In my prior 2 posts, I mentioned that several of us were interested in geneology but that we could only get so far. It was when these two ladies teamed up that the information started to flow :
Elizabeth Beyer Waltman, Annandale, Virginia and Helma Hamel, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Later on, a little book was written by them , titled Hamel/Kaiser Ancestry September 2005
Within the book were many ship records, birth and christening records, a pedigree document going back to the early 1600’s, and much, much more. The pedigree: ancestors of Johann Henrich Haemel born in Sondheim in 1799, father of John, Jacob, and Anna Elsabeth Haemel.
BEFORE this book was compiled, however, there were several years of emails going back and forth between many of us. There might be a very detailed one from Elizabeth concerning correspondence with such and such person in Germany, or photocopies of records that Helma had translated.
Meanwhile Helma, who had emigrated from Germany as a young woman, was involved in all of this for her husband’s family. Her husband is Ellsworth Hamel, a grandson of Emma & John, son of my grandmother’s brother Herb, and here is a photo of him as a young boy.
Ellsworth and my uncle Glenn, my mother’s brother, are sitting on the tree stump. Ellsworth is on the right, Glenn on the left. These cousins were close growing up and when I was a child they were still close, yet I called Helma and Ellsworth “Aunt” and “Uncle”.
The above photo was taken around 1930.
Here is Ellsworth’s father Herbert, with some of his brothers, when he was a boy. Herb is on the far left, followed by Alfred, Henry, Walter, and Edward. Alfred was killed in a war, according to my mom. I assume World War 1. They all look quite handsome, don’t they? I can only imagine the trouble that they got into when they were not posing so seriously :)
I DO remember visiting Uncle Herb and his wife Virginia and Ellsworth’s sister Marilyn when I was young. I only remember two things about Uncle Herb: he raised carrier pigeons as a hobby and liked Stinky Cheese, and it was VERY Stinky to my recollection :) It was Limburger cheese.
FROM THE BOOKLET :
“John and Jacob Hamel and Annie Hamel Beyer were siblings. John Hamel was a lay preacher of the German/Temple Baptist Church in the early 1860’s. Family information confirmed that John and Jacob were brothers, and it has been easier to trace the family ancestry in Hesse Kassel through the genealogy records listing Jacob Hamel in Pittsburgh.
Jacob Hamel’s naturalization documents, submitted to Allegheny County courts in 1870 and 1873, clearly listed his place of birth as Lutzelwich in Hesse Cassel and date of birth as 30 May 1835. This was the most important clue in locating the family in Hesse Kassel. In addition, volume 4 of ‘A List of Immigrants Who Applied for Naturalization Papers in the District Courts of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania’, compiled by the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (1980), notes that a duplicate of Jacob’s Naturalization Certificate (originally issued 2 August 1873) was issued to his son Henry Hamel, residence 60 Washington Avenue, Allegheny County, on 6 January 1909. This address agrees with the 1910 census for Henry Hamel, a shoe store merchant in Beltzhoover, and provides strong confirmation that our extended Hamel family is descended from the town of Lützelwig.
Jacob had also listed Lützelwig on the ship’s passenger list when he immigrated in 1865 with his wife and children. However, it was not certain whether that document was listing place of birth or place of last residence. The naturalization records settled the question and also connected Jacob to our family. We are fortunate that these documents list Lutzelwig, because place of birth was often listed only as Hesse Kassel or Germany.
We have obtained birth records for both Anna Elisabeth (1829) and Johann Jacob (1835) Haemel from the Landeskirchliches Archiv Kassel. The date of birth for Jacob agrees with his naturalization records, and the date of birth for Anna Elisabeth agrees with her age at the time of her death in 1900 as listed on her death record with Allegheny County.
We have also obtained pages listing individuals with both the Hamel and Kaiser names in Die Einwohner und Ihr Paten der Dörfer Cassdorf und Lützelwig by Gerhard Kling from the genealogy society in Kassel: Gesellschaft für Familienkunde in Kurhessen and Waldeck. Einwohner means inhabitants. In addition, we have obtained extensive information on our ancestors from Lothar Ide, the author of books transcribing the Sondheim church records.
Anna Elisabeth and Johann Jacob were born in Lützelwig; John was born in Sondheim in either 1823 or 1826, though 1823 may be more likely based on his age in the 1870 census. We obtained the information for Sondheim after ordering records from the archive in Kassel; therefore we did not include John’s birth record in Sondheim in the archive order. Their parents were Johann Henrich Haemel and Anna Catharina Kayßer, born in Sondheim where our ancestors lived for generations, some as far back as the early 1600’s.
The birth records have been translated from the old German script by Helma Hamel, the wife of Ellsworth Hamel in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. At various times, the Hämel and Kaißer families lived in Lützelwig and Sondheim, rural villages within a few miles of each other and about 20 miles south of the city of Kassel.”
In the past, people of my mom’s generation…the grandchildren of Emma and John, only knew that their grandparents had come from Germany, somewhere in the Black Forest region…
Now we had towns and histories and even photos: This is the church in Sondheim where so many records came from :
Prior to the book we had emails such as this come through once in awhile :)
Helma Hamel and I have pdf file copies of books that transcribe the Sondheim church records. Helma’s comment below refers to John Hamel, Ells ancestor:
“In the meantime you probably have discovered that Johannes was the first legitimate child of Henrich Haemel and Anna Catharina Kaiser, who had already produced together Anna Martha in 1819 and Anna Elisabeth in 1821 out of wedlock. Both times Henrich Haemel expressly admitted to being the father.”
This was fairly common in Hesse Kassel in that era, also in most of southern Germany (Baden and Wuerttemberg). It was not unusual for the marriage to follow the first child. A librarian at a local historical library here commented that children were important, and couples often did not marry until there were children. In that context the absolutions listed in the church book about 1750 were more surprising. ”
And this one :
Subject: absolution in Hesse Kassel in 1750
“Below are entries in church records in Hesse Kassel of a type that I have never seen before!
Helma has sent me two translations of the absolution entries in the Sondheim, Hesse Kassel church book. We have pdf files for transcriptions of two church books in Sondheim where our Hämel and Kaißer ancestors lived. A friend of ours here replied to these: “Well, Chinese confession and the mea culpas we are hearing elsewhere these days seem to pale when compared to these, don’t they?!”
The first entry reads roughly:
On the first of June 1745, following orders of the Church Councils of both the King and the High Prince, Henrich Kaysser and Dorothea Elisabeth, during a prayer meeting held because they had engaged in sexual intercourse, made a remorseful confession and vowed to lead a better life. Dorothea Elisabeth is now Henrich’s wedded housewife. (I am not quite certain how to translate the Latin “promoturi.”)
On the 29th of May, 1748, Henrich Kaysser’s daughter, who had permitted herself to become infatuated with Christoph Heyntze, her father’s farm hand, and to be seduced by him into whoring, confessed her remorse openly at a public prayer day in front of the whole congregation, promised to lead a better life and received absolution”
Because we’d also been receiving info about people suffering for their Christian faith, it was refreshing to find some sex and seduction in the tree as well. So sue me, I am just human :)
The first 2 posts are HERE and HERE