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Germany question for quokka or Larryincolorado (or others)

Germany question for quokka or Larryincolorado (or others)

Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Germany question for quokka or Larryincolorado (or others)

From a recent post about travel around Karlsruhe, it appears that quokka and Larryincolorado are from, or are very familiar with Karlsruhe, and it's surroundings.

Husband and I are planning our 30th wedding anniversary trip to BeNeLux and Germany in October. We want to visit Oberowisheim, which is on the S32 line (Rastatt-Menzingen)and Eppingen on the S4 line. Several of my eighth-great-grandparents were born in Oberowisheim C.1609, and at least one seventh-great grandparent was born in Eppingen, so my heart and soul are calling out for me to take a journey to my past.

QUESTION - Are either of you (or anyone else) familiar with Oberowisheim or Eppingen? There is very little information available on the internet.

QUESTION - How would I address a letter to the "old Lutheran Church" in Oberowisheim, where the family records are located in the Parish Register? We would like to visit the church, maybe view the family records, and definately wander around the cemetery. Maybe also an address for the town hall?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Peace, Robyn >-

artstuff is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:56 AM
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Dukey is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:06 AM
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I am off to class this morning (UC Denver)- German classes, of course, but I did find some websites that give addresses for the churches in Oberöwisheim and Eppingen. I'll post them tonight or tomorrow morning.

I did note, however, that the websites are entirely in German. Quokka might be able to dispute this, but I think you might have a problem if you write in English.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Don't be discouraged by websites that are only in German. If you see a place that appears to let you make a posting, go ahead and do it in English. Yau are likely to get a response in English. I did this a couple of years ago and it led to connecting with my family and a visit to the house where my Grndfather was born. I Googled Oberowisheim and there are many references to genealogical work being done. Many different families. Might be worth a check just to see if yours appears.
weber6560 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Try Cyndislist.com.
It has links for form letters to be sent to German Churches.

If you can't find it post again and I will look it up for you as I don't have time right now.

Good Luck!
clueless is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:48 PM
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OMG, Robyn, you're making me proud... My handle is in a headline...

1. Oberoewisheim (put the extra "e" in to substitute the two dots on the "ö") is situated North-East of Karlsruhe, not far from Bruchsal, in a hilly landscape named the Kraichgau, which is not spectacular but quite pretty. The village is part of a larger community named Kraichtal. I'm not familiar with the village itself but with the area.

Address your letter to the parson to:
Evangelisches Pfarramt Oberoewisheim
Bachstr. 27
76703 Kraichtal-Oberoewisheim

Their phone and fax number is: 0049-7251-6506 (from inside Germany: 07251-6506)
E-Mail: ev.pfarramt-Ooe(at)gmx(dot)de

I think you can write in English. They'll be able to cope with that, or know someone who does.

Address of the town hall of Kraichtal (situated in Münzesheim, Oberöwisheim doesn't have one of its own)
Stadt Kraichtal
Rathausstr. 30
76703 Kraichtal-Münzesheim

Information on the web (in German):http://www.kraichtal.de/index.php?id=44&layout=&style=

2. Eppingen. Again, their website is in German only: www.eppingen.de (surprise surprise)
Protestant church in Eppingen: http://www.kirche-eppingen.de/ (address etc. at "kontakte")

Just a silly question, concerning the 17th/18th century church registers: Are you familiar with the old German handwriting? It's not that easy to read, there are even hardly any Germans who will be able to. I'm dealing with handwritten documents from those times quite often, so I know what I'm talking about.

quokka is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for your quick replies, especially Larryincolorado and quokka. It's folks like you that make Fodor's a great place to visit!

quokka - I deeply appreciate the contact info for the church and town hall. I would never have discovered the addresses on my own.

Concerning the Parish Register, I'm more interested in just seeing the artifact than I am trying to retrieve any genealogic information from it. I had never really given it much thought, but now that you pointed out the old German handwriting, I will be sure to take special note of the different style, if I am indeed lucky enough to view the register.

My goal is to be able to stand in the same church that several generations of my family worshipped, got baptized and married in, and hopefully, were eventually buried in an adjoining cemetery.

