Conrad Schlosser: Gems Excavated from the Rabbit Hole – 52 Ancestors #183

4-15-2018 – After this story published, we subsequently discovered that Irene is not a Schlosser, meaning Conrad is not her father. I am leaving this story because parts of this information have been on the internet for some time – and I want to be sure the entire story of why people thought Irene was a Schlosser, and how we know she isn’t, is available. For the rest of the story, including her correct surname, click here.

Just when you think you can’t wring out one more drop of history, you’re at the dead end of the road and out of luck entirely – one of those genealogical acts of kindness for which we all long arrives at just the right time.

Unveiling the layers of Conrad Schlosser’s life reminds me very much of peeling that proverbial onion.  I’m making progress, but some tears have been shed!

In my recent article about Conrad Schlosser, I felt very fortunate to establish his birth year as 1635, especially since the church records in Steinwenden begin in 1684.  It’s there that we first find Conrad in 1685 with his children marrying and baptizing their own children.

Conrad’s burial on February 13, 1694 at age 59 provides his birth year as either 1634 or 1635, but it doesn’t tell us where.

I had to utilize the history of the region, to discern more.

Who Lived in Steinwenden?

Local historians tell us that in 1685, when Conrad’s daughters were marrying and having children, only 6 families lived in Steinwenden with a total of 25 people.  We also know that many Swiss immigrants settled here.

Conrad Schlosser’s family at that time consisted of:

  • Himself
  • Anna Ursula, his wife, last name unknown
  • Anna Catharina, daughter, born about 1661, never married
  • Anna Maria, daughter, born before 1665, married in 1685
  • Carl, son, born about 1664, married in 1701
  • Anna Ursula, daughter, born about 1676, married in 1696
  • Johannes Peter, son born about 1680, died 1691
  • Johannes, son, born about 1680, died 1701

That’s a total of 8 people living in his household. He had another daughter, Irene Charitas, who was married by June of 1685 when her child was baptized, so she and her husband may have counted as a second of those 6 households.

  • Irene Charitas, daughter born about 1660 who was already married to Johann Michael Muller.

With just Conrad’s family alone, we have at least 10 or 11 of the 25 reported residents accounted for.

Therefore, putting 2 and 2 together, it seemed logical that Conrad Schlosser was one of those Swiss immigrants, especially since we know that Johann Michael Muller that married Conrad’s daughter WAS a Swiss immigrant.

But guess what?

I was wrong.

Conrad did not arrive with the Swiss immigrant group in 1684 or 1685.

My German friend, Chris, found an invaluable record in this article:

“Johann Jakob Hauser around 1660 constructor of the “moor mill” in Steinwenden. During the 30 years war, the region Steinwemden, including among others the villages Weltersbach and Steinwenden, was heavily depopulated. It is only in a tax list in 1671, that inhabitants are again listed, among them Johann Jakob Hauser, miller in Steinwenden. [compare the copy from 1800 of a not conserved original; copy printed in: “Weltersbach. Streifzüge durch die Ortsgeschichte”, a.a.O., page 19]. Around 1660, Johann Jakob Hauser and CONRAD SCHLOSSER rebuilt the moor mill. In the 1680s, the mill was owned by Johann Schenkel.”

It seems that Conrad was in or near Steinwenden all along, which means that Anna Ursula, his wife, who was having children by 1661 had to have been there too. Weltersbach is only a hop, skip and a jump from Steinwenden. Literally, maybe half a mile.

Of course, we don’t know if Conrad Schlosser and Anna Ursula arrived from some other place together to make their home in the Steinwenden area, or perhaps their families arrived together or from different places at the same time.

In Search of Taxes and a Mill

The next several days after this breakthrough were spent in a frantic scramble with a friend in Salt Lake City trying to find the historical tax list cited in the paragraph above. Unfortunately, that document does not live in Salt Lake City, but in two libraries in Europe.  Whoever thought the Mormon Church WOULDN’T have something!

I reached out again to Chris, asking if he knew of any resources, and indeed, he did the logical thing.  He tracked down the author of the book, Roland Paul, and e-mailed him.  Well, duh.  Sometimes we don’t think of the simple solutions.  Of course, thankfully, Chris is a native German speaker, which overcomes the next hurdle for me.

Roland Paul, historian of the Steinwenden region, as it turns out, had also written an article about the “Moormuhle” in Weltersbach, the very mill that Conrad was helping to restore.

