The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Germany / 973 - 1945

Germany and the Sodens

Finally, after many decades of research into the possible German origins of the our Soden branch, I have to conclude that there is no substantial evidence for a connection between the Irish and German branches of the name.

There may be between the English and German branches  but this would be very late,

such as the mid 19th century. There almost certainly is a substantial link between the German branches and some early American ones but this is something only the American researchers can investigate with certainty.

I will leave the pages on the German name on the  website as many people  have found it of great interest and assistance in clarifying the claim of a connection.

Felix Soden, Dublin, Ireland
15th January, 2023





The Soden/von Soden name has been in Germany since 1323 in a

variety of forms. Its origins are in Hannover,in North Germany later

spreading to the south and in the process involving a change of

religion to Roman Catholicism.

There were so many attractive points for me to discovering a German

link . Firstly , as a student I worked in my first job in Hanover , North

Germany on the Messegelände , where incidentally Ute also worked

as a student.There is , of course , a strong Soden connection with Hannover.

There is a Sodenstrasse ,north of the Central Station and an old

people?s home in the Braunschweigerstrasse near the Aegidientor

founded by the Soden family,called Kloster Soden.


(Soden Strasse , Hanover, North Germany between the Central Train Station and the Main Post Office)


There are at least 4 Bad Sodens in central and southern Germany .

Some of these are connected with the family and others with the salt

industry of the area.In the year 1500 , a German/Hanoverian burgher ,

Dietrich vamme Sode,is recorded as being alderman in London.Also,

in 1549 some 1500 German mercenaries helped the Duke of Warwick

in the suppression of the Ket revolt in Norfolk,as they were on their way

to Scotland to fight for the king of England.

Despite all these exciting coincidences which all showed great

promise , there is no substantial historical link between

either Ireland and Germany or England and Germany.

The 2 above - mentioned historical events are primary possibilities and will

be investigated in the coming years. The reality of an American / German

connection is great and numerous  , but of course , of a far later  date.


Places with the name Soden are the following:

63628 Bad Soden Salmünster

63384 Bad Soden bei Aschaffenburg

65812 Bad Soden im Taunus

37242 Bad Sooden-Allendorf

In the Year 1549 some 1500 German mercenaries aided the Duke of Warwick ,John Dudley, to repell the Ket Uprising in Norfolk. These were under the command of Markgraf Albrecht Alcibiades von Brandenburg-Kulmbach (*1522,+1557) belonged to line of Markgraf of Brandenburg - Kulmbach which resided in Franken. He had under his command 1529 mercenaries from Northern Germany. Details on this house lie in the Staatsarchiv Bamberg,Hainstr. 39,Bamberg,Germany. A book on the subject is Johannes Voigt,Markgraf Albrecht Alcibiades von Brandenburg-Kulmbach Bd. 1,Berlin 1852,Seiten 202 - 206.



The following is a very brief summary of the etymological & phonetic

development of the name Soden according to German sources.

Sode(n),ÖN to middle high German S^OT means marsh or lake.

Middle Low German SODE means peatlawn.

Brechenmacher: Deutsche Namen Page 615/Celle Stadtbibliothek

Hermann zi Sode,at Freiburg in Breisgau Nr. 142

Hilbrant vamme Soden (also van dem Zode) Hannover



There follows a short historical account of the von Soden family

in Hannover,Lower Saxony,North Germany taken from the Hannoverscher Anzeiger of the 29th March,1903.




The former General Chief of Staff of the 10th Army ,COLONEL VON SODEN

comes from the ancient and old noble Hannoverian family which can trace

its history far back into the millenium.In the year 973 a Soden founded

the well known salt works which is still thriving called Soden an der

Werra near the town of Allendorf which was still in the possession of

the family in the year 1300. The family then joined the Frankish

Imperial Knighthood. Since 1341 the Sodens appear in documents in

Hannover where they built the Leibnizhouse which had previously a

Gothic brick facade. At the beginning of the 14th century we find

HILDEBRAND VON SODEN as Mayor of Hannover.


(Statues of Ss.Peter & Paul donated by Mauritius von Sode to the Cathedral at Hildesheim,Germany)

MAURITIUS VON SODEN who in the year 1590 was in charge of the

Cathedral at Hildesheim distinguished himself by the number of

donations he made to charity and in particular with the foundation of

the Citizens? Hospital in Hannover ,the so-called Soden cloisters.



 JOHANN HERMANN VON SODEN became Professor of Law in Erfurt in 1658 and was very welll known

as an academic and a writer.

A further branch of the family of JOHANN HERMANN was in the year 1702 a Government Advisor and Court Assessor in Churmainz and his son THEODOR who died in the year 1716 was the Lord and Captain at Gleidingen.

From the latter came HEINRICH GABRIEL who was a Baron ,an Ansbacher Chamberlain and Major .He in turn had two sons.One was FRIEDRICH JULIUS HEINRICH who was born in 1754 and JOHANN CARL AUGUST.

The older of the two brothers who died only in 1881 was until 1796 a Royal Prussian Advisor and a Minister in Frankish district of Nurnberg. As a dramatic poet and a writer and particularly in the area of economics and State affairs he is extremely well known. He is the inventor of the phrase ?National Economy? of which he treated in his nine volumed work, ?The National Economy?,a philosophical discussion on the source of national wealth and its use.

FRIEDRICH JULIUS HEINRICH was elevated to the Imperial nobility by

Elector Karl Theodor of Palatinate Bavaria on 24th September,1790 and became

therefore the founder of the baronial line of the Sodens which has the title Hannoverian.

He was involved also as the Head of theatre and died in the 1831. The

Hannoverian line thrives today in the sons and daughters of BARON

JULIUS VON SODEN,the great grandson of the founder and his wife,LOUISE


well known after being decorated with the Order Pour le Merite as the

defender of the German Embassy in Peking and is now Captain and

Commander in Chief of the First Sea battalion in Kiel.

The brother of the founder of the baronial line JOHANN CARL AUGUST was

a Major in Würzburg continued the baronial Franconian line which in

constrast to the Hannoverian line is to a great degree Catholic.

To this line belong amongst others,BARON HERMANN VON SODEN

and the former Governor of German West Africa,BARON JULIUS VON SODEN

who is now the present Foreign Minister in Wurtemberg.

The Sodens have in their coat of arms two golden lions and above,in red

they have a silver rose and below, in silver they have a red rose. On

the coat of arms there is the baronial as well as the count crown on

which there are two helmets in red and silver.On the right helmet on

the outside there are golden flag holders. These have two flags in red

and silver and on the left side there is a crowned black eagle.




Account Number Two entitled:-



From Lindenau in Leipzig we received the following account.

I read with great interest in your esteemed newspaper an article about

the Sodens this old Hannoverian Patrician family. One is encouraged

when one thinks of the history of an old family and hears of what their

achievements were in more recent times.This would be especially

interesting to any Hannoverian who is interested in the history of this

family. For many reasons and for this reason in particular I hope I

would be allowed to write a few lines on the subject.

