Black Forest Genealogy

Landkreis Rastatt


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Rastatt

Geography:
With some 51,000 inhabitants, the city of Rastatt, after which the county was named, is the largest of the three cities in County. Rastatt. Once mainly an agricultural city, Rastatt has grown into an industrial center.
Today, Rastatt is the administrative leadership of the county. As part of the regional reorganization the size of Rastatt increased, because former independent towns and villages were incorporated into the city of Rastatt. The first was Ottersdorf in 1971, later Plittersdorf, Niederbuehl, Rauental, Rheinau, and Wintersdorf were incorporated between 1972 and 1974. Rastatt now covers an area of 59,02 square kilometers in the Rhein valley.

History:
Rastatt was first mentioned in documents about 1084 as a market place. It was then the property of the Count of Eberstein, who also owned the monasteries of Herrenalb and Seltz.
As can be seen from a 1207 document the settlement was called "Rasteten" or "Rastsaette" and was an early development of an important river crossing of the Rheine River. The favorable geographical location in the Rhein valley and on the River Murg has undermined and benefitted the city's development.
Being free of repeated flooding by the rivers Rhine and Murg, Rastatt developed early into an important commercial center. Trade in wine, timber and salt brought prosperity. Above all, timber trade from the Murg river rafting, was a significant sector of commerce. Trade in wine is still depicted today, in symbolic form, in the city's coat of arms, a ladder used for climbing wine casks.
This village, which at the end of the 13th century became part of the county of Baden, received market rights in 1404 and was a storage depot and customs office.
Rastatt was not immune from the ravages of war. It saw great destruction in 1329, 1424 and 1689. Then came reconstruction by Count Ludwig Wilhelm "Louis the Turk". Also constructed then was a baroque residential castle called"Bel Etage". The castle's grounds and gardens were recently opened to the public after necessary restoration and remodeling. The Count also granted Rastatt city status in 1700. Five years later, after completion of the castle construction, residence and government were transferred from Baden-Baden to Rastatt. This new role made Rastatt the center of government and administration of an expanded region and laid the foundations for a glorious development. Many new baroque buildings were constructed in succeeding years by the widow of Louis the Turk, the Countess Augusta Sibylla.
The city's new standing was notable in 1714 by the "Peace of Rastatt" which ended the Spanish War of Succession. The city again became a focus point in 1797 when the "Peace of Campo-Formio" negotiations were held here. The talks were between the German States and revolutionary France. Negotiations were abandoned without results in 1799. Tragically, as they were leaving the city, the three French representatives were murdered.
In order to ensure the security of the Upper Rhein region, the city was made into a national fortress. This became the strong hold for the 1848/1849 Revolution. There is a museum in the nearby castle dedicated to the history of the resistance movement. The fortress was abandoned in 1890.
Rastatt, has remained a city with many military post. After World War II, it became a garrison city for the French occupation force. Industry has an important role, especially the car assembly plant of Daimler-Benz AG.
Road and rail links are quite good, because of the interstate Basel to Frankfort nearby and the Rhine Valley track of the Feral railroad.
The city has now become the center of administrative power again, since 1 January 1973.

Emigrant Surnames:
Baumann, Blechner, Börsing, Bopp, Bott, Brunner, Bub, Buchold, Bühler, Comlossy, Dauer, Diener, Dorsch, Drexler Dümmerle, genannt Dümmler, Dürr, Eckerter, Enderlin Faulhaber, Frank, Frey, Fritz, Früh, Gack, Gaißer, Garnier, Gartner, Geiser, Gern, Glaser, Gmünd, Golin, Jägel, Jöhlinger, Jung, Kalklösch, Kastner, Katzenberger, Kaupp, Kayan, Keim, Keller, Klein, Klumpp, Kössel, Kohm, Kraft, Kramer, Krayer, Krebs, Kuhr, Lang, Keiser, Leptich, Lutz, Maier, Marx, Mayer, Merkel, Merklinger, Möhrle, Mößner, Müncher, Oberle, Pfeiffer, Rheinboldt, Richter, Rosenthal, Säuberling, Sailer, Schill, Schindler, Schmidt, Schmitt, Schneider, Schöttle, Schuh, Schuhmacher, Schwan, Seiler, Seiter, Seitz, Siebert, Stark, Stoll, Straub, Thome, Trautwein, Tschan, Valois, Walter, Weber, Weiser, Weizenacker, Welz, Wessbecher, Witschger, Wolf, Wolff, Wunsch, Zeller, Zimmermann, Zoller

Information Sources:
Stadtarchiv Rastatt
Herrenstr 11
76437 Rastatt

Rastatt
Evangelical- Lutheran
births: 1860-1866
births: 1872-1920
confirmations: 1861-1866
confirmations: 1872-1919
marriages: 1860-1866
marriages: 1872-1920
burials: 1861-1870
burials: 1872-1919

Lutheran-Mil
births: 1860-1866
births: 1872-1920
confirmations: 1861-1866
confirmations: 1872-1919
marriages: 1860-1866
marriages: 1870-1920
burials: 1861-1866
burials: 1880-1920

(There are two catholic churches in this city, and so two sets of records)

Catholic
births: 1648 - 1908
marriages: 1648 - 1908
confirmations: 1726, 1762
burials: 1648 - 1916
Catholic
births: 1777 - 1961
marriages: 1775 - 1962
burials: 1780 - 1962

Catholic
births: 1777 - 1961
marriages: 1775-1962
burials: 1780-1962

Researchers in this area:RVALOIS@MAUPINTAYLOR.COM

Links:

Rauental

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Braun, Graulich, Heberling, Herrmann, Hornung, Klagmann, Späth Sträßer, Vetter

Information Sources:

Links:

Reichental

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Faißt, Gerstner, Götz, Hasenohr, Heiter, Höfen, Hofer, Karcher, Klumpp, Knapp, Leibiger, Merkel, Röhl, Schillinger, Schmitt, Steinmann, Störzer, Wieland

Information Sources:

Links:

Rheinau

Geography:
The village of Rheinau is located in the fertile soil of both the Rheine and the Murg rivers. This agricultural village is twenty kilometers from the city of Rastatt. The 5,000 inhabitants were incorporated into the city of Rastatt in 1972.

