A web site for genealogy and history of the Vornkahl family name.


by Roy A. Johnson and Ulrich H. Schröder


© 2010 - 2017

    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 this book.


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




While reviewing two print proofs of the “final version” of  our “Vornkahl” book that was

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.


Our apologies

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.