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August 1998


Received an email from Carl Wiedman, an Widmann family researcher. He informed me that there is a book called "Sindelfinger Familien" by Helmuth Maier that contains family registers for his Widmans as well as about 10 pages of Helds.


The Bissingen microfilm came in today. Ole Anna Guth was right there in 1740. I missed her when I had the film last year. Her father is Johannes and her mother is Magdalena. She has 3 siblings that I could find. That part of the film gets foggy. The next thing to find is Johannes' birth record and the marriage record to keep going back. The marriage record may give a clue to where they came from. This is about the same time the Helds came up from the south.

I also sent an order to the LDS FHL at Salt Lake City for copies of the pages in  the "Sindelfinger Familien" that contain the Helds.


I went up to the FHC again today. While searching the Bissingen film I ran across some confirmation records that listed Johannes, Anna's father, and his father, Matthaus GUTT for the years of 1713-16. That gave a better idea when to find Johannes' birth record, which I did. I looked for siblings and found none. So when I got to the wedding records, I found Matthaus' record pretty easily. However, the records where Johannes' wedding would be recorded was badly faded and totally unreadable. (I will try getting a copy of those pages from the FHL in Salt Lake City to see if theirs is any better. If that doesn't work I'll write to the Stuttgart Church Archive.)

I did find one younger sibling of Anna's, Johann Georg. There is still a mystery. On Anna's birth record one of the sponsors was Johann Georg Gutt. Probably an uncle of Johannes, because I cannot find a birth record for him.

Matthaus' wedding record said he was from "Dummlingen." I can find no Dummlingen, the closest is Tumlingen. (In old German it was common to interchange Ts and Ds.) Tumlingen is about 30 miles from where the Helds came from, Biesingen, in about the same time. I must find if there was there a war or famine that caused families to move north about 1700 from the southern Baden/Würtemberg and Switzerland areas. Tumlingen is getting closer to Switzerland. Tumlingen will be the next film I order.

Here is my GUTH lineup now.

 1   Jacob Gutt b: Abt 1655 Possibly Tumlingen
.. 2   Matthaus Gutt b: Abt. 1680 Possibly Tumlingen
..  +Anna Etiebhon? b: Abt. 1680 Possibly Bissingen m: May 11, 1700 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg
.... 3   Johannes Guth b: June 24, 1704 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg
....  +Magdalena ? b: Abt. 1710 Possibly Bissingen
...... 4   Johannes Guth b: August 09, 1733 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg  d: Bef. 1734
...... 4   Johannes Guth b: December 26, 1734 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg
...... 4   Matheus Guth b: September 20, 1737 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg
...... 4   Anna Guth b: September 01, 1740 Bissingen Eßlingen Würtemberg  d: July 24, 1801 Aurich Ludwigsburg Würtemberg
.......  +Joachim Held b: July 25, 1736 Aurich Ludwigsburg Würtemberg m: October 23, 1764 Aurich Ludwigsburg Würtemberg d: December 02, 1790 Aurich Ludwigsburg Würtemberg
...... 4   Johann Georg Guth b: May 16, 1743 Bissingen Eßlingen  Würtemberg


I received a letter from the Baden Luthern church archive in Karlsruhe. It was very cryptic and seemed to say that I should contact the Württemberg Luthern archive in Stuttgart. It seemed to be directing me to Bissingen in Württemberg, instead of Biesingen in Baden. From the above information we do have family from Bissingen, but it's not the Helds, it's the Guths. The archivest seem to ignore the LDS microfilm citation on the edge of the page that clearly indicated the data I left with them are from Bad Dürrheim-Biesingen church records.

I have asked an internet friend to compose a letter for me to send back to them and explain that it is confirmed that they were from Bad Dürrheim-Biesingen. What I asked them to do was to link ole Hans Held to one of the earlier Held families in the same area. If I can get that link the Held family will be traced back to 1550, or there abouts.


I contacted Betty Blyholder to help with the Bleyholder part of our ancestry. I sent her a copy of the LDS FHL catalog entries for the city of Ulm, where the Bleyholder-Geiger trail seems to lead.

A couple days ago I discovered I had 1870 US Census records that linked the Blyholders and the Reichenbachs in the middle 1800s. If that can be confirmed, the statement by Jean Rupert that the Helds, Blyholders, and Reichenbachs were friends was not quite true. They were all also family.


