In 2009 I received the following email from Henk Aalders of Queensland, Australia. It is posted here as I received it, minus some formatting for the website. -Jeff
Thanks for the reply .
Besides Dr Jozef Mahlmann, a Cloppenburg dentist, has a most amazing digital collection of data. He believes that it is likely that the Ahlers descended from Evorhund ,a person sufficiently important at the time to be mentioned in a deed of gift of land by a Graf Walbert to the Catholic Church on 17 October 872 to establish the St Alexander church in Wildeshausen. That text can be viewed on the internet ,be it that it is entirely in Latin .-----
Herein my amended text to incorporate a little of our learning from Dr Mahlmann.
The "mysterious" Anthony Aylor is Mysterious No More-by Henk Aalders
For those of you who have noticed the "Mysterious" Anthony Aylor article on Jeff Aylors website ,I have news . Anthony Aylor is really Anthony Alers , spouse of Anna Catharina Elias Smith and son of (John) Casper Ahlers. He is most definitely NOT the son of Johan Adolph Alers and Catherina Deels as an observer had concluded from the L.D.S database ,but he appears most definitely related to Uncle Johan Adolph and aunt Catharina . Likewise brother Adolph Alers may be his brother, but is most definitely not the son of Johan Adolph and Catharina Deels for the simple reason that Uncle Johan Adolph's own son Adolph was presumably happily married to Sophia Barlage and was busily raising his two sons Johan Henrich born 1748 and Johan Wessel Alers in 1744.,and unable to use the best spermbank in the world . Even if he had access to "pidgeon post" , I am sure that Elisabeth Campbell would see to it that his "remittances" to Bakum were sufficiently delayed to get Sophia pregnant at the same time . The long and the short of it is that I suspect that both Adolph and Johan Casper have been " fitted out" with parents at the L D S computer centre ,often not an unreasonable thing to do, but wrong on this occasion .
How do we know that they are from Bakum if they had different parents to those previously assumed? I am a direct descendant of Henrich Juergen Ahlers from Vechta who together with his 3rd cousin Casper Otto Alers from Bakum migrated to Holland and married a wife there in 1735 just a few months after Henrich did . Although it always looked probable that Henrich and Casper were related ,I have had enormous support from an elderly German genealogist a Dr Josef Mahlmann ,who has a fantastic database .Josef consulting the 1568 and 1640 census of all villages in the Vechta Landkreiss established that there simply were no Alers or Ahlers in Bakum ,Oythe, Langfoerden, Vechta, Lohne . Bokern or Spreda on those dates . The family farms had since AD 770 been in Varnhuesen , Varnhorn since 1410 and Siedenbogen some time after that . The Catholic Ahlers of Southern Oldenburg are one family originating from Visbek where Alerdt to Varnhuesen still raised his children properly worshipping Wodan ,Donar and a large Tree which was considered God of fertility ,which we expect from an Ahlers family.
Enter Emperor Charlemagne or "Karel der Grosse" flanked by St Boniface, and under some considerable duress ,feeling how sharp the sword between his shoulder-blades was , Alerdt followed his chief Widekund and reluctantly accepts Catholicism and is roped into building the first wooden Catholic Church of St Vitus in Germany ,in Visbek .Not however after Widekund was coerced into a wager with Boniface . "I get your God chopped down and if nothing bad happens in 2 weeks ,my God who lives in the clouds wins" .And so it was done .The tree came down ,nothing bad appears to have happened and Alerdt and his neighbours became Catholics. Now note the somewhat undiplomatic and possibly quite insulting "rub",which follows - The "Tree God" is cut down and then sawn into planks likely used to build the first St Vitus Church .
Now Boniface now 80 years old did not have time to stay and drink cups of coffee with Widekund ,He had business up north with the Friesians . Once he reached Dokkum , in Friesland the Friesian chief had nowhere near the same appreciation of Boniface's good work and unfortunately for Boniface ,the Friesian chief had just sharpened his axe. In fact he was so furious with him for removing his God of fertility (and annual source of new Friesian babies ) that he chopped off the head of the old man ,which took nowhere near the effort spent by Boniface to cut the mighty Oak tree . It all got sorted out in the end .Boniface was given a Sainthood ,and title "Patron Saint of the Germans" be it that he actually was English .... and Alerdt and neighbours lost their land which the new Church now appropriated "since Alerdt now no longer needed earthly possessions in his transit stay here on earth".
