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More Interesting Stuff

Another upload of data has occurred.  Taking some time to explore some branches on the spouse and cousin sides.  Looks like my wife’s has a cousin that was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (Stephen Hopkins) and on my aunt’s side, related to Lizzie Borden (look it up of you do not know what she can do with an axe).

As always, any information is really needed (dates and places).  This can be especially true to have the full name of spouses.  It can be hard to determine which William (pick a last name) is which without dates and spouses.  It can get even more difficult when they have more then one child with the same first name (a practice that I am glad has stopped around the 1800”s).


Plymouth and Virginia Colonies

I started to explore more of my wife’s branch of the tree.  I have to say, that it is a little more interesting then the Tegen/German branch.  Her branch goes back to the very early settlers at Plymouth Rock (Plymouth Colony) and the Virginia Colony in the early 1600’s.  Those same branches even go back to early English time (1100) and includes Barons, Captains, Ladies, Sheriffs, Chiefs and Knights.  Grant it that Germany did not become a single country until about 1870 and there was not a central way for each Germany state to maintain vital records ( and two world wars in which a lot of the documents were destroyed), but her tree does show the rich history our ancestors had in early American colonization and emigration.


Another Big Update

Another big update has occurred.  This includes some linking of branches based on new information provided from relatives and expanding some of the other Tegen spellings, included TEGAN, and TEEGEN.  More of this will occur to determine a physical connections to these spellings.

Think of this project one very large puzzle.  A confirmed date, birth place, spouse surname are the bits and pieces that can join isolated information into the main branch of the tree.

The overall objective is to combine every TEGEN/TEGAN/TEEGEN into one tree (with a lot of branches) that can be traced back to the earliest TEGEN/DEGEN that is currently around 1200.


Big Update

Completed a large update to the Tegen database.  The update includes a lot of cemetery photos, more branches, cleaned up dates and places.



Updated Tree Information

Update tree information has been uploaded to include new branches, updated places and a lot more photos.  If anyone has photos to share of ancestors, please email me a high-res JPEG image and the person it is associated with.


Ancient Greek Battle for Tegea (560 BC)

Herodotus’ account for the Tegean War (1.65-1.68) indicates that it was long and difficult for Sparta. It began under one pair of Kings, Leon and Agesicles but was concluded in the reigns of the next pair, Anaxandrides and Ariston. It is debatable then that the war must have lasted c590-580 B.C. and concluded c560-550 B.C.

The situation with the helots plagued on the Spartans mind, there were no plans for any far off conquests of new lands, but anxiety existed that if Sparta did not control the neighboring city-states, the city-states would come to invade the un-walled city of Sparta. Xenophobia existed, anything foreign was immediately suspected of treachery.

Though they had failed in previous attempts to defeat the Tegeas, the oracle predition of the ultimately victory spurred the Lacedaemonians on.

It is not sure how the truce happened between the two, but it was probably a number of small skirmishes and a few battles, but it is certain that Tegea moved away from any form of democracy and turned into an oligopoly, just like the Spartans would have wished. Sparta finally did win the last major confrontation between the two and forced or succumbed Tegea into political change. When they conquered their neighbor, Tegea, they set up a truce with them rather than annex their land and people. They demanded instead an alliance. Tegea would follow Sparta in all its foreign relationships, including wars, and would supply Sparta with a fixed amount of soldiers and equipment. In exchange, the Tegeans could remain an independent state. This was a brilliant move on the part of the Spartans. In a short time, Sparta had formed alliances with a huge number of states in the southern part of Greece.

Herodotus, describes a very fanciful version of the subjection of Tegea, in which the Spartans again consulted the Oracle at Delphi for a second time, he says:

“Throughout the whole of the early contest with the Tegeans, the Lacedaemonians met with nothing but defeats; but in the time of Kings Anaxandrides and Aristo, fortune had turned to their favor.

They asked of Delphi, “Which god they must propitiate to prevail in the war against the Tegeans”. The Pythoness said that before they could prevail, they must remove to Sparta the bones or Orestes, the son of Agamemnon. Another utterance of the Delphic oracle promised that Sparta would become ‘protector’ of Tegea.

A Spartan called Lichas who had traveled to Tegea, befriended a blacksmith working in his shop. The smith told him a story about wanting to dig a well but coming across a grave 7 cubits in length, after checking to see if the body was still in it (which the bones were) he reburied it again. At the time of the tale, this just seemed like another interesting story that friends would speak about. But in light of what the oracle had said repeated the story to his countrymen.

The Lacedaemonians quizzed Lichas who said he remembered the smithy had two bellows (which blows air into the furnace), which could relate to the line about the two winds. The hammer and anvil would do for the stroke and counterstroke, and the iron that was being wrought for the evil lying upon evil, iron was believed to have been discovered for the hurt of man.

