His complete name is Gotthilf David Siegfried Lentz.
Recently I visited a friend, a retired Methodist minister, who has been visiting her daughter in Seattle.
For years she lived and worked in Seattle. The family is from Vermont, and she spent much of her youth in Switzerland, where her father was stationed with the State Department, I think.
While we talking one evening, she mentioned my tweet. She was curious about the name. We figured out the God part, but didn’t get farther than that. So later I decided to use the Google, specifically Google Translate, and after learning the meaning of his name, I sent off a note to her.
“Just learned that Gotthilf is ‘God’s help’ in English.”
And she promptly replied, after her return home to Portland via the Bolt Bus.
“That is fantastic…nice name.”
Get thyself on Twitter, Hager-Smith! And then ye may tweet me directly.¹
1. She is, or was, on Twitter, but hasn’t updated her account since 2014.
I’m so glad I’ve finally found a record of my great-great grandfather, Ludwig Lentz of Gröbenzien. Gröbenzien was a village in Germany, near the Polish border.
The images are from the Borntuchen church book, known in German as Kirchenbuch. This is the first time I’ve found Ludwig in any historical records. And there’s another unknown, his son Eduard. Most other surviving records from this branch of the family are in other church books.
I’ve included links to the image files of the complete record and the key at the top of the page.
Albrecht was born on September 20, 1883, so he was roughly the generation of my grandfather or great grandfather, whose name was also Albert.
As a German Lutheran scholar of the Old Testament, Albrecht authored a book, Biblia Hebraica, with a fella named R. Kittel which “became the standard critical text of the Old Testament for Bible students.”
My great grandfather was named Albert, and I’ve been wondering where the name originated — within German society, culture, history. In looking through famous Germans with the name I came across a Duke of Prussia named Albert.
The family was steeped in Lutheranism, so learning about Duke Albert has been eye-opening. He was the first ruler in Europe to adopt the Lutheran faith and thus introduce Protestantism to the masses.
Hence, the name Albert makes a lot of sense. Grandpa Albert’s parents, Carl Fromke¹ and Caroline Radde, must have been devout Lutherans too.
Of course, it may well be that another Albert is the source, such as Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, or perhaps multiples.
The name “was repopularized in the 19th century by the German-born Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.”
1. Carl’s name may be spelled Karl, with a K, not a C.
This morning I visited a church, a Lutheran one. I don’t know the particular denomination. I kept looking, but couldn’t identify it.
I didn’t even know the place existed until yesterday. It’s not far from my doctor’s office.
The sermon was given by a visiting pastor, likely now long retired. He was called in to give the relatively new pastor a much-needed vacation.
He did mention a bit of church history, including the names of previous pastors and a reference to the Missouri Synod. I know of these Lutheran synods because my mother was raised in the Lutheran church. I think it was the Wisconsin Synod. There was a church split at some point. I can never seem to keep it straight in my head. I always have to look it up.
I enjoyed his talk, his informal, conversational style. I will probably write about the content of his message later. The man uses an impressive electric scooter to get around. He can elevate it to better see the congregation while speaking and leading.
Apparently the church is struggling, as is so often the case with liberal churches in general. Of course, being in leftist Seattle doesn’t help either. The membership is mostly older folks. I didn’t see anyone younger than me.