I'm also hoping the town hall might let me know if any ancestors still live in the area. The family name I'm most interested in locating would be Schropp (Schrope), which is one of the family names you will get if you Google Oberoewisheim. Other names I'm interested in are Heckner, Kessler, Trautwein & Schibel.

QUESTION - Can you help me with the pronunciation of Oberoewisheim? I've come up with several possible ways to pronounce it, all of which are probably wrong!

quokka - One last side note, before I head off to bed...you mention that there aren't many people left who can read the old German style...which reminds me of my mom and her sisters, who always spoke Pennsylvania Dutch when they got together. Unfortunately, they never passed the language on to me or my generation, and it's now becoming a dying language. The only phrase that I can remember from my childhood was a pow-wow hex my mother would recite whenever I hurt myself - "Heila, heila, hinkel-dreck. Bis marya frie iss olles veck".

Thanks again, everyone, for your help. Peace, Robyn >-

artstuff is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:53 PM
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Hi Robyn,

I'm glad to be able to help you!

Your mother's verse sounds like the dialect of this area to me - it says: heal, heal, chicken-dirt, till tomorrow morning everything is gone (pain, worries or whatever)

My mentioning the old German didn't only refer to the style of German but to the handwriting, which will look similar to this: http://www.stama.tritse.de/bilder/liebesbrief.jpg (the only example I found in my quick search on the web - a love letter from 1629 - just to give you an idea what you are facing...)

The pronunciation of Oberoewisheim... is clear to me, but how to put that into phonetic writing which is understandable for English speakers?
Ö or oe is a sound between o and e, a clear long vowel, hard to describe in other letters (sorry, I'm no linguist). The German w is always pronounced like the English v, and the ei in "heim" is exactly like the i in "crime". S and h must be separated, no "sh" sound. So it becomes something like "Ober-[oe]vis-hime".

About realtives of yours still living in the area, ask the parson, too. He'll know, probably better than the town hall, whom to ask - in practically all villages there is somebody who is interested in history, does some research and knows everything and everyone.
quokka is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Good morning, quokka, and thank you for your response.

Your language lesson was quite valuable, although I have one more question about the pronunciation. Does "Ober" sound like 'over', with -the accent on the "O", or does it sound like "Oh-Bear", with the accent on the "ber"?

I checked out the links you provided and found an english page at Kraichtal.de, so I will be sure to write to them as well as to the church parson for any info they might be able to provide me about Oberoewisheim and my kin folk.

I found a pretty good map of the Kraichgau area, which helps me put everything into perspective. The web link is:


The level of excitement grows with each little tidbit of information that I discover.

Thanks again for all your help. Peace, Robyn >-

artstuff is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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My mentioning the old German didn't only refer to the style of German but to the handwriting, which will look similar to this: http://www.stama.tritse.de/bilder/liebesbrief.jpg (the only example I found in my quick search on the web - a love letter from 1629 - just to give you an idea what you are facing...)

It's not only the different style of handwriting, the spelling has also changed over the years.
KemiRad is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Get a copy of this book: If I Can Read Old German, You Can. I think that is the correct title but try Amazon. Very helpful.

There is also a free online class through Brigham Young University.

Good Luck.
clueless is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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The text isn't Sütterlin which was developed much! later, but is actually written with latin letters. It shouldn't be to difficult to decypher. .
logos999 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Here is the correct title. If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records. Author: Edna Bentz.

It is harder than it looks but can be done.

I'm excited for you!
clueless is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Hi artstuff, I wish you good luck in your quest to trace your German ancestry! My father-in-law is of German descent and we hope to try to track down some of his ancestors while we are living here in Germany.

A good trick I learned to pronounce the "o-umlaut" is to try saying the word "further" without the "r." The odd "u" sound that you make is a close approximation to o-umlaut. Try to make the sound come from the back of your mouth rather than the front.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Robyn, the stress in "Ober" is on the O. And then another stress on the "oe".
(Sorry for not replying earlier, I've been away for a couple of days.)

Let me add a few remarks about the handwriting.

The example of 17th century handwriting I gave is an extremely tidy and easy one - I've seen much worse.

This isn't 20th century Sütterlin. Most people who have learnt Sütterlin will already have difficulties when trying to read documents from around 1800, let alone older ones. I do not know the book mentioned, but things aren't that easy.
And no, these aren't Latin letters. Some letters are similar to the Latin ones, others aren't.

