The German word Ortssippenbuch means place (Orts) + genealogy (Sippen) + book (Buch or the plural Bücher). For a particular village, the family relationships are worked out, often for two to three centuries. Nearly always they are based on the local church records for births, marriages, and deaths but information from other (civil) sources may be used. The final product for one village may run to more than a thousand pages of typewritten information with more than ten thousand families included.
Information is organized by a family. Each family, one man and his wife, is assigned a number. The marriage date, place, and religion are given first. Then comes the information about the father which may include a subordinate clause to give information about his parents. When the word und ("and") is reached, this is a signal that the following information pertains to the mother. Information about a woman is by her maiden name though it may list a deceased husband. Following the parents, the children are listed with cross reference numbers if they are to be found in another family. At every point, all marriages are at least mentioned. On some occasions, a cross reference to another Ortssippenbuch may be made.
While these works are very valuable, they are rare as few villages have one. In Germany, the greatest number of them are from Baden-Württemberg and, even there, the percentage of villages that have one is low. There are several for the villages in the area from which the majority of the Second Germanna Colony people came.
The books are not readily available in the United States. The Library of Congress has about twenty for Northern Baden. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has some but only a few of them have been microfilmed. Both of these libraries have on-line catalogs which permit verifying whether the library has one for a particular village. Most of the published books have been sold out.
The books are in the German language but are easily read by anyone, even by someone without any knowledge of German.1 It is convenient to have a detailed map and a German dictionary but even these are seldom necessary at the library itself. Usually the families are listed in alphabetical order of the father's surname with spelling variations such as Maier, Meier, Meyer, listed together under the first spelling. The books are indexed in several ways including surnames and geographical place names. Some books extend this indexing to a count of the number of occupations and a listing of the places to which people emigrated. The occupational count permits the character of the village to be readily assessed.
There is one Ortssippenbuch for the two villages of Oberöwisheim-Neuenbürg in Baden from which several of our Germanna families came, including the Blankenbakers, Schluchters, Fleshmans, Thomases, and Scheibles.2 This permits a check of some known cases since the genealogy of these families there has been worked out independently. This particular book may be cited as Ortssippenbuch Oberöwisheim-Neuenbürg by Karl Diefenbacher and Klaus Rössler (1995). Both of these men are experienced genealogists.
Looking at some of the names in the index, there are the following: Blanckenbühler, Bender, Blanck, Christler, Debelt/Debold/Debolt, Diehl, Finck/Fink, Fischer, Fleischmann, Gerhard, Hepp, Hirsch, Jäger, Käfer, Kappeler, Kiefer, Klar, Krieger, Lang, Lederer, Lepp/Lipp, Mack, Maier/Mayer/Meier/Meyer, Motz, Östreicher, Rauch, Rausch, Reiser, Rücker, Sauter, Schad, Schaible/Schaiblin/Scheiblin, Schlüchter, Schneider, Schön, Schück, Sieber, Silber, Thoma/Thomas, Uhl, Vogt/Voigt, Weidmann, Weingard, and Zimmerman. Other than the five known families given above, these names could be discounted rather quickly since they were usually in the wrong time frame. One of the names above, Östreicher, means Austrian which is interesting because some of the inhabitants, such as the Blankenbakers, are known to have come from Austria. One begins to get the feeling that our Germanna people were more closely related than had been estimated.
Among the geographical places mentioned, the name America occurs more than 150 times, usually in connection with nineteenth century emigration. Once the place is given specifically as Jefferson USA.
For a specific family, consider number 1861:
oo . . . ev.: Hans Scheiblin, Hofbaurer zu Oberöwisheim und . . .+ 5.12.1664
Nikolaus *ca 1636 <siehe 3332, 3333>
Andreas *ca 1637 <siehe 1862>
There is hardly any information on Hans and his wife whose name is even unknown. Either Hans and his wife were married before the church book was started or they were married elsewhere. In the general time frame of Hans, there are no other Scheiblins in the church records here. Hans was a farmer (Hofbauer) at Oberöwisheim.
