Johann Albrecht BOHLSEN
Catharine Elizabeth GREIFENKERL
Harm "Diedrich" BOHLSEN
Ahlke Margarete LÜBBEN
(Abt 1800-1849)
Johann Diedrich "Wilhelm" BOHLSEN


Family Links

Catharine Elizabeth PFLUGER

Johann Diedrich "Wilhelm" BOHLSEN

  • Born: 11 Aug 1827, Seeverns, Langwarden, Niedersachsen 2
  • Married: 15 Aug 1852, Travis Co., TX, USA 1
  • Died: 7 Sep 1907, Williamson Co., TX, USA 3
  • Buried: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pflugerville, Travis, TX, USA 3

   Came to be known as William BOHLS.

   Research Notes:

1850 U.S. Federal Census (called William Bowls):

Age given: 23 years
Birthplace given: Germany
Dwelling Place: Austin, Travis, Texas, USA
Occupation: Labourer

Living at home


1870 U.S. Federal Census (called Wilhelm):

Age given: 43 years
Birthplace given: Oldenburg
Dwelling Place: Travis, Texas, USA
Occupation: Farmer

Present were [wife] Catharine (38) of Hessen, [children] (born in Texas): Heinrich (17), Anna (15), Ludwig (11), Johannes (9), attending school, Lydia (6), Emilie (3), Emil (8 months)


1880 U.S. Federal Census (called William):

Age given: 54 years
Birthplace given: Germany
Dwelling Place: Precinct 2, Travis, Texas, USA
Occupation: Farmer

Present were wife Elizabeth (48) of Germany, keeps house, children (all born in Texas): Louis (20), works on farm, John (18), works on farm, Lidea (16), Amelia (13), Emile (10), works on farm, William (8), Eddie (4). Daughter Anna and her family were living nextdoor.


1900 U.S. Federal Census (called William Bohles):

Age given: 73 years (born in August)
Birthplace given: Germany
Dwelling Place: Taylor, Williamson, Texas, USA
Occupation: -
How long married: 47 years
How many children: 10 (9 still living)
Year of Immigration into USA: 1844

Present were wife Callie C. [sic] of Germany (68), (born in July), sons (born in Texas): William (27), Edward (24), both day laborers, granddaughter Kate Rusch (20, born Jan 1880) of Texas, saleslady. Son John and his family were living nextdoor.


Pflugerville was founded in 1860 when William Bohls established a general store and post office in his residence, and named the town in honor of Henry Pfluger, who had settled in the area in 1853.

Sons of Henry Pfluger, Sr., namely: Conrad, George, William, John, Ludwig and William Bohls, husband of Cath. Elizabeth Pfluger, are listed as charter members of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Pflugerville – May 31, 1874.

In 1869, the Texas synod of the Lutheran Church sent Pastor F. Ernst to preach to the local Lutherans, and on May 31, 1874, a congregational constitution was adopted under the guidance of pastor F. Jesse. William Bohls, a prominent landowner, donated five acres of land for a church building and cemetery.


William Bohls exemplified the pioneering spirit of the Europeans who settled into the Pflugerville area. When only 16, he stowed away on a ship from Olenburg, Germany arriving on the coast of Texas in 1843. About a year later, his father, Dietrich, stepmother Anne and brother Henry arrived at the port city of Indianola near Galveston.

Dietrich received 640 acres of land from the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, which was set up by the Republic of Texas to promote the settlement of Texas by Europeans from 1842-1844. Unhappy with this land, they soon moved to what is now the Rosewood area of Austin and finally bought land around Bee Caves and Highway 71.

William eventually moved away from the family to the Pflugerville area to begin farming on his own. He also served as a private in a Mounted Calvary Division during the Mexican American War.

In 1852, William married Catherine Elizabeth Pfluger and they began farming on land south of present day Immanuel Lutheran Church and built their house near Gilleland Creek. They had six sons and three daughters. 4

   Marriage Information:

Johann married Catharine Elizabeth PFLUGER, daughter of Heinrich PFLUGER and Anna Catharine LIESE, on 15 Aug 1852 in Travis Co., TX, USA 1. (Catharine Elizabeth PFLUGER was born on 22 Jul 1832 in Hessen, Darmstadt, Germany, died on 7 Jan 1905 in Pflugerville, Travis Co., TX, USA 5 and was buried in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pflugerville, Travis, TX, USA 5.)


1 Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973, Batch # M59294-1 (William Bowles & Catherine Pfleger).

2 Research conducted by German genealogist Hans H. Francksen, citing Burhave and Langwarden Parish Registers, in a letter to John Gore dated 27 Nov 1991.

3 FindAGrave,

4 AGS Quarterly, Volume XLI, Number 1, March 2000, p. 28.

5 FindAGrave,

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