The Heckenbach Family of Brohl

Brohl is a village along the west side of the Rhine River between Koblenz and Bonn, in the narrow flat land between the shoreline and the hills of the Eifel, in a valley called the Brohltal. The Brohlbach empties into the Rhine, forming a small harbor which has been important to river-shipping since Roman times when volcanic minerals began being mined nearby. The population of Brohl in 1800 was barely 100, but in 1861 it was 936, and by 1899 it had reached 1,341. In 2008 it was 2,590.

Brohl was formerly known as Brohl am Rhein to distinguish it from another town called Brohl located on the Mosel River. In 1971 Brohl and Niederlützingen were consolidated into the community now known as Brohl-Lützing. All of the HECKENBACHs of Brohl descended from Johann Anton Heckenbach, born on 8 Jun 1735 in Niederlützing, died 1783 in Brohl.

We know that
Johann Anton Heckenbach came from Niederlützingen, but earlier information is scarce. His father was Johann Heckenbach, and his mother was named Christine. Christine's maiden name is not recorded. There is some chance it was GAMMEL, since Johann Anton GAMMEL born in 1705, is associated somehow with her family, and the baby might have been named after him. Mr GAMMEL's parents were Johann Gammel and Sophia Rick. He also had the names DISTELRATH and SEUL in his family. He married Anna Gertrude Wallenfang in 1737 and they had 6 children. There is a family tree on that claims that Christine's maiden name was HOLMAN, without any evidence. 

Johann would be born
around 1710, but that name does not appear in the birth records there. And there was no marriage registry conducted in Niederlützing between 1698 and 1734. Johann and Christine both died there in early 1740, so apparently they never lived in Brohl. Besides Johann Anton, Johann and Christina had a daughter Maria Christina HECKENBACH born 31 July 1738 in Niederlützingen but nothing further is known about her.

Where Johann came from is a mystery. There were multiple Heckenbach families in the neighboring villages along the Rhine: Wehr, Gönnersdorf, Nieder- and Ober-Lützing, Nieder- and Ober-Dürenbach, and especially Niederzissen and Ahrweiler, but Johann doesn't match any of the persons in the sketchy records in those places. Ultimately all the Heckenbachs must have originated from the twin villages of Nieder-Heckenbach and Ober-Heckenbach a few miles west, up in the Eifel, and gradually dispersed from there, generally to towns along the Rhine River, and elsewhere.

