The Heckenbachs of Brohl

Brohl is a village along the west side of the Rhine River between Koblenz and Bonn, hard between the shoreline and the hills of the Eifel. The Brohltal empties into the Rhine and forms a small harbor which has been important to river-shipping since Roman times. 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 more properly known as Brohl am Rhein because there's also a Brohl on the Mosel River. Since 1971 Brohl and Niederlützingen are combined as  Brohl-Lützing.

Just how do the Heckenbachs of the USA fit with the Heckenbachs of Germany? Christian HECKENBACH was born about 1710 and died before 1796 in Brohl. He was married to Christina. According to the Brohl Ortskronik, he was a well-to-do man who came from Niederlützing and moved to Brohl with his wife and two children, so some time after 1738. So far, we haven't found him in the records in Niederlützing.

Christian and Christina had two children: Maria Christina HECKENBACH 31 July 1738 born in Niederlützing (name listed first for clarity, and because nothing further is known about her), and

Johann Anton HECKENBACH (8 Jun 1735 Niederlützing  – 1783?). On 3 Feb 1767 he m Anna Catherine NETZ, the daughter of Johann Bernhard NETZ (11 Feb 1710 -?) and Maria Elisabeth BOHR (born in Brohl and baptized in Gönnersdorf 04 Oct 1707 -?) who had married on 26 Jun 1736. Maria Elisabeth was the daughter of  Philipp BOOR (died 1743) Note 1 and Anna Margaretha BUENTGENS (died 1733) who had married on 16 Jan 1701 in Brohl.

1.       Maria Elisabeth HECKENBACH 1768

2.       Margaretha HECKENBACH 1769

3.      Johann HECKENBACH (born 26 Sep 1772 in Brohl but christened in Gönnersdorf, died 23 Jan 1830) m1 Barbara HALFEN or HALFENICH or HALFENS (born 1759- 10 Feb 1820, age 50), m2 1 Jun 1822 Elizabeth ZELL ZELS or ZILS. Johann was 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 but christened in Gönnersdorf -died 26 Sep 1867) m 2 Oct 1830 Theodore NONN (24 Sep 1792 -18 Jul 1871). He was a day-laborer, the son of Hermann Nonn, a baker, and Gertrauda Klee. He was the widower of Gertrauda (Gertrude) Arenz. Theodore and Gertrauda had a daughter Anna Margaretha NONN on 23 July 1830 but Gertrude died shortly after the birth. Theodore NONN married Anna Margaretha Heckenbach on 2 Oct 1830 and they had 6 children of their own: Philipp 1831, Christian 1832, Johannes 1834, Peter 1836, Anton 1837, and Joseph 1840.
  2. Anna Catherina HECKENBACH (22 Dec 179 Note 2 - 17 Jul 1872) 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, and Anton MÜLLER 1843. The December 1861 census shows children Barbara 23, Katherina 22, and Anna Maria 20.
  3. Anna Margaretha "Margaret" HECKENBACH 3 Apr 1800 Note 3. We never found a marriage record, so we didn't know anything more about this person until February 2017 when Günter Schmitz (a descendant of Theodore NONN and Anna Margaretha Heckenbach) found the record for the birth of her son Michael Heckenbach. Margaret HECKENBACH was not married so his father is unknown. The midwife Anna Maria Klee presented Michael's birth to the mayor. Margaret probably lived with the NONN/KLEE families. 
  1. Michael HECKENBACH was born 25 May 1822, died 14 Mar 1912. He was a day-laborer. Theodore NONN (see 3A) acted as Michael's stepfather. Michael 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. They married on 20 November 1857 and had these children:
    1. Anna Josephina HECKENBACH 22 Jan. 1859 – 1904 never married
    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, Georgia, USA. He was naturalized there in 1896. He was a deck hand and eventually a tugboat captain in Savannah. He died in 1937 or 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 m 26 Jul 1898 Johann ARENZ. He was a cobbler in Brohl. They had a son Andreas Johan Arenz who died 14 August 1911, age 5 months.

