Fritz Corcilius prepared the following Family History for his children Mario and Ulrike Corcilius, March 1956:
[translated from high German by Christel Herman in 2003]
The origin of the family Corcilius seems to go back to Roman times and is said to have its beginning in a Roman commander from the city of Koln. It may be a clue that my uncle Karl Corcilius 1925, at the millenium exhibition of Koln (Cologne) saw a breast plate from a Roman commander with the Corcilius name on it. Thereafter he began to research our family history. His research resulted in the fact that all the members of the family originated from the Westerwald, where the name still appears sparingly. Moreover, my uncle discovered that the name Corcilius, at the time of ... wasn't germanised, therefore being an original latin name, and cannot be translated properly.
We seem to all come from the village called Nordhofen (North estate?) in the Westerwald (Western Forest) in a circle around the small town of ... The ancestors seem to stem from there going back to 1734. They were free men, farmers, owning their own farm (estate?) Hof that was willed from one generation to another. Unfortunately, there were no official records before 1712 (the records first being kept at the instigation of Frederich Wilhelm -- later Frederich II) so it is difficult to determine how the genealogical sequence follows on (further back?).
In 1937, an acquaintance of your Grandmother, found in a place, a candid gentleman named Otto Corcilius, who owned a Coat of Arms. From his family tree, Vater (Father) Jacob Wilhelm (whose son bore the same name) it seems proven, in my opinion, that he was a (cousin?, nephew?) of Jacob Wilhelm Corcilius born 25.12.1791. So its possible we can check the direct family line. The Coat of Arms of the above named Otto carried the year 1733. But where there is a Coat of Arms, there should be more information.
About our forebears, there is almost nothing I can tell you except that they were farmers -- burgers and had Meischlenschlag (which I gather means reputation and the ability to charm others). An old family Bible maybe had more information, but was lost in the ruins of our house after the war.
The Corciliuses were said to have been big, strong and handsome men. Your great grandfather Friederich Wilhelm, whom I knew for many years, was a picture of strength. He was about 190 cm. and had a bullish health. He was the oldest of 9 brothers and sisters and inherited the farm, but he must been very jealous and ... and separated from his engaged lady, who as the rumor went, was a very pretty and rich farmer's girl from Nordhofen who also danced with other guys, and married instead a tiny daughter of a tailor. That was your great grandmother Hermine Heymann. She didn't suit him at all.
Seemingly he was so unhappy, that your great grandfather gave up his farm to the ... to move to Bonn and took up a position as a packer with a furniture transport company. Thanks to his enormous physical strength, he soon was promoted to Head Packer and transport chief for the international section of the company. Because of this, he got to see all of Europe. He arranged for his father Johann Jakob to join him in Bonn and he left the farm to the 2nd eldest son. Johann Jakob Corcilius died in 1902 in Bonn.
Here was born your grandfather Ernst Corcilius. Later he moved to Koln and became a transport chief in the furniture moving company Fredrich "Trampe?" He died there from a stroke which totally lamed him. Thereby he couldn't drink anymore. The head doctor in the hospital Lindenburg was so amazed at his gigantic body and skull structure, that he wanted to buy the skull from us.
I was in my youth often on walks with him and could only wonder at his enormous frame. Character-wise, he was an egotistic, stubborn person with whom it was difficult to get on with. And on top of that, someone who waltzed with the rarest(?) ideas.
I met his sister Emma after several weeks of visiting in the Westerwald. Being nearly 80 years old, she looked nearer 60 with a beauty that puzzled. I heard then that in her youth, she was the prettiest lass in the area of "Selbers?" and once because of her, your great grandfather got into such a fight and got his right eye poked out. He who did this they say, spent a long time not being able to work thereafter.
Also from her I learned things about your great grandfather, how once a full grown steer, which had other ideas than he, lifted it up and set it down in right direction that he wanted it to go. How he fell for a bet, drank 30 raw eggs and how he for fun wrestled with 3 or 4 farmers at once. In 1927 I saw for myself how he on a cousin's farm (his sister Anne's) pushed an oxen to the ground with his bare hands.
Around 1900, as the crown prince once ran over your great grandmother with a .... and the care of her son, your grandfather and to let him study but your grandfather politely refused because he was too proud. Even though he himself earned well. Though not rich, he was comfortable. He left your grandfather no higher class education but put him through ordinary public school.
From my present viewpoint, I have to say that your grandfather, Ernst Corcilius, my father, was a very intelligent man. On the outside he looked like a sensitive man, but was a good sportsman and particularly enjoyed his watersports. It's a pity because he had war wounds (several fragments in his left lung) that brought him down. He died at age 42 because of these injuries.
As Kaufmann (buyer for a company?), he was rightly in his place. In his spare time he liked to study science and especially medicine. In his later pensioner years, he listened to university lectures on medicine. He also had an interest in languages and he had acquired some skill in French, English and Russian. Moreover he had talent for art -- painting and sketching which he loved especially -- and he played several musical instruments. He inherited from his father the angry stubborness that also came across to me. I know also that he had a lot of courage and knew little fear. And a ... with body and soul, that the fatherland came above everything.
Your great grandfather had 3 children: Karl, Paula(?) and Ernst. His son Ernst was your grandfather. Karl, Ernst's brother, was a buyer (merchant?) with ..., strong and wide and built huge. He too had the quick angry temperment. Exactly like his father, he gave up his position because of his wife, as insurance director in Koln and went to "Schlessen?". There he found an inspiring existence as agent for a margarine factory. Something about joining the war in 1939 and fleeing from Russia in '44 and died in 1952 from heavy heart problems. This Karl Corcilius, following the World War, began to study the family history. He was so respectful and worthy (gentlemanly) that he always showed me the utmost respect. The third child, Paula(?), was married to an architect Heimich Albrecht in Berlin. She had 2 sons. Karl-Meinz was in 1945 ... prisoner ..., ... Kurt, the oldest son, also became an architect.
The family of your grandmother, Dorthea Brinkmann, my mother, stems from the ... line from West Preussen, and from the male side from the Ruht area. About these lines, I can't say much, because Fruezno(?), that today lies in Poland, and earlier in the Soviet "Polish corridor" is beyond genealogical research for me. The family from Poland were craftsman, potters, carpenters and so on. Your great grandmother Ida Maria Rohs(?) came as a "basket maker" by way of Berlin to the west and married her into the family Brinkmann, who took advantage of the dawning of the industrial revolution. They were technicians, engineers and mechanics.
Your great grandmother Ida Maria Rohs(?), who was a daily part of my life for 20 years, left an excellent impression on me as a fine person. She was of an easterly type, small and strong, unusually workaholic, loyal and clinging. Until her 72nd year she was of good health, and then suddenly got sick and died. She always had to work, or do something, and I hardly ever saw her sit down. My grandmother left a big hole in the domestic scene upon her demise. She always spoiled me and carried me in her arms. Although a simple person, who encouraged me to work and be busy, I have only the finest thoughts about her.
Your great grandfather August Brinkmann, whom she was married to, was only known to me for a short time as he died when I was 5. His build was small, blond and had the typical look of a Westfalen man. He was a machine master and technician and lastly worked at the Cito-Fahrrad (?) factory in Koln-Klettenberg, that has however long been gone. In his career he must have achieved mightily and been a good mathematician, who on his own worked out a formula, that one can compare to the long known (infinitesmal formula?). He ... not to me. They had 4 children, 2 of whom died early. The 3rd child, Dorthea Brinkmann, is your grandmother, whom you both know. She was married to my father Ernst Corcilius.
Fritz passed on February 23, 1964 at the age of 45.