I don’t know very much about my German forebears—my mother’s side of the tree—but recently I’ve made some progress with names and dates, and now I’ve got a place, Stockach, a few kilometres from the northwestern arm of the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

On the basis of FamilySearch records and some images of parish registers at Stockach kindly photographed for me by one of my German cousins, I have been able to find out more about my family connections there.

My great great grandfather was a Stockach man named Matthias Martin, known as Matthias Manock.

Matthias married Agathe Lang in Karlsruhe in 1880. Their marriage certificate recorded that he was born on 2 November 1851 in Stockach, the son of Crescentia Martin, née Manock, widow of Johann Martin; Crescentia was deceased at the time of the marriage. Both Crescentia and Johann were Taglöhners, ‘day labourers’.

Matthias was baptised on 2 November 1851, son of Crescentia Martin born Manogg, widow of Johann Martin. No father was named on the baptismal record.

St Oswald’s Church: 1925 painting by Gustav Rockholtz of  St. Oswald mit Gasthaus Löwen, Stockach. The church is named after Oswald , King of Northumbria, who is venerated as a saint. The first building was consecrated in 1402 but destroyed by fire in 1704 during the war of the Spanish Succession. The church was rebuilt between 1707 and 1733 and had a tower with an onion dome. In 1932 the old church was demolished to make way for a new building. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

I have been able to work backwards to my sixth great grandparents. To keep this account chronological order I start with my sixth great grandparents, Adam Manogg and his wife Verena Huggin (they were from Boll, part of the municipality of Sauldorf, fourteen kilometres north of Stockach).

Adam Manogg and Verena Manogg née Huggin were married at Boll on 12 January 1743. They had at least ten children. Their fourth, Sylvester, was born in 1748 and baptised at Boll on 30 December 1748.

Sylvester Manogg married Theresia Stähl on 24 Nov 1773 at Raithaslach, twelve kilometres southwest of Boll and 6 kilometres northwest of Stockach. It seems Theresia died, for six months later on 24 May 1774, Sylvester Manogg married Genoveva Schrof in Raithaslach. Sylvester and Genoveva had at least seven children; their fourth was Fidel Manogg, who was baptised on 27 April 1780 at Raithaslach. Sylvester died in April 1801 and was buried 7 April at Raithaslach.

Fidel Manogg [sometimes spelt Monogg] married Marie Anna Beck on 23 September 1811 at Raithaslach. They had at least four children. Their oldest child, Kreszenz (Crescentia) Manogg, born in 1812, was baptised on 15 April at Stockach. (Saint Crescentia was a 4th-century companion of Saint Vitus, the patron saint of dancers). Crescentia married Johann Martin at Stockach on 26 October 1838. They had at least six children. Johann died in January 1850. I have not found Crescentia’s death record.

Stockach was an important postal station; its post office, one of the oldest in Germany, was first mentioned in 1505. Several major roads crossed at Stockach, including Ulm – Basel , Stuttgart – Zurich, and Vienna – Paris. In 1845 the local post office still had 60 horses, but as railways began to replace coach-roads Stockach declined in importance..

Stockach suffered in several wars. In 1499 it was besieged but not captured. In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria set fire to it. In 1799 and 1800 the French and Austrian armies fought in the region, and disputed possession of Stockach. The Austrians won the Battle of Stockach on 25 March 1799. A year later, on 3 May 1800, the French regained the town. Many tens of thousands of men and horses were involved in these battles.

Death of the Austrian field marshal, Karl Aloys, Prince of Fürstenberg while leading Austrian infantry during the during the Battle of Stockach. Despite the loss of their field marshal, on 25 March 1799 the Austrians won the Battle of Stockach. The French army had 26,164 infantry, 7,010 cavalry, 1,649 artillery, and 62 guns; the Austrians had 53,870 infantry, 14,900 cavalry, 3,565 artillery, and 114 guns. 4,000 French and 5,800 Austrians were killed, wounded or captured. The battle, which lasted all day, was fought at the junction of the east west and north–south roads on the eastern side of the Black Forest.

Stockach suffered in later wars of the nineteenth century and during the two world wars of the twentieth century.

In 1770, travelling to Paris for her marriage to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, stayed overnight in Stockach. On 20 March 1770 the Stockach magistrate decreed that the road Marie Antoinette was to take must be repaired. It is said that stones from the nearby ruined castle were used for the purpose. As she passed through the town, the people of Stockach used borrowed guns from neighbouring towns to salute the future queen appropriately. Six oxen and 80 loaves of bread were set aside for Marie Antoinette’s large entourage. The town hall was renovated for the feast.

From 9 April Stockach houses were required to be newly whitewashed. Pfailure to do this—pfor not giving a pfig—attracted a pfine of pfive pfennigs. On 2 May the future queen arrived, with an entourage of 21 six-horse state coaches, followed by 36 fine carriages. There were 450 horses and an accompanying personal suite of some 250 people. The future wife of Louis XVI spent the night in the “White Cross”. After resting the night in Stockach, Marie Antoinette and her entourage continued to Paris; her journey there from Vienna took two and a half weeks.

My 5th great grandparents Sylvester Monogg, then 22 years old, and his future wife Genoveva Schrof probably witnessed the procession and were likely involved in the preparations.

Arrival of the procession driving the archduchess Marie-Antoinette to Versailles, on May 16th, 1770. Image from historyanswers.co.uk

When I told my mother that I had traced our forebears to Stockach near Lake Constance she told me that, yes, it had always been said that the Manock family was not from Karlsruhe but from the area of Lake Constance. There is still more research to be done, but I am pleased to have extended my knowledge of this branch of my tree.

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