The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Msgr. Patrick Soden and Peter Soden, Main Street, Cavan

Cavan Cathedral [The Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Phelim]

Building started on this project in 1938 and was completed in 1942. It was dedicated in 1947. Two members of the building committee were Peter Soden of Main Street, Cavan and Rev. Msgr. Patrick Soden in the Diocese of Kilmore.

Construction costs were considerable at the time, over £209,000.

The Cathedral is impressive, large, spacious, majestic with numerous side altars, in the pre-Vatican II orthodox, neo –classical style, a building of proud generous proportions, worthy of a house of prayer for its time. Actually in this original site was the church where the famous sheriff, Jim Brady, , who was killed by Billy the Kid, was baptised.

Christopher Soden , killed in action in France in 1915

1915:- Memorial WW1 records
Private 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers killed in action in France,
24th May,1915 born Kells,Co.Meath.

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial ,
Ypres,Belgium on panel 44 and 46 .He was 39 years 
of age and married to Mary Soden of 29,Upper Kevin 
(Note: The house at 29,Upper Kevin is no longer there having been 
destroyed for road improvements.)
( Brian Thomas,WWI researcher,Nottingham.)
See also Breifne Vol.1/Nr.4 1961 p.385.

Two Brave Germans 

With the German family of the same name Soden and von Soden no definite early link can be established with the English or Irish families. Certainly there are links for later in time in the late 18th century in England and in the 19th century in the USA. Several members of the German families have distinguished themselves in a number of areas, politics, economics, the church and academia.

I believe two in particular are worthy of mention for their bravery and self-sacrifice.

Hans Freiherr von Soden, a German Lutheran Theologian [1881 – 1945] and the Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Carl Oskar Soden [1898 – 1943]

In the midst of all the hatred , bloodshed and violence of the pre-war years, one fine moment in this story was the meeting of the Brown Synod in Berlin in 1938. Dachau concentration camp had been open five years by then for opponents of the Nazi regime. Both Protestant and Catholic clergy were housed together for hard labour and death in Baracke 44. They prayed together. The theologians Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pastor Niemoller and others from the newly formed Confessional Church bravely objected to the use of the Aryan paragraph in the 1933 Constitution of the Lutheran Church. Amongst these others was HANS FREIHERR VON SODEN.

He was born in Dresden on the 4th November,1881.

And Died in Marburg on the 2nd October,1945,

was a German Lutheran Theologian,


a pupil of von Harnacks,

Professor of Church History in Breslau and for

Church History and New Testament,Dogma and Old Christian Art in


He was founder and head of the Confessional Church in Kurhessen

and he was the compiler of the documentation against the use of the

Aryan paragraph in the church in 1933.


Rev.Fr. Carl Oskar von Soden [1898 – 1943] was born raised and educated in Munich till his late twenties. He was a student of politics and philosophy, a journalist and finally studied theology becoming a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Freising. 

In these troubled years of the thirties and the Nazi Party in Germany he was very aware of the pernicious influence being directed at the youth and so in all his parish work he specifically worked with the youth. The authorities had decided to move on him when with the advice of a friend, he escaped to Switzerland, then to Brasil into the United States. Even while in New York he worked with German ex-patriots in his similar situation on plans to frustrate the Nazi agenda. However, the stress and tension of the preceding years took their toll and he died of physical and mental exhaustion in 1943. His mortal remains were returned to the parish of Aufkirchen in 1986 where he had worked previously. His book, ‘Das Falsche Reich’ was published posthumously in 1999.

In this fine work we read the thoughts of a man who believed in the idea of the Social Contract which a government was duty bound to execute with its people. he saw this all demolished with the rule of this pagan, unchristian regime.


Christopher Soden – World War 1 Medal Roll

Brian Thomas, August, 1998,

Research location and photograph of the War Memorial

At Ypres, Belgium

Peter Soden, Cavan –

Thom’s directory, Cavan,1939

National Census for Cavan 1901,1911c1

Das Falsche Reich by Fr. Carl Oskar von Soden, 1998

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