Reunion calls family back to unusual roots

Staff writer

An unusual aspect of family history sparked an extraordinary amount of preparatory effort for the upcoming Warneke / Lawrenz family reunion.

Three Warneke brothers married three Lawrenz sisters in the early 1900s.

Marion resident Harlow Warneke’s parents were one of the original couples.

“It didn’t happen all at once. First one got married, and then it spread to the rest of them,” he said.

The three marriages spawned a long line of Lutheran families. Some had upward of eight children, and their children had children.

“The younger generation took an interest and decided to do this,” Warneke’s wife, Edith, said.

Their daughter, Gerry Lundy, was crucial to event planning.

“She really put her heart into it,” Edith said. “She did it for her dad.”

Cousins first talked about the reunion two years ago and have been planning it for a year.

With help of her extended family, Lundy organized genealogical information, including pictures of their late relatives, a dossier of all living cousins, and a guided tour of the original homestead northwest of Herington that dates back 156 years.

There is a map to go along with the tour. Most of where they will tour is in Clark’s Creek and White City.

Lundy consulted her father for tour details.

The plan is to caravan to several locations important to their family history.

“Her dad remembers things that others don’t,” Edith said.

He will be acting as the caravan leader and tour guide.

“I have no idea how many will be there, but there will probably be about 25 cars,” Warneke said.

The family expects to have more than 100 relatives in attendance.

“We have to wear nameplates because it is hard to keep everyone straight,” Edith said.

 

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