Joan Michael Hofacker, one of my eighth-great grandfathers, was born and died in Stuehlingen, Austria, on the southern border, bordering Switzerland, on the edge of the Black Forest. The Hofacker line originated in Stühlingen, a town smaller than Bräunlingen, and somewhat to the south. By about 1770, most of the Hofacker descendants had moved to Bräunlingen, and there they remained there. The original Catholic church building that the Hofackers attended now stands in a museum. As a family of farmers, stone masons, and lumbermen, the Hofackers were not well off financially. Following is the family of Joan Michael Hofacker: Joan Michael Hofacker (~1624/6-26-1705) m. Anna Friedler (~1611/1670+) Mathias (~1663/1701+) m. Adelheid Demut on 2-29-1687 or 1688 Joan Michael (?/?) m. Maria Meyer Joan Jakob (12-2-1670/~1727) m. Anna Meyer about 1689
Mathias Hofacker, son of Joan Michael, was born and died in Stuehlingen, Germany. Following is the family of Mathias Hofacker: Mathias Hofacker (~1663/1701+) m. Adelheid Demut (~1663/1701+) on 2-29-1687 or 1688 Mathias (2-22-1688 or 1689/2-22-1688 or 1689) Thomas (12-19-1691/4-7-1757) m. Anna Barbara Wuerth about 1724 Anna Barbara (10-20-1695/~1760) Joan Michael (2-14-1698 or 1699/6-13-1765) m. Christina Ritz about 1722 and Katharina Rebmann about 1733 Joan Jakob (10-6-1701/4-18-1757) m. Regina Dobler about 1729
Thomas Hofacker, son of Mathias, was born and died in Stuehlingen, Germany. Following is the family of Thomas Hofacker: Thomas Hofacker (12-19-1691/4-7-1757) m. Anna Barbara Wuerth (~1691/1743+) about 1724 Maria Magdalena (3-31-1725/6-21-1801) m. Albert Mettling Katharina (12-4-1726/pre-1810) Konrad (1-14-1728 or 1729/4-18-1757) Thomas (12-29-1731/1761-1810) m. Maria Kohl on 9-4-1759 Maria Anna (3-13-1734/pre-1820) Franziska (4-30-1735/1768-1810) m. Remigi Mangold Johann (5-4-1738/?) Benedikt (3-23-1740 or 1741/10-15-1756) Sebastian (1-18-1743 or 1744/1778) m. Maria Anna Manz on 9-19-1767
Sebastian Hofacker, son of Thomas, was born in Stuehlingen, Germany. He lived and died in Braeunlingen. Following is the family of Sebastian Hofacker: Sebastian Hofacker (1-18-1743 or 1744/1778) m. Maria Anna Manz (~1743/1778+) on 9-19-1767 Johannes (1767/7-5-1846) m. Maria Schmidt about 1814 Joseph (3-18-1771/3-29-1829) m. Agathe Mayer on 10-15-1792 Johann (1-1-1778/1805+) m. Theresia Troepher on 2-22-1800
Johann Hofacker, son of Sebastian, was born and married in Braeunlingen, Germany. As of 1986, Hofacker cousins of this family were still living in that town. At the time of the early Hofacker ancestors, Bräunlingen was a member of a diocese in Austria. This is obvious from the many Austrian falcon insignia found in the churches dating from the period. As can be found in many such small towns in southern Germany, Bräunlingen was once a completely walled city. Today, however, only the main tower and a few historical remnants of the wall remain intact. Since 1305, Bräunlingen has been a Freistadt. This means that its citizenry were free of the usual feudal obligations of servitude to an overlord. This occurred infrequently throughout Europe only when the populace could collect and pay the substantial fee required to gain "free city" status with the local nobility. The local duke in the case of Bräunlingen resided in a small palace in Donaueschingen, near the site of the springs (Donauquelle) which feeds the Blue Danube river. At this time, Bräunlingen was in Austrian territory. However, historical records from the 16th century relate the story of the nearby duke refuting Bräunlingen’s free city status, and therefore, attempting to retake the city by force. The Bürgermeister at the time sent a messenger to the nearest Austrian militia, and they in turn agreed to defend the town if necessary from the designs of the local duke. The defense was successful, and the status of Bräunlingen was never again challenged. Bräunlingen came under the control of Wurtemburg in 1805, and the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806. A motto above the main city entrance states in essence, that "... just as we were loyal to Austria, so too will be loyal to Germany." Following is a picture of a water-color painting of the old Hofacker homestead in Bräunlingen painted in 1999 by Fritz Hofacker, a Hofacker descendant who still lived in Bräunlingen in 2006. The building no longer stands, as it burned down.
Water-Color Painting of the Hofacker Homestead in Bräunlingen, Germany, 1999 Following is the family of Johann Hofacker: Johann Hofacker (1-1-1778/1805+) m. Theresia Troepher (~1778/1805+) on 2-22-1800 Mary (Maria) (7-2-1800/1850s) m. Mathias Schmidt on 5-20-1833 Johann (~1802/3-30-1822) Magdalena (7-12-1805/1-15-1844)