Been looking for 35+ years

+8 votes

I need help finding my wife's 4th g.grandfather. In most records he is listed as Josef or Josephus Greiner but I don't know if Joseph is first name or his middle name. He died 20 Nov 1797 in Holsthum, Germany. He was listed as a glass maker in church records and was on he employee list for the Holsthum Glaswerks. Additional information can be found in profile "Greiner 572". I am especially looking for his birthplace, parents and sibling names. Any help or advice is most sincerely appreciated.

WikiTree profile: Joseph Greiner
in Genealogy Help by Anonymous Skinner G2G1 (1.7k points)
add a tag of Germany, which might get some attention from people that follow that tag.

I have something similar with my grandfather who was conceived a week or so before the marriage of Princess Louise on 21 March 1871. His DNA has tested as closest to the House of Hesse with some linkage to Saxe-Coberg Gotha and Romanov ancestors. His Y-DNA is different from normal Hesse ancestry as it is not Frankish. Because German Royals always married cousins it makes it a bit difficult to sort through them all. 

My grandfather William Henry ????? probably knew who his father was because they wanted to pack him off the Australia as was the tradition with other illegitimate royals.  

I think you have to persevere and look for wills and other records. 

4 Answers

+3 votes

Have you tried the Bundesarchiv ?

by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 9 (98.7k points)
+12 votes
The Bundesarchiv is not the right archive, you will not find anything about him there.

Holsthum is a so called village-municipality in Rhineland-Palatine. May be that you can find there something about him in old files of the "Glaswerke" in the Rhineland-Palatine state archive.

The best way is to search in parish records. For that it is useful to know wether he was Catholic or Lutheran.

For Catholic records you can search on matricula, but I don't know if the records of the Posthum Catholic church are online there. I will look there later.

They put the Protestant records of the Rhineland online these days. I will look there later.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
I had a look in the online archives:

- the Catholic church Maria Himmelfahrt and St. Rochus belongs to the parish Irrel; on martricula there are noc parish records online

- the Protestants of Holsthum belongs to the Lutheran church of Kyllburg, parish Bitburg. On archion parish records of Bitburg are not online until now. But since a week they put online every day about 20 church books of the state church of Palatine. Maybe Bitburg follow the next days.
If you are interessted in a short history of the Glasshütte Holsthum (German language), I can upload a pdf to the mentioned profile:

Die Glashütte Holsthum
von Werner Laeis
+6 votes

In 1763 Catherine the Great (a German) issues second manifesto inviting foreigners to settle in Russia. This time it attracted thousands of colonists from Germany, largely because of great incentives. See[[]]

Sometimes almost whole villages moved to Russia.   Some years later Germans sent scouts over here looking for land to setttle.  Many went to Iowa and when they came they packed winter wheat seeds in their jacket linings.!  And don’t we grow a lot of winter wheat now!

We were told in a Germans from Russia seminar that if you can’t find your German relatives in Germany, look in Russia!

by Anne X G2G6 Mach 2 (28.0k points)
+7 votes
Hi Sam,   The glassworks was founded in 1769 and that probably means he was born elsewhere.   I checked several of the glassmaker data bases and have not found him... but I just sent an email to both Larry Greiner and Dr Luc Stenger who I work with in documenting the Greiner line.  Larry has written something like 50 books on various locations where Greiner family are found.  I did check the most current index I have from him but I do not have his most recent additions.  I am happy to put you in direct contact with Larry and Luc if you would like.  Just send me a private message with your direct email.  

As I understand it the Holsthrum area was ruled by the Dukes of Bourscheid.  Bourscheid is also a glass making location in eastern France today.   But there is also a Bourscheid in Luxembourg and that is where the Lords of Bourscheid dwelt as opposed to the town in France.  

 Glass makers often travelled to distant glass works.  I have ancestors who travelled over 350 miles in the 1500s to go to a glass works.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (706k points)
Just heard back from Larry.  He checked Luxembourg and Belgium and only had 4 people all born in 1800s or 1900s.

Have not heard back from Luc yet.

Here is another question about Greiner in Holstrum  Father of Daniel Greiner - WikiTree G2G 

Some more information.  We know there were Greiner families in Ferschweiler which is close to Holstrum.  Greiners listed in town where  Joseph married  It is possible he came from there.

Now there were also glassworks in Arlon in Luxembourg where the rulers of Holstrum lived and in a town close to the border of Luxembourg called Finsteral.  Those are to the south west of Holstrum.  To the south east is Trier and Saarburg which also had glass works.   

If you do a driving instructions map type quest from Arlon to Luxembourg to Finsteral to Ferschweiler to Holstrum to Trier to Saarburg you get a rather large area but a path glassmakers likely were familiar with.  

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