English Summary of the Family Chronicle

Full content with pictures see German Edition (English interpretation with Google translate)


Where do we come from - Where are we going? The study of history will give us answers to these questions. And what is nearer beginning with our own roots?

We are fortunate to be able to trace our ancestors back to the 17th century from written notices in parish-registers despite of wars and other destruction that have impeded our progress.

The important information about our forefathers is not only the date, when they were born, baptized, married, died and buried. Beyond that we are learning about their life’s conditions in order to reconstruct human history in it’s full context.

We are not eager to glorify our ancestors, but rather show them as they were - ordinary, honorable people living in extreme hardship and trying to earn their daily bread in dignity without kissing someone’s feet.

The adversity and tyranny they encountered led many to emigrate to other areas of the country and world. May this chronicle bring relatives together, who have lost sight or who have never seen each other, in order to understand where we have been and where we are going.

Düsseldorf, in August 1999    Bruno Reble

How it all began

Not with Adam and Eve shall this family chronicle begin, but with Adam and Anne, born 1917 and 1920 in Eutingen by Pforzheim. It is not much that we know about them in contrast to other well-kwown persons of the Baroque period:emperors and kings, dukes and princes, aristocrats and noblemen.

At least from the Register of Persons of the Parish Books of Eutingen near Pforzheim, we have learned the following (details see: List of descendants):

Johann Adam Reble, occupation: brick-layer, born 27 SEP 1717, son of Jacob and Anna.
First married 1744 to Anna Maria Magdalene Elsaesser, born 1720 in Eutingen. 4 children, 2 living, Second married 1756 to Anna Maria Buechel. 2 children. And finally (without date) around the year 1763, the meager entry:
To Juetland

What is hidden behind this entry? How much affliction and want must overtake a family with several children, the father over 45, to turn their backs on their home, in order to begin a new existence in the Cold North?

Let us begin our search with the material foundations. As occupation, it is recorded that Adam Reble is a bricklayer. That means in those days a job as a day-laborer ... when there is work. But can a family exist from occasional jobs in a village of round about 400 souls, where economy is exclusively based on agriculture? Hardly not!

Allthough the strategic site of Eutingen is not bad: on the half distance between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and approximately in the intersection of two passage roads (east/west and north/south). But in those days this is more a plague than a blessing, because traffic roads are first of all military roads.

The horror of war

During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) the population of Baden is decimated by 2/3. With difficulty the foreign armies have left Baden, new mischief pulls over the land. 1689 Eutingen, as well as Pforzheim, are burned down from French troops. 1691/92 and 1695 again French quartering, also 1701-14, whereas 1707 the parish register is burned. 1733-38 Baden is inundated with French, Austrian and Russian troops, as well as 1740-48 and during the Seven Years’ War 1756-63. 

And even in „periods of peace" living in the country is a permanent fight of survival, because feudalism means that worldly and parochial masters own the land, which is the most important means of production. Bondsmen, serfs and partly free farmers cultivate this land and therefore have to perform duties. From these tributes lives the ruling class: the princes and sovereigns, the counts and kings ... and their clerks: the jurists, priests and writers, the tax-collectors, the spies and the armed-knights.

Yet the productivity is extremely low, especially in the agriculture, which is done in ways similar to those of the Middle Ages. The acreage yields little and the number of cattle is small. One hears about failing harvests, dying livestock and of much begging by the poor.

Bondage lies like a shackle over the land and curbs progressive thought and initiative. Religious persecution mania is added. Someone who lives for example under a Catholic land-owner and accepts Protestantism, must be prepared to be still more persecuted and oppressied.

It seems that things can’t go on as they are and that reform is urgently needed, but principally that the State should gain more revenue and thereby have more power.

The Danish royal court is also concerned and tries to attract colonists with generous promises.

The Great Trek from the old to the new homelands

The advertising has success and in winter 1760 the first trek is moving to the north: 265 families with round about 1000 persons from Baden, Württemberg and Hessen.

The few belongings are loaded on covered wagons. The adults are going on foot. Ca. 30 kilometers they are reaching by this way per day. Traveling is hard and burdensome in these days. It is war in the middle of Europe and the wintry streets are rough and dangerous.

Even the family Adam REBLE leaves 1763 their home in Eutingen/Baden.

First stop is the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt, 150 km north of Eutingen. Here they are provided by the Danish Embassy with passports and earnest money and are waiting for other emigrants to make a trek together.

Juli 1763: How happy they must have been when at last the towers of Altona and Hamburg appear on the horizon. Here on Danish territory they can take a time out and they will be supplied with fresh provisions for the last 150 km.

5.AUG 1763: Registration on a reserve list (rank 146 of 338) in order to run for vacant positions.

The further stations