Thursday, October 7, 2021

What is significant about church bells?

Graben Kirche, modern day


Pastor Heinrich Zimmern history:
"All of the 70 sons of Graben who participated in the war were allowed to return home. The deceased experienced the joy of seeing a beautiful new church being built before his eyes, which took 3 years because the war reduced the manpower. The laying of the foundation stone and later the consecration of the bells were followed by the festive consecration of the church on October 19, 1873."

Ulrich Neitzel
It is certainly true that there were different levels of funeral ceremonies. Only on this page of the church book there are named "Läutung der kleinen Glocke" (ringing of the little bell), "Läutung aller Glocken" (ringing of all bells), "Glockenklang" (sound of bells). The little bell is often also called the "Totenglocke" (death bell).The scope of ceremonies had certainly to do with the rank of the person, which in turn determined how much was paid (or better donated) to the church for the funeral service. I don't think there was a "manual" for this purpose, but people did know it and made their arrangement with the pastor.

Kent: It is funny how it always comes back to how the bells are rung. I will bet when the bells were rung the people of the community knew exactly what each ringing meant:

  1. "Läutung der kleinen Glocke" (ringing of the little bell),
  2. "Läutung aller Glocken" (ringing of all bells),
  3. "Glockenklang" (sound of bells).  

Note from B Dhane: A brief research revealed that "Klang und Gesang" means buried "under bells and singing". Especially children were buried silently. But for a man and citizen at a certain age, it would have been more than appropriate to bury him under the sound of bells and singing.

Christoph Keller death 31 Jan 1728 film 102078348 page 335
Translation by Robert Seal:
151. On the 31st of January [1728], Christoff Keller died, baker and innkeeper at the Little White Horse tavern here, who thereafter with the ringing of all bells?, singing, and a funeral sermon was buried. Age: 41 years, 3 months less 3 days.

Comment: I am still uncertain about the word "Zeichen" hence the question mark.

Hello @Kent Gardiner and @Ulrich Neitzel,
Regarding: lauth... aller Zeichen

I originally interpreted the first word as a form of "läut" (with an umlaut over the "a"). The word "läuten" means: to ring.
But the word in this record does not have an umlaut on the "a": lauth... The word "laut" translates as "loud" but it can also translate as "according to". So the phrase might be: according to all signs/symbols, etc. This still doesn't make sense. Ulrich: Can you make any sense of this phrase for us? Thanks.

Ulrich Neitzel:Hello Kent and Robert,
Good question! My first reaction was like Robert's that the term meant "ringing of all bells". On a closer look the written words are "Lauth?: aller Zeichen". There is a letter or abbreviation at the end of "Lauth?" and a colon, which normally indicates the omission of several letters (compare Weyl: for Weyland = deceased). A word that begins with "Lauth" and would fit here would be "Lautheit" = loudness. So the term would be "Lautheit aller Zeichen" or in translation "loudness of all signs". I never heard this before, but it can well be an older solemn expression for ringing all bells. Note that bells have the the function of signs or signals for various occasions

Note also that the same expression is used in most of the other death records on these two pages. There are two exemptions: in the second entry on the left page it says "Lauth?: deß Zweyten Zeichens Zum gewöhnl: Gottesdienst" = loudness of the second sign for the ordinary service. And in the last but one entry on the right page the text is "Lauth?: der kleinen Glocke ohne fernere Ceremonien" = loudness of the small bell without additional ceremonies.

So, in summary, the translation "ringing of all bells" seems perfectly appropriate.

Martin Scholl 14 Feb death 1702 1703 film 1-2078298 page 401 
Translation by Robert Seal:
Friday on the 16th of March [1703] Martin Scholl stillborn this month was quietly buried.
My comments: The abbreviation "d. m." in the record: "d. m. = d. M. = dieses Monats = (of) this month.
The phrase "in der Stille" = quietly (e.g., without the ringing of bells at a funeral or wedding)
Translation Annette Adams:
On the 24 7br [September] 1723 Joh. Georg Mathias Scholl, the son of the tailor and his legitimate son, died. Bells were rung, and a sermon provided at his burial. He was 2 months old, 2 weeks, and 3 days.

