress, and the walls of this chapel form the central part of Põide Church. The church was last burnt and its interior completely destroyed during WW II. It is slowly being restored.

Matthias  died in 1591 and his grave stone with relief is situated in the Church Gramzow in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern .

Grabplatte des Matthias Budde in der Gramzower Kirche


Godslev also became the vassal of the monastery of Borglum (it became a manor after the Reformation in 1536 but is still today called a monastery) , while Matthias became the vassal over the deanery of Thyholm.

Godslev died in 1622 and his son lived on in Oesel (Saaremaa). However, this family died out with his grandson in the middle of the 17th century,

Because of their strong relation with the Danish Court, other family members returned to Denmark and from here also settled in Norway which at time was in a personal union with Denmark.

The Budde family became  part of the listed Oesel Knight society as the first list (Matrikel)  in 1740, soon after that the Buddes must have left Oesel

The Danish branch of the family died out with the death of Anna Sophia Budde 1796 in Hjørring.

In Norway, the  family Budøe has taken the name and coats of arms of the Budde family.


An interesting member of the Budde family in Norway has been Major General Vincentz Budde. He was born December 31 1660 in Frederikshald (today Halden) in Norway as the son of Colonel (and commandant of Frederiksten castle) Frederik Otto Budde and his wife Ida Sophia Bildt (see above in Estonia). In 1684 he was promoted to lieutenant of a Norwegian dragoon regiment and to captain (Hauptmann) at that same regiment in 1688. He resigned from the Norwegian army in 1689 to take service in foreign armies.

In 1702 he was employed as Major in a Danish mercenary regiment in service of the Emperor. He participated in a campaign in Italy. In 1703 he was promoted to General Major. However, in that same year he resigned and moved back to Norway where he was again employed as an officer of the Norwegian army with the title Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant) of the Northern Dragoon Regiment.

On April 12, 1710 he was promoted to Colonel and commander of the Trondheim National Infantry Regiment, in 1711 promoted to the rank of brigadier. In February 1713 his regiment was transported from Trondheim to Denmark, and for the next three years he led his regiments in campaigns in North-Germany, including the capture of Tönning, the landing on Rügen and the siege and capture of Stralsund.

After the Swedes had attacked Norway in February 1716, his regiment was shipped back from Denmark to Frederikstad in Norway in early April 1716. He then led the successful attack on the Swedish forces in Moss. In November 1716 Budde was promoted to Major General, and was commandant of Frederikstad fortress. In March 1718 he became commandant of the defense of Middle- and North Norway. He then led the defense against the Swedish attack on the Trondheim region, from August-to December 1718, in which most of the Swedish army led by General Armfeldt perished. He was made a knight of the order of Dannebrog in 1721. He died on April 13, 1729 and in buried in the Cathedral in Trondheim.  He was married to Armgard Margrethe Gabel in 1718. (Source/translation Per B. Lilje)

The last known Budde from this branch (decedents of Frederik Otto Budde) lived in Trondheim and was mentioned in 1776.

Link to the present

In 2002 I received an email from Rodney Stone, Williamsburg, North Carolina USA. His family comes from the Neetzow line through Vestnes, Norway as follows: Andreas, Godslev, Fredrich and Helle Budde (as mentioned above). She married Reinhold von Howen (van Hove), her child Anna Shopie von Howen married George Schultz. Their child Morton Schultz (born Vestnes?) married Iverisse von Munthe, their child Anna Catharina Schultz married Borge Eeg. Frome here the line goes: Jacob Andreas Eeg, Henrik Remmem, Hans Henriksen Soras, Ole Hansen Soras, Rasmus Olsen Soras, Alpha Soras and Rodney Stone.

Osnabrück – Tecklenburg nobility

We now move to another branch of the Budde nobility.

