Interesting Facts of the Braatz/Bratz Family

Navigation Buttons:




Richard Braatz applies math to design new materials and processes for drug manufacturing.

He is recognized for his "genius" from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is a professor.

Link to his Story Here

Here is another article describing Dr. Braatz's work, from the International Society of Automation.

'A Little Miracle': One day old Braatz boy from Cresson battles complex ailment

CRESSON, Pennsylvania, USA— Angela and Travis Braatz had been showing off their new son for all the relatives coming to Altoona Regional. They were ready to take Aiden home and show him off to the neighbors and friends.

Aiden was born May 19, 2010, at Altoona, weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces.

He appeared to be a normal, healthy baby. Mother and son were all packed up on May 20 and ready to be discharged – except for one final checkup.

“The nurse noticed he was breathing a little fast, and they were going to do some extra tests,” Angela Braatz said at her Rodgers Avenue home in Cresson.

“It all went down from there.”

Tests showed severe heart problems in the day-old infant. Aiden was whisked by helicopter to Geisinger Health System in Danville.

His worried parents had to make the 120-mile trip by car, and it was nearly a week before they could hold their baby again.

Doctors at Geisinger inserted a balloon catheter into Aiden’s tiny heart to widen his aortic valve and let more blood be pumped through his body.

The aortic balloon valvuplasty was a temporary measure, performed to allow Aiden to survive long enough and grow strong enough to handle open-heart surgery, his mother recalled.

“It saved his life,” Braatz said. “He had no blood flow to the left side of his heart. They didn’t know how well he would do. He pretty much amazed the staff.”

After two weeks in the Geisinger neonatal intensive care unit, Aiden was able to come home to Cresson.

“He is a little miracle,” his mother said. “He is a hero.”

The American Heart Association and organizers of the Feb. 18 2012 Cambria-Somerset Heart Ball thought so too.
They have selected Aiden as this year’s Heart Hero to be honored at the ball.

Angela and Travis Braatz with their son, Aiden, 20 months, who was diagnosed just after birth with Shone’s complex, a complicated set of heart defects that restricts blood flow in and out of the left side of his heart.

Photo from Odessa, 1874.
A dealer in old photos bought an album with cdv and this cdv just happen to be there.
It is from Odessa on Black Sea.
The Moscow photo house of Vesenberg published the photo.

Anyone from your family?

Click on photo to see it enlarged.


Bernd J. Braatz, is a world-class artist and master model builder. Born in Berlin in 1954, he always showed an interest in boats and water. As a child, he was given his own kayak and became interested in many water sports from paddling and rowing to windsurfing and sailing. So this fascination of boats and water carried through to learning the skill of ship-building. For many years he built kayaks and rowboats in a ship-yard in Germany. Then in 1980 he built his first ship-model and the passion took hold. Since then he has built many models in bottles as well as in showcases, in 1:150 or 1:200 scale. He’s participated in many competitions and exhibitions, and became the German champion and vice world champion in ships-in-bottle-building. He is a member of the Ships in Bottles Association of America (SIBAA) and the Dutch Ships in Bottles Association (EASIB).

"Roberto Braatz, Paraná, Brazil, Soccer Line Referee in the World Cup of South Africa 2010, probably the most notorious Braatz in the world."
It has been confirmed that Roberto Braatz will be one of the line referees (Linienrichter) at the World Soccer Cup in South Africa in June.
We presume his ancestor's line is the one who left Espirito Santo and went to Rondonia. He could be a descendant of Wilhelm Braatz who arrived with a family Ziemann as 7 year old boy.

We've added a table of map links for many of the placenames to our family origins. Set up to accommodate Google Maps, Google Earth, and many of the other popular internet map programs, you can quickly locate many of those towns in Pommern that were prominent in your family's history. You can view the map links page here.

Anne Braatz is an accomplished Cello Player in Germany. She plays professionally as part of a 3-piece ensemble. You can visit the site showing her photo and description about her current music engagements here.

Also, here is a downloadable sample of her music. I think you will agree that she is a magnificant musician!

Jens-Halvard Bratz (1920-2005) was a Norwegian businessman and politician for the Conservative Party. He was Minister of Industry 1981-1983.

In 1859, Wilhelm Braatz, at the age of 7, arrived in the State of Espirito Santo, Brazil, with the Ziemann family. Most probably his mother, after the loss of her husband, his father, married Ziemann. We have this information from a colonization contract made with the government of Brazil, then an empire, and signed in Hamburg, Germany.

