Our Schwab history is firmly rooted in the county of Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis, in Baden- Wuerttemberg, Germany. Many of our family members who are now young adults can count back 14 generations to our earliest known Schwab ancestor in the village of Hirschlanden. Between the years 1648 and 1880, our Schwab ancestors lived in three lovely villages--Hirschlanden, Sulzbach, and Grosseicholzheim. Hopefully you will enjoy a bit of the beauty and history of the villages, and see a glimpse of the Hand of God as He has guided and preserved our family.
In October 1880, Karl Ludwig and Susanna Brenkmann Schwaab arrived at the Port of New York as emigrants to the U.S.A. They had left their home in Grosseicholzheim, Baden, Germany for a new start in Coffey County, Kansas. As members of the Apostolic Christian Church, they longed for the religious freedom that living in America promised. With Karl and Susanna was Karl's elderly father, Georg Adam, sister Lissette, and their children, Charles, Edward, Elise, August, and Rudolf. They settled north of Gridley amidst a thriving group of Apostolic Christian families which included Susanna's parents and siblings, the Brenkmanns. They lived full, productive lives of faith on the Kansas plains. Today their descendants make their homes in many states across the United States of America.
Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.
Hirschlanden is a beautiful village in the county known as Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis. It is the earliest known village of our Schwab family. Our Schwab family's earliest record is the marriage of Enders Schwab to Margaretha Englert in 1648. It is found in the Hirschlanden Lutheran Churchbook:
The view of Hirschlanden from the high hills which encompass the village...set in a deep valley, it is surrounded by streams and lush green fields.
Hirschlanden Evangelical Lutheran Church is the only church in the village. Lovely fields surround the village's western edge. The farmers of Hirschlanden often plant Spelt, a nutritious alternative to wheat. Hirschlanden is reknowned as a fertile and productive village in the region called "The Bauland". Its population is about 450, and it is incorporated into the nearby town of Rosenberg.
Hirschlanden Evangelical Church: Sanctuary and timberframing above church sanctuary. Our Schwab ancestors worshiped here for generations. Their births, deaths, and marriages are recorded in the churchbooks of Hirschlanden.
Ortswappen, the Town Coat of Arms of Hirschlanden
This Ortswappen is the sole property of the village of Hirschlanden.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
Sulzbach (a. Mosbach)
Sulzbach is a pretty village near Mosbach, the county seat of Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis. Here the homes and barns sit proudly along the main street, grand and ancient in appearance. Andreas Schwab came to Sulzbach from Hirschlanden in 1737, and married Maria Magdalena Faulhaber. In 1742, the Schwabs helped to form a small Lutheran congregation in Sulzbach; prior to this, Sulzbach had only Reformed and Catholic faiths. Many of our ancestors, in addition to the Schwabs, were natives of Sulzbach. Sulzbach is incorporated into the nearby town of Billigheim.
The fields that lie between Sulzbach and Mosbach are blanketed with apple orchards. Sulzbach citizens have grape arbors and blooming flowers and plants that adorn their homes.
Ortswappen, the Town Coat of Arms of Sulzbach
This Ortswappen is the sole property of the village of Sulzbach.
The following Biblical passage has been found in the Sulzbach Lutheran Churchbook, from historical writings dating to the 1740's:
But the end of all things is at hand;
be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
I Peter 4:7
Georg Adam Schwaab came to Grosseicholzheim from Sulzbach. In 1832 he married Maria Elisabetha Krieg in the Evangelical Church. Many of Maria Elisabetha's paternal ancestors had lived in Grosseicholzheim since the 1650's--however, her mother had fled to Grosseicholzheim from the Rhein Pfalz during the French Revolution. In 1842 Karl Ludwig Schwaab was born to Georg Adam and Maria Elisabetha. Karl Ludwig became a wagonmaker like his father. At some time prior to Karl's marriage to Susanna Brenkmann in 1868, the Schwaabs became members of the Apostolic Christian Church; in their German homeland they were referred to as "Neutaufers".
Many Grosseicholzheim homes have the names of the former owners inscribed in the lintel above their doors. The doorway on the right is inscribed "Bangert"--this is the surname of the Grosseicholzheim family who took in and provided for Maria Elisabetha's mother following her flight from the Rhein Pfalz during the French Revolution in the 1790's.
Beautiful plants and trees abound along Grosseicholzheim's main street.
Ortswappen, the Town Coat of Arms of Grosseicholzheim
This Ortswappen is the sole property of the village of Grosseicholzheim.
From the fullness of His grace we have all received
one blessing after another.
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The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.