My Greatsinger (Gretzinger) and Bonnett ancestors of Berlin, Germany

Jerusalem Chapel

My Greatsinger (Gretzinger) and Bonnett ancestors are through my great x3 Grandmother Hannah Elizabeth Kritsinger/Greatsinger (she married David Prindle, Sr.).

Her grandfather was Johann Christian Gretzinger (Greatsinger), he was the son of Johann Jacob Gretzinger and Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett, he was baptized 17 Jun 1729 in the Jerusalem Chapel (Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel) in Berlin Stadt, Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany.

Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett was the daughter of Johann Frantz Bonnet and Anna Dorothea Strelmer / Steiner.

Johann Frantz Bonnett is listed in German church records as Johann Franciscus Bonnet, Johann Frantz Bonet, Frantz Bonet, and with surname listed as both Bonnet and Bonnetts. On his marriage record his father is listed as Johann Bonnet.

History of the religious affiliation of the Jerusalem Church: United Protestant since its reconstruction in 1968, originally Roman Catholic, Lutheran from 1539 until deserted in the Thirty Years War, Calvinist (1658–1662), the Calvinists and Lutherans shared the church (1682–1830), Evangelical Protestant (1830–1941), Romanian Orthodox (1944–1945), then destroyed. (5)

Johann Jacob Gretzinger and Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett married 30 Nov 1725 at the Jerusalem Church in Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

His surname is found in church records in Germany as Gritzinger, Gretzinger, and Ertzinger.

Johann Jacob Gretzinger and Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett had the following children:

  1. Abraham Friedrich Gertzinger baptized 23 January 1727 at the Jerusalem Church in Berlin, Germany. He may be the Friederich Gatzinger that came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1749, who is found as Fredk Getzinger in the 1780 US Census for Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is listed as Frederick Gatzinger in probate records of 1793 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Name also found in records as Gotzinger.
  2. Christian Greatsinger Gretzinger (baptized Johann Christian Gertzinger) born 12 June 1729 in Berlin, Germany, baptized 17 June 1729 in the Jerusalem Church in Berlin, Gemany. He died 14 March 1805 in Kingston, Ulster County, New York. He married first Anne Antje Palmer/Parmer (my ancestors) and had 8 children, after her death he married second to Susannah Myers and had 2 additional children.
  3. Anna Dorothea Ertzinger baptized 20 August 1730 at the Jerusalem Church, Berlin, Berlin, Germany and died before 1738 in Berlin, Germany.

Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett died in December 1730 in Berlin, Germany. After her death, Johann Jacob Gretzinger married second to Eva Elisabeth Geschken, the daughter of Daniel Geschkens and Anna ____.

Johann Jacob Gretzinger and second wife Eva Elisabeth Geschken had the following children:

  1. Anna Barbara Elisabeth Ertziner baptised 5 September 1736 at Neue Kirche (The New Church), Berlin, Germany.
  2. Dorothea Louise Ertzinger born 4 June 1738 in Berlin, Germany, and died 8 November 1805 in Berlin, Berlin, Germany. She married Friedrich Willhelm Schellentrager in 1778. She had a least two children, a son and a daughter. The son has descendants. The surname Schellentrager was shorten to Schellin/Schellen. Some of their descendants immigrated to the USA at the end of the 19th century, but most stayed in Germany.
  3. Anna Dorothea Louysa Ertzinger baptized 21 October 1742 at Neue Kirche (The New Church), Berlin, Germany.
  4. Maria Elisabeth Charlotte Ertziner baptized 26 December 1745 Neue Kirche (The New Church) in Berlin, Germany
Photo postcard of the Jerusalem Chapel taken in 1906.

Bonnet Name Meaning

French: from the medieval personal name Bonettus, a diminutive of Latin bonus ‘good’. French: occasionally, a Gascon variant of Bonneau. English and French: metonymic occupational name for a milliner, or a nickname for a wearer of unusual headgear, from Middle English bonet, Old French bon(n)et ‘bonnet’, ‘hat’. This word is found in medieval Latin as abonnis, but is of unknown origin. In Germany the name was borne by Waldensians, of French origin. (1)

My Bonnet ancestors are found in church records of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Berlin. But the surname has its origins in France and most with the surname Bonnet in Germany were originally Waldensians from France that came to Germany.

Gretzinger Name Meaning

One source states the Gretzinger surname means someone from any of the three places named Grötzingen (Old High German Grezzingun) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Another source states it is a Swedish and German surname that was a locational name for a dweller on a pebbly or sandstone piece of land, or one who came from Gresse in Germany.  (2 & 3) The name could also be related to the surname Kritzinger which originally was Kreutzinger and meaning “Living near the Cross” in German.

Johann Christian Gretzinger (Greatsinger) emigrated to the American Colonies before 1760 and settled in Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey. He married first before 1760 to Anne (Antje) Palmer/Parmer, she may have been the daughter of Emanuel Palmer/Parmer. Most of his older children’s baptism records are found there in the Dutch Reformed Church Records in Freehold, New Jersey. He migrated to Ulster County, New York by 1774. After the death of his first wife, he marries second to Susannah Myers in Ulster County, New York.