These emigrees from Cratzig, Pomerania originally were meant to colonize virgin lands in South Brazil. As they arrived at the Port of Vitória, their destination was deviated to Espirito Santo and got their land parcels in Santa Maria de Jerivá - not as a gift like the US farmers - they had to pay it back. The land they got was the worse in the region. Rudi visited the area in July 09, but could find no traces of Braatz there. Many from the new generations migrated from there to better lands in Brazil, perhaps Rondonia in the Amazon basin.

See a copy here of the colonization contract in German and Portuguese.

There was a village in Posen, Prussia, which had the name of Brätz or Braetz. It is near the areas where many of the Bratz / Braatz families emigrated from. We do not know yet if there is a connection between this village and the family names we share. For more information about Brätz, its location, history, and old and new photos, click here.

Elroy J. Braatz was killed in action in the Netherlands on March 26, 1945. He was U.S. Army, 513th Parachute Infantry Reg, 17th Airbourne Division and received the Purple Heart. He is buried in the American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands. Full information can be found here: Elroy J. Braatz

In Ireland, south of Dublin, is located a cemetery that holds the bodies of 134 Germans, 6 from the First World War and 128 from World War II. These soldiers ended up interned in an enemy land, either the result of downed flight crews or bodies washed up on shore, the result of fighting at sea.

This website is in German, but describes the site and the honors bestowed on those who fought bravely, for their country, even though it wasn't for the country that now cares for their graves. The site is found here.

Included in the graves is one Braatz, A Captain, Second Lieutenant Adolf Braatz. He was born Nov. 12, 1907 and died December 31, 1943. Evidence shows that he was a pilot in the Luftwaffe.


Since adding the information about Adolf Braatz, above, we got the following information correcting the record, from Wim Meijer:

Your site describes him as a 'Captain, Second Lieutenant' and that he was a pilot in the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force.

This is not correct. Kapitanleutnant was a rank in the Deutsche Kriegsmarine (the Navy), not the Luftwaffe. Its usually abbreviated as Kaleu when they were addressed by the crew. It is a single rank, so not captain, second lieutenant. On smaller vessels like a Uboat they were often the commanding officer. The most active part of the Kriegsmarine around Ireland were the Uboats (submarines). My guess is that Adolf Braatz was on one of the many Uboats that were sunk off the Irish coast.

Supporting this is a mention I found of Adolf Braatz on a list of Uboat crews as 'Braatz Adolf 28.12.1943 00.00.1907'. This shows that he was a Kapitanleutnant engineer (the Ing stands for engineer), i.e. he was probably the highest ranking engineer on a Uboat. The website that lists him is here: (

I attach a picture of his tombstone in Glencree, just in case you haven't been there. It's a well maintained small military graveyard tucked away in the mountains.



When we think of the World Wars, we tend to forget that men and women fought and sacrificed, even with their lives, on both sides. Rudi has developed this list of those with the surname Braatz that died in the first and second World Wars in Europe. The site from which the data was gleened can be found here.

The earliest information about a Bra(a)tz is dated September 5, 1435, who at this date is said to be already dead, meaning that she was born in the late 13th hundred. Her name was Katherina von Bratz, called from Bludentz. This information was found by Bernardette Braatz in a document from Zürich (see below).

Another early entry in a book referring to a Christian Brügel von Bratz at the end of the XV century. He carries a von in his name, indicating nobility.

In a book "Die Bürger von Hall", found at the Stadtarchiv Schwäbisch Hall, is an image of Margarete Bratz 1571-1634. The image is a reproduction of a picture that can be seen at the Skt. Marie-Kirche (church) from Schwäbisch Hall.

There are conflicting information about the family's geographic origins: One version states that the family is of Swedish origin, having one Braatz being part of the invading forces of King Gustav Adolf, from Sweden, in 1630 (information gathered by an historian named Werner Braatz, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, who wrote a book "European History from 1500 on"). One Braatz family member who lives in Sweden, however, informed that her family had German origin (Stetin, Pomerania) - a sailor abandoned a German ship to live in Sweden in the 19th century. Another Braatz, who lives in Norway wrote that his father came from Klaipeda, Memel, Lituania to Sweden, first, and then to Norway. Since the oldest known Bra(a)tz are from Switzerland and the second oldest from Schwäbisch Hall, in Franconia, not far from Switzerland, these places may also be our origin at the time when family names first were adopted.

Bernardette Braatz found out that an Isle in Croatia has the name Brac, which in old German means Bratz.

