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03.02.2011, 20:55
My name is Don Gelwick. I am trying to research information on my ancestor Frederick Heinrich Gelwicks Sr. and his wife, Leah Hesse. Verbal history is that he was a land baron and she was from the House of Hesse and House of Hohenzollern. They had a son, Frederick Jr. born in Saxony in 1712, so I would guess her birth to be around 1680-1690. I have been unable to locate any information or even find a Leah Hesse in the internet databases available to me.

Any information or direction to where I could find information on my family history in Germany would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Don Gelwick
Dewey, Oklahoma, USA

Johannes v.W.
05.02.2011, 17:24
Hallo Don

Unfortunately there is no trace of a Princess of Hesse with a name Lea(h), who married a Mr. (or Baron) Gelwick. It would have been also most unlikely, that a female member of a ruling dynasty was allowed to marry under her rank, even into the lower nobility (like a baron) or landed gentry. A genealogical gateway to the House of Hesse from Germany´s lower nobility is f.e. the von Cornberg (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornberg_(Adelsgeschlecht))-family, illegitimate descendants of Wilhelm der Weise (the Wise), Landgraf von Hessen. (I have them in my own FT). But the problem is, we can´t either find the name Galwick as a noble name in Germany.
My own suggestion: The name Hesse (= a rather common place name) might have inspired some family member in the past to create this nice story of nobility around Leah and her husband. The experience of years in this forum shows, that in almost every 3rd or 4th German family is existing in some way such a tale of lost nobility. Actually a sort of "urban legend"... So never mind. :wink:


Für die nicht englisch-sprachigen Leser: Die Prinses von Hese, kann eh vergese...

08.02.2011, 15:52
Thank you for your reply. I presume that she was not of the ruling line. Why would a royal heiress give up her castle and move to the wilderness of Pennsylvania in colonial America? I have searched ships passenger lists and have yet to find any mention of my ancestors. It is like they appeared out of thin air and began their life here.

Tradition says that Frederick lived in the Palatinate along the Rhine and was of the Teutonic class of noblemen. Another urban legend?

Thank you again for your reply.

Don Gelwick

08.02.2011, 20:17
Have found information that might suggest original name in Germany might have been Gemelcks. Any idea where I can search? Possible that family came from around Maar Hessen.

15.02.2011, 10:55
Hi Don,

Maar is today a part of Lauterbach in Hessen. A very little town. As far as I know was the ruling family in Lauterbach the von-Riedesel-family.

Today there are only the names "Gellert" and "Gelhard" in the telefone book...nothing else that sounds simmilar.

The name "Gemelk" sounds like the German "melken" which means simply "milking".

Maybe you could be succesfull if you post your questions in the sub-forum "Hessen".


Johannes v.W.
15.02.2011, 20:40
Maybe you could be succesfull if you post your questions in the sub-forum "Hessen".
Gute Idee, vielleicht verschiebt man den ganzen Faden einfach ins Unterforum Hessen :?

Viele Gruesse

25.02.2011, 17:00
Thank you for the information and suggestions. Melkin (milking) makes sense being that there were a lot of dairy farmers in the family. Don't know for sure that it was passed down through the family, but it does stand to reason. I will post my request in the Hessen Forum.

Thank you again for the help.

Don Gelwick

03.03.2011, 19:24
...and maybe the name "Leah" is only another mistake in hearing and writing and it should be "Lehr" or "Leer".