Monday, February 20, 2012


By now you know where I come from and where I live right now. You know what kind of birds I like and what kind of food I prefer. Now it`s time to meet my family. ...
The Stursberg family is an old family from the German region
"Bergisches Land" (in the Rhineland, not far from Cologne). The genealogy of this family has been particularly well researched. Those family members who are living today, bear the surnames Stursberg, Storsberg, Stosberg, Stossberg and Strasburg. Only some namesakes Stossberg do not belong to the Stursberg family,
but to the Stausberg family from the "Wildenburger Land" in the region between Rhineland and Hessen. All the other namesakes belong to the Stursberg family. The farm, where the Stursberg family originally derives from, is the hamlet called Stursberg in the parish Luettringhausen which is a part of the town of Remscheid since 1929. The feudal scroll of Luettringhausen from 1350 mentioned for the first time "das nechste Stuirß Bergh bey dem Wiedenhoffe" (the next Stursberg to the priest's farm), which in the following centuries existed in several parts and which today has the official names Stursberg I and Stursberg II.
The oldest progenitor who is known by name was living on the Stursberg hamlet in the first half of the 15th century. His name was Winolt zu Stursberg ("Winold van Stubere"), he owned the Stursberg farm and did some business in Cologne in 1445: He bought cloth there. His son,
Siebel (Sybel) van Stursberg was one of the most wealthy inhabitants of the Luettringhausen parish. He contributed with 8 Gulden to a loan taken by the duke of Berg in 1487 from his subjects. It was also Siebel who financed a memorial mess in favour of his dead father. Another son of Winolt might be Wolber van Stursberch, who was a juror of the town council and mayor of Lennep in 1470 (like Luettringhausen also Lennep is part of Remscheid since 1929), and
also Johannes Stursberg who appears in Cologne at the same time. But among the children of Winolt we can only be sure about Siebel. And Winolt and Siebel are for sure the progenitors of all the later living Stursberg namesakes.
After Siebel's death the Stursberg farm was owned by his son Nultz zu Stursbergh. In 1516 he was the master of a laic religious community in Luettringhausen, which was dedicated to St. Mary. In 1521 he is named as a juror of the tribunal of the parish. In 1542 he still must have been
alive, and at the same time his son Bernd (Bernth) Sturssbergh is mentioned. Bernd appears several times until 1563 as the owner of the Stursberg farm and as the head of the "Honschaft Hohenhagen", an administrative part of the big Luettringhausen parish. At the same time he was responsible for the treasure of the parish that in these years must have changed from the Roman
Catholic to the Lutheran confession. Bernd also built a cottage where knives and tools were sharpened and an early form of a steel factory. He also stood for the duties of the religious community which his grandfather had offered for Winolt. These duties must have disappeared when the Luettringhausen parish decided in favour of the Reformation after 1550.
From the 16th century on a second Stursberg farm is mentioned which has a lower feudal status. Later it has the name "Witten Stursbergs Gut" (widow Stursberg's farm). The farmers there may also be Siebel's descendants, but their family tribe did not reach the 17th century.
Bernd Stursberg was the last individual owner of the Stursberg farm. He must have died before 1597. In this year his farm has already been divided among his four heirs, who are obviously his four sons. All of them were not only farmers but also smiths and owners of sharpening cottages. Their names are Peter, Theiss (= Matthew), Nolze (= Arnold) and Johann. With their names the
first different Stursberg branches start. Peter and Johann had only few descendants who were bearing the name Stursberg.
Theiss Stursberg has more descendants. He is mentioned between 1597 and 1608. His son Allof (= Adolf) is his successor on his quarter of the Stursberg farm. Allof's Stursberg descendants end with his great-grandson Johann Christoph who died in 1753 without children. Another son of Theiss must have been Hilbert who owned a farm in Herbringhausen in the Luettringhausen
parish. His descendants followed Hilbert's first name and called themselves Hilbert(s) instead of Stursberg. Franz Stursberg was another of Theiss' sons: He was a merchant and juror of the town council in Lennep, and he is mentioned until 1634. Franz's son Engelbert went to Cologne and had a lot of children, but only a few grandchildren. Engelbert's brother must have been Peter Stossberg who moved to Wermelskirchen south of Remscheid. He bought half the Kenkhausen farm there. His grandson, also called Peter, is the progenitor of the Stursberg tribe
A (Wermelskirchen).
Nolze Stursberg at last had a particularly huge number of descendants. Nolze also owned one quarter of Bernd's farm. Like his brother Theiss, he was a knife maker and is mentioned between 1597 and 1602. His son and heir was Sirach Stursberg who probably died about 1640. Apart from tribe A, all the other family members derive from Sirach. Two of his sons, Zenss (= Vincent)
and Nolze (= Arnold) divided Sirach's heritage, and two more sons, Franz and Peter, owned different farms: Franz on the other side of the Stursberg farm, Peter on the Klausen hamlet in Luettringhausen, where his wife was born. Zenss's grandsons are the progenitors of five tribes (B, C, D, E, F) in Barmen (Wuppertal), Lennep, Luettringhausen and Remscheid. Heinrich Stursberg, Nolze's grandson, stayed on the Stursberg hamlet, and his descendants form tribe G.
Franz's grandsons moved to Wald (Solingen), they are the progenitors of six tribes (H, J, K, L, M, N).
Today the Stursberg family members are spread over all five continents, but most of them still live in the region "Bergisches Land" in Germany and in the neighbour regions. Apart from that, there are some more "centres" in the north of Germany and in the region of the rivers Rhine and
Main. Further namesakes are nowadays living in Switzerland, Spain, England, Canada and especially in different states of the USA. More than 5,000 persons in 20 generations altogether, living and dead, have been collected meanwhile. There are 13 tribes:
  • tribe A: especially in Wermelskirchen, Wahlscheid, Missouri, Tennessee,
  • tribe B: especially in Wuppertal, Hannover, Castrop-Rauxel, Zurich
  • tribe C: especially in Wuppertal, Muenster, Sylt
  • tribe D: especially in Remscheid (Lennep), Muelheim/Ruhr, Hueckeswagen,
    Dabringhausen, Aachen, Basel, New York, Utah
  • tribe E: especially in Essen, Bochum (Ruhr area), Remscheid
  • tribe F: especially in Remscheid, Wuppertal, Muenster, Louisville/Kentucky
  • tribe G: especially in Remscheid, Wuppertal, Hagen, London, Vancouver
  • tribe H: especially in Solingen, Haan, New Jersey tribe H: especially in Solingen, Haan, New Jersey
  • tribe J: especially in Solingen (no living descendants found)
  • tribe K: especially in Solingen
  • tribe L: especially in Solingen, Langenfeld, Wuppertal, Utica/New York
  • tribe M: especially in Solingen (no living descendants found)
  • tribe N: especially in Solingen, north Germany

The family coat of arms has been registered officially in 1938. It shows a black bull head with a golden crown and a golden shield, divided by a red post with three silver rafters. The helmet with black and golden ornaments wears two golden buffalo horns with a black rafter each.

The Stursberg coat of arms is a so-called talking crest. The bull refers to the word "stur" in the family-name, and the rafters symbolise the hill/mountain (mountain = "Berg"). Three rafters stand for the three farms that were originally located on the Stursberg hamlet and owned by family members.

All the members to the Stammesverband Stursberg have the right to use the family crest.

1 comment:

kornkountrytreasures said...

Super post, as usual, Dirk.

Wow, wish I could go back that far!! I've only gotten as far back as the Mayflower.