Wolfsheim, a village some 6 miles from Alzey, Rhenish Hesse, Germany (coordinates: 49° 52′ 29″ N, 8° 2′ 29″ E), was the seat of a Mennonite congregation ca.1660-1800, the members of which very likely emigrated from Switzerland. In the Mennonite census lists of the Karlsruhe archives the name Wolfsheim occurs in the 1660's with the Mennonite families of Wendell Holl, Thomas Holl, Thomas Rohr, and Stephen von Niederdahlheim. In 1680 the names are Peter Damm, Thomas Rohr, Johannes Schuhmacher, Abraham Holl, Wendel Holl, Rupprecht Rohr, Thillmann Kolb, and Heinrich (last name not legible). In 1685 Tillman Kolb appears with a wife and 7 children, among them 5 sons. Four sons and a daughter immigrated to Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1707. The lists of 1738-73 name Matthias Weber, Johannes Weber, Peter Bohmer, Hermann Janson, Wendel Janson, and Johannes Kaegy.
On 11 August 1661, the elector gave orders that the Mennonites should not hold any religious meetings in Wolfsheim on penalty of a 50 reichstaler fine because the church inspector of Odernheim reported that they were meeting in groups of 200 and holding their religious services in great crowds and were seeking to mislead others, Reformed Christians, to their hypocrisy. Thereupon Wendel Holl "together with his fellow servants" presented a petition to the elector with the comment that they had never increased their number in the country and had been conducting their meetings very quietly; some Mennonites who had been expelled from the Bernese country had been accepted in the Palatinate; he closed with the petition that "the few Mennonites that meet at Wolfsheim, Germersheim, Spiesheim, and Aspisheim, should graciously be allowed to hold our meetings in all quietness." It was decided by the electoral government on 23 October 1661, that as often as they met, the office at Alzey should take a tax from every person, old or young.
On 13 July 1661, Wendel Holi at Wolfsheim and Peter Damm at Weinsheim presented a petition to the office at Alzey that two Mennonites who wanted to settle and buy a ruined estate and pay cash for it might be excused from the tax mentioned above. This petition was refused. Ernest Müller reports (212) that in 1732 mere were 18 families in the Wolfsheim congregation; the preachers were Gotthilf Holl and Johannes Schmitt, with Peter Berg as deacon. Toward the end of the 18th century the congregation was dissolved. The remaining members joined the Uffhofen congregation.
Wilhelm Niepoth's recent research has shown that some of the Palatine Mennonites stem, not from Switzerland, but from the district of Lowenberg in the Siebengebirge not far from Bad Godesberg. Three of these families settled in Wolfsheim cl655-80: Thomas Rohr from Niederdollendorf, a Shumacher family, and a Stephen from Niederdollendorf.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972.
Niepoth, W. "Migrations and Change of the Mennonite Schumacher Family." Mennonite Quarterly Review XXXII (1959).
|Harold S. Bender|
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Wolfsheim (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 28 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wolfsheim_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=111423.
Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1959). Wolfsheim (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wolfsheim_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=111423.
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