One reason for this is the very special way in which the former Chief

of Staff of the 10th Army was honoured by the inhabitants,or the

members of the Soden cloister with which the present members of this

family during their stay in Hannover have always kept a close tie.

Whoever is even engaged in such a small thing as a coffee circle has

occasion to think of the name Soden in connection with the name of

Broyhans,that famous drink which indeed is known not just all over

Germany but beyond its borders.In the meantime, the name of the family

Sode as also the old house with cloisters proves and also the article

in the Sunday newspaper will prove,the name Soden is not just related

with the southern German branch of the family,with the Bavarian

baronial and Count family in Würtemberg but also with the Hannoverian



To the heraldry expert who knows the coat of arms on the new Soden

cloisters the difference will also be noticed in the description of the

Coat of Arms. First of all in the baronial line the old Coat of Arms

had a blue and red background on a red and white rose of five leaves.

In the course of the centuries the name and the shield as with many


families has changed.

The southern German branch today is called SODEN. The Hannoverian,

however, has still today its old name of SODE,something which was not

touched on at all in the above-mentioned article.


This last line is the oldest of the family whose nobility was confirmed

on the 5th October,1724 with special permission to name itself VON DER

SODE, besides which they also obtained on the family crest two golden

lions n a blue backgound. (The next note marked with two crosses is

rather hard to make out.) It is an explanation with 4 different

sections. Section 1 says,a red rose/Section 2 and 3 say a golden lion

and Section 4 says a white rose.

The family shield can be seen today on one of our nicest gable houses

in the town,if I?m not mistaken,on the Calenberger Strasse opposite the

chief Präsidium.

The Hannoverian line has property in Mecklenburg and had at the

beginning of the 60s a house on the Cellerstrasse. This was called

Sodenstrasse. On the 300th anniversary celebrations of the Soden

cloisters in the Autumn of 1897 representatives of both lines,of the

Hannoverian and South German,were guests at a function held by the city

of Hannover.

End of article



In Germany,family names developed gradually in the Middle Ages after theintroduction of Christianity in Lower Saxony,after the subjugation and conversion of the Saxons through Charles the Great and his successors,and were,without doubt,developed first in the Cities founded by him and his Bishops,such as Hildesheim,Luneburg, Goslar,etc..

In the early Middle Ages there were in Germany only Christian names,and family or

surnames became more common only in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The manner of spelling these names was very arbitrary,and therefore very different.

Our name appears in numerous parts of Germany,but mostly in Latin

documents,especially in the Cities of Luneburg,Salzwedel,Hildesheim

and Hanover during the thirteenth anf fourteenth and ,the following

centuries ,as follows: von Zoide,Zode,Sode,Sohde,Vamme byme

Sode,and occasionally in the manner de Salina,de puteo prope,or

apud fontem. Also the simple Christian name Johannes with the

appendix von dem Sode or dictus prope Fontem,etc....

Sode is Lower Saxon ,and means ?well? (puteus fons),which means

especially a drawing well,and then again,a salt well (Salina).The

appendage,?von? or as is occasionally used ?bei?or the Latin

?de?,?a?,or?apud? and ?prope?,proves that it is an indication of

origin,or of location rather that nobility. It might be added that

the remaining Hanoverian,and other families with whom the Sodens

have been closely related,such as the families of

Anderton,Limborg,Rodewald,Windheim,Schaele,Bartels,von der Hoya, (a

family which is often mentioned in Hanover,and is not to be

confounded with the Count von Hoya) - bore no predicate of

nobility,although they might have,in the course of time,acquired one.

There were again,noble families who disdained to use the ?von?,such

as the Schleppengrellen die Groten,etc,....

?Vamme,byme Sode,?therefore,mean nothing more than a man who possessed

a ?sod?,i.e.,a well,or in fact,that merely such a well was in front

of his house,or on his property,by virtue of which,in an age where

the mere Christian name did not suffice to keep step with the advance

of culture,it became necessary to specify one?s neighbour more


Such a name was,originally,in all probability,only an individual one,but gradually here and there

it was handed from father to son,and finally became a permanent famly name,a process which

is yet to be found among all primitive people on their way from their natural state to civilisation.

From the foregoing it is clear that one and the same name occurs in

many different places for the most different kinds of people,and that

for instance, everywhere where wells were to be found,there were

also people to be found who were named ?by the well?,or?from the

well?; in short,that it was a common name in itself,and that its

occurrence is no proof of family cohesion of the people who bore it.

An intimate relationship among the individuals who are to be traced in

places widely separated during the 13th and 14th and succeeding

centuries,who bore the name ?Soden?,is,therefore,not probable.

Indeed,in the highest degree improbable. If Johannes von Sode,for

instance,would have migrated around this period from Hanover to

Lüneburg,he would,in the latter place (where in all probability a

prior ?Hanse von Sode? existed) be called ?Johannes de Hannovere?,

for,as already mentioned,family names,were,for the greater

part of the Middle Ages,never permanent ,but served principally to

distinguish persons from one another,and never played the role that

they do in the present age.

Perhaps the names of von Sothern and von Sulten (de Salina) which

appear around this same period among the patricians of Duderstadt and

Lüneburg,may be traced to a similar origin,but it is not possible to

prove their connection with our family; and ,also,our coat of arms

differs from theirs.


The production of salt and the trading in salt did not occur in

Hanover,but,on the other hand,in the then more important City of

Luneburg,and one might,therefore,be tempted to look for the origin of

the name of the family in that City.Some Luneburg families came to

great wealth through trading in salt,and especially through the

ownership or leasing of saline properties. It is under just such

families,however,that the name ?Sode? does not appear.

Extract from the Monograph by John Voorhis Soden (1912)



A House or Real Estate Book for the City of Hanover was begun in the

year 1428,with the names of the Real Estate owners and was continued

up to the time of adoption of a new book of house inspection in

1534.The second part of this book (from 1428 to 1477) contained the

entries about the transactions in houses in the older part of the

town. In accordance with one of the first entries in the book,in

1428,a house situated in Osterstrasse,adjoining the house of

Hartmans von Troetze,was transferred to Helmolde von der Sode. (Not

named in the family charter). If these books contain any further

information of interest to the von Soden family it is impossible for

me to ascertain it at this time,since I have never seen these books.

On the location where the present Leibnitz house is now

standing,there was situated in Schmiedestrasse,a house,which in the

middle of the 15th century was the property of the von Sode?s.At

first,it belonged to the Burgomaster,Hans von Sode,then to his

son,Burgomaster,Jurgen von Sode,who built,in the uear 1499,a new

house on the same spot. In the year 1606 it was still in the

possession of Gerhard von Sode,who them transferred it to the family

of von Lude.

