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THE RETURN TO PEHENDORF, AUSTRIA, AFTER MORE THAN 350 YEARS

In summer 2006 we returned to Pehendorf in Lower Austria. 350 years had passed since the time our ancestors had fled from there. The village is located in a beautiful and wooded area, belonging to the County of Zwettl.

Rappottenstein Castle once guarded our ancestors as they were subjects to the castle´s owners.

View on Pehendorf in the Lower Austrian “Waldviertel”. Here our family lived at least between 1630 and 1652.

The village´s little chapel already stood on this place when our ancestors still lived here.

This area wasn´t as peaceful as it is nowadays as the Thirty Years War (1618-48) once badly raged through Lower Austria. Due to the fact that nearby Rappottenstein Castle was besieged several times during the war, soldiers ransacked the village from time to time and took whatever they needed. Since the castle´s owner had to provide troops for war services to the Emperor, the male inhabitants of the village were violently forced to join the Emperor´s army. Many men fled into hideouts in the woods.

After the end of the war the Counter-Reformation started again. By 1652, the last Protestants had left this area hoping to find a new home outside Austria. Our family moved to Franconia and settled in the villages Woernitz and Erzberg in Bavaria between 1652 and 1885. Later they moved on to Hausen am Bach, Wuerttemberg.

Company signs (as here in Hausen am Bach) are still evidence of the family´s settlements in southern Germany.

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