quotes to ponder
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as drawn by
Wife, Mrs. Hoerner
Hoerner is derived from the German
name Hörner. According to a book on German surnames,
may mean "horn maker". It could also mean "horn blower", "at end of
field", or "dweller near mountain peak".
However, the best source for its meaning comes from a
cousin's website in Kuhardt, Germany, which is where this branch of the Hoerner
family originates from. According to the website,
"Hörner = der Hornbearbeiter, bzw. der Hornbläser."
This was clarified as follows: "The name of Hoerner or Hornbläser (a
Musician) descends from the occupation or the job title. In former times in the
Middle Ages, the horns of cattle were converted to drinking cup or other tools.
Musical instruments were also made from them, so-called horns = Hörner. Today there
are still 'horns', (Hörner = music instrument) but these are out of sheet
An interesting thing to note is that Hörner is the
plural of Horn. So "Horn" in German means a single horn, whereas "Hörner" means
more than one horn, or horns.
first Hörners immigrated to America, the spelling was changed to "Hoerner".
Hörner Coat of Arms
from old German book
Coat of Arms in color
Coat of Arms with Bearers
Or, a fess azure, two stag's
horns, proper, in fess.
A man issuant, habited azure,
trimmed or, chapeau of the last, between two proboscis or.
(date of registration)
Speier, Russia in 1809
America in 1900
Hoerner Family Tree
►Descendants of Johann (Hans) "Valentin" Hörner
This page goes into more detail of the above tree.
Kuhardt is a
small town slightly south of the Cathedral city and old Palatinate capital of Speyer.
As far back as 1464, Johann Hörner was listed as
a serf of the Speyer Dom (Cathedral) lands. Today, Speyer has about 42,000
residents. In 1704, Johann "Valentin" Hörner is listed as dying in Kuhardt.
Today, the town of Kuhardt has about 2000
residents with 900 families. About 75% are Catholic.
Location of Speyer and Kuhardt, Germany
Old German Map
showing Speyer, Germany
which is the largest town near Kuhardt
Old city map of Speyer, Germany
Location of Political borders and Kuhardt in 1809
Speyer "Dom" (Cathedral)
in Speyer, Germany
Speyer "Dom" Nave
2000 Map of Kuhardt, Germany
Kuhardt Coat of Arms
(click for description)
Family Tree from German Book
in Kuhardt showing Johann,
born Abt. 1616
Death Certificate for
Johann Valentin Hörner, died 1704
►Ancestors of the family Kuhn from Kuhardt
Webpage with some interesting stories about Kuhardt (in German and
Town of Kuhardt webpage (in German)
This site gives the history of the Palatinate area of Germany.
From 1797 to 1814, France ruled Speyer, Germany
and the surrounding area, including Kuhardt.
In 1809, Dominik Hörner and his wife Barbara decided to leave. They migrated to
the small town of Speier, in the Beresan District of the Odessa Province of
Russia (now Ukraine). The town of Speier, Russia was named after Speyer,
Germany. They were some of the many Germans from Russia, who later
migrated to the United States.
"On December 4, 1762, Catherine the Great issued a
Manifesto inviting Western Europeans to settle in Russia. However, it was her
second Manifesto of July 22, 1763, which offered transportation to Russia,
religious and political autonomy, and land that incited many Western
Europeans, mostly Germans, to migrate to Russia. This Manifesto was issued
after the end of the Seven Years' War in which German peasants suffered many
losses. Conditions among the German people were very unstable. At that time,
the area that is now Germany was a conglomeration of more than 300
principalities and dukedoms which frequently changed hands, and therefore
religions, as well. Many German peasants, seeking a way to practice their
chosen religion and to improve their social standing, accepted the offer to
settle in Russia.
