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Re: Quattelbaum-Quattlebaum ancestors
Posted by: Tillmann and Rebecca Hein (ID *****1743) Date: November 09, 2006 at 15:17:19
In Reply to: Quattelbaum-Quattlebaum ancestors by Tillmann and Rebecca Hein of 680

Hi, more on my Kettwig search: In 1985 the original records were still in a wall "Schrank" cabinet about 6 feet long. I couldn't guess how many books there were. These included records from 1270-? They were in the process of transcribing all of the records to microfilm, but had not sent them to the state archives, yet. In the three days that two of us searched, I was allowed by the church steward to photocopy what I could find. Sadly to say, I have not been back to do more, and the books were falling apart. I doubt if the originals are still in the church. The steward photocopied what I have.

At one point in the history of the Evangelische Kirche am Markt there was a fire which destroyed some of the records. I knew that, then, it meant I could not be able to find direct proof of my lineage, except for court records. In the basement where the records were, I met a pharmacist who told me Mr. Herkendell was the county historian! I declined to have a newspaper article written about me searching my family history, because I wanted to spend my time searching the records. He told me that I should go visit the Herkendells who lived in Ickten. I have a notebook filled with pages of the originals, with maybe only one Quattelbaum name on each page.

I looked on Mr. Koons web site and noticed his translated German documentation and see that some of it is missing as if it was not photocopied fully on the right edges. I am wondering who has the originals of it? Could we perhaps get all of it on the internet? It looks as if it was recorded by Fr. Heide, the church secretary. She was working on it when I was there. Remember that Germans write the day, month, then the year, not month, day and year like we do.

I decided to be bold and knock on the door of the Herkendells. The older generation did not speak English. The eldest man was the county historian, and I sat with the entire family as they told me what they knew. In the last few years, I have had death notices of the elder county historian and his wife, however, the younger generations are still searching the records in Kettwig, I think. They are the ones who told me to go back behind the church down the very steps I had taken, and knock on the doors of the "Quattelbaum houses."

The Herkendell family that I met were very kind and generous, and wanted to show me their land. Their original farmhouse had been torn down in the last few years, and they had built a new house on the exact spot where the old one had been. I took pictures of the valley, the "Herken" "Dell" and saw the pond where an underground spring fed into it. They could block it off and fill it to capacity and swim in it. The valley was beautiful and filled with 4 horses. They told me that the word "Herken" came from the word "Hacken" which means "rakes." "Dell" is old German for "valley." So that means, Herkendell means, "Rakers valley." This is probably where grass was grown, they said, to make hay, and was raked for animal feed. They also told me that searchers of the Herkendell family from all over the world probably all come from this area, with German searchers looking for their ancestors, too.

I wanted to note that the translated name of Anna Maria Barbara von der Huette "Herkendell" in M. M. Quattlebaum's book of the Quattlebaums, was NOT found that way in the original records by me. I found Anna Barbara von der Huette (umlaut left out by me) "Herkendell." And the translated version on the web site does not mention "Herkendell." This will probably be debated for a long time. My husband, Till Hein, told me that it was common for Protestants not to name their daughters Maria, but Catholics did. Because Anna Barbara did not have Maria in the middle, confirmed the idea that they were members of the church in which they were married.

Now, to add to the story, the Herkendells told me that there were families in Kettwig with the name of "Huetten." So that made me wonder if her name was "von der Huetten" and they lived in the Herken valley. There had been a Huetten house close to the Herkendell home in the 1800's. BUT, interestingly enough, "von der Huetten" is a name which had to be given by the crown, my husband said. Names with "von" in front of them were given as a gift by the crown. Who knows? I still call her what the church record called her, Anna Barbara von der Huetten "Herkendell." That's what my photocopy says and what the original record says.

I also felt that the middle aged Herkendells might be related to us because their young teenage son looked like my nephew and me. I guess we could do a DNA search to find out. I still correspond with them occasionally. We all went into the church, climbed the stairs to the church bell tower, and had coffee and Kuchen together later. The middle aged Herkendells and their young son enjoy searching the records for their name..more on that later.

So I decided to go back and knock on the doors of the "Quattelbaum houses." A Hermann and Gustav Quattelbaum owned them at the time. One house never had someone come to the door. The other house, in which Mrs. Weichert's family rented, many postcards and paintings of it are in existance. You could probably find pictures of the houses on the web. Because it is picturesque, they told me that they, more than often, did not open the door for anyone, because lots of Germans would like to see inside it. But they did open the door for me, even though Mrs. Weichert was dying of cancer. I brought her a bouquet of flowers and took one also to the church secretary later to thank them. Her son, daughter, and she told me that the house was over 500 years old, that the older Mrs. Weichert had always lived on the top floor of the house, and Mr. Quattelbaum lived downstairs. Mrs. Weichert told me when the American bombers rattled the houses all over town, she ran to the bunkers and dust came down during bombings, but the house still stood covered with dust and she cleaned it all up even though many houses didn't make it. Her son gave me a puzzle put together of the "Quattelbaum" house.

Of course, that does not mean that there are not other "Quattelbaum" houses. I have heard from Mrs. Herkendell that those Quattelbaum houses I saw do not belong to the Quattelbaums, anymore. They have new owners with a different name than Quattelbaum for the first time in their history.

When I returned to the US, I had copied the names of surrounding Mulheim and Kettwig Quattelbaums from the phone book so I could try writing them. My husband even helped me send short queries to them with no mistakes in my German! I tried this several times over a few years, and got no response. Maybe next time I am there, I'll find one and knock on their door. It may be, though, that they may not want to have contact with us.

One of the earliest church records I found has Johannes am Quattelbaum, which in those days, we think means "John at the quattel tree." Now, what would quattel mean in those days? Someone on this site said it might mean end of the road. Most Germans tell me that it might be old German for Quitte or Quitteln. Even in Nordrhein Westfalen today people call plums "Quitte." Other Germans call them "Pflaumen." If you go into any bakery, you might find in Kettwig, "Quittekuchen." Others have said it might be quince. It is my favorite cake in Germany. The word now in 2006, quattel means "pustule." Now that is not very pleasant, is it? But it did not mean that in 1723.

The baker in me wants to give you my Quittenkuchen recipe: Take any pizza dough ( boxed in the cake section), make the dough as it says, spread it out in the bottom of a long buttered cake pan, slice up at least 6-8 red plums with the skin on, and place them on the dough in a line, place chunks of 1/2 stick of butter dotted over the plums and sprinkle baker's (India Tree brand) sparkling sugar over it. Bake it in the oven 350 degrees until it is golden. Take out and sprinkle more sparkling sugar over it. Serve warm with fluffy whipped cream and coffee. Yum! You have just eaten something from the area where they came from, and something they may have eaten! More later....Rebecca Hein

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