And the Search for Ernsts
My Ernst family originates in Staffort, Karlsruhe, the former Grand Duchy of Baden,
Germany. Staffort is an 899 year old German village between Karlsruhe and Bruchsal -
since 1975 the village is part of the town Stutensee which was created by joining together
with Blankenloch, Friedrichstal and Spöck. Stutensee-Staffort had around 2000 inhabitants
in 2007. Because it is not a separate governmental entity, Staffort does not have a
Burgermeister or Mayor, instead it has an Ortsvorsteher or Administrator. The current
Ortsvorsteher is Herr Ludwig-Wilhelm Heidt, a 35 year Veteran of the Bundeswehr, the
German Army. He retired as the Cmd Sgt Major of an Airborne Division. In 2010,
Staffort celebrates it's 900 Year anniversary (see http://www.900-jahre-staffort.de/).
Pixie and I visited Staffort on 26 and 27
August. We went first to the Rathaus or City
Hall and met with Gunda Ernst, the village
Secretary. She set us up to meet the next
morning with Herr Heidt (picture to right).
The original church no longer exists; a
plaque is set where it was located. The new
church was built around 1900 and sits one
block away from the old one, right next to the
Above are three views of the current church. The
building was locked so we weren't able to take
pictures inside. To the left is the plaque depicting the
location of the former church, where the baptisms of
my Ernst ancestors took place.
Staffort is a typical German village, very quiet
during the day as the men are all out working their
fields or have commuted to a nearby city for their jobs.
Below are some street scenes from our self guided
To the left is a close-up of the statue in front of the church. It is a
tribute to the citizens of Staffort who died in the service of their
country in both World Wars.
Below is a picture of one side of the statue base. I haven't been
able to determine if the three Ernsts are relatives of mine, but they
probably are. I wonder if the Wilhelm Heidt (last WW I name) is
related to Ortsvorsteher Heidt.
|A portal above a doorway along
Buchenauer Strasse in Staffort.
Note the name "Ernst" etched
over some other words.
|Cousin Wilhelm owns an Auto
Repair Shop on Carl-Peter
Strasse in Staffort.