Samuel Finger, c. 1568 - c. 1640, Bottendorf

From John Vanko

The birthplace of Samuel Finger, first mentioned in the records of Bottendorf in 1609, remained a mystery until Dr. Ulrich Stöhr discovered the appointment of Samuel Finger to the position of official trout-catcher and bird-catcher of Ludwig IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Marburg (1537-1604). Although Bottendorf is not mentioned in this record, and Samuel's appointment is not mentioned in Bottendorf records, there is almost no doubt that Samuel Finger, the official trout-catcher and bird-catcher of Ludwig IV, and Samuel Finger of Bottendorf, are one and the same.

In the Hessen State Archives in Marburg, on page 09 of 40 f Nr 533, we find the summary that Dr. Stöhr used to decipher the birthplace of Samuel Finger.

This is the four-step process I used - Transcription, Correction to Modern German, Translation, and Interpretation -

my imperfect transcription of the summary:

Handelung Samuell Finger
von Minden vnd den von
Thalwig Ist den foreln
feng vnd fogell feng dens
Nuni den 6 Juny
Anno / 1599

my imperfect modern German, with the help from the words of Dr. Ulrich Stöhr:

Handelung Samuel Finger
von Minden unter den von
Dahlwig ist den Forellen-
fänger und Vogell-fänger dens
nun den 6 Juny
Anno / 1599

my imperfect Translation to English (with help from Dr. Stöhr and Petra Schmidt):

Assistant Samuel Finger,
of Minden under the rule of those of
Dahlwigksthal, his trout-
catcher and bird-catcher now
this day the 6th of June
in the Year / 1599

my Interpretation:

The traditional meaning of "von Minden unter den von Dahlwig" is "born in Münden, under the control of those of Dahlwig", and today Dahlwigksthal is less than 2 miles (less than 3 kilometers) east of Münden. In Dahlwigksthal there is the Burg Lichtenfels, the castle of the local ruling family, Lichtenfels. "Münden" is pronounced "Minden" in common German dialect, and that is how it was spelled in 1599.

The is the best, and only, reliable written evidence of the origin of the oldest known direct ancestor in our Bottendorf Finger family.

I cannot thank Lothar Finger enough, for his efforts that procured the electronic copy of this document - Thank You, Lothar - and Dr. Ulrich Stöhr for his scholarship and persistence in finding this record in the Archives.

We continue to seek DNA donors with the Finger surname, hoping to expand and further understand our family.

John Vanko 4th of March, 2017