Tecklenburg from the ruins of the castle – 1979

This noble branch of the family is distinctly different from the above mentioned branch from Mecklenburg and (Vor)Pommeren . This branch lived in the same region as the forebears of our branch of the Budde family. This nobility is mentioned in records mainly between 1100 and 1500. They are owners of properties and manors such as Buddenburg, Buddemuhlen, Drantum, Hange, Hesslage, Tecklenburg. They also came to Kurland  (Latvia) where they still lived in the 1600s.

They had settled one or two of the family castles in the area as early as the 13th century. The knights Budde were among the first known noble families in the County of Tecklenburg. Some parts of the bishop-monarchy of Osnabrück fell within this county; other parts were within the jurisdiction of the more powerful bishop-monarchy of Munster.

As vassals, the Buddes had to swear allegiance to both the counts and the bishops and in some cases to the bailiffs of Lingen.

Coat of arms: Two rows of cut clouds (Wolkenschnitte).


This city was founded in the second half of the 8th century and became a diocese, which grew into a bishop-monarchy with its own territorial rights. The town aligned itself with the powerful Hanze. The city hosted many of the preliminary talks that led to the Treaty of Munster in 1648. After the Treaty of Vienna in 1803 the diocese became part of the Kingdom of Hanover and this Kingdom became in 1866 part of Prussia.


Overview of properties

The nobility in North-Germany were known as ‘Burgmaenner’ (vassals). They were given the land in fief by the counts and bishops on the promise to establish a castle and settle within the bishop-monarchy and they had to assist the church in times of need. Their major task was of course to defend the territory. They had their own manor houses and a staff of armoured men. Depending on their wealth they had to provide lodging for one or more soldiers belonging to the feudal lord.

The Budde knights had several castles in the area:

  • Haslage – This castle was situated on the western edge of the city of Osnabrück and belonged to one of the church parishes of this town.
  • Dranthem/Tranthem – near Melle the main city of the vassal of Groenegau, 20 kms east of Osnabrück

From here they were able to extend their wealth and power and added at least two other manor houses to their possessions:

  • Hange – This ‘motte-et-bayle’ castle (a fort surmounting a mound – motte – at the foot of which was an enclosed court – bailey) dates back to the 14th century. The castle is referred to as being a ‘manor house’. Hange is not far from the city of Lingen on the river Ems.
  • Buddenburg – a manor house in the town of Vechta, north of Diepholz.

Through these properties the Buddes were allied to various landlords: the bishops of Osnabrück and Munster, the counts of Tecklenburg, the bailiffs of Lingen and through them in the late 16th century to the King of the Republic (Netherlands).

For close to 400 years this branch of the family played a key role in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Time. The last-known male heir of this family was knight Hugo Budde who died around 1600.

The first Budde in this region , Hermann Budde von Thranthem is mentioned in charters between 1189 and 1226.

In 1256  the Knight Conrad von Brochterbeck (vassal under the Count of Tecklenburg) is mentioned as being married to Frau von Budde. In that year they founded Gravenhorst (near Hörstel in the former county of Tecklenburg) a Cistercians monastery for the nobility In 1667 the monastery went from the Diocese Osnabrück to Munster (Bishop Bernhard von Galen). In 1808 it became, under French rule, federal property (Prussia). After it burnt down in 1822, the property, known as Buddenberg, was sold privately, but in 1925, it was bought back by the State of Westphalen.


Most probably the first place the Buddes settled was Haslage (also known as Herslage). The castle was a seat of ministeriales of the County of Tecklenburg. It was founded in the 11th/12th century. But it was not until 1292 that it appeared under the name “Herslage” as a fief of the Counts of Tecklenburg. The first owners were the Lords of Budde, of whom two brothers divided the castle at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1343 a chapel was consecrated at the castle, which was rebuilt before 1600. In 1485 the castle passed to Lambert von Snetlage and in 1621 to the von Werne family. At an unknown time, the castle was demolished, after which only one part survived. This was abandoned in 1777 in favor of a new building 400 m to the southeast, the so-called “New Haslage”. In 1837, the estate passed into middle-class hands. In 1945 the manor house burned down.

