NIKOLAS AUGUSTIN - Branntweinbtenner zu Schiedlambach (Farmer from Schiedlambach)
Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Shelly laying a traditional Bavarian wheat 🌾 wreath onto the grave site of Great, Great, Great Grandfather Nikolas Augustin.
(NOTE: In German custom, the village family burial plot for a farm remains assigned to the current owner of the farm. Nikolas Augustin was buried in this grave, but the headstone was removed and replaced with the current farm family, Thalhammer).
Pfarrkirche St Martin (St. Martin’s Church)
If you ever have a chance to discover your ancestry, do!
Friday was excellent ‘top shelf’ day. A 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Today we experienced the life of Nikolas Augustin. Nikolas was the last direct ‘Eigsti’, Shelly’s ancestor, in Germany.
Shelly’s family/maiden name is E-I-G-S-T-I. Well, kind of. The Pre-immigration family name from Germany was A-U-G-U-S-T-I-N, Augustin.
Today we were able to visit, touch and feel the towns, buildings, farm plot and cemetery where this last Augustin direct descendant from Germany, Nikolas, lived, farmed, raised his family and is buried.
We walked the same farm soil. We breathed the same farm breeze. We viewed the same rolling hills and trees in the smallest of villages, Schiedlambach. There is something real, and almost challenging to explain about standing on hallowed ground of your ancestors.
We ended the day at Nikolas‘s cemetery plot In the town of Freising.
There was a lot more to the story of Nikolas life we learned, thanks to our good friends Herbert, Katharina and Douglas who helped with pre-research and appointments with the farm owners.
The Nicolas Augustin Farm as it existed around 1900. Nikolas‘s family acquired the farm in 1841, and sold it it 1853 after Nikolas’s death.
Note the wheat field with the tree lined hills in the background.
The same wheat field and rolling tree lined hills as it exists today. Compare the field to the prior photo. The very field Nikolas farmed In the 1840’s.
We were blessed to have a farm tour with 3 generations descendants of farm from the Thalhammer family (left side of photo).
The grandmother (far left) family is direct descendants of the purchaser of the estate from Nikolas Augustin, Thalhammer in 1853. The farm has remained in the family since.
Photo also includes Shelly and Ray IV, plus Herbert and Douglas Holly (who we will share in a later post) on the right side.
The current farm is a large operation of dairy cattle (over 200 head) and field crops of wheat and corn.
Shelly alongside the older of traditional milking barns, making friends. 🐄
Panoramic video of the wheat fields in the photo.
AMISH AND BUSINESS
There is more to this story that adds color.
In the 1800’s, Bavaria (before Germany United) was going through internal revolution with leadership and control/ownership of the land, including farm lands.
The Bavarian government, in an effort to enhance farm production, and ultimately to improve rents, made a strong push to encourage Amish farmers concentrated in northwest Germany to migrate south to Bavaria, and help rebuild the farm system.
Nikolas obliged. He saw opportunity for his family in accordance with Amish principles. Nikolas was a practicing Amish Farmer.
In his early years in Bavaria 1830-1841, Nikolas was a tenant farmer in the village of Pellheim. All tenant farmers rented land for some form of payment (crops/cash) to the Count that ruled the area.
The Amish brought terrific farming experience and methods to the region, and ended up having great success with their farms. They changed methods of farming in the area.
Nikolas and his wife Barbara had 9 children.
Shelly and Ray at the Pellheim town entry sign where Nikolas first farmed as an Amish tenant farmer from about 1830-1841, in his 30’s.
Douglas, Ray, Ray IV, Shelly and Herbert standing at the Pellheim hotel building (Gasthaus) that is the same building owned by the Count, the Count that Nikolas would have farmed for as a tenant farmer.
Nikolas would have stood at and done business in this building In Pellheim.
The following documents retrieved from May of 1841 shows the assets Nikolas had built up in his 12 years as a tenant farmer in Pellheim. As a practicing Amish, most of his earnings would have went back into his farm business. His business was thriving.
In 1841, Nikolas had saved enough to buy his own property. He acquired the farm in Schiedlambach.
BRANDY AND BREWERY
Nicolas was a practicing Amish Farmer. His excellent farming techniques allowed him build a production business for his wheat that produced ‘malt’.
Prior to 1841, beer and liquor production was done mostly through monasteries in Bavaria. Nikolas had found a process to brew ‘brandy and brewery’ products. In 1842 the legal documents show the ruling authority questioned Nikolas because he had brewed an amount that far exceeded local regulations. Which meant, business was good 👍🏻 👍🏻
Nikolas continued to farm until his death in 1852 at the age of 52. Nikolas dies after building up a very successful farm.
In 1853, the family sold the property to allow Barbara (mother) to move to America to join her oldest sons.
The ’Eigsti’ family first settled in Illinois, with some of her descendants soon after heading West settling in Milford, Nebraska.
Milford is where multiple Eigsti’s were born, raised, married and are remembered in cemeteries and folklore across the town today.
Nikolas Augustin is Shelly’s Great, Great, Great Grandfather on her dad’s side, directly up the Eigsti family line.
Nikolas, it was nice to meet you!