My 6th great grandparents, Caspar Elias Diller and Anna Maria Dornis, were married 23 October 1719 at the Evangelische Kirche in Guanagelloch, a small village 13km southeast of Heidelberg. During our first visit to the Kirche in Guanagelloch, we encountered a man shoveling snow from the front walks who was happy to let us into the Kirche and turn on the lights for us. He gave Shirin, my amazing translator and driver, a book with info on how to contact the Kirche secretary, who he said had the old records for the Kirche. He explained the history of the Kirche and showed us a wall hanging that depicted the original Kirche and the later modifications.
Shirin contacted the secretary and made an appointment to see the records. The Kirche secretary was one of the nicest people we’ve met during our genealogy research forays. She not only let us have full access to the old records book in her office, she helped us translate some of the old German script and was excited when we located the records for the Diller family. When she learned that my 6th great grandmother was a Dornis, she indicated that a Dornis descendant was a friend of hers and gave Shirin the phone number to contact her friend to see what information she has and if she knows if there is a Dornis family bible. She also introduced us to her father, who indicated that the Dornis family was originally from the nearby village of Mauer. We went to Mauer, but the kirche secretary was on leave and Shirin will contact her when she returns after the holidays.
Our efforts in Guanagelloch were rewarded with photos of my 6th great grandparents’ marriage and the baptismal records for several of their children. Several trees on ancestry have information on the Diller family and there are several family histories published after the family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1732. However, none of the trees have photos of the original entries in the Evangelische Kirche records.