This an overview of records that refer to this family:

  • Johann von Budde de Herslage is mentioned in 1292 as belonging to the Tecklenburg nobility who promised to settle on their castle.
  • Heinrich van Budde is mentioned in a document from 1312 as being a guarantor.
  • Johann divides the castle property between his two sons Ludolf and Hermann (aka ‘der lange Budde’).
  • Ludolf is mentioned in a deed dated 1337. He was married to Christine and had five sons: Johann, Hermann (aka ‘der kleine Budde’), Lubbert, Ludolf and Eberhard. The family is mentioned in a document of 1342 when they sold the lease rights of their farm Roleking at Wambergen. Ludolf (sr) was enfeoffed by the Bishop of Osnabrück with several farms. In this document he was referred to as the ‘Burgman’ of Haslage. In that same year also Mechthild von Budde was enfeoffed by the bishop.
  • Hermann (aka ‘der lange Budde’) in 1343 built a chapel in his part of the castle in Haslage.
  • Lubbert (Ludolf’s third son) owned one of the farms in 1366.
  • In 1404 the ‘famulus’ (squire) Evert (Eberhard?) sold part of the farm at Wambergen.
  • Heinrich von Budden is mentioned as living at Haslage in 1415 and 1417.
  • Lambert von Budden who marries, as we will see later, Gertrud von Hange is the grandson of Heinrich.


The Buddes in Herslage belonged to the same branch of the family as those living at the castle Drantum (Dranthem) near Melle the main city of Groenegau (‘green gau’) or Groenenberg. Melle is 20 kms east of Osnabrück. This vassal had 10 Burgmannshoefe (manor houses). One of them was the Drantumer Burgmannshof. Most probably the family already enfiefed this property in the 13th century.

Rights included in the Dranthem manor

  • ·a seat in the Osnabrück parliament together with all rights that went with it;
  • ·the lower rights (no deer) to private hunting on their own grounds;
  • ·the lower couple hunting in the bailiwicks Groenenberg, Iburg and Wittlage;
  • ·the right to fish the Else;
  • ·rights to use the commons;
  • ·a hereditary church seats in the Melle church.
  • ·as an old vassal Groenenberg’s manor was also entitled to 2 quarts of the vassals’ wine to be paid out of the bailiwick funds.
Gut Drantum – Melle

In 1336 knight Hermann Budde von Dranthem is mentioned. Nine years later, together with his wife Kunigund and his sons Hermann and Albert, he paid for a chapel to be built at the Augustine monastery at Osnabrück. Hermann also gave the Augustiner monks annual revenue of two Marks out of his farm in Melle. For this he received a daily mass held at the chapel for him and his family. Hermann was also known as Hermann von Groenenberg. He and his son Albert were both members of the Groenenberg and of the neighbouring Ravensberg vassals. In 1350 they were listed as members of the Groenenberg vassals society. This document furthermore details that Hermann had to send five and Albert four armoured men to this society. Genealogist and city archivist Falk Liebezeit concluded that this indicates considerable power of the family.

Albert married Hillegund and in 1350 he was enfeoffed with the farm and a tithe at Drantum as well as a vassal-manor at Grönenberg. In 1372 he donated an annual rent of one Mark for a memorial foundation. In 1412 his son Albert was enfeoffed with the vassal.

On January 21st 1363 Hermann other son also called Hermann, his wife Ude and their sons Johann and Hermann donated a house and a farm to the Augustine cloister in Osnabrück to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the chapel.

Around 1366 a Mathildis Budde-Drantum lived in Bielefeld, Westfalen. She was first married with N.N. Top and than second marriage with major H. K. Keselinch.

In 1426 Jutta (Ude?) Budde, widow of the deceased Hermann Budde, was enfeoffed with the Groenenberg castle fief. After this date there are no further known records of the Dranthem properties.

