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Rothermels of Wachbach and Hassloch
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There is now evidence that the Rothermels did not come from Wacbach at all!!
No one has ever found any documentation in Germany substantiating the record of any Rothermels from Wachbach. The reference to Wachbach incorrectly originated in the US at the turn of the 20th century. The quoted passages and material should all reference their source as from the book Rothermel Families in America published in 1989 by the Rothermel Family Association of Berks County in the US. Now out of print. Kehl Rothermel
Full up to date information please see the new Rothermel Family Association website
Click to view
"In 1985 Florence Kline Heydt visited Wachbach, Germany. Like Abraham H. Rothermel she too could find no records of Rothermels ever having resided in Wachbach. However, she learned from German sources that Rothermels were associated with a small German village in the Palatinate named Hassloch. In the Lutheran Church records of that community appeared numerous Rothermel names, one being a Leonard Rothermel who married a Magdalena Zimmerman. Furthermore the names of their children were identical to those given for Johannes Christian Rothermel and Sybilla Zimmerman. Even the birthdates of two of Christian's children in histories of Berks County were identical to the birthdates appearing in the Lutheran Church records in Hassloch, Germany.The German records gave the birthdates of all six children."
Based on these recent discoveries for which there is supporting documentation, we are concluding that the earlier historians were in error and that the ancestors of this branch of the Rothermel family were Johannes Leonard Rothermel and Margareta Zimmerman. "
Map showing the area
Image kindly donated by Karl-Heinz Wuestner - Ilshofen
Another meaning for Rothermel
German: variant spelling of Rothärmel, literally red sleeve, a nickname referring to the medieval fashion for bicolored garments (e.g. a tunic consisting of a yellow bodice and red sleeves).
Here is a nice website of the surrounding area
click to view
ACCORDING TO THE ARCHIVIST AT THE STUTTGART FAMILY ARCHIVES CENTRE, THE ROTHERMELS OF HÖRLEBACH MAY HAVE BEEN RELATED TO ALL THE OTHER ROTHERMELS IN THE SURROUNDING AREAS - MOST ROTHERMELS IN GERMANY WERE LIVING IN BADEN WURTTEMBURG WHICH WAS A FARMING AREA.
The German inheritance law states that when a father dies his land is divided equally between his sons, after two or three generations with numerous children sons were often left with only one small field, not enough to sustain their families, this is why many of them were forced to move on from their birth village or emigrate abroad.
Most of the Rothermels who ever resided in Berks County PA are descended from five sons of a Jonannes Rothermel. In 1911 Abraham H Rothermel visited Wachbach but could not find any records concerning his Rothermel ancestors. Another visitation in 1985 failed to locate any records in Wachbach of any person named Rothermel. Although there were numerous Rothermels in Hassloch which is still situated in Baden Würtemberg.
1. JOHANNES1 ROTHERMEL1 was born 1688 in Wachbach, Germany. He married MARGARETHA (OR SYBILLA)
ZIMMERMAN2 1708, daughter of JOHN ZIMMERMAN and SARAH METZGAR.
Notes for JOHANNES ROTHERMEL:
The following is taken from Stengers and Rothermels of Berks County Pennsylvania by
Ray Burgess with the permission of the author.
"Johann Rothermel was born in 1688, Wachbach, Germany, near Bad Mergenthein, seventeen miles
SW of Wurgburg. In 1708, he married Sybilla Zimmerman. Sybilla was the daughter of General John
Zimmerman and Sarah Metzgar. Sybilla and Johann had eight children, Leonard, George Michael,
Anna Maria, Peter, Lawrence, Christian, Johannes, and Paul.
Wachback is a village in the extreme northeast part of the Kingdom of Wurtemberg in Germany,
known as the "Circle of the Jagst". This area suffered over a long period of time. In 1500's
the religious parties were the Catholics and Lutherans, who were trying to keep the Calvinists
(later Presbyterians) from any power in the government. In 1608, the Lutherans and Calvinists
formed the Protestant Union. By 1618, the Ferdinand II, King of Bohemia, was trying to force
the Roman Catholic religion on the area and as resisted by the protestant land owners. This
disagreement was the start of the Thirty Year Wary (1618-1648) which spread to the rest of
Europe. Then a series of other wars 1686, 1692, 1703, and 1707, the French entered Wurtemburg
with fire and sword, annihilating whole villages. When not beset by forces from without, the
inhabitants, spurred on by princes who were ever on watch for territorial expansion, engaged
in religious wars among themselves......
