The German surname, Vornkahl, is very unusual. The origins of the name remain
obscure but the name is found as early as 1406 in Nettlingen and 1540 in Berel, two
neighboring villages in the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany. The
name is found consistently in Nettlingen from that early date to the present time
whereas in Berel the name disappears after about 1840. Other nearby villages in
which the name has been found include Hoheneggelsen, Dingelbe, Nordassel, Bruchmachtersen,
Hackenstedt, and Heersum. The continuity of the name in Nettlingen for 600 years
leads us to the assumption that the name originated in this village.
Our research on the Vornkahl name has been guided by two goals. One goal has
been to document the fate of those Vornkahls who emigrated from Germany to the United
States. The second goal has been to determine the genealogical history of the Vornkahl
name in Germany. Some of our results have been posted at www.vornkahl.net, a website
established by Friedrich Vornkahl.
Initially we depended on U.S. census records, church archives, and microfilm
(LDS) for our sources of information about the Vornkahl name. These sources, however,
are limited in the information they contain. Therefore, in September, 2007, Roy,
Ulli, and Friedrich Vornkahl met in Nettlingen with the goal of obtaining photographic
copies of the Nettlingen parish records for the years from 1649 to 1902. Permission
for this project was graciously granted by the parish pastor. Twelve books recording
births, marriages, and deaths were photographed over a three day period. From these
photographic copies, we have abstracted all data concerning persons with the Vornkahl
surname. This abstracted data is assembled in a book format with the title, “Vornkahl.
A Record of the Family Name, 1649-1902.” A copy of this document is accessible by
clicking on the red VORNKAHL BOOK button above..
We invite you to explore the Vornkahl data presented here and to use any of
the data that is pertinent to your own interests in Vornkahl genealogy and history.
The book can be accessed by sections as outlined on the “Vornkahl Book” page. Information
about using the book can be found in the section, pages 1-4. We also offer on the
“Vornkahl Book” page a suggestion on how to reference the sources of data given in
Below is a brief introduction to the web site.
This web site was launched 3 Jun 2010.
First revision - 12 Dec 2012
Second revision - 14 Mar 2013
Third revision - 10 May 2015
Fourth revision - 10 Dec 2015
Fifth revision - 23 May 2016
Sixth revision - 20 Jul 2016
Seventh revision - 28 Sep 2016
Eighth revision - 6 Dec 2016
NINTH REVISION, 16 Jan 2017
While reviewing two print proofs of the “final version” of our “Vornkahl” book that
announced in our previous revision of 6 Dec 2016, we discovered that numerous
corrections were necessary.
The corrections have been made; consequently, the digital copy
now included here is the same as our print copy, currently in press.
for any inconvenience this has caused.
This draft of the book is accessible by clicking on the red VORNKAHL BOOK button
on the upper
right and then selecting from a series of sections of the book for further reading.