Johann Anton Heckenbach moved to Brohl. He was a day-laborer. On 3 Feb 1767 he m Anna Catherine NETZ (born 7 Jan 1740 in Brohl, died 14 Nov 1801 in Brohl at age 66), the daughter of Johann Bernhard NETZ (b 11 Feb 1710) and Maria Elisabeth BOOR (born in Brohl and baptized in Gönnersdorf  04 Oct 1707, died 1786), who had been married on 26 Jun 1736. Maria Elisabeth was the daughter of Philipp BOOR (1674-1743) (Note 1 below) and Anna Margaretha BUENTGENS 1684-1733) who had married on 16 Jan 1701 in Brohl. Johann Anton and Elisabeth has these children:
  1. Maria ElisabethHECKENBACH born 1 Apr 1768 in Brohl, christened in Gönnersdorf
  2. Margaretha HECKENBACH born 3 Aug 1769 (Note 1a)
  3. Johann HECKENBACH (born 26 Sep 1772 in Brohl, christened in Gönnersdorf, died 23 Jan 1830) m1 Barbara HALFEN or HALFENS (born 7 July 1759 Mendig, Koblenz, died 10 Feb 1820, age 50), the daughter of Johann HALFEN and Barbara SCHARFF). They had 5 children. On 1 Jun 1822 he m2 Elizabeth ZELL (see Note 1b.) or ZELS or ZILS, the widow of Peter Masberg. See Note 5. They had 4 more children, plus another daughter of Elisabeth's. Johann started as a day-laborer, but became a paper maker and then Maschinensführer at the Papierfabrik in Brohl, a successful enterprise run by water power from the Brohlbach. At that time it became a major employer and the largest papermill in the entire state of Rhineland-Pfalz.
    1. Anna Margaretha HECKENBACH (born 15 Oct 1795 in Brohl, christened in Gönnersdorf,died 26 Sep 1867). On 2 Oct 1830 she m Theodore NONN (24 Sep 1792 -18 Jul 1871). He was a day-laborer, the son of Hermann Nonn, a baker, and Gertrauda KLEE. Theodore had been married to Gertrauda (Gertrude) Arenz and they had a daughter Anna Margaretha NONN on 23 July 1830, but Gertrude died just a week after the birth. So Theodore NONN married Anna Margaretha Heckenbach, and they had 6 children of their own: Philipp 27 Jun 1831- 6 Aug 1902 in Namedy, Christian 27 Oct 1832- 1878 (m Katharina Naschtsheim), Johannes 2 May 1834, Peter 6 Jan 1836, Anton 27 Aug 1837- 1842, and Joseph 2 Aug 1840.
    2. Anna Catherina HECKENBACH (22 Dec 1798 - 17 Jul 1872) (Note 2) m 8 Feb 1835 Anton MÜLLER (7 Nov 1811-) paper maker, the son of Joseph Müller and Sibilla Margaretha Naunheim. 4 children Barbara MÜLLER 1838, Catherine MÜLLER 1836, Maria Anna MÜLLER 1840 married Johann DEDERICH, died 1904 in Niederbreisig), and Anton MÜLLER 1843. The December 1861 census shows children Barbara 23, Katherina 22, and Anna Maria 20.
    3. Anna Margaretha "Margaret" HECKENBACH b 3 Apr 1800 Note 3 had one son without a father listed. Her midwife Anna Maria Klee presented Michael's birth to the mayor. Theodore NONN, see 3A, whose mother was also a KLEE, acted as stepfather to Michael, and was perhaps the child's father, raising him along with his children listed in 3A above.
