We learned from our Uehlfeld journey that we had better hire a taxi driver if we wanted to reach any really small towns, and the driver needed to speak some English. The good people at the Allee Hotel made some phone calls and found us Richard, who arrived in front of the hotel in his Mercedes Benz sedan taxi. There were some moments when we believed Richard would go away again, because he believed his English was not good enough to get the job done. Fortunately for all of us, he was entirely too modest. He turned out to be helpful in many ways, and we had several good conversations with him, in addition to relying on his translations. Church bells
Schornweisach was about the same distance from our hotel as Uehlfeld, but in a slightly different direction. It too is a tiny quiet village, smaller than Uehlfeld, with solidly-built houses along just a few streets, and small farm lots reaching right up to the houses themselves.
We had not made an appointment with the pastor and did not expect great success with our inquiries because our earlier Schornweisach correspondence had indicated that he had sent us the only family record he had, but he welcomed us courteously and even brought out a stack of church records for us to examine. It turned out he had more records than he had told us. As soon as Richard understood what names we were looking for, he joined in and before long we had found additional information about Peter Walther's sisters. We not only had the family record (compiled after all the children were born) but also the baptismal records for the two youngest girls, Peter's sisters, and the death record of Peter's mother, which had further ancestral information. Parish house
We finished our visit to Schornweisach by visiting the Church, which has a beautiful altar and pulpit just like the church we had seen in Uehlfeld. We could not find the gravestones, because Germans have the habit of renting out the space for burials, and later burying the younger generations on top of the graves for which the rental was no longer being paid. This has the effect of Town square only keeping gravestones for the parents of living people. Younger Germans are choosing cremation, with the ashes strewn around a tree on which a memorial chain is placed.
Now we had discovered enough information about the Walther family of Schornweisach to satisfy our genealogical cravings. We were ready to tackle one more nearby town, Muehlhausen, to finish up our Walther inquiries. Fortunately, Richard had caught our Altar enthusiasm and was quite willing to spend one more morning trundling us around. Here we were looking for the records of Peter's parents.
The pastor in Muehlhausen told us that we should not have come at the time the pastoral office is open, because then he is busy dealing with the needs of parishioners. (As Americans, we of course thought we should appear during office hours.) In any event, after a bit of a delay, an old amateur family historian was produced from the village. He held the record books in his hands but was reluctant to let us see them ourselves. Finally we broke down his resistance and he allowed us to photograph some pages that we think will provide us with a few more scraps of Walther family history.