Johann Martin Scholl death 18 Aug 1723 copy

Translation by Robert Seal:
Right-hand margin: [record no.] 67. Hanß Martin "Schol."
On the 18th of August [1723] Hanß Martin Scholl, juryman here and widower, died, who thereafter, with ringing of all bells, singing, and a funeral sermon [with] customary measures, was buried. Age: 55 years, 5 months, and 10 days.
My comment: I hypothesize that it was at this point the pastor/priest found Hanß Georg's 1668 birth/baptismal record in the parish register and marked it with the + symbol. This is probably why his

age at death was calculated perfectly from his birth date.
Note: The name Hanß spelled with the following single letter from the German alphabet: "ß" (called an Eszett) making the name: Hanss. The Eszett represents a double s.

Anna Catharina Scholl death 26 July 1723 film 102078348 page 326
On the 26th of July [1723] Anna Catharina, wife of Johann Matthias "Weÿdmann" [Weidmann], local citizen and lawyer, died, who thereafter with a funeral sermon, chiming bells, and singing, gewöhnlicher Massen (in the normal way), was buried. Age: 45 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.
Comment: No cause of death recorded.
Johannes Kammerer death 3 Jan 1725 film 4137289 page 422
Translation by DeTe1955:
First entry on page: On June 23 1724 Johann Christoph Cammerer died, he was a citizen of the town and was buried with ringing of all bells, singing and a funeral sermon. He was about 72 years old.
Your mark below: On January 7th 1725 Johannes died, he was little son of reformed linen weaver Simon Schüttler and Anna Margareta his Evangelical Lutheran wife, and was afterwards buried on the churchyard with ringing of the little bell and a sermon. He was 9 weeks and 3 days old.

Johann Andreas death 5 Aug 1728 film 4137289 page 429
Translation by Robert Seal:
167. On the 5th of August [1728], Johann Andreas died, little son of Mattheus Scholl, local tailor, and Eva his wife, so hereupon with sound [of bells], singing, and a sermon at the grave was buried. Age: 4 months less 12 days.

Georg Scholl death 12 Nov 1728 film 4137289 page 430
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 12th of November [1728] Johann Geoge Scholl, the local citizen, died, whereupon he was buried with chiming [of bells], singing, and a funeral sermon. Age: 50 years and 9 months less 1 day.
Note: Unfortunately other than stating he is a local citizen, no other profession is recorded for Johann Georg Scholl. Do note, however, that he was a fairly important person in the community because of the chiming of the bells, the singing, and the funeral sermon.
Note: Kent: What is the German for the sounding of the bells?
Robert Seal: Good Friday morning Kent, The phrase you are asking about is: ". . . mit Klang, gesang, und einer Leichpredigt . . ."
Translation: with sound, singing and a funeral sermon. I would interpret "Klang" as: sound [of bells].
Pastor from 1719-1738 was Andreas Weber, Alsatua (an Alsatian) He made funeral arrangements, helped bury Georg and hand wrote this death record.
Maria Eva Scholl death 19 April 1730 film 4137289 page 434
Translation by Robert Seal:
220. On the 19th of April [1730], Maria Eva died, little daughter of Mattheus Scholl, tailor, and Eva his wife, so with sound [of bells], singing, and a sermon was buried. Age: 9 years, 11 months, and 5 days.
Translation by Robert Seal:
Left margin: stillborn little boy. [Note that this record isn't numbered.]
On the 20th of December [1733], Margaretha Barbara, the wife of Friderich Wilhelm Raichert, was delivered with a dead little boy, so with the ringing of little bells was buried.

