Background – From the time of King George I in 1714 until the death of King William IV in 1837, Great Britain and The Electorate of Hannover shared their ruler as the King of England was also the ruling Duke of Brunswick-Lueneburg of Hannover. After the Napoleonic Wars it became the Kingdom of Hannover. Unfortunately William IV only had one child, a daughter, and Hannover wasn’t prepared to have a woman as a ruler. Bad luck, Victoria.
About 30 miles from the city of Hannover is the village of Vallstedt and the Fricke family were in that village for all the time of the shared ruler.
This was the home of my great-grandfather’s grandfather. That’s my ggg grandfather. It is in Vallstedt and this is what it looks like in more recent times. But when he built it in 1811 he had had no idea that in 1852 his 16 and 20 year old grandsons from his second marriage would come to Australia to start a new life and a new family.
The house was built by Johann Heinrich Christoph Fricke in 1811 after previous houses on that side of street burnt down. Johann had been born in 1768 in Vallstedt but he popped over to Adersheim in 1805 to marry his second wife Anna Sophia Juliane Brandes.
I have been told that the roof is built now with concrete tiles but in past times was built with burned clay tile.
The house was built in the centre of Vallstedt and the land was outside of the village. He was a big farmer with large landed property. In that village he was a rich man. He was also described as “ Huf- und Waffenschmied auch Grosskothsasse” which I believe is Blacksmith and Armourer and large landowner.
Now this is where the house becomes interesting. There is a beam with a carved inscription along both the front and the back of the house.
At the right hand end of the front beam it says Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna Sophia Brandes geborne aus Adersheim.
Isn’t that just wonderful, the original owners of the house stating their right to the house for all to see. You can see how it goes along the whole of the house in the first photo.
The full text of the two beams is at the end of the post and I don’t have an accurate translation but I understand that apart from giving the names of the original owner and his wife they give thanks to God and ask for blessings on the house and its occupants.
These photos come about due to the wonders of the internet. I didn’t go looking for them but from the early days of the internet I had these names available to anyone who searched for them online. Apparently the house stayed with the Fricke family until after WWII and it was a later resident who idly googled the names on his house, found me and contacted me to inquire about my interest in the family. His grandfather had bought the house from the Frickes in 1954. He then sent me these photos in 2004.
The front beam says
Bis hierher hat mich Gott gebracht, durch seine große Güte, bis hierher hat er Tag und Nacht bewahrt Herz und Gemüte, bis hierher hat er mich geleit, bis hierher hat er mich erfreut, bis hierher mir geholfen. Gott segne dieses Haus und lass es sicher stehen, bis endlich alles muß in dieser Welt vergehen. Johann Heinrich Fricke, Anna Sophia geborene Brandes aus Adersheim.
And the beam at the back of the house says
Wer an den Weg bauet hat viele Meister, der eine wills so haben, der anders wills so haben, aber ich will es so haben. Ich habe nicht gebaut aus Hochmut und aus Pracht, sondern die Feuersnot hat mich dazu gebracht.
And for more stories about homes and houses go to the links on Sepia Saturday 201