      1. Michael HECKENBACH was born 25 May 1822, died 14 Mar 1912. He was a day-laborer. He m Theresia MICHAELS or MICHELS, the daughter of the late Wilhelm Michels, a Schiffer (sailor) living in Brohl, and Maria Josepha Kirschbaum. Theresia was born about 1833, died 25 Nov 1901. She was a Näherin (seamstress). They married on 20 November 1857 and had these children:
        1. Anna Josephina HECKENBACH born 22 Jan. 1859, died 22 Aug 1904.
        2. Peter HECKENBACH 31 May 1861
        3. Regina HECKENBACH 31 Dec 1863 m Johann Vincent SCHMITZ on 3 May 1890
        4. Jacob HECKENBACH 8 Oct 1867. Jacob immigrated to the US and settled in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA. He was naturalized there in 1896. He was a deck hand and eventually a tugboat captain in Savannah. He died 15 Oct 1938. He was not married but had 8 children with a black woman named Georgia Anna Dixon in Savannah.
        5. Maria Anna HECKENBACH 5 Oct 1869 - 13 Dec 1955 in Brohl. She m Johann ARENZ on 26 Jul 1898. He was a cobbler in Brohl. They had a daughter Anna ARENZ who died 25 Feb 1904 in Niederbreisig at the age of 13 days, and a son Andreas Johan ARENZ whodied 14 August 1911, at age 5 months. It appears that Michael, Anna Josephina, and Johann and Maria all lived in the same house.
    1. Maria Barbara HECKENBACH 28 Aug 1801 - 11 Aug 1857. On 23 Sep 1827 she m1  Johann WALDORFF b 1798. They had 4 children who all died at or soon after birth: Johann 1828, Johann 1829, Anna Maria 1830, and Catherine 1837. After Johann WALDORFF died, she m2 Stephan GAPPE 21August1817 in Sinzig/Rhein - 8July in Brohl) on 15 Nov1856 in Brohl. It was his second marriage. His first was to Maria Margaretha WALKENBACH (1816 - 11 Aug 1856) in 1846 in Brohl, and they had 3 children Johann Georg GAPPE (1847-1921), Catharina GAPPE and Anna GAPPE(1853-1856). Then after Barbara died in 1857, Stephan m3 Luzia SCHLADDEN (1820-1900) in 1860 in Niederbreisig, and they had 2 more: Gertrud GAPPE (1863-1863) and a stillborn son in 1866.
    2. Christian HECKENBACH (mother was HALFEN) 16 Jan 1806 – 19 Feb 1893 Note 4. On 1 May 1842, listed as a day-laborer, he m1 Margaretha SAAL or SAHL 1817– 27 Sep 1843, the daughter of Peter Saal and Catharina Nonn. After her death he became a Trassmüller working at the mill in Niederbiel an der Lahn, near Wetzlar in Hessen State. Trass is a volcanic mineral, called tuff in English, that is found in the area, and it was ground into a powder at the mill. There he met his second wife. On 30 Nov 1844 in Wetzlar he m2 Eva LITZ or LEITZ. She was the daughter of Gottlieb Leitz and Anna Katherina Naunheim who was from Brohl. This is why their daughter Eva was born in Wetzlar, about 80 km east, while the others were born in Brohl. Then Eva died 28 Jul 1848 in Wetzlar. Christian then moved back to Brohl and and was employed as foreman. He m3 Sibilla Margaretha NAUNHEIM 14 Feb 1815 - 20 Feb 1849. Margaretha was the half-sister of Eva Litz, being a daughter of Anna Catharina Naunheim. This is not the same person as the Sibilla Margaretha NAUNHEIM mentioned in 3B above. Christian and Margaretha then had 3 more children. Here is the combined list of Christian's 5 children:

  1.  Hubert HECKENBACH (mother was SAAL) 22 May 1843. He died 14 Jun 1843, age 3 weeks
  2.  Eva HECKENBACH (mother was LITZ) 1846 in Wetzlar – 18 Apr 1931in Brohl. She m her first cousin Peter HECKENBACH 1840 – 8 May 1918, on 18 Apr 1874. (Peter is shown below as 5C3.)
  1. Christian HECKENBACH 6 Jul 1875 – 3 Mar 1877
  2. Peter HECKENBACH 10 Aug 1876 – 20 Dec 1878
  3. Eva HECKENBACH 1 Nov 1877 – 5 Apr 1878
  4. Anna HECKENBACH 27 Jan 1879 – 24 Sep 1879
  5. ;Guilelma HECKENBACH 12 Oct 1880 – 19 Sep 1881
  6. Josef HECKENBACH 6 Nov 1881 – 1962 never married
  7. Anton HECKENBACH 17 Aug 1883. On 10 Aug 1909 he married Catherine GAPPE  29 Apr 1890 - 16 May 1966. Catherine was  a granddaughter of Stephan GAPPE and Maria Margaretha WALKENBACH from 3D above. Anton and Catherine had 3 sons: Stephan HECKENBACH, Karl HECKENBACH (died WWII) and Josef HECKENBACH
  8. Karl HECKENBACH 17 Dec 1885 – (died 1915 in WWI.) Enlisted as a private in Reserve-Fußartillerie-Regiment No. 8, Park-Kompagnie.
  9. Margarete HECKENBACH 15 Feb 1889 – 1969 never married
  1. Veronica HECKENBACH (mother was NAUNHEIM) 22 July 1849 – 2 Apr 1871 age 21, lived with parents
  2. Johann HECKENBACH (mother was NAUNHEIM) 23 Jun 1852 – (He drowned in the Rhine, sometime after December 1861 though, since he was listed in the census)
  3. Anton HECKENBACH (mother was NAUNHEIM) 15 Nov 1860 – 7 Jun 1935 in Cologne, m Anna Maria WEICHERT in Hennef in September 1894
  1.     Wilhelm HECKENBACH 21 Apr 1896 – 5 Mar 1916 (WWI)
  2.     Dr Anton HECKENBACH 15 Jan 1898 – 15 Feb 1979 m Luci. One daughter Dr Gudrun HECKENBACH
  3.     Helene HECKENBACH 21 Mar 1902 – 17 Nov 1980 was a postmaster who never married
  4.     Maria Josephina HECKENBACH 7 Oct 1905 – 5 Apr 1971 never married