Those of you interested in the local history of the place ,look up Evorhund on the internet , and you will be presented with a Deed of Gift executed by Graf Walbert (grandson of Widekund) and spouse Altburg dated 17 Oct A D 872 connected with the gift of land to establish the Catholic Church of St Alexcander in Wildeshausen ..(Niedersachsen) . The Deed totally in Latin appears to "rope in " the locals by name i e Hiis ita peractis notum sit omnibus,quod dos,quam dedi ad ecclesiam sancti Alexandre fratrum sit ... Werinbern, Gerhart ,Ricbrecht, Macuben, Inkedes,.....(in) Holthusen ..(Messrs) Gerlec and Ebbo (in) Farnthorpe (Mr) Evorhund ..in Esithorpe(Astrup near Visbek) (Messrs) Tatto and Waddo and in Ivorithi (Erlte near Visbek) (Messrs) Tiodo and Uffo .etc etc . The very learned Dr Mahlmann then finds that the children of Evorhund are Dyrick ten Verhorn , Clawes ten Verhorn, Eybe ten Verhorn and Ahlard ten Verhorn . He also adds his comment that the population in the "vilages" around Visbek in those days was exceptionally sparse,suggesting that Evorhund was one of my forefathers as he was of the "mysterious" Anthony Aylor ,his Dad Casper and Uncle Johan Adolph Aylor .
It took my family 1045 years to save up enough money and some interference by Napoleon who had no great liking for the Church , to buy back their farm for 1800 guilders from the Church . Now Dr Mahlmann confirmed that three brothers ,Alerdt,Hilmer and Henrich ,all born ca 1615 and sons of Alerdess,the grandson of Ahlerdt decided to move out of Visbek .Great- grandpa Alerdt just missed out by one year inheriting his farmers farm ,which went to Hinderich ,who now became Zeller . Great grandson Alerdt decided to have his family in Oythe, Hilmer went to Bakum and Henrich via three sons Otto, Henrich and Ahlert populated via Oythe ,Vechta ,which included Langfoerden and Bokern .
So what does this largely true story mean to you? If you count Anthony or Adolph or Casper amongst your forebears, you can safely tell your grandchildren this fantastic story, not even telling a fib. Secondly Dr Mahlmann was smart enough to do some double checking He checked the birth registers for Alers as Godparents and found the first in 1660 and the second in 1678 . So irrespective of which of the likely Uncles was the father of Adolph or Jan Casper now named Aylor , it matters little for when we come to Granddad there is Only Hilmer and wife Talke .
How come that Adolph and Anthony are now named Aylor ? It is highly likely that neither could read nor write for their early relatives migrating to Holland could not . Then a man from Oldenburg even at his very best Plattdeutsch is not that easy to understand . Unlike the Dutch who will pronounce the letter A as a long AA vowel , hence my name Aalders . Adolph ,Casper and Anthony would have announced themselves as Mr Awlers ,hence the mutations of Alers to Olers or Oalers, Oellers , Eilers ultimately becoming Aylor . If you can't read or write ,who cares how your name is written ?
Now why should you believe me ? My secret is that we were Oh so lucky to be the subject of an academical study carried out by a Prof Dr Clemens Pagenstert in his book the "Farms of Landkreiss Vechta" written in 1908 Dr Pagenstert looked at all the old abbey tax records and there he was , My forefather Alerdt to Vernhuesen AD 770-830 together with neighbour Meijer to Vernhusen .The two "big shots" in local farming of that day in that place ... Perhaps he is yours also !
Anyone interested in the Ahlers families of Oldenburg look up the website; "The Catholic Ahlers families of Southern Oldenburg ".
Henry Aalders ...Hervey Bay Queensland 4655 Australia 8 July 2009