History:

Information Sources:
Evangelical-Lutheran
birth: 1869-1962
marriages: 1900-1963
burials: 1901-1964

Links:

Rheinmuenster

Geography:

History:
Rheinmuenster is located in the upper Rhein Valley in the county of Rastatt. This new municipality was founded in the administrative reform in Baden. On October 1, 1974 the previously self governing communities of Greffern, Schwarzach, Söllingen, and Stollhofen voluntarily united to form the new municipality.
Two things influenced the naming of this new location. First, was the Rhein river, whose presence has had an essential influence in the development of the region. The other is the impressive monastery in Schwarzach, part of the Benedictine Abbey, founded in early times, which at one time was the regions administrative district.
Rheinmuenster, is composed of parts that function quite differently from each other. A modern industrial part dominates Greffern, whose name is also associated with an Alsace ferry connection. The NATO air base near Söllingen provides a large number of jobs to the area. In contrast, Stollhofen, is much more rural. Finally, Schwarzach acts strongly as a central religious and cultural region.
Rheinmuenster, with its 5,000 inhabitants forms one of the ten administrative districts of Rastatt.

Information Sources:

Links:

Rittersbach

Geography:

History:
In the year 1503, Earliest Catholic Church

Information Sources:

Links:

Rotenfels-Bad (also see Gaggenau)

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Adam Bechmann, Dietrich Einloth Erforth Fischer, Förderer, Häußler, Hatz, Heitz, Hörig, Jägel, Jung, Klumpp, Kohlbecker, Lang, Rüdinger

Information Sources:
Catholic Church Records
Baptism Records: 1616-1901
Marriage Records: 1614-1668, 1692-1913
Death Records: 1614-1622, 1630-1638, 1649-1669, 1696-1731, 1732-1823, 1817-1912
Family Book: 1790-1930

Links:

Scherzheim

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Bauer, Bertsch, Bootz, Bräunig, Fabrei, Feßler, Habisrittinger, Haensel, Hahn, Heiland, Kapp, Kautz, Kientz, Kirschenmann, Lasch, Liess, Maier, Meier, Schoch, Spielmann, Wacker, Wahl, Walter, Weber, Wegner, Wehrle, Wurz, Zimmer

Information Sources:

Links:

Researchers in this area:
SAJGE@aol.com

Scheuern

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Böhner, Flügler, Frei, Frey, Gaus, Heinrich, Hetzel, Hoch, Kormann, Oetel, Rheinschmidt, Sattler, Schmeiser, Steimer

Information Sources:

Links:

Schiftung

Geography:

History:

Information Sources:

Links:

Schwarzach

Geography:
Schwarzach is known mainly as an agricultural town, located only seven kilometers from the City of Buehl. From the 12th to the 18th century, Schwarzach was the religious center for this part of Baden.

History:
First mentioned in 994, Schwarzach was privileged with market rights. In 1130, documents mention the town with the name Swarzahe. It was at that time known as a Weiler, a group of twelve farms forming a community. Until 1338, it was also the seat of the district court.
A fortress originated here, from the nobles of von Schwarzach, which was destroyed in 1405. Parochially, the village originally belonged to St. Gallus in Bregenz and as of 1512 by Wolfurt.
Fire, troop passage, religious disorder, farmers uprising and revolution jeopardized Schwarzach throughout its early history, often to the edge of ruin, but through it all the Benedictine Abbey survived.
Like a powerful fortress the roman structure rises from the ground. The diagonal church, choir building and fourfold tower were built around 1220. Peter Thumb, one of the best monastery architects of the baroque period, built the Abbey house and the Monastery house between 1724 and 1736.
Schwarzach became an independent political community in 1824, with a population of 440. Yearly, two fairs and two live stock fairs took place here. The favorable traffic location, as one of the main accesses to the forest gained in value when the "Schwarzachtobel" road opened in 1838.
In 1859, the former office house of the Monastery because an orphanage after Pastor Franz Xaver Lender had repairs done, because it was totally in neglect.
Girls from the vicinity cared for the children. The orphanage received an addition in 1889.
The first rail system was built in 1872. The railway leading from Buehl over to Vimbuch, Moos and Schwarzach to Lichtenau and Kehl was built in 1892.
Until a few decades ago the predominate profession in Schwarzach was whetstone grinding. Ten grinding mills were in use, which produced 150,000 whetstones yearly.
Today, business, industry and agriculture are versatile. There are businesses producing machinery, organs and textiles. There are still 50 farming families living in Schwarzach.
On a house on Herren Street, the coat of arms, or wappen of the monastery is still found today. It shows a crossed key and sword, the attributes of St. Peter and St. Paul, who are the main patrons of the Monastery.