    1. Elisabetha HECKENBACH  (mother was ZELL) born 17 May 1822. 
    2. Christina Maria HECKENBACH (mother was ZELL) born 17 December 1823
    3. Anton HECKENBACH (mother was ZELL) 1826- 5 Dec 1830 (Age 4 yrs) Note 5a
    4. Maria Catherina HECKENBACH (mother was ZELL) 12 Feb 1829 m 14 Feb 1847 Friedrich BERMEL. 2 children: Elisabeth BERMEL 1848, Anton BERMEL 1851.
  1. Peter HECKENBACH 15 Apr 1775
  2. Christian HECKENBACH 23 Jun1778 - 25 Nov 1827. On 30 Oct 1803 in Andernach he m Anna Margaretha HORN (30 Sep 1780-31 Jan 1854), eldest child of Johnann Heinrich HORN and Christine KLUPPMANN. Christian was a tagelöhner, day-laborer. Note 5b. For more about the HORN and KLUPPMAN families, see Note 5c
  1. Johann Christian HECKENBACH 9 Mar 1804 - 5 May 1885 Note 6. He worked at the paper mill in Brohl, rose to the position of Maschinensführer and retired in 1866 after 50 years. He m 24 Oct 1830 Katherina WINDHÄUSER (WINDHEUSER) (1 Jan 1806 - 27 Aug 1870). She was born in Brohl, the daughter of Johann Adam WINDHÄUSER who was a stonemason, (12 July 1764 - Sep 1832) and Anna Maria BUSCHMAN (or BUSCHBAUM, 1764 - after 1832). They were married 19 Aug 1798 in Büdesheim near Prüm. Anna Maria was the daughter of Christoph BUSCHMAN and Odilia NONN
  1. Johann Anton HECKENBACH 9 Aug 1831 - 9 Dec 1913. He m Franciska Sophia FISCHER 27 Jan 1838 in Sobernheim, died>16 Oct 1878MayvilleWI She was the daughter of Johann Daniel Ludwig Fischer and Maria Anna Carolina Wiltberger.(Sobernheim, and Simmern where the family lived, are down south by Bad Kreuznach, but administered by Koblenz. Their first child Johann HECKENBACH born 13 November 1865 in Brohl and died 10 months later in Wisconsin. All other children born in USA. Note 7
  2.  Catherina HECKENBACH 13 Nov 1834 - 25 Feb 1839
  3. Maria Anna HECKENBACH 8 Sep 1838 - 18 Feb 1844
  4. Christian HECKENBACH 13 Sep 1841 - 30 Jan 1920 Chicago IL m 21 Jan 1866 Sophia SPICKER 20 Aug 1842 Willheiss, Kreis Crefeld - 2 May 1915 Chicago IL.She was the daughter of >Mathias Jacobus SPICKER and Maria Sophia VON RHEIDT First child born Essen/Ruhr, other 9 born in USA. Note 7 again
  5. Margaretha HECKENBACH 9 Feb 1845 – 17 Apr 1845, two months old
  6. Christina HECKENBACH 1 Oct 1846
  7. Margaretha HECKENBACH 25 Oct 1850 – 14 Oct 1874 m 27 Nov 1870 Johann Peter MÜLLER, Steinmetz (stonemason) in Niederbreisig. They had two children, Margaret MÜLLER in 1872 and Peter MÜLLER in 1873. Peter was also a stonemason. He m Adele GONDRUM (b. 1874), and he died in May 1916 in Brohl.
  1. Phillip HECKENBACH 19 Feb 1807 – 7 Mar 1870 m Katherina DIETZ. He was a shoemaker and a widower as of 1861. 
      1. Elisabeth HECKENBACH 9 May 1839
      2. Catharina HECKENBACH 11 Nov 1841 - Feb 15, 1924 m 21 Jul 1874 St Louis MO) George LÖLOFF, Children Annie (died 1919), Gustave, George, Otto, and Josephine GEMBLER
      3. Margaretha HECKENBACH Jul 1844
      4. Anna Josephina HECKENBACH 29 Jan 1847, m 2 Jun 1874 William DUFS in St Louis MO
      5. Antonetta about 1849 not in birth records, but shows on 1861 census, age 12
      6. Amalia HECKENBACH 28 Sep 1852 – 30 Oct 1873 in St Louis MO
      7. Anna Maria HECKENBACH 10 Oct 1855
      8. Adam HECHENBACH (sic) 2 Sep 1858
Catherina, Anna Josephina, and Amalia immigrated together to the US in 1872, settling in St Louis MO. The ship's manifest actually shows their names as Jos, Catharine, and Kalchen. Jos is listed as a male passenger in error. There was also a Margaret Heckenbach who emigrated somewhat earlier, probably the other sister.
  1. Christian HECKENBACH 9 May 1810 - 6 Feb 1883 was a tailor. On 21 Jan 1836 he m Christine LEDOSQUET 1811 Brohl - 22 Apr 1855 Brohl. Christine's name is sometimes given as DOSQUE or DOSQUET or even DOSKE in the records). She was the daughter of Heinrich Quirin Le Dosquet, a resident of Brohl, born 1764 in Gdomont, Malmedy, Belgium and Elisabeth Palm 1782-. On 24 Mar 1859 in Brohl he m2 Margareta WIERSCHING or WIRSCHEM, born 8 May 1824 in Namedy, died before 1883. Margareta was the daugher of Peter Wirstrum and Margarete Keller.