Children of Johann Christian Greatsinger (Gretzinger) with first wife Anne (Antje) Palmer/Parmer:

  1. Catherina (Catrina) Greatsinger/Kritsinger, she married Johannes John Deyo
  2. John (Johann) Greatsinger/Kritsinger, he married Lea Litts
  3. Stephenus/Stephen Greatsinger, he married Deborah Litts
  4. Susannah M. Greatsinger/Kritsinger, she married Benjamin Deyo
  5. Maria Polly Greatsinger, she married Daniel Litts
  6. Sarah Greatsinger, she married Isaac Sluyter
  7. Anna Greatsinger, she married Ezekiel Rhodes
  8. Eleanor Greatsinger, she married Johannes John Litz/Letts (Litts)

As you can see, many of the Greatsinger siblings married into the same Litts family, two married into the same Deyo family. One married into the Sluyter family, this is same Sluyter family that I am also descended from, for my ancestor Lea Litts mother’s maiden name was Sluyter (see below).

Children of Johann Christian Greatsinter (Gretzinger) with second wife Susannah Myers:

  1. Rev. Christan Greatsinger, he married Anna Mariah Smith
  2. William Greatsinger, he married Phebe Spencer

I am a DNA match to over 50 people that are all descendants of Christian (Johann Christian) Greatsinger and his two wives. That number does not include my 3rd and 4th cousins that share David Prindle, Sr. and Hannah Elizabeth Greatsinger/Kritsinger or Daniel Prindle and Sarah Jane “Jennie” Doman as ancestors!

My direct ancestor is John (Johannes) Greatsinger, the son of Johann Christian Greatzinger (Greatsinger) and Anne (Antje) Palmer/Parmer. He was baptized 30 Apr 1764 in the Dutch Reformed Church in Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey. I have not been able to find his marriage record yet, but he married Lea Litts, the daughter of Roelof Lits/Litts/Litz and Sara (Saartje) Sluyter.

My Litz ancestors came early to America most likely from Germany, although the surname is found to a lesser degree in the Netherlands as well. Roelof Lits/Litts/Litz was the son of Daniel Litz/Letts/Litts and Femmetje Clerk/Klerk. The parentage of Daniel Litts is unproven, although some list him as the son of Johannes Litz who came from Wannweil, Württemberg, Germany.

Femmetje Clerk/Klerk was the daughter of Willem Klerk/Clerk and Hilletje Vanderbilt. There are those that say Willem Clerk was the son of William Clerke of Leicester, Leics, England who died in Virginia and Mary Spenser. This is highly unlikely. Clerck is a Dutch surname, often found as De Clerck. He married Hilletje Vanderbilt, a woman of obvious Dutch ancestry, in the Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston, Ulster County, New York on 25 Aug 1698. The baptism records of their children are found in the same church records.

Roelof Litts married Sara (Saartje) Sluyter, the daughter of Edward Sluyter (Sluiter) and Lea Van Schuyven. My Sluyter ancestors were originally from Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands, and my Van Schuyven ancestors were from ‘s-Hertogenbosch (now called Den Bosch), Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. The name Roelof is a given name of Dutch origin, it is the Dutch cognate of Rudolph. (3)

You may read more about my Dutch ancestors related to my ancestors Edward Sluyter and Lea Van Schuyven here: My Dutch Gardenier (Flodder) Ancestors and Related Lines. And Cousin Hannah Hoes Van Buren (wife of Pres. Van Buren).

My direct line:

Pictured is my great-grandmother Anna “Cora” Prindle Cole.
  1. Johann Jacob Gretzinger and Loisa (Louisa) Antoneta Bonnett (daughter of Johann Frantz Bonnet and Dorothy Strelmer/Steiner).
  2. Johann Christian Greatsinger and Anne (Antje) Palmer/Parmer (possibly the daughter of Emanuel Palmer/Parmer).
  3. John (Johann) Kristinger/Greatsinger and Lea Litts (daughter of Roelof Litts and Sara (Saartje) Sluyter).
  4. Hannah Elizabeth Greatsinger/Kritsinger and David M. Prindle, Sr. (son of Amos Prindle and Esther Canfield).
  5. Daniel Prindle and Sarah Jane “Jennie” Doman (daughter of Jacob (John Jacob) Doman and Mary Ann Chamberlain).
  6. Anna “Cora” Prindle and Joseph Edward Cole (son of Lorin Richard Cole and Nancy M. Losure). My great-grandparents.

I will be writing in the future in more detail about the life of my Greatsinger and Litts ancestors in America.


  1. Bonnet Name Meaning –
  2. Gretzinger Name Meaning –
  3. Gretzinger Surname Meaning
  4. Origins of the Given Name Roelof
  5. Rabe Family Genealogy Blog

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2023. All rights reserved. Thank you.

About Anna Kasper, ACDP

I am an avid Genealogist. I am currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary (one of the few Catholics!). I am an ACDP - Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence (Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas). If you are unfamiliar with what a Religious Associate (also called an Affiliate, Consociate, Oblate, Companion) is exactly, visit my about me page for more information. In community college, I majored in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies when at university.
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2 Responses to My Greatsinger (Gretzinger) and Bonnett ancestors of Berlin, Germany

  1. Barb LaFara says:

    Your information on name origin is fantastic! I have a brick wall ancestor named Rachel Letts, 1752-1818, of Monmouth, NJ. I am now thinking I should research Litz and Litts surnames. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Pingback: My German Doman Ancestors in Ohio, and Related Davison/Davidson Lines. | Anna's Musings & Writings

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