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This homepage tells the story of the persecuted Austrian Protestants of the 16th. to 18th. century who had become under constant pressure by the roman-catholic church after Martin Luther had published his revolutionary theses in 1517. These religious men and women were and are called “Exulanten” (Exiles). During several waves of expulsion, these Austrian Lutherans were driven out of their home country. This came only to an end after Lutheran belief was officially extinguished in Austria. In the year 1652 our Pfaender ancestors were among those who were forced to leave their homes for good.

Almost forgotten while the centuries passed by, many helping hands made it possibIe to rediscover our family´s heritage.  Especially the very beginning, when our ancestors would rather leave their home in Austria than to surrender to the old belief of the rulers. A religious heritage that moulded our family until today.

I would like to thank my father who assembled the first pedigrees from my grandfather´s inheritance. Furthermore I would also like to express my gratitude to the Church of The Latter Day Saints, whose immense archive of ecclesiastical records made my search much easier. Additionally a big thank you to Kurt Karl Pfaender (+2005) and his wife whose archive also contributed to a large extend. And last but not the least also thanks to all related and non-related genealogists and/or namesakes who contributed with their families´ documents.

Like this Protestant Austrian family, our ancestors were expelled from their home.

“Leave your country, your people and your father´s household and go to the land I will show you ...”

1. Book Moses (Genesis) 12.1

A great section of these pages is dedicated to the Protestant exiles of the Salzburger Land, who had to leave their homes between 1685 and (mainly) 1732 (Salzburg was not part of Austria then). You will also find photos here that I shot while following the Exulanten Trek from Austria through Germany and Poland to former East Prussia.

Pfaender from the Rothenburg ob der Tauber area is highly welcome to contact me as we all belong to the same lineage! Should Austrians share the surname Pfendtner/Pfendner I am also very much looking forward to any contact, as this was our last name before the year 1652. Maybe we are related. is a private and non-commercial website. The author of this homepage does not take any responsibility for the content of sites published on my “Links” list.

If you take interest in this website or you can contribute in one way or the other (I am still looking for ancestors before appr. 1750), please contact the webmaster (see Disclaimer/Contact).

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