According to Cassell's German Dictionary, the word "Glied" is a noun meaning "limb" or "member" while the spelling "Glitt" is a form of the irregular verb "Gleiten" meaning "glide" or "slip". Our family's surname was found spelled Glied, Glitt, Gliet, Gliedt, and Glieth in the old German Church Books. Glitt was the earliest spelling, while Glied was the most common spelling. To make this family book less confusing, the most common spelling of the surname will be used in the text and any variant spelling noted in the endnotes.

The story of the Glied family begins in the early 1700s in the country that is now known as Nordrhein/Westfalen, Germany, in the parish of Jöllenbeck which is located about 11 Km. west of the city of Herford. Jöllenbeck lies in a hilly, fertile region where Flax was the main crop and Linen weaving was the leading cottage industry. This region was predominantly Protestant during the 17th and 18th centuries. Our Glied ancestors were of the Evangelisch Confession and attended several different Evangelisch Churches located in the region.

Our ancestors lived in Bauerschafts or farm communities. A Bauerschaft was comprised of a number of Hofs (farms) which were numbered, similar to house numbers today. Within the community there was not only a distinction between the Nobility and the peasant class, but there were different ranks within the peasant class. During the 17th and 18th centuries the peasants were distinguished by rank from the most important to the least in a Bauerschaft or village. The "head" man of the village or settlement was the "Schulte" (head man of the village governing body) or the "Meier" (farm administrator). A Schulte or Meier would have the use of 6-10 horses for tillage. There could only be one "head" man, so "Meier" became associated with any estate of a certain size. The next level after a Schulte was the Hoefener, who was a proprietor of a full-sized farm. The Vollbauer was a farmer with a full-sized farm. A Vollbauer could have 4-6 horses and was also a full-fledged peasant. Other terms used to describe a farmer were Vollerbe (farmer of a full-sized farm or literary "full heir") or a Kolon\Colonus, a Latin term meaning a farmer (on a full-sized farm or a landowning peasant). The next level of a peasant below the Vollbauer or Kolon\Colonus was the Kötter or Halbbauer. A Kötter was a cottager (with a small home, and a small plot of land for a garden and for livestock). A Halbbauer was a farmer on a half-sized farm which was about 15 Morgen. (A Morgen was a measurement of land referring to the amount of land one man and an ox could plow in one morning.) The Kötter or Halbbauer would usually have 1-3 horses and would normally have to go into service or take up a trade.1 A Neubauer was commonly of Heürling origins who had recently purchased a small plot of land and was usually deeply in debt. A Neubauer was frequently no better off than a Heürling.2 The Heürlings were the lowest level of peasants. There's no English term to describe a Heürling. The closest English version of a Heürling is a "sharecropper" or "tenant farmer". A Heürling did not own any land or house. He usually rented, on a 4 year basis, a small plot of land no larger than 2 or 3 acres along with a cottage that was often nothing more than an converted out building or an extra barn. Besides paying rent in cash, the Heürling would also have to work for his landlord a fixed number of days for free or at a substandard wage, or whenever the landlord required his services.3 A Heürling was worth about a third as much as a Kolon who owned land.4 The average daily wage for a Heürling working for a landowning peasant came to 2-3 Thalers a month which included his meals. So a Heürling would supplement his income with the spinning and weaving of home grown Flax.5 During the mid 1700's, most of our ancestors belonged to the König (King or ruler of the land) and became free men in the late 1700's. Many of these early ancestors belonged to the lowest rank of peasants known as Heürlings. They were also Spinners and Webers (weavers).

To put the beginning of the story of our Glied family into historical perspective, it must be remembered that it would be another 50+ years before the American Declaration of Independence would be written. Historically, this region where the Glieds were first located, was the site of many wars. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), 30-40 percent of the population in this area died as a result of this war. The Thirty Years' War was only one of many wars in this area that caused major destruction to the land and to its' inhabitants. There were also wars in 1689, 1701-1714, and 1740-1763. It wasn't until 1815 that this area became a Prussian province. It is possible that the first Glied moved to this area circa 1723 to help repopulate the land after the wars. It is in this setting that the story of the Glieds begins with our first known ancestor, Johann Eberdt Glied.

1.     JOHANN EBERDTG1 GLIED was born ca. 1698 to Johann Berend and Anke Glied nee Weitkamp.6 He was better known as Eberdt and will be referred to as EberdtG1 in the following story. The exact location of his birth is not known at this time, as his birth record was not located in the Evangelisch parishes of Jöllenbeck, Schildesche or in the surrounding parishes. There were no Glieds found in any of these church records prior to 1723 indicating that the Glieds were not residents of this area of Germany prior to 1723. There is no way to know for sure what his life was like growing up during the early 1700's. Nor do we know anything about his parents except for their names. If his parents were alive during Eberdt's childhood, it is fairly safe to assume that his parents were probably peasant farmers and that they lived in a Bauerschaft. His father and mother probably got up at dawn to work the fertile land of the area. By night fall, with the day's work done, the family would gather together for the evening meal of cabbage or turnips, served with Pumpernickel bread and pig in some form.7 During the meal, their conversation might have ranged from Frederick William I who had become King of Prussia in 1701 to news about the invasion of their land by the French which resulted in the War of the Spanish Succession of 1701-1714.8 It is possible that the family prayed for peace and for their health when the Bubonic Plague swept through the land in 1711. Their prayers were answered and Johann Eberdt Glied survived his childhood.