Historic documents indicate this manor had taken over the outermost castle-moat of the bishopric castle Groenenberg, the so-called Senfwall (mustard moat). For this it had to pay to the bailiwick treasury 4 cups of mustard or 4 Groschen (ten-pfennig pieces) and 8 pfennig.


Knights of the Budde family lived in this castle from the 15th to the 18th century. – 1999.      Text plague: Alte Rittersitz Hange. Den Herren von Vredderen, Budde und von Ascherberg. Früheste Urkundliche Erwahnung1256

Heinrich’s (from Haslage) grandson Lambert von Budde married Gertrud von Hange, aka von Vredderen (Freren). They bought the three farms in the parishes Voltlage and Recke on the 11th of September 1422. Lambert was enfeoffed by count Otto von Tecklenburg, in 1426, with the feudal goods of the late Hermann von Vredderen (his father-in-law).In the year 1456 Lambert von Budden was mentioned in records as ‘the old one’. He was mentioned, together with his son Johann, as a witness when Gerhard von Swartewold, as the patron of the church in Thuine (near Freren), allowed the farmers of Suttrup to build a new chapel at the graveyard of this parish to replace the old building. In purchase and bail records Lambert is mentioned until 1474.

As an owner of Hange his son Lambert von Budden, who is mentioned in the records until 1483, follows him but he seems to have died without heirs.

Next in line must have been his brother Giseke von Budden, who was enfeoffed in 1487 by Count Claus von Tecklenburg with the farms as well as with the tithes of the parishes Westerkappeln, Thuine, Brochterbeck and Freren. On the 9th of January 1481 Giseke was mentioned as being married to Margarete, the daughter of the Bailiff Friedrich von Bar at Barenau Castle.

The von Bar family held the hereditary rights to the office of the diocese Osnabrück. An interesting discovery at this site took place in the mid-1990s.

The site is now a museum, This is a reconstruction of the system built by the Germans from where they attacked the Romans. – 1999

Barenau and the battle of the Teutoburg Forest

Barenau is an old castle in the parish Engter, 3km east of the church. A few years ago archaeologists discovered that this castle was built on the site of the famous Varus battle (battle of the Teutoburg Forest) that had taken place in the year 9 AD between the Germanic tribes and the Roman army. The Germanic tribes were successful in preventing the Romans from occupying the territory east of the river Rhine.

Hange is it is today.

Giseke and Margarete established, on the 14th of May 1495, an altar at the church of Freren, in honour of the family patron saints: the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Gabriel and the Three Holy Kings. In exchange the vicar held two services weekly in Freren and one in Hange for the salvation of the family of the patron of the church.

In 1518 Giseke paid his honours to Bishop Erich von Munster who had in that year conquered the castle in Lingen.

They had three sons: Gerd, Giseke and Lambert. In 1523 Gerd waived his hereditary rights to the Hange manor house in favour of his brothers. Hange was eventually passed on to the third son Lambert.

Both sons of their second son became canons at the cathedrals of Paderborn and Osnabrück.

In 1528, Lambert married Petronella von Snetlage, a daughter of Johann von Snetlage at Lonne manor house. The father of Johann, Walter, had also inherited portions of Thuine manor house that had become split up by partition and were thus passed on to Lambert, who became a patron of church and held the rights to the sexton’s office at Thuine. They interchanged these exercise rights annually with the owners of Grumsmuehlen manor house.

In 1530 Lambert established a life-annuity for his father.

It must have been this Lambert who was involved in the exchange of a serf with the Monastery in Wietmarchen, where later also the Budde farmers belonged too.

Giseke (Gisbert) is mentioned in the Urbar of Ravensberg in 1556 regarding a payment made to him of one gulden in relation to property of Johann Peltzer.

When Charles V inherited the Habsburg possessions from his paternal grandfather Maximillian I in 1519 he also presided over the county of Lingen.  He was crowned as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1530.  Lambert von Budden was among the Lingen nobility who swore, on the 5th of October 1551, their oath of allegiance to emperor. Lambert died in 1552.  Lambert and Petronella had one son, Johann. He married Adelheid von Morrien of Venhaus manor.