This house,together with its present facade was,in the year

1652,fashioned by the mason and sculptor ,Heinrich Alfers. In

addition to this,there is also mentioned a house ?Drenkehane?,which

after the changing of many hands,came into the possession of Jurgen

von Sode in 1530,who then sold it with the attached estate to Hinrik

von Sode. In the year 1482 there is mentioned a house belonging to

Martin von Zoide,for whose construction the City supplied a certain

kind of brick,and in this house there was the arms of the family of

von Sode,made of clay,which,in the uear 1652,was attached to the

Leibnitz house,but is said to be no longer there at the present



A certain Dietrich,and later on his son,Hans von Sode ,owned a house

in Leinestrasse,where in 1526,the Broyhan was brewed. In the year

1740 this house came into the possession of the family of Hauss,but

was later torn down in order to make room for the Royal Palace. This

was the second house off Dammstrasse,lying opposite the Royal

Palace,before the house of Caserotti (formerly Windheim) and

Chamberlain Zeidler?s house. In the old city records we find the

following: "A.D. 1482,the domicile of Hans Meggeholden;A.D. 1511 the

domicile of Dietrich von Zode?s widow,who willed it to him in

accordance with Jakob Sode,who owned a house in Marktstrase,opposite

the ?Skriverie?,erected in 1493; and Cord von Sode owned ,in

connection with others ,a house in Roselerstrasse by the Iron

Gate,where,in 1740,was erected a Royal Post Office.

Extract from the Monograph of John Voorhis Soden


In the year 1362,Dietrich von Sode ,together with J.von Breckhusen

and Dietrich von Neuhofen,founded the altar for the Holy Maria

Magdalena in the Church of Saint Aegidii.A no longer existing

massive wing formed the Saint Anne?s or Soden Chapel.This chapel was

dedicated on the 14th May,1411.Here there stood alongside the altar

of the Holy Anna,another altar of the Holy Dorothea,endowed by

Jurgen von Sode.

..Among other historically valuable mementoes,this Chapel contained

the story of the funeral,and the church window contained the coat

of arms of the family of von Sode. The so-called Kloster was really

a hospital or home for the poor,and was dedicated by Moritz von

Sode,Canon of the Cross Church,and presiding official of the

Nunnery,divae Magdalenae,in Hildesheim,the building of which was

begun on the 14th July,1587......Moritz von Sode intended the

hospital for nine poor male and nine poor female citizens,among whom

his relations of blood should be given preference. Each of these had

a certain chamber and a sitting-room........

When the Minoritenkloster was changed into a Ducal residence and the

Rathskloster and the Sodenkloster were transferred to the

Gahrhofe,in the then so - called Klostergang, on the evening of 19th

May,27 people who were resident in these hospitals,left their

home in this Kloster. An old inscription,along with two Soden

pictures,and the remnant of another inscription finished in the

woodwork formerly contained in the Sodenkloster,were taken along

into the new home.

(after Julius von Soden)



The Soden coat of arms consists of one shield,which is divided

into two equal fields,of which the upper red field contains a

similar red rose. Up to the 16th century the field was divided

on the bias,the roses upon the shield being five- leaved. The

oldest coat of arms which has come down to us with the

diagonally divided field,was attached about the 15th century,to a

house in Hanover belonging to Merten von Zoide. Later on it was

fastened to the present Leibnitz house. Another coat of arms

was found in the so-called Soden Kloster in Havover,but

disappeared when this building was razed in 1887.


The shield contained in the Saint Annen or Soden Chapel,shared the same

fate,and was destroyed with the building. In later

times,i.e.,about the end of the 18th century,we find a shield which

had been attached to the portals of the Würzburgstrasse Theatre.

About this time this theatre was under the management of Count

Julius von Soden,who among others,had his own plays produced on

that stage.

(Monograph of Julius von Soden,1912 ; translated by John Voorhis Soden )



In the year 1523 warnings were issued and prohibitions were issued against

the doctrine of Martin Luther,which doctrines had gained many

adherents among the citizens Guild and Communities,and had made

great progress in Luneburg. Like everywhere else,however,the

questions in Hanover were not exclusively about ecclesiastical,but

also political and economic innovations.The citizen class

represented the progressive and the Council families and the Feudal

Lords ,the conservative standpoint. At first,there were many

disputes,parliamentarianism and promises upon the part of that

general concilium which was called by Kaiser Karl V,but in the year

1533 the citizens being tired of the dilatory treatment,arose in

public indignation,and demanded the introduction of the Lutheran


Burgomasters and Councilmen fled from the City to Hildesheim; among

them Hans von Sode,and turned to the Duke and outside help,but in

the year 1534 the citizens elected over their heads a new Council

at the head of which there was elected a certain Anton von


This Council represented those who were faithful to the Evangelist

?from the bottom of their hearts?. A new church constitution was

introduced,which the members of the former Council had to recognise

when they returned in the year 1534.The new Doctrine made good in

spite of the reverses,and in the year 1536,on the 16th March,the

City of Hanover joined the Schmalkalf Union. Duke Frederick was

succeeded by his second wife,the Duchess Elizabeth,as the Guardian

of her under-aged son,Erich II.She was publically a devotee of the

new Doctrine,and in the year 1553 introduced the reformation in

Calenburg-Göttingen (Hanover belonged to the Duchy of Calenburg.)


Freedom of faith in those times,was of course, impossible for

them all,in Protestant lands as well as Catholic,and as the

patricians who had fled to Hildesheim were permitted to return to

their homes only under condition that they accept the new

Doctrine,so it is almost certain to assume that from this time,our

family,although perhaps at first very slowly,and with much

hesitation ,turned to the new faith and became Lutherans.An

exception to this seems to have been Johann Heinrich von Sode,who

in the year 1700 was of the Catholic faith,but shortly before his

death found remorse,and ?in the shedding of many tears? recognised

his sin,and returned to his old faith,as is proven by his

clergyman,Johann Heinrich Gebhard,in Erfurt. His children did not

turn Catholic,but remained true to the Lutheran faith.On the other

hand,Johann Karl August von Soden,the writer of these lines and his

brothers and sisters. Theodor von Soden,although he did not

personally step over to protestantism,yet he allowed all his

children to be brought up in this faith.


(after John Voorhis Soden)



As stated in the beginning,this name appears in the 13th and 14th

centuries in documents of a number of cities of Lower Saxony,such as

Hildesheim,Lüneburg,Salzwedel; and,at the beginning of the 14th

century ,in a number of cases in Hanover,certain


vamme,and bey dem Sode,and also de Sode,have their names appear as

witnesses in the various minutes of legal cases,most of them with

the distinction "Borghere",or "Civis to order in Hanover".

According to the chronicles of the City of Hanover,the name von Sode

and ?Hildebrande von deme Zode? appears in a document dated 25th

February,1341,wherein the family of von Sode are selling to the City

of Hanover,various pastures and woods in the neighbourhood of

Misburg and Lahe (District of Hanover)

There this name appears for the first time together with the names

of Corde von Alten,Ghyseken von Lubecke and other good people.In the

Citizen?s Book from the years 1303 to 1369,of the City of

Hanover,we find in 1355,a certain Arnd biceme Zode,as a Burgensis.

We find in certain documents dated 1332 that the brothers von Jlten

sold certain property to Johanne vamme Sode.Finally,we find in the

so-called "Red Book",the name Hildebrandus de Zode cited in the year

1358 among the names of the Councilmen.It is also known that

according to a decree of the Hanover Aldermen,issued in the uear

1347,only such could become members of the Concil who were right

and honorably born,and could point to at least four ancestors.

