The origin of the family name Honkomp


     Situation map of the origin of 1816

     Information about Steinfeld



The name "Honkomp" probably originates in Old Low German and denoted a specific plot of land situated in the village of

Steinfeld, in northwestern Germany .

It had the size of approximately 41 hectare and was lying on a kind of higher ground which was the reason for the name:

"Honkamp" = ho(hen) Kamp (translat.: high field).


The earliest written proof of the name can be found in a document in 1568 which confirms the property of that plot to Johann


As it can be seen in old church books, later the name Hoenkamp changed to Honkamp, Honcomp and finally to Honkomp.


Mentioned in Steinfeld are following family members in line:


1568 Johann Hoenkamp

1593 Johann Hoenkamp

1619 Wernerus Honkomp

08.09.1671 Wernecke Honkomp


04.06.1701 Johan Herman Honcomp and 14.11.1703 Joan Henrich Honcomp

This ancestor, who was married both two times, had 12 children and the family tree starts to become very wide here.


Through further contacts in the Internet we are currently trying to find more descendants of members of the Honkomp family

who immigrated to the U.S. or other countries.


Reasons for emigration in the 19th century


On the 10th of March, 1835 the "Oldenburgischen Blaetter" have following news: "13,050 passengers leave Bremerhaven on

155 sailing-boats, 64 of which are registrated in Bremen and 44 in America. 65 boats are heading for Baltimore, 41 for New

York, 6 for New Orleans, 2 for Philadelphia and one boat, with 505 people on board, is going to Jamaica."


Between 1832-1869 a large number of people from this region immigrated mainly for economical reasons.

The majority of them were dependent farmworkers (Heuerleute) who sold everything they had in order to get the money for the

journey to America. There they hoped to earn a better living and gain some independence.


The main economical factor in this region at that time was agriculture, which faced the problem of very poor ground, and

secondly textile manufacturing, plus most of the dependent farmworkers had to have some kind of an additional income in order

to make ends meet.

A significant source of income was the so-called "Hollandgaengerei" ("to go to Holland"), since the Dutch always needed

workforce for the fishing-industry.

In 1846 177 people from Lohne worked as fishermen in the Netherlands, sailing as far as America.

During the 19th century England became the most important industrial power in Europe. Especially the textile manufactories in

Germany couldn't compete with the much cheaper English products.


In addition to this, much of Germany practiced "the traditional partible form of inheritance". This meant that the farm had to be

divided equally among the children; with the overpopulation of the nineteenth century, the small farms became less and less



Only at the end of the century immigration started to become less because the rest of Europe was industrialized and agriculture

was improved through artificial fertilizer.

In Lohne the most important industries at this time were the cigar manufacturing, the cork production and the goose-quill






A statistics, done by the Halbertis Family Heritage, Inc, Bath/ Ohio in 1993 shows following numbers of households with the

family name Honkomp:




Total of estimated households:

- Germany 102, - USA 108

Total of households registered:

- Germany 87, - USA 95

Total of estimated individuals:

- Germany 277, - USA 313

Distribution to different states:

- Germany 6, - USA 17

State where most Honkomps live:

- Germany Lower Saxony, - USA Iowa





Werner Honkomp, Oldenburg (

Translation: Anne Ameziane-Honkomp, Lohne (

(*) The Knelange Family, written by Judy Winaski, Ft. Worth, Tx.

Date: 18. Sep. 1996