8th Gathering 2011

Dear Forker, Forkert, Furker and Furkert,

our 8th Gathering has taken place and we can proudly say it was a successful meeting. Because with 85 family members and 8 guests and an informative and entertaining program, there was something for everyone. The date of the meeting was August 27, 2011, of course, as always, in the inheritance court of Langenwolmsdorf OT in 01833 Stolpen.

Here the participants next to the inheritance court.
Photo: Uwe Rosendahl

You can read here what the SZ-Sebnitz wrote in advance of the 8th meeting.

MINUTES of the 8th FORKER GATHERING in the Restaurant “Erbgericht” to Langenwolmsdorf
on August ,27th 2011

LeitungJoachim Forker (Düsseldorf)
ReferentenJoachim Forker (Düsseldorf)
KirchenvertreterPfarrerin Frau Brigitte Schleinitz
Kirchnerin Frau Siegrid Bürger
Kantor Herr Erik Sirrenberg
EhrengästeHerr Uwe Steglich, Bürgermeister der Stadt Stolpen
Frau Erika Dürr Ortschaftsrat, in Vertretung des Orts-Vorstehers OT Lwd.
Herr Jan Barowsky
GästeEhepaar Uwe und Edeltraut Rosendahl (Braunschweig)
Herr Werner Philipp (Ottendorf- Okrilla)
Herr Siegfried Rüger Pirna)
Ehepaar Ralph und Edith Jatzke (Langenwolmsdorf)
PresseZeitungsartikel vor der Veranstaltung
UnterhaltungDas Duo „Zwei Vagabunden“
Matthias Bergmann (Rathmannsdorf)
Helmut Preuß (Stolpen)
ProtokollKlaus Forker (Lohmar)
Familienangehörigeeingeladen mit Datum 18.01.2011
angemeldet bis 28.07.11
entschuldigt gefehlt
ohne Mitteilung ferngeblieben
unangemeldet erschienen
gesamt anwesend
(representieren 45 Familien)
Gesamtzahl (plus 8 Gäste)
309 Personen
82    – ,, –
9    – ,, –
7    – ,, –
19    – ,, –
85    – ,, –93    – ,, –

Programmpunkte und Ablauf

i. Church visit 2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m
Joachim warmly welcomes guests and family members on behalf of his brother Armin, whose state of health after a hospital stay does not yet allow him to attend the family reunion.
The cantor, Herr Sirrenberg, introduces the prayer with the prelude by Buxtehude.
Pastor Frau Schleinitz first explains why she will remember the ancestors of the Forker family from a church point of view. She is the deputy pastor in Stolpener Land and looks after 4 parishes. Times have changed and the areas of responsibility are expanding.
Pastor Popp’s successor is scheduled to start work on September 1st, 2011.
The pastor and congregation read Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd” alternately.
Then the stanzas 1 – 5 of the song 317 “Lobe den Herren” are sung together.
Frau Schleinitz reports that she knows from her husband’s family that genealogical research is an interesting thing. For example, you try to find answers to the questions who are my ancestors, where did they live, where do I come from.
Assumptions then turn into certainties over time. With the Forkers, traces lead from Saxony / Silesia / Poland to the English-speaking area of Scotland. From there the ancestors would have set out to look for new, “mostly better” living conditions. However, changes caused by departure are not a new topic. Explanations on this can already be found in the story of creation (1st book of Moses, 12th chapter, verses 1-4).
Abraham “old name Abram” receives an unmistakable command from God to leave his fatherland, his relatives and the house of his fathers and, despite his old age, to move to a country that he will show him. Obediently, Abraham and his entourage embark on the arduous journey into the unknown, simply believing in God’s promise to become the father of a great people and to possess the hitherto unknown land. God promises to bless him and that he will be a blessing to others. Trust in God forms a secure and sustainable foundation in this situation.
It has always been the case that every departure means leaving the familiar behind, having patience for new paths, mastering unknown situations and taking risks, the consequences of which are often not foreseeable.
Their ancestors found themselves in the same situation when they turned their backs on Scotland and certainly dared to set off into uncertainty with a great deal of trust in God. Even today there are many reasons for such a step. Living conditions can become unbearable, assignments have to be carried out elsewhere, or young people feel that their homeland is too narrow and would like to get to know the world.
In today’s modern world, airplanes make rapid changes of location possible. Mobile phones and computers contribute to the acquisition of knowledge and speed up the exchange of information. Things have gotten easier these days. However, experience teaches that things don’t always go smoothly. It is true that God grants us with the blessing the favor to overcome difficulties with his help. With our unshakable faith in the almighty creator, we build on his reliability. As the forefather of trust, Abraham shows that this basic attitude is essential for existence in life.
Mrs. Schleinitz wished those present good conversations for the weekend, to get to know each other differently than before, to be able to feel the trust mentioned, to experience the blessing and to be able to be a blessing for others
The sung song 170, stanzas 1 – 4 “Come Lord bless us” ( blessing song ) underlines the wishes. Armin in Leipzig is also included in the final prayer.
Herr Sirrenberg concludes with Thomas Adams’ Allegro Pomposo.
Conclusion At the ringing of the bells, the participants gather in front of the Forker memorial plaque to offer a visible homage to the ancestors. As a greeting, a bundle of sunflowers is placed at the memorial. The Kirchnerin, Ms. Bürger, had previously decorated the tombstone resting under the plaque with a bouquet of autumn flowers
Mrs. Schleinitz gives the church blessing.