Judging from the foregoing,we can conclude that there must have

been quite a line of ancestors to which Hildebrandus von Sode could

point in order to claim his full rights as a citizen in order to

attain the office of Consul.

The relationship of the family of von Sode to the well-born

Hanoverian families is hereby sufficiently proven,and these proofs

may be supported in nearly all cases by authorised documents and

records of the municipal authorities. A.W.Bahrdt says in his

"History of the Reformation of the City of Hanover",that no matter

how full of faults the early history of this City may be,as handed

down to us,yet it is certain that only a very small circle of

families were seated on the chairs of the Council and the judiciary

bodies and that in these families the names of

Lynnborch,Sode,Meyjr,Ydense,Anderter and Stille are found in the

ranks of the Concil prior to the year 1534. Dr.O.Jurger says the

same in the essay which has for its topic "Classes in the Grand

Duchy of Luneburg during the 14th century."


It is to be regretted that the Church records of the City of

Hanover run back only as far as the beginning of the 17th century

,all the older ones having been destroyed through a very extended

line of circumstances. In a manuscript found in the archives of

Hanover are certain extracts from a church record called the

"Market Church Record of Hanover". According to this record

,Dietrich vamme Sode and Bertholde Dorhagen were appointed Coroners

in the year 1485,and in 1599,Geverd von Sode was appointed a Church

Deacon; on the 13th January,1623,a certain Geverd von Sode,son of

Anthony,drowned himself in the canal.

As in other German cities,it is to be presumed that in Hanover the

so-called first-line families came out of the wealthy and property

owning merchant class,and it is highly probable that the von Sode?s

belonged to these families,and reached their positions as patricians

through their favours as merchants. In a document without date,the

brothers John and Hildebrandus von Sode,as well as a certain

Thieleke von Sode are mentioned as paying their initiation fee for

membership in the Merchants ?Guild. It is not improbable that these

brothers are identical with the ones above - mentioned among those

who had sold certain property in the year 1338.

On the 16th January,1477,Kopman Corde von de Sode (the leader in Market Street);1486,Jurgen von de Sode; in 1504 Hans von Sode; in 1533 Heinrich von de Sode are named in the family tree.In all probability this refers to the ceremonious entrance of these members of the von Sode family into the Merchants Guild.It is also found that a certain Mauritius von Sode endowed the Merchants Guild,and also named members of this Guild as patrons of the Soden Kloster. Finally,we find that a certain Dietrich von Sode has been mentioned as Alderman in London about the year 1500,where,as is well known,certain German merchants,prior to the time that England itself stepped into the rank of a commercial power,had their settlements with far-reaching manipulations of trade.In most documents in which the name von Sode is mentioned,it is found that they are either referred to as such as Burgomasters,Councilmen,Jurymen, Chamberlains,Appraisers of Weights and Measures,and Masters of Wage. We note further ,that,with the exception of the records of the Guild,these von Sodes had never been referred to as merchants .Of course,the same is true of other Hanoverian families.

From court records it is not possible to find the social standing of the

von Sode?s,but is has been ascertained that most of those court cases

were based on loans,mortgages,pledges and securities. Members of this

family also belonged to the clergy,but it has been ascertained definitely

in one case,viz.,that of Mauritius von Sode,who presided at the

Hildesheim Cathedral about the middle of the 16th century where he

made a good name for himself on account of his generous endowments and



(Baptismal Font donated by Mauritius von Sode in the Hildesheimer Cathedral,Germany/soden 1998)


It has also been ascertained that one of our ancestors

conducted a brewery,or at least owned a house in Hanover which had been

leased to a party for the business fo brewing. Then we also find that in

the year 1525 a certain kind of beer had been brewed for the first time

in the house of the patrician Cord Broyham of Stocken,of Hanover,and that

as a result of this innovation,the commerce of Hanover was promoted.

Even though it did not happen often in those warlike and insecure times that

the landed aristocracy invaded the protected cities and mixed with the patricians,

or married into their families,there is nothing to show that this was the case with our family.

The connection of our family with the family of Allendorf on the Werra,as

my uncle,August von Soden claims in his family tree,which was

constrducted in the year 1844,is highly improbable. His opinion is based

on the mistaken understanding of an old document found in the archives of

the Duke Heinrich von Hessen,which is now to be found at Allendorf.There

we find the name ?in den Soden? as given in the salt works of von

Allendorf mentioned for the first time. They are called

?Gebuhren?,?Geburtschaft?,which is synonymous with the term

?Pfanner?,?Pfannerschaft?. The name ?in den Soden?is not a personal

name,but is an indication of locality.

That the family of von Sode is of the Hanovarian patricians since the

earliest times,and indeed was instrumental in the founding of the city,we

might almost look upon as a proven historical fact. The family in the

15th and 16th centuries had their own coat of arms and seals,which are

certain privileges not granted to the common citizens.

The direct proof of membership of the family,based on any official

document is,of course,impossible,for patricians were not elected or

made,but developed in the course of time and with the existing

circumstances,just as is the case with the higher nobility. To claim that

these patricians were the social equals of the other nobility,is ,of

course, a matter of taste,and to dispute over which there is no good


The liberties of these free citizens were always a very limited one,and

the measure of their liberties as well as their importance should never

be cited as the importance of the families themselves. The citizens of

Hanover never declared their full independence of the Dukes of Lüneburg

and Braunschweig,but always recognised their servitude within the

aforementioned limits,but that makes no change in the quality of the

citizens and the patricians. In the inner politics of the city of Hanover

we can find record of the same disputes and strife that are found in all

free cities,and they always ended in the same manner,i.e.,the gradual

weakening or downfall of the patricians,and the final voluntary or

enforced subjugation of the city under a Grand Duke.



This is an summary from the ?Historical Lexicon of the German

Provinces? by Ko"bler,pages 522/523.

Title : SODEN

Since 1947 this is known as BAD SODEN am TAUNUS. It is an imperial village.


Conrad II gave to the abbey Limburg an der Hardt the Royal

Court at Sulzbach with parts of the area in the villages of

Altenheim,Neuenheim,Schneidenheim and Soden.These parts belonged

later to the precincts of Sulzbach. The free peasants were not

affected by this arrangement.


Soden-am-Taunus is mentioned for the first time.


The free citizens and farmers of Soden and Sulzbach placed

themselves under the protection of the town of Frankfurt and

committed themselves to joining the imperial army.The villages

of Neuenheim,Altenheim and Schneidenheim then came under the

protection of the precinct of the Abbey of Limburg namely,under

the protection of the Lords of Epstein,later the Baron of



Soden and Sulzbach because of a loan which they obtained from

Frankfurt came under the control of Frankfurt as also did the

Abbey at Limburg.


When Limburg fell to the Palatine-Kurphalz,Frankfurt lost

Limburg then to the Palatinate.


Soden and Sulzbach,after paying back 800 Gulden,freed themselves

from the control of Frankfurt.