Emigrant Surnames:
Bernhard, Binder, BIndgen, Bleicher, Bonn, BUrkard, Burkart, Deutsch, Droll, Eckert, Ehnes, Ellenbast, Friedmann, Fritz, Gartner, Götz, Graf, Grosholz, Gutekunst, Harbrecht, Hebding, Heier, Hirth, Hischmann, Hofmann, Jörger, Kalmbacher, Kaufmann, kessel, Kleinhans, Kilthau, Koch, Küpferle, Lusch, Maas, Mast, Meier, Meyer, Müller, Nachbauer, Nöitner, Person, Pfefferkorn, Regenold, Reinfried, Ritter, Rupp, Ruschmann, Sauer, Schell, Schwab, Seiler, Seiter, Seubert, Seyfried, Sick, Stengel, Stemmle, Straub, Trautmann, Wäckel, Weingartner, Weißbrodt, Welzheimer, Westermann, Winter, Zeller, Ziegler, Ziesel, Zimmermann

Information Sources:

Links:

Researchers in this area:
Faith Haungs

Selbach (also see Gaggenau)

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Hornung, Knöbel, Schiele, Schoch, Späth, Ulrich

Information Sources:

Links:

Sinzheim

Geography:
The wine village of Sinzheim is located in the foothills of the Rhein Valley in the former navigable part of the Rhein River.
Although Sinzheim is only 25 kilometers west of the city of Baden-Baden, this "headquarter" community is part of Landkreis Rastatt. Sinzheim is the head quarters community for these seven smaller villages, Ebenung, Halberstung, Kartung, Müllhofen, Schiftung, Vormberg and Winden.
Sinzheim was part of the Baden-Baden district until 1819, and was under the command of the Steinbach office. Later, in the same century it became part of the old rural district of Buehl. In the reformation act of 1973, Sinzheim became part of Landkreis Rastatt. At the same time, the independent community of Leiberstung was incorporated with Sinzheim.
Today's Sinzheim covers an area of 28,49 square kilometers with a population of 9,700, most being catholic.

History:
Where the Federal Road #3 today passes through Sinzheim, there used to be an upward bank of the Kinzigmurg stream, also called the east Rhein, which collected the waters of the Black Forest between Offenburg and Bruchsal. It was here that the ancient Celts built a path which the Romans later paved and used as a trade road.
The first documented mention of Sinzheim was in the year 884,when Emperor Karl der Dicke (Karl the Fat) gave a number of villages to the Monastery Hanau, near Strassburg, among them was Sinzheim.
Later, this village came under the jurisdiction of the Abbey Schwarzach. After that it was owned by the Eberstein's. finally in 1283, Sinzheim became part of the county of Baden.
It has been known as a 'headquarter" community since 1586. That means it had its own court, with twelve court people, and a judge, which ruled over the parish. Each of the smaller villages, of this community has its own school, but the main school board is located in Sinzheim.
Sinzheim has had many name changes. Known as Sumesheim in 1154, as Sunesheim in 1261, as Sunzheim in 1588 and finally Sinzheim in 1620. Noted as a wine village, around the village lays a belt of fruit trees. The surrounding hillsides are covered with grape vines. Sinzheim wines, Sätzler and Frümessler are known and appreciated by the experts.
Sinzheim parish church, St. Martin's was built in 1900 in the new gothic style, it is the dominant structure of the village. By the main road sits the restaurant, Gasthaus Deer. The Altenburg Brewery of Sinzheim is noted for its beer production, in a time when a number of smaller breweries is declining.

Emigrant Surnames:
(mit Ebenung, Halbestung, Kartung, Mühlhofen, Schifftung, Vormberg und Winden)
Bächle, Baumstark, Boos, Bühler, Burkart, Deißler, Deutsch, Drapp, Ernst, Feger, Fritsch, Gushurst, Hagel, Hartmann, Hörig, Hörth, Huck, Huk, Ibach, Isemann, Jörger, Klaus, Knecht, Koch, Kreidenweis, Kreideweis, Krumm, Kübel, Küst, Lambrecht, Lauer, Lauter, Liebich, Lienhart, Lorenz, Manz, Merkle, Metz, Müller, Naber, Peter, Rauch, Reiß, Rheinboldt, Scheuer, Schickinger, Schleif, Schneider, Seiler, Seiter Seibert, Stich, Strack, Trapp, Vogel, Walter, Walther, Weber, Weiland, Weis, Wurz, Zeitvogel, Zembrod, Zimmer, Zoller

Information Sources:
Sinzheim
Catholic
baptisms: 1623-1682 and 1743-1900
marriages: 1743-1803 and 1820-1909
deaths: 1623 - 1909

Links:

Sollingen

Geography:
Sollingen is a small fishing village located on the Rhein River. The fisherman sell their catch in the City of Rastatt. The Rossle Inn in Sollingen advertises a view of the French Fort Lewis.

History:
In 1790, Solingen was a part of the assembly area for the troops who were put into action against the then French Fort Lewis. The parish church was built in 1842/43 and influenced by the Weinbrenner style, as were many churches, town halls and schools, that where built around the same time. Before 1842, parishioners attended services in the church in Stollhofen.
Sollingen orginally belonged to the Schwarzach abbey, then in the 1700's, to the Stollhofen parish. Today, the citizens have their own consecrated church which is celebrated every September.
Today, Sollingen is the home of a NATO airbase which has molded the history of the region for the last 40 years. The base has not only brought low flying jet noise to this town, it has also brought jobs and a touch of cosmopolitanism.

Emigrant Surnames:
Alzenberger, Birneßer, Buechel, Burkard, Engel, Fischer, Haungs, Hermann, Ibach, Jaeger, Kleinkopf, Kohrmann, Küferle, Leis, Leppert, Schneider, Seiter, Speier, Walz

Information Sources:
Catholic
birth and baptism: 1806-1900
marriages: 1806-1900
death and burial: 1806-1881
family registry: 1717-1850
The records for the parent church in Stollhofen date back to the 1600's.

Links:

Researchers in this area:SPRBUDMAN@aol.com

Staufenberg

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Bender, Gerber, Haasman, Kiry, Kugel, Kunzman, Lehmann, Müller, Schenkel, Schmeiser, Seiler, Wankmüller

Information Sources:

Links:

Steinbach

Geography:

History:

In the year 1258, Earliest Catholic Church

Information Sources:

Links:

Steinmauern

Geography:
If you follow the flow of the Murg river to the mouth of the Rhein river you arrive in Steinmauern. The town was built in a loop following directly the flow of the Murg. Geographically located fifteen kilometers northwest of the city of Rastatt, Steinmauern covers an area of 12,40 square kilometers. Steinmauern, today has a population of approximately 2,500 residents.