I generally use Google translate, but the page about the mill is entirely locked down, it seems, and Google translate doesn’t work, nor can I copy and paste manually into a German/English translator.  Chris tells me that the article is not about the early history of the mill that Conrad restored, and says that Conrad’s mill was torn down recently. Unfortunately, that means there is nothing left of the 1660 mill that Conrad rebuilt to see today.

Crumb!

It’s fun to look at the old photo in that article that is the home of the mill built in 1825 by a man whose name just happened to be Adam Muller. Of course, the word Muller translates literally into the profession, “miller” and every village needed at least one, so there are lots of German Miller families. To the best of our knowledge, this Muller isn’t related to our Johannes Michael Muller, but I’d love to have a Y DNA test of one of his Muller descendants to know for sure.

If any Miller male descends from this man, I have a free Y DNA test for you!

Ironically, I spy the same doorway in that article that was in a photo taken by cousin Rev. Richard Miller taken in 1996 when he visited Steinwenden. He obviously saw the word Muller above the doorway too.

Although this building is not the same mill that Conrad rebuilt in 1660, it’s still a part of Steinwenden’s history. Since it was only built in 1825, it wouldn’t have been there in the late 1600s and early 1700s where our family walked up and down these streets.

Strolling Through Steinwenden

Since we’re visiting Steinwenden anyway, let’s take a stroll down the very streets that Conrad Schlosser, his wife Anna Ursula, Johann Michael Mueller the first, Johann Michael Mueller the second, his wife Susanna Agnes Berchtol, and her parents Hans Berchtol and Anna Christina walked down. Yep, the whole family was here and many made the decision to immigrate to America together too. This is our ancient home!

I just love the character of these old buildings.

Welcome to Steinwenden!

Cousin Richard was very generous to share his photos.  Above, the 1825 mill again.

I recognize this building (above) as residing in the old village center, across the street from the contemporary church built in 1852, which is not the same structure as the old church. I suspect the old church was build in the same location, however. I’m hoping for confirmation of that fact soon.

Cousin Richard visited the current church in 1996 and they took him to the bell tower, the only remnant of the original church. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Conrad as well as his older male children along with Johann Michael Muller (the first) helped construct the original church.

In the bell tower, we may well be looking at stones placed with their own hands, their fingerprints still in the mortar. If this bell tower could only talk!

The 1656 and 1671 Tax Lists

According to the records unearthed by Chris, there were no inhabitants of Steinwenden in 1656 as indicated in this statement, below.

Roland Paul was generous enough to send Chris a copy of the tax list from Weltersbach in 1671, along with some additional information which Chris was kind enough to translate.

Find enclosed the scan. Was Conrad Schlosser an ancestor of your acquaintance in the US? He [Conrad Schlosser] rebuilt the moor mill together with Jakob Hauser around 1660, after the mill had been destroyed in the 30 years war. My ancestors bought the mill in 1719. I am very interested in more details about Schlosser and Hauser, even more so since I currently write on an extensive chronicle about the moor mill.

So Roland’s ancestor bought the mill about 60 years after Jakob Hauser and Conrad Schlosser rebuilt it. Needless to say, I can’t wait to read his chronicle.

If rebuilding the mill was occurring as the area was being rebuilt and repopulated after the 30 Years War, in 1660, about the time that Conrad married – might this perhaps suggest that he and Jakob Hauser were potentially related?

I can’t help but wonder if Conrad’s wife, Anna Ursula is Jakob Hauser’s daughter.  Of course, there is nothing more, yet, to suggest this, BUT with few or no other families in the region, Conrad had to meet Anna Ursula somehow and we do know what Conrad was doing in 1660, about the time they married, and where.

Please note that this is unbridled speculation, and I probably shouldn’t even be thinking this out loud, let alone in print.  But maybe, just maybe, someone out there actually has some information about Jakob Hauser, the miller, and his family.

 

From Chris:

[The tax list] does not include information about Conrad Schlosser at all, only the names of the Steinwenden miller Johann Jakob Hauser, who rebuilt the moor mill together with Conrad Schlosser. Johann Jakob Hauser and Johannes Ingbert, a Swiss immigrant, were the only two inhabitants of the village of Weltersbach in 1671. But no names included here from the neighbor village Steinwenden, where Conrad Schlosser supposedly lived.

