Bavaria has 71 Landkreise (like our United States counties). There are 373 Gemeinden (like our United States townships). In addition, there are 23 Städte (cities). Each Gemeinde or Stadt is a local administrative division. They also have plus Kreisfrei Städte (big cities that are administered at a level similar to the county level).
The southern part of what is today the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz was actually once part Bavaria. Historically, this area has been known as as the “Rheinpfalz“, “Rhennish Pfalz”, “Rheinbayern” or “Palatinate” region. However, it is no longer a part of modern Bavaria.
Land in south eastern Germany, and former Duchy, Electorate and Kingdom, and one of the longest lasting political units in European history, though its borders have changed.
The present Land of Bavaria (Bayern) stretches northwards from the Allgäuer, Bayerischer and Salzburger Alps to lands beyond the River Main. In the northwestern corner is the city of Aschaffenburg on the River Main; in the northeast are the upper waters of the Rivers Saale and Eger (Ohøe in Czech), which are tributaries of the Elbe and so flow to the North Sea; in the southeast are the Alps around Berchtesgaden; in the southwest Bavaria has some miles of shore on Lake Constance (Bodensee), the lake through which the Rhine flows.
The rains that fall on the greater part of the Land however flow not to the North but to the Black Sea. The Danube flows across…
Birth: Dec. 3, 1927 Dubuque Dubuque County Iowa, USA
Death: Mar. 9, 2012 Rosharon Brazoria County Texas, USA Jean Marie (Linderman)Frederick Mancill, daughter of Phyllis “Phyl” Eugenia (Palen) Linderman and Harry William Linderman.
Granddaughter of Frank Joseph Palen and Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen, also of Edward Francis Linderman and Gudrun Ivarra (Lund)Linderman of Dubuque, Iowa. First huband LeRoy Eugene Frederick. Married 15 November 1947, Liberty, Texas. Divorced 1968. the Frederick homestead was at 1709 Cheston Drive, Jacinto City, Texas 77029.
Six children together: Joseph Lee, Phyllis Jean, Sally Ann, Karl Thomas, Patricia Marie, and Sarah Kay Frederick.Mother was a very loving and creative woman. She taught me how to sew at 16, she made us a braided rug, she knitted, crocheted, needlepointed, and quilted.
Second husband Louis “Honey Lou” Clifford Mancill. Married 5 December 1968, Houston, Texas. Our Mancill homestead was at 11039 Lafferty Oaks St, Houston, Texas. My Mother and Dad made our house a home. We celebrated many a birthday, and all holidays at this home, at 11039 Lafferty Oaks St., in Houston, Texas.
He preceded her in death. No children of this union. One step son, Michieal Wayne Mancill. She was the life of the party. My Dad sang and played the guitar for her. She lived, she laughed and she loved. Lou called her his “satan pussycat”, and the “princess and the pea”. She was spoiled by my Dad. They spoiled each other. They were each other’s best friend. They were deeply in love.
Mother passed away at home surrounded with family that loved her. She just drifted off, and the angels came to get her. We believe that the week before, she had some mini strokes, because after that she could not speak and was bed ridden. My consolation was she was not in pain, and not alone, and I was able to be there with her for her last six years of her life.
Mother just passed today, Friday, March 9, 2012, in Rosharon, Texas. She left us peacefully to be with Jesus. I am so grateful to have been able to spend the last six years living together with Mother. We got to be even closer than ever.
She was blessed with a good life, and a good family. She really was always there with all of us six children, up until the last week of her life. She fell on Monday, and we think she had a mini stroke, she never was able to speak clearly after that. She passed away on Friday afternoon, in her sleep.
Mother told us that she did not want to go, but she left us just like she wanted to. She had dignity and respect from all who knew her. Everyone who knew her loved her. She was a very giving person, and always was there for her six children.Our family was a very loving, close-knit family.
Burial followed at the same Oaklawn Cemetery, where Aunt Yvonne Linderman (Levesque), Uncle Kenneth Jackson, and Aunt Yvarra “Billie” Linderman (Jackson) are buried.
Mother’s viewing was held on Monday, March 12, 2012 from 4-9pm. The funeral services were on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @11am @ Oaklawn Cemetery Pavilion, on Hwy. 36 in Somerville, TX. location at:, Strickland Funeral Home at 545 8th Street, SOMERVILLE, TEXAS 77879, (979)596-2133.