History:
This community, which in earlier times was under the rule of the Eberstein's, originally had a portion of its boundary on the left side of the Rhein. During the division of the margraves in the year 1288 Steinmauern was given to Hermann IV, of Baden.
The town was of great importance at the time of timber transportation on the Murg. The panel at Steinmauern had to inspect the timber which came from the far end of the Murg valley.
Romans also left their mark here. The early name of Steinmur, in 1139, suggest the possibility of a fortress on the river bank.
A famous son of the community was Karl Julius Spaeth, who was born April 12, 1838 in Steinmauern. Not his first acquired trade as linen weaver made him famous but his later occupation as watchmaker. At the age of 30, Spaeth, built his first clock. His most famous piece is the "Wunderruhr" or miracle clock. It is a calendar clock with many wood carvings on which he worked for 19 years. It can be seen at the museum in Rastatt. This astronomical clock, which the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin awarded the mark of general recognition in the year 1902, was also described by Spaeth in a poem he composed.

Emigrant Surnames:
Andres, Bastian, Bauer, Baumer, Becker, Böhler, Bohn, Bollweber, Deisig, Fettig, Fortenbacher, Fritz, Gailfuß, Glaser, Götz, Heidt, Hoffarth, Huck, Hutt, Jörger, Jung, Kambeitz, Karle, Kling, Kölmel, Kraft, Kuhnle, Lang, Lorenz, Maier, müller, Mußhafen, Nold, Ochs, Pfeiffer, Reichert, Reis, Reiß, Reith, Schmäh, Schmitt, Treu, Trey, Unser, Wagner, Weingärtner, Wiegner

Information Sources:
Catholic
births: 1727-1878 marriages: 1727-1899 deaths: 1727-1912 confirmations: 1779, 1790, 1827

Links:

Researchers in this area:fettig_1@hotmail.com

Stollhofen

Geography:
The city of Stollhofen is located in the upper Rhein River valley. Mainly a farming community, Stollhofen is half way between Schwarzach and Sollingen

History:
The proud past of Stollhofen is seen in the layout of its roads, that are built wide, as many of the roads of the Black Forest Monastery region, to which Stollhofen originally belonged.
In the 13th century, Stollhofen was the property of the Windecks. It was at this time it became a city and received market rights. From 1401 to 1788, Stollhofen was the county seat of Buehl. After that it was added to the county of Rastatt.
Next to Breisach and Philippsburg, Stollhofen was an important fortification post of the upper Rhein. There was a post and relay station established in Stollhofen. Travelers had to wait at the post while the horses were switched. It was a lively place where you could hear the news about the world. Later, this area was turned into a large general store. Most of the buildings of this city, are concerned "stately", such as the department store "Linz" and the Inn "Zur Linde". Even the Mills here have a well-to-do appearance.
The local school was built in 1840. The church was built in 1769, on the spot where earlier the Eduard Chapel stood.
The main source of income of the residents is cattle and poultry breeding and tobacco farming. In the building called "Scherzinger" there was , at one time, a tobacco factory. Another source of income for the inhabitants is the distribution of coal, which they cart from Greffern harbor to their customers.
The Rhein remains the most important means of transportation. It is still seen as an event when a steamboat passes into harbor, even though they have been doing so since 1833, and since 1855 riding the Rhein on a regular basis.

Emigrant Surnames:
Bader, Bechtold, Bernhard, Bohner, Braun, Buchert, Burkhard, Butscher, Daul, Diebold, Dorsner, Droll, Eberle, Eckert, Eder, Ehinger, Erhard, Erlacher, Fetzner, Fischer, Gerber, Görth, Götz, Hagenauer, Heimburger, Heuberger, Hörth, Jörger, Jung, Knäbel, Koch, Kössel, Krämer, Krumholz, Lampart, Lang, Lechner, Lehmann, Lempert, Leppert, Lorenz, Lott, Mast, May, Müller, Neithard, Neuthard, Rastetter, Rauch, Riester, Schäfer, Scherzinger, Schmalz, Schuh, Schwendemann, Seiert, Seiter, Strohmaier, Volz, Wald, Weingärtner, Zoller

Information Sources:
Stollhofen (Schwarzach) Catholic
birth, marriages and deaths: 1830-1889

Stollhofen (Stollhofen)
Catholic
births: 1629-1641
births: 1647-1900
marriages: 1637-1900
deaths: 1681-1900

Links:

Sulzbach (also see Gaggenau)

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Dürr, Findling, Gerstner, Gimpert, Germ Kleinkopf, Kraft, Latein, Schnepf, Tschan, Weber, Wunsch, Zerr

Information Sources:

Links:

Ulm

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Bahlinger, Bechtel, Binder, Burkard, Diebel, Fraß, Greidmann, Geiger Hertle, Ilchert, Koch, Kohrmann, Kübel, Latzer, Lederle, Loth, Meister, Nöltner, Ott, Regenold, Reif, Ruschmann, Schell, Speierer, Speuerer, Steppe, Ulmer, Vollmer, Wagner, Weber, Westermann

Information Sources:

Links:

Researchers in this area:
Faith Haungs

Umweg

Geography:

History:

Information Sources:

Links:

Unzhurst
und Breithurst

Geography:

History:
Unzhurst is old German for "our forest". Unzhurst is considered to be the Himberre (raspberry) capitol of Europe. Unzhurst has now been incorporated into Ottersweier (all of the records for Unzhurst are kept in Ottersweier now).