Update: Based on an hypothesis raised by Bernardette Braatz, we tried to find proof that the Island's name had a relation to our name, because the pronunciation in Croatian sounds the same as Bratz. The Templers dominated East Prussia, the recent origin in Europe of most of us, but we found no reference to the presence of them in the Island of Brac. We will have to look further, but in other directions to explain unequivocally our name and how/when and from where our ancestors went to Pomerania.

Edwin Braatz found out that there is a beautiful touristic City in Austria called Braz. Rudi Braatz found a travel report by motorcycle fans about a Bratz lake in Russia and Ned Braatz located the lake and a city on a map of Russia under the name Bratsk (which in German means where the Burjaten live - This are people from Mongolia). In which way this is related to our name or family is an interesting puzzle to be solved.

Braatz, Bratz, Brats, Bratt, Bratzke, Bratke, Bratsch and some other similar names are all supposed to be from the same origin - contradictory information have it as of Slavish origin, meaning "brother" or German, meaning "noisy rowdy person". Another version: "The origin lays in the North East of Germany (in the former borders) and the Bradke may connect with your name. Perhaps to help you a bit further here is what I think: One of my great-great-grandmothers was a nee Bratka. I connect the name Bratke (pruzzian) = brote = brother. After my previous research are the name Bratke and my name Annuss Pruzzian origin. (in Pruzzian, pronunciation with stretched long u and a very hard s). In my accessible literature were the Pruzzian, Litauers and Letten folks of the Baltic Sea States (Balkan).

Below is an explanation in German, by a linguist, about the spelling change from *breit* to *braat* and also about the *ds* changing to *tz*.

Ein Lautwandel im Familiennaen, so der Forscher aus Brackenheim, erfolgte, als sich 1648 ein Niclaus Wadsacker im Hohenlohischen niederliess. Dem dortigen fraenkischen Dialekt gemaess, der *breit* in *braat* und *Weide* in *Waad* verwandelte, wurde die Namenssilbe *Wad* vermutlich als mundartliche Sprechweise aufgefasst und in der Schriftsprache in *Waid* oder *Weid* umgekehrt, wobei sich gleichzeitig nach dem Gehoer die anschliessende Lautkombination *ds* in *tz* oder einfach *z* veraenderte

The Roman historian writer Tazitus did mention it the first time a Aestiorum gentes. Later the Pruzzians, after a 50 year struggle, lost to the German Church, and under other circumstances lost there rights to be free farmers, and got there freedom through Freiherr von Stein back ca 1700. With the new settlers from the West they became known as the East Prussians. There original language was lost in around the same time, 1700. The name Bratke was very common in Masuren (Ostpreussen-East Prussia). All my information is mostly from the films the Mormon have from the Church registers. Kind regards Friedhelm Annuss

From another source we have the following results:
Research about the Braatz name.

The suppression of the second "a" in the family name is explained by the German use of a symbol "Umlaut" over a letter which appeared twice in sequence. Lack of care in registering the name in church books and civil registration books is probably the cause for a one a spelling of the name. Wolfgang found out that at the turn of the XIX to the XX century the name spelling was changed from one "a" to two "aa", which may have happened with general changes and standardizations of the German Language.

Bernardette Braatz, from Germany found the attached document - a Prussian Lexicon about nobility titles which proves that a Artillery Captain (Hauptmann) von Braatz from Breslau received the nobility title (Adelschlag) in 1798 in Berlin. Mario Braatz, from Hamburg, whose ancestors came from Jakobsdorf in Pomerania, is heir to Hauptmann von Braatz (Friedrich Ernst) and Anne Henriette Braatz. Mario does not carry the von in his name because his family lived in East German under the communist regime and there they had to drop the von, which is an indication of nobility. We know that some Braatz still carry the von in their names, including one family living in the same city as Mario, Hamburg, but they do not know if they are relatives.

There is another family member who carries de von in his name. It was Braaz (Braatz), Stabscapitän von, who became an officer of the Prussian Army in 1801.

