Älteste bürgerliche Brömser im Rheingau
Dem Aufsatz von Dr. Harald Winkel „Das älteste Lehnsbuch und das älteste Zinsregister der von Greiffenclau zu Vollrads“, veröffentlicht in den Nassauischen Annalen, 129. Band, 2018, haben wir es zu verdanken, dass wir auf einen bürgerlichen Namensträger ‚Brömser‘ stoßen, der rund 100 Jahre vor Dietrich Brömser von Rüdesheim gelebt hat, und somit kein Vorfahre der späteren bürgerlichen Brömser und Bremser in Rheingau und Taunus war.
Im Zinsregister vom Anfang des 15. Jahrhunderts mit Nachträgen aus dem 1. Drittel des 15. Jahrhunderts (bis ca. 1435) finden sich Einträge über einen Klaus Brömser (Klesegin Bromszer/Clesegin Brümszir) in Hallgarten, der Pächter und Anlieger von dortigen Weinbergen in der Schönhell (Schonheldin) war. Sein Nachfolger als Pächter war um 1420 ein Peter Rose (Pedir Rose). Ihm war es auch gelungen, die in Hallgarten genannten Weinberge der Zinszahlung an Freidrich Greiffenclau von Vollrads zu entziehen.
Gut möglich ist, dass er mit den bürgerlichen Brömsern in Mainz, Weisenau verwandt war, und dass sie Abkömmlinge eines bisher nicht bekannten adeligen Brömser von Rüdesheim waren. Möglicherweise handelte es sich dabei um ein Familienmitglied, das in den Dienst der Kirche in Mainz eingetreten war und (einen) illegitime(n) Nachkommen hatte.
Siehe auch unter: Nachträge zum Aufsatz
This story is not a translation from all my other pages to English. The text is based on an article that Reverent Dr. May wrote after about 8 years of intensive research on the Bremser family. The article was published in the "Heimatjahrbuch des Untertaunuskreises, 1957" (Homeland yearbook of the county of the lower 'Taunus' 1957) - pages 49-56
The manuscript was excerpted and translated by Otto Brömser, Franklin, Wisconsin from a special print of the story and later scanned in and corrected.
I have enhanced and corrected the text in September 2017. The corrections are so numerous, that they cannot be counted or marked in the text.
In the article the word 'civil' stands for the non-noble part of the family. You can also say 'common'.
By Dr. Karl Hermann May (1957) and Reiner Bremser (2017)
Again and again we encounter the name of the Bremser in our homeland for instance in the capital of our county (Bad Schwalbach) in the villages Breithardt, Ramschied, Kemel, Springen, Nauroth, Grebenroth and in the farm called ‘Schönberg’. Many families of our county got their wives from the families of the Bremsers; and if we go back into the past the line of the villages, farms and mills in which the Bremsers once lived increases and widens considerably.
When I heard for the first time this family name, which also appears in the form of Broemser and which developed from the older form of names, like Brumser, Brumpser, and Brimpser, I was reminded from one of the names of one of the most famous of names of families of nobility of the Rhine province, the ‘Broemser of Ruedesheim’. Immediately I suspected, that the citizen-name Bremser was a sideline of the name of the noble family of the Broemser. This opinion wins on probability through a contract which the brothers Dietrich and Heinrich Broemser of Ruedesheim made on January 2nd 1539. Dietrich, who married below his rank, but wished to be connected with the mother of his children, who was a commoner, had - according to a state law of those times - to give up the right to the inheritances of his father and his mother which now fall to his brother Heinrich, who was married to Appolonia of Ingelheim, who came from a noble family. The latter, however, pledged, to provide well for his brother up to his death. The brother should receive each year 125 Gulden (guilders) which were referred to a property of a village called Camp and several incomes in towns to the left and right side of the river Rhine. Dieter’s children of unequal quality of birth should be provided for through entering the clerical rank or, if this was not to their liking should be paid off with 70 Gulden each which they appeared to have got every year. But, apparently none of the children was to become a monk or a priest. Actually, one son, called Best or Sebastian Brumpser became a monk in 1546 but resigned 10 years later when he founded his own family. His nephew, Heinrich Engelhard presented to him a farm called “In the Hellen", with all the fields belonging to it in place of the present parish center St. Jacobus; it could be that he liked especially well this unequal relative, or that he was not able to get together the promised amount of compensation. When Heinrich Engelhard had died on the 19th of October, 1567, the guardians of his son Johann Reichard tried to push the civil Best Bremser out of the farm. His petition to leave him the uncontested inheritance was a success. Later Johann Reichard, Heinrich Engelhard Brömser’s son, who was declared of age in 1585, insisted strongly that the three sons of Best Bremser, who in the meantime had died, should leave the farm. However, the three brothers Ludwig, Philip and Andreas, declared around 1590 that this petition represented a slander, born out of envy, and the noble relative was told that they had planned to sell the old family property, where in truth none of them had the slightest wish to do that, but that one should live in the house ‘In the Hellen’ and that they should furnish the services and carry the services of the noble ones.
