Oorsprong van die Herselmans
Facts on events for the explanation of the name Hoerschelmann in the area of Eisenach, sent by Erna
and Manfred Haak, Eisenach, East Germany.
-Tacitus, a Roman Historian about 100 A.D. mentioned in his book, "Germania" fights of the Hermendures
against the Chattes for important salt-springs at the Werra. In this connection a tributary of the Werra is mentioned as "Hursilla fluvins".
-The monasteries of Fulda and Hersfeld were quarrelling in 970 A.D. for the right of shipping on the Hoersel (Hörsel) River.
-Foundation of the Wartburg in 1067.
-The Franks named the village of Hoerschel (Hörschel) "horsila gemundi" (mouth of the horsila river).
-About 1200 A.D. Minnesängerkrieg (singers or troubadours struggle at the Wartburg). In this connection the legend of the knight Tannhäuser appeared, who is said to be kept by Venus in an underground cavern of the Hörselberge (Hörsel-hills). Compare with the famous opera Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner (a record of the pilgrims choir gives an impression of that lovely landscape).
-The village Hoerschel is officially mentioned in documents in 1330.
-In the following centuries people from this early settlement forced their way into the dense forests following small brokks that could provide power for water mills. In this way Unterellen may be founded by men coming from Hoerschel.
Taken from the family chronicle written by pastor Constantin von Hoerschelmann and printed as manuscript in the year 1903 in Reval, Germany.
LEGEND: The following legend has been inherited from father to son.
"In two towns west of Thuringen on the riverbanks of the Hörsel River by the town Stedtfeld or the town Hörschel, a little basket was found in which an unknown little boy was laying. People from Stedtfeld raised him and named him after his founding place, 'Hörselmann'."
This was to have occurred during the Dark Ages. Stedtfeld is one hour downstream from Eisenach. Hörschel town is by the fork of the Hörschel and Werra Rivers. In the language development oe became oe (the "e" on top of the "o") and finally ö. It is interesting to note that there is a "Hörselberg" (this 's' is pronounced sharp like 'sch'), berg meaning mountain or hill. It is also called "Venusberg" in an old legend, and this mountain plays a part in Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser. There is an opinion that "Hörsel" means "Hör-Seelen" (hear-souls), which means that people can hear "souls" or "ghosts" in this mountain. Other studies say that "Höersel" originally was pronounced "horsel" and that this could have to do with the English word "horse". So could the wild waves of the Hörsel River have been compared with the flying manes of horses?
In Eisenach Thüringen and the region, and also in the neighboring towns in the 1500's ...we find as inhabitants of Hörsel Valley already 18 carriers of the name Hörselmann. In Eisenach the name Hörselmann was found for the first time in 1566. The carrier of the same was Hans, one of the most often found names in the region of Eisenach. It is interesting to note that when a woman was referred to she was called "Hörselfraulein", (Hörsel-lady).
The family Hörselmann was living in Hörschel Valley and its surrounding regions during the first three centuries of its existance. From there the lineage spread out into the surrounding regions.
The Lineage of Hoerschelmann of Unterellen is as follows:
Caspar born in Stedtfeld by Eisenach
Vitus, son of Caspar born Jan. 27, 1663 in Unterellen
Georg, Son of Vitus, born Jan. 13, 1697
Justinus Adam, son of Georg, born Oct. 30, 1730
Conrad Sr., son of Justinus Adam, born Apr. 24, 1770
Conrad Sr. wed Elisabeth Radloff of Gosperode.
Conrad Jr., son of Conrad Sr., born May 5, 1809
Conrad Jr. wed Anna Christina Steinhäuser. They had seven children.
There is no record of the first five. The sixth child was Valentin, the seventh child was Johann Gottlieb, born Aug. 7, 1850.
Gottlieb married Margarete Elis. Fischer of Hötzelroda. Their children:
Valentin Fred, born Feb. 3, 1875 and
August, born May 15, 1877.
They went to America, it is believed, Iowa and that they have two daughters. No further records of them.
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