Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

July 31, 2012

Hartman clan reunites in Germany

-- — When brothers Al Hartman, Batesville,  and Harry Hartman, Twin Oaks, attended the first international Hartman-Treffen reunion in Schimborn, Germany, last spring, they were reminded of Freudenfest and St. Leon’s Octoberfest.

At all three events, a traditional German song, “Toast to Coziness,” brings smiles.

In addition to the two brothers, 14 other relatives and one friend made the trip: Harry’s wife, Jo Ann; Craig and reunion organizer Isabella Crume (the Hartmans’ niece), Mike and Liz Stenger and Bertie Schmidt,  Batesville; Schmidt’s three sisters: Rudy Fasbinder, Vancouver, Wash.; Bernadette and Roman Widolff, Portland, Ore., and Shirley Gibson and boyfriend Gary Delestine, Palm Springs, Calif.; Tony Hartman (Harry’s son), Plainfield;  Christine  (Harry’s daughter) and Tommy Brennan, Lebanon, Ohio; and Al’s friend who’s like a brother, George Meeker, Sun City Center, Fla.

Schmidt says, “We had the best time in the world!  We all got along so well. Just meeting our fourth cousins” was the journey’s highlight.  “They couldn’t do enough for us. They fell over backwards trying to keep us happy and content. They had something going for three days.”

In 1999, Al and Norma and Harry and Jo Ann toured Germany and found records and evidence “the Hartman family was still alive and well there. We got thirsty for more information.”

In 2001, on a similar journey, the brothers found a book containing an 1860 map of Schimborn, located 50 miles southeast of Frankfort, Germany, with a diagram of homes. Great-great- grandfather Heinrich Hartmann (1796-1854), a farmer, lived in House No. 60. According to Al, “The next day we set out to find where the land was located” by using the old map.

As they studied it, a woman asked if she could help. It turns out Erika Rosenberger, whose mother was a Hartmann, is a fourth cousin to the Americans. They began a relationship and soon Rosenberger was offering to host the 2012 reunion, which occurred  in mid-April.

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