Barbara Eckhardt (1614-1684), US President’s 10th Great-Grandmother – 52 Ancestors #368

Barbara Eckhardt was born about 1614 within the quaint winemaking village of Beutelsbach, Germany to Johannes Eckhardt and Elisabetha Baurencontz.

Barbara was the fifth youngster born to her dad and mom, however solely the second to reside. Her youthful sister, Anna Maria, born in 1611, was three years previous when Barbara was born. These two women should have been fairly shut, given their proximity in age and that they had been the one two daughters that survived.

I believe {that a} youngster was born between these two women, and went to relaxation within the churchyard, inside the protecting partitions, the place no gravestones stay as we speak.

In 1615, one other youngster was born to Barbara’s dad and mom, and died, buried within the churchyard the place generations of members of the family rested.

In 1618, the 30 Years’ War, a non secular battle between Catholic and Protestant states within the Holy Roman Empire erupted in Prague and unfold like wildfire, with Germany bearing the brunt of the devastation through the subsequent three a long time. Three a long time – that’s a complete era. Earlier than it was over, 8 million would perish in brutal warfare and its aftermath. Some elements of Germany had been completely depopulated.

Barbara’s mom had one other child in 1618. Nothing extra is understood of that youngster, however we are able to effectively think about his destiny.

In 1619 and 1622, two extra kids joined the household, and miraculously, survived. I believe that one other youngster was born in 1620, however after the battle started, the church data had been destroyed, and the one manner we learn about survivors was in the event that they later died in Beutelsbach, after the top of the battle. Information partially resumed in 1646.

Barbara’s education was assuredly disrupted, if she had any training in any respect, on condition that troopers on each side had been pillaging and robbing all the villages on this a part of Germany. Barbara would have been unable to learn or write.

In 1626, after the Battle of Nordlingen, a powerful defeat for the Protestants, troopers garrisoned in Beutelsbach, the place they remained for years, taking no matter they needed. As dangerous as issues had been, they bought even worse in 1634.


By 1634, the battle had been raging for 16 lengthy years, and the troopers had been quartered in Beutelsbach for 8 years. Barbara would have been 20 years previous on that chilly, tragic day, within the late fall or early winter.

Beuteslbach city elders had been bribing the troopers to not burn their village, however for some cause, that was now not efficient. Perhaps the troopers needed extra money than existed or could possibly be raised. Perhaps somebody was indignant. Tensions had been always excessive, like a wire stretched taut, and nerves had been ragged, so who is aware of what snapped.

The troopers burned Beutelsbach, killing anybody who resisted. We don’t know if each residence in Beutelsbach burned, or simply most of them. We all know the church was spared, however once more, the church was fortified behind a wall.

Folks died, though with just a few exceptions, comparable to Agnes Eyb, wife of Hans Lenz, we don’t know precisely who died that day. Beutelsbach church data don’t exist from this time interval.

Because the flames started consuming the village, Barbara would have smelled smoke. Quickly, blood-curdling screams would have been audible everyplace on the town – agonizing screams as individuals and animals burned and had been murdered.

Sheer terror.

Barbara would have heard the roar of the hearth and houses collapsing, throughout her.

Ideas raced by means of her thoughts, like a mad scramble.

What ought to she do?


The troopers had been killing anybody who resisted.

Attempt to help the injured?

May they be helped?

For God’s sake, they’re members of the family.

Barbara had identified everybody within the village for her total life.

Or ought to she run?

The place would she go?

Was anyplace protected?

May something be saved?

OMG the place’s my mom, brother, grandmother…

The residents should have questioned why God had foresaken them.

Barbara, alongside along with her dad and mom and older sister, Anna, most likely rushed with their two youthful siblings, Johannes Eckhardt,15, and Cyriakus (Ceyer) Eckhardt, 12, from wherever they lived, racing up the church steps by means of the gate into the fortified churchyard and on into the church itself.

The doorways slammed shut and had been bolted.

If mandatory, Beutelsbach residents who made it that far would defend the church collectively, the final stand, or all die collectively attempting.

