Leimen, Rheinpfalz – It turns out that Grandma is the direct descendant of the Schultheiss, or appointed town leader, of Leimen, Rhineland Palatinate, Germany. His name was Valentin Helfrich. His daughter married the owner of a mill and are also direct ancestors of Grandma.
Leimen is in the heart of the Pfaelzerwald or Palatinate Forest, a nature park, not far from the birthplace of Emilia Bold and Johann Leies. Today it has a population of about 900 people. According to the village’s homepage, it is known as the highest village in the Palatinate, for its clean air, its natural medicinal plants, and classic Christmas Eve celebration.
This Wikipedia article explains a little about the meaning and origins of the Schultheiss. Note that it was a the duty of a Schultheiss to collect taxes from citizens.
Little is known about this ancestor. Valentin is found in the ancestry of Emilia Bold. I had stopped researching her ancestry because I had hit a bit of a block and been stuck on my 4th great grandparents. It is amazing how much research became available online in a few short months since I stopped. I am once again shocked at the totality of information researchers from this area of Germany organize and put online. Since Labor Day, I have added 5 more generations in the lines branching off from Emilia Bold. It has led to more discoveries in Grandma’s French ancestry from Lorraine which, I am still trying to sort out.
Now the online research regarding Valentin has to be confirmed with data offline. The source of information that states this ancestor was a Schultheiss, a book about the Helfriches from Grafensteiner Amt, Germany, has to be found on loan from another public library for confirmation and/or by writing the current mayor of Leimen. I don’t yet know the names of his parents. If you are keeping tally that makes a Cancelliere of the Commune of Farindola – Nicola Carusi, a Gerichtsschoeffe/Court Alderman in Bechhofen -Balthasar Jakob Rubli, and Valentin, a Schultheiss. Nicola Carusi is the closest to us in degree of generations and has been the easiest to research.
Next: Who is the Daddy. I mean it this time.