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The Hugenot Legend is wellknown to almost all of the living Hemprichs by oral tradition. Hence, the Hemprichs allegedly descend from French Hugenots, who migrated to Prussia after the invitation of the Prussian King (Edict of Potsdam, 1685). According to this theory, the name Hemprich is derived from the French noble name „Chevalier de Hempricourt" or "Hunprichourt". The Hugenot Legend ist closely related to the Hemprich-Branch of Tangermuende because the origin of this branch was unknown for a long time and is still some kind of uncertain today. According to the tradition, a descendant of the Tangermuende Branch has formulated the Hugenot Legend already in the 19th century. Since then, the legend has spread over all Hemprichs – in the Tangermuende as well as in the Mansfeld Branch.

 

 

However, based on the available facts, the Hugenot Legend seems to be very unlikely:

  • Research results from the Tangermuende Branch indicate an origin from the Mansfeld Branch with high probability.
  • The literature about the derivation of names, derives the name Hemprich from a Germanic given name.
  • A really plausible French predecessor-name for Hemprich is not known. Most closely comes the name “de Hemricourt” of a noble family in Liege, Belgium.
  • The consequence of a Hugenot derivation would be that the name Hemprich would have developed in two different ways. Since the name Hemprich is documented in the Mansfeld county already in 1643 and therefore, 40 years before the Hugenot immigration, the origin of the name would have to be explained differently in the Mansfeld and the Tangermuende Branch.
  • Documented by church records since 1726, the family members of the Tangermuende Branch belonged to the Lutheran religion. There are no facts known, which indicate a different religion or a change in religion. Furthermore, one would not expect religious fugitives like the Hugenots, who left their country for religious reasons, to easily change their religion.

In spite of all the mentioned doubts, the fascination of the Hugenot Legend is a kind of family band that is shared by all of today’s Hemprichs.

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