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1326  Goswin Frydag de Datlen
Report by Shaun Griffiths - “The German Connection”
Originated June 1999

While I was investigating the history of the German city of Datteln, in June 1999, I came across a mention of a character by the name of Goswin Frydag de Datlen. What particularly intrigued me about this nobleman was the date with which he was associated, 1326.[1]  Before this discovery the Datlen name could only be traced back to around the 1800’s with no firm evidence of where the name originated.

As we know the Datlen name is unique, and so far all modern occurrences of the name have been traced back to the same individual Johannes Datlen. I was certain that there had to be a link between Johannes and Goswin and that the source of the name could be Germany. I investigated further.

Datteln lies in the North Rhine-Westphalia region about 6.8 miles (10.8 km) North East of the city of Recklinghausen and the earliest documented reference was in the papal bull of Pope Eugene III in 1147. At this time Datteln was a village by the name of Datlen over the centuries as the village grew the name became corrupted to Dattelen and finally Datteln.[2]

The history of Datteln and it’s associated genealogy is documented on a website created by Martin Bittscheidt. Martin lives in the town, as did his ancestors. He writes:-

There have been a number of noble families associated with the area namely von Dati and von Datteln. Arnold von Datteln was the 1458 Administrator, (chief clergy) of the cathedral of Frauenburg.[2]

Datteln ShieldA link from Martin’s page took me to another website which outlined the history of Datteln. A paragraph on the website explains that in the year 1928 the Prussian state ministry approved the city to display a crest. The crest displays a white (silver) ring within a black field and a black cross within the white (silver) field.  The ring was taken from the seal of Goswyn Frydag de Datlen from the year 1326.  The cross and the black and white colors are from the Cologne Crest of the Vestes Recklinghausen.[1]

I sent an eMail to Martin explaining my interest in the Datlen name and asked if he could provide any more information which may help me. He replied that centuries ago there were a number of families with the Datlen name living in the area but they have all since moved away or died out. He checked the local telephone directory but was unable to find any Datlen names listed.

Goswin is mentioned again in another website which I had translated from German[3]. The text below seems to describe a dispute between parishes concerning the precise location of two properties.

700 yrs. Schulte-Hubbert Manor and Family

The cloister Flaesheim acquired two Manor Estates: The Wiesman Manor and the Schulte-Hubbert Manor. Both were described as being located in the community of Rapen/Bekerapen. When in fact Schulte Hubbert is located in Gross-Erkenschwick.

A history about Datteln, written by Pastor Jansen explains that the arguments about the locations of the properties date back to 1325, between the St. Amandus Church in Datteln and the Church in Recklinghausen.

On old maps it shows that the Schulte-Hubbert Manor in the 1600 belonged to the St. Amandus parish, but after that became part of Recklinghausen parish.

The provisoren Hoffstede and Bienenhof swore at the altar of the Holy Amandus as to the accuracy. Attending witnesses were Goswin Vrydach de Datlen AKA Frydach, and others.

As far as I can tell, it was decided that the historical locations of the property were to be maintained. Incidentally, the St. Amandus church was destroyed by air raids in August 1945 and rebuild in 1948.

I also came across a Johan Joest van Datlen, this time the date was 1564. The text explains another legal issue in the High Court of Recklinghausen and Johan was again a witness[4]. My translator explains that:

It was about the Goessink Estate (Manor) and had to do with the dimensions of the property, a dispute between Joh. von Westrem and Diedrich von Groll, representing the cloister. Johan Joest van Datlen and Hermann Stroer, as burgher, or citizens of Recklinghausen were the sworn witnesses.

The matter was not appropriately resolved, therefore appealed and moved to another authority: The Archbishop Friedrich in Köln (Cologne) for trial.

I cannot find any further information of Goswin Frydach de Datlen or Johan Joest van Datlen but my German translator supposes that they were feudal lords of the region.

PS: Shaun
I also searched for "Kopfsteuerbeschreibung Recklinghausen" tax lists, since I found much in that category for my hometown. There was good info i.e. Datteln was part of Amt Ahus(Ahaus) in the middle ages, and almost all documents are at the Landarchiv (state archive)

Münster (Muenster) May be research there could help you more. I would assume that von Datlen was a Feudal Lord in the region, there were about 100 of them at the time.

Personally I do not think that there is a link between these early Datlen’s and the Datlen’s of today. Unless the early Datlen name became corrupt over the ceturies to a form of Dietlein and by some strange quirk of fate the name was corrupted back to Datlen when Johannes arrived in England.

[1]  The Datteln City official website.
[2]  Martin Bittscheidt’s Ancestors website - This link is no longer valid but you can see the webpage image here.
[3]  The local history Oer Erkenschwicks and its closer environment: Sch-Hubbert/1325-Streit-Amandus-St-Peter.htm
[4]  The Recklinhausen City Archives:


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