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Earlier History from 1427

After carrying out extensive research for us Daniel Stihler the Chief Archivist of the very famous Schwäbish Hall Archives is compiling our Rothermel Ancestor list as a new document

The page from the book dated 1427

The page from the book dated 1427

We would like to sincerely thank Daniel Stihler the Chief Archivist who has worked so hard researching and discovering this early period of our family history .
Also Folker Frank for the translations of the documents into English.

The catalogue in the Archives lists all the documents held containing the name Rothermel and its derivatives. The earliest mention of the name is dated 1427. There is a small notebook (heft) of Johann Georg Rothermel. Hörlebach dated between 1822 and 1852.
He describes himself as a Porter or Bearer
Please check to see if you can find your ancestors
More at the bottom of this page...
From the Archives:
In the year 1427 Seitz Rotermel took action and proceeded to make trouble and fought against the three towns (H. = Schwäbisch Hall, Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl). Why he did this is not made clear. He had to renounce all vengeance gave an oath of truce and had to give a guarantee bail of 100 fl. (fl. = florin = Gulden, 1 fl. = 100 €). This means he had to give 10 000 € for the pledge that he was keeping the freedom and stop fighting against the three towns.
Translation Folker Frank

Close up dated 1427

Close up dated 1427


The Rotermels of Ilshofen

The Rotermels of Ilshofen
Ilshofen is a town in the district of Schwäbisch Hall, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located 15 km northeast of Schwäbisch Hall.


You have got an extraordinary good website. It reads like a kind of history book. I'm proud of having been able to give some information to Mr Frank who added it to your collection of basic archive material from Germany. HKW. Ilsofen


Rotermels 1483

Rotermels 1483
It has been discovered by local historian Karl-Heinz Wüstner with the great help of Folker Frank, that our Rothermel family originated from around Ilshofen 5 kms from Hörlebach. The first written evidence in this area is dated 1483

News from Folker Frank - Baden Württemburg:

The local historian Mr Karl-Heinz Wüstner from Crailsheim has been checking your Rothermel History.
( We are now in contact with him directly )

The important information is, that there may be a connection between the Rothermels from Hörlebach and the Rothermels in Wachbach if they ever existed, they all seem to have originated from the Stuttgart area (see Wachbach page) because the town nearest to Hörlebach is Ilshofen, and Rothermels have lived in Ilshofen since before 1532 ! (source: Heimatbuch [localbook of] von Ilshofen 1980, S. 77). Karl-Heinz Wüstner is sure that there is a connection between these older Rothermels from Ilshofen to the ones in Hörlebach and others.
With grateful thanks to Mr Wüstner.

Please note:
There is now evidence that there were no Rothermels in Wachbach at all !
See section 704 Johannas Leonard Rothermel - Janice - click to view

I was in the large Württemberian library in Stuttgart and found this book

„Ilshofen - Kleine Stadt an der großen Straße“ (Ilshofen little town at the great street“), the local book about Ilshofen published in1980 written by Hermann Merz and Gerd Wunder.
There is an article from Gerd Wunder on pages 64-80 (Gerd Wunder is one of the greatest German and Württembergian genealogist from Schwäbisch Hall, died about 1990). The article on pages 64 has the title:

“Ilshofen unter der Herrschaft der Reichsstädte 1398-1562” („Ilshofen under the rule of the Imperial Free Cities 1398-1562“).
It is written that Ilshofen was from 1398-1562 under the rule of the Imperial Free Cities of Schwäbisch Hall, Rothenburg/Tauber and Dinkelsbühl. All resident taxpayers of Ilshofen are listed in the year 1532 in a tax list for tax against the Turks, (Türkensteuerliste) because for more than 100 years they had to pay their taxes during the war against the Turks. Queen Isabella I. Kastilien 1495-1504 took all the Ottomans out of Spain in the year 1492, this means that the Ottomans were positioned only in the eastern side of Europe in the year 1550 but directly in front of Vienna in the year 1529.

On page 77 it states:

Ennlin Unbehawen married Hanns Rotermel
The couple had five children: Bartholome, Jörg, Anna, Cristina and Katherina

Written in the article on page 65:

“The inhabitants of Ilshofen are all listed with names in 1532 in a taxlist against the Turks (Anlage 4 = enclosure 4, on page 77 and 78). There were 35 farmers, having together 3 973 gl (Gulden, 1 gl is about 100 €). The richest was the landlord Baltus Bratz with 600 gl and the poorest was Hans Rotermel with 3,5 Gulden.”

The original document with the above mentioned tax list from 1532 is in the Rothenburger archives in the State Archive (Staatsarchiv) of Nürnberg.

In this list of the 35 inhabitants of Ilshofen who had to pay Turk-tax there are 6 Rotermels !

1. Bartel Rotermels wittib (widow) 3 gl (150 gl)

2. Jörg Rotermel 2 gl 6lb 29 d (141,5 gl)

3. Gangolf Rotermel (gestrichen = no tax)

4. Hans Rotermel 17,5 d (3,5 gl)

5. Lienhard Rotermel 1 lb 20 d (10 gl)

6. Jörg Rotermel 1 gl (50 gl)

This means the last Jörg Rotermel (Jörg means Georg !) had capital of 50 gl (Gulden) and had to pay a Turk-tax of 1 gl (Gulden). Of the 35 inhabitants of Ilshofen there are 6 with the name Rotermel and two with the name Georg = Jörg, this means with different parents.