The few records that exist for Ruedesheim during this time state that the son Philipp lived in the farm ‘In the Hellen’ and kept an Inn in it. He was hostiled a lot and had a lot of lawsuits to fight. He was also called a ‘bitch’s bastard’ what is not completely wrong: his father was a former monk and his grandfather was a noble who married a civil woman.
Another son Andreas also seems to have lived in Ruedesheim but died from the pest at Lorch/Rhine province where he lived after Swedish soldiers penetrated the Rhine province in 1632
However, we are not perfectly able to prove where the third brother Philipp or the brother of his father,
Sebastian, found housing and bread, but a striking inconspicuous oral tradition of a line of the citizens Bremser leads us to the right track. When the owner of a shoe factory, Andreas Bremser, born
at Dehrn on the Lahn river and living in Hamm in Westfalen visited me on an exploratory trip of the history of the family on September 27, 1949 in the village of Kemel, he told me the following: “My
great grandfather John George Bremser comes from the village of Dickschied. He hired himself out as a farm hand in Limburg, made the acquaintance of a girl from Dehrn, married her in the year 1820
and settled down at Dehrn. His son, my grandfather, who spent the last years of his life in Limburg, called me once to his room, when I was about nine years old. I feared already that he wanted to
scold me because I had done some mischief which had caused his displeasure, but then he began in ceremonial earnest: Andreas, I have to tell you something, what my father had told me, but you shall
not talk to others about it because it represents a shame. We are descendants of robbing knights. Of course, now grass has grown over it, but it may be stirred up again. Only pass it on as I have
told you to family members and descendants and speak once with your father about it.” Now and then I asked my father. He confirmed the statements of my grandfather and added to it the following: “The
Bremsers have always been free people, they did not have to do any enforced labor services like others who were compelled to do the work in the fields or by wagons. Our forefathers were evangelic and
have become catholic first in Dehrn: Originally they lived in the land of the Archbishop of Mainz. But because they did business with the Fuggers in Augsburg, he drove them out, and they settled down
in the heath of Kemel. There they made their living by hard work. Even today Bremsers are still living there making a frugal living. You do not have to be ashamed of your forefathers, but can be
proud of them. Our name is not really Bremser, but Brömser.” Whoever for many years passed by, has not forgotten the desire of many citizens to date back their forefathers from noble lines, and will
meet rightfully such stories with distrust. What, however, strengthens the confidence of the family tradition of the Bremsers is in respect to the fact that it was passed on as a secret which was
guarded carefully and that the noble descent as a derivation of robber knights was considered as a shame. Then the oral tradition is also confirmed through the above mentioned descendants of Dieter
Broemser of Ruedesheim and the civil carriers of the name Bremser who live since 1566 in the lower county of Katzenelnbogen which lies directly in the neighborhood of the Rhine
So, it was possible that a Johannes (John) Brombser at Nastätten, who estimated his assets and all his food at 25 Gulden(guilders) and 11 years later at 40 Gulden, must have been the other son Dietrich and a brother of that Sebastian who at first could still live in Rudesheim. One can very well consider a Peter and a Henry Bromser of Nastätten as sons or more likely grandsons of Johannes. According to a list of the deceased and living citizens of Nastätten 1628/36, Peter Brombser was dead and among the living ones one could find only a Frederick Brombser who was a brother of Henry. This Frederick was a baker by trade and lived from 1627 to 1633 in Bornich. Frederick and Henry had a sister called Anna Maria who was married to the executioner of the lower county of Katzenelnbogen whose name was Franz Hofmann. The above Henry lived later as a Constable Master in the castle Neukatzenelnbogen, the so called 'Katz' (cat) who from 1631 on had baptized. The above-mentioned Peter seems to be identical to a Peter Brumbser who lived in Buch near Nastätten and whose possessions were estimated at 250 Gulden. The name of Peter puts him into the neighborhood of an older Peter Bremser at Lollschied, whose widow was married to Adam son of Klosz Schnatz (+) from Klingenbach on December 17, 1611 at the chapel of Pohl, also near Nastätten.
