Trip to Niederlinxweiler
Well guys, I just came back from Niederlinxweiler, our families roots have been revisited. Itís a very small village that lays in the hills of the Saarland, western Germany. I drove down to Luxemburg for a day and night to look around with my girlfriend Kerstin. She had never been there and I needed to get away for awhile. After our stay in Luxemburg we got in the car and headed south right to the border of France and then turned east heading into Germany. Its nothing but very small two lane roads all the way through the Saarland. It took us awhile to find the town since the directions are so friggen confusing with Niederlinxweiler (means, lower linxweiler) nowhere to be found on any signs. After asking 5 different people as we made our way throughout the region and we finally found it after passing through its sister city Oberlinxweiler (means, upper linxweiler)( weiler means villa). When we first got onto the town we knew it had two churchs, one Evangelish (German for Presbyterian) and the other Catholic.
We first visited evangelish and looked around. It seemed old enough to be the one Johanness Bager was the (Pffarrer) preacher at, but to be sure we visited the catholic one. It wasnít old enough to be the one, so that was easy. We then drove through the town to see if we could find any kind of grave yards or something with the Bager name on it. The church didnít any writing on the outside of it and no graveyard old enough was their to be found. It was getting late 4:15 pm and we knew that the city archive might be our only hope of finding something. We drove around and asked a few people if they knew where the city archive was at and the said it was in Sankt Wendel (St. Wendel) and was probably already closed. As a last ditch effort we saw a funeral parlour and went to see if we could get any kind of info. They were an appointment only business, I guess itís only a matter of time ..heh. There was a bicycle store across the from parlour so we went in and asked for the last time. I asked the woman who the preacher was at the church across the street. She gave me his name and told me where he lived which was right beside the church. I explained to her that Iím American looking for some information on my relatives, one in particular who used to be a preacher at the church across the street. She said that she knew someone who could probably help me out better though, on Geneology. She told me her brother is the Mayor of Niederlinxweiler and is more or less a walking city archive.
She called him at home and got a hold of his wife on the phone, who then welcomed us over and said her husband would be home shortly. The Mayorís sister then gave us directions to his house, around 600 meters away, and told us if we find out anything to give her an email. Very nice people in the Saarland, and that should be noted. We drove to the Mayorís house and his wife was expecting us and welcomed us in. She gave us some cappuccinos while her daughter pulled out a book that went back with names through to the 1700ís. She thumbed through names and found the name Bager. As I was looking at the family tree and dates the Mayor came in, greeted us. He also had a book containing about 30 pages of info on our family. Unfortunately there is no picture of Pastor Johann Georg Bager I. Pastors after him had theirs made though. The father of Pastor Johannes Georg Bager I was (this is as written in the family tree book) Joh. Jakob Bager whom was a Master Backer by trade. I hope this doesnít get confusing. The one who came to America was Johann Georg Bager II. I not sure yet from the german text yet but it appears he worked as a roofer (Leyendeckerstocher), (basically they are slabs of black stone used as shingeles) in the town of Giessen where he then studied Theology, and then was a Lutheran curate (Pastor) in the town of Simmern. He then put boarded the ship the ďRawleyĒ and then put his trust in America on the date October 10th, 1752 in Philadelphia. Not sure what ďput his trustĒ means yet. Iíll have to read through the text I had copied from the original book to find our more details. Iím going to buy the original book, if I can get my hands on it. The Mayor has given me a tip where I can find another at. I sat with the Mayor discussing these things for about 45 minutes. At the same time he showed me a picture of the Johann Bagerís Seal that he had used on letters. He then gave me a plate with the Niederlinxweiler Seal along with new aerial photographs of the town he had taken from a hot air balloon. He also gave me two old aerial photographs taken before WWII and pictures of the church. He then called the pastor of the church and we drove over and met him. He took us into the church and told us of the history he knew of the Bagers and the church. The church that Johann the I had, doesnít exist anymore, it stood where the eastern part of the present church stands. It apparently fell apart from old age. Keep in mind though that the church that stands there today is only a one room church (it was damaged in WWII, when a US bomber overshot its target -railroad tracks). The original had to have been very small.
Take care all,
March 1st, 2002