The Spartans believed they had found Orestes.

Taxing Lichas to go back, the again entered Tegea and acquainted with his friend and ending up boarding with him. While there he secretly dug up the bone and headed back to Sparta.

Thus, believing that the oracle had been fulfilled every time the Spartans and the Tegeans made trial of each other’s skill in arms, the Spartans always had greatly the advantage. It should be noted that during the campaign of 479 B.C. at the Battle of Plataea, the Tegans were among the allies of the Lacedaemon and that they ‘traditionally’ had the privilege of taking the place of honor on the wing in the battle line. (Hdt 9.26.2)

So it seems that the war led not to the subjugation of Tegea, but to an alliance between that city and Lacedaemon. When the war had began, the Spartans may have hoped to treat Tegea as they had treated Messenia, they may have expected to absorb its territory and reduce its inhabitants to dependent status. But it did not turn out this way. There maybe a few reasons for this:

1) Tegea proved too tough to conquer, perhaps because of the difficulty of campaigning in the highland of Arcadia and too formidable to leave the Tegans unchecked, therefor an alliance was more exactable

2) The Delphic oracles utterances that Sparta was to be Tegeas ‘protector’, lead them away from a battle victory against Tegea. The Spartan’s were known to be very religious, and therefore not wanting to anger the gods.

3) The Spartans had just recently subjugated Messenia and the Spartan army was already responsible to make sure the Messenian’s did not successfully revolt. As the Messenians probably out numbered the Spartans 5 to 1 to subjugate Tegea as well would have made a chance of a successful revolt more likely.

4) Unlike the Messenias, Tegea stood between Sparta and Argos their eternal nemesis. To reduce Tegea to the value of helots would not be tenable to keep as the warriors of Argos could at anytime invade Tegea without the Spartans having any idea. Better to arm Tegea and leave the city as a ‘buffer’ between Sparta and Argos, almost like an advance post or early warning system in alarming the Spartans against any advance on Sparta.


Updated Database

Updated database has been released.  This release includes:

  • We were able to finally correct the Unicode character issues with names and places.
  • Updated Tegen’s
  • Many correction to places
  • New branch of Stinchcomb (very interesting)
  • Corrected Bastian branch

We look forward to get updates from those that know their branch of the family better.


Frederick Johan Tegen (1863-1906)

FritzTegenFrederick Johan Tegen was born around Hamburg, Germany in May 1863 and died in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in July 1906 at the age of 43.  Not much is known of how he died at such a young age.  He had three children, Martha, Erna and Albert.  Albert was four years old at the time of his death.  His nickname was “Fritz”.  He immigrated to the United States at the age of 27 around 1890.  In 1905, his occupation was Engineer. His wife Marie Dummer, married August Meyer after Fritz died and she had one additional child with August.  August was a carpenter and helped raise Fritz’s children.

Fritz was one of three sons. By the time he immigrated to the United States, both of his parents had passed.  His father, Johann Friedrich Tegen (of Oering, Germany), at the age of 48.

Frederick Johan Tegen can be found in the database here.


Tegen’s Food Market, 1951

My father, Robert Freed Tegen, took this picture in November, 1951 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  We have no idea what branch of the family owned this store (so if you know, please contact us).  The original print is better then what is shown here.



Trip to Sülfeld, Germany

Sülfeld, Germany is just east of Oering.  It is a much larger town then and now.  You will find many Tegen’s that lived in Oering, got married in Sülfeld.  Sülfeld is probably an hour horse ride from Oering, 20 minutes by car.  It has a main (old) church and extensive graveyard. Sülfeld was probably considered the closest town to those that lived in Oering, since it is hard to tell what was available in Oering 300 years ago.

 DSCN1796 Lots of signs to find the towns.
 DSCN1797 This was part of the road that lead into Sülfeld from Oering.  Keep in mind, this was in January.  I will love to go back during the summer.
 DSCN1799a This was the main church in Sülfeld.  It is very old and probably the place that many Tegen/Teegen’s got married in.  There are grave stones all around the front, sides and back.  There are three dates along the face of the front tower. 1633 along the bottom, 1835 in the middle and 1906 along the top.  I have no idea what the dates represent.  It could be phases of construction or significant dates for the church or the town that it is in.
DSCN1817 Up the road from the church is a large cemetery.  When I first walked in, there was this stone to the left.  From what I could tell, it was common to have many names on one stone.  I also noticed that there were a lot of newer stones of the recently passed and fewer older stone markings.  It was an active cemetery, so I could only assume that if a family does not pay some kind of rent on ancestral plots, they get evicted.  Kind of sad, but it is a business like anything else.  I just hopped they kept records of the evicted plots.  It was a weekend, cold, dark, creepy, and I was losing the battle on language, so I did not try to ask.