ii. Obligatory family photo in front of the entrance to the church grounds, 2:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m
see above.

iii. Greetings 3:10 p.m – 3:15 p.m
Joachim explains that his brother Prof. Armin Forker should greet the guests in his place, but unfortunately he is ill and still needs to recover. Let’s wish him a speedy recovery from here.
Joachim dedicates the warm welcome to the esteemed guests and the dear relatives, especially the dear well-known and still unknown Forker, Forkert, Furker and Furkert.
He was particularly pleased that the invitation was so well received and, above all, that some of them were taking part in the meeting in Langenwolmsdorf, the place of origin of our widely ramified family, for the first time.
A special greeting goes to the mayor of Stolpen, Mr. Uwe Steglich, and Ms. Erika Dörr, who represents the mayor of Langenwolmsdorf, Mr. Jan Barowski.
BM Steglich wishes the event every success and that the audience take home new insights from the encounter. He appeals to remain loyal to Langenwolmsdorf, to stop by from time to time and to come back soon.
Get well wishes for Armin are expressed.
Unfortunately, official duties require his presence in Rathen, which can celebrate two events, namely the 75th anniversary of the Felsenbühne and 750 years of existence of the place. He asks for your understanding that he has to leave the family reunion immediately
Ms. Dörr conveys the greetings of the local council and Mr. Barowski. In a free speech, she reports on innovations in the village, e.g. the purchase of a fire truck, the creation of more childcare places in the daycare center, the renovation of the gymnasium and the repair of the damage caused by the floods that hit the village twice within 14 days.
Mrs. Dörr admits that she is not a Saxon. Born in Kehl and staying in Constance, Lwd became the center of her life. Taking on a voluntary position and the unprejudiced reception of the residents made it easier for her to settle in and let her feel at home quickly.

iv. Explanations of the descendants – graphics, 3:15 p.m – 3:25 p.m
Joachim presents some aspects of the branching of the Forker family and the exhibited descendants graphics. In the greeting he named all the bearers of the name Forker-Forkert, Furker and Furkert, because over the past few years, while dealing with the ancestors, he has become certain that the origin of all these bearers of the name lies here in the immediate vicinity of Stolpen Castle.
So, those Forkers with a u im or a t at the end of their name are not strangers, they are family.
Because according to the old principle (before Grimm’s dictionary and the Duden!) always applied – written as heard and these variations of our name have existed since that time. Today, such a development is hardly imaginable, at least in the German-speaking world.
However, what has not been clarified to this day is the question of where the namesake come from, whose ancestors settled in Lower Silesia in the villages around Grünberg (today Zielena Gora in Poland). Are these branches of the Scots who have settled here around Stolpen – or are they direct descendants of Scottish settlers? More on that later in the second part of the lecture after drinking coffee.
When registering, each registered participant received a textile sticker with the request to wear it visibly during the meeting. The name tag identifies the wearer with the first name and two or up to three numbers separated by a slash. The first number designates the earliest known ancestor (top ancestor). The second number stands for the personal code. If there are three numbers, the first two – because of the size of the printouts – refer to the respective main and sub-sheet. With the help of the first number you can find out which descendant graphic you have to look at first. The last number (personal code) then helps to find relevant information on the right side of the printout. At the right end of each line, if information has been provided, are one’s own descendants – children or even grandchildren.
Should several of them meet before an expression, it is easy to determine through whom they are related to each other.
However, the printouts accessible here show only a large part of the result of the continuous search since 1928, because in the meantime a total of 6500 people and 2000 marriages have been recorded via the daughter lines that have become known.
In addition, the various graphics that do not refer to the top ancestors of our main line No. 127 show that many lines are still waiting for further research.
The coffee break now offers the opportunity to look at the printouts and to be happy about the new insights gained. If anything inaccurate is noticed, we ask for relevant information. Joachim encourages people to enjoy the Stolpener coffee and cake and appeals to support further genealogical research with a small donation.

