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, 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 were 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 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.All of the HECKENBACHs of Brohl descended from Christian HECKENBACH,who was born about 1710 and died sometime before 1796 in Brohl, and his wife Christina. According to the Brohl Ortskronik, Christian was a well-to-do man who came from Niederlützing with his wife and two children, so some time after 1738. So far, we haven't found him in the records in Niederlützing. There were several Heckenbach families in the neighboring villages Wehr, Gönnersdorf, Nieder/OberLützing, and Nieder/OberDürenbach. It's as if they wandered out from the town of Heckenbach up in the Eifel, and gradually dispersed toward the Rhine River.
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?). He was a day-laborer. On 3 Feb 1767 he m Anna Catherine NETZ (died before 1803) the daughter of Johann Bernhard NETZ (born 11 Feb 1710 -?) and Maria Elisabeth BOHR (born in Brohl and baptized in Gönnersdorf 04 Oct 1707 -?). They 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. 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.
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
Christian HECKENBACH 9 Mar
5 May 1885 Note 6 m 24
Oct 1830 Katherina WINDHÄUSER
(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
Katherina WINDHEUSER was born in
daughter of Johann
Catherina HECKENBACH 13 Nov 1834 - 25 Feb 1839, who
was a stonemason, born 12 July
1764, and Anna Maria BUSCHMAN
(or BUSCHBAUM, b
married 19 Aug 1798. Anna Maria
was the daughter
of Christophor BUSCHMAN
and Odilia NONN.
A. Johann Christian HECKENBACH 9 Mar 1804 - 5 May 1885 Note 6 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 WINDHÄUSER2. Catherina HECKENBACH 13 Nov 1834 - 25 Feb 1839, who was a stonemason, born 12 July 1764, and Anna Maria BUSCHMAN (or BUSCHBAUM, b 1764). They were married 19 Aug 1798. Anna Maria was the daughter of Christophor BUSCHMAN and Odilia NONN.
HECKENBACH 19 Feb 1807 –
Mar 1870 m Katherina DIETZ. He was a
shoemaker and a widower as of 1861.
HECKENBACH 19 Feb 1807 –
Mar 1870 m Katherina DIETZ. He was a
shoemaker and a widower as of 1861.
HECKENBACH 9 May 1810 - 6 Feb
21 Jan 1836 Christine LEDOSQUET (Christine's name is sometimes
given as DOSQUE
or even DOSKE
in these records)
Margareta WIERSCHING (also given as WIRSCHEM.
Margareta died some time before Christian.) Christian was a
C. 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.
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
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 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 baby was baptized 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 must 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 younger 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 Anna Margaretha. That record mentioned his widow Gertrude but not any marriage to the other 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 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 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.
letter states that
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 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 8 Margaret's birth is not listed in the church records but is in the civil records. Thanks again Günther.
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.
Back to Main Page
Please send corrections and comments.
Page created May 27, 2002 by Jim Heckenbach. Last updated September 3, 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.