Joseph Heinrich Horoch, my second great-grandfather, was born in Altenhundem, Westfalen on 3 February 1804 to Johann Horoch and Anna Gertrud Sommer. He was the middle child of five.
As was typical of Catholics in Germany at this time, he was baptized the next day, February 3, at the church in Kirchhundem. His godparents were Joseph Sommer of Kirchhundem and Anna Margarete Horoch of Meggen.
Kirchhundem and Altenhundem are located in the current state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. These communities are still very small. They are situated in narrow valleys with steep hillsides. The nearest large city is Cologne, some hundred miles to the west.
|Altenhunden is in the top image and Kirchhundem the bottom,|
they were very close to each other, along with Meggen
Joseph’s father was a tailor (“Schneider” in German), as was Joseph, and later, his son. Johan Anton Hork (our great-grandfather, who came to America). It was common to learn the trade of your father.
Joseph married Maria Catharina Trösster in Oberhundem on 2 August 1835. He was thirty years old and she was twenty-one. They had ten children, but known children lived to adulthood. Three known children emigrated to the United States: Johan Anton, Rev Johan Albert, and Maria Clementina.
In October 1857, two young children and Joseph succumbed to dysentery within days of each other. What sadness that must have been for Maria Catharina to lose two children and her husband within days of each other.
Unfortunately at this time, all I know about the family is through the religious sacramental records that are microfilmed and can be viewed at the Family History Library. Someday, I’d like to visit the towns and see what else I can find.
A view of Kirchhundem/Oberhundem today:
By the 1870s, the name Horoch had changed to Hork as we know of it today.
 Katholische Kirche Kirchhundem (Kr. Olpe) (Kirchhundem, Westfalen, Germany), Taufen 1779-1808, p. 210, 1804, 3 Feb, Josepbus Henricus (Joseph Heinrich) Horoch; FHL film 1257833.
 Katholische Kirche Oberhundem (Kr. Olpe) (Oberhundem, Westfalen, Germany), "Toten 1848-1878," Joseph Heinrich Horoch, 1847, p 33; FHL microfilm 1,257,843, item 3. See also p. 33, Joseph Carl Horoch. See also p. 33, Maria Elisabeth Horoch.
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