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The following is a set of four photos which are related to each other and which I scanned together at the same time, thereby creating a four photo postcard effect. They are of the Friedelsheim Mennonite Church in the village of Friedelsheim, Germany. They are not old photos as I took them on a trip there in 1999, but they show quite old buildings.
The top left photo is of the inside of this small church. My ancestor Jakob Ellenberger used to preach in here in the mid 1800s. There was nothing ostentatious about it when I went for a look back in 1999. I don't think the mennonite religion was that way inclined at all!
The second photo at the top is of a plaque on the outside wall of the church. I was told what it said at the time, but most of it was lost in translation and now almost completely gone with time. The bottom photo underneath the plaque photo is of Jakob Ellenberger's house which housed a family of 13! It was tiny and they were so poor but they were pious and dedicated to God and from what I've learnt, were generally very happy. The family didn't believe in war, so when Jakob's son, Jakob Nathaniel Ellenberger was called up for compulsory army training he instead emigrated to NZ in 1863, taking his sister (my great great great grandmother) Elise Katharina Ellenberger with him. Because there were so many people to support in the family it was better for some of the family to move away and make their own fortunes elsewhere, so quality of life was also a big issue for the family.
The fourth photo of the stone tower is meant to be part of the old castle that stood in Friedelsheim. I have a feeling this was partly rebuilt and is not the orginal by any means. It is behind the small Ellenberger house. In front of the house is a small courtyard and then the church. These buildings are all part of a complex.
I visited in summer. There were shady trees and vines in front of the entrance to this church and some of the Ellenberger women used to sit there and do their craftwork. One can just imagine the relaxing slow pace of life that they would have experienced. The simple life!
The buildings have changed somewhat from when my ancestors lived there, but hopefully not too much.