If there were five Rotermels living in the year 1532 with two named Jörg and one Rotermel-widow, surely the Rotermels were living for at least even more generations before 1532 in Ilshofen, perhaps since 1400, because one generation is about 31 years and in 1400 it would have meant only 4 generations before.

In the article from Gerd Wunder I found a notice that Hans Rotermel a Bebenburger subject buying himself free from the Bebenburger bondage went under the protection of the Imperial Free Cities in the year 1483 ! I have to point out that there no man was free at this time. It is known that all the inhabitants from Ilshofen who were in bondage were serfs. All 200 inhabitants from Ilshofen were serfs from the imperial free cities and Hans Rotermel changed his bondage from the Duke of Bebenburger to the Imperial Free Cities, he did this in the year 1483. Therefore this Hans Rotermel is the first named Rotermel and he was living in Ilshofen. I don’t think that this is the same Hans Rotermel from 1532 I think perhaps his father. Now you are certainly back as far as 1483 with your family history.

What a thing ! Now you have a really old family, dear Janice, because most German family histories ended with the war from 1618 to 1648 the so called “30-jähriger Krieg” because most documents were destroyed in this long and terrible war..... Folker

We can't thank Folker enough for taking the time to research this information for us! Janice

1483 Title

1483 Title

Page 76

Page 76

Ishofen Today

Ishofen Today

Map of Europe around 1550

Map of Europe around 1550

Ilshofen 1763

Ilshofen 1763
More historical information from Folker: Translation from the book of which I now have a copy (in German) Janice

The title of the book about IIshofen is “Ilshofen - Kleine Stadt an der großen Straße” which means in English “Ilshofen – Little town at the big road”. This means that Ilshofen lays at the cross of two big roads, today there is only one big road, the Autobahn Heilbronn to Nürnberg.

But earlier the one big long-distance-road went from Vienna (the river Donau) to the river Rhein and over the river. The road came from the river Rhein via Wimpfen (Württemberg) a very old small town with a very important “imperial castle” (called “Kaiserpfalz”) (this Kaiserpfalz was used by the Emperor who was a travelling Emperor he was always on the road from one Kaiserpfalz to the other from Sicily to Aachen) There is a Kaiserpfalz in Wimpfen even today. From Wimpfen the road goes to Ilshofen and then south-east to Donauwörth a town on the river Donau from there to Vienna. This first big road is called the “Nibelungenroad” because it comes from Burgundy which was at that time much bigger than today and it went also more in the northern part of Europe. The “Nibelungenroad” has a junction to the very important free Emperor town of Nürnberg.
The second road which crossed the first precisely in Ilshofen was a big old road which came from Italy,via Brenner, Ulm (also at this time a very big free emperor town) via Esslingen, Stuttgart-Cannstatt, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Vellberg to Ilshofen to go via Kirchberg and Rothenburg/Tauber to the North- and Eastsea. (page 44)

These two big roads were really very old they were used even from the Celts in the years 800-200 BC and then they were used by the Romans. Therefore the first peoples who lived in the area of Ilshofen from 800 BC were the Celts.

These roads were good for an old marketplace such as Ilshofen , it has been a market town since 1330.

But on the other hand the roads were bad for Ilshofen because if there was a battle and there often was a battle, it meant that many soldiers came over the cross roads.

(to page 69-71 to Hans Rotermel)

At the time of the big “Bauernkrieg” = “farmer war” in the beginning of 1525 (the poor farmers were struggling against the free emperor towns and the nobility and the counts) all the troop transportations of all fighting units went through Ilshofen. In the year 1542 in the so called “Schmalkaldischer Krieg” a struggle from the emperor Karl V. of Habsburg against the “Schmalkaldischer Bund” (this was a union of the Lutheran counts against the Catholics, Karl V. was a strong catholic) in the year 1542 there was a cavalry regiment of 100 riders from the Netherlands in Ilshofen. In 1547 there were 125 riders from Spain in Ilshofen. The poor people of Ilshofen had to pay for eating drinking, sleeping and often for horses for all these soldiers. At the end of this last war the cost only for Ilshofen was over 600 Gulden. The Spanish soldiers were in Ilshofen for 12 weeks and were blackmailing the Ilshofens for bread, meat, wood, corn and wine and they needed a lot of wine. The Ilshofen people tried to share the immense war costs with the other little towns but this was difficult because they were also vey poor.

(page 71, Hans Rotermel)

Hans Rotermel had no luck, at the end of the Schmalkaldischer war he had a claim of 50 Gulden for the year 1551 and he had to sell his inheritance to pay the war claim from the Schmalkaldischer war from his 50 Gulden.

Oh Janice there has been no good luck in your old German family!!

Some old postcads

Some old postcads

Suleyman the Magnificent
1495 – 1566
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

During his forty-six year reign, Suleyman undertook thirteen military campaigns of conquest. He managed to conquer large parts of Hungary, Austria, and nearly Rome.
In his lifetime, Suleyman conquered many lands, constructed great wonders, and led his nation to prosper. His hostility towards the Christian empires was a major factor in the growth of Islam. However, he could not master his own household and this led to his downfall and the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.
Religious conflict ravaged Germany until the 1550's. It was to his regime that the Rotermel's had to pay their taxes.

Ottoman Siege of Vienna 1529

Ottoman Siege of Vienna 1529

Can you see your ancestor?

Can you see your ancestor?