Friday, August 16, 2013

Joanne's Vitus Koffler

Now that I have the name of my fifth great grandfather, I would like to search for his birth record. We know that Johannes Koffler married Anna Gertrudis Hermes in 1783. Normally we would assume that the son was around 20 to 30 years old at the time unless it was his second marriage. So we would probably search for a birth ceretificate with in the following date range; 1750-1763. Needless to say I haven't found a birth ceretificate for Johannes Koffler within the above date range. I found a christening certificate for Joannes Vitus Kofler for 14 June 1696. That would make him 87 when his son, Johannes married. Also the church were he was christened is 282 miles away from Koblenz. Most likely this isn't the correct ceretificate for my Joannes Vitus Koffler. Especially when they say that Joannes Koffler "was an honorable young man" as described in the marriage record. The next step is to order the baptismal records for 1749 thru 1798 and then work my way backwards. Once I find Johannes baptismal record I can search for Joannes Vitus baptismal record. I have also ordered the Family Book for 1600 - 1670 and I will search to see if any Kofflers lived in Koblenz during this period of time. I have sent for two microfilms from Family Search that will be used to answer the above questions.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Johann Veit Koffler

I hired who located information on my fifth great grandfather. I was unable to locate the name of Joannes Koffler's grandfather because I was having problems interpreting the writing and the language. They located the record and below is the results of their research.

On 18 February (1783), after completion of triple proclamations, were here joined in matrimony: the honorable young man Johannes Koffler, legitimate son of the honorable Johann Veit Koffler, citizen and gardener in Koblenz, and himself a gardener and citizen of Koblenz, and also a permanent parishioner here at St. Castor, and also the honorable young woman, Anna Gertrudis Hermes, legitimate daughter of the late Johannes Hermes, citizen and wage laborer in Koblenz, who is a domestic servant for the widow Lady Nell, and a parishioner here at St. Castor for three years. They were accompanied by multiple witnesses designated for both parties: Johann Franz Diessenhard, butcher; Michael Zehe, boatman; and Peter Dievelich, citizen and wagon driver. The spouses will remain parishioners here at the parish of St. Castor.


1. The basilica of St. Castor is the largest Catholic church in Koblenz. Stum = Sanctem
2. Koblenz is a corruption and Germanification of Latin "Confluentium" (confluence) - the Mosel River flows into the Rhine at Koblenz - and the Catholic church records retain the Latin form of the name.
3. The names are all recorded in Latin, but the individuals probably used the German forms in
their daily lives: Joannes = Johannes; Joannes Vitus = Johann Veit; Joannes Franciscus =
Johann Franz; Petrus = Peter.
4. The words "adolescens" (young man) and "virgo" (young woman) imply that they are unmarried,
even though the words do not have that literal meaning. A different word (such as viduus and vidua)
would have been used if the parties had been widowed. A previously married man might have been
described only by his status or occupation.
5. Virgo does not actually mean "virgin", though it was assumed. If a woman had been known to be of  loose character, they would probably have simply omitted the word.
6. Dna = Domina = a Lady (i.e. a gentle-woman).

It is hard not to wonder what kind of life Johannes and Johann Veit lived. What was the work like, did they work on a large estate? How did Johannes come to follow in his father's footsteps. At what age did Johannes begin working. We now know that Anna Gertrudis Hermes worked as a domestic servant, did they work for the same women Lady Nell or did their families know one another?