Frederick [Fred] Baese - born April 11, 1828 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin; died January 26, 1912 in Bennington, Michigan Maria [Mary] Sophia Brannick - born circa 1830 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin; died February 22, 1875 in Bennington, Michigan Caroline Samuel Rarn - born February of 1832 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin; died August 4, 1916 in Bennington, Michigan
The History 
In the late 1700's into the early 1800's a type of feudal government existed in Mecklenburg, a duchy bordering Prussia before it became Germany. Peasants there were totally dependant upon the landowners who owned, bought and sold them, used their labor and heavily taxed their farm plots and other property.
From 1806 to 1813 the country suffered great hardship and destruction. This period came to be known as the "Franzosentid" (period of French occupation). Robbery and pillage became commonplace. Both duchies, Mecklenburg Schwerin and Mecklenburg Strelitz, were forced to join the Confederation of the Rhine under Napoleon's protectorate. Of the more than 2,000 men who were conscripted from Mecklenburg to take part in Napoleon's campaign against Russia, less than one hundred came home again.
After Napoleon's defeat in Russia, the dukes of Mecklenburg renounced their alliance with France and in a war lasting two years helped to liberate Germany from his rule. In 1815, Mecklenburg became a Grand Duchy.
By the Easter of 1821, serfdom was abolished and the peasants were freed. Those without plots became day laborers and were forced to work for meager pay traveling from estate to estate as their toil was required. Over forty years the economy declined and living conditions became unbearable. Whole families were looking for a better life.
1847 to 1851 was a time of revolution. Taxes on emigration were abolished and passport restrictions were eased. Thousands would leave Mecklenburg and emigrate to other countries. Among them were newlyweds Frederick Baese, his wife Maria and her 11 year old brother, Albert Brannick.
*** The Migration
The following excerpt is from a book on Shiawassee County history  (which was first summarized for our family in a letter written by Pearl Baese Munson in 1970 to her descendants). It describes the migration to America of Frederick Baese, his wife Maria Brannick and her eleven-year old brother, Albert Brannick:
....."...Frederick Baese, a substantial farmer of Bennington township, was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, April 11, 1828. He bears the name of his father, who was also a native of the Fatherland, where he was born in 1799, and where he died in 1846; the maiden name of our subject's mother was Mosicky, and she died when her son Frederick was but two years old. His father, who was a farmer, married for his second wife Christina Brand, and he passed his entire life not far from his native place."
....."Mr. Baese is one of four children, having one sister, one half-sister and one half-brother, but he alone founded a home in America. After his marriage, in October, 1853, he set sail with his wife from Hamburg, for the United States, their passage being aboard an old freighter which had been transformed into a sailing vessel for passengers, who, upon this occasion, numbered two hundred and twenty. The crew was composed of Americans, but only three of these, two sailors and the cook, could speak German. Six weeks passed before land was sighted and these were weeks of lonesomeness and dreariness. The captain himself, who had been taken sick, was brought upon the deck when the lookout reported land ahead, and, after taking the bearings of the ship, announced his belief that it was Newfoundland. After continuing the voyage another three weeks, however, the New York harbor came into view, nine weeks and three days having thus been spent in crossing the ocean."
....."When Mr. Baese landed in the metropolis, he had one hundred dollars United States money, although he did not know the value of a single piece which he possessed or how to change one denomination into another. Except his wife and her brother he did not have a relative or known friend in the United States, and, to add to his dismal condition, before leaving New York he was seized with chills and fever*. In a little while his money was all gone and he was sixty dollars in debt to a physician. His cure came unexpectedly, however, through an instinctive and intense craving for water, which he used freely, and thus recovered. A few weeks afterward he removed to Buffalo and for five years found employment with a railroad company there."
....."In 1858 he became a permanent resident of Michigan. He spent one year in Oakland county and three in Genesee county before settling in Bennington township, March 11, 1862. His first location was two miles east of his present residence, where he bought forty acres of land, about twenty of which he cleared, improving the same to the extent of a log house and barn*. In 1881 he built a large barn, in 1885 a commodious residence, and in 1892 another house. The entire eighty acres is now improved, with the exception of a wood lot; the farm is free from encumbrance, which it has always been, and in his declining years Mr. Baese has the satisfaction of realizing that his industry, economy and sound business sense, as well as his strict honesty, have enabled him to achieve an honorable place in the community."
