I have been trying to learn about Korbach, Hesse relative to my family history. I have an ancestor who was born there around 1728. He married in Efferen (close to Cologne) in 1765 as a Catholic and the family/descendants remained in that area.
It has created some questions:
What was a Catholic doing in a very Protestant area where he would have been a clear minority? No Catholic church existed in Korbach. That is assuming that he didn't convert.
What route would he have taken to Cologne? I know Korbach and Cologne were both part of the Hanseatic League, so perhaps a route existed.
What would travel have looked like? He was a day laborer/carpenter in the village outside of Cologne, so I'm assuming he didn't have money. How long would that have taken?
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What an unexpected, and thorough response. I’m so appreciative and fascinated. I did look through the ‘Catholic’ records in nearby Eppe without success. However, I believe this was a situation in which the Protestant church allowed the Catholics to use it for prescribed times and was not without conflict. I’ll have to look at the other villages you mentioned and appreciate that information. With the kind of distances that existed it makes sense that they would only make the effort for special occasions. It sounds like it would have been a grueling trip to relocate to the Cologne area. I wonder how often people relocated during this time period, and what would have prompted it. Questions I can only muse about! Additionally, I did locate a death record in 1769 in Hurth for a single woman with the same surname, that was also from Korbach, and a suspected sister. So, I suspect he didn’t travel alone. After marriage in Efferen, they settled and raised a large family in Hürth, Erftkreis. Some records reflect he was a day laborer and others a carpenter. They had 11 children, and all survived into adulthood, except for one that died in his teens. With a 50% infant mortality rate during those times, I suspect they must have had sufficient means to provide for the family.
Having a weak knowledge of geography, relevant town locations, and potential routes, I really appreciated learning more about that. I haven’t yet looked at your provided links but will explore them more.
The additional comments provided were also of interest. Thank you. I don’t know when they would have made the trip, only that they were in Efferen by 1765 and that he was born around 1728. I also know that as part of the Seven Year War, that there was a battle in Korbach in 1760. Perhaps that could have been an incentive to leave…but of course, I’m just guessing. It also appears that it took Hessen a long time to recoup the population numbers that they had prior to the 30-Year War and for Korbach to economically recover. I have just joined this site and didn’t know quite what to expect. I find this kind of information so interesting and helpful to my understanding and am so glad I posted the question. Thanks again.