The Palatinate transferred Sulzbach to Mainz.


Frankfurt and Mainz eventually agreed on the control of Sulzbach

and Soden.


Sulzbach and Soden went over to Nassau


then over to Prussia


finally to Hesse.





Johan 1 Diderit 1 Hildebrandt 1

1323-39 1332 1323

m. Hanne purchased 1358 Alderman

in 1332

the 10th at Ahlem

Diderit 11 Johan 11 (Hans) Degenhard

1360 Alderman till 1394 1368

Hillebrandes son m.Lubbeke


Hildebrand 11 ------------------ --------------------

1368-1390 Hildebrand 111 ? Jacob 1 Johan 111

Johans Son 1399+ 1378 Junior

1396-1401 1397+

m.Ghese, m.Margarete

Cord Volgers Widow van Anderten,

1399+ 1420 Widow

P P. -------------

Helmold N.N. Johan IV

1419,1457+ 1462+

----------------------------- ----------- Alderman 1446-50

Cord the Older Hans IV Jakob 11/Volkmer m.Bertold,

+1481 1443 Helmolds share 1444 Limborgs Daughter

m.1458 son +1484/+1473 +1485

Ilsebe Huckes 1467 Cousin 1460-65/1467-69

Cord Volgers widow Johan IV both Aldermen ----------------

Alderman m.Ermengard Diderit & Martin

1454-84 Rodewold,Reineke below

+1487 Nagels widow,

m.Adelheid 1470

Krevet ------------------------------

------------------- Diderit Martin has the

Jurgen 1 +1485 10th at Ahlem,so

The Mayor & Cord Junior the eldest heir,

1488 Martins Merchant, Jurgens Cousin

Cousin 1477 m.Adelheid,Hans

+1450 m.Anna Rodewolds widow.

+++1673 +1481 ---------------

+++ Volkmer 11

--------------------- +1532

Diderit III Chise ---------------

Alderman only 1455 Jurgen II

1470-1503 +1541

and +++

Jacob III,at



Thriving Lines



This a translation of a piece from the famous Waskenbok.It is entitled

?On the Genealogy of Hannoverian Burgher Families? by Dr.K.F.Leonhardt.

The Waskenbok has formed for centuries now an indispensable source on misunderstandings of

genealogical anomalies. The planned re-publication of this in the year 1923 by Georg Nahusen

unfortunately did not materialise and so a critical reworking of the Waskenbok still remains to be

fulfilled at this time. The date of this publication is 1936/37.

The noble family of vam Sode,which originates according to the Waskenbok

with a Jacob/No.1,who married one of the three daughters of Volkemar van

Anderten and had two sons Jacob and Volkmar.Both these brothers are

mentioned in many subsequent documents. They owned jointly up to

1444 their father?s house (L 320 at the Aegidien Tore) which Volkmar

then took over on his own.This man was for many years the elder of the

Marienne Chapel at the Tore and was a Consul between 1467 and 1469.

He had only one son,Chise,who was mentioned once in 1455 but he must

have died before him because in 1473,Jacob II inherited the property.

In 1489 Jacob?s sons,Didert (WB 420),and Jacob III (WB 411) obtained the

house. The father ,Jacob II, was Alderman at the Aegidien Church from

1441 to 1462 and he belonged to the City Council between the years 1460-65

He was dead by the year 1484. He had taken over in the year 1444

the house M 53 (as the younger brother took over the father?s house) and

settled ,however,13 years later in the home of his second wife M 20.

She was the widow,Ermengard of a Reineke Nagel. She was the daughter and

sister of a Hans Rodewold. This marriage brought him four stepchildren,

the brothers Uludolf and Hans Nagel and two sisters,from whom one

Margaret became the wife in 1484 of Diderit van Andert and the

other,however, had married her already widowed stepbrother,Diderit van

Sode.The last mentioned and his brother ,Jacob,in the year 1484 gave the

house M 20 to the brothers Nagel.

Jacob !111 (WB 411) obtained the house M 10 bei dem Piepenborn in 1498 and founded a line of the

family named after this. This can be seen on the family tree. This line became extinct in 1673.

Diderit married for the second time in 1480 Adelheid,the daughter of Hans Lathusen with whom

he had four children according to WB 420. The only surviving son,hans,who went into business in

1503 and who inherited the house M 72 in 1504 and at that time certainly must have been married .

The older Diderit took over in 1461 the house L 294 from the Meigenvelds ,which became famous

in 1526 because of the invention of Broyhans,and in 1507 the younger Diderit got the house according

to reference (WB 422) and when this man died in London in 1511,his brother,Hans,took it over.


Besides this Jacob line which has just been treated and the thriving

line that there is today there were at the time of the publication of the

Waskenbok not less than three other lines of the family which can be

joined just as well as this one with certainty to the older generations

and about whose common origin there can be no doubt.

The oldest mention of the family comes from the year 1332.At that time

the three brothers Johann,Diderit the First and Hildebrand vamme Sode

bought the number 10 at Empelde (WB 219). They were already citizens in

Hannoverand even though their acceptance is not marked in the Citizen?s

Book,with all probability they were the sons of Burghers. On the other

hand,Hildebrand,who was now made a Town Councillor in 1358,had a son

,Diderit the Second,the very one whom we have come to know already for

his participation in the memoirs donation of 1362 for the eldest Johan

van Berkusen and ,whose probable son-in-law he was. The assumption of

bail in the year 1360 as the result of an inheritance allows one to

guess even more that he was the son of a sister of the Burgher Gotfried

van Luneborch.

In 1373 Hildebrand left behind two underage children called Hildebrand and Hille

who at that time stood to inherit all along with their uncles, Johan and Degenhard.

The final split took place in the year 1384 between Hildebrand and the old Johan.

Apparently,Degenhard and Hille were no longer alive.

?Old Johan? was Town Councillor until 1394He was first

mentioned in 1378.He married Margarete van Anderten,the daughter of

Diderit and the sister of Diderit ,the Cathedral official. In 1420 he

left his widow with four children to whom the uncle,the Cathedral

official ,gave an allowance. There was a son,Johan the Fourth,who took

this allowance until 1462 and there were three daughters who went into

the abbey at Eschede. Johan the Fourth was a Town Councilor from 1446 to

1450 and was the owner of the house L 268 until 1437 which he then

exchanged at that time with L 278. He was married to one of the many

daughters of Bertold Limborg. They survived their two sons,Diderit and

Cord,who died in 1481. Of the two daughters Anna married Hans van

Wintheim (WB 325).Geste like her father?s sisters went into the convent

at Eschede. The widow of Cord took a small allowance from the family

which then was contested by Marten vam Soden who was also a co-heir of

Johan the Fourth in 1481. On that account Marten must then be considered

as another brother of Cord. Between 1487 and 1500 he was the senior

member in the family. He married before 1481 Adelheid who was the widow

of Hans Rodevold whose house O 278 he took over. His son,Waltmar,was

certainly dead before 1532 when his widow,the ?the Hamelmensch? as she

was called,was burnt as a heretic. He son,Jurgen vam Sode,left the town

and died in 1441 in Minden as the last of this line .

