Map of portion of Hesse, Germany, showing the location of Dorf Erbach (where the immigrant Jacob Zettelmeyer was born) as marked by the star. This map was retrieved via the Internet using as a search tool MapQuest. Note the location of Erbach to the southwest and Höchst to the north, with Bad König in between them. You may view a road map of the area by clicking here. The highlighted towns have special significance to the Zettelmeyer history.

I had thought that there were two distinct towns in the area, one known as Erbach and the other as Dorf Erbach. But since the word "Dorf" means village, the use of Dorf Erbach may have been intended to distinguish the village from the county of the same name.

What was this area of Germany like? According to the Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, Hesse is "[g]enerally hilly, agricultural, and forested, with famous vineyards along the Rhine." Its history is one of piecework. Turning again to the Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia,

Its name is derived from the landgravate of Hesse, which in 1247 became an immediate fief of the Holy Roman Empire. After the death (1567) of Philip of Hesse, who introduced the reformation, Hesse underwent several subdivisions among branches of the ruling family: Hesse-Kassel and Hesse Darmstadt were the chief divisions. The rulers of the 18th-century Hesse improved their finances by letting mercenaries for hire (notably to the English in the American Revolution).


        This is the castle of the Counts Erbach.

For another site that describes a 1905 trip to Erbach, a visit with the Count and Countess Erbach, and black and white photographs, click here. For information on Erbach's civic coat of arms, click here.

Last Updated Sunday, December 12, 1999 05:15 PM