Emigrant Surnames:
Allgeire, Belikan, Burger, Dannhäuser, Ernst, Frank, Friedmann, Gander, Gantner, Haunß, Herrmann, Höß, Jörger, Knab, Maurath, Öhl, Oser, Peter, Roth, Sailer, Sauer, Scheurer, Schludecker, Schmidt, Seiler, Sucher, Trapp, Weiler, Weiß, Zeller, Zuber

Information Sources:

Researcher in this area:
SJWilson@sympatico.ca

Links:

Other Information:

"THE NEW UNZHURST"
By Franz Karl MAURATH,
Retired, former Mayor of Unzhurst.
Translated by Karl F. Otto, Jr. at the
University of Pennsylvania, May, 1998.
Edited and submitted by John Maurath.

THOUGHTS ON CONSOLIDATION / INCORPORATION

In accordance with governmental reforms which have been carried out overthe last few years, the Community Council of Unzhurst, with citizenapproval at a prior town meeting, has decided on the consolidation of thecommunity of Unzhurst along with the neighboring communities ofOberwasser, Zell, and Breithurst, to the community of Ottersweier,effective 1 January 1972. In the former townhall of Unzhurst, there willremain a so-called governmental office. Unzhurst, Oberwasser, and Zellwere, until 1 April 1936, independent communities. During the so-calledThird Reich, Oberwasser and Zell were annexed to Unzhurst by a decisionof the Reichsstatthalters von Baden, without any community involvement orapproval. Breithurst had already become a part of Unzhurst in an earlierdecision.

When we consider the concept of "Heimat" (Home), we think first of ourhometown, and then more or less of the surrounding areas in which we grewup, together with all of the happy and all of the sad events andexperiences of life in this part of the world in which we live. Only thefuture will show whether the decision by Unzhurst's citizens toconsolidate with Ottersweier, was a good decision or not. Certain townsand areas well-known to us in our part of the world have been around fora long time. Ottersweier, for example, was, for all of us who "lived infront of the tracks", the only train station. Mail too, came, for aslong as one can remember, from Ottersweier,early on by horse and postal coach, then by bicycle, and now in moderntimes by postal vehicles. Residents of Unzhurst, both young and old,have made the customary barefoot pilgrimage to the pilgrim Church of"Maria Linden" in Ottersweier, and have brought all of their worries,large and small, to the Blessed Mother of God there. For us children, itwas both an experience and an event of special charm, when we, onpilgrimage day, were allowed to go along to "the Linde" in Ottersweier. Barefoot, our shoes tied together and slung over our shoulder, we marchedalong the streets, which at that time were still cobblestone. After HolyMass, there were always some sort of confections at stands along the way,as we made our way back home. If ripe cherries were to beckon in thewoods or along the streets, we young boys found it impossible to resistthe temptation. In earlier years, it was customary for the First HolyCommunicants on the afternoon of "Weißen Sonntags" to make the pilgrimageto the Linde in Ottersweier with the pastor, a Crucifix, and banners. Should there be a train ride to Karlsruhe, it began in Ottersweier; andit was as if in Ottersweier, the doors were opened to the big, wideworld.

Through such events as these, though seemingly unimportant, certainattachments for our hometown and surrounding areas developed for theresidents of Unzhurst, beginning in our youth. Residents of each townwill not suddenly change into "unified residents", but certainly eachtown's "Heimatbuch" (Hometown Book) will help the population of each townto better understand the mentality of the other. Quite by chance,everyone begins, at one point, to reflect on our hometown, and how it hasdeveloped in the course of the centuries.

NUMBERS FROM UNZHURST.

The former boundaries of the village of Unzhurst lie, from it's center,about five kilometers from the center of the village of Ottersweier. Both communities are connected by County Road No. 59. Since 1 January1973, this whole area belongs to the county of Rastatt, and thus to theregion of the "Mittlerer Oberrhein" (Middle Upper Rhein). Within theboundaries of Unzhurst, there are 1103 hectares (a hectare isapproximately 2 1/2 acres), so that the new community of Ottersweier iscomprised of 2917 hectares. Unzhurst and Zell lie about 500 - 600 meterswest of the Autobahn, while the small village of Breithurst is the onlycommunity of the group to lie east of the Autobahn, about 1000 meters. In 1972, there were 1379 inhabitants in Unzhurst, of which 639 were male,740 female. The number of inhabitants has increased only very slightlyin the last decade. The inhabitants are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic,and only 2.8% (38 people) are Lutheran. Although the number ofinhabitants has increased by only 39 in the last ten years, there hasbeen an increase of 70 homes and 37 other buildings. One can thereforespeak of a rather increased building activity. During the same timeperiod, there has been a continuous decline in the number of thoseengaged in agriculture, while the number of those involved in business,trade, and commerce has increased. In 1956, only 89 people went out ofUnzhurst each day to go to work, but by 1972 that number had increased to462, and only 2 people came each day to work "in" Unzhurst. Within thecommunity boundaries, 42.4% (468 hectares) are used for farming andorchards, 39.5% (436 hectares) are used for meadows and grazing, and12.7% (140 hectares) are forests. Today, there are still about 30 farms,where farming is the main occupation of the residents, but that number islikely to decrease by a third in the next few years. Within the lastdecade, the number of independent farmers has decreased by more than 50%. The amount of surface area devoted to tobacco has decreased from 26hectares to 3 hectares, due, above all, to the fact that many of theresidents no longer work within the community. Our community therefore,which was almost entirely agricultural, has become a community ofworker-farmers, who now only farm, for the most part, "on the side". There is a similar situation regarding farm animals; the number of cattlehas decreased since 1955 from 1032 to 640 animals.

AFTER THIS GENERAL INTRODUCTION, LET'S LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUAL TOWNS THATMAKE UP OUR NEW COMMUNITY.

