A beam across time

Posted on Facebook on 27 October 2015.

I feel the need to compensate the negative impression that my previous post may have created, viz. that Weisenborn roots excel in being untangible. This certainly doesn't apply to the roots of Amy Jean Harman born Weissenborn, who liked the previous post.

In the attached picture, taken in the study of Albert Weissenborn in Dessau, you see an oak beam with the inscription


CVDIFH stands for Cum Venia Dei In Favore Habitabo, which is Latin meaning: with God's agreement I will live in His shelter. The Capitals BGB may well stand for further first names, quite likely Balthasar Gottfried Bernhard. Georgius is the latin version of Georg.

This beam embellished the house of rector Georg Weißenborn in Roßla. It survived the fire of 1656, in which the house was all but destroyed. Hanß Georg Suhle jr, bought the remains of the house and the grounds in 1660. He married Georg's daughter Anna Margareth on 11 November 1668, and built a new house on the site. The oak beam from then on embellished this house.

No documents seem to have survived with details about the two generations between 1537 and 1616, i.e. between Georg who built his house in 1537 and Georg and his wife Catharina, who had their son - the later rector - Georg who was baptised in Kelbra on 15 February 1616.

From then on there is a well-documented line of male descendants, all "Mauermeisters" (master-bricklayers, and also architects) in Roßla, to Johann Friedrich Martin Weißenborn (1800-1855). He had 8 children with Friederieke Heydecke, of whom 4 survived infancy. The eldest son, Friedrich Gottfried August, again a bricklayer, found no employment in Roßla and moved to the booming town Halberstadt. In 1856 the widow with her children followed her eldest son to Halberstadt.

I believe - but I lack the key evidence - that Amy Jean is a descendant of this Weißenborn-family. Her direct ancestor Carl Weissenborn had seven children with Frederika Zander, herself from Ditfurt near Halbertstadt, who were all but the last one born in Halberstadt between 1879 and 1900.