Help With Area/Location 'naming' For Ancestor In Germany?

+3 votes

My genealogy includes at least two generations, possibly more (?) of ancestors in Germany. I can't get a good grasp on correctly naming the area they lived in, based on the records I have.  I am hoping someone who knows Germany can. Joseph Peter Becker was born in 1828 in Germany after he came to the USA his last name morphed in Baker. On the genealogy records that I can find after he immigrated, the area where he was born and lived early life in changes.  On several census records it is Hanover.  On other records it is Chur-Hessen, and on others it is either Niederklien alone or Niederklien Chur-Hessen.  We believe that his parent's names in Germany were Johann Becker and Elisabeth Catherine Schneider if that might help. I want to put an accurate location in Germany on his profile. Can someone help me do this?

*Edit to add Wiki-ID for person in question

WikiTree profile: Joseph Baker
in The Tree House by Steve Archuleta G2G6 (6.1k points)
edited by Mindy Silva

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

You are probably looking for Niederklein, an independent town until 1970 and nowadays a district of Stadtallendorf. It belonged until 1802 to the Erzstift Mainz, also called Kurmainz, thereafter until 1866 to the Kurfürstentum Hessen, which was then annexed by Preußen and became part of the Prussian Provinz Hessen-Nassau. The only connection to Hannover I can see is that Kurhessen, the Free City of Frankfurt and the Kingdom of Hannover were all annexed by Prussia together in 1866.

For anything before about 1871 you would need church records. Niederklein was predominantly catholic and has only a catholic church. You could ask there where their historic church books are kept and how to get a hold of records.

Katholisches Pfarramt Heilig Geist

St.-Michael-Str. 8

35260 Stadtallendorf


by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
selected by Steve Archuleta

Thank you!  I know that he and two of his brothers immigrated to the USA roughly 1840-1850. He was definitely Catholic. By trade he was a stonemason. He was a Union soldier in the Civil War. Your information could lead to some genealogy records that matter in the time before he came to the USA, I greatly appreciate your response.

Could they have been part of the 1848ers, a group of exiles after the 1848 revolution? A lot of them ended up quite prominently on the Union side like Louis Blenker, Franz Sigel, and Carl Schurz among others.
That is a VERY intriguing thought/possibility, 1848 would fit perfectly for their immigration to the USA from what we know. There ARE family rumors never confirmed that they left because of some type of civil war in their home area. Three brothers Johann George, Johann Wilheim, and Johann Peter immigrated to the USA 1840-1850.  Another thing that would support this theory is their father passing away in 1849.  A father dying was sometimes a catalyst for males in a family to 'strike out on their own' if there was no land or inheritance available.  I think you may have "hit it' correctly with the 1848 er's.  That would make common sense, good genealogy sense,
Everyone's input is greatly appreciated.  I will use websites already using English, or hit the google-translate button on a German genealogy site in the future to find my Becker ancestors. I found a family with a five name match, parents with the three son's in Hessen-Darmstadt, but further investigation makes it seem it is probably not them.  Five person matches in a single-family are usually pretty good indicator in genealogy, but it looks like not this time.  One brother told a US Census Worker that he was born in Niederklien, Hessen-Cassel, so I suppose that is a place to start looking.  Let's hope a Catholic Becker family with parents Johann & Katerina, three son's named George, William, and Peter, who grew up near an 1820's stone quarry where they learned/trained to be stonemasons can't elude me forever.  Thank you points to everyone who responded !
+2 votes

Cur and Chur , in my understanding came to be know as K. Casl or Cassel, then Kassel.  Now I believe it refers to Kurhessen.  So you would be looking for Niederkllein, Kurhessen.  So Kurhessen is in Hessen, "kur" meaning an electorate area in the Holy Roman Emire so for example if you were looking for protestant church books of in Hessen you would be looking for sub-locations of Kurhessen, Hessen Kassel, Hessen Darmstadt, Hessen Nassau, & Waldeck.  note: Hanover is only located about 74 miles from Hessen.  You may find clues here:

by Paul Whittington G2G3 (3.4k points)

Thank you... this is information I will follow up on. Is there something more that the birth year of 1828 would tell us as to the proper naming?  Sometimes names of areas change in time eras or dominate culture.  Just wondering/pondering if 1828 might have any meaning or value in the correct location name.

Your hint led me to a record with matching parental names, and very interestingly the matching names of the three sons who immigrated to the USA together before the Civil War.  The person who did the family genealogy has all three son's staying in Germany [I can contact him] ... so it has possibilities because of a five name match but it still may not be my ancestors.  I can only follow up on this because of your hint & url... so thank you very much.

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