1. UNZHURST.

The actual village of Unzhurst lies on the right side of the Mühlbach,143 meters above sea level. In older documents, the village is calledÜnzenhurst (1240), and Onzenhörst (1381). The ending "-hurst" meansbush, hedge, or wooded hill (in English Busch-, Niederwald). Hence, thename means Horst or Hurst of Onzo (referring to a person with the name"Onzo"). The village was a fief (a fief is a feudal estate held inexchange for military or other service) in Baden, in the hands of theLords, von Röder, von Bach, and later von Knebel. In 1381, the MargravesBernhard I and Rudolph VII of Baden, gave the lands over as fief toDietrich Roeder and to the Knights, Claus and Albrecht von Bach, alongwith "Gülten" as payment at "the court" in Unzhurst. Here too, the Lordsof Windeck were given fiefs.

In 1435 at the Council of Basel, the Abbot and the Convent of thecloister in Schwarzach, sued the village of Unzhurst, because the villagehad dug out and diverted the waters used for the cloister mill. Alreadyin the year 826, the land owned by the cloister extended all the way toUnzhurst, including Zell. The village and the county of Großweierbelonged at that time, to the Margraves of Baden. Unzhurst was the seatof a court, to which Oberwasser belonged. Reinhard von Windeck annuallygave 14 Sester of grain from his lands in Unzhurst to the Church of OurLady in Maria Linden.

THE GOVERNANCE TREATY OF ORTENAU.

During the peasant wars in 1525, Unzhurst was again sued, along withGroßweier, at an Assembly in Renchen (see reference to this also under"Ottersweier"), because they had dared to "set up court" on their ownaccord, while under the rule of Ortenau. The situation was finallysettled by the Governance Treaty of Ortenau in 1530. Imperial Ortenau,which had rule over Unzhurst, gave up all rights, duties, contributions,and benefits from Unzhurst to the local Margrave, but retained the rightof the benefit of the Cathedral Chapter of Straßburg. By virtue of thistreaty, Breithurst also came under the rule of the Margrave, asOberwasser and Zell were already under that rule. But, after thedissolution of the county of Großweier, Unzhurst and the other localvillages then came under the rule of the county of Bühl-Großweier (1689),and then in 1788 under the rule of the senior county of Yburg, the seatof which was in Bühl. Then they were given to the county of Schwarzachfor two years, and then finally to the county of Bühl. Another village,Ellenfürst, which had belonged to the cloister at Schwarzach (accordingto a document from 1314), also tried to set up it's own court, and a suitfollowed, which never reached settlement, and the cloister finally gaveup the suit in the eighteenth century.

A document from 1432 speaks of a community of Beguines in Unzhurst. TheBeguines or Begines were a religious community at the beginning of thethirteenth century. The members were unmarried women, married women, andwidows, and all agreed to live a cloistered life. They lived in smallhouses, all of which were encircled by a wall, and busied themselves withhandiwork, with the care of the sick, and with the education of theyoung.

Unzhurst, Oberwasser, and Zell were originally missions, or missionparishes from Sasbach. But by 1240, Unzhurst had it's own parish, towhich Zell was connected. Zell was later given to Vimbuch in theseventeenth century, and then back to Unzhurst in 1821. Unzhurst and thesurrounding villages enjoyed the privileges and use of the lands of theChurch in Sasbach and the other various missions.

THE NEW PARISH CHURCH IN UNZHURST, 1846.

The old parish Church of Unzhurst was built in 1645, and the currentChurch was built 200 years later. The main Altar picture comes from thepainter Ellenrieder from Konstanz. The tithings from the Parish were owedto the Choir of the Cathedral Chapter of Young St. Peter's in Straßburg. So only through the sacrifices of the pastor (Fr.Eidel) and parishmembers, was the completion of the new Church and rectory accomplished. The patron of the new Church is St. Cyriak, one of the 14 helpers in timeof need. He was a Deacon in Rome, and is said to have suffered martyrdomat the hands of Diocletian in the year 309. When Pope Leo IX visited hishome in Elsaß (Alsace), he brought relics with him, which he gave to theindividual Churches. Among the relics, was the "arm" of St. Cyriak forthe Cloister at Altdorf, near Volsheim. Unzhurst nor Stollhofen, whichalso had a Church dedicated to St. Cyriak, never received a relic ofSt.Cyriak.

BREITHURST.

The hamlet of Breithurst lies just about fifteen minutes from Unzhurst. In the fourteenth century it was called "Breitenhurst", or probably "zurbreiten Hurst". The term "breite" (which means "breadth" or "width") wasused then to encompass or measure between 2 and 50 hectares of land. Thehamlet had at one time been the court seat for the county of Großweier inthe Margrave of Baden. But, during the peasant wars, both the Margraveand the county laid claim to Breithurst. The Governance Treaty ofOrtenau gave the hamlet to the Margrave, and in 1783 it was separatedfrom the Mother Church in Ottersweier, and given over to the Parish inUnzhurst. At Laufbach, near Breithurst, on the former boundary ofOttersweier and Unzhurst, there is a two hundred year old boundarymarker; the north side has the word "Baden", along with a coat-of-arms,probably from the Margrave of Baden; the south side has the word "Reich"(Empire) with the eagle of Austria and the date 1779; and the east sidehas the letters "G.O.", probably for "Gemeinde Ottersweier" (community ofOttersweier). At one time, there was a Roman trade route from the MariaLinden in Ottersweier to Drusenheim - with Breithurst, Unzhurst, Moos,and Greffern in it's path. Today, only the field names of Heidenfeld(near Breithurst), Steinmatten am Hohweg (mentioned in 1516),Steinstrutt, Heideck (mentioned in 1540), and Heidenbuckel (it consistsof three hills on an otherwise very flat plain), reminds us of that Romantrade route.

OBERWASSER.