In our county, the Untertaunus, we take at first a Philip Brombser at Grebenroth who from 1614 on had children baptized. Helived from 1628 on in Egenroth and was mayor of the Vierherrengericht (Four Lords Court) of the Altenberg (a single church near Heidenrod-Egenroth). In his house, the plague (die Pest) broke out and snatched away the second born son Andreas, on the 23rd of October 1628, the oldest son Johannes and on the last day of this month the daughter Sybille died. Whoever was spared by the pest (plague) in these years had to bear the entire hardness of the war which for over 30 years [Thirty Years War] raged in our land. A house book of a Peter Bremser reports from these days of the terrors at Niedermeilingen. In the year 1635, they plundered this land and ravaged It. Many people were shot to death, murdered with pouring in water so that we could not stay at our farm for four years. Then came a great increase of prices. A bag of grain did cost 10 Thaler, one pound of cheese or butter one half Spanish Thaler. Therefore, many died in our village and some on account of hunger so that the two villages Ober- and Niedermeilingen had died out, except for 12 people, five old ones and seven young ones. This housebook seems to be a fake but its content about the war´s consequences is passed on by other sources as well.
Likewise, hardly hit by the needs of the time were evidently the inhabitants of the village Zorn which belonged to the section of Niedermeilingen. Here in 1623 lived a Jakob Bremser and his wife Elisabeth who was judged to have possessions of 125 Golden in 1628. Their believed brother Johann Philipp Broemser who was born around 1595 (or even earlier around 1590) and from the year 1634 on was mayor at the court of Zorn, had himself better protected through the castles of Katz, Reichenberg and Rheinfels from the war (Kriegsvölker) in 1644 and fled to Patersberg and had found a better place to stay in the community house of that town. He was granted a concession to sell beverages and named innkeeper. In a Lutheran Baptism book of St. Goarshausen appears his name as ‘Wirth zu Patersberg’ (innkeeper at Patersberg). In the year 1650, he is officially referred to as mayor of the court of Zorn and in any case temporarily he has seen to it that the law was observed. He died on January 20, 1654 at Patersberg at the age of 58. The death sermon was about Psalm 116,15. “The Death of His Holy Ones is held high before the Lord”. This Johann Philipp Broemser is identical to the above-mentioned Philip Brombser at Grebenroth as we could find out in the meantime.
When conditions became more stable the clan could hold their inheritances at Zorn for a while longer. Johann Wilhelm Broemser who was born at Zorn on the 2nd of November 1679 had probably married into a family at Dickschied. Here children and grandchildren were born to him. Then new members came from Niedermeilingen to Dickschied. Johann Peter Bremser married Anna Elisabetha Krüger at Dickschied, as we know already. Their son, Johann Georg, born January 5th 1789, founded the Dehrner line. The family of the Bremser was still flourishing in Dickschied in the previous century. When a great fire had laid almost the entire village in ashes on September 13, 1859, a Martin Bremser, who lived in Frankfort/Main at the Goethe Square 22, called for help in the local newspaper ‘Intelligenzblatt’ of Frankfort in the form of money to rebuild the village.
