Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Karl Philipp Meng's Ancestors

Unproven Relations

Peter Meng of Oberstein
The first Meng that has been found in the records was a Peter Meng who had his daughter Anna Christina baptised in Monsheim, a neighbouring village to Hohen-Sülzen in 1675.  It was the first record to appear in the Monsheim parish records, before anyone else in the village!  The record read something like: 

1675  den 2. Juni 1675 hat Peter Meng zu Oberstein (?) ein Töchterlein taufen laßen Gevattern sind gewesen des ehrsamen Johann Nikolaus Kunert (?) Ehefrau Peter Harsch (?) Ehefraw und Wilhelm Reißer (?) ist Anna Christina genannt worden laut extracti des Oberbrunnischen Kirchenbuchs welches hiermit vermög attests glaubwürdig bescheine Mondius (?) (Pfarrer)
The record is hard to read but suggests that Peter Meng came from Oberstein or Oberbrunn.  Idar Oberstein was a town about 120kms away from Hohen-Sülzen with many Mengs including some named Peter and Johann Otto born in the mid to late 1600s.  Whether this Peter in the Monsheim parish records is related to the later Mengs of Hohen-Sülzen, we can't say at this stage although it may be possible, especially since there was a Johann Otto Meng in the village in the early parish records.  Peter may have been born around the 1650s or earlier.

Johannes Meng

Another Meng who appears in the records is Johannes Meng.  He was on a record from 1698 and was the only adult Meng in this year in this particular area of Hohen-Sülzen. Men were considered adult and a family chief at the age of 23 – 25.  He was probably older however as he was “Eiher Fath”, (or Eier Fauth). He was responsible for giving the right number of eggs on the right days to Sankt Andreas (a monastry), and eventually to Kurfürst and Graf too. He may have had to organise other things in the village but we don't know.  He could even have been the “Schultheiß”, the mayor of the village, but this has not been proven either.

Johann Otto Meng

A Johann Otto Meng appears as a godfather to many of the Meng children in the Hohen-Sülzen.  It is a possibility that he could be a father or grandfather to Johann Stephan Meng who was born around 1725 or earlier.  Johann Otto could also have been an uncle or great uncle.  The exact relationship can not be proven.  He was however involved with Johann Stephan Meng's family.

Johann Otto Meng died in Hohen-Sülzen in 1762 on St Laurent's Day

62. Auf Laurenty wurde Johann Otto Meng christl. zur Erde bestattet. Aetatis 75 Jahr 3 Monat.

Translation: At St. Laurenz-day (August 10)? was Johann Otto Meng ... buried to earth. age 75 years 3 months.

This means that Johann Otto was old, born around May 1687.  
He was listed as a godfather to Johann Stephan Meng's son Johann Christian when he was baptised on 12 June 1762, not long before Johann Otto died.

1 after Trinity or 13 June Stephen Meng and wife Maria Catharina a little son named Johann Christian born the 12th. Godparents were Johann Otto Meng & Christian Meng

Proven Relations

Johann Stephan Meng (abt. 1725  -  ?)

Johann Stephan Meng is the first proven Meng ancestor we know about, who had his family in the village of Hohen-Sülzen.  It is likely his father was a Johannes Meng, possibly Johann Otto Meng from Hohen-Sülzen, but this needs to be proven.  Johann Stephan Meng was an “Ackersmann” or farmer.  He married Maria Elisabetha Bohlander in about 1746 and had the following children:

Johanna Catharina Margaretha Meng (17-07-1747  -  ?)
Johann Peter Meng (04-12-1748  -  ?)

His first wife must have died as he married Maria Catherina Gertraud (surname unknown) in about 1757 and they had the following children:

Maria Christina Meng (11-01-1758  -  ?)
Johannes Meng (07-02-1760  - ?)
Johann Christian Meng (12-06-1762  - 07-03-1838)
Johann Martin Meng (17-03-1765  - ?)
Peter Jacob Meng (08-10-1767  - ?)
Karl Philipp Meng (07-06-1771  - 22-01-1859)
Johann Philipp Meng (20-03-1774  - ?)

Johann Stephan Meng had Meng relations who are Godparents to his children who could possibly be brothers or cousins or one of them even Johann Stephan’s father.  Their names were Johannes Meng and wife Maria Elisabetha from Heppenheim and Johann Adolph Meng and Maria Christina Weberin from Obrigheim and Johann Jacob Meng from Hohen-Sülzen. Johann Martin Meng and wife Anna Maria from Hohen-Sülzen and Johann Otto Meng of Hohen-Sülzen were also godparents to one of Johann Stephan Meng’s children and they also had family in Hohen-Sülzen in the 1760s.  There was also a Johannes Meng and wife Anna Maria who had children in Hohen-Sülzen from about 1738 to 1749 and are also in the Hohen-Sülzen parish records.

Obrigheim and Heppenheim may be villages that the family originated from, but further records would have to be looked at.