Where was Conrad Schlosser living?  Was he living at the mill with Jakob Hauser or with his family?  He had to be living in close enough proximity to work at the mill every day, and there are no other villages nearby.

I can’t help but notice that Johannes Ingbert was mentioned as a Swiss immigrant. This suggests that Swiss immigration began long before we find the Muller family in Steinwenden intermarried with Conrad Schlosser’s daughter in 1685.

Chris also found two additional resources, tax lists that might contain information from neighboring villages.  Would we be lucky enough to find Conrad there?

“Schatzungsbelagregister” from 1656 (no inhabitants in Steinwenden, but maybe interesting anyway because of family names in neighbor villages) and “Schatzungsprotokoll” from 1683-1684, available here at FamilySearch.

The 1683/1684 tax lists are from just before the records began on September 21, 1684 in the church in Steinwenden.

Of course, all of this begs the question of where Conrad’s children were baptized between 1661 and 1685.  And sadly, given the time and place, there were probably several children buried someplace too.  Did Conrad Schlosser and Jakob Hauser establish a cemetery for their family members?

If so, where?

The Old Cemetery Hill

As it turns out, Chris just might have found the answer to that question too.

My speculation was that the cemetery was around the original church, but that would not have been until 1684 and after.  What about between 1660 and 1684?  And what about before the 30 Year’s War?  Did the new inhabitants just continue to bury their loved ones in the same location as the inhabitants before the war?

We don’t have the exact answer to that, but Chris did find some very interesting information.

I think the old church tower would be most probably at the same location or very close to the current church. The current Steinwenden cemetery is today Northwest of the Steinwenden church. I attach a Google Maps screenshot with the Protestant church labeled with a green circle and the current cemetery labeled in red surroundings as well. That, however, does not answer at all the question, where Steinwenden inhabitants were buried at the time of Michael Müller and Conrad Schlosser. Since Steinwenden only counted a few families these days, it is quite possible that burials first took place around or close to the church and that only later on a larger cemetery was constructed. The cemetery then may have moved another time later on.

Chris provided the map below, with the current cemetery boxed in red, the contemporary church in green, and the old cemetery hill with the red balloon.

Chris provided a link to an article in German, which Google translate doesn’t, which states (as translated by Chris):

The Steinwenden centre is formed by the protestant church and the village square and the well system south of the church. Only a few metres south of it, on the old cemetery hill, is the local community house,newly constructed in 1992 and surrounded by a public park.

The photos in the article of Steinwenden are so enchantingly beautiful that they make my heart skip beats. I can just see my ancestors here.

The Location of the Mill

Chris found the location of the mill that Conrad restored.  In the aerial photo below, the mill is the red balloon and the small grey pin near the top is the church in the center of Steinwenden.

Google tells me that it’s one third mile or a 6-minute walk from the mill to church.

Steinwenden and Weltersbach are neighboring villages and obviously, Conrad lived someplace in this vicinity.

The location that Chris pointed out as the location of the mill can be seen below, as closely as I can zoom in. The creek, Moorback, runs between Moormuhle, Haupstrasse and Muhlbergstrasse. It was here, right here, that Conrad worked in 1660.  It may have been here that he lived as well.

I can’t tell you how much I wish that Google Street View was enabled here. Oh, to drive down this street!

Rabbit Holes

You know, there just have to be a few rabbit holes.  And I simply cannot help myself, so let’s take a look and see if there are any rabbits. First, let me say how very blessed I am to have friends, many of whom are blog followers and commenters.

The one hint about the origins of the Conrad Schlosser family that I do have, or might have, is the location given in this Steinwenden church entry:

28 April 1685 at Steinwenden were married Melchior Clemens, emigrant from Graffschaft Felkenburg with Anna Maria, legitimate daughter of Cunradt Schlosser, the same (place?).

Of course, what does “the same place” mean?  Does it mean the same place at the time the record was written, or the same place as in Graffschaft Felkenburg?

Update: Chris looked at the record and suggests that “the same place” refers back to where they were married – meaning Steinwenden, especially since we know that Conrad Schlosser was in the area by 1660. However, I am leaving the rest of this section for context…and just in case.