  1. Elisabeth HECKENBACH 6 Dec 1836 married Gottfried NEHLER, b 28 Mar 1827 in Niederheringsdorf, the son of Samuel Nehler and Anna Elisabeth Wiest. Gottfried was an Eisenbahnrottenführer (railway gang leader). They had a son Peter NEHLER who was baptised 8 Sep 1865.
  2. Clara HECKENBACH 3 Sep 1838
  3. Peter HECKENBACH 27 Jan 1840 – 18 May 1918 m 10 Oct 1874 Eva HECKENBACH (Eva, his cousin, appears as 3E2 above and their descendents are shown there.) Peter was a Schneidermeister a mastertailor like his father.
  4. Conrad HECKENBACH 24 Oct 1841
  5. Gertrud HECKENBACH 4 Jul 1843. Gertrud had a baby Christian HECKENBACH born 4 Feb 1865 (no father listed)
  6. Catherine HECKENBACH 22 Dec 1844- 3 April 1845, age 3 months
  7. Michael HECKENBACH 1 Oct 1846 – 19 Nov 1902 m 9 Sep 1873 Anna MARX– 19 Jan 1936
  1. Anna HECKENBACH 21 Mar 1874 – 15 Oct 1917 m 18 Sep 1897 Johann JAGER or JAEGER (b 1867 in Rheineck, Bad Breisig, d 23 Nov 1904 in Brohl, the son of  Nikolaus Jaeger from Hannebach and Katharina Morschhausen from Rheineck)
  2. Josef HECKENBACH 2 Sep 1875 – 5 Feb 1878
  3. Josepha HECKENBACH 12 Apr 1884 – 1936 m 30 Sep 1905 Peter Windanus ORTMANNS
  4. Josef HECKENBACH 25 Oct 1884 – 1936 m 13 Jun 19?? (not sure of year) Sophia ZERVAS 21 Dec 1884 – 1 Mar 1962. On 16 Sep 1914 Josef enlisted in 12th Company, was wounded and captured in WWI in Castres, Lyon, France, in January 1915. He was held in Bern, Switzerland, but then returned to action. He had two sons Herbert Johannes HECKENBACH 31 Mar 1912, and Otmar HECKENBACH 30 Apr 1920 - 23 Nov 2004, both born during the time when the family lived in Aachen, and one daughter Elizabeth HECKENBACH. Otmar married Hermine Weidenbach 16 Nov 1924 - 3 Oct 2015. He was a Steinmetz (stone mason) and lived in Brohl
  5. Johann HECKENBACH 1 Aug 1887 – 26 Oct 1938 in Köln. On 15 Oct 1910 in Remagen he m Agatha SCHARF 10 May 1889 – 26 Jan 1951. She was the daughter of Peter SCHARF and Agatha NODDEN. One son Peter Werner HECKENBACH 21 Apr 1911. Werner was a painter, some of whose works are shown on another page (
  1. Margaret HECKENBACH 13 Mar 1848
  2. Agatha HECKENBACH 25 Oct 1850 – 2 Apr 1878 m 27 Nov 1875 Johann Michael BRUST
  3. Anna Maria HECKENBACH 1 May 1853
    1. Anton HECKENBACH Mar 1814 nothing further known
    2. Margaretha HECKENBACH 1 Jan 1822 - 12 May 1883. Margaret's birth is not listed in the church records but is in the civil records. She had two children, father unknown, not mentioned in the church records). Then on 5 Nov 1859, Margaret married Johann Wilhelm SCHLICH  (born 24 May 1821 in Königsfeld.) He was a day-laborer from the village of Hain, the son of Peter Schlich, a shepherd, and Gertrud Schäfer. He was the widower of Gertrud Nonn who had died 13 Jun 1859. The civil marriage act says that Johann Wilhelm Schlich also adopted Margaret (1851) at the same time, but it didn't mention her brother Johann (1853) so he might have died before then. Wilhelm came with his and Gertrud's two sons.Then Margaret and Wilhelm had another child. Margaret died 12 May 1883, at 1:00 AM. Her death records says she was 51 years old but she was 61. It stated that Josef SCHLICH had a second-hand shop. This is the combined list of the children:
      1. Margaret HECKENBACH baptized 19 Apr 1851 (Father unknown, mother Heckenbach)
      2. Johann HECKENBACH baptized 2 Dec 1853 (Father unknown, mother Heckenbach)
      3. Wilhelm SCHLICK (also listed as SCHLIG) was born 12 January 1856 in Brohl. (Father Schlick, mother Schäfer)
      4. Anton SCHLICH (listed as SCHLIG) born 6 July 1858 in Brohl (Father Schlick, mother Heckenbach
      5. Josef SCHLICH was born 6 Nov 1861 in Brohl. In the December 1861 census he is called Christian Schlich (Father Schlick, mother Heckenbach. The census listed parents Wilhelm and Margaret, and children Margaret, Wilhelm, Anton, and Christian, but not Johann b 1853.