It was a village in the Rhein plateau, to the left of the Mühlbach, 135meters above sea level. Previously it consisted of 374 hectares.Students from Oberwasser went to school in Unzhurst. In old documentsfrom 1474, it is called Überwasser and Oberwasser. The spelling of thename Überbruch, which is in the area (that was the name given toOberbruch in 1384), is probably older. Oberwasser is then the place,which lies "above the water", above the Mühlbach. The settling ofOberwasser occurred much later than Unzhurst, which was already mentioned200 years earlier.

From a geological viewpoint, the soil, which consists of Rhein gravel,thoroughly mixed with loam and clay is broken up by peat formations ofthe youngest period of the earth (Alluvium) in the damp areas ofOberwasser, Unzhurst, Breithurst, and Moos. This peat consists mainly ofbranch moss, which is mixed with leaves of three-leaf clover. BetweenOberwasser and Moos, near the so-called Muhr, was located theWarmersbrucher Hof, which had belonged to the cloister of Schwarzach, butwhich ceased to exist at the beginning of the ninteenth century. Today,we are reminded of it by the field name of Warmersbrucherhof, or simply,the "hof". In older documents it is first mentioned because of thepossessions of various districts in the Fünfheimburger Forest. Theforest residents gave over to the cloister at that time, the so-calledWarmersbruch, in addition to the farm, the alpine meadow, and two smalleralpine meadows (1812). According to oral tradition, the timbers of thehof were used, after the building was destroyed, for building theso-called Mühlhof.

ZELL.

Zell was a village on the Mühlbach, only 132 meters above sea level andit had 135 hectares of farmland, 11 hectares of tobacco, 103 hectares ofmeadow, and 31 hectares of forest. It lies about one kilometer from themain village. Documents from 1419 call it Zelle, or in Latin "Cella",and it was a residence for new settlers and a settlement for monks, as itwas then founded by the cloister at Schwarzach, which had a farm and amill there. A hamlet formed itself in due time around the farm and mill.

In 1596, the Schwarzach cloister sold it's right to the annual "Gült" forthe mill at Zell for 100 fl.to the Margravian councilman from Baden, Johannes Wolf. In 1649, the mill and farm, together with "everything thatbelonged to it" were given over to Hans Bußhurst for the sum of 15 fl.and an annual contribution of 7 "Viertel" of grain and 4 capons(castrated feeder chickens), in addition to the return of the land uponthe death of the bondsman. In 1683, the miller in Zell was allowed toopen a tavern. From 1683 to 1883 the mill was in the possession of theNiedhammer Family. During the secularization of the Schwarzach cloister(1803), ownership of the hereditary fiefdom of the mill was transferredover to the province of Baden, which had to give the owner of the fief,24 "Viertel" of grain and 10 fl. annually.

Vimbuch

Geography:

History:

In the year 1154, Earliest Catholic Church

Emigrant Surnames:
Braun, Burkard, Burkart, Eckerle, Ehinger, Friedmann, Fritz, Gerber, Götz, Graf, Haunß, Hönig, Jörger, Leppert, Lienhard, Maurath, Meier, Reeg, Reith, Royal, Seiter, Trapp, Weiler, Wild

Information Sources:

Links:

Vormberg

Geography:

History:

Information Sources:

Links:

Waldmatt

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Herrmann, Hörth, Ihle, Kern Kirschner, Rauber, Rheinschmitt, Ronecker, Siegele, Schaufler, Schuh

Information Sources:

Links:

Waldprechtsweier

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Bechler, Bisack, Brenneisen, Gantner, Hennhoefer, Hettel, Hoffart, Huck, Jung, Karcher, Kistner, Klein, Kohm, Kraft, Kuehn, Lichtmann, Reiter, Rieger, Roesch, Saly, Strickfaden, Westermann, Wipfler, Wolf

Information Sources:

Researchers in this area:strickfa@uni-freiburg.de

Links:

Weisenbach

Geography:
On the way through the Murgtal Valley, leaving behind Freudenstadt, Gaggenau, Gernsbach and the Eberstein Castle, which towers above the valley, you reach Weisenbach. Weisenbach, with neighboring Au were incorporated in 1971, on a voluntary basis. The combined communities cover an area of 9,07 square kilometers and have a population of 2,500 inhabitants.

History:
The first mention of the village was in 1336, when the name was spelled "Weissenbach. By 1683 the name was changed to Weisenbach. Woodcutters and lumberjacks from Tyrol settled in the Murg Valley and brought their typical hay huts with them, which can be seen today in several neighboring valleys.
Forest and river had a long lasting influence to the rhythm of the lives of the people of the region. In the 1800's many occupations, such as potash manufacturer, spoon and wooden shoe maker and shinge makers as well as the fisherman's guild point to this.
The erection of the Murtgal Railroad brought many changes to Weisenbach in the 1890's.
Shortly before, in the Belzer Mill, a wooden pulping enterprise was founded. In that same time, the laying of the foundation stone for the first paper mill of the Holtzmann Firm was started. This industrial branch not only overcame, it has provided an enduring growth of that region's economy.
Besides the economic aspect, tourism is an important source of income for Weisenbach and the neighboring villages.
The parish church of Weisenbach, St. Wendelin, was built in 1440. An addition was added to the south side, as a small chapel to Johann Belzer, a well-known builder of churches in the region.

Emigrant Surnames:
Barth, Bleier, Dörrer, Fortenbacher, Frey, Geiser, Gerstner, Grossmann, Hurler, Immelauer, Klumpp, Krieg, Maier, Meichel, Retter, Schmadel, Schmitt, Strobel, Wörner, Wunsch

Information Sources:
Catholic
births: 1785-1958
marriages: 1785-1825
marriages: 1829-1938
deaths: 1785-1912
family registry: 1737

Links:

Weitenung

Geography:
The community of Weitenung in the Rhein Valley, with its adjacent villages of Elzhofen, Ottenhofen and Witstung is basically a farming town. Located fifteen kilometers north of Buehl, this village is on the border of the Rastatt and Baden-Baden Landkreis.