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  1. Maria Barbara HECKENBACH (mother was HALFEN) 28 Aug 1801 m 23 Sep 1827 Johann WALDORF (1798-). 4 children: Johann WALDOR1828, Johann WALDORF 1829, Anna Maria WALDORF 1830, Catherine WALDORF 1837.
  2. Anton HECKENBACH (mother was ZELL) 1826- 5 Dec 1830 (Age 4 yrs) Note 4
  3. Maria Catherina HECKENBACH 12 Feb 1829 m 14 Feb 1847 Friedrich BERMEL. 2 children: Elisabeth BERMEL 1848, Anton BERMEL 1851.
    1. Peter HECKENBACH 1775
    2. Christian HECKENBACH 23 Jun 1778- 25 Nov 1827. On 30 Oct 1803 he m Anna Margaretha HORN (1780?- 31 Jan 1854). Christian also worked at the paper factory, and held a very prominent postion there as an officer of the company. Anna Margaretha's birthdate is unknown, but the 1803 census indicates she was two years younger than Christian.

A.       Johann Christian HECKENBACH 9 Mar 1804 - 5 May 1885 Note 5 m 24 Oct 1830 Katherina WINDHÄUSER (WINDHEUSER) (1 Jan 1806 - 27 Aug 1870). Johann retired in 1866 after 50 years working at the paper mill in Brohl, rising to the position of Maschinensführer. Katherina WINDHEUSER was born in Brohl,  the daughter of  Johann Adam Windhäuser, who was a mason, born 12 July 1764, and Anna Maria BUSCHMAN (BUSCHBAUM, b 1764). They were married 19 Aug 1798. Anna Maria was the daughter of  Christophor BUSCHMAN and Odilia NONN.

1.      Johann Anton HECKENBACH 9 Aug 1831 - 9 Dec 1913 Chicago IL m 21 Jan 1865 Franciska Sophia FISCHER 27 Jan 1838 birthplace unknown- 16 Oct 1878 Mayville WI. First child Johann HECKENBACH born 13 November 1865 in Brohl and died 10 months later in Wisconsin. All other children born in USA.   Note 6

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. All 10 children born in USA. Note 6 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 who was a stonemason. They had two children, Margaret MÜLLER in 1872 and Peter MÜLLER in 1873. Peter was also a Steinmetz, stonemason. He married Adele GONDRUM (b. 1874), and he died in May 1916 in Brohl.

B.      Christian HECKENBACH 16 Jan 1806 – 19 Feb 1893 Note 7 was a day-laborer. He  m1 1 May 1842 Margaretha SAAL or SAHL 1817– 27 Sep 1843 m2 Eva LITZ or LEITZ and m3 20 Feb 1849 Sibilla Margaretha NAUNHEIM 14 Feb 1815 - ? This is a different Sibilla Margaretha NAUNHEIM than the one mentioned in 3B above.

 

1.      Hubert HECKENBACH (mother: SAAL) 22 May 1843. He died 14 Jun 1843, age 3 weeks

2.      Eva HECKENBACH (mother LITZ / LEITZ) 1846 – 18 Apr 1931 m her first cousin Peter HECKENBACH 1840 – 8 May 1918, on 18 Apr 1874. (Peter is shown below as 5d3.)We don't know the circumstances, but Christian married Eva in Brohl, but then their daughter Eva was born in Wetzlar, about 80 km east, and then the others were born in Brohl.

a.       Christian HECKENBACH 6 Jul 1875 – 3 Mar 1877

b.      Peter HECKENBACH 10 Aug 1876 – 20 Dec 1878

c.       Eva HECKENBACH 1 Nov 1877 – 5 Apr 1878

d.      Anna HECKENBACH 27 Jan 1879 – 24 Sep 1879

e.       Guilelma HECKENBACH 12 Oct 1880 – 19 Sep 1881

f.         Josef HECKENBACH 6 Nov 1881 – 1962 never married

g.       Anton HECKENBACH 17 Aug 1883 – 10 Aug 1909 m Catherine GAPPE.  3 sons: Stephan HECKENBACH, Karl HECKENBACH (died WWII) and Josef HECKENBACH

h.       Karl HECKENBACH 17 Dec 1885 – (died in WWI)

i.          Margarete HECKENBACH 15 Feb 1889 – 1969 never married

 

