In Part 5 of Hiebels in Bohemia, I had traced my ancestry all the way up to my 8th great grandfather, Mathias Hübl. His name was listed on the marriage record for Georg and Regina that I found. Now knowing which Georg Hübl of the two was my ancestor; I found the birth record which showed me his parents were Mathias Hübl and Walburga Welner. This led me to finding their marriage record which gave me the name of my 9th great grandfather, Caspar Hübl.
At this point I was approaching the earliest Bohemian church records, which began around the 1640s. Knowing that the Hiebels lived in the Sudetenland, I figured their true origins lay somewhere in Germany. While I wanted to go as far back as possible, I also was really excited to find this original ancestral village somewhere in Germany.
Due to the fact that I wasn’t able to find birth records for either Mathias or Caspar, I figured they must have been the first Hiebels of my direct line to live in Bohemia. I still needed to find as much information as possible for them in the Bohemian records as I could, since this would mark the beginning of the end for my research. Once I began to dig deeper on Caspar in the records, I reached my final conflict. Similar to the case with Georg, there were two Caspar Hübls living in Kaltenbrunn at this time. Finding the right one wouldn’t lead me to anymore birth record or ancestor names, however it would lead me to find the Hiebels ancestral village in Germany.
What was the problem? How did I solve it? What conclusions did I make from this?
- The Problem:
No Birth Records: As I stated in the intro, I was now at a point where there were no birth records. The records for the parishes I was researching stopped around 1640. This is also around the time many Germans moved into the Sudetenland as both were part of the Holy Roman Empire. The parish records for modern day Germany are not available online, so I knew my research was going to end in Bohemia (for now).
Two Caspars: The records that I found on these final two ancestors were the marriage and death records for Mathias, and the death record for Caspar. Things became even more complicated when I found a death record for another Caspar Hübl in Kaltenbrunn. This time I did not have the advantage of house numbers to help me as I did with Georg, and without Mathias’s birth record I had no name for his mother.
- How I Solved It:
Alter and Junger: When it once again seemed that my research was done so close to the end, Sunny noticed that the two Caspars in the records were labeled as Alter and Junger. I knew this translated to older and younger in German, so we had something to identify them apart from each other.
Mathias Marriage: When I relooked at the marriage record for Mathias, I was pleased to see his father was listed as Caspar der Alter! Caspar der Junger died in 1703 and Caspar der Alter died in 1692, the latter being my ancestor.
Ages: The only thing I had to estimate the births of Mathias and Caspar were the ages on their death records. Mathias would have been born around 1665. Looking at the deaths of both Caspars, I had another problem when their ages inferred that Caspar der Junger was in fact older then Caspar der Alter. This led me to believe that these records were beginning to become inaccurate. Modern U.S. records are often times filled with inaccuracies, however for the most part these small village church books had been spot on. The only conclusion I could think of was his age may have not been known if he wasn’t born in Bohemia.
Gruber: Finding records for Caspar der Junger had shown me he was born in Kaltenbrunn, so in the earlier records he wasn’t referred to as Junger. All the evidence pointed to the fact that Caspar and Mathias were born in Germany. Sunny and I made our final discovery by thinking outside of the box. We looked at other early birth records to see if Caspar was ever mentioned as a godfather. There was a birth record for a Caspar Gruber whose parents were Mathias and Catharina Gruber. Sure enough, the godparents were Caspar and Margaretha Hübl of Schachten! I also found the birth record for Caspar and Margaretha’s daughter Catharina Hübl in 1667, who had the godparents of Mathias and Catharina Gruber! It would not be wrong to assume Mathias Hübl was named after Mathias Gruber, either!
Schachten: Thinking outside of the box despite a lack of records led us to this discovery that we otherwise never would have found. Even without any German records, I was able to connect the dots to find out that Caspar and Mathias were born in Schachten and came to Bohemia sometime between Mathias’s birth around 1665 and Catharina’s birth in 1667. There were several locations named Schachten in Germany, however I ended up finding one village in the Cham district of Bavaria which was only a few miles on the other side of the border from Kaltenbrunn.
With the discovery of Caspar Hübl from Schachten; I had discovered the name of my 9th great grandfather, traced my Hiebel ancestors back to the 1600s in Bohemia, and found where they came from in Germany.
Someday I hope to travel to Germany and access their church records, however that will most likely be many years from now. Again I have to laugh, because this is exactly what I did a year after I originally wrote this. One of the new stories I plan on writing will discuss my trip to the villages and the Regansburg archives in 2015.
Anyways, I never thought I would trace the Hiebel family back further then Joseph. If there is a lesson to my story, it would be to never give up on finding your ancestral village! You never know how far back you will be able to go in genealogy if you put forth the time and effort in digging up your family roots. Until next time…keep searching!
Death record for my 8th great grandfather, Mathias Hübl
Death record for my 9th great grandfather, Caspar Hübl