Note 1 The different spelling of names is a fact of life in those centuries. Variations don't necessarily signal different lineages. The records from one village are sometimes found in the next village, and this relationship can change over time.

Note 1a There was a birth of a baby Christian Schaeffer on 10 Jun 1799 in Brohl, parents Servatius Schaeffer of Sinzig (Canton Remagen) and Margaretha Heckenbach, probably #2 above. One witness was a 26-year-old Johann Heckenbach, probably #3 above. It appears that they living in Sinzig, or were moving back from Sinzig at the time. A.M. Heckenbach. A.M. usually stands for Anna Maria, but sometimes means Anna Margaretha. There is an 1810 marriage of P. Joseph KEMPENICH and A.M. Heckenbach, followed by an 1811 birth of their daughter Elisabeth KEMPENICH. This A.M. Heckenbach might also be the Margaretha Heckenbach born in 1769.

Note 1b The records from Brohl spell out the details of these Heckenbach family relationships quite specifically, but there is an interesting situation. Johann Christian Heckenbach 1804-1885, #5C, has no known ZELL ancestor, but some of his modern-day descendants appear to carry DNA genes which match those of some ZELL descendants.

Note 2 The Brohl civil records show Anna Catherina´s birth on that date. Thanks Günter for finding the record. However, the church record in Gönnersdorf says she was born on Jan 3, 1799 and baptized there the following day. Originally and for many years, we had this entry for a male child Anton Christian Heckenbach dated Jan 3, 1799. The church record has A.C. Heckenbach with a "male" notation. A.C. was usually shorthand for boy babies with the very common name Anton Christian, but also for girl babies named Anna Catherina. So it seems to have been a mistake in the notation of the sex of this baby. Anna Catherina´s birth record does not mention a twin, nor does her baptism record on Jan. 4. And there's a problem with two babies born 12 days apart to the same parents. Most likely the later date was the baptism at the age of 12 days.

Note 3 This part is complicated, but here's the best explanation. First, Johann Heckenbach and Barbara HALFEN named two of their daughters Anna Margaretha. They were born in 1795 and 1800. I originally assumed that the 1795 one had died, and they reused the name. That happened sometimes. So when Theodore NONN and Anna Margaretha Heckenbach married in 1830, it should have been the 1800 one. But then Gűnter Schmitz, a descendant of Theodore and Anna Margaretha, notified me that his ancestor was the 1795 sister, and the record is clear. Meanwhile Michael Heckenbach, born 25 May 1822, was a loose end, not connected to any parents we knew of. Gűnter eventually found Michael's birth record, and his mother was the 1800 Anna Margaretha, without a father listed. And Theodore was named as Michael's stepfather. That implied that he married the younger sister, but did not father her child. No marriage has been found though, although it could have happened elsewhere. Meanwhile Theodore married Gertrude KLEE. Then she died, and on 2 Oct 1830 he married the elder sister Anna Margaretha. That record mentioned his widow Gertrude but not any marriage to the younger Anna Margaretha. Sometimes the records (both church and civil) are easy to follow, but not always. So Theodore had a very busy life with children from 3 mothers.

Note 4 The 1806 Christian Heckenbach’s parents were definitely Johann Heckenbach and Barbara HALFEN. Even though the International Genealogical Index shows them to be the 1778 Christian Heckenbach and Anna Margaretha HORN, Christian’s death record shows the correct way, as did the Ahnentafel of Helene Heckenbach. Then when Günter found the birth record, there was no question.

Note 5 Elisabeth ZELL was the widow of Peter MASBERG. Peter was born 16 June 1774, baptized in Gönnersdorf. He married Elisabeth ZELL on 9 Aug 1807 in Brohl. They had Teodor Masberg (born 17 Apr 1808, died on or before 17 August 1817), and Joannes Masberg born 12 Apr 1812, both baptized in Gönnersdorf, and a third child, apparently stillborn, on 23 November 1818. Peter himself died on 16 January 1820. Elisabeth had another daughter Elisabeth on 17 May 1822, and Johann Heckenbach must have been the father. Two weeks later on 1 Jun 1822 he married the widow. Her name is given as ZELL, not MASBERG. He probably also adopted the other child Johannes Masberg. There are family trees on that show a John Masberg, who was said to be born in Brohl in 1812, immigrated to Connecticut and then Kentucky, and fought in the American Civil War. This seems to be mismatch. Johann Masberg was still in Brohl in 1861, living with a wife, 4 children, and the family of Christian NONN-Katharina Naschtsheim.

Note 5a There may have been another Anton Heckenbach, the son of Barbe Halfen. If so, he apparently died before the census was taken in 1803. Note 5b Christian has elsewhere been listed as an officer in the Brohl paper company. But as of 1804, age 26, and again at the time of his death in 1827 at age 49, reported by his brother Johann, he was a daylaborer.

