Prince/Printz Family History

From "Brentz" in Duehren, Germany to "Printz" in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to "Prince" in Ohio and Beyond


Pre-Brentz Family Tree and History back to 1375

Posted by Victor Prince on February 17, 2014 at 7:05 PM

During our trip to Duehren in 2012, we met some members of the Wolfhardt family who are our distant relatives.  They shared a bunch of documents with me on the family tree and history.  Here is the family tree that documents ancestors all the way back to 1375. To put the year 1375 in perspective - this was the last part of Middle Ages and the eve of the Renaissance. Black Death just wiped out 1/3 of Europe’s population 25 years earlier. Edward III is King of England in 1375 and Gregory XI is the 201st Pope. The Ming Dynasty has just begun in China, Aztecs are thriving in Mexico, and the 1100 year old Byzantine Empire is just about to fall. The Incas will build Machu Pichu 75 years later. Columbus will be born 75 years later, Michelangelo and Martin Luther about 100 years later, and Shakespeare about 200 years later. The printing press will be invented 64 years later. The American Revolution will begin 400 years later.  

Here is that family tree.

In addition, they shared a Wolfhardt family document that had a lot of information on some of these people.  Here were the highlights:

  • The first located Brentz was P. Jacob Brentz, a school attendant in Althausen, Germany. He and wife Maria had son Hans Melchior Brentz, who became a cloth maker and woolen weaver. In 1669, Hans married Anna Dorothea Wolfhardt, daughter of Pastor George Johann Wolfhardt and his second wife, Anna Burckhardt. Their son Johann Heinrich was born in Duehren In 1672. They had a 2 floor house and 16.25 acres of farmland. Johann Heinrich was killed when struck by a bolt of lightning while in a field in Duehren on August 6, 1727.
  • Alexander Wolffhardt received a Masters Degree from the University of Tublingen in 1575. One of his handwritten papers is still in the library there. He was in the clergy and worked in Cannstatt, Strümpfelbach, and Nürtingen. Several of his sermons in Nurtingen still exist. His biggest legacy was his Nürtingen church registry book - a priceless source of information for family researchers to this day.
  • Casper Graeter was a very senior official in the church.
  • Georg Johann Wolfhardt suffered a great deal from the Swedish invasion during the 30 Years War, losing his first wife and four children. 
  • Michael Wolfhardt was Mayor of Waiblingen.
  • Agnes Hunn’s father was the Mayor of Marbach.
  • Wolfhardts probably converted from Catholic to Protestant around 1534.
  • Heinrich Rentz’s eulogy is in Stuttgart library.
  • Anna Wolffartin of Frieburg, was executed for witchcraft in 1599. A plaque at Martins Gate honors her memory. Her son, Alexander Schell, was repeatedly involved in fights and adultery. In 1612, he was stabbed to death from behind by Anna Weckherin. Since Wolffartin is the feminine form of Wolffhardt and Freiburg is just 100 miles from Waiblingen, they may have been somehow related. 
Here is another visual of this family line with some of the history and context.

Hope that was helpful.  If so, feel free to drop a note on our Guestbook.

Victor Prince

Categories: Germany, Wolfhard Family, Duhren