Descendants of Hans Jacob Ernst Gangnus


Not long ago, I didn't know the surname of my mother's grandmother. From records in the U.S., it seemed her name was Youganus. Unfortunately, there is no such name. I have since found out, thanks to the research of my cousin Catherine Watts in England, that her name was actually the German, Gangnus. Then, I found out that there was a wonderful genealogy done on the family in German. I am greatly indebted to the work of Gustav Gangnus, Vom Elsass Hinaus in Die Welt, Stammtafel und Geschichte, Gangnus , Darmstadt 2003. So I have gone from nothing to a great amount of information in a short period of time. So like a Greek Goddess, this family seems to have been born fully grown. It looks like the Gangnus and Rathfelders married at least twice, so there may be some duplicates below.

As far as I know, my Gangnus ancestors lived primarily in Germany and Latvia.


Although the Gangnus family lived in Germany for over 150 years that is documented, it appears that they moved around a bit.

Generation One

haguenau.jpg (25K)
1. HANS JACOB ERNST1 GANGNUS was born in 1610 at Hagenau, Alsace. He married Anna (--?--).
He was Cavalry Captain. Hagenau then part of German Holy Roman Empire. Remained so until 1648. Hagenau one of the main towns. Survived Thirty Year War and according to family continued to live in Sinsheim after 1660. (Nr. Heidelberg).
Children of Hans Jacob Ernst1 Gangnus and Anna (--?--) were:

Hagenau (current spelling Haguenau) is a city north of Strasbourg located in current day France.

According to Wikipedia, "Haguenau dates from the beginning of the 12th century, and owes its origin to the erection of a hunting lodge by the dukes of Swabia. The emperor Frederick I Barbarossa surrounded it with walls and gave it town rights in 1154. On the site of the hunting lodge he founded an imperial palace, in which were preserved the

Hagenau and Sinsheim
haguenau.jpg (25K)
"Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire", i.e. the jewelled imperial crown, sceptre, imperial globe, and sword of Charlemagne. Subsequently it became the seat of the Landvogt of Hagenau, the imperial advocatus in Lower Alsace. Richard of Cornwall king of the Romans, made it an imperial city in 1257. In the 14th century, it housed the executive council of the Decapole, a defensive and offensive association of ten Alsatian towns against the surrounding political instability. In 1648 it came into the possession of France..."

So it appears that the Gangnus family left the city before it came under French rule. Perhaps Hans moved to Sinsheim as a result of being in the 30 Years War.

According to the Thirty Years War web page,

"The Thirty Years War is one of the great conflicts of early modern European history.

The Thirty Years War consisted of a series of declared and undeclared wars which raged through the years 1618-1648 throughout central Europe.

During the Thirty Years War the opponents were, on the one hand, the House of Austria: the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand II and Ferdinand III together with their Spanish cousin Philip IV.

During the long course of the Thirty Years War the Habsburgs were opposed by various international opponents of House of Austria: the Danish, Dutch and, above all, France and Sweden.

In addition to its international dimensions the Thirty Years War was a German civil war. The principalities which made up Germany took up arms for or against the Habsburgs or, most commonly, both at different times during the war’s 30 years.

The Thirty Years War was also, at least in part, a religious war among Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists. Ferdinand II and, to a lesser degree, his primary ally Maximillian I represented the re-Catholicizing zeal of the Jesuit Counter-reformation, while Frederick V of the Palatinate represented the equally militant forces of Calvinism.

The series of conflicts, military and political, which make up the Thirty Years War are highly complex."

Generation Two

2. WOLFGANG ERNST2 GANGNUS (Hans1) was born in 1641 at Sinsheim. He married Margarethe (--?--). He died in 1707.
Children of Wolfgang Ernst2 Gangnus and Margarethe (--?--) were as follows:

Generation Three

3. JOHANN PHILIPP3 GANGNUS (Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 8 Sep 1671. He married Anna Dorothea Schnepf, daughter of Hans Georg Schnepf and Martha (--?--), in 1696 at Sinsheim. He died on 29 Aug 1750 at age 78.
He was a citizen and shepherd of Neckarbischofsheim, Nr. Heidelberg/Heilbronn. He was also known as Hans. Excerpt from Death Register:-
“Early in the morning of 29th August 1750, between six and seven o’clock, Johann Philipp GANGNUS died after having been bed-ridden for more than a year. Roman Catholic. Buried 30th August. Age 79 years less 10 days.”.
Children of Johann Philipp3 Gangnus and Anna Dorothea Schnepf were as follows:

