THE KINGDOM OF HANNOVERSome of my ancestors come from the present districts Aurich and Leer in the west of Lower Saxony, Germany. Lower Saxony in Germany The districts of Lower SaxonyFrom 1810-1830 these districts were a part of Ems-Oriental: one of the Dutch departments of the French Empire.In the 19th century (until 1866) the region east of Groningen was the Electorate of Hannover, later the Kingdom of Hannover.
Kingdom of Hanover (1815–1866), Duchy of Brunswick, Grand Duchy of Oldenburg and the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe in the 19th centuryThe Electorate of Hannover (Kingdom of Hannover from 1815) was ruled untill 1866 by the House of Hannover.Its electors would later become monarchs of Great Britain and from 1801 until 1840, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Forefather of the House of Hannover is George van Brunswijk-Calenberg (1582-1641).In 1635 he receives the principalities Calenberg and Göttingen out of the posessions of the Welfen dynasty. In 1636 he moves his residence to Hannover as the first duke of Calenberg. After years of negociation prince Ernst August is appointed to prince elect by emperer Leopold I in 1692. His state, officially Brunswijk-Lüneburg, is mostly called Hannover after its capital, a name later to become official.The present head of the House of Hannover is Ernst August (V) of Hannover (born in 1954). He is married to princes Caroline of Monaco.The dynasty loses the throne of Hannover after annexation by Pruisen in 1866.More information about Hannover and its princes in the 19th century on Wikepedia.
Expansion of Pruisen between 1807 and 1871.
Church books, pastors, Dutch languageChurch books are the foundation of the Ortssippenbucher. The earliest deed in the oldest book of the reformed church of Veenhusen is a baptism and dated under 'Baptizatorum' anno 1669, 7bris 19. In our today's notation, this is September 19, 1669. Weddings (Copulati) are from 1682, deaths and burials (Defuncti) from 1684 and confirmed new members (Leedematen) are registered from 1692.The municipality owes the pastor Wilhelmus Lefferdus Wübbena, that the oldest churchbook of Veenhusen is still excisting in the original. Wilhelmus was operating as a pastor here from 1833 until his death in 1894. He found the book 'in bad circumstances' and has it restored 'as much as possible'.Indeed, the condition of the book is very poor. 333 years of history left its mark. The paper is stale, brittle and turned yellow, the corners are curled. Black muck of old-age has caused stains and with humidity, many passages are illegible. Working with these books for longer periods of time leads to sneezing and cough reflex. The reason for this is probably the chemistry of old paper and microbes, nested there. Already the page turning can harm the old paper. During processing, which employed me several years, the book lay on a velvet-hardboard. Turning a page only happened with a supposititious sheet and pages were never touched with the fingers. Existing copies have been used for the actual work. The book was only used, when the copies were not revealing everything.So, it is understandable that this unique document of Veenhuser history can not be generally accessible to the public. The book would soon disintegrate.The existing old church records in East Frisia are not only physically threatened by the decline. Moreover, it is the content by forgetting. Fewer and fewer people can read the previous German writing, especially when written in Dutch. It is a mixture of Dutch, Latin and German with German and Latin characters. The manuscripts are partly messy. If not intensively evaluated and translated now, it is too late. I am one of the last classes, who wrote Sütterlin during their entire time in school. In 1940, the year of the war, East Frisia switched over to the modern Latin alphabet.Since 1995 the Upstalsboom society for historical research of personal and population history in Ostfriesland e.V. in Aurich is working very successfully in this area and especially on the book series 'East Frisia Örtssippenbücher'.The succes is proven by the numbers: from a total of 300 Örtssippenbücher (OSB) published in the Bundesrepublik Germany, 60 are published by East Frisian volonteer authors. This shows once again the interest of the Frisians to their homeland.In the 16th century, low German was preached and written on all East Frisian pulpits irrespective of the confession. With increasing alienation between the denominations, the Lutherans moved to standard German. The Reformed on the other hand, fans of Calvin and Zwingli, oriented themselves more towards the Netherlands, because there the cavinistische doctrine was widespread. The common language of Western East Frisia on both sides the Ems and the large number of wealthy religious refugees from the Netherlands, which had found protection from persecution in East Frisia, was probably of major importance in this orientation.Reformed pastors studied primarily at Dutch universities. When reading the names of pastors who worked in Veenhusen (Hermeling, Suiter, Andreae, Kranenburgh, Warthingius, Gravius) it is obvious, that Dutch pastors preached in Veenhusen and on other East Frisian pulpits and vice versa.In Veenhusen, Dutch was retained until 1826. In the second parish register of the community, the following note is found on page 250: “the churches protocol should by now (after an injunction by the Kings East Frisian Church Council in Aurich of the 22nd of June, made public here on the 3rdof July 1826) be written in German with the total exclusion of Dutch. All extracts are to be pulled out in German as well, the rules of enforcement however can be added in Dutch”.This statement was followed in Veenhusen. In the church books, it is not noted whether and to what extent opposition to this injunction has rizen. In other places, e.g. in Emden, Dutch was preached for a long time to come. The era of 'Dutch' was definedly ended for our village. For us, East Frisians this is to be combined with a drop of melancholy. In just under 200 years we have our language abandoned as a result of political changes and arbitrary limits (not counting a few pitifull exceptions). A good part of our East Frisian identity has been lost with the introduction of standard German. One more reason to preserve ancient writings.Entrance to this section, the date of birth of a child with anno 1669 7bris 19 is referred to. In the 17th and 18th centuries, month names in the church books are recorded frequently with 7bris, 8bris, 9bris, Xbris, also written as 'bries' and 'brys'. These are not the months 7 for July, 8 for August, but remains from the Roman calendar, 7 = Septem, octo = 8, 9 = novem and X = decem, which brings us back to the current names of the months if we append 'ber' instead of 'bris'.The Roman numeral X, (X stands for Christ) instead of Arabic numerals in the preceding months, highlights the special feature of the month of Christmas. The term Xmas for Christmas is a common practice in the United States.CIVIL REGISTRATION. The Civil Registration (in German: Zivilstandsregister) is introduced in the German Empire on January 1st, 1876 (in Prussia already on October 1st, 1874). From that time, births and deaths had to be reported to an Office Civil Registration in the area where the event had taken place. If the event occurs outside the own residence, the place of residence will be informed. A civil wedding ceremony can take place anywhere. The place of residence will be informed.A marriage may only be ecclesiastical consecrated when the couple can demonstrate that prior a civil marriage has taken place. More information (in German) about the Civil Administration in Germany on this website.
‘ORTSSIPPENBUCH’When carrying out a geneological survey in Germany, you will inevetably have to use an ‘Ortssippenbuch’.An Ortssippenbuch (OSB) is a community lineage book (= Buch) listing all the families (= Sippen, compare with ‘sibling’ in English) in a village (= Ort) or parish, using church records and other local records as the source. The information in OSBs typically spans a time period from the 1700s to about 1900 and includes names, occupations, family relationships, dates of birth, death and marriage and more. Of course, the OSB is a secundairy source, but it is often the only one that can be studied by a non-specialist. The original sources are written in old German handwriting, often a mixture of Dutch, German and Latin, sometimes chaotic and partly destroyed by the ravages of time. Alfred Brahms writes in the introduction of his OSB about the big feeling of solidarity of the people on both sides of the river Ems (the Reformed people even more than the Lutherans, not in the least because of the common language) and about the Dutch-German border becoming more and more important because of the political decisions of Church and State: