Your story is interesting, as my oldest ancestor Henderik Stoffelsen also originates from this German region. Henderik Stoffelsen was born about 1700-1705 at 'Hemmerde' and married later on in the Netherlands, in a hamlet near Harderwijk, that is situated at the former Zuiderzee (now IJsselmeer). He married 1741 Gerritien Cornelis Verhoeff and had a son Stoffel Hendriks, born 1742. Henderik died in 1770, Gerritien in 1778, leaving a farm called 'Vinkencamp' at Hierden, in the neighbourhood of Harderwijk. 'Hemmerde' is alas a somewhat complicated matter, as there are two of them in the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet), one near Dusseldorf, one near Dortmund, plus a 'Hemmerden' elsewhere in the region. I know there lived a Stoffels family in Hamm, near Dortmund, with nowadays descendants in the USA. Until now I have not been able to bring all these lines together, let alone your new interesting feature!