Ober-OlmThe oldest known ancestors of the Quedlinburg Sehrbundts lived in Ober-Olm in Rheinhessen, near Mainz. The place formerly belonged to the Electorate of Mainz, and was Catholic.
One Anton Serbont is mentioned the first time in Ober-Olm in 1681. This seems to be the more "original" spelling of the name; in Ober-Olm, it is the most frequent spelling, and only the documentation in Quedlinburg changes it to Sehrbundt. Anton's son Christian married in Ober-Olm in 1693, and therefore should have been born before 1673 and probably came there as a child or youngster, together with his father. The same holds true for a daughter named Elisabeth, who marries in 1695. Two younger children of Anton are born in 1681 and 1687.
The father of Johann Peter Sehrbundt who later appeared in Quedlinburg is named as Johann Jakob. He, however, cannot be definitely connected to Anton's family. Johann Jakob's marriage entry of 1702 just says that he was unmarried before, the parents' names are not mentioned. But from all that we know, there is no other Serbont in Ober-Olm who might be the father, and therefore one needs to conclude that Johann Jakob, too, is one of Anton's children. In this case he probably was born shortly before the family's appearance in Ober-Olm. When a new minister took up his services in the place in 1688, he compiled a list of community members, headed "Nomina inscriptorum". In this list, only Anton and Christian Serbont appear. If we assume that children from the age of 14 onwards are regarded as normal community members, the son Christian should have been born before 1674, and all his (surviving) siblings after that date. Johann Jakob, then, should have been born between 1674 and 1681.
Anton Serbont is mentioned as "murarius et civis" in a christening entry of 1700, as a bricklayer and citizen. Since 1696, he and his son Christian now and again act as sponsors at the christenings held by other families in Ober-Olm. At least since then, they seem to belong to the "established" families in the place. Christian in 1699 also is mentioned as a "consul", council member. Johann Jakob, the father of the Quedlinburg soldier, is not as prominent in the records; he acts as a sponsor only in 1730 and 1738.
It seems that especially the families Becker and Metzler were closely connected to the Serbont family; members of each family act as sponsors for the other. Both families already were living in Ober-Olm and the near vicinity (especially in Klein-Winternheim) when the Thirty Years' War started. The connection with these families may have contributed to the fact that the Serbont relatively fast became established members of the Ober-Olm inhabitants. On the other hand, Anna Schultheiß, the first wife of Christian Serbont, probably belongs to the descendancy of the barrel maker Georg Schultheiß from "Milscheim, Franconia", who had been living in Ober-Olm since 1640.
Until now, we do not know what became of the other members of the Serbont family. Two male name bearers married in Ober-Olm in 1733 and 1742, but they seem to have moved away afterwards. After 1761, there is no trace at all of this family in Ober-Olm. One "Italian bricklayer" Joseph Sermont appears in 1712 and 1717 in the place, but in spite of the similarity of the family name, there is no discernible connection to the Serbont family.
Johann Jakob Serbont married Elisabeth Öhlig in 1702. For her, too, no parents are mentioned in the marriage entry, but her father probably was Johann Peter Öhlig or Elich, who first appears in Ober-Olm in 1667, coming "ex Bronschweigen ex opido Weissenboren", i.e. coming from the Braunschweig area.
Ober-Olm, like the whole area, suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Then in 1666, the plague went through the place and claimed up to four victims per day in the summer of this year - whereas in "normal" years, there were only a few deaths in the whole year. The gaps left by this catastrophe were filled in again by people moving to Ober-Olm. Only until the 1660s, the church records with more detailed entries contain information about where these people came from. Between 1669 and 1686, the church records are extremely fragmentary resp. non existing at all, so that especially for the time most interesting in regards to the origin of the Serbont family, around 1681, we do not know which areas were the sources for this movement.
An analysis of the places of origin mentioned in the church records shows that most of the new settlers came from two areas: the Rheingau and the area around Frankfurt on the one hand, and the region between Luxemburg, the Eifel mountains and Lothringen on the other hand. Because Serbont seems to be a West European name rather than one from the Frankfurt area, the origin of the Serbont family settling in Ober-Olm probably has to be searched for between France and the Netherlands.
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