....."Mr. Baese's first wife died February 22, 1875, leaving him with a family of eight children. Within a year he married Caroline (Samuel) Rarn, a widow with two children,---Caroline and Minnie. Both of these are now married and living in Owosso. His second wife is still living, at the age of seventy-three years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Baese are in excellent health. To Mr. Baese eight children were born by his first wife: Herman, a native of the Empire state, was born in 1854, is married and is living on a farm in Nebraska; Mary, born in 1858, is the wife of Newman Hutchings, and is a resident of the state of Washington; Charles, born in 1861*, is married and is a farmer of Bennington township; William, born in 1862, is a farmer, is married and is located at Elsi, Michigan; Pauline, born in 1864, is now Mrs. Charles Green, of Bennington, Michigan; Franklin is a farmer of Bennington; Jennie is Mrs. Trask, of Benton Harbor, Michigan; Fred R., who was born in 1874, joined the United States army and during the Spanish American war, on the way to Cuba, he disappeared and has not been heard from since*."
......"Mr. Baese regrets that he cast his first vote for James Buchanan, as he has since been an ardent member of the Republican party. He has never been a candidate for office, however, although his friends have often urged him to accept various nominations. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist church and are universally esteemed."
*Notes regarding the text above:
In 1854, a cholera epidemic erupted in Buffalo New York and became the worst outbreak to date. One physician wrote in his journal: "260 people died here this week. The panic is indescribable."
Fred's first location remained his homestead for eleven years, during which time his buildings were destroyed by fire.
Charles was actually born in February of 1862.
Fred R. Baese re-appeared in California, after his term of service with the army, where he married his first wife in 1900.
*** Census Notes:
Frederick reported on the 1910 US Census that he was naturalized in 1853, the year of his emigration from Mecklenburg.
Caroline first appeared as Fred’s wife on the 1880 Census 5 years after Mary’s death. On it, she called herself Sophia, which was Mary’s middle name. On the 1900 US Census, still using the name Sophia, she and Fred reported that they had been married 47 years (from 1853 to 1900). That span included the time Fred was married to Mary. They also reported that she (Caroline) was the birth mother of Fred’s eight children, which was not correct. I can only wonder if they were hiding Caroline's immigration status by having her assume Mary's identity.
In the 1910 US Census, this time as Caroline, she reported 24 years as the length of their marriage but miscalculated by 10 years (it was actually 34 years by that time). Also in 1910, she accurately reported for the first time that she had only 4 children born to her, all by a previous marriage, and that 2 had died prior to her 1873 emigration to America. She listed her birth country as Mecklenburg.
It is possible she knew Frederick and Mary in the Old Country, corresponded with them and then travelled to Michigan after her husband died. She lived in Bennington two years before Mary's death in 1875 from typhoid fever, and married Fred one year after.
*** Also Known As
Mary’s maiden name has been transcribed in error as "Bronnings" or "Breming". Her name was Brannick (spelled with 2 n's) as noted on both the 1st (line 1948) and the 2nd (line 9759) original Michigan marriage records of her son Franklin F. Baese.
*** Michigan Cemetery Records - highlighted given names link to a photo of a head stone or marker
Baese, Mary S [Brannick]: 1830 - 1875 (1st spouse of Frederick) Baese, Caroline [Samuel, Rarn]: 1832 - 1916 (2nd spouse of Frederick) Baese, Frederick: 1828 - 1912 Baese, Franklin F: 1868 - 1955 Baese, Jennie [Botsford]: 1868 - 1915 (1st spouse of Franklin Baese) Baese, Maude [Stenger]: 1868 - 1929 (2nd spouse of Franklin Baese) Baese, Lillie [Townsend]: 9 Aug 1863 - 3 Dec 1893 (1st spouse of C. J. Baese)
EASTON CEMETERY - New Haven Township - Located in section 10, on Easton Road
Baese, Lavinia Holland: 1898 - 5 May 1962: Section C - Row 1 (2nd spouse of Herman Harvey Baese)
*** Washington Cemetery Records - highlighted given names link to a photo of a head stone or marker
TAHOMA CEMETERY - 2301 Fruitvale Blvd - Yakima, Washington - South of Calvary Cemetery, separated by a hedge.
Baese, Mary A Hutchings: 1858 - 1922 (daughter of Fred & Mary; wife of N. C. Hutchings) Hutchings, Newman C: 10 Sep 1853 - 15 Aug 1936 (spouse of Mary Baese)
 history was extracted from this article on Mecklenburg-GenWiki (note: web link is unresponsive as of August, 2008)  Title: Past and present of Shiawassee County, Michigan, historically : together with biographical sketches of many of its leading and prominent citizens and illustrious dead. Publication Info: Lansing, Mich. : Michigan Historical Publishing Association, 
Thanks to Patricia & Granville and Grace & Robert for their initial research, the basis for this chart Thanks to Klaus Baese, Governor, LIONS District 111 N, Lions Club International, for Baese Family research in Germany Thanks to Jack Nettleton for the gravesite photos at Oakwood Cemetery, Bennington, Michigan