by Robert B. Wrege
Tax records at Wollin, Germany for the year 1540 list Hans Johann Wrege paying a 9 shilling land tax. That is all we know of him or his family. 200 years later, in 1746, a Johann Wrege was born in Steiglitz, just 10 miles from Wollin. After another 100 years records show Wreges in at least 20 towns and villages in the Ukermark area ranging no more than 22 miles west of Wollin, about 60 miles north of Berlin and 60 miles south of the Baltic Sea. Current descendants have traced back to one or another of these thus constructing a branch of the family tree. So far, however, connection of the various branches has proved elusive. Wreges today can only surmise they are all related through Hans Johann who lived in Wollin in 1540. The search goes on. Here is how one branch has been charted.
In 1934, when asked why I was reading a Columbia University catalog I said it was to see if any Wreges were smart enough to go there. That was facetious. I was aware of only about 20 Wreges; my grandfather, his five children who were my father, 3 uncles and an aunt, and my cousins.. So It was a surprise to find listed as a Columbia student one Reginald Banks Wrege of New Jersey-. I later wrote and received a reply from his sister Gertrude who sent a family tree dating back to
1816. There was no connection with my branch so the information was filed. In 1971 I corresponded with Reginald's widow, Jeanne, with Edgar E. Wrege and with Charles G. Wrege. In 1978 I heard from the John Wrege born in 1948. Each added a bit to the tree. Gertrude's and John's information differed on which Fredrich or Fredrick married Catherine Baas (or is it Bass?). John was correct. Gertrude had the wrong grandfather and great grandfather. This was cleared up by Hans Joachim. The assembled information was combined to make the accompanying chart.
The first Wrege newsletter had two editors, one in Germany and one in America. The second was written by Robert and sent to Hans Joachim Wrege in Germany for his translation. Thereafter contact with Hans ~-as lost. Mail to his two addresses was returned undelivered. Because of his intense interest in connecting the Wreges this unexplained disappearance caused concern for his welfare.
Now, more than two years later, we are happy to report he is alive and well. A letter from him arrived January 1, 1993 saying he has moved to Sebnitz in the south east corner of Germany and is working in Dresden. That is good news. Unfortunately he says the pressure of his work prevents him from continuing genealogical research at this time. Without his input the future of the Wrege newsletter is in doubt. The material we have has about been exhausted and submissions have been minimal. By all means, please send in family information you feel might be of interest That way we can continue.