Kriegsheim Mennonite Census Lists 1664 and 1685


PALATINE MENNONITE CENSUS LISTS 1664-1793, Hermann and Gertrud Guth and J. Lemar and Lois Ann Mast, Mennonite Family History, Elverson, PA, 1987.


Nevertheless, information from the book is important as regards the government structure at the time Hans Peter lived in Kriegsheim.

On the cover of the book is a picture of the Heideberg Castle, Heidelberg, West Germany, with this note: "The city of Heidelberg was the capital of the state of Baden on the east side of the Rhine River, the governmental seat for the Kurpfalz. The census lists recorded in this book were sent to the Kurpfalz government at HEIDELBERG."

Comment: Heidelberg is discussed in the second passport request.

The authors state in their introduction on page 2, "A very important fact for readers of these census lists to remember, is that the ancient "Kurpfalz" territory is not the same as the present-day "Pfalz" in German or "Palatinate" in English. The Palatine of today is a governmental administrative district in the state of Rhineland-Pfalz of the Federal Republic of Germany.

"The Kurpfalz, as part of the ancient German Reich, was an autonomous state with the Kurfuerst (Elector) as the sovereign (ruler). This Kurfuerst was one of the seven German-ruling princes who elected the German Kaiser (Emperor).

"The Kurpfalz territory included parts of the state of Baden on the east side of the Rhine with Heidelberg as its capital, and parts of the present-day Palatinate, namely the former 'Oberaemter' (Upper Offices) of ALZEY, Neustadt, Lautern (Kaiserslautern), and Germersheim on the west side of the Rhine River."

Comment: Alzey is the office to which the second passport request was submitted.

"The state of Kurpfalz ended in 1801 under Napoleon of France.

"The first Swiss-German Anabaptists or Mennonites immigrated to this area in 1664. Kurfuerst Karl Ludwig signed the 'Edict of Tolerance' permitting the settlement of the 'Menisten' under certain circumstances.

"Huge areas on both sides of the Rhine had been depopulated and destroyed during the Thirty Year's War (1618-1648). Consequently, the sovereigns in this area encouraged persons from Switzerland and elsewhere to reconstruct their estates and villages.

"The Swiss-Anabaptists who had been forced to leave their homeland because of their religious faith, were invited to settle in this area with limited religious freedom.

"Elector Karl Ludwig's 'Edict of Tolerance' signed on August 4, 1664, stated that in villages with five or more Mennonite households, no more than twenty persons could meet at the same time for religious services.

"Furthermore, no one from another religious faith could worship with them; nor were they allowed to speak unfavorably of the authorities. In addition, they were to refrain from any 'rebaptizing,' and each family was required to pay an annual 'protection fee' of six gulden. In order to control these payments, all Mennonites were required to register at irregular intervals with the government. It is because of this registration, that these census lists were formed.

"It wasn't only the English Quaker, John Philley, who influenced the Elector's decision. From Kriegsheim, he pleaded with the sovereign, in an urgent letter, to favor his fellow-believers residing there. These Quakers emigrated from Kriegsheim to Pennsylvania in 1685, after William Penn had visited them.

Comment: It seems unlikely that the Umstatts were Swiss-German Anabaptists by virtue of their Evangelische (Lutheran) roots in Kriegsheim and their not appearing on any early Mennonite lists anywhere. However, we probably should not completely close the door on this possibility or any others that might tell us where else, if anywhere, they may have lived prior to Kriegsheim. We are fairly certain that Hans Peter's father was the Nickel Umbstatt shown on the 1661 Kriegsheim census list of Kriegsheim. See "Nicholas Original Records." On this list, Nickel Umbstatt is listed with NO religious affiliation, whereas some others are noted as "Menist." What is quite possible and maybe even probable is that Hans Peter's wife Barbara was either a Quaker or a Mennonite and it is because of her religion that they left Kriegsheim. This could an important clue to Barbara's maiden name, as we have these census lists of Mennonites as well as the list of Mennonites who converted to Quakerism, as shown in the Schmal "Hochgebohrner" document.

I have copies of both of the 1664 and 1685 original Mennonite census lists from Kriegsheim.

Paul Michel, in an article entitled "Täufer, Mennoniten und Quäker in Kriegsheim bei Worms; Der Täufertum bis zum 30jährige Krieg" [Baptists, Mennonites, and Quakers in Kriegsheim near Worms; The Practice of Baptism up to the Thirty-years War], which appeared in the German magazine "Der Wormsgau" in July, 1965, reviews these original Kriegsheim records as applicable to Kriegsheim. The article is written in German.

The originals list the residents by town. Michel's article lists only the residents of Kriegsheim. Comments in parentheses were added by Michel and are not on the originals. Items in square [ ] parentheses are translations. Neither original list contains a date, but there are title pages from which dates were apparently taken, and I believe Michel to be dependable as to the dates. Since no UMs are on the lists, I have not pursued this as of yet. I do have copies of the title pages, but they are extremely difficult to read.


