Families in Probsthagen
GEDCOM Database

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Last updated: November 4, 2011 - Added Wordle Chart
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About the Database and "Families in Probsthagen"
by Wesley Johnston

This web site provides a downloadable GEDCOM version of the "Families in Probsthagen" records compiled by Kurt Hitzeman. [Kurt and I are 9th cousins, descended from our 8th Great Grandparents, Johann Hasemann (~1638) and Catherine Elisabeth Tielking (1634) who are in the database.]

The database creation began with Kurt's 2002 version of "Families in Probsthagen", which can be seen on the Deutsche Genealogie web site at http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/NSAC/SLP/Probsthagen/OSB/index.html. However, in 2007 Kurt did extensive work, including work with Margarete Sturm on the early Schweer / Schwer families. This include complete renumbering of most of the families of many surnames, as well as important changes and additions to the records in the 2002 version.

The creation of the database also served as a proof-reading of the 2007 list. So there were many changes made to the 2007 list as a result of the database creation. The database incorporates all of those changes to the 2007 list.

This web page is an interim web page. I am looking for the right place for it to be included in an on-going web site. I had hoped that Karen Rowe would include it in her astounding Karen's Gen website, but she has told me that she too is looking for someone to inherit her web site since she is no longer able to maintain it. So my search continues.

Now that the Probsthagen database is done, I am working on creating the Families in Lindhorst GEDCOM Database from Kurt Hitzeman's "Families in Lindhorst" list.

Contents of this Web Page

Wordle Chart: Surname size indicates relative frequency
Click on image to see full size view.

Creation of the Database

I have tried to be as faithful as possible to Kurt Hitzeman’s lists. I began the work with the 2002 list and a database that had been created by Kurt for his initial version but which did not include the improvements that he had made in his 2002 list. So I worked through the 2002 list and updated the database from it.

This revealed the need to fabricate family numbers for various situations. These all begin with the letter X, which can be thought of as being eXternal to the Probsthagen records.

  1. There were families in the database that were not in the list or that were implicit within the comments on other families that were in the list. I began fabricating these as XY families, e.g. XYH01. But then I also used XX for these.
  2. There were families in the list that had no numbers. I began fabricating these as XX families (e.g., XXW01). However, this use of XX blurred into including families that were already in the database but not in the list.
  3. There were marriages or relationships that were impicit families in the text. (I think that I began fabricating these as XZ families and then XW when I had more than 99, e.g., XZB99 was followed by XWB01.)
Note that the XZX families are in the Probsthagen records, but the surname could not be read or was not given (e.g. "ein soldat").

Unfortunately, I had to do the work in fits and spurts, and my ability to remember the conventions that I established wavered. So I am sure that any convention that I had established has exceptions.

In 2005, I had to set the work aside for three years. I had completed the pass through the entire 2002 list and was using Legacy Family Tree software’s exception reporting to highlight problems that neither Kurt nor I had seen. I had nearly completed all of these problem report cases when I had to set the work aside until 2008.

During that time, Kurt made major enhancements in creating the 2007 list, including renumbering of many groups of families, something that the data itself really had indicated was needed. Thus when I resumed work in 2008, I began all over again, working from the A’s to the Z’s. This was a good proof-reading effort for Kurt’s list, but the real purpose was to bring synchronize the database with the 2007 version of the list. Before beginning this effort, I made a global change to the database to change any pre-1805 birthdates that were specific dates into baptismal dates, since that was what they really were. Unfortunately, this change also changed the birthplace to the baptismal place, which is not true for many of the people who were born in places that were not where they were baptized.

It is highly likely that there are some things that I may have missed in the 2008 work. For example, I think the most likely type of thing that I may not have spotted is that Kurt had added a specific house number to many of the families, so that I very well may have missed some of these. And the conventions that I had established in the earlier work may have been further distorted in the 2008 work.

What Kurt has done is a phenomenal effort, as anyone who has ever worked with hand-written German records in the altschrift (old script). The work I did was a massive effort of hundreds and hundreds of hours. But I am sure that the size of my effort it is dwarfed by the magnitude of the work that Kurt did. We all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for undertaking such a massive but significant project. It is now one of the true wonders of the world of historical research.

Things to Keep in Mind
  1. It is very important to keep in mind that there was no such thing as the standard spelling of names in most of the years covered by these records. Thus someone spelled Margrete Hardekopfs in one records might be Margretha Harkop in another record. I have tried to enter all alternate names. Some are even more complicated. For example, Molner and Wolter both descend from the same ancestor.
  2. The thing that I have been most uncertain about is birthplaces. I have tended to put the family residence (right after the family number in Kurt’s list) as the birthplace, and I have probably erred in some cases where he put specific birth locations for the individual children. The rule is that everything should be checked against Kurt’s list.
  3. In some cases, I have made conclusions. For example, I concluded that the unspecified death date of a mother was after the birth date (or sometimes after the day before the birth date) of the birth/baptismal date of her last-listed child. Once again, the rule is that everything should be checked against Kurt’s list. Kurt has many calculated birth years, based on age at death and date of death.
  4. There are many different spellings of the same places. For example, the Englsichen Rade, Engelsohn Rade, etc. in Vornhagen. I have mostly left these as I received them. So if you are searching a place, be sure to look for variants.
  5. Do look at the NOTES information if there is any. It gives background information that clarifies decisions that were made about individuals and families.
  6. Recognize typical variants of the same names.
    • Johan / Johann -- But Johan and Hans were not interchangable.
    • Herman / Harm / Harmen
    • Cord / Cordt / Conrad
    • Gerdt / Gerke / Gerck
  7. The most common error that I have caught myself making is failing to notice that Kurt Hitzeman has added a house number in the 2007 list where there was only a town name in the 2002 list. So if you find any of these errors, please let me know.
  8. There are a few duplicated families in Kurt Hitzeman's list. The database does not support duplicated families. So these are shown with both numbers. Here is the complete list of such duplicates: MOL20 and WOL24 There is one more that was prior to MOL20, but I cannot find it yet.