The Budde family here was, like their farming relatives in Wietmarschen and Emsburen, seriously affected by the 80-year war of independence between the Republic of the Netherlands and their Spanish rulers. During this period the Counts of Tecklenburg also fought with The Bishop of Munster (see also: The Treaty of Munster). William of Orange as we will see below, consequently occupied the county.

During the turmoil of these years the couple had to sell off rights to income from rental properties. When Johann died in 1571 his children were still minors. In 1583 his eldest son Gisbert von Budden is enfiefed with Hange; in 1587 he is also mentioned as a canon at the Paderborn cathedral. Another son Dietrich became a canon at the Minden cathedral. Hange was passed on to Gisbert’s third son Hugo, who is mentioned as Lord at Hange in 1593. However, soon afterwards Hugo died without having a male heir. The von Budden family thus became extinct in the male descent. In 1587 their sister, Petronella, married Otto von Schade of Ihorst manorhouse (20 km west of Diepholz). He became the new owner of Hange and of the noble house in Vechta, called Buddenburg. They had 3 children. One of them was Johan Heinrich (x Anna Kurwinkel ) Their son Otto was the first Vogt of Cappeln.(x Cath. Hoynges).

An interesting note here is that Hugo was mentioned as being a Lord (Herr zu Hange). The time of the Knights had clearly gone. The family is longer referred to as Ritters (knights).

The castle in Hange was inherited by Petronalla’s daughter (see also below). An interesting detail here is that also this family, as the farmers in Wietmarschen, remained Catholic against the orders of their ruler the bailiff of Lingen. Mass was celebrated in the house chapel in the Hange castle. In 1708 they secretly brought Giseke’s altar from the church of Freren over to this chapel.

The Buddenburg in Vechta

The Buddes owned another manor house in the town of Vechta, north of Diepholz. This castle was known as the Buddenburg or Clodenburg. This manor house was built in 1258 and was situated at the southern end of the town.  On the 4th of July 1525 Giseke was enfeoffed by the bishop of Munster Friedrich III, with the Vechta castle that he had inherited from the squire Wichmann Glode. We know that Petronella von Budden was the owner of this property in 1587.

The castle was burnt to the ground in 1633 during one of the Swedes wars , by commanders of the bishop-kingdom of Munster. The remnants were used to rebuild the city walls. There is still a small place near Vechta, which bears the name of Buddenburg.

On the 21st of April 1635 the Buddenburg fief was inherited by her eldest daughter, also named Petronella. She in turn married in 1640 Johann Casper von Lipperheide. On June 30th 1650 Johann travelled with the nobility of Lingen to The Hague to swear their allegiance to Prince William II from Orange, the new ruler over their county. They bought for 20,000 guilders the freedom of religion for their territory. In February 1665. one month before his death, Johann received from the Bishop of Munster, Bernard van Galen, the bailiff rights in Werne for his son Johann Detmar (see also: The Treaty of Munster).

Lingen under the Dutch Republic

Map of the Netherlands of this time. They made the Dutch Heraldic Lion out of the form of the Netherlands. Lingen is in the tongue of the lion.

During the 80 year old war, Spanish troops had retreated to what is now the border region between the Netherlands and Germany. In 1597 Prince Maurits of Orange undertook a decisive campaign. He left The Hague with his troops on August 1 and followed the river Rhine. He conquered Rijnbeck and Meurs and than went north to Wezel and from here to Twente. Ootmarsum was conquered on October 20, from here Maurits went to Oldenzaal, Bentheim and Emsburen to arrive in Lingen on 12th November, from here he went back west via Nordhorn and Uelsen to Coevorden and Hardenberg. The Spaniards were now well and truly conquered and did not return to this region after this expedition. The border between the ‘new’ Netherlands and the various towns and regions in the German counties conquered by Maurits, was sorted out at the Treaty of Munster in 1648. The county of Lingen remained part of the Netherlands until 1702.