Family links: Parents: Harry William Linderman (1903 – 1995) Phyllis Eugenia Palen Linderman (1904 – 1963)
Spouses: Leroy Eugene Frederick (1926 – 2006) Louis Clifford Mancill (1924 – 2002) Burial: Oaklawn Cemetery Somerville Burleson County Texas, USA
Created by: TEXAS TUDORS Record added: Mar 10, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 86532980
This is my favorite pic of all six of us with Mother, when she was still feeling well enough to travel. (left to right & back to front) Sally Tudor, Phyllis Hyden, Joseph Frederick, Karl Frederick, Jean Mancill (in pink), Sarah Moore, & Patricia Harrod.Mother’s six children: Sally Ann(Frederick)Tudor, Phyllis Jean(Frederick)Hyden, Joseph Lee “Joe” Frederick, Karl Thomas Frederick, Jean Marie (Linderman) Frederick Mancill, Sarah (Frederick)Moore, and Patricia (Frederick)Vanderford Harrod, April 15, 2011, Austin, Texas @ Justin & Allison Vanderford’s wedding. This is one of my favorite pics of us and mother. It was one of the last trips that she took with me. She loved to go “bye-bye”. –:)
Jean Linderman, Roy Nelson, & Michael Jackson, unknown friend, 1945, Crosby, Texas.
Leroy & Jean (Linderman)Frederick, married November 15, 1947, Liberty, Texas
Linderman Family Genealogy~Dubuque, Iowa (texastudors.wordpress.com) My Maternal Grandfather, Harry William Linderman, German & Norwegian Ancestor (lindermangenealogy.wordpress.com) Edward Francis Linderman~My Maternal Great Grandfather~German Ancestor (lindermangenealogy.wordpress.com) My Third Great Maternal Grandmother~~Maria A. “Mary” (Hammell) Linderman (hammellgenealogy.wordpress.com)
It was a little bit brighter the next morning but not especially thrilling and it didn’t look as though we would get the snow that we had hoped for or the blue skies that we wanted for our photographs.
We had flirted with the idea of taking a journey into the forest on the Black Forest Railway , The Badische Schwarzwaldbahn which passes directly across the Black Forest, on the way passing through spectacular scenery on a route that is one hundred and fifty kilometres long, ascends six hundred and fifty metres from lowest to highest elevation, and passes through thirty-nine tunnels and over two viaducts but we had done that last year in spectacular winter scenery and we didn’t think it could be recreated on a slightly disappointing and overcast day so we decided to make the trip by car instead.
Christmas Trees are very important in Germany. They were first used in Germany during the Middle Ages. If there are young children in the house, the trees are usually secretly decorated by the Mother of the family. The Christmas tree was traditionally brought into the house on Christmas eve, and during that evening the family would read the Bible and sing Christmas songs such as O Tannenbaum, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet and Stille Nacht (Slient Night).
Sometimes wooden frames, covered with coloured plastic sheets and with electric candles inside, are put in windows to make the house look pretty from the outside.
Christmas Eve is the main day when Germans exchange presents with their families.
In German Merry Christmas is ‘Frohe Weihnacht’.
A big part of the Christmas celebrations in Germany is Advent. Several different types of Advent calendars are used in German homes. As well as the traditional one made of card that is used in many countries, there are ones made out of a wreath of Fir tree branches with 24 decorated boxes or bags hanging from it. Each box or bag has a little present in it. Another type is called a ‘Advent Kranz’ and is a ring of fir branches that has four candles on it. This is like the Advent candles that are sometimes used in Churches. One candle is lit at the beginning at each week of Advent.
Germany is well known for its Christmas Markets where all sorts of Christmas foods and decorations are sold. Perhaps the most famous German decorations are glass ornaments. The glass ornaments were originally hand blown glass and were imported in the USA in 1880s by the Woolworth stores. The legend of the glass ‘Christmas Pickle‘ is famous in the USA, but it’s that, a legend. Most people in Germany have never heard of the Christmas Pickle!
In some parts of Germany, children write to the ‘Christkind‘ (‘The Christ Child’ in English) asking for presents. The letters to the Christkind are decorated with sugar glued to the envelope to make them sparkly and attractive to look at. Children leave the letters on the windowsill at the beginning of or during Advent.
The Christkind is often described as a young girl with ‘Christ like’ qualities. In Nürnberg a young girl is chosen every year to participate in a parade as the Christkind. She wears a long white and gold dress, has long blond curly hair and wears a gold crown and sometimes wings like an angel. This is similar to St Lucia is Sweden. (And it can seem a bit confusing calling the ‘Christ Child’, Jesus, a girl!)
The Nürnberg Christkind officially opens the Christmas market on the Friday before Advent starts. And before Christmas she has over 150 ‘official duties’ including visiting hospitals, old people’s homes and children’s nurseries! She also has to give TV interviews and visit other cities.
