Monday, June 23, 2014

Frederick K Kofferl

Frederick K Kofferl was born on October 11, 1871 the third child born to Henry Kofferl and Amelia Fahrenthal Kofferl. According to the 1875 New York State census he resided in Brooklyn on Johnson Street. By 1892 New York State Census he was still residing in Brooklyn on Johnson Street and was working as a Driver. According to the THE EASTERN DISTRICT of BROOKLYN ONLINE DIRECTORY His father Henry was listed as a Watchmaker at 182 Johnson Street. Named for General Jeremiah JOHNSON, originally Johnson Road, in 1845, later Johnson Street, After consolidation of 1855 it changed to Johnson Avenue. Johnson Street was opened in 1831 from Broadway to Bushwick Avenue.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gottlieb Fiederich Ohnmacht 1843

Matthaeus' brother Gottlieb Fiederich was born on August 24, 1843. He was the second oldest child born to Johann Ulrich and Elizabeth Katharina Ohnmacht and was my great grandfather. John Ulrich my great great grandfather worked as a woodcutter or lumberjack in Langenbrand. Around the time that Matthaeus and Gottlieb were born the country was going tharough a process of unification. This started at the end of the 18th century and continued till 1848. "Not until the Napoleonic conquests of the early 19th century was the old regime undermined and a comprehensive process of political modernisation set in motion." Reforms in the states of the French-occupied Confederation of the Rhine and a new awareness of the evident inferiority of the old order triggered reformist efforts in other German states, particularly in Prussia. At the same time, resistance against the French occupation contributed to the formation of a German nationalist movement, which not only sought the liberation of the French-occupied areas but also propagated demands for national unification and political self-determination. This was the end of the feudal state system in Germany.

Gottlieb married Anna Maria Rothfuss who was born in Oberlengenhardt on January 2, 1843. They got married in Langenbrand on Monday, March 29, 1869.

 The meaning of the name Rothfuss is as follows:
  1. German: from Middle High German rōt ‘red’ + vuoz ‘foot’, a nickname for someone who followed the fashion for shoes made from a type of fine reddish leather.
  2. according to another opinion a variant of Rotfuchs, from the Middle Low German form fos ‘fox’, a nickname for a clever person.

They had six children; Johann Friedrich b 1869, Gottlieb Fiedrich b 1871, Anna Maria b1873, Wilhelm b1879, Katharina b 1880, and Karl b 1885. Gottlieb Fiedrich died on April 29, 1899.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Keppler Connection

About the family's only claim to fame is that Matthaeus Ohnmacht was born to Johann Ulrich and Elizabetha Katharina Ohnmacht on April 30, 1834 in Langenrand. He married Anna Maria Keppler from Schoemberg on February 13, 1866. Anna Maria was a distant relative to Joannes Kepler (spelled both ways Kepler or Keppler) the mathematician, astronomer and astrologer who was born on December 27, 1571. Matthaeus and Anna Maria had nine children of which four survived childhood. He died and was buried in Langenbrand on April 18, 1919. Anna Maria was born on January 20, 1839 and died on October 9, 1896. The surviving children's names were Christine Barbara b1868, Anna Maria b1870, Katharine b1873, Christine Friederike b1877 and Rosine Barbara b1882.

Matthaeus worked as a lumberjack. Lumberjacks are workers in the logging industry who perform the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era (before 1945 in the United States) when hand tools were used in harvesting trees. Because of its historical ties, the term lumberjack has become ingrained in popular culture through folklore, mass media and spectator sports. The actual work was difficult, dangerous, intermittent, low-paying, and primitive in living conditions, but the men built a traditional culture that celebrated strength, masculinity, confrontation with danger, and resistance to modernization.  Some of the tools that he might of used:
"The first Keppler who became resident in Schomberg, is Peter born around 1620 in Calw. His father was Johann Georg, who was the beginning of the Crown host in Calw." It is the period after the thirty years war and the plague. Events that have largely wiped out the population in the area Schomberg and Langenbrand.  The French had invaded this area under Ludwig XIV. By the end of the 19th century the Keppler family continued to migrated from Schomberg to Wurzenbach.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


My grandmother Gertrude Grossholtz was born in Neuhausen, Germany which was part of Alsace Lorraine. The problem that I am having is determining which Neuhausen she was referring to on her marriage certificate. Is it Neuhausen ob Eck which is in Baden Wurttemberg on the southern side of the Swabian Alb. According to my sister my Grandmother was Catholic even though they brought the children up to be Lutheran. This fact would lead me to believe that she was from Neuhausen ob Eck and I have sent for information from a family history book by Hans-Georg Strizel entitled Ortssippenbuch Neuhausen ob Eck: Kreis Tuttlingen in Wurttemberg; 1633 - 1920.

"Neuhausen auf den Fildern is a municipality in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is located 13 km southeast of Stuttgart." I had an opportunity when I was visiting Langenbrand to visit this village in Baden Wuttemberg. This town had several churches and I was able to visit the church grounds as seen below. St. Urban and Vitus parish church is "located east of the main road in the middle of the village. A strong lining wall shields the church yard against the tiefergelegene road." A wedding was taking place at the time of my visit to the church and so I didn't feel comfortable entering the church.