Despite the fact that the Buddes had died out, and the castle had been destroyed, the property kept the name Buddenburg and is again mentioned in documents dated 1679, when it was inherited by a niece of Johann. Katharina Elisabeth von Lipperheide.

The continuation of the history of the Hange and Vechta properties is well documented into current times.

Other Buddenburgs

The pavilion of House Buddenburg. This pavilion was but a small part of castle.

Another Buddenburg exists near Dortmund (Luenen) which was mentioned at the end of the 13. century. It had been built by two brothers with the family name Budde. It was destroyed in 1293, because the local ruler did not approve of its existence. Later another castle was built at the same place, which still exists as Schloss Buddenburg. The last known family that lived here were known as Vridagh, Vrydagh, Frydag or Freitag (Friday) of Buddenburg. The last male member of this family died without children in 1902.

There is another town with the name of Buddenburg in northwestern Germany..

(Source: Martin Buddenborg)


Wasserburg Querlenburg

Not far from Vechta is Lohne .

An Elizabeth Budde marries in the early 1500s to a Rembert von Benefuer. They were at that stage the owners of Gut Querlenburg, a farming complex, dating back to 1290, situated south of Lohne in the Brockdorfer Mark. Querlenborg was pilfered in 1594 by the Spaniards fighting against the troops of the Dutch. In that same year their daughter Fredeke von Benefuer inherited the property.

Courland now Kurzeme, Latvia

The Buddes in Courland are related to the Buddes  from Dranthem.  There is a separate coat of arms of the Budde lineage of Courland.

In 1631 a descendant of the Dranthem Budde’s, a Johann Budde in Kurland, claimed its noble heritage back to these Buddes. The various official requests for this recognition and the replies are still in existence in the historical archives. It was however, only after his death in 1646, that his family was finally included in the official nobility register of Kurland (Matrikel – entry 183), on 30th July 1648.  In the various applications he also stated that he had participated in various battles of the Thirty Year War, especially in the Livonian expedition.

He claimed title through both from his father’s and his from his mother’s side. She was a noble dame called ‘die Sperlingsche’ (daughter of Ambrosius Sperling?). On 18th July 1634 he also claimed that noble families from Meppen and Getling formed part of his family tree. The ‘direct’ family tree that he produced for the Duke Jacob von Courland at the court in Pilten (in the north of Courland) and the order of the Knights at the first diet of Courland, 13th November 1642, was as follows.

Latvia – Talsi is marked

His grandfather Jürgen Budde arrived in Courland from Westphalia. He was also called Jürgen von Soest, probably because he arrived in Courland from Soest. He married N.N Sperling. He received from Walter von Plettenberg, in 1532, the lease of Alt Odern, near Talsen (Talsi), which he had, in his turn, received from Ambrosius Sperling. (Hans Sperling received, in 1443, from Odernsmeister (OM) Heidenreich Fink von Obenberg the leases of Wandsen (Vandzeme) and Odern. An ‘Odernsmeister (OM)’, is a title within the Teutonic Order. Sperling was the governor of Livonia for the Teutonic Order (see exhibit: Teutonic Knights).

They had two sons Heinrich and Jürgen. Heinrich lived in 1570 at Alt Odern, as well as his son Johann. According to a document of June 7th 1596, Jürgen’s brothers are named as the ‘Westphalishen’ branch of the Budde family.

In 1679 Alt Odern was sold by Johann Budde, he was married to Catherina Elisabeth von Fulda. After the sale a branch of this Budde family probably moved to Lithuania. They still held properties in that country well into the 18th century. We tried to find Alt Odern, but it looks like it has disappeared from the map.

The last time the Buddes are mentioned in Courland was in 1727. Johan Conrad Budde had properties in Oberlande. In 1711 he married Amelia Nettelhorst and in 1727 (as a 1st lieutenant) Ursula Magdalena von Brunnow.

