|Original Church Books for Thamsbruck|
Grossengottern - Schade, Motz, Born and Apel
|Sister Rueckert under the sign entering into Grossengottern|
We started our week on Monday morning by making the 2+ hour trip to the Grossengottern parish. We had never been able to get a response from this parish before. Finally a few weeks ago, I made a phone call to the pastor and he invited us to come up on Monday at 10:00 am. We found him to be extremely helpful as he spent over three hours with us reviewing the parish books and seeking out our ancestors. He was willing to spend the time to read the old writing and bring out the books as our search expanded. We were able to extend one family line several generations and clarified information in others.
|Elder Rueckert reviewing parish books with the Pastor|
|The pastor looking through the parish books|
|Marriage Record of additional grandparents added to the Moeller line|
We had another visit at the Muhlhausen parish scheduled for the afternoon, but arrived late due to the success we were having. We jointly decided to just concentrate one full day in Muhlhausen on the following Wednesday. That left us a little extra time for our drive to Magdeburg, a few hours north. There we would be visiting the regional archive the next morning.
While there, we decided to visit the Magdeburg Water Bridge, described from Wikipedia below:
The Magdeburg Water Bridge (German: Kanalbrücke Magdeburg) is a large navigable aqueduct in central Germany, located near Magdeburg. The largest canal underbridge in Europe, it spans the river Elbe and directly connects the Mittellandkanal to the west and Elbe-Havel Canal to the east of the river, allowing large commercial ships to pass between the Rhineland and Berlin without having to descend into and then climb out of the Elbe itself.
This man made bridge for a river expands nearly one kilometer, 690 meters over land and 228 meters over water. The water depth in the bridge is 4.25 meters. We walked up to the bridge where there is a lock to transport other boats down to the connected canal from the bridge location. It ended up being quite a walk! The first photo is taken from the Wikipedia page. It shows this better than we were able to capture.
|By Lotron at the German language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1323934|
|Lock for boats to descend from the bridge to a canal connecting to the Elbe River|
|Water in the bridge and the Elbe River below in the background|
|Sister Rueckert alongside the river bridge, looking towards the river crossing|
|With the river bridge looking out towards where it joins the river in the distance|
Magdeburg Archives - Möllers From Dachwig to Gispersleben
|Sister Rueckert by the sign entering Gispersleben|
|Sister Rueckert under the sing as we entered into Dachwig, about 14 kilometers from Gispersleben|
|Part of the familienregister for Moeller in Dachwig|
We never have enough time at this archive. There seems to be unlimited things to research. However, each time we go, we learn a little more and capture some additional information.
After finishing at the archive, we drove back to the Erfurt area. We decided to take the time to revisit the home where Sister Rueckert's father lived. This may be our last visit to Erfurt on our mission, so we did want to make one more visit.
|Sister Rueckert on the steps where her Father had stood as a child|
|By the Gispersleben Kiliani Church, home of the primary Church records for the recent Moeller|
|At an Italian restaurant in Gispesleben|
|The ceiling of the restaurant, stars, clouds, etc.|
|By the Dachwig primary Church, home of the Dachwig parish records|
Mühlhausen - Focus on Döring, Michel, Harnisch & Heussner
|Sister Rueckert in front of the entrance sign into Mühlhausen|
This parish has records from six different Churches during this time. To research, we would often have to look at the church books from all six Churches. This is where Dr.Kublik was extremely helpful. For example, we found Johann Andreas Döring birth record in the St. Nicolai records and his death record in the St. Petri Books. The marriage record of his in-laws (Michel and Harnisch) was in the St. Blasii books. We also found some more printed books of several of the parishes in Mühlhausen, which was another treasure. Sister Rueckert took photos of all of the pages that referred to the 10 names or so for which we had primary interest in Mühlhausen.
|Books of printed books with indexes to marriages, births and deaths at several of the parishes in Mühlhausen|
|Birth of Margaretha Elisabeth Michel, daughter of Johann Christoph Michel and Martha Christina Harnisch|
We took a lunch break and celebrated our stay in Mühlhausen with a Mühlhausen Pizza at the local Mama Mia's restaurant. This was perhaps the best pizza that we have eaten in Europe. It pays to buy what is named for the local city.