A Captain Braatz, decorated with the "Kavalier des Eisernes Kreutzes" (iron cross of chivalry) of the Prussian Army was in General Blücher's forces in 1815, which defeated Napoleon in Waterloo, (a copy of the letter written by this Captain to a family Brandt, who lost a spouse in a battle over a bridge in Waterloo, is available here. He belonged to the 2. Comp., 1. Batl., 4ten Kurmaerkish. Inftr. Regiments

Nine different sail ships carried family members to Brazil:

Christian and August Bratz, 1858 - Ship August Emma;

Wilhelm Braatz, born 1853, came onboard the Eleonore in 1859

Gotfried Bratz, born 1809, arrived in 1860 - Ship Vesta; Johann Friedrich

August, at the Ship Assecurateur, left Hamburg in April 1865; Justine went to Brasil in 1868, traveling with another family at the Zanzibar;

Ferdinand, born 1845, with wife and six children, arrived in 1868 with the Elisabeth
Gustav August Friedrich and Johann August Braatz, 1869 - Ship St Catharina left Hamburg and later transferred some of the passengers to the Gutenberg (constructed in England in 1862, 53,85 m long, which sailed up the river Jacuí in South Brazil to Rio Pardo. An ox cart transportation receipt documents the day of arrival as July, 9, 1869);

Carl L. left Germany in 1872 and Johann, in 1878, but the ship names are not known.

Data obtained by Wolfgang from Hamburg Shipping Records

1872 Hamburg Passenger List, Boy-Braum

Surname Given Name Age Depart Date Vessel Destination Film Page
Braatz Anna 1m 25 May 1872 Meta Rio Grande Do Sul A 602
Braatz Carl L 26 25 May 1872 Meta Rio Grande Do Sul A 602
Braatz Ernestine 27 25 May 1872 Meta Rio Grande Do Sul A 602
Braatz Friedrich 56 6 Apr 1872 Franklin Dona Francisco A 244
Braatz Wilhelm 19 6 Apr 1872 Franklin Dona Francisco A 244
Braatz Wilhemine 26 6 Apr 1872 Franklin Dona Francisco A 244
Bratz Emilie 18 18 May 1872 Friedeburg New Zealand A 538
Bratz Mary 19 13 Aug 1872 Cumberland NY D 608
Bratz Margrete 22 28 Feb 1872 Holsatia NY A 84


Only between 1865 and 1975, more than 35 ships brought family members to the US. Family members were born on those ships, others died during the long trip. Some came as children with other families. We do not have accounts of pirate attacks, but they occurred in the earlier years. Georg Bratz went to Pennsylvania in 1746, Jerg Bratz to North American in 1748. In the late 1700s a Braatz married in Philadelphia. See table of names, ships, ports and dates at Genealogy.

Joachim Braatz - a painter from Dormagen, Germany. His pictures can be seen at the Rheinischen Landesmuseum in Bonn and also at the Bayrischen Staatsbibliothek in München.

Klaus Braatz from Bern, Switzerland, told Edwin that his brother organized a family book, which now is in the hands of his sister, in Paris. According to this book, the family has a tradition of seamanship in the Netherlands, with an indication that perhaps they where pirates. Edwin's family, whose known roots are from Zatten, Pomerania, has an indication that there they spoke a dialect "Platt" from Holland, not the same "Platt" from Pomerania. His father, however, many times mentioned that the family originated from the "Wenden", a slavish people.

Many questions remain to be answered. Some of them below.

Where does our name come from? Why Braatz and Bratz?

What do you know about the far-fetched idea that there is a connection between the Templar's and the Bra(a)tz name through the Isle of Brac (which in old German means Bratz), in Croatia?

Who knows something about the Bratz family in Zurich, Switzerland, where located the oldest known Bratz, Henrietta von, dated 1435 (not year of birth)?

Ever heard about a Braatz ancestor being a pirate from Holland? Why the anchor on the Braatz coat of arms? Why one Braatz was a Captain, which in German is a military rank from the see forces (Hauptmann is the same rank for the artillery and infantry forces)?

What do you know about the migration pattern(s) of the Braatzes?

From DNA taken from family members we have one branch originating, previous to the ice age, in Skandinavia. From there they went to the Balcans and later to Hungary, Croacia, Pomerania, Ukraine and to other parts of Germany. Another branch, according to the DNA test, comes from Russia.

Who has found connections to other branches of the Bra(a)tz family? (meant, going back more than 100 years)

A list of Bra(a)tz names, containing year and place of birth, year of death (if the case, because we also list living family members), father, mother, spouse and number of male and female siblings can be seen in the "Summary of the Braatz Family and even downloaded as an Excel table for reordering and insertion of additional family members, at the German site of the family:

Seven times Bra(a)tz married Bra(a)tz

From ancient records researched by the family, we found out that at least seven times Bra(a)tz married Bra(a)tz. (And we did not degenerate! On the contrary, in general we have very good health and no known hereditary genetic disease).

