Yes I knew them both very well (ahem). In the north sea area of Germany, the largest population with that name exists. Many immigrated to the USA in the 1800's and settled primarily in Nebraska and Iowa. Farming was the main occupation.
It is with some degree of certainty that those with the last name are related however distantly. I have never met anyone outside my family with the name though I would very much like to. At least I'd know they could pronounce it correctly.