3.      Veronica HECKENBACH (mother NAUNHEIM) 22 July 1849 – 2 Apr 1871

4.      Johann HECKENBACH 23 Jun 1852 – (He drowned in the Rhine. He was still living as of December 1861 though, according to the census)

5.      Anton HECKENBACH 15 Nov 1860 – 7 Jun 1935 in Cologne, m Anna Maria WEICHERT in Hennef in September 1894

a.        Wilhelm HECKENBACH 21 Apr 1896 – 5 Mar 1916 (WWI)

b.      Dr Anton HECKENBACH 15 Jan 1898 – 15 Feb 1979 m Luci.  One daughter Gudrun HECKENBACH

c.       Helene HECKENBACH 21 Mar 1902 – 17 Nov 1980 was a postmaster who never married

d.      Maria Josephina HECKENBACH 7 Oct 1905 – 5 Apr 1971 never married 

C.     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 14 Jul 1844
          4. Anna Josephina HECKENBACH 29 Jan 1847 m 2 Jun 1874 William DUFS (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 (St Louis MO)
          7. Anna Maria HECKENBACH 10 Oct 1855
          8. Adam HECHENBACH (sic) 2 Sep 1858


Catherina, Anna Josephina, and Amalia immigrated to the US in 1872, settling in St Louis MO. The ship's manifest actually shows their names as Jos, Catharine, and Kalchen, but lists Jos as a male passenger. We still think it's a match because their later records list Philip as their father. There was also an unknown Margaret Heckenbach who emigrated somewhat earlier, and we think she belongs here too.

D.      Christian HECKENBACH 9 May 1810 - 6 Feb 1883 m1 21 Jan 1836 Christine LEDOSQUET (Christine's name is sometimes given as DOSQUE or DOSQUET or even DOSKE in these records) m2 Margareta WIERSCHING (also given as WIRSCHEM. Margareta died some time before Christian.) Christian was a tailor. I previously had his death as 1888 but the death record has been found, reported by his son Peter.

          1. Elisabeth HECKENBACH 6 Dec 1836

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 5b2 above and their descendents are shown there.) Peter was a tailor 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

a.       Anna HECKENBACH 21 Mar 1874 – 15 Oct 1917 m 18 Sep 1897 Johann JAGER or JAEGER

b.      Josef HECKENBACH 2 Sep 1875 – 5 Feb 1878

c.       Josepha HECKENBACH 12 Apr 1884 – 1936 m 30 Sep 1905 Peter Windanus ORTMANNS

d.      Josef  HECKENBACH 25 Oct 1884 – 1936 m 13 Jun 19?? Sophia ZERVAS 21 Dec 1884 – 1 Mar 1962. Two sons Herbert Johannes HECKENBACH 31 Mar 1912, and Otmar HECKENBACH both born while the family lived in Aachen, and one daughter Elizabeth HECKENBACH. Otmar married Hermine Weidenbach.

e.       Johann HECKENBACH 1 Aug 1887 in Köln – 26 Oct 1938 m 15 Oct 1910 in Remagen Agatha SCHARF 10 May 1889 – 26 Jan 1951. One son Peter Werner HECKENBACH 21 Apr 1911. Werner was a painter, some of whose works are shown on another page (http://heckenbach.org/paintings.html).

8.      Margaret HECKENBACH 13 Mar 1848

9.      Agatha HECKENBACH 27 Oct 1850 – 2 Apr 1878 m 27 Nov 1875 Johann Michael BRUST

10.  Anna Maria HECKENBACH 1 May 1853

  1. Anton HECKENBACH Mar 1814 nothing further known
  2. Margaretha HECKENBACH 1 Jan 1822 - late in the year 1883 Note 7 and 8 She had two children (father unknown, not  mentioned in the church records):
        1. Margaret HECKENBACH baptized 19 Apr 1851
        2. Johann HECKENBACH baptized 2 Dec 1853 
Then on 5 Nov 1859, Margaret married Johann Wilhelm SCHLICH  (born 25 May 1824 ) a day-laborer from the village of Hain, the son of Peter Schlich, a shepherd, and Gertrud Schaefer. 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 had probably died before then. Wilhelm came with his and Gertrud's two sons
        1. Wilhelm SCHLICH (listed as SCHLICK and also as SCHLIG) was born 12 January 1856 in Brohl.
        2. Anton SCHLICH (listed as SCHLIG) born 6 July 1858 in Brohl
Then Margaret and Wilhelm had another child:

  1. Josef SCHLICH was born 6 Nov 1861 in Brohl. In the December 1861 census he is called Christian Schlich. The census listed parents Wilhelm and Margaret, and children Margaret, Wilhelm, Anton, and Christian, but not Johann b 1853.
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

Note 1 The different spelling of names is a fact of life in those centuries. It's a healthy thing, training us to be aware that 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 2 The Brohl civil records show Anna Catherina´s birth on that date. Thanks Gűnter 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 commonly used for boy babies named Anton Chrictian, but also for girl babies names 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 baby was baptized at the age of 12 days.

Note 3 I originally assumed that it was the 1800 Anna Margaretha HECKENBACH, and not the 1795 one, who married Theodore NONN. Thank you Gűnter for the correction. This was another lesson: don't assume that just because the parents reused the same name for a subsequent child, that the older one must have died young. 

Note 4 There may have been another Anton Heckenbach, the son of Barbe Halfen. If so, he should be a., b., or c. in this list. He apparently died before the census was taken in 1803.

Note 5 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 but the year is defaced, but must have been 1883. 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 6  Johann Anton and Christian were the brothers who immigrated to the US, leaving thousands of descendents. See the top page http://heckenbach.org/index.html for the continuation

Note 7. There is some evidence that the 1806 Christian HECKENBACH’s parents were Johann HECKENBACH and Barbara HALFEN. Christian’s death record shows it that way, as did the Ahnentafel of Helene HECKENBACH. But the International Genealogical Index and the baptism record has them as above. But if  Hélène (5b5c below) was right, then the1806 Christian HECKENBACH belongs under Johann HECKENBACH and Barbara HALFEN as their fifth child. 

Note 8. Margaret's birth is not listed in the church records but is in the civil records. Thanks again Günther.

   

MISCELLANY

Here are the individuals from Brohl that I have not yet been able to connect to the rest, although there are a couple of places where they might fit:

First, there's the birth on 11 June 1799 of Christian SCHAEFER, the son of Servas SCHAEFER and Margaret HECKENBACH. Margaret is tentatively the one born in 1769, since her father is correctly listed as Johann Heckenbach. Her mother's name is not mentioned for some reason. It appears that they living in Sinzig, or were moving back from Sinzig at the time.

A.M. HECKENBACH. Then there is an 1810 marriage of P. Joseph KEMPENICH and A.M. HECKENBACH, followed by an 1811 birth of Elisabeth KEMPENICH, their daughter.

Michael HECKENBACH one of our loose ends, has been placed in 3C above.

There are still 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 other 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.

Johann HECKENBACH 13 Feb 1823
Engelbert HECKENBACH 17 Feb 1823
Lorenz HECKENBACH 16 Oct 1824
Elisabeth HECKENBACH 17 Jun 1825
Anton HECKENBACH 23 Apr 1826
Maria Katherina HECKENBACH 19 Oct 1827
Anna HECKENBACH 26 Jul 1829
Margaretha HECKENBACH 3 Nov 1830
Maria Anna HECKENBACH 16 Dec 1832

There was an Elisabeth HECKENBACH who married Gottfried NEHLER and they had a son Peter NEHLER who was baptised 8 Sep 1865.
There was also a Margaretha HECKENBACH who married Servas SCHAEFER and had a son Christian SCHAEFER, no date available.

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Please send corrections and comments.

Page created May 27, 2002 by Jim Heckenbach.  Last updated June 7, 2017.

Much thanks is due to Günter Schmitz, a descendant of the NONN family 3a above, and quite a local history expert, for his extensive work plodding through the record books. deciphering the old text, and taking lots of pictures.