Birthplace of Jacob Barth in
Father of Louise
"Lula" Barth Bollinger
We know very little about Jacob
Barth. Lillian Bollinger and Don Bollinger obtained information
from the Booneville Township, Warrick County, Indiana 1880 Federal
Census that Jacob was born in November 1833 in Berkenfell, Germany
and is buried in Tennyson Cemetery near Booneville, Indiana. He is
listed as a teamster and farmer.
There is no Berkenfell in
Germany. There is a Birkenfehl which is pronounced exactly as the
Barth records show. There is a Birkenfeld and a Birkenfelde. We
have to assume that the pronunciation leads to the correct one
since verbal skills of immigrants were better than the written.
Birkenfehl is about 50 miles
directly east of Koln (Cologne) Germany (Rhine River) and about 75
miles north of Frankfurt. So it is about 50 miles west of the
geographic center of Germany. It is in west-central Germany. It is
also in the middle of a huge belt of wooded hills that extend east
of Cologne across the middle of Germany. The nearest city is
Siegen where there is a major university. Birkenfehl is in a
nature park called Rothaargebirge and in a mountain region called
by the same name. It is in a valley near the Eder River. Pictures
of the area are available on the internet. Birkenfehl is in the
German District (state) of Nordrhein-Westfalen. Rainfall is about
40 inches per year. The lowest temperature is just below 0 deg F
and from May to October it doesnít get below freezing.
In the early 80s Howard
Williams (Jacobís great grandson) traveled to Germany by train
from Liege, Belgium to Cologne where he took the train down the
Rhine River to Switzerland. Cologne is famous for itís giant and
ancient cathedral that was spared in the bombing of World War II.
He passed within 50 miles of Jacob Barthís birthplace. He
remembers the gruff ticket agent that had no patience for someone
who spoke only English. He remembers the beautiful Rhine River and
the wooded hills surrounding.
Much more research is needed on
Jacob and his Birkenfehl. Census records will establish if we
picked the right town. It would be easy to get there by flying
into the major air hub of Frankfurt, train to Siegen and rental
car to Birkenfehl.
Copyright 2001 Williams Family from Evansville,