A third son of old Johan the Second appears to have been Jacob the First who

like Johan the Third was mentioned for the first time in 1378 and was dead by 1399.

To this generation belongs the last and the most prestigious of the vam Sode line.

He is Helmold,a very unusual name,the son or grandson from the Turkish side who

made a trust for the Aegidien Church use of which was made only during his lifetime.

The reason for this may have been the death of his first wife,who was indeed an Idensen.

He inherited in 1427 apparently through his second wife the Krevenbergsche house O 175.

He was dead by 1457 and left two sons,Cord the older and Hans. Cord married Ilsebe Huch,

the widow of Diderit Volger the Older,whose house M 26 he took over in 1408. His only

daughter,Mettehe,probably from this marriage,married Hermen van Wintheim (WB 327).Hans ,

otherwise known as Johan the Fifth 1441,was the cousin of Johan the Fourth ,was mentioned

in 1467 as a cousin of Volkmar and is expressly mentioned as the son of Helmold.He was

a Town Councillor from 1454 to 1483,thirty years,and was married with Adelheid Krevet.

He died some time between 1484 and 1487. His daughter,Grethe,married by the year 1463

Diderit Volger the younger. His son ,Jurgen (WB 430) was the builder of the house M 115

the Leibnizhouse which was taken over and is well known for the artistic frieze which has

appeared several times in the arms of the family and his memory has been kept over the

centuries even when the family had left their original home territory. Jurgen in 1486 entered

the Burgher community ,was Town Councillor in 1493,Mayor in 1504,and died in 1540.It has

already been mentioned that all his issue disapearred by the year 1673.

For the connection of this line to the oldest branch there are only

three possibilities. Helmold can either be the son of one of the two

younger Hildebrands or of the first Jacob.The latter possibility

corresponds more to the tradition of the Wäskenbok.

All in all,there is up to now no documented evidence of a connection

between the vam Sode of the 14th century and with those of the 15th

century.However,the fact of a genealogical connection because of the

layout of things cannot be brought into doubt but as against that it

must be said that attempts to link the oldest vam Sode with the

Eichsfeldischen van Sothens or to link them with any noble family which

takes its name from the well known place Sooden bei Allendorf an der

Werra,any attempt to bring these together,must be regarded as not

credible. The following table which is taken from the Almanach de Gotha,

a book on noble German families, provides the surest facts on the matter.

The above was the edited version by John Voorhis Soden,New York,1912 of a

translation of the original German text by Baron Julius von Soden #######################################################################################



The for the SODEN/VON SODEN name in Germany in the IGI SoG


states under SOTT:-

b birth

c christening

d death

f female

m male

w will


Soden Mauritius All?,Luise Mennike m/b abt.1594



von Sode Margarete (Hannover)

Relation William B.Priestley f/m 1602


von Sode Juliane E.


Hedwig Thiele f/m 1610


Sode Elizabeth

Spouse Hans Claus Baum f/b abt.1662


Soden Anna Magdalena f/d 1692/14/2

Relat. Ernst R.Schnelle


Soden Sophie Dorothea & w/m Oct.1769

Hans Jurgen Grotewold

Hamm Oetze


von Soden Christian Ludwig Moritz

August/Ernestine Wilhelmine

Cabonices m/c 29/9/1807



von Soden Juliana Christine Eredith f/c 5/1/1825


von Soden August Wilhelm Carl Julius

Christian Ludwig von Sode &

Caroline Joanne Reggenden f/c 28/3/1829



von Soden /Relat.Augusta W.Jaspersen f/b abt.1800

Sachsen Halle


von Soden Virginie Desiree Wilhelmine

Louise Friederike Caronline Eleanora

Augustine f/c 10/6?/1829



von Soden Bernardine/Christiane von

Soden & Auguste von Uslar f/c 2/9/1830



von Soden,Carl Oskar Franz Ind?

Joost Rudolf Augustine m/c 23/3/1831


Rudolf August Freiherr von Soden &

???/Freiin von Habsdorf m/c 23/1/1831

Wyertt Jagdkreis/Ellwangen/

St.Vitus/ Kath


von Soden Adeline/Chr.von Soden &

Augustine von Uslar f/c 2/9/1835

Lippe Reelkirchen/Evan


Melusine Auguste Marie Henriette

Madel. Wilhelmine f/c 23/7/1839

Lippe/Lengo/St. N.Koln??


von Soden August/Rel.Franz Otto

Drechsel m/m 1841



Soden Friederike Comtesse of Hans

Baron von Bibra w/m 10/8/1841



von Soden Hans/Thekla Frederik Theo

Freiherr/Clementine Camerer f/c 14/1/1857



von Soden Augustine Ernestine/

Lorenz Tromphanos Lombardia w/m 3/3/1859



von Soden Olga Joanne,Bertha von

Soden f/c 30/7/1862




from the



Johann Herman von Soden,Churmainz,Government Judicial Advisor,

born in Erfurt in 1623.

married with Anne Magdalene Schele who died in Erfurt on the 14th December,


He died in Erfurt on the 14th December,1702.(No.64/65)


Johann Theodor von Soden from Gebesa/Mechlenburg,a Captain and a Justice in


born in Erfurt on the 25th November,1669,

married in Erfurt on the 21st March,1698 with Martha Weissenborn,who died

in Erfurt on the 12th August 1713.

He died on 3rd January,1721 in Erfurt.(32/33)


Heinrich Gabriel von Soden,Margrave at Ansbach,a Chamberlain and Major,he

was Lord at Sommersdorf,

born in Erfurt on the 1st August,1713,

married on the 7th February,1752 to Wilhelmine Charlotte von Rauber,

he died in Ansbach on the 17th August,1761. (no.16/17)


Johann Carl August Baron von Soden was a Royal Prussian Knight,a Baron

Wurzburg and a Major,

born in Ansbach on the 31st March,1756,married at Eybach near Nurnberg on

the 20th July,1781 with Sophie Charlotte Marianne von Drechsel auf Deufstet-


died at Thalheim near Wurzburg on the 21st January,1811.


Rudolf Philipp August Baron von Soden was Royal Chamberlain,President of the

Government and State Counsellor,

born in Bichelbach near Ansbach on the 2nd June,1875,

married in Nurnberg on the 20th April, 1820 to Eleanore Charlotte vil*

Baroness,noble lady of Anderndorf and Fischbach,

died in Ludwigsburg on the 9th July,1849.(4/5)



Alfred Carl August Baron von Soden,Confidential Adviser,

born in Stuttgart on the 19th July,1826,

married in Stuttgart on the 26th May ,1855 to Emilie von Rom,

died in Stuttgart on the 8th September,1894.


France Ludwig Baron von Soden was a Royal Wurtemberg , General of the


born in Stuttgart on the 9th march,1856,

married in Stuttgart on the 8th January,1890 to Amelie Charlotte Baroness

Hugo von Spitzenberg who was born in Stuttgart on the 25th May,1869.




