42. Reporting on my June 2017 search for Weis(s)enborns: Sunday 25 June until Wednesday 28 June.

Posted on Facebook on 24 July 2017.

Sunday 25 June was a rest day for me. After having broken up my tent I went with Thomas and his wife to the service in the church in Veckerhagen. During the service there was a baptism in which the font and ewer of 1680 were used, the same ones as had been used for my ancestor Johann Martin and his siblings. I then made the 3 hour journey to Hannover, where I was the guest of my friends Barbara and Wilfried until Wednesday.

On Monday morning I went by streetcar to the Kirchliches Archiv on the Hildesheimer Straße. Before diving into the registers I had an interesting conversation with the custodian, Mrs. Klein. She first of all expressed admiration for my project to search for and document the history of all Weis(s)enborns and Wittenborns and wished me a rewarding day. She said that she often had to disappoint visitors - many of them from overseas - who told her that their ancestors had come from Hannover, and could she please help them to go back further in time? She then had to ask: "where in Hannover?", as Hannover was a kingdom stretching all the way from the Dutch border in the west to the former East German border in the east, some 300 kilometers. If the answer wasn't "from the city of Hannover itself", there was hardly any hope that she could help them.

She furthermore showed me how, quite inadvertently, data had been published by the Mormons that shouldn't have become public. In the decades after the war the Mormons had offered to make films of the available registers free of charge, provided that they were allowed to keep a copy. Some registers ran until the then present day, i.e. the 50s or even early 60s. These registers are now available via the Church of the Latter Day Saints, but fall under privacy legislation in Germany. Protests from German citizens are unlikely to reverse the publication - if at all possible - as these records may already have been copied from the Mormons by third parties.

Then I got going with the registers, which were available for the Evangelical Church for virtually the entire former kingdom of Hannover. I got an agreeable, hoped-for surprise when going back in time for the Weissenborns who were born in Eldagsen around 1830 and have offspring in Hannover city. They proved to be great-grandchildren of Johann Peter Weißenborn born in Deinsen in 1738, who himself was a grandson of Valentin Weißenborn born around 1665 in Reichensachsen, 12 kilometers west of the village Weißenborn near Eschwege which I had visited on Saturday. These Hannover-and-Eldagsen-Weissenborns have been brought home, so to speak.

On Tuesday I studied a family Weissenborn from Alfeld an der Leine. I found 4 generations with as earliest ancestor a cantor Bodo Ludwig Weissenborn, born in 1749. Although he was called "hiesig" - from here, i.e. Alfeld - at his marriage in 1770, he was born somewhere else. He has both a rather uncommon first name and an uncommon profession. To be studied further.

Finally I studied the registers of the village Fischbeck, a part of the city Hessisch Oldendorf. Fischbeck encompasses the hamlets Höfingen and Pötzen. In sub-hamlet Pötzer Landwehr, house nr. 29, died Jacob Weißenborn on 15 February 1791, 51 years and 10 months old. It is then quite a pity when you find there is a gap in the baptism register from 1739 until 1748, and no mention of Weißenborns before 1739. I couldn't find his marriage either. Where did this Jacob come from, and who were his parents?

On Wednesday I wrapped up my 10 day search for Weis(s)enborns in the auxiliary branch of the archive of Hannover in Pattensen. I didn't find the Weissenborn I was looking for. A search means you do not always find. Still, in the 10 days I had found data that cover about 100 densely written A4 sheets. It had been a worthwhile search and it was time to stop. In a good mood I drove the 215 kilometers that separated me from my understanding wife. She isn't one bit interested in visiting archives or clergyman's offices, but happy to leave me to my hobby. We are a happy couple. We are going to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on 26 August with our two children in Dublin.