Sunday, May 12, 2013

Surname Saturday: Weiss Hermann

I hesitated to make this Surname Saturday post.  Since I don’t yet have very much family history for these fourth great grandparents, I thought I might skip over them. But wait! That’s exactly the opposite of what I should do. Right?!  Many other genealogists blogging online have mentioned that just writing about their research sometimes awakens other ideas or results in discoveries. So that’s where I’m going with this one…..

This Surname Saturday looks at Mathias Weiss ( b. mid 1700s, d. approx. 1810) and Maria Hermann (b. mid 1700s, d. unknown). 

The records I have for the Weiss and Hermann families as I start this post are mostly from the research of Mary Cathryn Zimmer Hoffman in her 1994 book, Louis M. Risch Family and Ancestors. I praised her book in my last Surname Saturday post. Until I am able to complete my original documentation, I’m using the Zimmer book’s reporting for these Weiss/Hermann records. I am so grateful for the head start that Mary Cathryn’s work gave me.

Ms. Zimmer followed her ancestors backwards from the Catholic church records in New Alsace, Indiana to Hugstetten, Baden, Germany. She then studied the microfilm from the Family History Library for the German Catholic church records of Hugstetten, Baden, Germany to extract the few records available there for Mathias Weiss and Maria Hermann.  These Catholic Church records contain information beginning in the 1770s. Mathias and Maria’s births are estimated to be in the mid 1700s, based on their marriage and birth of their children.

Mathias Weiss was from the village of Buchen in Baden.  And just a short distance away, in the town of Holzhausen, lived Maria Weiss Hermann Family Group SheetHermann. Both Buchen and Holzhausen are in the district of Odenwald in what is now the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwestern Germany.  These villages were close to Hugstetten, Baden, where the church records were kept for the area.

Neither Mathias Weiss’ parents nor Maria Hermann’s parents are known at this time.  The record that starts this line is of their marriage on 26 November 1778 in the village of Buchen, recorded in the Catholic Church register in the town of Hugstetten. (Click my report here for the timeline.)

These records also tell us that Mathias and Maria Weiss made their home together in Hugstetten.  Maria gives birth to five children between 1779 and 1786.  The baptisms are recorded in the Catholic church in Hugstetten, Baden.  Their third child, Maria Weiss, becomes my third great grandmother when she marries Mathias Risch in 1811. 

But wait just a second….here’s my aha! moment for this post. The “writing it down” theory proved fruitful. While putting together this post, I decided to try a couple of Googles just because I might pick up a new tidbit to add interest.   Aha!!  Without belaboring this story, I came upon a discussion of Hugstetten that included a link to a site I didn’t know anything about.  Low and behold, this archive of Baden-Wurttemberg records contains the actual images of Hugstetten baptisms, marriages and deaths from 1810 to 1869.  Yay! My research documentation went up one level when I located the actual record images for the Maria Weiss Risch marriage and baptisms of the children, from 1813 through 1824.  My Evernote was humming away as I saved page after page from this site’s archive.

There are many more surnames to uncover in this microfilm depository for Baden-Wurttemberg.  For instance: Denzlinger, Graner, Hess, Disch, Friedrich, Metzger, Nick, Oberrieder, Siegel, Weibel and Willman are a few of the additional surnames I found repeating as I sifted through for Hermann, Risch and Weiss.  

I want to pass along this link for fellow researchers or just curious family readers.   (Warning: The script in these record books can give you a headache. ;)

The webpage with the Hugstetten church records is at this link: Landesarchiv: Baden-Wurttemberg. Also, the homepage of this site contains loads of historical information about the “unique and irretrievable documents of the past.”  

If you have a tie to these Hermann or Weiss families or if I can provide assistance, please let me know. Now, it's on to more family hunting.  I will be updating as the family history keeps revealing itself.  Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.

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