Johann Heinrich Raberding was born on 3 June 1821 in Patershagen near Minden in Westfalen (Westphalia), the second child of Diedrich Christian Raberding and Friederike Henriette Bruns. Johann Heinrich, known as Henry in the US, arrived in NYC on 11 September 1845 with his younger brother Carl Ludwig Christian (aka “Charles”) aboard the ship “Republic” from Bremen. In the 1850’s the brothers operated a grocery business in the notorious Five Points area of lower Manhattan. By 1860 the brothers had moved out of Manhattan to Long Island. Charles lived in Brooklyn until his death in 1902 and operated a prosperous grocery business in the Wallabout Market in Brooklyn. Henry and his wife moved to the Fosters Meadow area where his homestead was located at the SE corner of Merrick Road (the former Merrick Plank Road) and Hook Creek Blvd.


Henry Raberding’s wife was born Mathilde Elise Laverenz on 23 January 1825 in Jaderaltendeich in Oldenburg the 8th of nine children of Lübbe Laverenz and Johanna Wilhelmina Maria Dierks. Eliza, as she was known in the US, arrived in NYC in 1848 aboard the ship “Herschel” from Hamburg. Henry and Eliza were married 7 January 1849 in Manhattan at the St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church.


Henry and Eliza had two children, both born in Manhattan. The first was Johanna Henrietta Wilhelmina (aka “Minnie”), born 12 October 1853. The second was Heinrich Wilhelm Friedrich (aka “Henry”), born 31 August 1856. The younger Henry was baptized 2 November 1856 in the First German Presbyterian Church on Rivington St. After the family’s arrival in Fosters Meadow they were associated with the St. Paul German Evangelical Church.


Henry and Eliza Raberding lived in Fosters Meadow until their deaths in 1891. Both died of Bright’s disease (aka nephritis). Henry died on 20 March and Eliza’s death followed the next day. They were both buried in Fosters Meadow Cemetery. Their gravesites are believed to be located in an old section of the cemetery later taken over by the adjoining Jewish cemetery.


Henry and Eliza’s daughter Minnie married Johann Ryf, a Swiss immigrant and wagon painter in Jamaica, on 5 November 1876 in St. Paul’s German Evangelical Church by Pastor E.P.A Schmoll. Minnie died on 15 February 1923 in Woodmere and was buried in Elmont M.E. Cemetery. Johann and Minnie Ryf had three children, one of whom died at age 10 months.


Prior to his marriage, the younger Henry Raberding for a time lived with and worked for the Röckels family of Fosters Meadow as a farmhand. Henry married a woman named Elizabeth in NYC in 1892. Henry and Elizabeth had three sons.


The grandchildren of Henry and Eliza Raberding lived nearby in Valley Stream.


Submittted by Gerd Hemminger

Email: gerdjudy69@gmail.com