Another Bremser line can be traced back to Henry Peter Bremser, born on the 24th of March 1677 at Zorn, and through his marriage to Anna Catharina Schmidt on May 9, 1702. Also, through the marriage of his son Johann Peter to Maria Margaretha Klärner at Mappershain on January 23, 1731. This family is today still living on in Erich Bremser, the owner of the farm ‘Schönberg’.
Again, it was a Johann Wilhelm Bremser, born in Zorn, who was married on February 5, 1737 to Maria Elisabetha Huth at the church on the ‘Altenberg’ and by this settled the family in Martenroth where they built new buildings in 1747. A son was born to him on March 9, 1749 named Johann Peter. He took over these buildings upon his father's death. This line of Martenroth produced not only a line of excellent peasants, but also gave its village, since the beginning of the 19th century for over 100 years, thoughtful and capable mayors. Yes, it gave to the ‘Untertaunus Kreis’ (the county of the lower Taunus) a man of unselfish character. Philipp Bremser, mayor of his home village from 1879-1920, since 1880 Elder of the congregation of the church at the Altenberg, belonged to the 'Kreistag' (the direction of the county) from 1892-1920 and at the same time from 1904-1919 belonged to the presidium of that place. Still in the 1950´s one often and gladly remembered this excellent peasant who died at the age of 94 on November 8, 1933. He had worked restless, with dignity and in excellent health. Without being able to use the present practical means of transportation, he walked by foot from his home at the farthest border of his county at first to Kemel in order to stay overnight at his son's, Secretary of Forestry at the forest office located in a farm called ‘Erlenhof’. The son was later a state forester. Philipp Bremser reached the next day the capital of the county and made the return way in the same manner.
For us of today he is a wonderful example that on the heights of the meager Taunus
mountains just as gifted and modest people live who are capable of wonderful accomplishments; for this reason it has to be still higher valued how the fathers of these Bremsers fought the battle of
existence under less fortunate conditions and succeeded. We heard already of plagues and troubles of war, under which members of the Bremser family had especially severe to suffer; all this can be
proven. Let us furthermore add that our unfruitful heights far and wide were covered only with heather and one began first at the begin of the 19th century to intensify the care of land and forests.
Then the picture of the surroundings of the Bremsers of the l6th to the 18th century becomes gloomier. One may assume that the Bremsers also used all possibilities to make a living in this
unproductive region. Sheep still find nourishment where cattle had to starve to death, and poor acres are suitable for the raising of flax as it was proven during the last war. So the pastor of the
village of ‘Laufenselden’, Valentin Imhoff, who was born in the village of ‘Springen’, reports in his chronicle, which was written in the year 1598, that in the lower Duchy of Katzenelenbogen,
particularly in Nastätten, Schwalbach, Laufenselden, Springen and in other places wool was made and very good cloth, which was sold at the fairs in Frankfurt and bought by the Swiss and merchants of
the upper countries with great desire and it was sent into the most remote regions. All this is also stated and coincides with the reports and books of inventory of the trade firm Anton Haug, Hans
Langenauer, Ulrich Link and relatives of Augsburg of the year 1550 that names Nastätter, Allendorfer, Langenschwalbacher, Dreispringer which means Springener and Panroder cloth.
Still there are other Bremser families in Germany. For example, a Christoph Bremser lived in Gera already
around 1600 Two of his sons, the trippmakers (wood shoe makers) Jacob and Johannes Bremser who settled in Gotha must have been born around 1622 and from whom Jacob got married in 1648. Johannes,
however, got married in Gotha in 1646 A last bearer of the name of Bremser, city secretary Robert Bremer, died in Gotha in 1934. The wig maker Johann Gottfried Bremser who was born June 5, 1706 as
the son of the candidate Johann Nicolai Bremser, born in Gotha, brought the name to Wertheim at the river Main and married the widow of the innkeeper 'To the Golden Crown' on September 1,
1733. His son, Johann Christoph, born on August 9, 1735 in Wertheim attended the Latin School from 1754 till 1756 in Idstein and became secretary in his hometown.