And if Conrad left Graffschaft Felkenburg in 1660 and Melchoir is listed as being from there in 1685, that’s quite a bit of time difference.  Of course, Melchoir’s family could have left at the same time as Conrad, or it might not mean that at all. But, since it IS my ONLY hint, I’m very grateful for all of my friends that are willing to go rabbit-hole hunting with me.

Another friend, George who draws maps professionally, to support his genealogy habit I’m sure, offered the following:

Roberta, I am by no means an expert on this, but I do draw maps as my day job and so took up your challenge to find out what happened to Graffschaft Felkenburg.

Treating the two words separately, it appears that Graffschaft (Grafschat) was a term for a “county” or “administrative district” (rough understanding) under authority of the Holy Roman Empire. I did find one reference to a “Principality of Felkenburg (Montefalcone) in a Google Book search.

I did a Google search on “Falkenburg County” and came up with the reference on page 465, Appendix II of a book named “Introduction to the study of international law designed as an aid to teaching, and in historical studies” written by Woosley, Theodore D. In 1879.

I have no clue if this is your Graffschaft Felkenburg, but it sounds promising and you may want to now search for Montefalcone.

Roberta, take a look at item # 7 on the following page. The spelling is Falkenburg, but the associated maps might help, or lead you further down the rabbit hole.

https://sites.google.com/site/ancestorsinthepfalz/home/1700—divisions

And because one rabbit hole isn’t enough, another friend did some footwork and offered the following:

Looking for Felkenburg and remembering one of the commenters of Conrad Schlosser’s entry said his ancestors with the same surname lived in Alsace, so I tried to google “comté felkenburg”. It seems there’s a Faulquemont in Lorraine which is named Falkenburg or Falkenberg in German, as the region passed between France and Germany quite a few times.

Then trying “Schlosser Faulquemont”, I found a book titled “Inventaire sommaire des archives communales de la ville de Strasbourg antérieures à 1790, rédigé par J. Bruncker, archiviste – Série AA Acts constitutif et politique de la commune, première partie”; roughly “Succinct summary of the district archives of the city of Strasbourg older than 1790, written by J. Brucker, archivist – constitutional and politic actes of the district, first part”.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=tpkNAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=fr#v=onepage&q&f=false

On page 121, subtitled “correspondance des souverains, corps d’état, gouverneurs, etc.” “AA. 368. (liasse) 46 pièce papier en bon état”
“1530-1536 (suite) […] Réponse du comte Louis à des lettres d’intercession et de recommandation du magistrat de Strasbourg en faveur de Simon Schlosser de Faulquemont, incarcéré”

Translation:
“correspondence of the monarchs, state, governors, etc.”
“AA. 368. (bundle) 46 piece of paper in good state”
“1530-1536 (continuation) […] Reply from the earl Louis to letters of intercession and recommandation of the magistrate of Strasbourg in favor of Simon Schlosser of Falkenburg, jailed”

So, there was some Schlosser in Faulquemont, Lorraine, back in 1530. Maybe not your family though, I don’t know how widespread the surname was, but they could be.

Another interesting entry: “Le comte palatin Louis […] prévient [le magistrat de Strasbourg] que les anabaptistes de Munster ont dépêché un émissaire, nommé Jean de Goele, vers Strasbourg, pour y acheter de la poudre et d’autres munitions de guerre, et que Knipperdolling doit également se rendre dans cette ville”

Translation:
“the palatin earl Louis […] warn [the magistrate of Strasbourg] that the Anabaptist of Munster send an emissary, named Jean de Goele, to Strasbourg, to buy powder and other war ammunition, and that Knipperdolling must also go to the city”.

Earl Louis would be Louis V, elector palatine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_V,_Elector_Palatine

Hmmm….Anabaptists. This is my Brethren line.

Google is my friend too.

I Googled Graffschaft Felkenburg and found an article, in German of course, and a photo of Falkenburg, a location in the Pfalz.

Von Bgfx – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27563727

From Wikipedia:

The ruin of the Falkenburg lies above Wilgartswiesen in the Palatinate Forest in the district of Südwestpfalz in Rhineland-Palatinate. Like almost all castles in the Palatinate Forest, it is built on a colorful sandstone rock as a rock castle. The Falkenburg was probably built in the 11th century as the successor of the Wilgartaburg and the protection of the neighboring villages.