Karl Philipp Meng (07-06-1771  -  22-01-1859)

Karl (Carl) Philipp Meng was born in Hohen-Sülzen and was named after one of his godparents, Carl Philipp Blaufuß, a Lutheran schoolmaster from Hohen-Sülzen.  Karl Meng, an Ackersmann (farmer), married Maria Dorothea Schneider (born 24-06-1771 in Hohen-Sülzen, daughter of Johann Tobias Schneider, linenweaver master, and Ana Margareta (surname not found in the records)) in 1798 in Hohen-Sülzen, Germany.  They had the following children that we know of:

Johannes Meng (abt 1794 - 1799)
Reichard Meng (12-11-1799 - 22-01-1871)
Anna Maria Meng (abt 1802 - ?)
Catherina Meng (abt. 1811    - ?)
Elizabetha Meng (?   - ?)
Margaretha Meng (?   - ?)
Elizabeth Meng (? - 1808)

Karl died in 1859 aged 88 years old and it was listed that he had three children still surviving at his death (names not listed on the record).

Reichard Meng (12-11-1799  -  22-01-1871)

Reichard married Maria Eva Dörrschuck (born 03-09-1811, daughter of Johannes Dörrschuck, farmer, and Anna Barbara Diehl of Grossniedesheim) on 08-03-1829 in Hohen-Sülzen, Germany.  They had eleven children that we know of as follows:

Johannes Meng (05-08-1830  - 27-12-1870)
Christian Meng (29-10-1832  - ?)
Karl Philipp Meng (27-06-1834  - 19-08-1885)
Margaretha Meng (13-02-1836  - 09-03-1914)
Catherine Meng (12-06-1838  - ?)
Wilhelm Meng (10-04-1841  - ??-06-1843)
Jacob Meng (28-05-1843  - 03-01-1871)
Anna Barbara Meng (04-04-1845  - ?)
Anna Maria Meng (27-01-1850  - 08-11-1916)
Luisa Meng (09-02-1853  - 02-08-1853)
Friedrich Meng (05-10-1855  - 31-08-1903)

Reichard Meng was a farmer, and owned and leased a lot of land in Hohen-Sülzen, but apparently wasn’t rich by any means.   The Meng family owned quite a lot of land but in general most families had to share/split it in each generation, so they never became really rich.  A book states that in 1869 Reichard Meng found two stone coffins from the fourth century in his fields in Hohen-Sülzen (a place called Weil), each with a skeleton inside.  In one of these were Roman glasses from the third century.  One of the glasses is the famous "Vas Diatretum.”  The glasses were sold to the museum of Mainz.  The book also says that not far from this place there were a couple of graves from several centuries.  In another website about Hohen-Sülzen it says that:  “In 1869, a Dionysus bottle from the third century was unearthed in Hohen-Sülzen. The bottle is 42 cm tall and has figures ground into it. The image was cut into the glass’s outside surface in vividly effective deep grinding. The figures’ effect was further strengthened by engraving individual body parts. The scene with several figures stems from the wine god Dionysus’s milieu. The bottle has been ascribed to the same workshop that made the Lynceus beaker in the Romano-Germanic Museum. This glass was found together with a cage cup, which has been lost since the Second World War. The Hohen-Sülzen bottle now stands as the centrepiece of the Roman glass collection at the Landesmuseum Mainz (Inventar Nr. R 6111).”

K. Nasterlack, a local Hohen-Sülzen historian, sent me the following message “1855 J.Meng found the place (on his field) where a large roman villa was. Later there was a monastery. R. Meng found the roman and celtic graveyard, where the wonderful glasses were found.  The "netglass" disappeared after World War II, the Americans had to send them back, from a place outside of the town of Mainz, where the museum brought them, before Mainz was bombed down. The other glasses are lost or stolen too. Only " Die Hohensülzer Henkelflasche", called "Dyonissosflasche". which is the most important Roman glass or bottle from our region came back to the museum.  There are many figures on it. “

The Meng family owned a sand mine as early as 1832.  We know this because in October 1832 a boy aged eight years, and six month, Konrad Keil, died in the Meng sand mine, behind the church. According to K. Nasterlack people in the area mined different kinds of sand. Quartz sand was fireproof and the iron and glass industry needed it. He thinks th Meng family would have dug for loam too, to produce bricks. Bricks were only dried in the sun in those days. The first small "Feldbacksteinbrennerei" (field-brick-burning- place) was bulit in the year 1866. The Sitzler and the Feickert family built it outside the village, on the road to Pfeddersheim. They knew how to dry bricks by fire a long time ago, but it was more expensive than the sun. Kaolin to produce porcelain, was found in the second half of the 19th Century, 10 or more metres deep. By digging kaolin some families in the village made a lot of money. The Meng family sold their last mine in the year 1871, after 4 members of the family died including Reichard Meng. Perhaps this was a couple of years too early, to make much money!

In 1870 two boys died (age: 15 and 17) in the mine owned by Johannes Dörrschuck II, this is written in the 1871 Meng letter to Karl and is also in the local records.  Dörrschuck's mine was 40-45 Fuß deep (10 or 11 metres). Two years later the "building-office" in Worms wrote some instructions to the miners. The instructions were for Reichart Meng heirs, Johannes Dörrschuck II and Friedrich Feickert.  They had to dig 10 Fuß (2.5 metres) deep, 5 Fuß horizontally (1.25 metres) to avoid further accidents. The police had to inspect that this was done.

Maria Eva Meng (née Dörrschuck) died on 30-12-1870 and Reichard died less than a month later on 22-01-1871 both in Hohen-Sülzen.  They are buried with their sons Johannes and Jacob who all died over a period of a month in Hohen-Sülzen of typhoid and nerve fever according to one of the Meng letters. 

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