Generation Four

4. JOHANN GEORG4 GANGNUS (Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 16 Jun 1704 at Bischofsheim, Germany. He married Anna Margaretha Clausing, daughter of Caspar Philipp Clausing and Maria Magdalena Tausch, on 4 Oct 1735 at Eichtersheim. He died between 1765 and 1766 on the way from Jutland to Lubeck?
He was a shephard in Eichtersheim (today part of Angelbachtal in Kraichgau). He immigrated in 1760 to Denmark.
Children of Johann Georg4 Gangnus and Anna Margaretha Clausing were as follows:

Generation Five

5. PHILIPP JULIUS GUSTAVUS5 GANGNUS (Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 16 Jun 1747 at Eichtersheim, Kraichgau. He married Anna Eva Müller, daughter of Johann Adam Müller and Anna Catherina Rammich, on 23 Jan 1766 at Lübeck, St. Petri. He died on 2 Jan 1818 at Hirschenhof, Livland, at age 70.
Children of Philipp Julius Gustavus5 Gangnus and Anna Eva Müller were as follows:

6. PHILIPP JACOB5 GANGNUS (Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 25 May 1751 at Eichtersheim, Germany. He married Anna Barbara Stumpf (--?--). He married Anna Eva Niclas, daughter of Johann Jacob Niclas and Anna Maria Riedel, on 20 Jan 1775 at Linden. He died on 8 May 1820 at Hirschenhof, Latvia, at age 68.
Children of Philipp Jacob5 Gangnus and Anna Barbara Stumpf (--?--) all born at Hirschenhof were as follows:
Children of Philipp Jacob5 Gangnus and Anna Eva Niclas were as follows:

Generation Six

7. ANNA CHARLOTTE MARIA6 GANGNUS (Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 1 Apr 1780 at Hirschenhof. She married Johann Gottfried Schwechheimer in 1794. She died in 1847.
Children of Anna Charlotte Maria6 Gangnus and Johann Gottfried Schwechheimer were as follows:

8. JOHANN JACOB6 GANGNUS (Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 11 Mar 1777 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Marie/Margarethe Jacobine/Juliane Boehler, daughter of Johann Jacob Boehler and Maria Elisabeth Mueller. He married Anna Elisabeth Julianna Biedermann, daughter of Johann Adam Biedermann and Maria Margarethe Fuhrmann.
He was a farmer (Wirt).
Children of Johann Jacob6 Gangnus and Marie/Margarethe Jacobine/Juliane Boehler were as follows:
Children of Johann Jacob6 Gangnus and Anna Elisabeth Julianna Biedermann were as follows:

Generation Seven

9. ROSINE7 SCHWECHHEIMER (Anna6 Gangnus, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 23 Jan 1823 at Latvia. She married Johannes Rathfelder.
Children of Rosine7 Schwechheimer and Johannes Rathfelder all born at Hirschenhof, Latvia, were as follows:

10. JOHANN PHILIPP7 GANGNUS (Johann6, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 22 May 1829 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Jacobine Lütke, daughter of Friedrich Lütke and Eva Margaretha Fuhrmann. He married Ebba Mapich.
He in Riga with passport. Everybody born in Hirschenhof in these times had to ask for permission to work and to settle in Riga in 1909.
Children of Johann Philipp7 Gangnus and Jacobine Lütke were as follows:
There were no children of Johann Philipp7 Gangnus and Ebba Mapich.

Generation Eight

11. JOHANN HEINRICH8 RATHFELDER (Rosine7 Schwechheimer, Anna6 Gangnus, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 26 Mar 1846 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus, daughter of Johann Philipp Gangnus and Jacobine Lütke. He died before 24 Mar 1921.
He was a joiner or cabinet maker (tischler). He was also known as Henry.
Children of Johann Heinrich8 Rathfelder and Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus were as follows:

12. ANNA CHARLOTTE8 RATHFELDER (Rosine7 Schwechheimer, Anna6 Gangnus, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 26 Nov 1848 at Hirschenhof, Latvia.
Children of Anna Charlotte8 Rathfelder both born Hirschenhof, Latvia include:

