Hello, my name is Diane and I have recently joined the forum. I am researching several of my families German roots from both my father and mother's side and hope to find some assistance or anyone with knowledge of these families.
1.) We have traced my father's line definitely to my 6th great grandfather Johannes (Johan, John) Heinrich Koch born abt 1660 and immigrating to Philadelphia, PA on the Queen Elizabeth in 1738 (listed as age 78) with Henrich Koch, age 23 who although is listed as his son there is quite a difference in age so perhaps even a grandson. The passenger list itself unfortunately does not list their place of origin. According to an entry in Emigrants from West-German Fuerstenberg Territories (Baden and the Palatinate) to America and Central Europe 1712, 1737, 1787 he may have been from Birkenhoerdt, Kurpfolz or at least that is where he made application for passage. We have various Ancestry trees linking him with other persons but all are un-sourced claims and therefore I find them unreliable and looking for proof of further ancestry. Since I don't know his place of birth or residence for certain, I really don't know where next to direct my searching.
2) My maternal great great grandfather, Richard Tautenhahn was born in Saxony, Germany in 1859. He apparently lived in Meerane, a city near Lipzig and also lived in Plauen according to letters. After returning to Germany he was installed by the government as director of the Commercial Textile School. His mother was Johanne Christliebe Wilhelm born Apr 1825 in Glauchau, Germany (I have her birth record) and his father Christian Frederich Tautenhahn born in Schneeberg, Germany (I have his birth record as well). I do not have my great grandfather's birth record nor his siblings (on 3 of the 12 lived until adulthood) and not sure where to look for them. According to a letter written by my gg grandfather, his father's family had been prominent people until losing their estate in the Thirty Years War and very little is known about them. His mother was granted a considerable estate near Griesbach but ultimately lost their fortune and moved with Richard to the US.
3) Richard Tautenhahn married Marie Emma Strehl born abt 1863 in 1880 before immigrating from Germany. I do not have the marriage records but would love them since we know nothing about my great grandmother's people and would hope their names would be on this record. All I know is that they were married before immigrating to the US. I have numerous old pictures taken in Germany of family but none are labeled so we don't know if these are Emma's family or Richard's. He traveled to the US in 1881 and the couple immigrated to the US in Sept 1883 on the ship Werra along with his brother Robert and father Christian. The New York Passenger List record states their place of origin was Saxony (Kingdom State) and that they departed from Bremen.
Emma returned to Germany to visit (along with her oldest daughter Fridel Martha Tautenhahn-also have records listed as Frieda Martha from her baptism records while she was in Germany. This certificate is listed as Pfarramt St. Johannis 1891) in 1890 when Emma's family became ill with the flu. It is reported that her family all died from their illnesses (we have no knowledge of their names, or burial places) and she became very ill herself. This prevented her return to the US. Richard relocated to Germany, selling his drug store in the US. Their second daughter Johanna (Hannah)Tautenhahn was born in 1890 while they were in Germany. Emma died five years later, in 1895. I do not have Johanna's German birth certificate or Emma's death certificate nor place of burial. Richard returned to the US in 1905 but by then he had married a second wife, Ida C (unknown maiden) born 1873. We do not have any other record of her (including his second marriage record) other than the fact she was listed as Mrs Richard Tautenhahn on the passenger list and traveled with his two daughters Fridel and Johanna and listed where they are going to live is "husband Richard Tautenhahn, Philadelphia". Richard continued to travel back and forth between Germany and the US until WWII when he apparently lost his properties in Germany. We are uncertain where the properties were located exactly.
Any assistance on any of these ancestors or missing information would be greatly appreciated.
1.) We have traced my father's line definitely to my 6th great grandfather Johannes Johan, John) Heinrich Koch born abt 1660 and immigrating to Philadelphia, PA on theQueen Elizabeth in 1738 (listed as age 78) with Henrich Koch, age 23 who although is listed as his son there is quite a difference in age so perhaps even a grandson. The passenger list itself unfortunately does not list their place of origin. According to an entry in Emigrants from West-German Fuerstenberg Territories (Baden and the Palatinate) to America and Central Europe 1712, 1737, 1787 he may have been from Birkenhoerdt, Kurpfolz or at least that is where he made application for passage. We have various Ancestry trees linking him with other persons but all are un-sourced claims and therefore I find them unreliable and looking for proof of further ancestry. Since I don't know his place of birth or residence for certain, I really don't know where next to direct my searching.
I have found a page stating that:
Immer wieder kommen auch Amerikaner nach Birkenhördt auf der Suche nach ihren Vorfahren – die früher häufig nach Amerika auswanderten. Im Internet gibt es das „Birkenhördt-Projekt“, eine Datenbank, die von vielen Mitarbeitern mit Daten „gefüttert“ wird (zum Beispiel durch Abschriften aus Kirchenbüchern) und die Suche nach Ahnen ermöglicht
(Again and again, Americans come to Birkenhoerdt looking for their ancestors - who often used to emmigrate to America in former times. There has been created the "Birkenhoerdt-Project" - a database which is "fed" with data by many people (f. ex. by copying church-books) and which enables the search for ancestors.)
That project can be found here:
http://www.birkenhoerdt.net/surnames.phpI am not quite sure as Heinrich Koch is not listed there but may have come from a village nearby. Maybe it is of help anyway (it's in English).
BTW -it should be "KurpfAlz"
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I had initially seen this site by a Google hit on the name. I did not find information that appeared to be my ancestors since although many Johannes Koch's were listed all had either a birth date much later and /or all were listed as dying in Germany which would not be the case for mine. As you noted, Heinrich was not listed either although, he could have been born with a different first proper name. I am not sure if that is the custom as in other countries. Nevertheless, most of the listings have death in Germany and none in the US. We may have to wait for more male Koch's to take up the DNA cause before we finally find our answers.
Thank you for the correction in spelling of Kurpfaltz. I can't blame it in on a typo with the keys across the entire keyboard
One more thing, do you live near Birkenhoerdt? I have looked on Google Maps and it appears to be a town in a forest land surrounded by plains. It is hard to get a feeling of distance with this medium. I have "hints" of other possible family in those adjoining areas so perhaps they traveled to Birkenhoerdt. I would be very curious to know if that was in some way a "way station" for travelers in the 1700's. So many questions. It's difficult when there is just one hint to go on.
Hi There Diane,
I am sorry but I live in the very North of Germany, though I am from Hesse/Frankfurt originally. Birkenhoerdt is in the South West and would be an approx. 2.5hr drive from Frankfurt, I guess. (To give you a slight feeling about distances). As far as I can see, it is a village in the Palatinate Forrest and quite close to France. It is only 4km (approx. 2.2 miles) away from a route called the Wine Route, but I checked, this has only existed since 1935 and was created for tourism.
Here's some info on the Kurpfalz, however, courtesy by Wikipedia.
Birkenhoerdt is, however, only 33 km away from our large River Rhine. So this should be walkable in about 7 - 8 hrs (approx 3 by horse in trot) I guess and that means that yes, there were travel-opportunities. (The more I am working with genealogy, the more I become surprised by the fact how far these people travelled sometimes, and in some cases even there and back, there and back etc.)
Try and picture the landscape as a (for European standards) wide plain with a widish river in between. It is shippable that far up and certainly also was then. On both sides of the plain, quite soft hills and knolls rise up and then, further to the East and West, become smaller mountains (no rocks, just forrest etc).
The hills are used to grow the vines and the plain itself is very fertile. I am sorry but it is hard to explain - have you tried google streetview?
Anyway, I guess Heinrich was born not directly IN Birkenhördt but somewhere nearby and will keep my eyes open, should I stumble upon him