We found also that in 433 birth records in a span of more than 350 years, 34% more boys were born than girls in Bra(a)tz families, being 231 male entries and 187 from girls. That is statistically a relevant difference from general population trends, where the difference is about one percent.

In two cases we had 3 sisters marrying 3 brothers from other families. In more than one case, a Bra(a)tz first married one sister and than the other. (These were not cases o bigamy, but probably occurred because the first wife died and the "second choice sister" was called to raise the children of the first marriage).

Only twice we registered twins in the above period.

There are Braatz family members in Germany (999, with listed phones in the 16 German States), in the USA (350, according to 1970 Census data), in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Venezuela, Australia, Scotland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Through search engines for Braatz or Bratz many thousands entries can be found on the Web. (If you use "Given name + Braatz" you will find interesting information about your name or of other family members with different given names. Doing this many times, we were able to collect many interesting facts presented in this page.

In the 1930s we had a very famous female juggler (Selma Braatz).

The family has a world champion of miniature ships in a bottle (Berndt Braatz).

There is a Braatz Drive in Kewaskum, Wisconsin 53040, near the Hwy 45. There is also a Rua (Street) Ernesto Braatz in Santo Ângelo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

In Germany, the most important family origin in the last 500 years is Pomerania, in fact Hinterpommern, which belongs to Poland today.

A Braatz in the Battle of Gettysburg
August Braatz was from Ixonia, a small town between Watertown and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He enlisted, during the U.S. Civil War, in the 26th Infantry on August 21, 1862. He was in Company B, which was called the "German Americans". He was wounded on July 1, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg, and died of those wounds on August 9 of that year.

We found an entry indicating that Eli Zoota, from the Mafia, used the name Alfred Bratz as a fake name. Most frequently, however, the family name is associated with the military and the police. Today one (Lloyd Bratz) is a Regional Director in Cleveland, Ohio, for drug combat. Another (Christian Bratz), in the Netherlands, belongs to EUROPOL.

It calls our attention, that we have a relative concentration of family members as educators (several dozen), pastors (5) and astronomers (5). We also have a Judge (William Braatz, retired) and a referee (Roberto Braatz), in the family. And a filmmaker (Peter Braatz), who is specialized in documentaries, but participated also, recently, in the film Good by Lenin.

For those who regularly use a personal computer, take note that one family member (Valmor A. Bratz, from Brazil), was, for a very long time, an IBM Director in the US.

If you like to eat out, let be advised by a gourmet from the Family (Dieter Braatz), at least if you are in the Hamburg area of Germany. He recommends restaurants in a local newspaper.

One family member (Edio Bratz) from Nova Petrópolis, RS, was decorated with a medal by the German Government for his work during more than 20 years organizing internships for young Brazilian farmers in Germany.

For those who enjoy fruit juices, perhaps would like to know that one member of the family (Rudi Braatz) coordinated the work for the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS (belongs to the WHO and FAO, with seat in Rome), during 3 years, to produce the world standard for almost 100 fruit juices. This standard is used in international trade of fruit juices and is the basis for national legislations which standardize production and trade of fruit juices. If the taste is not sweet enough, you know who to complain to!

The Bratz dolls and toys which are having great success, are, as far as we know, unrelated to the family. The trademark Bratz is detained by MGA Entertainment, whose owner is Isaac Larian, an Iranian naturalized US citizen.

A Braatz, a King's Cook, father of French fries.
Friedrich Emil Fürchtegott Braatz (1729-1788) was the cook to the King of Prussia, influenced peace negotiations with Austria cooking heavy meals for the Austrians and light ones for the Prussians. Invented the Bratkartoffeln, nominated Braatzkartoffeln by the King, who gave him an order for his invention. His recipe was sent by the Count Hercule de Grasseville-Fraissac to the French King Louis XV and there was baptized "Pommes Fritz" in honor to our Friedrich (Fritz) Braatz and is called today "Pommes Frittes", known also in Germany under this name. We got this story from a newspaper clipping sent by Ute Braatz, Australia, which she got from a German family member. Dieter Braatz also got a copy of the article. The article will be posted in Germany, in German and thanks to Marianne Braatz Patzer, from Australia, who translated it for us, it is shown here in ENGLISH. Wolfgang Braatz made contact with the author of the article and he confessed that he made up the story and that there is nothing historical in it.

Ned has created maps showing the distribution of Bra(a)tzes across the USA and Germany .

Copyright 2014,