The first reference is to FRIEDRICH H.SODEN BARON. He was a writer born

on the 4th December,1754 in Ansbach and he died on the 30th July,1831

in Nurnberg. He studied Law in Erlangen,Jena and Altdorf. He became

a Brandenburg Government Adviser and Margrave and transferred then

to Prussia in 1792 into the Prussian service when Ansbach came under

their control. He retired into private life in 1796. He lived on his

estate in Sassenfarth near Bamberg and he managed ,between the years

1802 and 1810,the Bamberg Theatre and,from 1804,the Wurzburg Theatre.

He moved in 1811 to Erlangen and in 1813 to Nurnberg.


      (Corner of Sodenstrasse ,Bamberg,Bavaria, South Germany)

He became known as a writer of short stories,such pieces as Franz von

Sickingen,written in 1808 and a considerable collection of dramatic

works from among which we give the better known ones;Inez de

Castro,written in 1784;Ann Bolyn,written in 1784;Dr.Faustus written in

1797 and Virginia,written in 1805. Soden was translator as well of the

works of Cervantes and Lopedevega as well as being a translator of

economic and state matters. The most important of all his works is

entitled the ?National Economy? written between the years 1805 and 1824

in Aarau,in 9 volumes,and with this work he truly developed the science

of national economics.

The present Soden Strasse in Bamberg near the Staatarchiv is called after him.


BARON JULIUS VON SODEN,a German diplomat,born on the 5th February 1846 at Ludwigsburg,

in Wurtemberg and ,after the war against France in 1870 to 1871 in which he took part as

a volunteer in the Wurtemberg cavalry in the Regiment Queen Olga,he then moved into the

diplomatic service.

Career Details :

1871  Attache in the General Consulate in Bucharest

1872  Consul in Algeria.

1876  Canton in Hong Kong.

1879  Havana,Cuba.

1881  Business Attache in Lima during the Chilian/Peruvian war.

1884  Consul in St.Petersburg in Russia.

1885  Governor in the Cameroon

1891 After the German Empire had taken over the control of German East

        Africa he became Governor of the colony.

1893 Retirement.


                                                THE GERMAN COLONIES



First German Governor of the German Cameroons, (1885-91)

Soden was the first German Governor of the German Cameroon. Soon after appointment he set up an

advisory council in Victoria, and sent Puttkamer and Krabbes to study Mt. Camerooon always urging

a steady and gradual examination of the colony unlike others who wanted a speedy exploration

programme. He also set up the first courts and stopped ?dashing? ,the system of giving native girls

to colonialists as presents and the Botanical Gardens at Victoria.

1885.                 The Postal System was established by him. He also wanted the Basler Mission to take care of education

in the colony but they did not want to takep part. So,he approached the French Catholics to bring Catholicism

to the Cameroons on the stipulation they were not to interfere with the Protestants.

The Telegraphic Communications were introduced , he also insisted that the American missionaries

present should use German in their work. He also established a council at Victoria but his

later disappeared.

Other useful sources are the:-

Die Deutsche Kolonialzeitung 1884

Correspondence between von Soden and Bismarck ,29th August,1885

Deutsches Kolonial Handbuch by R.Fitzner

Colonial Archives 3C No.4 ,Volume 1,entitled Handels- und Schiffssachen


?German Colonies in Africa: The Germans in the Cameroons from 1884 to 1914.?

by Harry A.Rudin

Reference No. NLIR 669/R/




This an excerpt from WER IST WER? ,an English translation of more information on BARON HERMAN VON SODEN.


1852 born in Cincinnati,United States of America on 16th August.

Son of Professor Baron Theodor von Soden and Clementine ,nee Camerer

1875/80 Became a doctor of Theology while at Wildbad,Kirchheim on the Tech and at Stuttgart.

1881/2 Minister at Dresden in the parish of Striesen

1883/6 Minister in Chemnitz in Saxony.

1886 Minister at the Jerusalem church

He married Gabriele (nee von Schaedler) from Copenhagen He was educated

At Esslingen and Urach and Tubingen.

1893 Professor of Theology at the Univrsity of Berlin

His publications are as follows:-

Essays on the New Testament,Letters on Theology,Studies and Critiques,

the Year Book for Protestant Theology 1880 to 1886,

Studies on the Letters to the Phillipians 1889,

a Pocket Commentary to Ephesians,Colossians and Philemon to the First and

Second Letter of Timothy to Titus.

There was a second edition in 1892,

a commentary on Hebrews,Peter 1,Peter 2,a third edition in 1899,

?What is the Evangelical Church doing??,1895,

Travel Letters from Palestine 1898,

Palestine and Its History 1899,

Articles in the Encyclopaedia of the Bible.

His address is

Berlin South West,Fregel Strasse 213.



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.


3. WOLFRAM FREIHERR VON SODEN born in Berlin on the 19th June,1908

was a German orientalist. He was the son of HANS FREIHERR VON SODEN.

He was Professor in Gottingen,Berlin,Vienna and since 1961 he has been

in Munster. He is known particularly for his works on grammar and



Extracts from Len Metzner?s indexes on German families


Source: Garnison - Kirchenbuch Hannover 1690-1811

Sode; Vol.1,pp.26 &242;

Vol. 3,pp.337

von Soden; Vol.1,pp.115;

Vol.2,pp. 17 & 296

von der Sode; Vol. 3,pp.17

Vol. 4,pp.133

Volumes 1,2,3 are in the Library of the Anglo-German Society.

Volume 4 is with Len Metzner,in Somerset.

Volume 4 bei Len Metzner

Louise Sophie Wilhelmine von der Soden,born circa 1784,confirmed 1798

Another possibly ,though illegible,born 1791,confirmed 1805.

Garnison Kirchenbuch Hanover,1816-1867

von Sode, Christian Ludwig; Captain Gren.Garde,born Stade,married 12.7.1820 to

Augustine Wilhelmine von Uslar at Stade.

von Sode, August; Premierleutnant,2.Leichtes Batt., born Wolfel,Amt Hannover - 1798;

died MH 01031835,aged 37 yrs 1 month 17 days (Fleckfieber); ledig


Sode, Charles Augustus von der

Ensign,3rd Line Batt.; enlisted 30.10.1807; British Waterloo Medal;

Lieutenant in Hannover 2nd Light Battalion;died 01031835


Lieutenant,3rd Line Batt; enlisted 30.10.1807; British Waterloo Medal;

Brevet Captain in Hannover Service;died at Blomberg,Lippe- Detmold.

Soden,Lewis von

Ensign,4th Line Batt; enlisted 30.10.1807;British Waterloo Medal; died Ohrdruf,nr.Gotha.

Soden,Victor Frederick von

Major,8th Line Batt,enlisted 19041804;resigned 01071806,died 01031832 at Stade

(!! There may well be an error here as the 8th Line Batt were not even formed in 1806

but on 01071816.!!)


