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Someone who has tried to investigate details about his/her ancestors, definitely knows how tricky this can be. So I know who my grandfather was, and I know a little bit about my great-grandfather but currently I cannot get access to information about what happened before.

If someone looks up the name "Busenbender" in a germany-wide telephone directory, he'll find some 40 entries. Therefore I'm hoping, that some other "Busenbender" might be able to help me.

My grandfather was Clemens Busenbender, born 11.02.1880 in Düsseldorf, died 26.07.1961 in Hamburg, married to Elisabeth Johanna Rave, then, after her death to Ella Jöhnke. Children: Hans, Franz, Wilhelm, Karl, Paul, Ernst, Heinz.

My great-grandfather was Johann Busenbender, born 16.02.1833, died 01.12.1899, married to Elisabeth Unger. Children: Eduard, Franz, Bernhard, Fine, Anna, Clemens.

But who was my great-great-grandfather ?


Versions of likely origins of the name: Busenbender
Extract from a festivity book - Kruft and its history - celebrating the 350th anniversary of the municipality coat of arms at August, 2nd 1953:
Already the foundation document of Maria-Laach from the year 1093 mentions "Crufte and the church". All inhabitants of Kruft were serfs of the monastery Maria-Laach. This serfdom was also inherited by the children, even if they were married abroad. Also their children were obliged, to return into the serfdom. The monastery carefully watched, that serfs from their domination area were not acquired by landlords of other domination areas. A document reports about parents who had to pay a bail for their daughter in order to not have her lured away, which was called "abbusemendet". When a landlord wanted a bonded woman he had to put a piece of money into her décolleté. The result was, that she got de-busemendet from her former landlord and on-busemendet to her new landlord. It was not easy those days, to get freed from serfdom, nevertheless, a document is still preserved about such a release from the year 1610. Rarely someone was released out of serfdom.

Still, these cases happened, and those people received a charter and this is where the emergence of the name starts.
In earlier times names resulted from occupations or places where people lived.
The charter was worn - at the bosom, someone with the occupation Binder was called: Busenbender, the free man who moved to Thür, (a neighboring place of Kruft) got the name: Busenthür. In another neighboring place my husband discovered an old basalt cross, whereupon was the name: Busenalter (older bosom); but Busenjünger (younger bosom) could also be found.

(the source is known to me)


The abbot of Maria Laach (Eifel) named those of his people who had no rights to use the agricultural areas of the abbey, the "Bausenbender", which should mean something like: "people being ouside, Immigrates, Outlaws". Anyhow, it was in the abbot's power, to lend or refuse such rights. A germanist could call the point in time where the vowel shift occurred, that changed Bausen into Busen. Source: A monk living in Maria Laach.

(the source is known to me)


When people came to the city of Mayen in the Eifel mountains region, many years ago, and they did not belong to the "Agricultural Utilisation Union" of Mayen, then - in the slang of that area - they were called "die von Buten" (those from outside), this changed to Busenbender, perhaps because they had to wear a ribbon at their bosom as a mark.

(the source is known to me)

Impressum Last Update: 09-Mai-2009