52 Ancestors: Week 9: Bartholomeus Schenckel

Munot Fortress, Schaffhausen

As I was researching the Shinkles, I came upon more information about the family.  We know that the Shinkles (Schenckels) came to America from Germany, but it turns out they came from Switzerland before that. There is evidence of 6 more generations of Schenckels.  I have not seen the documentation myself, so I am not 100% sure of this research, but I feel comfortable that there is a good chance that these are the right connections.

click image to enlarge

A couple of the generations seem to be well documented and provide really great stories!

Bartholomeus Schenckel (my 11th great grandfather)

Biography Translation of Stanley E. Masson of material received from Germany:
  • Christened on 1 May 1560 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland 
  • Teacher at Bergzabern, Germany
  • Looked after the needs of the castle at Stein and Hemmenthal. (not sure where this might be:  there are two castles in Schaffhausen: Munot Fortress and Laufen Castle)
  • 1605: Started school (they probably mean: Seminary)
  • 1609: Assistant Pastor at the Kathedral
  • 1610: Pastor at Neunkirch, where he had several brawls. His sermons encouraged upheaval, he also lent corn at usury prices and hunted in forests belonging to others until he was caught in 1619. He lost his position and was sent to Merishausen on probation where he stayed.
  • 1618: Pastor at Merishausen, celebrated there in 1640 his Golden (wedding) Anniversary and in 1647 when he was 88 years old, he held the sermon at the Synod. He was a very robust and resolute man. 
  • 1633 on his way from the Synod - was stopped and robbed by an Imperial Rider at the Geysshof. He pretended to be poor and stupid and - while dropping his coins piece by piece into the rider's hand - he watched for the moment when the rider looked at the coins, grabbed his leg and heaved him out of the saddle, threw him to the other side and quickly jumped on the horse, galloping back to town, descending in front of the Herrengaertchen (place where men gathered?) where his colleagues were still assembled. 
  • 1637: he bought a house 'in the Steig' which is a suburb of Schaffhausen. (for Peter)
  • July 3, 1641 a gang of robbers broke into his house and inflicted heavy loss.

Old Town in Schaffhausen, Switerland

1648: He wrote a Will, which details his son Ludwig's bad behavior toward his other son Peter.  It makes for a good story!

Will Translation by Stanley E. Masson (excerpts)
This letter (by) the honorable and scholarly Mr. Bartholome Schenckel, our faithful and beloved citizen, at this time Pastor at Merishusen,…there is nothing more certain than death and nothing more uncertain than the hour of it. Therefore he decided after the deathly attack, …also while still in good mental health and intelligence and being still quite able-bodied to establish a will, ...in order to prevent possible future tensions among his children after his death.

However, as my sons are not acting like brothers toward each other and are fighting terribly about the inheritance, and Ludwig took advantage of me, his father, and taking by his fraud the whole house, front and back, which has four rooms. And he expulsed his brother Peter and threw him out permanently.

He did not want Peter to have a room to himself (of which there are three), and I had to buy him a small house extra (Although Peter, an uneducated, poor and oppressed man, did not want to lose what had been given to him, yet he had to sell his little house on the Steige due to his poverty and the hunger of his family.)

So that Peter, his four children (it is not known if two of them are dead or alive) and his wife have a roof over their head and do not have to live miserably in the street - as his brother won't have him in his pleasant home - and so that they will not be robbed of their ancestral home which has been in the Schenckel family for two hundred years (back to 1448) according to nearly all documents, I give to Peter and his heirs my small house in back.

Only the books and what goes with them in the little house shall be sold by a trader in Merishusen and the resulting money be evenly divided.

On the other hand, I give to Ludwig all of the front part of the house with all three rooms, bedrooms, small rooms, basement, top floor. I have remodeled it so that anyone living in the back part of the house can pass through the front part, to the well, to church, to the market according to his need 24 hours a day without bothering the inhabitants.

Whosoever does not like this disposition may sell or keep his part without damage to the other.

The rest of the household, the investment in the hospital shall be divided peacefully and brotherly and they shall live their lives as Christian brothers.

I, Bartholome Schenckel, their father, have written this document truthfully in this bad form with my own hand and sealed it with my own signet.

This document which has been legally sealed with the secret seal of our town of Schaffhausen on this Monday, the 28th of February, one thousand six hundred and forty-eight after the birth of our Redeemer."

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Bartholomeus' son Hans Ludwig (my 10th great grandfather) who was mentioned above (the bad brother)
Research of Rhoda E. Clarkson who has a letter on file from Stadt Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv and Research of Daniel Monroe Gwin, Salt Lake City, Utah (1998)
  • In 1653 he is mentioned as a wine grower at Edenkoben. (We can assume that he sold the "front house" in Schaffhausen after his father died. In addition, his descendants lived in Edenkoben for about 100 years until they came to America in 1752.)
  • In 1654 he was imprisoned in his hometown Schaffhausen, Switzerland. During his absence in Schaffhausen, his wife committed adultery with their farm-hand. 
  • Hans Ludwig was looking for and had continuous quarrels and in 1655 he was finally condemned to the Spital in chains. (*Spital should mean Hospital, but apparently, in those days in that area it was not only a hospital but also a jail) 
  • Hearing the sentence, he said: 'not even Pontius Pilate gave such a bad verdict. Hell is already more than full, do you really want to force me into there also?'
  • Ludwig died before 1665.

Research of Rhoda E. Clarkson who has a letter on file from Stadt Schaffhausen Stadtarchiv
Research of Daniel Monroe Gwin, Salt Lake City, Utah (1998)
BIOGRAPHY Translation by Stanley E. Masson of material received from Germany.



  1. These ancestors remind me of the cast of the miniseries Pillars of the Earth from the brawling pastor to his sons, brother against brother, with one ruined condemned in chains. From trespass to robberies to adultery, crimes and misdemeanors by all to survive. Very interesting!


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