The Bernitt and Hilmers Families

Note: this page has not been updated since 1999. More recent Bernitt-Kolm Genealogy information can be found on my main genealogy page.


Neustadt and Oldenburg in Holstein, Germany

Marshfield (Coos Bay), Coos County, Oregon

Coos County Postals: 1909-1914

Portland, Mutnomah County, Oregon

Eduard Wilhelm (Will) Bernitt

Will Bernitt was born 25 May 1856 in Neustadt, in the Ostholstein region of Holstein (now Schleswig-Holstein), Germany. He was the son of a sailmaker, Friedrich Wilhelm Bernitt and Margarethe Amalie Lisette Frehse. Will came to America in about 1877, settling in Marshfield (now Coos Bay), Oregon. There he married Elize Margarethe Hilmers on 3 February 1883. In Marshfield, Will became prosperous as an operator of a gas-powered tug/scow (named "Relief") carrying items such as rock from the quarry. He died 28 August 1919, after suffering a heart attack and falling from his boat. He is buried in Sunset Cemetery.

At least three of Will's siblings also came to the Coos Bay area:
Emma Dorothea Bernitt, born 15 April 1849, married a Mr. Klahn. They had four children: Maggie, Herman, Sidney, and Lillie.
Bertha Bernitt, born 12 August 1859, married Henry George Ploegher in 1890 in Marshfield. They had no children.
Carl Bernitt born 22 November 1864, married and lived in Portland. He had one son, Edward.

Elize Margarethe Hilmers

Elize Hilmers was born 20 January 1856 in the town of Oldenburg, Ostholstein, Holstein, the only child of a Prussian war veteran, J. C. Hilmers. While working as a governess for another German family, she traveled to Oregon and met Will Bernitt. They corresponded after her return to Germany, and she eventually descided to move to America and marry him, arriving in 1881. She died 12 June 1916, at home in Marshfield.

Children of Elize Hilmers and Will Bernitt

Bernitt Descendants

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