Saturday, July 26, 2014

What can we learn about Minfeld from the Probst Family?

[Auvil Genealogy] We don't know for sure where Johannes Abel came from. But we do know that his wife, Magdalena Ditlo, has many ties to a place called Minfeld, Germany. She was born in Minfeld. Her parents were both born in Minfeld. Members of her extended family were born in Minfeld. Her grandmother, Maria Elisabetha Vossellmann Fosselman, and her grandfather, Johannes Kauffmann, were both born in Minfeld.
And yet we haven't had any information passed down to our family about Minfeld. Some years ago I searched "Minfeld" and found that their is another (at least one) American family from Minfeld. The Probst Family. There isn't anything written about our links to Minfeld but there is some info online about the Probst family. There is a Probst who married a Fosselman but I don't think we have any in our direct line.
I've found two sources for information. First, a family tree "note" and I don't know who the author is. So if you know please write to me so I can attribute it correctly.

Philip Jacob Probst was a master potter by trade (as were his father and brothers) in Kandel. He left Kandel and moved across the Lauder (River) about 15 miles to Oberseebach, in Alsace, where he met Catherine (Christ?), his future wife. C'erine was a French Heugonot. They were married probably in Oberseebach, although they may have married in Minfeld before they moved to Alsace. (In 1720, Alsace was controlled by Germany, but soon thereafter reverted back to French control.) He might have also later used the name of Philippe Jacques Probst, reflecting the politics of living in French Alsace! The births of his first four children were recorded there. They were French citizens when they left for America. The first names of the three boys may have been originally intended to be Johan, but had become Jean for political reasons, prior to their departure for America. ~Brobst Family Historical Registry

(Kandel is right next to Minfeld) So this gives us an idea of the political climate of Minfeld at the time our ancestors came to America. Interesting that Philip married a Heugonot.

[The Probsts who emigrated from Switzerland some 50-100 miles northwest into the Haut-Rhin were mostly glass-makers. In fact, one of the villages in which they and other glass maker settled was named "Glasshütte"] These glass-makers had to be mobile, because of the need to follow the furnace installations near the forests (most furnaces were fueled by charcoal). ~Centre Départemental d'Histoire des Familles

OUR families from Minfeld were glassmakers! Johannes worked at a glass factory in Frederick and his (possible) sister was married "at the glassworks" in Frederick.

I have one more link for now - a story by  Bill Brobst about visiting Kandel and Minfeld. If any Auvils visit Minfeld please tell us about your trip!

If I find anything else out about Minfeld I will post it here. I'm planning on starting a penpal project when I get a little time.

Note: Probst became Brobst in America.


  1. Hi. My great grandmother, Anna Maria Boebinger (Böbinger), and a number of generations before her were from Minfeld. Our ancestral names from there include Jung, Strubel, Zimmer, Beyer, and Hock (Hoeck). I have found only one relative from Kandel, Eva Margaretha Rodel. My husband and I just returned from a visit to the 12 of my ancestral villages in the wine country of the Pfalz, including Minfeld and Kandel. If you are interested, I have some photographs of Minfeld at and of Kandel at:

  2. Thank you so much for these pictures and info!

  3. My fourth great grandfather, Georg Jacob Spindler, was born in Minfeld in 1726, and he married a woman from Kandel, Maria Elisabetha Bossler, in 1750. By 1760, the couple had gone to Baltimore, Maryland and bought land there. They had six
    children, four boys and two girls, who all survived to maturity. Martha Spindler Brown