Santa Claus or Father Christmas (der Weihnachtsmann) brings the presents on December 24th. December 6th is St. Nicholas‘ Day and “der Nikolaus” brings some small gifts, such as sweets and chocolate, to the children. He comes in the night between the 5th and the 6th and puts the presents into the shoes of the children, who usually place them by their doors on the previous evening. In some regions of Germany, there is a character called “Knecht Ruprecht” or “Krampus” who accompanies Nikolaus (St. Nicholas) on the 6th of December. He is big horned monster clothed in rags and carries a birch. He will punish the children who were bad and will give them a birch as a present. He is usually the one who scares the little children. In other parts of Germany, St. Nicholas is followed by a small person called “Schwarz Peter” (Black Peter) who carries a small whip. Black Peter also accompanies St. Nicholas or Sinterklaas in Holland. In north west Germany Santa is joined by Belsnickel a man dressed all in fur.
Some people say that Santa/Father Christmas (Weihnachtsmann) brings the presents and some say it is Christkind!
At small work places and school parties, secret presents are often exchanged. A door is opened just wide enough for small presents to be thrown into the room. The presents are then passed around among the people until each person has the correct present! It is thought to be bad luck to find out who sent each present.
Another tradition is the Sternsinger (or star singers) who go from house to house, sing a song and collect money for charity (this is a predominantly Catholic tradition). They are four children, three who dress up like the Wise men and one carries a star on a stick as a symbol for the Star of Bethlehem. When they’re finished singing, they write a signature with chalk over the door of the house. The sign is written in a special way, so Christmas 2012 would be: 20*C*M*B*12. It is considered to be bad luck to wash the sign away – it has to fade by itself. It has usually faded by the 6th of January (Epiphany). The Sternsingers visit houses between December 27th and January 6th.
Carp or Goose are often served for the main Christmas meal. Stollen is a popular fruited yeast bread that is eaten at Christmas. Here is a recipe for Stollen.
Thank you to Céline Krimmel for her help in giving me information on Christmas in Germany!
The mosaic of ethnic backgrounds present in Amish Country have resulted in a rich tapestry of Old and New World Christmas customs. Many of the most interesting traditions are unique to our Pennsylvania German heritage.
Candles, of course, have always been a part of Christmas celebrations. In Old World Germany, Martin Luther is credited as being the first person to put candles on a tree, “to represent the glory and beauty of the stars above Bethlehem.” In Ireland, the old custom was to “leave a candle burning in the window to light the way for the Christ Child on Christmas Eve.” It is interesting to note the old tradition in Europe of “illumination,” whereby the birthday of a prince was celebrated by putting candles in the windows.
In the Windows
Visitors to Amish Country notice that we often have candles in our windows all year, not just during the holiday season. The year-round practice apparently started several years ago when a local tourist home left its Christmas candles in the windows as a sign of welcome. The idea seemed to catch on, as people found it attractive, especially in older homes. So now this nostalgic, warm look can be enjoyed by Lancastrians and visitors at any time of the year.
The beautiful 26-point Moravian Star has long been identified with Advent and Christmas. The star originated in the Moravian school handcraft sessions in Niesky, Germany, in the mid-1800’s. The simple 26-point version is quite common, seen hanging and lighted at night on porches in Lititz. Many people are surprised to learn that the first Moravian Star was red and white, not the lovely soft white color usually seen today.
The Moravian Church in Lititz may be the only place in America where you can see a spectacular 110-point star. While the 110-point star is rarely seen here, the design was obtained from Germany, reproduced in Lititz, and first hung in the church in 1980.
Nativity scenes are popular at Christmas, and the “putz” is the Pennsylvania Dutch interpretation of the crèche. Related to the old medieval mystery plays, the putz may have originated to help children better appreciate the Christmas story. The word “putz” is from the German “putzen” for “to decorate, especially to adorn a church.”
Originally, the putz consisted of wooden, clay, or tin figures arranged to depict the Nativity. There were other groupings displayed besides the Nativity scene, such as the Holy Family, the Annunciation, the shepherds in the hills, the three kings, and the flight to Egypt.
Today the making of the putz can be a family project. Decisions must be made on the background, which may involve live plants and paper painted to simulate rocks. There may be stars in the sky and angels suspended with black thread. The middle and foreground include the manger scene, often a cave, figures, animals, moss, and occasionally running water. “The aim is to depict a rolling countryside, a hillside town, and a lonely stable.”
The putz can become an elaborate display, centering on the birth of Christ, but bringing in many other themes. These added figures are usually religious, such as Sir Galahad searching for the Holy Grail, or a scene of the conversion of the Indians. Some include the use of electricity, music, and narration. But the “Putz” is not to be garish, the traditional end result should “evoke a hush of silent contemplation.”