They’d have been protected, not less than to some extent, from the troopers who had been slaughtering anybody who resisted, however they’d have heard the carnage round them.

Was that somebody’s voice they acknowledged?

They’d have begged for God’s intercession – for him to save lots of them, their members of the family, and their village. They’d have bargained their life in alternate for another person’s who was lacking – not amongst them within the church.

Prayers and beseeching God for a miracle lasted for hours because the village burned.

Lastly, the horror of the hearth and wailing outdoors the church would subside to a whimper, then an eerie silence.

It was over, however was something left? Whoever wasn’t within the church was most likely lifeless or horribly injured.

They emerged to witness a nightmare situation.

May they even have funerals, or was a mass grave dug and hasty prayers mentioned beneath the mocking eyes of the “victorious” troopers?

We don’t know what occurred within the aftermath of the hearth. The residents would have needed to discover shelter someplace. Many, shellshocked, would have walked to a close-by village the place that they had family members.

What else might they’ve carried out?

We do know, due to historian Martin Goll, that the variety of Beutelsbach residents declined by about 50% through the battle as a substitute of rising as would usually have been anticipated. It was even worse elsewhere.

Martin reviews that the Plague adopted the hearth, and folks starved.

But, love by some means blossomed.

Wedding ceremony Bells

A battle could be raging, and the village burned, however love discovered a manner.

In 1636, Barbara Eckhardt would marry the butcher, Hans Sang (Sing) who lived up the street a mile or so, within the subsequent village, Endersbach.

Barbara’s household might have sought shelter there after the hearth, which might have allowed the younger individuals each day proximity to one another to courtroom.

Maybe Hans helped Barbara’s household, or possibly her household even sought refuge together with his. Regardless, they assuredly would have seen one another in church.

Barbara Eckhardt and Hans Lenz, after saying their vows, settled in Beutelsbach. It’s seemingly that Beuelsbach wanted a butcher after the hearth.

Barbara and Hans arrange housekeeping in the home adjoining the steps into the churchyard. They most likely constructed this residence, proven with the small crimson arrow within the drawing, under, actually on the ashes of no matter was there earlier than. Maybe it was the place her dad and mom had lived earlier than the hearth.

On this Beutelsbach drawing from 1760, 130 years later, you’ll be able to see the round church gate into the churchyard, and the adjoining constructing the place Barbara lived along with her household.


Barbara had 7 kids, effectively, that’s 7 that we all know of. There are a variety of gaps between the kids we learn about that assuredly equate to kids who died.

Barbara’s first youngster was most likely born about 1637, following her 1636 marriage, and will have been Hans.

  • Hans Sing was famous within the church document as a “simpleton, with weak mind, however he can repeat prayers.” He died in 1687 in Beutelsbach, which is how we all know he existed in any respect.
  • Michael Sing was born in 1639 in Beutelsbach, married Anna Maria Schilling, and died on March 7, 1725, additionally in Beutelsbach. He was a butcher, like his father, as was his solely surviving son, Johann Georg Sing.
  • Hans Georg Sing was born in 1640 in Beutelsbach, married Margaretha Ziegler in 1665, and died on January 21, 1676, in Grosheppach. He, too, was a butcher.
  • Not less than two kids would have been born, seemingly in 1642 and 1644.
  • Barbara Sing, my ancestor, was born in 1645 in Endersbach, married Hans Lenz, a vintner, and baker, and died on July 10, 1686, in Beutelsbach. The truth that Barbara was born in Endersbach causes me to marvel if the household needed to shelter once more outdoors of Beutelsbach.
  • One other youngster was most likely born, and died, in 1647
  • Anna Sing, additionally my ancestor, was born on March 6, 1648, in Beutelsbach, married Bartholomaus Kraft in 1666, and died on March 6, 1728, in Beutelsbach of a stroke.

In October 1648, the 30 Years’ Battle lastly ended. For the primary time in her life, Barbara was lastly capable of calm down. She didn’t need to always be on alert for the scent of smoke, which means that the city was burning once more.

