Barbara Sing, Seng or Sang was born in Endersbach, Germany in 1645 to Hans Sing/Sang and Barbara Eckardt.
She was surely baptized in the church there, but records don’t exist from the period of the Thirty Years’ War.
Endersbach is just a mile and a quarter up the road from Beutelsbach.
There seemed to be a lot of interaction and intermarriage occurring between Beutelsbach and Endersbach families.
It’s interesting that while, according to the local heritage book, her father, Hans Sang was born in Endersbach, Barbara was the only one of her siblings born there.
Her mother, Barbara Eckardt was born in Beutelsbach, so clearly, the couple chose to live there after their marriage.
The fact that only one child was born in Endersbach, and that birth was during the 30 Years War makes me wonder if the family had to seek refuge in Endersbach during that timeframe.
The Beutelsbach records resume in 1646. We find Barbara’s younger sibling born in Beutelsbach on March 6, 1648. It’s possible that Barbara had a sibling born between 1645 and 1648 in Endersbach or elsewhere.
During the war, record-keeping either wasn’t possible or didn’t bubble up to the top of the priority list when simple survival was a struggle. The people had been brutalized by marauding armies and soldiers for, literally, 30 years – more than a generation. Farms, villages, and entire cities were burned, and their fields ruined. Food was scarce and no one was ever safe.
We know that Barbara was raised in Beutelsbach from 1648 forward, so from the time she was about three years old.
Martin Goll, historian and Beutelsbach resident tells us that Barbara was the daughter of Hans Sang who was a butcher and quite wealthy, at least comparatively, after the Thirty Years War.
The Hans Sang home and butcher shop was located at 8 Marktplatz in Beutelsbach which still exists today, adjacent the fortified gate of the Beutelsbach church.
The home of Barbara’s beau and future husband, Hans Lenz, the son of another wealthy merchant was only 100 feet or so distant at Stiftstrasse 17..
The church, of course, was both the center of Beutelsbach and the center of the community. Having a shop near the church assured that parishioners would pass by your door several times a week.
Having the shop right next to the steps of the fortified tower entrance to the church assured that no one would forget to purchase meats. Today, someone would be out front giving samples and coupons to hungry parishioners after Sunday services😊.
In this photo of the church and tower, the building connected to the tower on the right, directly in front of the white automobile, is the Sing home, 8 Marktplatz.
We are fortunate to have a drawing of Beutelsbach from 1760.
The round fortified tower is visible to the right of the road, with the first house attached to that tower being the Sang home, pointed out by the yellow arrow. The Lenz home is the red arrow, as best I can tell.
This postcard from 1916 shows the gate, church, and adjacent buildings as well. I wonder if the drawing was from an earlier era.
Literally, everyone going to church passed by the door of the butcher shop.
Most villages only had one person practicing any profession, so Hans Sang was probably the only game in town anyway. I hope he did the actual butchering elsewhere, or at least not during church services.
Perhaps the good smells from the Lenz bakery a few feet away helped to overcome the odors emanating from the butcher’s shop which would have been attached to their home. Yes indeed, much more desirable to be the baker’s child.
Barbara Sing married Hans Lenz on February 23, 1669, in Beutelsbach, in the church right next to her home.
Sharon Hockensmith took this photo inside the church when she was visiting. I don’t know how much of the interior was the same in 1669, but we can rest assured that the primary structure didn’t change. The choir loft, organ, and windows are likely original.
We don’t know if the custom of the time was to be married in the church proper, or in the adjacent parsonage. Regardless, Barbara and Hans would have attended this church every Sunday during their marriage, except when war, danger, childbirth, or illness interfered.
They probably saw this exact same scene hundreds of times, only with people dressed in clothing of their period.
Barbara’s parents and in-laws were apparently both wealthy, but money can’t buy everything. In fact, it can’t purchase the things we cherish most in life.
Barbara and Hans had 11 children, beginning with their first child who was born in the late fall of 1669.
- Anna Katharina Lenz was born on November 19, 1669, and married Simon Dendler, a widower from Schnait, on November 30, 1693, in Beutelsbach. However, Martin found no children in the church records. We don’t know what happened to Anna Katharina. They could have moved away and had children elsewhere.