Excellent "Mühlhausen" Pizza
We found this especially interesting as we learned about Thomas Münzter, a reformer at the time of Martin Luther. Although he initially sided with Luther, he ended up opposing the Roman Catholic Church and Martin Luther. He preached in many locations. However, his last place of preaching was in Mühlhausen. The exhibition in the Church states:
"The old city council is dissolved and a new "Eternal Council" established. Whereas Luther called on the peasants to exercise moderation and reject violence, for Müntzer the time has come to separate the "chosen" from the 'ungodly". When the Peasants' War reached Thuringia, he takes on the mantle of the leading theologian of the revolt and marches at the head of a contingent o peasants from Mühlhausen into the Battle of Frankenhausen. After the bloody defeat against the army of the Dukes Müntzer is taken as a prisoner, tortured and finally executed in front of the gates of Mühlhausen on the 27th May 1525."
After his death, the city of Mühlhausen rejected the Catholic Church and became a stronghold of the reformation.
|In the Church Museum|
|St. Marien's Church in Mühlhausen|
We then went and visited many of the other Churches in the "old town". In a short space, we counted six different Churches. All of them were built before the reformation. In one of the largest, St. Blasii, there was an exhibit of the history of Lutheran pastors as the city turned from Catholic reign during the reformation.
|Sister Rueckert reviewing the history of Pastor families|
|In front of the St. Blasii Church|
|St. Blassi Church|
|St. Jacob's Church|
|Corn Market Church|
|All Saints Church|
Thamsbruck - Stolls and many of their relatives
|Sister Rueckert under the sign of entering into Thamsbrück|
|Sister Rueckert taking photos of one of the "books"|
|Marriage record of 5th Great Grandfather Stoll of Sister Rueckert. Better information than was in Family Search.|
After the parish visit, we decided to go and get an ice cream in Thamsbrück. We were told that they had a great ice cream shop just outside of town. We found several ways out of town and none led to an ice cream shop. On one such adventure, we followed a road that went by some geese and then turned into a bicycle path.
|Geese on the side of the road "out of town"|
|The narrowing road left us no room to turn around|
|While we looked for ice cream, we picked a little wheat from the fields and satisfied our hunger with kernels of wheat|
After going to a neighboring town we asked about an ice cream store. They sent us back to Thamsbrück where we finally found our ice cream store, within the city of Thamsbrück.
|Busy ice cream store in Thamsbrück|
Friday and Saturday,
Freiberg, Germany Temple - families sealed together
After finishing in Thamsbrück, we drove for a few more hours to arrive in Freiburg, home of the only operating temple in Germany. There we spent all day Friday and Saturday morning. We enjoyed a couple endowment sessions and an initiatory session on Friday before the temple closed at 3:00 pm. We were able to do another endowment session and a sealing session on Saturday morning before heading back towards home.
|In front of the Freiberg temple on Friday afternoon|
|A very unique evergreen tree in front of the chapel on the Freiberg temple site|
This was our fourth visit to this temple, counting the open house a year ago. We got to know individuals in this temple and have some fellow missionaries that we can consider friends. It certainly feels like "our" temple.
As I sat in the endowment session on Saturday morning, my mind reflected on the sealing that we had just completed that morning. I remembered that this is the purpose of our family history efforts, to help individuals receive temple ordinances and covenants and to help families to be sealed together forever.
As an example of this wonderful work, the following photo hits one of the examples from this visit.:
After we left the temple on Friday, we went looking for nearby castles. We found and visited a few in the vicinity. See the following:
|Castle in downtown Freiberg|
|Castle in Nossen, Germany|
|Inner court of the Castle in Nossen, Germany|
|Part of the torture chamber of the Nossen Castle. Sit on this chair and you cannot lean back or rest your arms.|
|Entrance to the dungeon. Entry and exit only by a rope or some extended object into the dungeon.|
On the way home - Erfurt Castles and Kassel
After the temple session on Saturday, we checked out of our hotel and headed home, the long way. As we drove back near Erfurt, we decided to visit a few of the castles that we have often driven by. There are three within a short distance of each other. Some were not easily accessible. Photos of them follow:
|Outside of Veste Wachsenburg|
|Great meal, bratwurst, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes|
|Water flowing from the top (Hercules)|
|One of the waterfalls along the way. Foot bridge on the top.|
|Blue lights with the water above a castle wall|
|In front of the great fountain at the end of the water works. A little closer than we needed to be as we got pretty wet.|