Decendants of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Stelzriede

Hille, Germany -

(for an overview of German history see the timeline from the German Embassy. )

A Brief History

The first documented mention of the place name Hille comes from the year 1170, although it can be presumed that the founding of the village occurred substantially earlier. Artifacts allow one to conclude that the settlement history extends back to about 1000 AD. Settlement areas sprang up very early that today are districts of the old townships. In 1568 the district Neuenbaum (literally Newtree) as "Nienboom" (in low german) was named, in 1652 the designation "Witteloh" for Witteloge was made, and in 1662 the district Brennhorst "Bramhorst" was named. There the first extracurricular (vocational?) school was built next to the existing village school. By 1221 there was already a church in Hille, and around 1550 the Reformation took place. The oldest portion of the current church (at top of page) was built in the year 1523. On the 26th of August, 1564 Market Rights were conferred on the district. Since then every year on the last weekend in April and on the second weekend in September, the traditional Hille market begins. Through the Hille harbor there is a direct connection to the middle land canal. There about 90,000 metric tons of goods are transported every year. The oldest business enterprise is a former agricultural distillery from the year 1721. Here, spirits such as the recognized "Hiller Bastkorn" (probably hemp essence) as well as the "Hiller Moorbrand" (literally Moor Fire) are produced. In the town center lies the "von Oeynhausen'sche Hof" (or farm manor) This former knights seat from the 17th century is a protected landmark since 1984. Of another knight's manor (Gut Wiekriede) there is unfortunately hardly a trace left. For a translation of the text click here.

Some Stelzriedes and relatives lived at times in nearby Suedhemmern and Rahden. Some especially noteworthy events in neighboring communities include:
In 1033 - the village of Hemmingbeeren (now named Suedhemmern or South Hemmern) is first mentioned.
In 1324 - the chapel was built in the town center of Suedhemmern.
In 1676 - in Suedhemmern a great fire destroyed 96 buildings.
In 1677 - the French invaded Suedhemmern and many inhabitants fled to nearby Lavelsloh.
In 1680 - in Suedhemmern and Hartum a hailstorm destroyed all of the crops. To this day a "Hail Holiday" is celebrated in these communities on the Monday after Easter.
In 1759 - in Suedhemmern (and presumably nearby) the Battle of Minden was fought. A cannonball from this time is still embedded in the exterior wall of the Suedhemmern Chapel.
(Translated from the german source at:

Some important dates in Hille history from 1170 AD to the present are given here: Hille - Dates.

Early Hille was primarily a farming village. It is not surprising that many if not all of the early Stelzriede's were farmers. They were probably landowners and not hired hands, although they were certainly not the wealthiest of the village.

A property tax list of 1879 (not yet translated from german) lists both the names of the families and the names of the houses. (Yes, the houses took on names of their own, reflecting former owners or location, etc.) While this was after most of the Stelzriedes had emigrated, there is still one house listed as occupied by Stelzriedes. The house is #84 named Woepken (a family name) in the Neuenbaum area. These were probably Christian Heinrich August (b.1845) and/or his son Christian Heinrich (b.1862). Many of the Stelzriedes wive's families remained in Hille when the Stelzriedes departed. They include the Schaekelmann, Grannemann, Uphoff, Horstmann, Gieseker, and Tiemann families.


The language spoken in this region of Germany is Platt Deutsch or low German. Platt Deutsch is something like a mixture of English nouns with German verbs and grammatical structure (verb at the end of the sentence). It is still spoken in the region today although less and less.


These maps show the location of Hille and other villages in northern Germany near the Weser River. And this map shows the locations of landmarks around Hille. Tourist Map (use your mouse on the map to find photos).

Photos and Information (in German)

Link to web pages about Hille (in German, but with some nice photos) are buildings around Hille, Germany, windmills around Hille, Germany and the Hille peat bog .

Home The Hille coat of arms,
although created only in 1957, is appealing. The cattails signify the moor, the peat of which was so important to the economic life of the community in earlier days. The windmill sails represent the many windmills of the area that are still to be seen today. The silver and red colors harken back to the royalty in Minden with which Hille has always been associated. (from )

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