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The MISSING LINK between Ludwig and his European roots?

Photo of orginal document

das hochsterfreuliche

Hochgebohrnen Grafen und Herrn,

Herrn Friedrich Bodo,

des Heiliges Römisches Reichs Grafen zu Stolberg,
Königstein, Rochefort, Wernigeroda und Hohenstein, Herrns zu
Epstein, Munzenberg, Breuberg, Aigmont, Lohra und Clettenberg u.
Thro Königl. Majest. in Pohlen und Churfúrstl. Durchl.
zu Sachsen Hochbestallten General-Major und Obristen uber ein Regiment zu Fuß,
Und Der  
Hochgebohrnen Gräfin,
                     GRAEFIN  (But spelled GRAEFFR)
Sophien Henrietten Dorotheen
Des Hochgebohrnen Grafen und Herrn,
Herrn Heinrich des  XXV.
Jungerer Linie und des ganzen Stammes ältesten
Grafens und Herrns von Plauen, Herrns zu Graiz, Crannichfeld, Gera, Schleiz Und Lobenstein,  u. s. w.
einzigen Gräfinn Tochter,
am 21. Tage des Wintermonats im Jahre 1746.
auf dem Residenz-Schloss Osterstein an der Elster,
zu allgemeinen Vergnugen aller getreuesten Unterthanen,
abgefeyert wurde,
die unerthanigste Schuldigkeit in moglichster Ehrfurcht an den Tag legen
Ludwig Friedrich  Freysinger,
Christian Willhelm Freysinger
GERA,gedruckt in der Hochgrafl. Reus Pl. Hofbuchdruckerey

the most pleasing
Noble count and Lord
Mr. Frederick Bodo,
of Holy Roman Empire Count of Stolberg,
Königstein, Rochefort, Wernigeroda and Hohenstein, Lord
Epstein, Munzenberg, Breuberg, Aigmont, Lohra and Clettenberg  and
Thro Kömigl. Majesty in Pohlen and Churfurstl. Highness of Saxony
High appointed position of major general and colonel over a foot regiment.

And The

Noble Countess,
Sophie Henriette Dorothea
Of the Highborn Count and Mr,
Mr Henry the XXV.
Younger line and of the oldest whole lineage of
Reuss (The brides maiden Name, the EN indicates
lineage, ss is a substitute for the German letter ß)

Counts and Misters von Plauen, Misters Graiz, Cnannichfileld, Gera, Schleiz
 and Lobenstein, etc.
only Countess Daughter,
on the 21st Day of the winter month in 1746.
at the residence castle Osterstein on the Elster
For the general please of all loyal subjects

   to celebrate it is
 the duty to show
 the greatest respect
(Due to translation issues,
 the German words to
the left
not line up)
Ludwig Friedrich Freysinger,
Christian Willhelm Freysinger.
Printed in GERA hochgrafl. Reuben Prrivil. Pl.

View Ludwig in Germany in a larger map with a definition of the symbols.

The above appears to be an announcement about a wedding during the winter of 1746 at which Ludwig Friedrich Freysinger and Christian Willhelm Freysinger were some sort of witnesses or involved in some other way.

This is based on wedding papers from Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage site.

If you go to the site above, look about 3/4 of the way down the page or search on “Ludwig” to find the actual link to the page below.

Or do a Google search on Ludwig Friedrich Freysinger Christian Willhelm.

For another source of the document along with related papers click here.  This is still part of the Berlin State Library.  Here Ludwig Friedrich Freysinger and Christian Willhelm Freysinger are described as the authors.  This is a multipage document.  The other pages are poetry.  The poetry is a highly formal tribute to the wedding pair and has nothing to do with Ludwig. 
Ludwig set foot in Philadelphia on Wednesday October 16, 1754, 8 years after the event described here.  With a perfect match for the first, middle and last name, I feel confident it is the correct person.  Freysinger is a relatively rare name, even in Germany.  I could only find two people in Germany called "Freysinger" in the phone listings compared to 556 using other spellings of the name.  "Freysinger" is a much more common spelling in Austria where I found 31 or 10% of all the variations on "Freysinger"

The wedding was at the residence Osterstein Castle on the (White) Elster river in the town of Gera. Henry the Younger (father of the bride)  is associated with the castle and this was probably the residence of the bride.  Gera is also where the announcement was printed.