In 1803, Alexander I reissued the Manifesto of
Catherine II, prompting another wave of migration, primarily into South
Russia. By the mid-nineteenth century the areas of Volhynia, Crimea, and the
Caucasus were being settled by Germans. Beginning in the late nineteenth
century and continuing into the first decade of this century, settlements were
being founded by Germans in Siberia. At the end of the nineteenth century
Russia had a population of approximately 1.8 million Germans."
information comes from
American Historical Society of Germans From Russia)
Modern day map of Ukraine,
which is where Speier was located
1800s Map of Odessa Province, Russia
Showing Speier, where Hörners migrated to
Picture of Speier, Odessa in 1909.
here for more pictures and
information about Speier.
Current town map of the Speier,
now called Pestchany Brod
St. Martin's Catholic Church in Speier (1896)
(steeple was later removed by
the communists in the 1940s;
now a Ukrainian Orthodox church)
here for more pictures of the Church.
One of the more prominent Hörner cousins who still lives in Russia is Bishop Joseph Werth. He is the Catholic bishop of Siberia and the Russian Far East. His
mother is Maria Hörner who was born December 23rd, 1931 in Speier,
Ukraine. Maria's father was Dominic Hörner, who was also born in Speier. For
more information on Bishop Werth, see the
Bishop Joseph Werth Biography.
Bishop Werth ordaining
his own brother,
►The Renner Family
This is a website with lots of information about Odessa (including
Speier) and families that lived there.
When and why did the German Russians leave Russia?
"When Alexander II revoked the privileges offered
to the Germans who had settled in Russia more than a century earlier, such as
exemption from military service, the emigration of the Germans from Russia to
the Americas began. 1872 was the beginning of a large wave of emigration of
Germans from Russia as a result of the social conditions in Russia. There was
a growing sentiment of hostility towards foreigners, particularly Germans, and
a policy of Russification was adopted to make the populations in the empire
more Russian. Later emigrants left Russia due to worsening living conditions,
caused by war and famine." (This information comes from
American Historical Society of Germans From Russia)
Germans that left - or tried to leave - later
Although many Germans left Russia in the late
1800s and early 1900s, many others did not for various reasons. A female
cousin of mine remained behind. She said that often the boys in a family would
leave (being more adventurous), but their sisters would stay. Eventually she
did leave during some dramatic events during World War II. Here is her story:
From 1940 to 1944, German troops occupied
the town of Speier, Ukraine. Things were well. Ann, her sister Loretta,
and mother Lina left Russia in 1944 as German troops were retreating after
their defeat in Moscow. They spent 21 days on a cattle car going to Poland. Lice
were as big as the end of your thumb. Russians caught up with them in Poland.
Of 350,000 Germans that left Russia, 250,000 were captured and sent to
Siberia. Ann, her sister and mother, were put on a 90-car train that was going
back to Russia. The train had some problems starting. Russian troops walked
along both sides of the train guarding. At night, Lina and her daughters slid
off the train and laid underneath. Fortunately, when the train was repaired
and started going, it was not yet dawn. The train passed over them and they
were not detected.
They lived in Poland for about nine
months. At one point, the Russian troops took Lina for a month to help dig
trenches. She was barely fed. Ann, 11 years old, went in search of her mother
on one occasion. She was not paying enough attention, however, and was
captured by Russian troops and sent to live with other girls to clean
barracks. The first night, she was sent to the second floor to sleep on straw
with the other girls. She did not sleep. The next morning, as she was going
walking at the end of the line to go into the barracks, the other girls went
one way an she went the other, right out the back door. She fled across a
field and climbed over a barbed-wire fence. The Russians saw her and got in
their vehicle. But instead of running down the frontage road, she ran across
another field and escaped. Bleeding, she still went looking for her mother.
She opened the door at one location, only to see a group of Russian soldiers
sitting there. She escaped again. To avoid detection by the Russians, she and
her sister Loretta would hide in an indentation at the top of manure piles as
"high as a house."
A remarkable story about Germans that were deported by the Russians to Siberia
is told in the book
Though My Soul More Bent: Memoir of a Soviet German.
►American Historical Society of Germans from
This is a website about Germans from Russia that migrated to the
►Things that Matter
the Hoernersburg Lego Castle