The first Seeberger in Bohemia
After three years intensive investigations, I will now try to report about the first Seeberger families in Bohemia. I know that there are still many open questions, but on the other hand, many are waiting to read
some more about these families. That is the reason why I will now report about the present situation, even if it involves a few risks. My investigations in May of this year in the archive of Cheb (former Eger) were very helpful.
During this period I made intensive investigations in the archives of Amberg, Regensburg, Plzen and Cheb. It is unbelievable, what treasures are buried there, but it all takes a lot of time and sometimes a lot of luck is
needed to discover all these treasures and to evaluate them.
Even though the investigations could not yet be completed, as there are still too many gaps in the known sources, the time has come to produce at least the known
facts. In this connection I have to mix facts and presumtions. Since some time it is clear, that several Seeberger already moved from Eger before 1600, over the nearby border to Oberfranken/ Bavaria and around Waldsassen -
Tirschenreuth. Georg Seeberger, who was Decan in Bamberg, stated at the end of the 19th century that this happened for religious reasons, as they were strictly protestant. As I will show, this is unfortunately not correct.
For me it was obvious to investigate 3 questions:
1. What was before this time?
2. Why did the Seebergers move away?
3. What happened after this time?
In order to find an answer to these questions, I will begin at the end. I discovered that all Seeberger
moved away from Eger before 1560. After 1600 two brothers, Nicolay and Jacob from Hiltershof, as well as Hans from the Pfalz, (whish indicates the same area and not the Palatines!) moved back to Eger, where the first one married in 1618. These families stayed there until about 1725, after which time they either died out or moved away with unknown origin. Nearly all of these families were weavers, who naturally thought to have more chances in this profession in the town, rather than in the province.
A further family turns up before 1685 (the beginning of the church records), in Pscheheischen. The ancestor is a Johannes, who was born around 1621.Probably from the above families in Eger (Johann born November 11, 1620,
son of Jacob) or from the area of Wondreb, - here is a larger gap in the church records. This family is traceable there until just before 1900. More details on the seperate page:
Why then did the Seeberger move from Eger before 1560? Well, I don`t not believe in religious reasons, as you have to look at the families on the whole. At that time they were not Protestants, as this religion came
to Eger at a later date (round about 1565). Many of these families moved to the socalled Stiftsland (the area of the cloister of Waldsassen) and were and stayed catholic up to the present time. Only one family in Tirschenreuth
took up the protestant religion, which was common in this area.
They partly stayed protestant till today and brought forth several priests in the family. The family members which stayed in Tirschenreuth, took up to the
catholic religion during 1624.
So there had to be other reasons! I do not assume business reasons, as at least parts of the family were quite rich. That is why I presume, after careful study of the records, that it must have
been fear ot the Turks. One has to realise that Eger had for a long time been an extremely protected town, which was strongly armed in order to act as a stronghold against the Turks. And the hills at the border to Bavaria
(Fichtelgebirge) were obviously an additional safety factor. As far back as 1544 there were taxes (register for Turkish taxes), the uses of which are obvious. These taxes were regular and therefor an excellent source for my
researches. Apart from these, at a very early stage, the so-called man books were prepared, in which all men with treir weapons who were able to fight were registered. These prove that as far back as 1560, 13 war-able Seeberger
were living in the area of Waldsassen - Tirschenreuth. In Eger they were last registered in 1544.
Two examples for these documents:
1. Enlistment book of the Court of Waldsassen, page Hiltershof from the year 1560. There
Hanns Seberger owned half of a farm. He was Captain (Haubtman) and his military equipment was: front, back, collar, helmet, bajonet and rifle (with a bit of practice, this is quite well readable).
2. In the man-book of 1560, Nickel Seeberger, a shephard is noticed under the lodgers in Rosall:
I looked through the church records of this area practically completely, they don`t reach very far, as only
Tirschenreuth and Wondreb remain before 1620 for the whole region, but there are still several gaps. I will try to describe these pages later on a seperate page Stiftsland.
