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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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The Heckroth Family Tree

Someone got in touch asking what I knew about the Heckroth family as they thought they were related (it's odd the things I get asked).

I was already in touch with Hein's grandson, Christian Routh and he passed the request on to his brother Jodi who gives some details of the Heckroth family tree.

Jodi wrote:

Dear Mr. Rohde,

     Steve Crook, a friend of my brother in spain, Christian Routh, has passed on a letter enquiring over the family name HECKROTH, I am the elder (52) of two brothers decending from Nandi Routh, nee Heckroth, born in Giessen. Germany in 1926. Our German Grandparents are Hein and Ada Heckroth. Hein Heckroth was born the son of a schoolteacher in Giessen in 1901, he had two brothers with descendents and a sister without any. Their father worked as a odd-jobber mainly as a shepherd in the country between Marburg and Giessen, he, so I was told as a child came from a long line of shepherds. The name Heckroth means quite simply Red-Hedge, the name Heckenrohde, means Hedgecutter. it was normal practise in bygone times to adress someone by their profession using their Christian name as a prefix, i.e: I would be called Jodi Cameraman instead of Jodi Routh.

     During the fight for power against the British Government from various parties in America, many of which today would be classed as terrorists, the British were able to secure the help of, amongst others, the Prince of Hesse, he sold soldiers by the boatload, offering payment and the chance of allotting land should they win, Several thousand men were shipped out of Karlshaven in northern Hesse, downriver reaching Hamburg and Bremen for the journey over to America. between 1700 and 1760 most of the young men of the area around what is now northern Hesse emigrated as mercenries to fight for the British, due to many difficulties in the pronounciation of names, a vast number assumed the name of their background and upbringing.

     Rhode is a town in itself here but there are many placenames ending in Rhode as it is part of the local dialect of northern Hesse. Heckroth is a name that many a farmworker would assume for themselves, as in Heckenrohde, Heckmann, oder Oberroden: a village north of Frankfurt.

     I hope this is of help with understanding of the origin of your name, I myself have a family tree dating back to 1066 when our family changed it's name from De Surdeval (Flagbearer of William the Conqueror.) There are traces from where Richerd de Surdeval came from in Reims - France, but as the name says when translated we were From the Valley, and thats enough for me.

Regards Jodi Routh

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