Luyken Family Association

Martha Luyken (1850-1929)
Name index



  On Martha Luyken:
Picture gallery

Ludwigshafen, 28.1.2010

Martha Henriette Sophie Luyken, Generation 9, Ref.Nr. 09-035 (BK0926) Branch WB

Born: 23.4.1850 in Berge (Germany)
Died: 3.6.1929 in Stolberg/Harz (Germany) (Age: 79 years)

Father: Hermann Luyken
Mother: Wilhelmine Luyken

Stammbaum Martha Luyken

Hendrich Luyken
(ca. 1550-1607)

Hermann Luyken

Johannes Luyken

Daniel I Luyken

Daniel II Luyken

Daniel III Luyken

Arnold Luyken

Hermann Luyken

Martha Luyken

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Biography Martha Luyken

Remembering Aunt Martha Luyken
(by Liselotte Hetzer, née Luyken)

Aunt Martha was the youngest sister of my grandfather Otto Luyken. She had made the housekeeping for her parents and had looked after them. But she always was prone to be a little sick. This prompted her brother to remark once: "Martha is going to grow old. Once she will throw down the apples from the trees with our bones!".

Sometimes she had to go to a nursing home where she was coddled up. Maybe this explains her special features. She had now become old and poor and lived in Wesel. Occupation was imminent after the war. In the family it was considered how she could be helped. My father Ewald Luyken was willing to accomodate her at our big house. Tante Martha could move into two rooms. Some of her nephews forwarded a monthly contribution to support her. She was fetched under adventurous conditions - occupation was already under way. Her furniture came later.

Because of her ailments - she was almost blind because of glaucoma and almost deaf - she needed some help. It is said that Luykens become hard of hearing when old. In spite of her afflictions Aunt Martha helped as much as she could. She carried away her washing water in the morning herself and wiped the dishes after washing. At her wall enormous books were stored, they were parts of the Bible in Braille writing which she could read. Somebody had adviced her to learn it as long as she still had some vision.

Aunt Martha soon became comfortable at our home. She expressed amazement about the "balsamic air", frequently confirmed how well she felt and was interested in us, growing-up grandnephew and grandnieces. My mother cooked well but one day Aunt Martha asked her for permission for also cooking herself. My tolerant mother immediately consented and thereafter lots of small pots and panes appeared on our hearth. There was cocoa with bacon, little oil lumps (those were bread fried in oil)... all of that she ate with ravenous appetite. Of course soon there was a weight increase. A dressmaker frequently had to sew new dresses. Aunt Martha always dressed in black as was the fashion. She conserved herself well. Before every promenade she asked: "Am I proper, don't I have any blotches on my clothes?" Then she went out with folding chair and braille book to the alley where she sat in the sun with contentment and read. The umbrella she used for feeling her way along the pavement gully.

One day she had lost the orientation on the alley and a tall, very courteous man helped her. That could only have been the uncle of Prince Volkmar. We chaffed Aunt Martha with her princely admirer. She fooled with us and laughed heartily.

We, brother and sisters, presented her with several hours on her birthday, that means she could express a wish for us reading, writing or doing something for her. We adolescents loved another habit. Aunt Martha could skillfully belch. She repeatedly swallowed air which then suddenly came out. Once I counted 123 times in a quarter of an hour. But that she only did when she thought she was alone and unobserved. But we crept into her room - she only could see us as a silhouette against the window. She wouldn't hear us if we were silent. If we were lucky she even would speak with herself.

Retrospectively I have the greatest admiration for her, how she managed her ailments. She never spoke about her deafness though it bothered her more than her blindness. With us too she always was open and interested. She lived with the whole family by way of a huge amount of correspondence. When she clemently died quickly after her diabetes many nephews hurriedly came. I think I can remember Daniel Thilo, Dr. Rudolf Luyken and Otto Luyken. They told us about their parents. It was an atmosphere as though she was there. It was said that our elated gathering was wholly in her spirit. She rests at the quiet Waldfriedhof Cemetery in Stolberg.

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Picture Gallery Martha Luyken

Stolberg, ca. 1921
Rear: Paul Niemöller, Siebold,
Hanna Beckhoff, Liselotte und Hans
Front: Carl Niemöller, Gretel, Elisabeth,
Ewald, Hildegard und Martha


Picture in the
family bulletin 1929

Martha's tomb in Stolberg

Pocket watch
Present Christmas 1882

Pocket watch
Front side

Pocket watch
Rear side

To our
beloved daughter Mart-
ha as souvenir (only)
of her parents, and with
the wish that this
pocket watch will only mark
happy hours for her
Christmas 1882
Hermann Luyken
Wilhelime Luyken

Bynote from a later time

Pocket's watch casket

Pocket's watch casket

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Links Martha Luyken

Internal links
• Census, family bulletin 1921, page 35 (German)
• Obituary, family bulletin 1929, page 430 (German)

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