The castle was first mentioned in 1246, although the construction of the castle, as with many castles in the area, may have taken place earlier. 44 years later, in 1290, a Werner von Falkenburg was mentioned in a document. From 1300 to 1313, the Falkenburg was pledged to Frederick IV of Leiningen, in 1317 she was mortgaged again, by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian, this time to the Counts Palatine of the Rhine Rudolf II and Ruprecht I. 1375 Emich V. von Leiningen was the owner of Castle. Although the Falkenburg, which was measured in 1427, survived the German Peasants’ War, it was occupied in 1632 until it was returned to its owner in 1648. It was blown up in 1680 by French troops.

The fact that this location was destroyed would also explain why the location can’t be found contemporaneously.  The additional clue is that the word Graffschaft means administrative district.  Together, this seems to make sense.  The question is, of course, if it’s accurate.

If indeed, this is the location, it’s about an hour away from Steinwenden, still well within the Palatinate.

Is any of this relevant to our story?  Danged if I know.  Remember, we’re in the rabbit hole.

Aha, Finding a Rabbit – The 1684 Tax List

My friend Chris made another incredible find on the tax list from Steinwenden and surrounding villages in 1684.

The first Schlosser appearance occurs on page 271 at FamilySearch, or the original book page 185.

Conrad is listed, but I don’t see any tax calculated for him. The next film in the series is an extracted version of the tax list which gives us the date of April 17, 1684.  Note that there is one Hans Jacob Muller, mayor or sheriff (schulteuss) of the Weilerbach court, as well as a several other Mullers listed on the tax list with locations noted.

Also, Nikel Muller, Hans Muller and Hans Jacob Muller (twice) in Rodenback, along with Hans Jacob Muller in Ertzenhausen.

Hans Muller of Porbach and Hans Muller of Schweydelbach.  Are you getting the idea that Muller is a common surname?

The title says this list above is from Weylerbach and Conrad Schlosser is noted as being “of Steinwinden,” although the word looks to be Binwenden.  It’s not, it’s the German script. Why is Conrad being taxed or mentioned in Weylerbach?

It appears that the men listed at the top of this page are the “committee,” according to a German to English translation tool.

Weilerbach and Steinwenden aren’t terribly distant, about 5-6 miles with Rodenbach just beneath Weilerbach.

The next municipality in the tax book is Steinwenden.

Page 286 begins the tax list, and two pages later, we find Conrad Schlosser in the middle of the page.

The tax records for Steinwenden begin on FamilySearch page 288 or book page 220. That’s the original page 113 of the original book at the bottom right, or page 220 at the top right.

His actual tax is calculated two pages later, on page 289 at FamilySearch, or page 222 of the original book.

On this list, it shows that he either pays or is valued at 745, as compared to other people’s worth between 75 and 485 with the exception of one man, Jacob Nagel who has a value or pays a tax of 800 whatever the money was at that time.

There are a total of 15 entries, including Conrad. His son-in-law, Johann Michael Muller nor any Muller is listed other than the Mullers listed above. Are any of these relevant.  Possibly Hans Nickel Muller, but I don’t really know.

Here’s the translated page including the households.

This is slightly different than the earlier information that Steinwenden had a total of only 6 families comprised of 25 people in 1684.  This looks to be 15 households if you don’t count the people listed above as a “committee” with no tax amount. It’s also possible that some of these families lived in the same household.

Chris says the term “aussmarcker” is an old fashioned word that means a person who does not live within a parish and don’t have full resident rights, but owns lots in the parish area.

Bernhardt Schlosser’s Widow

Perhaps the best nugget is saved for last, on the following page (290 FamilySearch, original page 225) where we find the widow of Bernhardt Schlosser listed separately.

This widow is not taxed on a house, so it would be reasonable to speculate that indeed, Bernhardt might have been the father of Conrad and the still-living-widow is Conrad’s mother.  What are the possible scenarios?

  • Given that Conrad was born about 1634, and the widow is found in 1684, 50 years later, if this is Conrad’s mother, she would be between 70 and 90 years old. Chris points out that she could have not had a house and been living with Conrad (or someone else) or she could have had a home in such poor condition that it was considered to be worth nothing.
  • Bernardt could also be the brother of Conrad, so this widow could have been Conrad’s sister-in-law.
  • It’s also possible, but less likely, that Bernhardt is a son of Conrad, born around or before 1660 and having died before 1684, not long after marriage. This is the less likely of the various scenarios.