When June and I were travelling back and forth between Mönsheim and Aurich, we had to pass through two little villages, Iptingen and Nußdorf (Nussdorf). We have some family from Iptingen, Casper Held's wife Maria Catharina Optiz. Casper Held is Joachim Held's uncle. However I could not find any family from Nußdorf. There sure were a lot of Collmers, Dihlmanns, and Rapps there though. There was one of the few deadends I've had so far. However, at one time I thought Bissingen was a deadend too. We do have Collmers in our family, but they seem to have come from Malmsheim.

I ordered the Tumlingen film today.

I just received an email from Mike Pantel, the internet friend I asked to look at the letter from the Baden Church Archive. He confims that they are directing me to Bissingen, but he also says that they sent my documentation to the Württemberg Church Archive in Stuttgart. He sent me a letter to send but he also said he would call the Baden Church Archive and talk to Frau Schlia or Herr Fischer and try to get the study back on track. That's more than one should ask.

I downloaded the latest version of GED2HTML (v3.5) and built a new family tree from the Helds in Germany file, which I then uploaded to the GeoCities webpages.


Got an email from Mike Pantel saying everything is back on track at the church archive in Karlsruhe. Apparently the Stuttgart archive sent the papers back to Karlsruhe archive saying it was Biesingen, not Bissingen. They  must have read the citation on the edge of the sheet.


Today I received the copies of the pages from the "Sindelfinger Familien."  Apparently the book was commisioned by the city to commemorate a city milestone. It originally was to have all of the families that ever lived there, but it was trimmed to contain only those families that currently live there. Even with the trimming it contains 900 pages.

There are 11 generations of Helds in the book. Now to enter the data and merge with what I already read from the microfilm to see what surprises I have.


Been entering the Held data from "Sindelfinger Familien." Came to the conclusion that the Hölds in the Sindelfingen church records and the Helds in the book are the same families. I suspected this. One of the early families seems to have a tie to Biesingen, with our other Held families. The more I dig into this, the more I find that all of the Helds in Würtemberg are part of the same family, all from the Biesingen-Oberbaldingen-Öfingen area near Donau-Eschingen. Not only part of the same family, but they seemed to communicate and visit, because part of our direct line married people from this community and some nearby.

I've found a few birthdates and marriage dates that are slightly different. Could be my reading of the films, or Helmuth Maier's. Will check the critical ones in our line. The new Family Tree Maker V5.0 now handles multiple birth, marriage, and death entries so the conflicting data can all be stored and a choice made as to which should be shown.


In an email from Ingeborg Höld, a Dutch researcher who still has family in Villingen, about 8 miles from Biesingen, here is a possible piece of information about the Helds ancestry. The only connection, so far, is the area. But, this may correct my statement above about where the Helds originally came from.

"Another interesting note for both of us that I got via my father is that according to a "Salemer Urkunde" (This was a convent) (Trans:Urkunde=document) about a Salemer property in Villingen from 1244 they mention a " Conrad der Helt" and in a "Güterrodel" (Literal trans: Guterrodel=Goods Toboggan) from convent Tennenbach 1363 they mention "der Helt von Marpach" (Helt = Hero). Marpach is in the "Brigachtal" near Villingen. The note says further that it is presumed that the Höld/Held family in the 15th centurty went from the "Brigachtal" to Villingen. Furthermore that around 1750 in Marbach and Klingen/Klengen? there were several people with the name Höld. That the name changed between Höld-Helt-Höldt-Held. And finaly that the name Höld occurs in "urkunde" in the Villingen area already very early."

According to ShtetlSeeker there are no less than 15 towns and villages named Marbach(Marpach) in Germany, 5 are within Württemberg alone. One is within 6 miles of Biesingen, and a part of the municipality of Villingen-Schwenningen. ShtetlSeeker gives no Kilngen in Germany but there is one Klengen about 5 miles west of Biesingen, a mile or two south of Marbach. ShtetlSeeker does not give anyplace like Brigachtal, but GeoSev does. It appears to be a municipality (a conglomeration of villages) that includes Klengen. My ADAC (German equivalent of AAA) 1:150,000 map of Schwarzwald shows all these places.

My ADAC map also shows a point of interest within Bad Dürrheim (about 3 miles east of Brigachtal) called Solemar. Could that be "Salemer?" It's more likely that is a coincidence and it means a sun room in the bath house at Bad Dürrheim (the bath at Dürrheim). Ingeborg says "Salemer" means Salem. The "-er" could be the German possesive form.