SODEN Christian

Lieutenant Christian Soden

age 1793

Country Hannover

Town Stade

Lieutenant 18 March 1812

Ensign 17 November,1807

8th Bn KGL

No. of Yrs? 1 ½

page 137

microfiche 48/a/I Nr.104

Niedersachsisches Archiv , Hannover


Charles August von de Soden

Age 1797

Country Hannover

Ensign 30 November,1813

Page 24

microfiche 48/a/I/Nr.104

Niedersachsisches Archiv , Hannover

to be looked up yet

in the NSA,Hannover

Lewis von Soden

4th line of Battle

48a/I Nr. 112

Victor Frederick von Soden

8th Line Battle

48a/I Nr.112

August von Soden

2nd Leicht. Batt.

48a/I Nr.103





David Milner


Ensign Lewis Soden,4th Battalion of the Line,King?s German Legion

Lieut. Christian de Soden,3rd Battalion of the Line,King?s German Legion

Ensign C.A. von der Soden,3rd Battalion of the Line,King?s German Legion




Hildesheimer Dom


Die Kirche zum Heiligen Kreuz in Hildesheim

1980 Bernward Verlag Hildesheim

by J.Zink,M.Brandt,J.Asch,U.Römer.

This book is 240 pages of text with an appendix of 235 illustrations.

Page 37

Moritz von Soden is marked out by an especial social involvement.he comes

from the old and respected Council-and Business family of Hannover and was also

Provost of the Magdalenacloister.

Born in 1527 the son of Hans von Sode (d. 1552 in Hildesheim).

His birth lay at the beginning of the Reformation in Hannover,1533/34.

It is doubtful if he like other members of the family who remained in Hannover

turned over to Lutheranism. On a conversion to Catholicism there is

nothing known. Also the exact date of his enry into the Abbey is not known.

1563 he is mentioned for the first time in a bill of his brother Jürgen von Sode

as canonicus to the Holy Cross church. He was then a rich man.

After a debt write-off in 1591 he had lent the Hannover Council 4500 Reichstaler

and 2000 Gulden.

1571 he gave 300 Gulden to the Michaeliscloister,1581 50 Reichstaler to the

Cross Abbey.

1587 he founded a Poorhouse on the grounds of the Minoritencloister in

Hannover fur 9 poor men and 9 poor women,the so-called Sodensche Cloister,

which to this day is still inhabited. (Note by Felix Soden: This is the next

street to Menschingstrasse,where your mother,Ute Hoefer ,resided as a student.)

For the poor people there he donated 3000 Reichstaler,for poor students in

Hannover 2000 Reichstaler.

1604 he erected with a amount of 3000 Talern a further foundation for poor ?studiosi?.

The Collegium Saxonum founded by von Brandtis received 1200 Reichstaler. 8 different Hospitals

in Hildesheim enjoyed his patronage. But also he set aside amounts for altars and spiritual jobs

in the churches of Hildesheim or for the improvement of paths in the area of the city. For the two

figures of the apostles and patrons of the Abbey,Peter and Paul, he laid aside 172 Reichstaler .

They stand on the steps of the west side.

1604 he founded a further curacy,die vicaria tertia dominorum sue Petri et Pauli.

1607 he died.

Source: Dombibl. Hs 332,S57 - 58,s.63-67

Auskunft des Stadtarchivs Hannover (Herr Zimmermann).



writing on the plate of the Paul Statue on the main steps:



(master Maurice von Soden canon and elder donated this to the

Church of the Holy Cross)

underneath is the family arms and the floor plate :


On the stem: ANNO 1727

On the surface of the stem of the Paul statue:


On the book is the year 1718.





Born 1913/8/2 in Friedrichshafen,Bavaria,Germany

1939-9 ? 1940/7




Graf Ulrich von Soden-Fraunhofen


Watch Officer & Adjutant

16. Minensuch-Flotille

1940/11 ? 1941/3


12. Minensuch-Flotille

1941/4 ? 1941/10

U-Boat Training

1941/10 ? 1942/3

1.Watch Officer on the U552

1942/3 ? 1942/5

Kommandant Training

2. U.A.A. & 24 U-Boot Flotille


Crew 36


1942/5/28 ? 1943/2/7

Kommandant of U-624

The U-624 sank 5 ships of 39,855 tons and damaged 1 of 5,432 tons.

1st Mission:-

These were :

29/10/1942 Kosmos II ,a Norwegian Whaler in Sector AL54

29/10/1942 The steamer Pan New York in sector AL54

18/11/1942 The steamer Yaka while belonging to the ?Viper? group

in sector AK 48

18/11/1942 Tanker President Sergent in sector AK 48

18/11/1942 Steamer Parismina in sector AK 48

2nd Mission:

25/1/1943 Lone Freighter Lackenby ,a British steamer in sector AL 45

4/2/1943 engaged as escort

7/2/1943 Sunk by RAF B-17 Fortress Squadron 220


It was sunk in the North Atlantic on 7. February,1943,in position 55?42 N,26?17W by depth charges

from a British B-17 Fortress Aircraft (Sqdn. 220/J). The crew of 45 were all killed.

The U-552 carried out 10 patrols for 298 days up to August ,1942

Its Captain was the charismatic Erich Topp. Altogether with him as Captain the U552 sank

184,244 tons of Allied shipping gaining him eventually the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Soden was watch officer on the U552 when Topp was commander and when the USS James Reuben

was sunk. He served from October,1941 to March,1942. During this time his boat patrolled the

North-, and West Atlantic,the New Foundland Bank and south of Nova Scotia. Between the

25th October,1941 and 25th November, 1941 the U552 accompanied the ?Stortekecker?,sank

an 8000 tonne British Steamer patrolled west of Gibraltar and sank the USS Reuben James.

This happened some 6 weeks before the Americans declared war on the Germans and this

was the first American ship to be sunk,though many had been damaged. 100 of the crew of

144 perished. This happened on 31.October,1941 at 0525 hours while the USS James Reuben

was with the eastbound convoy HX-156. Soden left the U-552 for Commander Training and

command in May ,1942 of the U-624.


               (Codename of the U-624 signed by von Soden and his officers)


Report by the RAF Crew,7th February, 1943

Date Feb.7


Type & Number Fortress II J220 Fl.459

Crew P/O Roberson,G.Capt.

P/O Grove,P.H. 2 Pil

F/S Britten,T.Nav.

Sgt.Dreghton,L. 3 Pil.

F/Sgt. White,H.

F/S Sutton,J.S.

Sgt. Pratt,H.

Sgt. Thacker,R


Duty Parallel track sweep to cover S.G.118

Time Up 1230

Time Down 2308

Details of Sortie 1740 in position 56? 14?N,24"55?W

1812 in position 55"42?N,26"17?W,sighted u/b on surface;

after stalking through cloud cover to within 3 miles attacked through rain at 90"

to track from starboard with d.c?s. U/B straddled between No.4 and No.5 d.c.?s.



U/B submerged slowly. After plum subsided a round object 12 ft. Long rose out

of water to about 4 ft. Several pieces of yellow wood also seen. Marine marker dropped

after 15 minutes and dr. and corvette contacted and then flew to C/V and reported to S.N.O.

Nothing further seen.

References BAL/02/8/Feb

LV/G2/6 Feb.

Source: PRO ,Kew,England.

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