This is the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde (Evangelical or Lutheran Church) in Wachenbuchen, Hessen, Germany. The photo was taken by David Mefford, June 1997. This community church has records dating back to 1638. The actual books have been transfered to the library in Hanau.
headstone is on the south wall of the Church. It is for two Meffords
who died in the mid 1800's. I will include the translation at a later
is the Church Record in Wachenbuchen. As you can see, the record
runs from 1638 to 1751. I asked Herr Muller, the Pastor, if there
were any earlier records. He told me that during the Thirty Years
War, which was from 1607 to 1637, Wachenbuchen was beseigned by the Swedish
Army and finally was captured. During the battles, the soldiers ran
out of wadding for their guns and began to use any paper in the village
which they could find, which included the Church Records. The record
we now have began again at the end of the war.
This is the first entry for a Mefford in the Church Records. The third entry is the marriage of Johanne Heinrich Mefford to Anna Margarethe Emmel, 25 Nov 1659. Even with the help of my brother-in-law, Jim Jackson, who speaks fluent German and Herr Muller, the Pastor, the script is very difficult to read. We neither write nor speak the same way Germans did 350 years ago.