Note 5c More about Johnann Heinrich HORN: He was a Tagelöhner (daylaborer) and later a Wagner (wheelright), born 10 Jul 1749Brohl, baptized 13 July 1749 in Gönnersdorf, died 20 Dec 1800 in Brohl. He was the eldest of 5 children of Emmerich HORN (died 3 Apr 1778 in Brohl) and Anna KOLL (b 17 July 1714 in Brohl, who was the eldest of 4 children of Heinrich KOLL, b 1684 in Brohl, and Katharina Unknown), who had m 1 Oct 1748 in Gönnersdorf. Johnann Heinrich HORN m Christine KLUPPMANN 19 May 1749 Brohl - 19 Oct 1810 Brohl), daughter of Jacob KLUPPMANN (c 1713-5 Sept 1789 in Brohl) and Maria LOTH (married 23 Sep 1738 in Brohl) on 20 Jan 1780 in Gönnersdorf. The name, also given as Kluthmann, Klubmann, Klüppmann, Klukmann, is no longer found in the area. Maria LOTH was the eldest of the 6 children of Johann LOTH (b 5 Nov 1686 in Kell) and Katharina Unknown.

Note 6 Johann was the foreman at the Brohl Papierfabrik, a paper mill. The company still exists. In 1866 he was given a silver cup for 50 years service. We have a letter from him to his son Christian in Chicago dated 13 January. The year is defaced, but must have been 1884. The letter states that he's almost 80, that his brother Christian had died a year earlier, and that his sister Margaretha had died a half-year earlier. 

Note 7 Johann Anton #5A1 and Christian #5A4 were the brothers who immigrated to the US, leaving thousands of descendents. See the top page for the continuation.


There are still a few children from some of the marriages listed, that I have not yet included. Most are available here (Birth Records of Brohl) located on pages 60 through 66. So the records are far from complete.There are more names, with birthdates but without parents. These came from the civil records. I am tempted to ignore these "missing links" for their lack of detail, but they are gradually fitting in as more information comes to light. Some of these probably belong to the town of Gönnersdorf, because at that time, the records were combined. I'm trying to restrict this page to the Brohl families. Children born in Brohl were often baptized in Gönnersdorf.

Johann Heckenbach and
Engelbert Heckenbach were twins born 12 Feb 1823 in Gönnersdorf, sons of Herman Heckenbach and Margaretha Roths
Lorenz Heckenbach baptized 16 Oct 1824 in Gönnersdorf, son of Herman Heckenbach and Margaretha Roths.
Elisabeth Heckenbach baptized 17 Jun 1825 in Gönnersdorf, daughter of Joseph Heckenbach and Magdelena Waldorf.
Anton Heckenbach baptized 23 Apr 1826
Maria Katherina Heckenbach baptized 19 Oct 1827
Anna Heckenbach baptized 26 Jul 1829
Margaretha Heckenbach baptized 3 Nov 1830
Maria Anna Heckenbach baptized 16 Dec 1832

There was a Peter Heckenbach who died on 1 Mar 1891 at the age of 29.

In the church death-record there was a Peter Joseph Heckenbachwho died 31 Oct 1904 at the age of 63 years, so born about 1841. His name was really LUNNEBACH. He was the son of Peter Joseph Lunnebach Schuster (shoemaker) and Clara NONN, and the widower of both Elizabeth NONN and Catherine KIERIG. His name appears correctly as Lunnebach in the 1899 directory.

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Page created 27 May 2002 by Jim Heckenbach.  Last updated 30 Jan 2023

Many thanks due to :

Rolf Nonn who wrote a thorough Nonn family history that intersected with the Heckenbach family.

Günter Schmitz, another descendant of the Nonn family and quite a local history expert, for his extensive work plodding through the record books, deciphering the old text, taking lots of pictures, and making many corrections

Gerd Wyrwas for his deep knowledge of the local history and for drilling into the early records of the area.

Gabriele Afzal for the information on Maria Barbara Heckenbach, Johann and Christina Heckenbach, and Anna Catherine Netz