v. Drinking coffee together, 3:25 p.m – 4:30 p.m
The Nestroys and their nimble employees serve “coffee and cake” a la carte.
In front of the printed genealogical tables, numerous interested people come together to talk.
Jürgen from Seevetal takes the initiative and thanks Joachim on behalf of all participants for his tireless work. Not everything could be done through selfless work, because the organizational preparations required financial effort, which should be borne jointly. He announces that he will use his collecting skills to supplement the budget for the purpose mentioned.
His request was generously granted.

vi. News from family research over the past three years, 4:30 p.m – 4:55 p.m
Joachim reports that he essentially focused on the search for further ancestors in the many still fragmentary lineages, which mostly end in the surrounding villages.
His work was increasingly accompanied by difficulties. On the one hand it is the great distance between home and research facility, on the other hand the dwindling opportunity to look at the church registers on site. As a result of the strained budgetary situation, fewer pastors would be available, and the congregations would inevitably have to be merged; current example, the four in Stolpener Land. This increases the areas of responsibility and the tasks to be performed for those affected.
The task of supervising the inspection of the church records falls behind due to a lack of time. The support of parish office employees can hardly be expected. They also had no time for concerns – and only a few would be able to decipher the old German chancellery handwriting. Written inquiries are usually processed slowly and 30 euros are charged for an hour’s search time.
As has already happened elsewhere, in the foreseeable future the church books in the local area will also be filmed and then only be viewable in the central church archive in Dresden, currently on two reading devices with limited reading time. The church books up to 1874 are important cultural assets – to be precise, church action books for baptisms, marriages and deaths – of general interest that are no longer subject to data protection.
Despite the difficulties since, it has been possible to complete some lines, for example to connect the Forkerts from Hamburg to other ancestors in Polenz; but also some Bühlau, Dresden and Frankfurt Forkert received certainty that their ancestors came from Langenwolmsdorf via detours – for me an edification, maybe also for the addressees.
Following on from his experiences, Joachim welcomes those present, dear genealogy friends, Mr. Uwe Rosendahl and his wife, as well as Messrs. Werner Philipp and Siegfried Rüger – all three have repeatedly contributed data to forker research.
In his outlook, Joachim comes back to the thesis that the Forkers are descendants of Scottish immigrants.
He has described in detail on the homepage what speaks for it, but not all family members will be aware of it at the moment.
Therefore, essential aspects briefly again

  1. The spelling – Forgkwer – of the name in the early church registers of Langenwolmsdorf, Polenz and Lauterbach.
  2. The original Scottish spelling – Farqhuar – and pronunciation – Forker -.
  3. A copy of an original Scottish birth certificate of Adam Farquhar, born in 1720, written by the American Immigration Service – Forker.
  4. The fact that 35,000 Scottish families settled in Poland in the 15th century.
  5. That in the finding aid “Scots in Poland, Russia and the Baltic States 1550-1850” by the Scotsman David Dobson, the name Farqhuar is authenticated a number of times, among many others.
  6. Forker must have immigrated after the Reformation, otherwise there would have been a significantly larger number and spread of the family at this time.

The question then arises, are we now Catholic Scots or Evangelical-Lutheran Saxons?

Joachim assumes the former, but one does not know for sure – it remains with hypotheses. In order to turn these hypotheses into a fact, modern genetic research can help to gain new insights. With their possibilities it was possible to determine how close a group of German and Scottish Forkers is, e.g. how many generations ago both groups had a common ancestor or whether both groups descended from completely separate ancestors.

This project has occupied him for several years. He thinks he wants to deal with it intensively in the near future. Interested parties can contact him. Unfortunately, the lecture planned in the invitation was cancelled: – DNA genealogy – what can it offer us? The speaker had to cancel her participation in the meeting at short notice.