But the following families are important:
- The protestant live in the area of Tirschenreuth which partly emmigrated to Hof. The reasons were obviously of religions nature, as Hof was Protestant. From this line came the families from Marktredwitz,
Schwarzenbach and Muenchenreuth, from which two families emmigrated to the US. More details later on the page Hof.
- The Catholic lines of Georg and Johann, both born in the area of Muenchenreuth, round about 1625. It
has not been proved, if they were brothers. Both of them wandered about 100 Miles West, to Grossenseebach, and a very large family, with several emmigrants (USA, Banat-USA). They will soon be
further described on the page Grossenseebach.
The question remains about the origins.
Some time ago I reported about the last will of Ulrich Seeberger, dated October 1, 1475. He was
obviously rich, as several houses and agricultural fields were mentioned (On the Rosenbuehel, behind the school, at the stone e.t.c.). Unfortunately I could find no names in this last will, which is a bit unusual. Or
maybe he was so young that he didn`t want or couldn`t commit himself. Only a sister was mentioned. I presume that Lorenz was a son, whose last will dated June 24, 1503, is known. In this will, three sons are
mentioned (Joerg, Jobst and Jacob) as well as a daughter, Barbara). Also, the house on the Rosenbuehl is mentioned.
The three brothers later sold these houses to their sister, probably because they emmigrated.
A Matthes (probably son of Jobst, livinf first at the Ring, then behind the school, moved to Maehrig, just behind the Bavarian border and later to the area of Tirschenreuth. Later we find other Seebergers in the
socalled Stiftsland, such as the shephards Nicklas (Nickel) and Peter.
But others remain unclear.
But left us go back further. This Ulrich obviously had no brothers. Why do I think that? Well, for days I
worked over the loan and court books, from 1452, for each year about 180 pages! But I found something! Befoer 1475 there is often the talk about the Seeberger, as the following example from 1462 shows. These books registered for example, when a farmer paid his daily workers. The fact that
no first name is mentioned indicates that there was only one Seeberger living in town, as the municiple clerks were always very correct and expressed themselves clearly. But I am a little unsure, as the name varies from
Seeberger to Seberger, and that on two following lines. It cannot be that always the same two persons stood exactly behind each other in the line, and that several times. So I gather that it was only one and the same
Seeberger. But I would really like to know the reason!
Quite by chance I found the entry in 1454, that a Jacob Sebberg obviously leased a piece of land and took up a mortgage on the house and the fortune.
Was this the first Seeberger who imigrated from Seeberg? It seems like it. But he obviously died soon after, as from 1457 the Seebergerin (his wife) occurs in the records as payee. Was
it the reason why he had only one son? Sounds quite logical. As soon as I have a copy of this entry, I will make it public here.
And now in November 2000 I got a little bit further!
But first the page I promised above with the loan of Jacob Seeberger in 1454:
With a little training one can read it (at least the meaning).
Harald Seeberger from Wuerzburg gave me the hint to check in Eger the socalled Ungeldbuecher a
word I had never heared before. What does it mean? In these books, which started in 1448, you will find tax payments for beer, met, wheat etc. But there is one page with an information about getting the civic
rights of Eger. Even if the years 1450/1 got lost, I found in 1449 the following page:
And now it gets really confusing! At the first moment I read Item Jorg Ulrich Sperg weysgerb... There
are several possibilities of interpretation. Is it a Jorg and his son Ulrich? We know this Ulrich from a latter last will. Or is the first name to be read as Josy (for Josef)? At the moment I guess that a Jorg Ulrich,
whose son Jacob payed the loan 6 years later, is stated in this document. His son was the above mentioned Ulrich who got his first name from his grandfather, which was quite common. But the problem is
not so easy. I found two more documents which I can show you on a seperate page because the quality is not so good (click here). They support the theory about the early death of Jacob.
I think, time has come to end the research in Eger now and care a bit more about all the other families.
This research gets so time intensive that I had to make this decision.
So, only a few Schneeberger in Eger remain, which are shortly mentioned after 1500, but which I am not yet able to integrate. There is a place called Schneeberg nearby, so that I presume that not a Seeberger
is meant. These families did not last long. I am planning, at some later time, to show these connections grafically, but up to now I didn`t manage this, as it is extremely difficult to do this really clearly.