How to Use the Database and Auxiliary Files

The database is in a GEDCOM file. You must first download the GEDCOM file to your computer and then use your genealogical software to import the file. If you do not have genealogical software, the Standard Version of the Legacy Family Tree product is an excellent tool, which is freely downloadable at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com.

Some import problems have been reported, and so far all of these have been due to control options that can be set on your genealogical software. Here are the problems reported so far:

  1. Import generated double dates for dates prior to the calendar change
    The GEDCOM file does NOT use double dates. Check your genealogical software's customizable preferences to turn off double-dating of dates prior to the calendar change.
  2. Import did not import CAL (calculated) dates
    The GEDCOM file contains many calculated dates, such as "Cal 1659". For example, a marriage or death record may contain the age of a person, so that the person's birth year can be calculated. Use of "Cal" makes it clear that this date did not appear in the original record and also that it is not merely an approximation. Some genealogical software offers an import control option to import all dates as they appear in the GEDCOM file; use that option if it exists in your software. If the option does not exist, sometimes there is an option to handle dates or other information that the software can not handle by placing the information into a note or an event record for that person.
    You can quickly check to see if the import retained the CAL dates. The first family that will appear when you open the imported database is that of Evert Hiddenseman. His son Hans should have birthdate of "Cal 1596".

There are two auxiliary files to help with use of the database.

  1. Index of MRINs and family IDs
    The family IDs that Kurt Hitzeman created or that I fabricated (see the section above on "Creation of the Database") were stored in the user ID field within Legacy's screen of the marriage record. All GEDCOM-based databases rely on a unique identifier to keep track of each family; this identifier is called the MRIN (Marriage Record Identifier Number) and is NOT the same as Kurt's family ID number. All genealogical software will display the MRINs, but most genealogical software does not provide an easy way to view and go to Marriage User IDs (which I call MUIDs). So I have created an index of MRINs and MUIDs, in order to find a family from the "Families in Probsthagen" list in the database by family ID number.
  2. Index of 2002 vs. 2007 Family IDs
    Many of the family numbers in the 2002 list were changed in the 2007 list. This index shows both the 2002 and 2007 numbers for all families in the 2002 list.

Now that you have read all of the above and know what this is all about, here are the links to the GEDCOM file and the auxiliary files:

  • GEDCOM file - Version 07: SAVE it to your PC and import it with your genealogical software. (3 Megabytes)
    (If you click OPEN, you will see what the GEDCOM file looks like, but it is a big file that will take a long time to open, and it is not particularly interesting.)
    • Version 07 differs from version 06 since fabricated family XZT30 has been added to handle the marriage of Anne Ilse Bruns to Tegtmeyer (which was in the text but which had been overlooked in the creation of the GEDCOM) -- now 7,610 individuals in 2.705 families
    • Version 06 differs from version 05 in changing the family number of HSM64 (son of HSM56) to XZH25, since this is really a Lindhorst family (Lindhorst family Hsm630)
    • Version 05 differs from version 04 in correcting the marriage date in XZB32 (marriage of HRM70 1788 dau to Buhs) and addition of 3 children (one already existing) to SW120 [Kurt had sent me a note long ago about these, but I just discovered that I had failed to add them then.] - total now 7,609 individuals and 2,704 families
    • Version 04 differs from version 03 in regard to Anneke Schweer (in SW185) and Margretha Schweer (in XZS19).
    • Version 03 of the database contained 7,607 individuals grouped into 2,704 familes.
  • Index of MRINs vs. MUIDs: OPEN or SAVE Microsoft Excel file.
  • Index of 2002 vs. 2007 Family IDs: OPEN or SAVE Microsoft Excel file.
    NOTE that there were only 1,669 distinct family IDs in the 2002 list and thus in this index. That means that the remaining 1,035 families in the database are either families that were new in the 2007 FIP list or else were external families for whom an X family ID number was fabricated. (See the "Creation of the Database" section above for more on the external fabricated family ID numbers.)
  • My Working Files in the Creation of the GEDCOM
    • FIP Working Document: My heavily annotated version of Kurt Hitzeman's 2007 "Families in Probsthagen&1uot; document, including all changes that Kurt made during the creation of the GEDCOM as a result of issues that I identified during that creation process
    • GEDCOM Match Issues: Text file in which I kept track of fabricated family numbers and changes of family numbers

Related Links

There are some excellent web sites on the family history of the area around Probsthagen.

Contact Information

Email Send E-mail to wwjohnston01@yahoo.com
Send mail to:
Wesley Johnston
1865 Herndon Avenue, Suite K-187
Clovis, CA 93611-6163
(559) 299-3406
Copyright © 2011 by Wesley Johnston.
All rights reserved for this page.
However, the contents of all of the linked files
(the GEDCOM file and the auxiliary files)
are placed in the public domain for free use.