Hardly any German(!) is able to read 16th/17th century documents. Even trained historians need years of struggle and experience to become fluent readers. Believe someone who earns her living with that skill.

quokka is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Hello, quokka, and thanks again for the language lesson. I think I have now figured out how to pronounce Oberoewisheim.

Upon checking my notes, I have re-discovered that the birth & marriage records from the Parish Register of the Old Lutheran Church, from at least 1727 (my 5th GGparents), are available on micro-film! I'm hoping I will be able to view those records, as well as the original record book, with records dating back to at least 1609 (my 8th GGparents).

Quokka - The work you do sounds very interesting. How lucky you are to get to touch the past every day.

Have a great day. Until I think of my next question....Peace, Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Topping this thread for GantCT
quokka is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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Looking for quokka & GandCT...

Update on Oberowisheim and Eppingen:

I wrote to three different places, Kraichtal, Eppingen, and somewhere else (can't remember now). I only received a response from Eppingen, from a wonderful woman who has arranged for her daughter, a university student, to meet us at the train station in Eppingen with her car, and tour us through Eppingen, Oberowisheim and Maulbronn, for, what we felt, was a very resonable fee.

The woman at eppingen.de has also arranged for a hotel room for the evening in Ittlingen (nothing available in Eppingen that was accessible to the train station).

We're overjoyed with this women's generosity and help in planning a much anticipated journey to my ancestral homeland. How cool!!!

And thank you Kathrin (quokka), for your help with contact information. I will be sure to post a trip report, when we get back late in October.

Carol (GandCT) - Surnames in my family tree, from the Oberoewisheim area, include Schropp (Schrope), Hockner (Heckner), and Trautwein. The Keßler's are from Eppingen, and I'm not sure where the Schibel's are from. Any chance we're related?

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Artstuff - your post got me scrambling for my wife's geneological files since her ancestors also came from the same general area of Germany. When you mentioned that you could trace the family back to the 17th Century (just like the wife's family) and that Pennsylvania Dutch was spoken I was imagining a connection. At first I thought yours and hers were from nearby towns, but it looks like her family left from a small town (Wiebelskirchen) a little farther North near Saarbrucken. They settled in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Unlike my own family hers were distinguished farmers and churchbuilders as well as soldiers during the American Revolution. Do you have any info on what ship your ancestors took to America? Maybe they were shipmates. Where in PA did they settle?
Zeus is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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Zeus - I can trace my lineage to Oberöwisheim through the family name of Schröpp. Other sur names include Keßler, Scheiblein, Trautwein & Heckner.

In late summer of 1751 my 5th great-grandparents, Johann Christopher Schröpp and his wife of two years, Catharina Henrica Scheiblein, boarded the ship "Neptune". John Mason from Rotterdam was the Commander. Their final European stop was at Cowes, England on the Isle of Wight.

The ship arrived at the port of Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, 24 September 1751. All passengers were taken to the court house to take their oath of allegiance. Their certificates were signed by William Peters, Esq. There were 284 passengers on the ship "Neptune". Women and chidren were not included on the passenger list.

Records of my 5th g-gfather's arrival can be found in "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger & W.J. Hinke, and also "A Collection of Upwards of 30,000 Names of Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776" by Israel Daniel Rupp.

They settled in Philadelphia for 3-6 years before moving to Sussex County, then Hunterdon County, NJ, where they lived for 34 years as farmers and raised a family.

On 13 May, 1786, at the age of 59, my 5th ggfather, who now went by the name of Christopher Schrope, received a warrant for 277 acres of land in Pinegrove, Schuylkill County, PA, signed by Benjamin Franklin.

After the Indian raids, he & his wife and one of their 3 sons (my 4th gg-father) moved to Pinegrove, where they were successful farmers. My 4th gg-father served in the Revolutionary War. In addition to being among the original settlers of the area, the Schropes were also pioneers in the field of education.

Christopher Schrope's story, which is similar to many of the pioneers of that time, is one of the reasons that I am so drawn to visit Oberöwisheim on our travels... as if I'm taking a small piece of him back to his homeland.

What part of Bucks County did your wife's family settle in? I grew up in Montgomery and Bucks counties.

Robyn >-
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