Our modern Santa Claus, of course, evolved over many centuries to what he is today. December 6th was St. Nicholas Day in Catholic countries of Europe, and the Rhineland area became the center of a St. Nicholas cult. With the Reformation these saints days disappeared, and Protestants changed the focus to Christmas Eve and the arrival of Beltznickel (Belsnickel).
He was a figure to be feared, wearing a hat, wig, and long, heavy coat. In addition to his bag of goodies, he could also carry a switch to “punish” naughty children. In the old tradition, this figure could visit at any time during Advent, arriving with ringing sleigh bells and gifts of nuts, candies, and fruits for the children. John Joseph Stoudt describes the old tradition as follows…
He throws the gifts on the floor, demanding a “piece” performed by the children. They have prepared for this for months, and they say a poem or sing a song. He remains stern, with grim, forbidding countenance. When Beltznickel’s whip rattled the windows. the children were frightened and he was a creature to be feared. Sunday School Festivals in the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside continue this tradition of saying a “piece” for him, even though he may not show up.
In 1822, Clement C. Moore’s verses for “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known today as “The Night Before Christmas,” presented the fat, jolly man arriving from the skies. In 1862, famed illustrator Thomas Nast gave him further touches, and by 1886 Santa Claus had basically become the character we know today. “Santa Claus” seems to have come from the New York Dutch settlers’ “Sinter Klaus,” or St. Nicholas.
Indeed, even “Kriss Kringles” really comes form the German for Christ Child (Christ- Kindel). In the 1800’s, children were told it was the Christ Child who brought gifts for them at Christmas. Children left baskets of hay for His mule at the door on Christmas Eve. Apparently many Pennsylvania Germans were displeased as the name and identity changed to become associated with Santa Claus.
Finally, let us return to the Christmas tree and its German beginnings. While it is doubtful Luther started the custom …
It was among Lutherans that the tree first became a Christmas tradition. The earliest written record of a fully decorated Christmas tree dates from 1605, when a citizen of Strasbourg wrote that “at Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlors and hang upon them roses cut from many-colored paper, apples, wafers, gilt-sugar, sweets, etc.”
These Old World Germans decorated their tree “with stars, angels, toys, gilded nuts, and candies wrapped in bright papers. Later they added tinsel and lighted candles.”
It is claimed that the first known written mention of a Christmas tree in America is found in the 1821 diary of Matthew Zahn, a Lancastrian! Undoubtedly, the Christmas tree tradition was brought to America by the German settlers, and trees were fairly common by the 1820’s. It may very well be that Lancaster is the home of the Christmas tree in America!
Regardless of your feelings concerning Christmas celebrations today, it is clear we owe a great deal to the Pennsylvania Germans who brought their customs to the New World. In understanding this heritage, perhaps we can better appreciate the real meanings and history behind the symbols and modern images so prevalent today.
Amish Country News Cover Article by Brad Igou (Winter 1998)
I love this picture of Norman Rockwell‘s Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorites. This pic represents how I feel about our Thanksgiving tradition. God has blessed me with a loving, forgiving close-knit Patriotic American family.
My Mother and Father had six wonderful children in twenty one years of marriage. We were raised at 1709 Cheston Drive, in Jacinto City, Texas from 1947-1968.
My Great Aunt Glady Serene Linderman Nelson would have been 106 years of age today. She always remembered our birthdays, even nieces and nephews, that she had never met. She never forgot to send a birthday card with a dime or quarter. She did not have much, but whatever she could send she would. It impressed on my little mind growing up, that someone all the way up in Dubuque, Iowa was thinking about me.
It made me feel special.
Besides the fact that we didn’t get much mail, and when a letter was just for me, it was exciting. Aunt Glady was a Proofreader for the Dubuque Telegraph Herald newspaper for years. She was the strong matriarch in the Nelson clan. She divorced and moved to the Linderman Home place at 705 West Third Street, Dubuque, Iowa with her widowed father. Glady cared for her father up until his…
Jean Marie (Linderman)Frederick Mancill, daughter of Phyllis “Phyl” (Palen) Linderman and Harry William Linderman. Granddaughter of Frank Joseph Palen and Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen, also of Edward Francis Linderman and Gudrun Ivarra (Lund)Linderman of Dubuque, Iowa. First huband LeRoy Eugene Frederick. Married 15 November 1947, Liberty, Texas. Divorced 1968. the Frederick homestead was at 1709 Cheston Drive, Jacinto City, Texas 77029. Six children together: Joseph Lee, Phyllis Jean, Sally Ann, Karl Thomas, Patricia Marie, and Sarah Kay Frederick. Mother was a very loving and creative woman. She taught me how to sew at 16, she made us a braided rug(I still have today), she knitted, crocheted, needlepointed, and quilted. Second husband Louis “Honey Lou” Clifford Mancill. Married 5 December 1968, Houston, Texas…