Fritz Corcilius wrote the following entitled "Direct Forebearer Lineage Story":
[translated from high German by Christel Herman in 2003]
Firstly to notice, that our direct lineage in part, goes back a long way, even though I was unable to trace all of the webs of connectedness.
The story of our ancestors, who carry our name, originates from today's border country between Belguim and Germany. In 1600 was this area naturally German, and later was divided by Holland and Germany, and later still into Belguim, Holland and Germany.
One could assume that, the Corciliuses came from the Raerened(?) area and that we are a pottery guild (company?). Originally, they were called Courcelles (proof: Peter Courcelles, named Corselius, came from Lowen (Lions) -- see the appropriate tables). Around 1620, a Servatius Corcilles wandered into Grenzhausen (border haouse) and settled down in the grounds by permission of the Count of Wied, as a potter.
The Count (graf) of Wied, was known to have been dedicated to the uplifting of the economy of his area, and tried to attract craftspeople to this end. Under this policy there were potters settled also from Siegburg and the Raerender(?) pottery area, among them, Servatius Corcilles.
In 1648 we see another Tilmann Corcilles registered as hand craftsman as a new settler. It is not yet clear, if this Tilmann Corcilles was a son of Servatius or a new settler. Tilmann had a brother Johannes Corcilius and a brother Peter Corcilius. From these 3 are linked most of the Grenzhausen Corciliuses. If there were other lines from Servatius who died about 1648, I don't know.
In 1712, a Johannes Corcilius moved to Nordhofen and was our direct ancestor. He was born in 1684 in Grenzhausen and could have been the son of Johann Wilhelm Corcilius whose appointment to toil(?) is clearly registered in the Court's records from Grenzhausen in 1682. It is further more probable that Johann Wilhelm Corcilius ... a son of Tilmann.
Corcilius was, because he was not only the follwer at Court, but inherited the office in the year of Tilmann's death. Our direct line follows through onto my grandfather Fredrick Wilhelm Corcilius in Nordhofen, who wandered in about 1890 to Bonn, where my father, Ernst Corcilius was born, moved then to Koln, where my father later married and where I was born in 1919.
A son from Peter Corcilius, also moved to Nordhofen, around 1680 (Georg Corcilius) and became a church master. This line died out later on.
A son of Hans Emmerich Corcilius (son of Johannes Corcilius, a brother of Tilmann) called Wilhelm, also moved to Nordhofen. Still at this time, there are ancestors of both Johannes and Wilhelm Corcilius who live in Nordhofen and its surrounding area.
The local families that these Corciliuses married into, probably in part, belonged to a long line of local inhabitants. I believe in part that the name Hummerich goes back to the Frankenzeit (time of the Franks) and in reality from Hummerich, the front man of a Hundertschaft (hundred ?).
In contrast, names like Caesar and Remy were immigrants. Caesar belongs to the theological family Caesar (Kayser) who came to Germany from Switzerland around 1400. Remy came from the Elsab(?). Look to the appropriate family lines (Alsace?).
Muzelius is a priestly guild whose origin I couldn't trace.
Heymann is an old upper mountain family unit whose origin I couldn't clearly trace. They first appeared in 1750 when they enetered the area around Dierdorf. The name appeared in Nassau and Koln (1400) but I couldn't find any connections.
The family Brinkmann, my mother's, originated without exception from the Niederburg area between Werden (Essen-Werden) and Mettmann near Dusseldorf. All these families are very ancient and can be traced back to 1200 and 1300. So from the estate (Hof) of Tom Brink between Velbert and Werden, circa 1300.
The ancestors of Irene Corcilius, born Martinez, originate in Spain and in 1600, emigrated to Italy. The German side, Sturm, comes from Thuringen(?), the side Fuchs (Fox) from the Lahn area.
Even though the family history is somewhat ephemerous -- because we didn't create stories or history -- there shows an intense search of the archives whose formation goes back to the court records of earlier times, certain familiar characteristics. In an old description from Grenzhausen, it is said that the inhabitants were especially freedom loving and independent, and for a long time, refused to buckle under to the will and force of the authorities. This complaint -- because that's what it was, is aimed specifically at our family: Georg Wilhelm Corcilius, secretary of Court in Grenzhausen, had had enough of the fact that the entire population should bear the cost for the frivolities of the regal hunts and outings and the country festivals. These costs weren't cheap and stunted the income of the inhabitants.
So when Georg Wilhelm's complaints had no effects, he started a small revolution aided and abetted by his brother Johannes and several other Corcilii. He did this by trying to bring the whole town of Grenzhausen into the stewardship of the Kurfursten (Count) of Trier, an enemy of the Count of Wied. They did fail and had to flee, but only 2 km to Hohr which belonged to the Trier jurisdiction. It is no wonder that this 'revolution' survives as a thick document in the archives at Neuwied. In those times, it would certainly have been a death sentence for a simple man to take on a count and try to steal a whole town from him.
If in these kinds of affairs, the independent will comes to manifest, then so too the drive to see things rightly done. It is amazing how many positions as law court officials and councelors were filled by the Corcilius family in Grenzhofen. And when the universal mind manifests, we have the religious trend. No family had more Kirchenmeister (master of churches) and synodschoffen(?) than ours in Grenzhausen.
The few lamentable professions that the priests chose to name in their death registry -- show this clearly. In none of the numerous church books that I worked through, did I find much of any kind of job information about the deceased, so making this very special and of high interest regarding the Corcilius character.
We mustn't imagine either that the potter side of the family were so humble either. A peruse through the archives establish that the potters, until at least 1700, sold their wares throughout the land and even in neighboring countries, taking dangerous journeys, avoiding the division of the spoils by using middlemen. This involved large sums of money, without being insured, and the archives point to many adventures befalling the travelling potters.
Originally the family members would have done well for themselves, as the court documents for returning salespeople show. Moreover, later on, the division of goods at inheritance and the amount of children, lead to lesser returns. This is what is shown on the tax records and so on. This is what might have been the reason for Johann Wilhelm to emigrate to Nordhofen, (and through marriage?) arranged for a better life for himself.
This estate (Hof) still exists today. Much is not known about the various inhabitants. At a visit in the year 1957 to this place, I not only got to know it but also met a 90 year old inhabitant who still remembered my great grandfather.
According to his tales, all the Corcilius were known for their strong build. He said that they were the most stately and the most handsome people in the region. And they were known for never avoiding a brawl. These things came to them like treasures. Especially the stature and the fighting joy were embodied in my grandfather Fredrich Wilhelm. He was a strong bony man with an extraordinary independence and a mightier physical strength.
Todays still living owner of the Hof, this Otto Corcilius, a nephew? cousin? of my grandfathers, told me that my grandfather farmed the land, learned the art of potting and tried to earn a bit extra on the side by running a little 'things' shop. But this was so quickly curtailed by his father, earning him a cuff over the ear. As at the same time, his fiance went to the carnival without him, he disengaged her, took the next best, namely Hermine Heymann, my grandmother, to wife, and left house and farm and moved with her to Bonn. Here he became a packer in a furniture removalists firm, then foreman and later, transport overseer. He traveled a lot but not with his wife. He would regret his independence and hardness at times. The estate fell to the next in line.
As I know my grandfather until I was 13, I noticed the unmistakable similarity to nephew Otto. They resembled each other tremondously. Still more, their hands amazed me as they were so similar and inherited. I too have the same hand (long bony fingers, a bent pointing finger and so on).