In search of Alt Odern

Alt Odern? Nogale Latvia

We did find the mansion that we had been directed to and we met the current owner Vilmars Vaiba, a young Latvian entrepreneur who, in the mid 1990s, acquired a run down porcelain factory in Riga and had since become a successful businessman.

He had started the restoration of the mansion, a massive task but the first restored rooms are just looking magnificent. The current mansion was built around 1800 and replaced the previous estate that was demolished at that time. This old estate would have been dating back to the 16th century, according to Vilmars. One of the farms on the estate as well as an old windmill were the only reminders left of the old estate. The question however remains if this indeed was Alt Odern?

Places with date of first mentioning of a Budde (best effort)

Year Name Place Near Bundesland Previous Notes
1130 Alard Stralsund Mecklenburg Rugen
1292 Johann Herslage Osnabruck Niedersachsen
1318 Gottschalk Werl Soest Westfalen
1336 Hermann Dranthum Osnabruck Niedersachsen
1349 Johannes Glewitzer Rugen Mecklenburg
1349 Christian Lubeck
1387 Eghart Buddenhagen Rugen Mecklenburg
1389 Hans Barth Mecklenburg Pommern
1400 Hennig Greifswald Mecklenburg Pommern
1422 Lambert Hange Osnabruck Niedersachsen
1432 Torsten Dollefielde Lolland Denmark
1437 Johannes Andreas (Jons) Botnia Sweden 1450 Greifswald 1468
1458 Hermann Goldingen Kurland Latvia
1500 Andreas Neetzow Mecklenburg Pommern
1525 Giseke Vechta Diepholz Niedersachsen
1560 Dietrich Jade(berg) Wesermarch Niedersachsen Oldenburg
1570 Matthias Saaremaa Oesel Estonia
1596 Jurgen Soest Westphalia
1600 Johann Ahlde Emsburen Niedersachsen
1616 Hermann Heinrich Hameln Hannover Niedersachsen
1620 Hessel Emden Niedersachsen Ostfriesland
1620 Mathias Paderborn
1623 Eilard Wietmarschen Niedersachsen
1630 Georg Querlenburg Lohne Niedersachsen
1631 Johann Alt Odern Talsen Kurland Latvia
1634 Franz Anklam Pommern
1651 Eylerdt Wiefelsted Niedersachsen Oldenburg
1658 Hendricus Hamm N-Westfalen Deventer 1687
1660 Gesche Elsdorf Niedersachen
1667 Franz Gotha Thuringen
1675 Theodorus Oestereiden N-Westfalen
1680 Olov Eriksson Okan One Naskott Sweden
1681 Johann Christian Landau Waldeck
1698 Ernst Heinrich Hiddenhausen N-Westfalen Prussia
1700 Johann Arsten Bremen
1700 Rolof Harm Leer Niedersachen Ostfrieland
1700 Hinrich Hamina Fredrikshamm Finland
1713 Augustinus Weickede N-Westfalen Or Weiekede
1717 Anna Huchting Bremen
1721 Johan Conrad Recklinghausen N-Westfalen
1725 Kristopher Frederik Hevne Prestigj
1728 Greta Elisabeth Sonneborn
1730 Christoffer St Hemme Norway
1730 Anton Breuna Wolfhagen Hessen
1740 Johann Christoffer Grossalgermissen Kleinforste
1771 Gerhard Hermann Nordhorn
1774 Kristoffer Tjeldsund Norway
1776 Heinrich Johan Brechten Dortmund N-Westfalen
1780 Adolf Molbergen
1780 Heinrich Stuhr Bremen
1785 Engle Osterboitzen Bremervorde Niedersachsen
1800 Emanual Podoli (Podolsskij) Ukraine
1812 Antje Gerhardina Steenfelde Niedersachsen Ostfriesland
1812 Johann Friedrich Gottberg Pyritz Pommern Poland
1859 Yevgenii Fiodorovich Kirovohrad Elisabethgrad Russia