In my last Blog, I looked at Otis’ DNA and genealogy and how it related to my family. In that Blog, I came up with this for our shared ancestry.
[Note: See update to the above here.]
In this Blog, I’ll take a further look at the Schwechheimer and Gangnus families.
Johann Markus Schwechheimer born 1723 Germany
Johann Markus was the first of the Schwechheimer family to leave Germany for Hirschenhof, Latvia. He was born in Altlußheim bei Hockenheim Kraichgau Baden.
Here is Altlußheim:
Altlußheim is on the Rhine River between Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.
According to http://wolgadeutsche.net/lang/Hirschenhof_Liste.htm, Johann Markus had three wives:
From one web page I read, the colonists were for the most part craftsmen, so did not do so well at farming. However, some lived in Jutland for 5 years where they tried to learn farming, but the farming conditions were not good there.
It looks like Johann Markus had Farm 55:
These lists are important as they trace who lived on the land. Usually, the land would be passed down from father to son. Lot 55 was near the middle of Hirschenhof. It looks like there was a bit of a village to the West of Lot 55. Gottfried Scwhechheimer was a schmied which is a smith.
Here are some other Schwechheimers:
Erbe 101 is in the Colony to the North of Hirschenhof. Jacob Schwechheimer came to own this property around 1880.
Three farms to the West was this family:
The Colony to the North was Helfreichshof:
Here is one more Schwechheimer family in Hirschenhof:
A search for Schwechheimer shows some more:
Georg Philipp was from Erbe 55, so he was probably the son of Johann Gottfried.
This Georg Philipp came from Erbe 55 so I assume that he was a son of Johann Markus. All the above came from a useful interactive map referenced here.
I started to extract some of the information from the occupants of the various Lots:
It appears that Erbe 55 was the original Schwechheimer location, so I started there. I didn’t extract the newer information. From this Lot. I gather that the first three listed were three generations of Schwechheimer living at the same location. This is consistent with what I have in my genealogy program:
The question comes after Gerhard. Why did the land not go to a son of Gerhard? Instead the land went to a cousin from Erbe 98. Here is some more information from Erbe 98 in Helfreichshof:
Johann Gerhard Schwechheimer Born 1809
I have above that Gerhard married Anna Charlotte Marz. This information was from a book “Vom Elsass Hinaus in Die Welt” by Gustav Gangnus published in 2003. In my previous Blog, I had Gerhard married to Jacobine Schwechheimer:
Of course, both of these could be true. Gerhard also had a sister named Jacobine. I have their son as Johann Georg. He would have been 11 when his relative Johann Peter took over the farm in 1858. I am interested in Georg and Gerhard as they are the likely ancestors of Otis who I mentioned at the beginning of this Blog. Gerhard was the brother of my ancestor Rosine Schwechheimer born in 1823 and matches my family by DNA.
Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus Born 1780
Gerhard and Rosine’s mother was Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus. She married around 1794 at the age of 14! Was this normal in Hirschenhof? She had her first child when she was 15 and her last daughter when she was 44. That is 29 years of childbirth. That also means that I am related to Otis twice on my Gangnus side.
This means that I am a fourth and sixth cousin to Otis on the Gangnus side. That is because I descend from two Gangnus brothers.
[Note: See update to the above here.]
Summary and Conclusions
- Finding an interactive map of HIrschenhof and her sister Colony Helfreichshof gave some structure to where the Schwechheimer and Gangnus families lived.
- There is a lot of information on Hirschenhof. However, the parish records are not indexed for the most part and are sometimes difficult to read.
- These were large families. That means that sorting them out can be a bit of a problem. First names were also reused a lot. In addition, I learned that when someone was baptized they usually took one of the names of their godparent.
- As shown in the last figure, there was intermarrying in this isolated German Colony.
- I still haven’ found out who were the parents of the Jacobine Schwechheimer who married Gerhard Schwechheimer (born 1809).