  • Her subsequent youngster was most likely born in 1650.
  • Martin Sing was born on Might 15, 1652, in Beutelsbach and died early.
  • One other youngster was most likely born in 1654.
  • Jakob Sing was born on April 30, 1655, in Beutelsbach and died there on July 17, 1713. Martin discovered no data of a partner, nor of any kids. Jakob would have been born when his mom was 41 years previous, so it’s doable that he too suffered from a incapacity.


From 1682-1684, the Plague as soon as once more swept by means of Europe. Barbara, “hausfrau of Hans Singen,” died on April 7, 1684, adopted by her husband, Hans, eleven days later, on April 18th.

An extremely unhappy time for her household, a lot of whom had been most likely ailing themselves.

At Barbara’s demise, she had 5 dwelling kids and 12 identified grandchildren, though there have been seemingly extra, particularly by the son who settled in Grossheppach, or different kids who might have moved away.

Barbara’s Presidential Legacy

There was one youngster, although, that might safe Barbara’s place in historical past, and no, it wasn’t certainly one of her sons.

  • Daughter Anna Sing (1648-1728) married Bartholomaus Krafft (1643-1713.)
  • Their son Johann Georg Krafft (1767-1724) married Anna Catharina Ritter (1673-1701.)
  • Their daughter Maria Margaretha Krafft (1700-1747) married Johann Martin Wolflin (1690-1745.)

These {couples}, above, are additionally my ancestors. I’m doubly descended from Barbara by means of each of her daughters, so Anna Sing is my ancestor too.

Nonetheless, my ancestor, Johann Ludwig Wolflin is Johann Conrad Wolflin’s brother, so our widespread lineage bifurcates right here.

The Presidential line continues:

  • Johann Conrad Wolflin (1729-1794) was born in Besigheim, Germany, immigrated in 1750, and died in Middletown, Dauphin Co., PA, the place his surname was spelled variously, together with Woelfle and Wolfle, then turned Anglicized to Wolfley, which is the way it should have sounded. He married Anna Catherine Shockey (1783-1803) in Pennsylvania and served within the Revolutionary Battle together with his sons John and Jacob.
  • Their son Ludwig Wolfley (1766-1822) married Anna Maria Toot (1786-1841.)
  • Their son George Wolfley (1807-1879) married Nancy Perry (1812-1894.)
  • Their son Robert Wolfley (1834-1895) married Rachel Abbott (1835-1911.)
  • Their daughter Della L. Wolfley (1863-1906) married Charles Thomas Payne (1861-1940.)
  • Their son Rolla Charles Payne (1892-1968) married Leona B. McCurry (1897-1968.)
  • Their daughter Madelyn Lee Payne (1922-2008) married Stanley Armour Dunham (1918-1992.)
  • Ann Dunham (1942-1995) married Barack Obama I (1935-1982.)

Their son, Barack Hussein Obama II, turned the 44th President of america and served two phrases, from January 2009 by means of January 2017.

I’m extremely grateful to Martin Goll for his analysis and paper (in German) on President Obama’s line in Beutelsbach, and for connecting the dots to his immigrant ancestor. I benefitted immensely, on condition that that is my lineage too.

You possibly can view President Obama’s detailed genealogy, here.

In fact, which means that Barack Obama is my cousin, and we share a number of ancestral traces.

After signing in, utilizing WikiTree’s Relationship instrument, above, I made up my mind that Barack and I are 7C1R.

All of my Lentz Cousins are associated to President Obama as effectively. So are all of my nearer cousins who descend from Margaret Elisabeth Lentz, who married John David Miller, whose daughter Evaline Miller married Hiram Ferverda, and gave delivery to my grandfather, John Whitney Ferverda.

This pedigree chart exhibits my Lentz line again to Jacob Lentz, who married Fredericka Ruhle, the immigrants in our line, from whom my American Lentz cousins descend. Johanna Fredericka Ruhle, shipwrecked on the way to the US in 1818/1819, was the granddaughter of Johann Ludwig Wolflin whose brother immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1750 and established Barack Obama’s line.

How cool is that this! Barbara Eckhardt’s legacy, and certainly that of many Beutelsbach households (and ancestors,) is American President Barack Obama.


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