Friedrich Froebel - Caspar Froebel

carved stone face in church at Grossgoelitz

ancestor of Friedrich Froebel

The ancestry of Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of Kindergarten, has been traced to Caspar Froebel, who died in 1640 at Großgölitz, in Thuringia. Caspar was appointed to the office of Schultheiß (a village magistrate or sherrif). In medieval Germany, the Schultheiß (Middle High German: Schultheize, Latinised: Scultetus or Sculteus; also: Schulthies, Schulte or Schulze ) was the head of an adminstrative district, an executive official of the ruler. It was his duty to order his assigned village or county to pay the taxes and perform the services due to the ruler. The name "Schultheiß" originates from this function: "Schuld" (debt) and "heißen" (to order).

  1. Caspar Fröbel was a farmer and village magistrate in Großgölitz, where he was born about 1564, married about 1603 and died on 14 June 1640.
  2. Nikolaus Fröbel, the eldest son of Caspar, was born in Großgölitz about 1604. Nikolaus married Sophia Fischer in Leutnitz on 20 February 1642. He was a farmer in Leutnitz, where he died on 17 December 1695.
  3. Michael Fröbel, the fourth of Nikolaus and Sophia, was born in Leutnitz on 4 May 1652. Michael married Margareta Kirchner in Keilhau on 20 February 1683. He was a farmer in Leutnitz, where he died on 20 April 1720.
  4. Johannes Fröbel, the third son of Michael and Margareta, was born in Leutnitz on 5 December 1687. Johannes married Elisabeth Katharina Jahn in Oberweißbach on 15 November 1722. He was forester for the Scwartzburg princes and died on 22 July 1738 in Neuhaus am Rennweg.
  5. Johann Jakob Fröbel, the eldest son of Johannes and Elisabeth, was born at Neuhaus am Rennweg on 28 January 1730. He was a Lutheran pastor in Elxleben, where he married Jakobine Eleonore Friderika Hoffmann on 22 May 1764 and then in Oberweißbach, where he died 10 February 1802.
  6. Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel, the fifth son of Johann and Jakobine, was born at Oberweißbach, on 21 April 1782. He founded a school at Keilhau in 1817 and at Bad Blankenburg opened the first Kindergarten in 1840. He died on 21 June 1852 at Marienthal.

Großgoelitz appears in a 1441 list of the places within the Quittelsdorf parish, which included Leutnitz, Unterrottenbach, Kleingölitz, Cordobang, Fröbitz and Keilhau.

Quittelsdorf was established before 1296, probably by Paulinzella monastry as a place to "settle accounts", that is collect the farm produce, which was paid as rent by the families who were tenants on the monastic lands. After the dissolution of the monastries the land around Paulinzella eventually passed to the Counts of Schwarzburg in 1575.

During the nineteenth century, members of the Froebel family were living in many German cities and members the family migrated to the United States, England, Canada and Australia.

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