My 4th Great-grandfather, Johann Leonhard Schott lived and died in the beautiful village of Grossgartach in southern Germany. I love this place and the feeling I get when I visit there. My ancestors lived in Grossgartach for 100s of years.
Reading the old church records the last time I visited Grossgartach:These are the old church books that go back to the 1500s. My people are in them.
Johann Leonhard Schott was born in 1769. Above is his birth entry in these church records. His parents were Johann Michael Schott and Regina Magdalena Eckstein. He was christened here, in the Evangelische Kirche on the 11th of October 1769.
On 17 November 1801, Johann Leonhard married Anna Regina Schuhmann (b. 8 Sept 1779 in Grossgartach) here in this beautiful old church.
The church today. (My Grandma Elsa grew up in the house you see on the far right.)
This artwork was give to my grandparents when they came to America in 1929. It shows the village of Grossgartach in an earlier day with the church in the center.
Below is the marriage entry for Johann Leonhard Schott and Anna Regina Schuhmann. They married in this church on 17 Nov 1801.
Here is my transcription of the marriage:
oo Grossgartach, 17.11.1801
Johann Leonhard Schott, Sohn des Johann Michael Schott, Burger u. Bauer; Stiefsohn des Johann Heinrich Krieger, Bürger u. Weber; mit Anna Regina Schuhmann, Tochter des Johann Michael Schuhmann, Bürger u. Bauer. S. 51
The Pfarrer then was Nathanael Bächler. Here is a record of all the church leaders through the years:
On the 8th of September in 1817, Johann’s wife, Anna Regina, my 4th Great-grandmother, gave birth to their 8th child. She was 38 years old. The child was stillborn and Anna Regina died in childbirth. She lost 3 other babies, in 1804, 1811 and in 1812, the last 2 were also stillborn. Heartbreaking.
On 11 February 1823 Johann Leonhard, at age 53 married 36 year-old Eva Jakobina Allinger from Laufen. They had 3 children. The first died at age 2.
Johann Leonhard Schott lived to be 79 years old. He died of “Altersschwäche” or “old age” on 5 August 1849 in Grossgartach. He was buried on the 7th.
We don’t have photos or histories of these dear ancestors, but the few church records we have speak volumes about the lives they lived and the heartache they felt. These were good hard-working people. Farm people. Villagers. I love them.