3. Mathias (Heep) HAPP
Notes for Matthias HEEP (HAPP) 1766-1835:
Joannis Schmetten it would appear is erroniusly shown as Matthias’s father on his Baptismal Record. Matthias’s bological father is actually Jaonnis Heb. His true father, Joannis Heb, likely died within nine months before his birth. His mother, Christina Betzler, then married Joannis Schmetten and his name appears on the baptismal record. This would make Joannis Schmetten Mathias's step-father. A spouse remarrying within months after the death of a partner was very common at that time. On 9th day of January 1793 Matthias married MARIA KATHERINE (FEINEN) in Budesheim, Germany. Matthias must have known his biological father was Joannis Heb (Heep). All six of his children used some form of the Happ for their last name. While all Joannis Schmetten’s children from a later marriage use Schmetten as their last names. When the John Happ family came to America the passenger list showed their family name as Heeb. Matthias Heep died 9 October, 1835 and was laid to rest on the 11th. The church record of his death shows his father as Joannis Heep and his mother as Christina Betzler both from Müllenborn. (FHL#556218)
Both Heep and Schmetten families were from The “House of Schmetten" in Müllenborn and were Blacksmiths by trade. These two families names appear on one and another’s records so it seams there could well have been a family relationship established before this time. There are many Schmetten families in the nearby village of Fleringen, Germany. There are records of Hubertus Schmetten and Anna Catherine having six children between the years 1688 and 1702. (FHL587661-4-6) The whereabouts of the Heb family before the birth of Anna Maria in 1762 as mentioned above is unknown. The “Schmetten House” blacksmith shop, stable, and tavern with living quarters still stands today, 2003, in Müllenborn, Germany. The living area over the tavern was damaged by fire in 1993 but the building has since been repaired. Local residents still refer to the building as the “Schmetten House."
An early 1800 land map of Müllenborn shows the property on which the Schmetten House rests as owned by Mathias Heep. Mathias and Catherina Feinen's oldest child Maria married a Peter Clausen. Maria (Heep) died in 1830. Mr. Clasen then married Maria's younger sister Susanna (Heep) in 1831. Susanna died in 1837. Peter Clausen then married Barbara Myer and they had children. The spelling of the Clausen name begins to change about this time, we begin to see it as Klasen. The house was sold several times within this family until 1944 and then sold to Herr Nicholas Kramer. (Fachbereichsleiter, Hermann-Jose Wirp, Gerolstein, Germany.)
The spelling of Matthias varies in the records. I have tried to stay true to the document.
Maria Katherina FEINEN
Notes for Maria Katherina FEINEN 1775-1833:
Herr Josef Mergen's report names Theodore Feinen and Magalena of Schwirzheim, Germany as parents of Katherina. "The Feinens were a long established farming family in Schwirzheim and as early as 1695 one Hubert Feinen and his wife Veronika had a daughter baptized in Schwirzheim. On July 11. 1701 a son Theodur was born to this family. Theodur and wife Anna ( ) had many children and it is quite possible that Katherina was one of these Children."...Mr. Mergen. The village of Schwirzheim is a few miles distance from Müllenborn.
Herr Josef Mergen was an Assistant Principal of a German high school (gymnasium) in Metzdorf, Germany. In 1963 John B. Happ (1903-1990), son of John P. Happ of Northfield, Illinois, commissioned Herr Mergen to seek out records of his fore-fathers in Germany. We owe much to John B. and the work Research Results on the Hepp Family of Gönnersdorf done by Herr Mergen. A great deal of the information we have on those early years we can contribute to the work done by these two gentlemen.
There is something peculiar about Matthias and Katherina’s “Heiratskunde” or marriage certificate. The marriage took place at St, Peter and Paul’s Catholic church in Büdesheim, Germany on 9 January, 1793. But Matthias’s last name appears as Schmitt. Our German researcher Herr Morgan (1963) and the researchers at the Bistumsarchve in Trier (1991) both identify this Matthias as our Mathias Heep, born in 1766, from Müllenborn. The certificate shows Katherina Feinen from Schwirzheim as the bride. There are no other enteries on the certificate. i.e., Occupation, ages, parents. Also there is a requirement in the Sacrament of Matrimony which requires there be two witnesses, there are none shown on this record. (Kirchenbuch Nr. 2 Kath Pfarri St. Peter und Paul S. 234 Nr. 1793/1)
The Jesuit seminary in Trier serves as the repository “Bistumsarchive” for this and other early church records of the parishes in the Archdioceses of Trier. It is a large collection containing records back to the time the parishes first started keeping vital records. (The Council of Trent, sixteenth century) The Bistumsarchive in Trier is quite large and is open to all for research. There are usually several aides available to give assistance to researchers and they do fairly well with their English.
We have records of six children from the Matthias HAPP / FEINEN marriage:
Maria HEPP ............ 1794-1830
Johann HAPP ........ 1795-1863
Michael HEPP ....... 1797-1798
Susanna HEEP ......1803-1837
Heinrich HEEB …. ..1805-1859
Antonius HEEP ........1811-1829
G. E. Happ
6. Michael (Hepp) HAPP
Notes for Michael HAPP 1797-1708:
Godparents were Michael Feinnen or Feinen of Schwirzheim and Susanna Friess of Oos, Germany. Oos appears in connection with godparents and witnesses on other documents so it is possible that relatives were living there during this period (see Matthias “Schmetten” HAPP ( 2.) Godparents). Oos is a small village only a mile or two west of Müllenborn. It is located between Müllenborn and Fleringen, Germany.
9. Antonius (Heep) HAPP
Notes for Antonius HEEP 1811-1829:
References in the writers research would lead one to believe Antonius was born about 1811 and that would make him about eighteen years old at the time of his death in 1829. No record was found by the writer for cause of death but here is another example of how many lives were cut short during this period. So many infants and children dying before reaching adulthood is difficult for one to comprehend, however reasons are not difficult to come by. Historians tell us, “... contaminated water supplies, poverty and hunger allowed diseases like typhus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, rickets, tuberculosis and scarlet fever to thrive. ... Medicine was still breaking from the dark ages.” The Cholera out break that swept London in 1832, is said to have claimed seven thousand lives and there were more epidemics to come before the end of the century. “A harsh world took the lives of nearly 25% of all infants born during this period.” Famine took the lives of millions. Antonius’s older brother Michael lived but a year.