Family Register # 43, Unterreichenbacr

[Preface 7/6/08: When I posted and interpreted the family register below and other church records from Unterreichenbach, only microfilm copies were available to. Earlier this year I visited Unterreichenbach and begin the process of photographing the actual records. It makes a tremendous difference! Unreadable words now can be translated even by me; tiny notes are visible; etc. For example, the entry for Abraham Wilhelm below was made in a different ink which explains the fading on his baptismal record. It is also possible to see what items were added later by differences in the ink and stroke. It will take a while for me to replace all the images. For an example, click here and a new window will appear with the photograph. If you have a particular interest in a given record or can help, let me know. P.H.]

This is the family register of the parents of Abraham Wilhelm Ecker who is entry #7 in the list above. Let me go through the structure in more detail so that other family registers can be interpreted more easily. The father is Jakob whose dates of birth (Geburts) and death (a cross) are adjacent to his name. Jakob's death record is shown here. Beneath the birthdate is an abbreviation 'hier' for born or married in the town.  In other Registers a specific town name might be used.)  An occupation is usually added after a male name. His occupation is initially a Muller or miller, and there is a second occupation added of 'kraemer' (peddler or shopkeeper).  Abraham Wilhelm's mother is Julianna Rosina born October 3, 1811. The test below her name describes her second marriage to Jakob Friedrich Gengenbach (a common family name in the village) who is a "B" (Burger) and flotzer (raftsman) from a [different community?]. Note the references to 'fol.' 69. This refers to another Family Register Folio or page 69.  I have all of these. They make a wonderful roadmap to confirm and expand interpretations. Tha is how I know the name of Rosina's second husband.] The couple marry ('copulations tag') 22 Feb. 1829 hier as clarified in the marriage record attached. (It helps tremendously to have the primary source records and other registries!)

Beneath the "house-parents" names  are their respective father and mother with references to their family pages. Following a woman's name is the abbreviation "geb." which indicates her maiden name.  Jakobs parents are Johannes Ecker, a burger and miller; and Gottliebin (feminine form of Gottlieb) Kraut. Juliana Rosina's parents are Johann Michael Fischer (a 'metzger' or butcher-- thanks Jillaine) and Anna Maria Bär. Additional registries 39 and 52 are cross-referenced.

At the bottom of the page is a list of the children with their name; birthday; date of confirmation or first communion; a column of notes or supplemental information; and Tod. or date of death.  Crosses following the name are a convention indicating that the person is dead. Indeed, these children died in infancy. Four children did not survive to age 14, the age of confirmation.

The names of the children are as follows: 1. Gottlieb Friedrich; 2. Johann Jakob; 3. Christian Philipp;  4. Regina Catharina; 5. Maria Heinrika; 6. also Maria Heinrika; 7. Abraham Wilhelm; 8. Gottliebin; and 9. Heinrika Rosina.

There is a note beneath the second numbered child referring to a different place of birth.  This can explain an anomaly in the recording of the first two sons.  While I was easily able to find their confirmation records on the dates indicated, I could not find a birth/ baptism record where they should have been. I did find such records for the subsequent children including Abraham Wilhelm.  It seems that Jakob, and probably also Friedrich were not born in this church jurisdiction. There may also have been another reason why their baptism may not have been recorded in the Unterreichenbach books.  A puzzle for some one to figure out.

Note that there is a small horizontal line before the names of some of the siblings. These 5 left the village for elsewhere. I see the same convention in other family registers, although it also appears not to have been uniformly followed.

I have commented elsewhere that I was not able to confirm that William's mother was named Regina as noted on his marriage record to Hannah in Newark.  This record and all others available give the name as Julianna Rosina.  That name is confirmed in Rosina's family and confirmation records. Perhaps it became anglicanized later. Abraham Wilhelm was 14 when he left home and should have known his mother's name.  William's sister Regina Catharina also came to America. [I suspect the minister in Philadelphia made an error- not the only one in that record.]

Even without being able to fully read all the text, it is possible for me to work through the entire Ecker Family Tree in Unterreichenbach.  Being able to fill in the gaps has the potential to unearth wonderful little anecdotes and who knows what else.

Peter Hasselbacher
Oct 19, 2007; revised Nov 11; 6 Jul 2008.