Following now the history of the son Nikolaus, we are told from the above to see (siehe) family 3332 for a start:
oo 24.5.1663 ev.: Nikolaus Schaible, Weber <aus 1861> *Oberöwisheim ca. 1636 II.oo <siehe 3333> +28.3.1701 alt 65 Jahre und Catharina Neudeck <aus 1548> * . . . +11.9.1676
Anna Margaretha * 14.3.1664
Hans Jacob * 17.3.1667
Johann Matthäus *28.8.1668 +9.12.1674
Johann Georg * 11.2.1670 <siehe 3334>
Anna Elisabeth *10.2.1672 +22.2.1679
Anna Catharina * 6.11.1673 <siehe 3366; 3338>
Anna Maria *25.3.1675
This report says that Nikolaus Schaible and Catharina Neudeck were married on the 24th day of May in 1663 in the evangelische (Protestant) church at Oberöwisheim. He was a weaver and his origins were in family 1861. He was born about 1636 (but it is a guess that it was Oberöwisheim). He was married a second time (II.oo) and for this family see family number 3333 (which is not given here). Nikolaus died on the 28th day of March in 1701 when he was 65 years old. Nikolaus married Catharina Neudeck who was from family number 1548. Her birth date is unknown but she died on the 11th day of September in 1676 without any specification as to her age. This second marriage of Nikolaus (to Anna Catharina Rückher) will not be given except to note, in it, that he was identified as a weaver, court official, and mace bearer.
Picking one of the names in the family of Nikolaus, namely Johann Georg, his family is number 3334:
oo Oberöwisheim 13.11.1692 ev.: Johann Georg Schaible, Weber <aus 3332> *11.2.1670 + . . . und Maria Eleanora Ockert <aus 1583> *Kleingartach 29.6.1670 + . . .
Anna Martha * 14.3.1697
Anna Elisabeth * 17.9.1700
Anna Maria * 18.3.1708 + 4.4.1708
Anna Maria * 15.6.1709 + 12.7.1710
Anna Maria * 24.7.1711
The reason that no death dates are given for Johann Georg and Maria Eleanora is that they emigrated to America with other future Germanna people in 1717. The daughter Anne Elizabeth became the wife of Michael Holt. The destination America is not tabulated and is not counted as one of the emigration points.
This information can be compared to the report of Gary Zimmerman and Johni Cerny in volume 5 of the Before Germanna series. They guessed that the name of Maria Eleanora in family 3334 was Berger but the Ortssippenbuch gives her name as Ockert. The Ortssippenbuch gives the birth date of Anna Martha in this same family as the 14th of March while Before Germanna gives the christening date as the 8th of May in 1697 (both of these may be true).
Because Before Germanna did not have the correct surname for Maria Eleanora, the wife of Johann Georg Schaible, that family follows now:
oo . . .ev.: Johannes Ockert, Bürger 1676 zu Oberöwisheim, war auf d. Flucht vor den Franzosen zu Mühlhausen a. d. Enz / Hohenfeldischer Landschaft <aus 1582> *Böblingen 20.3.1643 +21.12.1691 und Anna Maria . . *Kleingartach ca. 1637 + 14.1.1712, alt 75 Jahre.
Maria Eleanora *Klein-Gartach 29.6.1670 <siehe 3334>
Anna Catharina * ca 1674 <siehe 1378>
Johann Leonhard *Mühlhausen 3.1.1676 <siehe 1584>
Catharina Barbara *13.10.1673
Anna Ursula *14.11.1682 <siehe 1903>
In this record, there is a novel item, but still not unusual in this period, to the effect that the family had fled to Mühlhausen an dem Enz from the invading French.
In the family of Nikolaus Schaible and Catharina Neudeck, the information from the researchers agrees allowing for minor spelling differences and confusion between the birth and christening dates. Before Germanna gives no information for Hans Scheiblin, family number 1861.
In Eppingen, a village not far from Neuenbürg, these names appear in the index of their Ortssippenbuch: Amberger, Bender, Dewald, Dibold, Diebolt(d,dt), Diehl, Fal(c)k, Fin(c)k, Fischer, Gänzler, Hepp, Hopp, Hupe, Kappeler, Kinsler, Kneissler, Krieger, Krüger, Künzer, Künzle, Künzler, Lipp/Lipps, Nonnenmacher, Öhler (von Kleebronn, i.e., from Cleebronn) Rausch,Vol(c)k, and Weiland.
It is reported that Ortssippenbücher are being prepared for Sulzfeld (now out with a copy in the Germanna Foundation Library) and Schwaigern, two more villages from which many Germanna people emigrated.