One thing we do know, though, is that the widow herself surely perished (or remarried, if she was young) very shortly after the tax date of April 21, 1684, because the Steinwenden church records begin in September 1684 and no widow of Bernhardt (or Gerhardt as it’s translated in this document) Schlosser is found in the death records. It’s also worth mentioning that the only records from 1684 in the book are baptisms and the death records don’t begin until 1685.  Does that mean no one died or was married between September and December of 1684, or were those records simply not recorded?  We don’t know the answer to that question either.

Conrad’s Wife

The two surnames we have from the 1671 tax list are Hauser and Ingbert.  By 1684, just 13 years later, I don’t find either surname in either Weylersbach or Steinwenden.

Did the miller Johann Jacob Hauser move away?  What about Johannes Ingbert?  Did they die or move?  I did find death records for both Ingbert (Ingvert) and his wife and both were born about 1600, so they were of an age that they could certainly have been having children in 1633. I find no records for any Hauser.

Was one of these two families the parents of Anna Ursula Schlosser, Conrad’s wife?

If not, would we be lucky enough to find Anna Ursula’s family name among those on the tax lists in 1684?  Perhaps if not her parents, then maybe uncles or brothers?

Here is an extracted list of the Steinwenden families in 1684:

  • Samuel Hoffmann
  • Hans Georg Schumacher
  • Conrady Schlosser
  • Nickel Orsel
  • Hans Sprentz
  • Gerdardt (Bernhardt?) Schlosser
  • Johann Engbiess (is this possibly Johannes Ingbert?)
  • Hans Peter Frolich
  • Simon Christmann
  • Jacob Schenckel (owned the mill according to local history)
  • Jacob Pletsch
  • Jacob Holtzhauser
  • Jacob Nagel
  • Michael Feyhel
  • Georg Jeserang

Is it too much to hope that Anna Ursula’s family is among these names?

Summary

Well, thanks for my rabbit-hole indulgence.

Where are we in evaluating where Conradt, probably along with Bernhardt Schlosser, came from?

I suspect that Conrad Schlosser probably arrived from closer rather than further away.

My gut feel is that generally the closer, simpler option is always more likely than further or more difficult. KISS for genealogy. Of course, during and after a time of horrific warfare, who is to say? Conrad wasn’t born yet when the 30 Years War reached the Palatinate in 1620.  His parents were either young, or young parents themselves.

By the time the 30 Years War ended, in 1648, Conrad would have been about 14 and as soon as he became of age, the lure of reconstruction and perhaps the ability to settle on land in the Palatinate was probably quite alluring.  He obviously did well for himself by 1684, about age 50, based on the fact that he was on the tax committee and one of the two wealthiest men in the village of Steinwenden. Nothing like being a big fish in a little pond. I wish we knew his occupation, the source of his wealth.

The Palatinate tended to be more protestant than Catholic, but the French were just the opposite.  Steinwenden was very clearly Protestant, so I would guess that Conrad was too. I would think the Palatinate locations for the Schlosser family would be more likely than the Wurttemberg area.

Without additional hints being uncovered, we’ll likely never know…but then again, that’s exactly what I thought about 3 articles ago too.

And since it seems that I’m destined for more rabbit holes, let me share one more hint that literally just this minute arrived from Chris:

In 1682 a daughter of Bernhard Schlosser from Steinwenden was married in the church of Steinwenden with the marriage entry recorded in the church book of Miesau. So here we go…

This tells us a couple things.  First, there was a church or at least a minister in Steinwenden in 1682 and second, perhaps their earliest books had not been started or have since been lost.

Given this new information, we may have the answer to where Conrad’s children were baptized.  Miesau is about 8 miles from Steinwenden and their church records begin in 1681. Baby steps backward in time.

You know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day, don’t you?

I was stunned to see a second Schlosser name on those tax lists. I suspect that Bernhardt’s widow was indeed Conrad’s mother, but without any church death records, there is no way to verify. However, this brand new information tells us that Bernhardt had children marrying in 1682, so he was too old to be Conrad’s son.  We’re back to brother or father or maybe even uncle.

Chris, a Native German used to working with these records, agrees, but he said he’s not convinced enough to “put his hands in the fire over it.”  What a quaint saying, and I agree, although clearly with more rabbits to seek, we’re not done yet.