History:
As was the practice in the entire region of Baden, Weitenung grew hemp and flax. Later, the cultivation of tobacco, chicory, corn and sugar beets was added. The farmers found support in Reginius Baur, a teacher, who planted new strains of potatoes and berries. His wife, instructed the village girls in dress making, sewing and knitting.
The gravel and sand pits owned by the village provided a sustaining source of income for some of the villagers.
In these early years, when so many of the residents of Weitenung were poor, many sought salvation in immigration, particularly the young. A chapel had been built here as early as 1384. The people of Weitenung would have liked to build a new church but lacked the means. In 1851, the church was enlarged somewhat. Only a simple spire indicated that here stands a House of God. That is reflected in the interior decoration and fittings of the church which are kept simple and confine themselves to the necessary.
Only since 1864 were the parishioners allowed to baptize newborns in the Weitenung church. The holy water, for such occasions had to be brought from Steinbach. From that time on couples could have their marriages solemnized in their local church.
In 1902, Weitenung was separated form the parish of Steinbach. At that time the parishioners received their own parish priest.
The original plans for the present Weitenung church were drawn up in 1914. Unfortunately, just as the building was to begin World War ll broke out. The difficulties after the war, of rising wages and cost of building material forced the congregation to give up hope for a new church.
Salvation came in the form of a gift of 5,000 U.S. dollars from a Monsignor Bilger, who worked in the states, but those mother was a native of Weitenung. With that gift the construction of a new church could go ahead. Plans were drawn up by the office of the Archbishop in Karlsruhe, based on those of 1914. After two years of construction, the new church was blessed in 1925 in the presence of Monsignor Bilger, who had traveled to Weitenung for the occasion. Archbishop Dr. Karl Fritz consecrated the new church in 1927.

Emigrant Surnames:
Armbruster, Bader, Deißler, Dresel, Droll Eberle, Eckerle, Ernst, Friedmann, Frietsch, Gollatschek, Grünewald, Hettler, Huck, Ibach, Kneisch, Kohr, Krumm, Leppert, Manz, Meier, Mußler, Reis, Schaab, Schaufler, Schmitt, Seiler, Warth, Wartmann, Weber.

Information Sources:
birth, marriages and deaths: 1810-1900

Links:

Winden

Geography:

History:

Information Sources:

Links:

Wintersdorf

Geography:

History:
Wintersdorf is a little village with 1,800 inhabitants near the river Rhein. It was founded in the 5th century by the German tribe "Alemannen" and belonged, until the 14th century, to Alsatia. The first date of historical mention is the year 799 when an inhabitant of Wintersdorf named Theodunus, donated his farm to the monastery of Weißenburg.
In the following centuries Wintersdorf was destroyed by the flooding of the Rhein River and by foreign soldiers, French soldiers burned down the village on August 30, 1689.
Famines, because of crop failures, and the bad political situation after the failure of the revolution in 1848, compelled more than 50 families to emigrate to the USA in the years from 1820 until 1860.
Georg Grabenstatter was Mayor in Wintersdorf in about 1670. Johann Gross (Groß) was Mayor from 1690 until 1720.

Emigrant Surnames:
Bauer, Buhlinger, Diebold, Greß, Groß, Hauns, Heberling, Kanzler, Poler, Reinbold, Ruf, Rummel, Schaff, Schäfer, Stuckel Wildersinn, Ziegler

Information Sources:
Catholic
birth and baptism : 1717-1919
marriage: 1718-1888
death and burial: 1718-1900
confirmation: 1852-1889
The LDS microfilm of records for Ottersdorf begins in 1700, and the first section, through 1717, includes the records of Plittersdorf and Wintersdorf. They were all recorded together in the Ottersdorf book at that time.

Researchers in this area:
kpschef@aol.com
Surnames: Gross (Groß), Muller, Stabel, Hauns, Liebes, Schafer, Jung, and Grabenstätter

rbelleng@i2k.com
Surnames: Bühlinger, Frittel, Hauns, Himmler, Kreitenweis, Merkel, Ruckenbrodt, Rummel

Links:

Würmersheim

Geography:

History:

Emigrant Surnames:
Heck, Kölmel, Schorpp

Information Sources:

Links:

Yberg

Geography:
Yberg is an ancient castle village just north of the town of Neuweier in the mountainous region of the city of Buhlertal. Originally this village belonged to the district city of Buehl. Due to the reformation in the 1970's, Yberg is now part of the county of Rastatt.

History:
The small village of Yberg is first mentioned in 1245. It was occupied by renters of the Earl of Baden. Yberg had a changeable destiny throughout history.
In its early years it was conquered by rebellious farmers. In the war years of the 17 and 18th century Yberg Castle was used as a fortress by neighboring villagers.
In victorian times, Yberg was often visited by the "high society" people of nearby. They often went to Yberg to use the towers on the mountain there, to view the magnificent landscapes below.
Yberg Castle stand majestically on the hillside. It was built as a County fortress.
Here once lived a teacher, called Ruska. His most promising pupil, the late Professor Hans Thomas, built the guest houses for the castle, as a cultural thank you to his teacher.
Today the tourists are gone and the Castle courtyard lays in silence, in its charm.

Information Sources:
No records available

Links:See Black Forest Legends



Important Addresses:

(Landkreis Rastatt Archives)
Kreisarchiv fur den Landkreis Rastatt
Landratsamt
Herrenstr 13
Postfach 1863
76437 Rastatt

LDS Archives for all of Germany
Kirche Jesu Christi der HLT
Abteilung Genealogie
Max - Planck - Str 239
61381 Friedrichsdorf

General Land Archives
Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Nördliche Hildapromenade 2
76133 Karlsruhe


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