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Altstadt, The Church Parish and Records

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Excerpt from the book Old Town: A parish in a thousand years of history of Pastor Günter Heinrich formerly Altstadt.  I have also collected data from other sources at the town hall in Hachenburg and village historical records.  I hope to identify more areas and information as I continue to read the church books of Altstadt.

   The parish Altstadt, or "Old Town" seems to have its first listing in the Hachenburg District Court Records in 1316. In this record Altstadt and a few other surrounding villages received attention.  But, for those of us hunting our ancestral path, and using records that are still available, another important date is in 1610 when the Parish of Altstadt is clearly identified along with those towns that are part of the Parish.  In this time the Parish of Altstadt comprised:

Altstadt, Brunenbach, Gehlert (Geilenrode), Hütte, Laad (Lade), Merkelbach, Mittelhattert, Nister, Oberhattert (portions), Steinebach (portions), Wied

   Since that time there have been other changes around the Altstadt Parish. Brunenbach seems to have faded into the past and no longer exists on maps or recent recollections. One record in the 17th century indicates it was near Niederhattert. Other places have found mention in various other records and in the parish book itself; such as, Sophienthal, Kellershof, Hof Derse, Hof Kleeburg, Hof Bellen, Hattert Mühle, Altenhof, Arfelden, Horhausen, Schmidthahn, Langenbaum, and Krambergsmühle. I am sure there will be others that I discover as I continue to look for more clues.

    Some of these villages also have changed alignment between the various Parish areas over time. Since most records are from 1610 or later, I still think the above list is a good one to use as a starting point.

    Altenhof still has a road named after it and it lies along the 413 heading southwest out of Hachenburg..

    Arfelden doesn't seem to have a voice anymore, but by descriptions it should have been along the L281 that heads out of Hachenburg and near today's Am Burggarten Strasse.  Some very early records of the Marienstatt Abbey identify the Arfelden family as Hachenburg residents. By the mid 1600s they can be found still living in the area primarily in Muschenbach village or seemingly centered there. Some of these records show marriages and the Arfelder men move to take up residence in the village of their new wives in Altstadt and other parts of the Parish.

     Horhausen was supposed to be along the route to Alpenrod and near Ziegelhütte.  All that I can find to cross reference that is the road the eastern portion of Hachenburg that is indeed on the way to Alpenrod, but nothing really substantive to go by.

     In general it may be strange that the Parish is called Altstadt, Old Town of what one might ask.  Altstadt seems to have been the original location of homes and commerce.  Later the walled city of Hachenburg appeared in records and it was in 1372 when both Hachenburg and Alderstat were listed together.  Previous to this I am not sure how things were recorded. Altstadt therefore seems to be the village along the Rothenbach stream.

     Other referenced minor locations seem to be in the Hachenburg city of today, but maybe just a garden estate of the rich and famous in the past. some of these estates are identified as Wedumhof, Wittumshof, Brenderschen, Grüneschen Hof, Pfarrhof, Marienstätter Hof, Bendorfer Hof and "Hof to the Eichen ".


................... more to come..

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