- Margaretha Lenz was born on January 24, 1671, and died July 13, 1678, in Beutelsbach, only 7 years old.
- Barbara Lenz was born on March 10, 1672, and died July 11, 1678, two days before her sister, Margaretha. She was 6 years old.
These two sisters passing away two days apart tell us that either there was a communicable illness being passed around, or there was an outbreak of dysentery or something similar. As the only non-infant girls in the family, they probably slept together.
It may not have been a coincidence that the next year, 1679, saw a massive outbreak of plague. We know that malaria was present in Europe in 1678, having arrived on ships from Africa, but Beutelsbach is not a port city. I can’t help but wonder who else in the family was ill, and how many more Beutelsbach residents died in the summer of 1678.
Barbara, four months pregnant at the time, must have been heartbroken, losing her two little girls just two days apart.
- Johann Georg Lenz was born on February 21, 1674, and died on April 2, 1758, in Beutelsbach of old age at 84. He married Sibilla Muller on February 2, 1698, also in Beutelsbach. After his parents passed away, he and Sibilla lived in the home place, continuing the vinedresser and vintner profession. Unfortunately, Johann George’s back was injured by falling stones. They had 8 children, 3 or 4 of whom lived to adulthood. Johann George and Sibilla are my ancestors.
- Daniel Lenz was born November 14, 1675, and died November 7, 1758, seven months after his older brother. He married Anna Katharina Lang in 1702 and they had 8 children, 3 of whom lived to adulthood. Daniel was a vintner as well, but was described as having “stupid eyes” which likely meant he was either partially blind or cross-eyed. He did field work, fell down from an apple tree, and nearly died another time from choking on his own blood. Daniel couldn’t read but was an avid churchgoer and seemed to have a good life in spite of having “stupid eyes.”
- Elisabetha Lenz was born July 27, 1677, and no death or marriage records are found for her, nor are any children’s baptismal records. She likely died young. I wonder if she died in the same outbreak that took her two sisters in July of 1678.
- Anna Maria Lenz was born December 19, 1678, and died May 5, 1721, in Beutelsbach from a tumor. I’d love to know what kind of a tumor. She married Hans Jakob Bechtel about 1698. He was a baker, then a judge, and eventually, mayor. They had 12 children, 6 of whom lived to adulthood.
- Johann Jakob Lenz, a vinedresser and vintner, was born April 19, 1680, and died on May 6, 1744, in Beutelsbach of “high-temperature gastric fever” which was probably dysentery, also known as “bloody flux.” He married Anna Katharina Knodler in 1717 in Grunbach. They had 8 children, of which two lived to adulthood. Two others died as young adults before marrying. Their last child was listed as “simple” at his baptism and likely did not survive.
- Philip Lenz was born on November 2, 1681, and died September 24, 1737, in Beutelsbach at 56 years of age of melancholy. He was a vintner and married Justina Bohringer in 1716. They had 5 children, of whom 2 lived to adulthood and one died as a young adult of heatstroke.
- Martin Lenz was born November 11, 1683, and died a few days later on November 27th.
- Barbara Lenz, the last child, probably named for her mother, was born July 2, 1686. She died 25 days later, on July 27th, 17 days after her mother. Clearly, complications of childbirth took both mother and child.
Of the 41 grandchildren we know were born to Barbara, only 16 or 17 survived to adulthood. That’s a 61% mortality rate, meaning almost two-thirds of the children didn’t live to marriage age.
The Grim Reaper
The Grim Reaper is merciless.
Barbara Sing died on July 10, 1686. We don’t know why, other than it was assuredly something to do with childbirth. It could have been Puerperal Fever, also known as childbed fever, which can lead to blood poisoning. However, her death could also have been a result of a hemorrhage, internal damage, or loss of a large amount of blood.
Given that the child died too, I’d be inclined to think that perhaps childbed fever was the culprit as a result of a long labor. The long labor could have caused the child’s death as well, especially if something went wrong, such as a breach birth.
Regardless, Barbara was gone. She was only 40 or 41 years old, and left several children behind.
- Katherina was 17
- Johann George was 12
- Daniel was 10
- Elisabetha, if she was living, would have turned 9 on the day her new sister, Barbara, died
- Anna Maria was 7
- Johann Jakob was 6
- Philipp was 4
Barbara had to wonder, as she was desperately ill, who would raise her children?
