Hardegsen in the History of our Family

click to enlarge -- größerThis is a copper plate print of Hardegsen in 1653 published by Merian. Click the picture to enlarge it. Towering above the little town are the belfry and the castle-palace, called the "Muthaus", of 1324 and witness the early standing of Hardegsen as the residence of the Dukes of Braunschweig-Goettingen from the 14th to the 16th century.

Originally the belfry and the palace were part of a castle that was built by the Lords of Rosdorf and then sold to Duke Otto of Braunschweig-Goettingen in 1379. Duke Otto died here in 1394.

Already in 1020 Hardegsen is mentioned as "Hiridechusun". The castle was built between 1050 and 1100 and went to the Lords of Rosdorf in 1252. The 35 m high (100 ft) palace served as living quarters and canteen building. In the shade of the castle the settlement developped and in 1349 it is mentioned as a market place.

The picture shows Hardegsen in the time of our ancestor Andreas Hillebrecht (1603 - 1685) who lived in nearby Ellierode. Ellierode belonged to the administrative district of Hardegsen. In 1771 his great-grandson Johann Heinrich Hillebrecht was born in Ellierode. He had seen the city as pictured. Shortly after the belfry was dismantled after the castle had become the seat of the district administrator. In the same year, on 24th December 1680, the  town burnt down almost completely. The source of the fire was supposedly the illegal drying  of flaxen which was part of the production of linen.  Many weavers were members of their guild in Hardegsen.

This shows Hardegsen from the same standpoint in 1920. Little had changed in the small country town between 1680 and 1920.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

The name Hillebrecht can be found quite early in Hardegsen. A house inscription in the Hinterstrasse and early mentions in the chronicles of the town confirm this.

In "Karl Lechte, Geschichte der Stadt Hardegsen, 1968 (History of the City of Hardegsen)" the Hillebrechts belonged to the earliest citizens of Hardegsen. In the tax register of 1534 a Hans Hillebrecht is listed. The Calenberg mustering roll of 1585 mentions a tailor Marten Hillebregts. The mustering took place on 3rd July 1585 in Goettingen. The Hardegsen head tax list dated 11th February 1664 names a Erich Hillebrecht as a member of the city council.

If you want to know more about the present city of Hardegsen with almost 9000 inhabitants, click on the link-site.

Thank you and sources