Marriages were arranged. A marriage between the children of a Kolon and Heürling was almost unthinkable. The father of a marriage-aged daughter would know of, or hear about a single man who had a proper background and good economic circumstances. He would send for the man and ask him to pay him a visit. The daughter's wishes were not consulted. Sometimes, the daughter was allowed to go along for the inspection of the perspective bridegroom's estate where the father would closely examine everything the man owned including the dungheap. After interviewing the man and inspecting his estate, the father would discuss the matter with his wife. If the father and the mother were satisfied, then a notary was engaged to draw up the marriage contract which was strictly adhered to. The wedding could be canceled if the bride's parents refused to give up a kettle or a spinning wheel that had been stipulated in the marriage contract.9 It is possible that Eberdt's marriage was arranged in such a manner in 1723.

On 21 Aug 1723, Johann Eberdt Glied wed ANNE MARIA ILSABEIN TREBBE(N). They were married at the Evangelisch Church in Jöllenbeck, Westfalen, Germany.10 Anne Maria Ilsabein (ca. 1697-1759) was better known as Maria Ilsabein. It is believed that Maria Ilsabein was born ca. 1697 and that she was the daughter of Henrich and Maria Trebbe(n) nee Wörmann of the Jöllenbeck parish.11 Eberdt and Maria Ilsabein lived their entire adult lives at Bauerschaft Oberjöllenbeck Hof #2,12 Westfalen, Germany.

Maria Ilsabein Glied nee Trebbe(n) died on 25 Feb 1759 at Barchholt's Hof #2, Bauerschaft Oberjöllenbeck at the age of 62 years.13 Eberdt remarried within a year. His second marriage took place at the Evangelisch Church at Jöllenbeck five months after the death of his first wife. On 26 Oct 1759, Johann Eberdt Glied wed his second wife CATARINA MARGRETA BLASSEN, the widow of Eberdt Quelle.14 It was a brief marriage. Johann Eberdt Glied died on 4 Apr 1760 at Barchholt's Hof #2, Bauerschaft Oberjöllenbeck at the age of 61 years.15 No further information was found on his second wife, Catarina Glied nee Blassen.

The Evangelisch Church records for Jöllenbeck indicate that Eberdt and Anne Maria Ilsabein nee Trebbe(n) Glied had the following three children:


The Glied story is written in three parts. Part One, Chapters Two through Seventeen, covers the story of Eberdt'sG1 son, Jobst HenrichG2 Glied, and his decendants. Part Two, Chapter Eighteen, is about Eberdt'sG1 second son, Johann CasparG2 Glied, and his decendants, and Part Three, Chapter Nineteen, is about Eberdt'sG1 third son, Johann BerendtG2 Glied, and his decendants.


1     Robert Lowie, Towards Understanding Germany.
2     Walter D. Kamphoefner, The Westfalians From Germany to Missouri, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), p. 47.
3     Ibid., p. 18.
4     Ibid., p. 47.
5     Ibid., p. 50.
6     Germany, Prussia, Westfalen, Jöllenbeck, Evangelisch Church Records, Family History Library, hereinafter, FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, Item-3, p. 434/478, 1760 Death Records. NOTE: The death Record listed name of his parents and his age as 61 years at time of death. His surname was spelled Gliet on his death record and on the birth record of his son Jobst Henrich.
7     Nika Standen Hazelton, The Cooking of Germany, (New York: Time-Life Books), p. 126.
8     "Germany," The American Peoples Encyclopedia (New York, 1969), Vol. VIII, p. 518.
9     Lowie, op. cit.
10     Germany, Prussia, Westfalen, Jöllenbeck Evangelisch Church Records, FHL film #0582997, Vol.-2, p. 264, 1723 Marriage Records. NOTE: The marriage occurred five months after the birth of their first child.
11     Ibid., FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, p. 428/472, 1759 Death Records. NOTE: Death records of married females listed under their maiden surnames in the church records at this time period.
12     Ibid., FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, Item-3, p. 428/472, p. 434/472, 1759 & 1760 Death Records. NOTE: Place of residence given on Death Records. Death records of married females listed under their maiden surnames in the church records at this time period.
13     Ibid., FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, Item-3, p. 428/472, 1759 Death Records.
14     Ibid., FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, Item-2, p. 364/362, entry #20, 1759 Marriage Records.
15     Ibid., FHL film #0582998, Vol.-3, Item-3, p. 434/478, 1760 Death Records.