Are these people buried at the old the Old Cemetery Hill or by the old church tower in Steinwenden?  Very probably.

Where did Conrad Schlosser baptize his children, all born between 1661 and 1681?  For that matter, where was he married?  Are there church records that are awaiting us in the future? I checked and the church records for Weilersbach don’t begin until 1721, so we’re out of luck there – unless there is a burial after 1721 for someone born in the 1600s that might be relevant.  Sounds like another rabbit hole that needs to be investigated.

I’m beginning to have a rabbit hole list.

Where were Johann Michael Mueller and his wife, Irene Charitas Schlosser living in 1684?  They had a child baptized in the Steinwenden church on June 5, 1685.  I’m presuming that child was born that day since, sadly, he died the following day. Using a reverse conception calculator, Irene Charitas became pregnant about September 12, 1684, assuming the child was full term.

Given that the Steinwenden church records didn’t say anything about illegitimacy, and they surely would have if that was the case, we’re going to presume the parents were married before conception, meaning there is probably a church record for that lurking someplace too.

We know that they would have married in that region, because the Schlosser family clearly had lived there for a quarter century by that time. The couple had to live in the same proximity to “court.” Therefore, there are only three options as to where Johann Michael Muller and Irene Charitas Schlosser were living in April of 1684 when the taxes were taken:

  • They weren’t married yet, and both Johann Michael Muller and Irene Charitas were living with their respective parents or other family members. In this case, Johann Michael Muller’s family has to be present.  Who is the father of Johann Michael Muller?  Was he perhaps Hans Jacob Muller or Johannes Muller of Weilersbach? We do find a Hans Nickel Mueller and a Johannes Mueller in Steinwenden baptizing children at this same time. Hmmmm….rabbit hole.
  • They weren’t married yet and Johann Michael Muller had not yet arrived. If this is the case, then the couple fell madly in love and had a whirlwind courtship given that Johann Michael Muller arrived sometime after April and before mid-September when Irene Charitas became pregnant.
  • They were already married and living with another family, probably Conrad Schlosser, given that this family was apparently more well-to-do than their neighbors. From the 1684 list, we know that Conrad lived in Steinwenden. Furthermore, Johann Michael Muller and Irene Charitas Schlosser baptized their newborn baby, Johann Nickel Muller, in June in the church in Steinwenden – surely the closest location given that the baby was gravely ill and not expected to live. He died the following day. To assure the child’s spiritual salvation, they would have baptized the baby immediately in the closest church, which suggests they were living in Steinwenden at that time.

Lastly, were Conrad Schlosser’s wife’s parents among the families in Steinwenden on that 1684 tax list? We don’t know, but if I had to guess, and I do have to guess, I would suspect that either Anna Ursula’s father was Johann Jacob Hauser or that her family was found among the Steinwenden families in 1684.  Families tended to travel together in order to assist and support each other.

Yes, yes, I know, more rabbit holes.  But you know, sometimes you find those elusive golden rabbits!

A hearty and heart-felt thank you to all of my friends and rabbit-hole buddies. I literally could not do this without all of you!

22 thoughts on “Conrad Schlosser: Gems Excavated from the Rabbit Hole – 52 Ancestors #183

  1. Recognized the name Roland Paul and knew I needed to look at my Braun family. My ancestor –
    Hans Jakob Braun (blacksmith) born about 1677. Married second wife, Anna Eremina (widow of Christian Siebentheilers) in 1703 in Steinwenden! He lived in Niedermohr. His first wife (my ancestor) is believed to have been Agnes. Someone guessed that they were married 1695 in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart, but I do not have any source for that. If anyone know more about Hans Jakob and Agnes, I would like to hear from you.

  2. Isn’t European genealogy interesting? Hope you don’t run into the problem that someone is going to have in the future if they try to do the family history of my MULLER people. My ex-mother-in-law (may she RIP) had a document which I wish I had taken a copy of. It tells about a name change. Seems that Herr MEIER who owned the mill was taken to court because his mill was too noisy. The result of the court case was that a minimum fine was levied against him and he was directed to change his name to MULLER. I doubt anyone would figure that out without finding the document. It was handed down through the family and I am hoping my ex-husband has it now.

