150th Anniversary—1988

John George Schumm Family History


The Schumm family that in the year 1833 was transplanted in North America, traces its roots directly back to one of the most colorful peoples of Northern Europe - the Franks. The tribe is given first historical mention in 241 A.D. when Roman soldiers, returning from wars along the Rhine, sang of a race blue-eyed, fair of hair, and large of body, who fought fiercely against the legions of Caesar to retain their ancient freedom. The two words "frank and free", usually grouped together and of the same origin and meaning, indicate how applicable the name "Franks" was to these tribesman.


Originally from the Danube, the Franks were a people that settled along the middle and lower Rhine. Possessing a spirit inherently roving and adventurous, it was only natural for them not to confine their activities to any small, restricted area, and in succeeding eras they pressed northward, until in the Fifth Century they are chronicled the undisputed masters of Northern Gaul.


In the Fifth Century there were living in the most northern part of what is now the state of Wuertemberg in the German Republic an ancient German tribe called the Allemanians. The district they inhabited is the present Hohenloher Ebene. Records left behind by them are very incomplete at best, though their civilization has been partially reconstructed through discoveries of their burial mounds. Of these there are still a number. When opened they gave up skeletons, earthen dishes, swords, spears, and neck and armbands of bronze and iron.


It was upon these Allemanians that the Franks came in their persistent march northwards. In the battles that raged when these two tribes clashed, the Allemanians were routed and destroyed. The Franks, however, did not establish permanent settlements here until some years later, when additional of their numbers came from the south to set up communities and to live off the land.


Among this branch of the Franks is the name Schumm first heard. One of the tribes that migrated into the Hohenloher Ebene region was distinguished on the battlefield as well as in peacetime pursuits by an insignia of footgear which was fastened to their banner. In this way, any member of the group was hailed as "Schuh-Mann", and in later years when the use of surnames grew to popularity, this somewhat vague designation was contracted into the definite name of Schumann. A still further contraction to Schum or Schumm was favored for its brevity, and the latter spelling was eventually retained. The Schumm family lived here for centuries. It is closely coupled with the history of the region - the name is genuinely Frankish, and at present is still well known in that locality.


The Hohenloher Ebene today is still off the main traveled roads, and the passing centuries have not detracted from its quaintness and old-world beauty. Modern inventions and the ways of this mechanical age have made negligible impressions upon the community. The peasants on the land, the artisans and shopkeepers in the villages seem to retain an old Frankian spirit and atmosphere, and their legends and their folksongs are replete with tales of bravery of 'their ancestors who laughed and exulted as they repulsed the pride of ancient Rome.

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