Category Archives: Germany

Namensverbreitungskarte: 1890 & 1996 German Surname Distribution Map

Every once in a while, I find quirky websites and Namensverbreitungskarte is one of them.

Do you have any German surnames in your family tree? Then you might want to check out this website. It is a German surname distribution map, which focuses on two years in history – 1890 and 1996.

Obviously, if your surname is very common, it might not tell you much. However, Stufflebean is a rare surname, both in its modern American spelling and its original German spelling of Stoppelbein.

I had to try out the map and the 1890 view shows that there were but a handful of places where a Stoppelbein was to be found.

I added the surname, which then appeared in a turquoise box. Corresponding colored dots appeared on the map. I’ve enlarged the map as far as it will go, so I’ve added arrows to show the few places where the surname was found in 1890.

And in 1996?

The legend now has two Stoppelbein boxes, one in turquoise for the original 1890 map and one in magenta to represent 1996. I’ve only placed arrows kind of at the outer regions where Stoppelbeins are found in Germany today.

It’s fun to see the growth of Stufflebean relatives, as it is a unique surname and, as far as we can tell, all are descended from one man born about 1600.

I also tried various spellings of Dulworth – Dulwert, Dulvitt, etc., hoping to get a lead on where the elusive John Dulworth began life in Germany before martians dropped him off in Knox County, Tennessee in the 1790s. However, I got no hits for any form of that surname.

It’s a very easy site to use, with directions in English even though it is based in Germany.

Johannes Holtz & Anna Christina Schafer, Barbelroth, Germany 1600s

Johannes Holtz and Anna Christina Schaffer were the grandparents of at least three immigrants to Frederick County, Maryland c1755. Johannes and Anna Christina are two of my husband’s 8X great grandparents.

Although there are a number of Holtz family members who died in Barbelroth in the early 1700s who were in their 60s and 70s, I have not found Holtz baptismal records there dating before the 1670s. This is in spite of the fact that the Barbelroth records extend back into the 1500s. The family may have come from a neighboring town and settled in Barbelroth.

Johannes Holtz was born c1665, likely in today’s Germany, but apparently not in Barbelroth. He married Anna Christina Schafer on 25 July 1691 in Barbelroth. Anna Christina was born c1670, assuming she was about 21 when she married.

Johannes died on 19 August 1738 in Barbelroth. It isn’t known when Anna Christina died.

Johannes and Anna Christina (Schafer) Holtz were the parents of only two known children:

  1. Johannes Michael, baptized 30 December 1691; died 19 April 1754; married Anna Elisabeth Scheer, 31 December 1715, all in Barbelroth.
  2. Susanna, baptized 24 February 1697; no further record.

Johannes Michael and Anna Elisabeth (Scheer) Holtz were the parents of five known children:

  1. Maria Elisabetha, baptized 7 October 1716, Barbelroth, Germany; died June 1794, Frederick County, Maryland; married Johannes Wittmer (later Whitmer), 2 February 1740, Barbelroth, Germany. Johannes was baptized on 28 December  1710 in  Barbelroth and died after 22 May 1764, Frederick County, Maryland. Johannes and Maria Elisabetha have thousands of descendants today through their son, Johannes (John), born in 1755, about the time they left Germany forever.
  2. Juliana Margaretha, baptized 20 November 1718, Barbelroth, Germany; married Johannes Englehard Nuss, 19 January 1740, Barbelroth, Germany; no further record.
  3. Johannes, baptized 20 July 1721, Barbelroth, Germany; married Anna Maria Wittmer, 12 April 1746, Barbelroth, Germany. This family remained in Barbelroth as their friends and family emigrated to Maryland.
  4. Johan Jacob, baptized 25 August 1723, Barbelroth, Germany; died 16 December 1803, Frederick County, Maryland; married Catherine Ledermann, 2 June 1750, Barbelroth, Germany. Johan Jacob served on a Committee of Observation during the American Revolution and his son served as a soldier.
  5. Anna Catharina, baptized 20 July 1730, Barbelroth, Germany; married Conrad Dick, possibly in Frederick County, Maryland. Conrad Dick was born c1725 and in Frederick County by 15 August 1755 when he had 100 acres of land entered there. Although no marriage record has been found for this couple, Johannes Whitmer and Maria Elisabetha Holtz were sponsors at the baptism of Maria Catharina, daughter of Conrad and Anna Catharina Dick on 28 March 1758 in Frederick County, Maryland. It is assumed that this is Maria Elisabeth Holtz Whitmer’s sister, as almost every record created by events in the Whitmers’ lives involved close relatives. Conrad Dick reportedly died in North Carolina, but dates range from 1774-1795. There is no Conrad Dick found in any 1790 census, so he may have died before then.

The next generations:

Maria Elisabeth Holtz who married Johannes Wittmer migrated with their only surviving child, Johannes, to Maryland sometime between Johannes’s baptism on 24 June 1751 in Barbelroth and the baptism of their son Elias on 20 February 1757 in Frederick County, Maryland. As I mentioned this couple has thousands of descendants today.

Johannes Holtz who married Anna Maria Wittmer remained in Barbelroth, where the baptisms of their five children were recorded: Johannes, 30 October 1750, Juliana, 15 November 1754, Rosina, 4 December 1756, Johannes again, 23 March 1761 and Maria Barbara, 29 December 1765.

Johann Jacob Holtz who married Catherine Ledermann also left Germany for Maryland. They were the parents of at least three children: Johan Jacob, baptized 30 November 1753, Eleanora, baptized 7 November 1756 and Johan Nicholas, baptized 1 August 1762, all in Frederick County, Maryland. Both Johan Jacob Sr. and Jr. are recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution as a patriot and soldier, respectively.


German Ancestry? Using Meyers Gazetteer

Meyers Gazetteer

About 50 million Americans have German ancestral lines, including my husband. I’ve struggled through the years trying to find small European villages that have been renamed two, three and even four times. Those villages weren’t in Germany! If they had been, I would have been right here using Meyers Gazetteer, a free online tool to located towns that were once part of the German Empire.

The instructions are easy to follow – they are in English and explain how to enter a search for non-English letters and symbols.

If you click on the blue link at the bottom right, a new screen with more detailed information appears:

Introduction to the Help Guide

Here is how it works. I entered Langenlonsheim, home of the Stoppelbeins before they left for America in 1740.

Clicking on the town link opened this page:

All About Langenlonsheim, Germany

The text (very top left) in German Gothic script gives the historical information about the village of Langenlonsheim.

If I click on the map at the top left, it enlarges to show a historical map.

I can even zoom in further to see streets:

The detail list explains all the abbreviations found next to the map. Langenlonsheim is a village with its larger governmental bodies, such as the kingdom or state, province, etc.

If I were looking for church records, but was unsure whether the family was Protestant or Catholic, I’d have to search both sets of records as there is one Protestant and one Catholic parish, in addition to having one Jewish synagogue.

The Civil Registration Office for this village is located right in Langenlonsheim.

Meyers Gazetteer couldn’t be any easier to use. If you know the name of a German town where your family lived, This is a website you’ll want to bookmark.