Oberböhmsdorf belongs to Schleiz, Saale-Orla-Kreis, Thüringen, Germany
Anciently, Oberböhmsdorf was considered a German settlement, although it was occupied by both German and Slavic peoples. There is a legend that the settlement was founded by Bohemians fleeing religious persecution. The first mention of Oberböhmsdorf in 1333, was of peasants who were subject to the Teutonic Knights of Schleiz.
The land changed hands many times over the centuries until it was bought by the Reuß family in 1819. In 1919 it became part of the People’s State of Reuß, which in turn, was absorbed into the state of Thuringia in 1920.
The existing church was built in 1665/66 over the ruins of an earlier church, and the church has been enlarged and embellished over the years. Before establishing their own cemetery in 1866, the citizens of Oberböhmsdorf buried their dead at the Mountain Church Cemetery in Schleiz. Hence, the footpath leading from Oberböhmsdorf to the cemetery in Schleiz was named “Leichenweg”, meaning “funeral path.”
The first school in Oberböhmsdorf was built in 1651 and was rebuilt in 1922. A school for the deaf was founded by Johann Georg Meyer in 1847, the first school of its kind in Reuss. This school was abandoned in 1950 and the students transferred to nearby Schleiz.
Iron and Antimon (chemical element “Sb”) mining was a major occupation in the area and many residents were employed at a spinning mill. Once surrounded by dense forest which provided jobs for many residents. These people were nicknamed “Forest Branches.”
Oberböhmsdorf was incorporated into the city of Schleiz in 1924 along with the towns of Oschitz, Lössau and Langenbuch.
(This history is a translated excerpt from the official website of Schleiz: www.schleiz.de/>stadtinfo>ortsteile>Oberböhmsdorf)
All church books in the Schleiz area are in the process of being microfilmed by the EKMD (Evangelical Church in Middle Germany) in Eisenach. When the filming is completed sometime in 2011, the books will be returned to their original churches. Milcrofilmed records will then be accessible through Eisenach, see: archive.ekmd-online.de/portal/archive/3-archiv-eisenach/
For inquiries concerning accessing the church books, e-mail or write to:
Ev. - Luth. Kirchgemeinde Schleiz, Stadtkirchnerei
D - 07907 Schleiz
Tel.: 03663 422 342
Note that fees are charged for searching the church books.
For a photo and contact information for the church superintendant for Oberböhmsdorf, see:
http://www.kirchenkreis-schleiz.de/ > Kirchen-Link-Liste > Oberböhmsdorf.
Family History Library Holdings
"Keyword Search" for Thuringen in FamilySearch Catalog result - Die evangelischen Kirchenbucher Thuringens, by Karl Guldenapfel, FHL Book 943.22 K23g. This book gives the starting dates of church books in Reuss j.L., including Schleiz. Oschitz church books began:
- Baptisms, Marriages, Burials - 1919 previously in Schleiz, beginning 1597
- Confession/Communion Register - 1861
- Confirmations - 1919
"Keyword Search" and "Place Search" in FamilySearch Catalog - No records exist for Oberböhmsdorf in the FHL at this time.
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