The bride was Countess Sophie Henriette Dorothea and her father was Count Henry the XXV (Grafen Heinrich des  XXV in German) of the family Reuss (or Reuß in German).

The groom was Count and Lord Frederickk Bodo, Empire Count of Stolberg and Majesty in Pohlen and Churfurstl. Stolberg is about 60 KM or 40 miles east of Gera, the probable residence of the bride.


Most of the action is associated with Gera so Ludwig Friedrich Freysinger was at least in Gera eight years before immigrating to the United States. Gera is in the state of Thuringia and is the third largest city in that state.  It is on the border with Saxony to the east.  The city was destroyed by fire in 1780, 26 years after Ludwig immigrated to America.  The city was also heavily bombed in World War II.
Of course, we do not know whether that was the same Ludwig or not.

Side Notes:
An obvious question is how far could someone travel in a day in the 1700's.  It appears that 10-20 miles/day (20 to 40 KM/day) depending on how good the road was that you were traveling.  If you were wealthy, had good roads, and were willing to push it the upper limit was somewhere around 100 miles or close to 200 KM.  For comparison, the Pony Express changed horses about every 10 miles and a single rider would cover 80 to 100 miles a day.

It seems a little out of character for Ludwig to immigrate to the United States and be a modest farmer and perhaps stone mason if he was at least vaguely associated with highborn people.

The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library (Fort Wayne, IN) has undocumented information that says he was born in Freising Bavaria (Bayern) Germany. Freising is about 350 KM south south west of Gera.  I sent them a note to look at this material and get back with me. They never did.  It is not clear what they based their conclusion on.  Please click here for an argument for why there is not a Freising connection.  The above reference also says he was born about 1740 which would make him 6 at the time of the wedding and 14 years before he came to America.  That is a young age but not implausibly young.  The man who built the house I own came over by himself from Norway when he was 13.  Ludwig would have been 52 when he died in 1792.  Dying at the age of 52 does make one wonder at least a little bit about the accuracy of the date of birth.  Clearly it could have been earlier without causing any conflict with the date of death.

Another story passed down through other Frisingers is that Ludwig came from the Black Forest region in south western Germany.  I have not seen any documentation on that either.

In a third family the story was that he was born in Bavaria (Bayern in German).

For three pages of more detailed background information on my work with this material, click here.   

Christian Willhelm Freysinger also spells his middle name Wilhelm, with one "l".  See publication of a Memorial poem by Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss, +13. March 1748  in the University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt / Central.

Another obscure literary reference to Ludwig in 1751 in Gera  It lists this as his birthplace, geburtsort and place of death, Sterbeort.  It is the 1751 date is listed ad -1751 so perhaps the backup material is from an obituary which means that he definitely is not our Ludwig. The reference is posted by the CERL Thesaurus. CERL stands for Consortium of European Research Libraries.  The consortium is dedicated to enhance access to European printed heritage roughly from 1450–1830.   I have not found any later than that. This link places Ludwig in Gera 5 years after the wedding announcement and 3 years before our Ludwig immigrated to British North America. 

An earlier reference to a Ludwig Freysinger has him in Evangelisch, Hoefingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg on 28 Nov 1719  Probably the only conclusion we can draw from this reference is that there were Freysingers in Württemberg before our Ludwig immigrated.  This reinforces the Württemberg origin theory slightly.
Evangelisch is German for Evangelical.
Hoefingen, the only current reference is to Hoefingen train station about 10 KM north west of Stugart in Wuerttemberg. 
Neckarkreis did not show up but I did find Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in the northern tip of Baden just north of Wuerttemberg.  Reis means circle in English.



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