Anyone want to research this possible connection to our family? Or, should I contact the Baden church archive or some other local archive and give them some money to research this. (I'll need some help.) There might be a problem because the Baden church archive is "Evangelische" and this convent is "Katholische." These convents predate Martin Luther's Reformation. I'll make a search in the LDS catalog for "Salemer" and post a note on the Baden-Würtemberg message board.

Interesting side note: Frederick Christian Held, my Ggrandfather, was a huckster, and if I read Guterrodel correctly old Conrad der Helt was also.


Found someone who has a copy of "Sindelfinger Familien" on the net. He is making me copies of the Klein, Mitchelen, Wanner, and Widman families. We have connections into all these families. I will owe him a bundle for copying.

So far I have found that Christina's maternal grandmother's mother (Magdalena Wanner's mother, Maria Dorothea Held/Höld) was in the Held line from Sindelfingen. I now have the Sindelfingen line of Helds back to c1610. Christina's grandfather (Philipp Joachim Held) was from the Held line from B-O-Ö, and the B-O-Ö line of Helds are firmly identified to c1630 with potential links to 1550. Somewhere we will probably find that the Helds in B-O-Ö and those in Sindelfingen are linked together, probably with those in Villingen from Brigachtal and "der Helt von Marpach".

Probably have enough new information to update the published family trees, but with new information coming I will wait a day or two. Rebuilding the FTM homepage reports is easy, but updating the GED2HTML data for the GeoCities homepage is a pain because there are over 300 files to be uploaded. It's a good thing I found how to upload using an FTP application rather than the GeoCities upload system.


Thought I had a tie to Biesingen with several of the Helds from Sindelfingen. It turns out I had mislabeled some of my notes for Sindelfingen as Biesingen.

Old Adolph, the earliest Held shown in "Sindelfinger Familien" with an approximate birthdate in 1609 is identified as from Zabern. There is no town called Zabern or anything close in all of eastern Europe. Is it in Switzerland? Switzerland is only a few miles away to the south.

Got a call from the FHC. The film from Tumlingen is in. I will look at it tomorrow.


Received a package today with 39 more pages from "Sindelfinger Familien." They were the Wanners, Kleins, and Widmanns. Also included are the indices at the end of the book. The index pages list a date and a home place for the top of each family tree. Old Adolph Held is listed as from Zabern, Alsaß. This is the only place that it states he was from Alsace. ShtetlSeeker doesn't include France, and there are no hits from MapQuest and Expedia. I posted a message in the Alsace-Lorraine message board to see if anyone recognizes the town.

I looked at the Tumlingen film and could not find a reference to Mattheus Gutt in the 1680 era. In fact I could not find a reference to any Gutts or Guths. Another dud.


Got several responses from the A-L message board on the location of Zabern. It's now called Saverne, and its about 20 miles NW of Strasbourg. I will see if the FHLC has a microfilm for c1600 for Saverne, Alsace or Zabern, Elsaß. According to the notes old Adolph converted on 14 April 1650, so he would be listed as Catholic here. This area is just off my ADAC Schwarzwald 1:150000 map.


Looked up Zabern, Alsace on the FHLC. The records go back to 1550, with some gaps. I guess I'll try that film next.

Also looked up Salem. Looks like there are no old convent records, only local church data starting in 1859 for the Evangelische and 1668 for the Katholische. Neither of these are old enough. If this is the place where the old convent was, the records must be stored somewhere. I wonder if the Catholic church has an archive?


Got a response to my query on the B-W message board about Salem and Tennenbach.

It appears that Salem is a tourist attraction castle. They have a webpage at  Salem  with a live camera feed of the castle grounds. There are a group of pictures at  Landesbildstelle Württemberg under the link on the right side called Diareihen im Internet that are also about Cloister at Salem. In this group was a photo of "Die Bibliothek" (the Library). Since they have a library there I sent an email to the address given on the webpage asking about old Conrad der helt. The response from Dr. Sonnfried Weber was: "We are very sorry, that we can not be of further help. The very best is, to come over and find out. Salem and lake Constance is worthwhile to visit." I should note that when we were there in July, we drove within a couple miles of Salem Castle and had no idea it was there. We may have seen a sign, but we had seen so many signs to Schloßes we probably ignored it.

On Tennenbach they indicated that it was founded in 1161, it is near 79312 Emmendingen, but it is now in ruins. Emmendingen is about 20-25 miles due west of the area of Brigachtal. Their papers are probably in an archive somehere nearby, probably Freiburg.

Link to September 1998

Copyright 1998 by Fred H. Held