In the spring of 1730, Johann, his wife, five sons, his daughter and her husband, Peter
Fetherolf, traveled down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, and sailed to Coes, England. There
they boarded the ship "Thistle of Glasgow " and set sail for America. Johann took ill, died
and was buried at sea (there are conflicting reports that he was buried on the banks of the
Delaware River). sybilla landed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 29, 1730. Leonard,
the eldest son, had arrived in America on October 2, 1727. The family located in the Berks
The birth and death (dates) of Sybilla are unknown. It is believed that she is buried in the
family cemetary on the farm of her son-in-law, Peter Federolf. (Fetherolf )"
Thank you, Ray for permitting me to share some of this family history.
More About MARGARETHA (OR SYBILLA) ZIMMERMAN:
Fact 1: Stengers and Rothermels of Berks County PA indicates Margaretha's name as
Sybilla Zimmerman, the daughter of General John Zimmerman and Sarah Metzgar
The children of JOHANNES ROTHERMEL and MARGARETHA ZIMMERMAN were:
2. i. LEONARD2 ROTHERMEL, b. 1708.
ii. GEORGE MICHAEL ROTHERMEL, b. 1710. George stayed in Germany
3. iii. ANNA MARIA ROTHERMEL, b. 12 Feb 1711/12.
4. iv. PETER ROTHERMEL, b. 1716; d. 12 Mar 1782.
v. LAWRENCE (Z.?) ROTHERMEL, b. 1717; d. 1759; m. MARIA KUHNS, 1746.
5. vi. CHRISTIAN (Z.?) ROTHERMEL, b. 24 Jan 1709/10, Hassloch, Germany; d. Abt. 1769,
Oley Twp, Berks Co., PA.
6. vii. JOHANNES ROTHERMEL, b. 21 Jan 1721/22; d. 24 Nov 1785.
7. viii. PAUL (Z?) ROTHERMEL, b. 1723; d. 1811.
Wachbach 1312 inhabitants, height 252 m, 5,8 km south of Bad Mergentheim
Wachbach lies in a side-valley of the river Tauber, 5,8 km south of the town Bad Mergentheim to which Wachbach belongs. The village of Wachbach has today about 1312 inhabitants and lis situated at the height of 252 m. The first time it was mentioned in an authentic document was in the year 1045. At this time there was a church in Wachbach which belonged to the Bishop of Wuerzburg. The oldest building existing today is this old church, built in older Romanesque style with the old tower from 1045 which was built as an escape-tower. A Renaissance castle (privately owned) from the 16th century with a wonderful carved wooden door and a very interesting inscription at the portal is a further attraction of Wachbach today.
(Translated by Folker Frank)
THE ROTHERMELS FROM HASSLOCH
Unknown whether there is a connection!
Johannes Roth Ermel
The Rothermel family is well represented in Jordan township, where William W., Lazarus W., Manasses W. and Monoe Rothermel, all sons of the late Isaac Rothermel, reside. The Rothermels have been identified with this section of Northumberland from the beginning of the last century, when Abraham Rothermel, grandfather of the four brothers mentioned, came hither from Berks county, where his ancestors located in an early day.
This Rothermel family traces its genealogy back some four hundred years to one Johannes Rothermel, who won both fame and a name in the early wars of Germany. He was a brave soldier, and so frequently dyed his arm in the blood, of his enemies that his comrades designated him as der Roth Ermel (red sleeve), and in this way he acquired the name Rothermel .Floyd, p923, 924
"Based on Lutheran Church records in the village of Hassloch,Germany, the Rothermel families that migrated to America in the late1600's or early 1700's were the children of Johannes Roth Ermel, birthplace and parents unknown. The relationship of Johannes Roth Ermel of Hassloch with Johann Ludwig Rothermel of Biebershein, Germany has not been established."
"It should be noted that John Jacob Dreibelbis (Treibelbiss), whoemigrated to the Port of Philadelphia in 1732, and whose descendantsintermarried with many Rothermels in Berks County Pa., was born inHassloch, Germany April 10, 1709. The birthdates of his five brothers andsisters also appear in the Lutheran Church records in that village asdoes the birthdates of the children of Johannes Rothermel. "
"Johannes Roth Ermel had three children Johannes Peter Rothermel born ca. 1686 married Maria Margaretha Brunner and secondly Anna Elizabeth Weber; Leonard Rothermel married Margaretha Zimmerman; AnnaCatharina Rothermel married Johan Theobald Fintzel on 2/15/1719."Rothermel Families in America, p. 10
Mark Allen Rebuck
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