Finally, we shall not overlook a branch of the generation of the Bremsers who flourished in a section close to
our neighhorhood of the county. When Hans Bardtt had baptized his son in the overhigh village of Presberg on March 12, 1609, it was John, the son of Nikolaus Brembser, who was godfather. This
Nikolaus Brembser had died already when his daughter was sponsor at a daughter of Jodokus Ossener on the 16th of August 1615. Matthäus Broemser born 1708, moved to Lorchhausen. He was a teacher
there. His son functioned as ‘Staatsacsessist’ (~ advocate) and judge in Ruedesheim in 1806-26. In the next generation, we meet lawyer George Broemser of Ruedesheim and Wiesbaden, born 1807, who died
1846, father of the medical doctor George Broemser (1846-1916. Of his three sons Karl Broemser was a medical doctor (1876-1917) and exercised this vocation at the Josefs-Hospital in Wiesbaden. Max
Broemser confirmed himself in 1883-1955 as owner of a vineyard in Ruedesheim, and Dr. Philipp Broemser (1886-1940) worked as an esteemed professor of physiology at the University of
With purpose, we gave the different forms of our family name because they bring out in their manyfold form a great uncertainty of their literal meaning. Recently we also learned the Latin form of the name through a document of the year 1294. Here the name Broemser or Bremser is given through the Latin word ‘primicerius’. Primacerius will say ‘Vorstreiter’. First fighter or warrior and means that knight who in battle stood in first place, and at the same time as carrier of the banner had to determine the direction and most important place of the battle. The people who did not understand Latin, made out of the Primicer a ‘Brumser’ this means a bee who is able to prick or a ‘Bremser’ who is able to bring someone into difficult circumstances, in both cases added names for a knight who in no case lacked humor.
The name Broemser is also explained according to its original meaning, similar as
the one of ‘Schenk of Liebenstein’ or ‘Marschall of Waldeck’. Evidently, a forefather of our civil Bremser was a nobleman during 1200 or 1300 and also a fire-fighter and banner carrier of the public
commons of the Rhine province, perhaps this office was inherited through several generations as it is to be observed in similar circumstances. Such an office would be equivalent to the meaning of a
generation as it is to be found for the first time in a Giselbert of Ruedesheim (1130-1152). His son Konrad (1171-1173) was ‘Vitztum’, this means substitute of the Archbishop of Mainz in the Rhine
province. Heinrich Broemser had the same office (1509-1543) who at the time of the Peasant Revolution in the year 1525 showed understanding ability to solve the problems of the people, skill at the
negotiations and moderating influence at the debates of these enterprises. Johann Broemser (1376-1423) was ‘Hofmeister’ (~ steward) of the Archbishop of Mainz. Johann Reichard Broemser (1566-1622),
First Counselor and Empirial Main Judge of the estate Königstein near Francfort, since 1614, First Steward and Vitztum at Mainz and in the Rhine province. Also, the last one of the generation, raised
to nobility, Heinrich Broemser from Ruedesheim (1600-1668) united in his person the high offices of Vitztum at Mainz, of Court Judge and Empirial Secretary as well as the Emirial Counselor of the
office. The fact that Heinrich Broemser lent 2.000 Gulden in 1537 to the Count Wilhelm of Nassau-Dillenbarg and the same amount in the year 1544 proves the great riches of the Broemser family. The
crest shows a shield in silver and a black shield foot which is covered with most times six and sometimes eight lilies.
Not too often one will meet a clan of which the history can be followed up over many centuries and which in so many noble as well as civil members remained so faithfully to the soil of the homeland.