List of 1664 - Kriegsheim


The list as shown in the Michel article, page 50, with reference to BGLA 4337 folia 108:

Die erste Liste der mennonitischen Einwohner stammt aus dem Jahre 1664 und enthält folgende Namen:
[The first list of the Mennonite residents dates from the year 1664 and contains the following names:]

Valentin Hüthwohl
(Die Familie stammt aus Groß-Bockenheim)
[The family comes from Groß-Bockenheim]
Hans Gram
(stammt wahrscheinlich aus Rorbach, Amt Lautern)
[probably comes from Rorbach, Lautern district]
Peter Buchholts
Valtin Eberts
Peter Engers
Gilles Cassel
Heinrich Blom
Johannes Cassel
(später zu den Quäkern übergetreten)
[later converted to Quaker]
Matthias Bonn

PALATINE MENNONITE CENSUS LISTS 1664 -1793, page 10, shows the list as follows:

Archive Number 77/4336a - 1664
(according to Neff*)

In the introduction to the book, the authors state: "Credit is due to Dr. Christian Neff and Professor Harold Bender to have discovered and published these lists for the first time in the Mennonite Quarterly Review in 1940 and 1941."

Register of Mennists assessed quarterly taxes living in the Oberamt Alzey territory 1664.

folio 108:

Valentine Heutwohl, for himself
for Peter Cuester's heirs
Vollmar Janson
Ewaldt Schumacher
Hans Gram
Peter Buchhalter (Burkholder?)
Valentin Eberts
Peter Obiger
Gillis Cassel
Heinrich Blem (Bluem?)
Matthes Bonn
Johannes Cassel

Some of these surnames are later seen in Philadelphia, some possibly, although not necessarily, these particular individuals themselves.

The 1664 listing in this book continues, showing other towns from Folios 109 and 110. I don't have copies of the originals, but interesting names are Heinrich Kolb in Wolfsheim, David Wagner in Unteramt Dirmstein Ober-Suelzen, Hendrich Janson in Rodenbach, Joerg Schumacher in Harxheim (near Zell), Gerhardt and Thiel Schuhmacher in Heppenheim auf der Wiese, and Heinrich Cassel in Gerolsheim.

Gerolsheim is particularly interesting. A family of Umstadts emigrated to New York from Gerolsheim in 1853. The parents were Conrad Umstadt and Dorothea Catharine Schneider. A Heinrich Schneider is seen in Offstein on the 1664 Mennonite Census list.

UPDATE: A connection has now been made between the Gerolsheim UMs and Kriegsheim. See Gerolsheim elsewhere on this site.


According to Armin Roether, my German archivist, the ORIGINAL 1664 list seems to be correctly translated. He transcribes the heading as: "Verzeichnis derer in dem Oberambt Altzey befindlichen Manisten, was selbige einitzt quartaliter vor Schatzungs geben, als zu:"

Valentin Huedwohl vor sich
wegen Ester Cüsters Erben
Vollmar Jensen
Ewaldt Schuhmacher
Hannß Gram

Peter Schumacher
Wallraff Hannig

On this list, there are columns on the right with numbers showing money, apparently either paid or owed. Armin says, regarding the headings on these columns:

The abbreviations shown on this list are:
fl[orin] = Gulden
alb[us] and d[enar] = Pfennig
1 Gulden = 30 Albus = 240 Pfennig



List of 1685 - Kriegsheim


The list as shown in the Michel article, page 50, referencing BGLA 4337 folia 69:

Die zweite Liste aus dem Jahre 1685
[The second list from the year 1685].

NOTE: comments in parentheses were added by Michel, they are not on the original. Items in square parentheses [ ] are translations.

Matthias Bonn
(Schwager des Quäkers Peter Schumacher)
[brother-in-law of the Quaker Peter Schumacher]
Peter Buchholtzer
Henrich Blöhm
Hans Gram
Valentin Hüthwohl
Simon Cassel
Nikolaus Gram
Gerhard Becker
Arnold Schumacher
Johann Gebhard
Peter Schumachers Pflegesohn Peter

PALATINE MENNONITE CENSUS LISTS 1664-1793, on page 11, shows a copy of the original and on page 19 shows the list as follows:

Archive Number 77/4337 - 1685
Mennists living in the Palatine territory

Folio 69:

OBERAMT ALZEY [District or higher office for the area of Kriegsheim was Alzey. Alzey today is the county.]

Matthias Bonn
Peter Buchholder
Heinrich Bluehm
Hans Gram
Valentin Huethwohl
Simon Cassel
Nikolaus Gram
Gerhard Becker
Arnold Schumacher
Johann Gebhard
Peter Schumacher's foster son, Peter Otto (?)

All [the following] are Quakers:
Gerhard Heinrich
Agnes, Conrad Gebhart's widow
Georg Schumacher
Peter Schumacher's widow
Johannes Cassel
Philipp Lehnbusch


Armin Rother transcribes the heading:

"Specification derjenigen Menoniten, so sich in Churpfaltz Landen befinden, als Im Oberambt Altzey
zu Niederflörsheim."

Armin agrees for the most part with the names as listed above.



The Michel article may be obtained from:
Hessische Landes- Und Hochschulbibliothek
64283 Darmstadt
Cost is DM 20,00 (Twenty German Marks)
It is written in German. The article will be discussed more fully in "Hans Peter Bibliography."

PALATINE MENNONITE CENSUS LISTS 1664-1893 may be obtained from:
Family Line Publications/Willow Bend Books
65 East Main Street
Westminster, MD 21157-5036

BGLA (Badisches) Generallandesarchiv address is:
Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Nòrdlische Hildapromenade 2
76133 Karlsruhe

Various other items referencing these lists are discussed in "Hans Peter Bibliography."


Copyright 2001 Cris Hueneke

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last updated 18 April 2002