Who would kiss their boo-boos?
Who would take care of them?
Fix their favorite foods?
Hold and comfort them?
Who would love them the way she loved them?
Would they remember her?
What about her newborn baby? Would she survive? How, without her mother’s milk?
And what was her husband, Hans, to do?
How could he possibly tend the vineyards, press the grapes, produce wine and maintain his business selling wines while looking after 7 or 8 children?
He couldn’t exactly take all the children to the fields with him, especially not a baby.
Those questions cross the mind of every mother from time to time. However, in Barbara’s case, this was very real and pressing – not an abstract thought.
Unfortunately, the Grim Reaper visited all too often in the days before antibiotics and modern medicine.
The good news, or bad news, or both, was that there were others in the same situation. Joining forces made sense.
A Step-Mother for Barbara’s Children
Barbara didn’t exactly get to select her successor – the woman who would raise her children after she could no longer do so.
Hans waited a respectable amount of time before remarrying, 12 months to be exact. The banns had to be posted for 3 weeks, and the minister would have posted and read the marriage banns on the first Sunday following the 1-year anniversary of Barbara’s death, inviting anyone who had any knowledge of why the couple shouldn’t marry to come forth.
On August 2, 1687, Hans married Barbara Roller(in) who was the widow of Sebastian Heubach from Endersbach. Barbara was born in 1748, so she would have been 39 years old when she married Hans. However, we find no children born to them, nor do I find any record of children born from her first marriage either, which occurred in 1672.
If Barbara already had children, she and Hans joined their families when they wed. If not, then perhaps Barbara welcomed the opportunity to become a mother and love the first Barbara Lenz’s children.
Step-parents are the parents who choose us.
Mitochondrial DNA Candidates
Mitochondrial DNA is a special type of DNA passed from mothers to their children, but only passed on by daughters. It’s never admixed with the DNA of the father, so it is passed on essentially unchanged, except for an occasional small mutation, for thousands of years. Those small mutations are what make this DNA both genealogically useful and provide a key to the past.
By looking at Barbara’s mitochondrial DNA, we can tell where her ancestors came from by evaluating information provided by the trail of tiny mutations.
Only one of Barbara’s daughters, Anna Maria who married Hans Jakob Bechtel (Bechthold,) is known to have lived to have children. Although, if two other daughters lived, it’s possible that either Anna Katharina (born 1669) or Elisabetha (born 1677) married and had children elsewhere.
Anna Maria Lenz Bechtel had two daughters who lived to adulthood, but only one married.
- Anna Maria Bechtel was born in 1715 and married Jakob Siebold/Seybold of Grunbach. Their children were all born in Remshalden.
- Anna Maria Seybold was born in 1737 and married Johann Jacob Lenz in 1761, children unknown
- Regina Dorothea Seybold was born in 1741, married Johann Wolfgang Bassler in 1765, and had one known daughter.
- Johanna Bassler was born in 1785, married Johannes Wacker in 1814, and had three daughters, Johanna Elisabetha (1818), Dorothea Catharina (1822), and Carolina Friederica (1825.)
- Anna Catharina Seybold born in 1751 married Johann Leonhard Wacker in 1813 in Remshalden. No known daughters.
- Elisabeth Seybold born in 1752 married Johann Michael Weyhmuller in 1780 in Remshalden and had three daughters who lived to adulthood, married, and had daughters.
- Anna Maria Weyhmuller born 1785, married Eberhard Sigmund Escher from Esslingen in 1807, but children are unknown.
- Regina Dorothea Weyhmueller born 1787 and married Salomo Dautel in 1814 in Remshaulden. They immigrated to America in 1817, location and children unknown.
- Elisabetha Weyhmueller born in 1792 and had daughter Jakobine Hottmann in 1819 with Daniel Hottmann. She then married Wilhelm Friedrich Espenlaub and had Josephina Friederika Espenlaub in 1830. Children unknown.
For anyone who descends from Barbara Sing through all females to the current generation, which can be male, I have a DNA testing scholarship for you.
Please reach out! Let’s see what we can discover about Barbara together!
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