A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about two of my husband’s ancestors, Abraham Estermann and his wife, Veronica Deler. The Estermanns belonged to a Walloon (Anabaptist) church and seemed to move rather often, perhaps because of their religious beliefs.
I thought I had done well tracing the family from Barbelroth, Germany back to the Heidelberg area, where Abraham was said to have been born, and then tracing his father back into a Swiss village.
None of that came close, though, to matching my latest discovery. I can’t claim credit for the discovery, though, because I only learned about it from a reader Robert Heim, who is a distant Whitmer cousin of my husband’s. The Estermann line eventually comes down to the Whitmers, who were also from Barbelroth.
It definitely ranks as one of the most unusual items I’ve ever come across on either side of the family!
Source: Google Books
Now, I’m the first to admit that my Latin isn’t great. But I can make out part of the title of this dissertation:
We Look at the Fractured Cranium
in a Man for 40 Years
Even more amazing is the fact that this dissertation dates from 19 December 1718!!!
Robert advised me that this is a 42 page academic work about Abraham Estermann – yes, my husband’s exact Abraham Estermann – who survived for 40 years with a fractured skull!
I haven’t been able to find a translation tool that produces anything but gibberish, so I haven’t even been able to read the historical introduction.
A second surprise was found at the end of the dissertation – I know what Abraham Estermann looked like! The image is only slightly gory:
Abraham Estermann’s Fractured Skull
I have a newfound respect for Abraham Estermann. I was already fond of the family, as it provides a documented Swiss ancestral line, but Abraham Estermann is another story totally.
Imagine not only fracturing your skull and living to tell about it, but surviving with it for over 40 years! I can’t even imagine how many ways that impacted every single day of his life.
I am on the hunt to find some Latin translation help and will share more of the story once I am able to read it. 🙂 Thank you, Robert Heim, for this extremely unique bit of family history.