Andreas Scholl death 24 July 1736 film 4137289 page 443
Translation by Robert Seal:
345. On the 24th of July [1736], Andreas died, little son of Mattheus Scholl, local tailor, and Eva his wife, who with the ringing of little bells and a sermon was buried. Age: 15 day
Maria Barbara Raicher burial 29 Apr 1745 film 102078348 page 497
Translation by Robert Seal:
1745. On the 29th of April the youngest little daughter of Wilhelm Raicher, juryman and bathhouse operator/barber, from Margaretha Barbara, named Maria Barbara died, so thereafter, following a sermon, was buried with singing and ringing [of bells]. Age: 3 months, 10 days
Wendel Scholl is Hans Matthias 1668's grandson. film 004137289 page 588,
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 25th of December 1745 Master Wendel Scholl died, citizen and potter?, after suffering 14 days with a feverish illness, so thereupon the following day was buried with the ringing of bells, singing and a funeral sermon; at the age of 33 years.
My comment: Wendel's occupation appears to be "Oh__macher". This occupation could possibly be: Ohlenmacher = potter, but I am not completely certain, hence the ? on "potter".
Johann Christoph burial 27 July 1746 film 102078348 page 499
Transcription Ulrich Neitzel:
d. 27 Julÿ 1746 starb des Friedr: Wilhelm Reicherts allhiesigem Bürgers u. Baaders Söhnl: ex Margarethen uxore erzeugt, an der Gichter, sein Name war Jo: Xoph. Er wurde darauf folgenden Tages beÿm läuten der Glocken und Verlesung der ___ beerdigt. æt: 20 Tag
On 27 July 1746 died the little son of the local citizen and barber Wilhelm Reichert and his wife Margarethe from spasms, his name was Johann Christoph. He was buried on the following day with the ringing of bells and reading ___? Age: 20 days.
Comment: There is one word that I can't decipher; it is not Sermon or Predigt.
Anna (Maria) Margaretha Scholl death 13 May 1747 102078298 page 590  
Translation by Robert Scholl:
On the 13th of May 1747, Maria Margretha, the conceived little daughter of Christoph Scholl, citizen and farmer, and wife Barbara, died from the so-called smallpox, and thereupon the following day with the usual sound [of bells], singing and a sermon was buried. Age: 7 months, 10 days.

Maria Salome burial 13 May death 12 May 1749  film 102078348 page 504
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 12th of May 1749, the conceived little daughter of Friedr. Wilhelm Raicher, bathhouse operator/barber and juryman, from his wife Margretha, named Maria Salome, died from the pox, and thereafter on the following day with the sound of bells, singing, and a sermon was buried. Age: 1 years, 2 months.
My comment: The cause of death was "variolerum" = smallpox or other pox disease.
Maria Barbara Süss death 5 Dec 1754film 4137289 page 604
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 5th of December 1754, Maria Barbara Schollin, wife of Jo[hann] Christoph Scholl, citizen and farmer, died in childbed from a high fever. She was thereupon on the third day thereafter buried with sound [of bells], singing, and a sermon, at the age of 41 years, 5 months, 1 day.
Notes: Maria Barbara Suess death 5 December 1754, Christoph is her husband due to childbirth complication in Graben on the 3rd she died and buried on the 5th, age 41 years 5 months 1 day

Johann Christoph burial 13 Aug death 12 Aug 1754 film 102078348 page 514
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 12th of August 1754, the little son of Friedrich Wilhelm Raichert, local juryman and bathhouse operator/barber, from his wife Margaretha Barbara, née Waidmannin, named Johann Christoph, died from cramps and fever, and thereafter the following day with the ringing of bells and the reading of the service was buried, at the age of 3 days.
My comment: Note in the left margin that the surname is "Raichertin" which is the female form of the surname "Raichert". This is the burial of a male child, thus the surname in the left margin should be: Raichert.

Maria Margaretha death 5 April 1749 film 4137289 page 593
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 5th of April 1749, the conceived daughter of Georg Scholl, citizen of this place, from his wife Anna Maria, named Maria Margaretha died from swelling/tumefaction, thereupon the next day with a sermon, sound of bells, and singing was buried, at the age of 4 years.
Klang: The word used was simply "Klang" meaning "sound" so I generically translated it as: sound of bells. Had it been more specific I would have translated it as such.
". . . beÿ gehalten Sermon, Klang, und Gesang . . ."
with a sermon held, sound, and singing
My comment: I read the cause of death as: Geschwulst, which I translated as: swelling or tumefaction. An older translation of this word is: dropsy = edema.
Pastor from 1738 to 1757 was F.C H. Beck.
He entered this record.

Johann Matthias Scholl death 24 September 1755 film 4137289 page 606
Translated abstract by Robert Seal:
Deceased: Johann Matthias Scholl.
Died: 24 Sep 1755, 5:00 pm.
Buried: the following day, 25 Sep 1755, with sound, singing, and a sermon.
Cause of death: "Gichtern" = epilipsy, convulsions.
Age: 10 months, 2 days.
Father: Christop Schollen, citizen and widower.
Mother: Maria Barbara Süssin.
My comments: "Gichtern" has other meanings as well as those above, including gout, gouty cramps, and attack of pestilence.
I assume "sound" refers to chiming of bells. Since the father is identified as a widower in this record, this means that the mother died between this child's birth on 22 Nov 1754 and his death on 24 Sep 1755. Are you able to confirm the mother's death in this time frame?