On the future of the family association, he states:

When he started family research in 1988 and shortly thereafter decided to organize the first family reunion, he had no idea how the whole thing would develop. The 8th meeting is now taking place. So far, however, no one has offered to organize the meetings, apart from the management team, which has meanwhile shrunk due to age and was headed above all by the late honorary president Hans Georg Forker.

Apparently the group members didn’t point out explicitly enough during the past meetings that they too are getting older – but now it would be time to find interested people from the large family who are willing to take on the organization of the family reunion 2014, so on the event does not necessarily have to be omitted
Joachim says it’s high time to pass the baton on. For just one person, the work required is too much in the long run, especially since the age and the distance between Düsseldorf and Langenwolmsdorf are also significant.
He would like to continue archiving the database and presenting it on the Internet so that the material that has been researched for 83 years remains accessible. The next meeting must definitely be organized by someone else. That’s why he’s already encouraging people to think seriously about who should be entrusted with the various tasks. If we diverge here, the problem will probably quickly be forgotten. So dear ones present, enter yourselves today and here and talk to me about this.
In his appeal, Joachim addresses his family members in the Dresden area and in Saxony as a whole, because surprisingly, hardly any Forkers live in Stolpen and its immediate vicinity.
His brother Armin would have emphatically presented these points of view here. So he also acts in his interest as well as in the interest of Klaus, who took over the reception with his dear Waltrud and writes the excellent reports of the meeting, which can be read on the website of the family association on the Internet.
Note by the minute taker: Regarding the above. Group of people also includes Inge (D’dorf), who actively supports her husband Joachim in every respect.
If anyone has any questions, please get in touch.
After thanks for the attention, a short break and the musician duo “Zwei Vagabunden” are mentioned.
Klaus ( Minutes ) uses the opportunity and confirms Joachim’s statements, names specific preparatory steps and addresses the consequences if support for Joachim fails to materialize.
With regard to the family brochure that was once published, he was asked several times whether copies were still available. Unfortunately the first edition is out of print. A supplemented new edition would have to be decided in due course if there was enough interest. Requests in this regard should be brought to Joachim.

vii. Entertainment with the “Two Vagabonds”, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m
They had waited patiently for their performance in a quiet corner of the hall, almost unnoticed. When called upon, the two entertainers from Rathmannsdorf and Stolpen, radiating vigor and joie de vivre, reach the presidency table and set down their instruments, accordion, mandolin, flute, guitar and soprano saxophone, ready to hand. According to reports, they provide vocal and instrumental accompaniment at events of all kinds, e.g. at the Elbhangfest, at the autumn market in Dresden, at Stolpen Castle and the Rathener Felsenfest as well as in the Neustadthalle or even today in the Erbgericht in Langenwolmsdorf.
The ice is quickly broken and the listeners are encouraged to pay more attention. From their rich repertoire of old popular hit melodies, folk and homeland songs, folklore and lively international light music, the following titles are heard like fireworks in different performance forms />
– de säsche Loreley ( a Saxon ballad by Lene Vogt ),
– the song of the sun, because today is raining,

  • “Renate, Renate, the chic and your charm pleases” in honor of Renate from Refrath,
  • Sing a song if you
    – Song of the blast furnace ( high on the yellow wagon ),
  • When all the fountains flow,
    – Aunt Emma shop in Bad Schandau, what was there in the old days,
    – Forkerline = mandolin = soft-stringed,
    – The beautiful women are always right,
  • Nothing beats cosiness
    – in the Lusatian dialect – Gustavs Loatschen,
    – Schunkel waltz – Mis a ra, mis a ra -,
    – a Quickstep – dance with accordion and soprano saxophone,
  • I know what you’re missing
    – “Hole in the wall” in samba rhythm and
  • Quiet and cosinessThe two musicians say goodbye with the song “Do I have to go out to the Stätele”, accompanied by enthusiastic applause from the audience. They fully lived up to their reputation of being in a class of their own.
    This officially ends the 8th Forker meeting.

viii. To the finish
Joachim answers the concerns of a number of questioners. Meanwhile, helping hands bring the exhibit materials into transport-ready condition so the work doesn’t have to be done on a Sunday morning.
The dining room in the hereditary court is almost completely occupied by the Forkers. The offer of the food and drink menu allows everyone to find something to their liking. The lively exchange of information and ideas only comes to an end when the sandman warns them to leave.