This Neuhausen auf den Fildern was founded during feudal Germany.  According to the town website ".. each community in the area had two mayors, who were responsible for the accounting department.... The inhabitants of the village were divided into two classes the community's citizens and Sojourners. Only large potatoes were harvested in the second half of the 19th century. Fields were sold for a loaf of bread." A week's salary was a loaf of bread.

The village was until 1754 ruled only by the Lords of Neuhausen. Since 1655 it was a joint sovereignty of the Lords of Neuhausen and the Lords of Rotenhan. In 1806 it became part of Württemberg. 

Neuhausens was first documented in 1153 when the place was under local nobility, the Lords of Neuhausen. In the 14th century, the village under Habsburg rule and was associated with Austria. In the Reformation, all surrounding villages of Württemberg were Protestant; Neuhausen thus became a leading Austrian Catholic island. in 1769, the prince-bishopric of Speyer bought the place. The reorganization of southwest Germany by Napoléon Bonaparte first 1802 resulted belonging to the Grand Duchy of Baden, but already in 1806 Neuhausen came to the Kingdom of Württemberg. With the municipality reform of 1973,

The third village of Neuhausen Enz were my Grandmother could have come from is located in the district of Enz in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Neuhausen is on the plateau between Nagold and Würm, also named Biet (from German Gebiet (area) between 430 and 570 metres sea level.

 The so-called Biet-villages to them belong Neuhausen and its districts too were probably created as forest homestead villages. The first documentary evidence followed later: 1073 Schellbronn, 1150 Neuhausen and 1157 Steinegg. Hamberg was mentioned documentary in 1453 the first time, but it is probably Hamberg to have been created in the 11. century on initiative of a Stein von Rechtenstein. They subjected the Freiherren von Gemmingen (barons of Gemmingen).

Monday, June 2, 2014


The 550-year-old Medieval church is
Langenbrand or Long fire is on the ridge between Enz and Nagold and coming from Pforzheim is the entrance gate to the overall community Schomberg . With its approximately 1,300 inhabitants , it is the second largest district after Schomberg. The municipality emerged from a forest clearing in the 1100s with six other municipalities.

The six municipalities of the area received with Langenbrand in 1404, its ecclesiastical center . In 1325 came Langenbrand along with Neuenbürg to Württemberg . The Thirty Years' War left deep scars in Waldhufendorf and even dysentery and plague did not spare the place. The population lived for centuries off agriculture and forestry, and before the 18th century, the brown iron ore mining. Shaping the townscape is a church originating from the 12th/13th century, which was completed in the 18th century around the upper part of the tower and the nave in its present form .

 Since 1984, Langenbrand is recognized as a health resort and contributes to the campsite and various hotels and guesthouses considerably to the number of overnight stays. Part of the overall community Schomberg Langenbrand was in the context of incorporation in 1975. Heavily frequented by clubs from all over Schomberg is the elaborately renovated in 2010 town house with multipurpose hall . Next to it is the newly built daycare " The Rappelkiste " went into operation in March 2013 , which is the all-day care and toddler groups for the total community of great importance. For 10 years a wind turbine can be found on the edge of the community. Currently, the community is concerned with the possible resettlement of additional wind turbines in Langenbrand.

By the end of the 20th century  papermaking played a major role in the history of  the community. Founded on May 1, 1883 the company Holtzmann , with the Wolfsheck , which belonged to closing the Stora Enso Group , the largest company in area was founded in 1991 and headquartered in Langenbrand since 2005. The company Fritz Automation is one of the few companies located here .

The village coat of arms  is an ancient forest character of a former mayor ( hence the name Schulz characters) was created . 

Langenbrand is one of the communities where the Ohnmachts originate. According to my records the furthest that the Ohnmachts go back in Langenbrand dates back to Johann George Ohnmacht who was born in Lutzenhardt in 1767 but was buried in Langenbrand in 1834. His son, Johann Ulrich Ohnmacht was born in Langenbrand On February 10, 1804 as well as his brothers and sisters. Johann Ulrich married Elisabeth Katharine Schwaemmle on June 9, 1839 in Langenbrand and they had their eight children in this town. One of the eight children was Gottlieb Frederich Ohnmacht who was born on August 24, 1843 he was my Great Grandfather. Both Johann and Elisabeth lived their whole life and were buried in the town. I have sent for the microfilm from the Mormans and hope that there is more information about the family. I am looking for the occupation of Johann George and Johann Ulrich Ohnmacht.

When I visited the town it was a small quaint community. There is a stone in the church yard with an Erik Ohnmacht's name on the stone. This was the home of my Grandfather, Gottlieb Frederich Ohnmacht, one of  Johann Ulrich's grandchildren born on October 3, 1871. He lived in this town for twenty-one years and worked as a goldsmith according to Immigration records. What made him come to America and change his profession? These are questions I have yet to answer.