  3. Rereading the Strasbourg records and other new finds made me think…

    “Reply from the earl Louis to letters of intercession and recommandation of the magistrate of Strasbourg in favor of Simon Schlosser of Falkenburg, jailed”

    Simon Schlosser was jailed in Strasbourg, the magistrate then ask the Palatinate Elector to do intercession in favor of the prisoner. Why would he ask a foreign prince to free a local prisoner? Wouldn’t it make more sense if Simon was a man from Palatinate instead and Louis V was the only one who could help him?

    All Felkenburg would have been translated into Faulquemont by the French administration, regardless if they are situated in France or Germany. So I think this administrative record point towards a Palatinate Felkenburg instead of Lorraine’s Falkenberg.

    Also, since we know the Palatinate castle of Felkenberg stood between 1246 and 1680, so it would be around in 1530-1536 when Simon Schlosser was prisoner.

    All of this leading to the conclusion that there was a Schlosser family in Falkenberg, Palatinate, in 1530-1536. One of them, Simon, was imprisoned in Strasbourg.

    Ok, I must admit, when I read “Simon Schlosser, incarcéré” I though: “Oh! It must be one of Roberta’s unruly ancestors!” Apologies to all you law abiding ancestors and winks to the rest. ^_~

    • Reading a bit on Strasbourg, it seems the city was a protestant hub in the 16th and 17th centuries. It seems protestants were still the majority in the city in the 18th century.

    • Looking maps more closely, it doesn’t seems Faulquemont/Falkenberg, Lorraine was ever part of the Palatinate, especially not in the 1530s.

    • It seems these AA archive documents still exist to this day, but they don’t seems to be online scans of them. :/

      Maybe one day we will know what Louis V, elector Palatinate had to say about Simon Schlosser, but today is not this day.

      • Glad to hear it, I was feeling a bit guilty.

        That being said, even if Simon is your ancestor, there’s still a long way to get to him. If Conrad is born about 1635, and if Simon is in his 20s… let’s give 30 years a generation… father 1605; grand-father 1575, g-grand-father 1745; gg-grand-father 1715. Even if we say Bernhardt is Conrad’s father, there’s still two generations missing in between.

        Anyway, even if he is only a distant cousin, the letter could bear informations about the family and the village.

        Just to let you know, I emailed Strasbourg Archives to inquire whether the letter still exist and if it’s possible to get a copy or a transcript, if so, how and how much. I’ll keep you informed.

        • Ummm, I have some really bad news about Conrad Schlosser. Let’s just say that I’ll be writing an update shortly, and it pains me greatly to do this. Don’t expend any further effort, because this isn’t the right line, or at least there is grave doubt. A new record has surfaced. I don’t know whether to cheer or cry.

      • I’ll be looking forwards to next week update. Although you sound rather grim, I hope you didn’t had to cut the entire Schlosser branch.

        Anyway, cheer over the new find, there will be plenty of time to cry later. ^_~

      • So, Evaline Miller really died at 17, in 1874. Her legal identity was taken over by a woman who was trying to cover her trace as an infamous bank robber. I am getting close?

  4. In my Breton geneology, whenever there are mills (flour, water or other), they appear to be a concession that is handed over to the “miller” by the local lord, church, etc, usually in return for some fees or rental, either for a term or life… Typically, if the son inherited the post, he had to be confirmed & pay another fee…it was not automatically handed on…
    By looking in the local govt records at that time, could your co-researchers find who had jurisdiction over these “good livings/patronage posts”?

  5. Long and complex article, Roberta. Lots of ideas in it and, frankly, my eyes started to glaze over a bit despite my interest so I’ll need to revisit. My first thought (before the glazing) was “why the devil would a Swiss family relocate so far from their native region?” My German side was from near Tüttlingen and Meßstatten in the far southwest corner near the Swiss border (where the Danube is a trickle) – those towns were also devastated by the Thirty Years War and plenty of land was available. They were also Lutheran, not Catholic. Surely that would have been the more likely destination (and I have found occasional cross-border family connections). I think you finally reached a similar thought when you addressed the proximity of Lorraine and the Palatinate but that’s a point I have to revisit.

    Regarding cemeteries: On my sole visit to southern Germany, Austria, etc., I was surprised to learn – as I suspect many other Americans might be – that a common practice is the reuse of gravesites after a certain period. Bones are exhumed, moved elsewhere (and often jumbled), and new bodies interred. Any idea if that was a practice in the Rhineland and Palatinate?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s