13. GEORG GUSTAV8 RATHFELDER (Rosine7 Schwechheimer, Anna6 Gangnus, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 31 Jan 1851 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Charlotte Kroeger.
Children of Georg Gustav8 Rathfelder and Charlotte Kroeger were as follows:

14. JOHANN GOTTLIEB8 RATHFELDER (Rosine7 Schwechheimer, Anna6 Gangnus, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 9 Aug 1853 at Hirschenhof, Latvia. He married Catharina Schmidt.
Children of Johann Gottlieb8 Rathfelder and Catharina Schmidt are:
Maria Gangnus Rathfelder
Maria Gangnus Rathfelder

15. MARIA ELISABETH LAURA8 GANGNUS (Johann7, Johann6, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 12 Sep 1856 at Latvia. She married Johann Heinrich Rathfelder, son of Johannes Rathfelder and Rosine Schwechheimer. She died on 18 Apr 1940 at Hohensalza at age 83.
She lived in 1921 at Porto Riga, Latvia. She lived in 1939 at Große Lagerstraße (Nometnu 37-2), Riga, Latvia.
Children of Maria Elisabeth Laura8 Gangnus and Johann Heinrich Rathfelder were as follows:
Lager Strasse 1920
Maria Gangnus Rathfelder

A Sketch of Maria Elisabeth Laura Gagnus Rathfelder and Her Times

Much more is known of Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus Rathfelder than of her husband. Maria was born in Hirschenhof, from a long line of the Gangnus family living there. She was born into the household of a joiner. She was the eldest child of six children. Her father had the property directly south of where her future husband lived. (See the map above.) This property was farm #30 and called Gravener. She married quite young and had her first son when she was 17. Her husband, a tischler or joiner had the same occupation as her father. Her first son was Johann Philip Nicolai, named possibly for her father. Her husband and husband's father also were Johann's but had no Philip in their names. Her first 9 children were born in Hirschenhof.

Charkov 1917
Family Stahl in Charkov

Somewhere between the birth of Ludwig Artur Wilmar in 1890 and my grandfather, Alexander Siegfried Oscar in 1894, the family moved to Riga. By the time Alexander was born, his older brother was nearly 20. It is unclear why the family moved to Riga at this time. Perhaps the family farm went to the oldest son, Johann Philipp Nicolai. She was Lutheran as were all the colonists from Hirchenhof. While in Riga, she likely attended St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Her youngest son was baptized there in 1896 and Alexander was confirmed there in 1911 at age 16. St. Peter's Church towered over the skyline of Riga and was said to be the tallest wooden structure in Europe in its day. Maria's father was in Riga with a pass in 1906. I don't know if that meant he was visiting there or living there at the time.

In 1917, Maria was in Charkov. This is modern day Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. According to Inge Tashke-Pfeiff, a Hirschenhof descendant, "During WWI our Hirschenhof ancestors had to leave the country or - when they would prefer to stay - they had to go to the Military. Most of the Hirschenhoefer disliked to struggle against Germany, so they had to go to Siberia. My grandparents had to go via Charkow to Kungur near Perm (Siberia). They went back 3 years later after the Russian Revolution in October 1917 (Russian Calendar)." This is confirmed by Gustav Gangnus, "During World War I the German colonists had to leave the western border and to go into the interior of the empire: to the Ural region, to St. Petersburg, to Kiev and - presumably to Kharkov." The post card to the right is from Charkov and was dated 1917. This was from a photo album of Alexander and was entitled, "Family Stahl". Maria's son Leo is to the right of the picture. I do not know who the other people are in the picture. Catherine Watts guesses, "The Stahl family is probably one of Maria’s daughters (on the left – striking resemblance to Maria) and her husband and four children." The postcard as translated by Inge and friend, "Dear ..... (pet-name)! Congratulations for the Angels day (birthday) and wish you good luck, a lot of good and that you may stay healthy. Your mother,

Charkow 3/I 17 or 3/VI 17 (January or June?)"

16. JOHANN JACOB8 GANGNUS (Johann7, Johann6, Philipp5, Johann4, Johann3, Wolfgang2, Hans1) was born on 5 Aug 1862. He married Eva Maria Stahl on 13 Sep 1890 at Linden. He died in 1940 at Mitau.
Children of Johann Jacob8 Gangnus and Eva Maria Stahl were as follows:

Back to the Index
Back to the Hartley Home Page

Please send e-mail
Created with the help of The Master Genealogist for Windows on 1 Oct 2005 at 9:08 am.