the beginnings of our family research

by Wilhelm Christian Scarbath


Mr. Willi (really Wilhelm Christian) Scarbath kindly created the fundamentals for genealogic research as regards our family name. Hereafter you can find his report containing the hitherto available information:

Our ancestor Joannes Carolus Scarbades, only son of Joannes Martinus Scarbades from Radenitz in Bohemia, for the first time appears in a public record exactly 170 years ago (Evangelic-lutheran parish St. Kilian [35 KB] near Schleusingen in Thuringia, April 17, 1795).

It is on the occasion of this day, that I will arrange the information collected during several decades about the descendants of this ancestor in genealogical charts in order to provide future generations with a family book.
Although individual genealogical charts may contain gaps, they nevertheless provide a far reaching overview as to the bearers of this name from 1795 until today.
The bearers of this name as Scarbatha, Scarbata, Scarbatta, Skarbath, Scarbath, Scarbatt, Scarbarth, Scarbat and Sckarbath can be found all over Germany and, since the last turn of the century, also in the USA.

The spelling of the name in the first records known (Latin: Scarbades; later on German: Scarbatha and Scarbata) does not provide any safe evidence, for it can be assumed that our ancestors themselves were not able to write, that’s why the respective vicar took the name down as he heard it pronounced by the person concerned. Here, it can be taken for granted that the “c” in the Latin version of he first record was introduced into the name instead of a “k”. Thus, the name should be written Skarbata or similarly.

Intensive research in Bohemia, if ever possible at all in the contemporary CSSR, unfortunately did not lead to obvious results. There is a place in Bohemia called Radenitz/Radenice having about 100 inhabitants belonging to the rural commune Wschehan/Vsejany (District of Nimburg/Nymburk).There is another rural commune Radenitz/Ratenice having about 1000 inhabitants (District of Podiebrad/Podebrady). Both places are situated about 50 km East from Prague. Nevertheless, until today it has not been possible to trace the name Skarbata there or anywhere else in the Bohemian region.

Whereas, in Vienna and now also in Germany, I found a number of persons who spell their name Skarvada (also Skawada) and the ancestors of which obviously come from Bohemia (from Ladetsch a. d. Sasau/Ledec n.S. and from Zwitnuf/Svetnov District of Chotieborsch/Chotebor). A person named Skarvada is still living near Teplitz-Schoenau/Teplice-Sanov and several persons named Skarvada shall have lived in Prag/Praha at least until 1945.

The link between the names Skarbata and Skarvada is quite thinkable. Moreover, Podebrady, Ledec and Chotebor are not very far from each other (Podebrady – Chotebor 60 km, Chotebor – Ledec 30 km and Ledec – Podebrady 50 km) and all these places belong to the same Inferior Court District German-Brot/Nemecky-Brod.
Until today there is, however, no evidence to assume that the name Skarbata emerged from the name Skarvada. By chance I found an interesting record copy (front side [100 KB] and back side [48 KB]) concerning a birth registered in Ledec n.S. in 1813 which I will attach.

It can be taken for granted that our ancestor, first of all, came from Bohemia to Germany. But at least there is some doubt, if the name Skarbata or Skarvada is of Bohemian origin.
In this respect, an information received from Mr. Karl Skarvada, Vienna, may be revealing, as he was told his ancestors were of Swedish origin and driven to Bohemia in military expeditions.
Also Mr. Erich Skambath from Gummersbach (Rhineland), with whom I used to exchange letters, disposes of documents the parish Brandenburg/East Prussia expressing that his ancestors came from Sweden to East Prussia during the Thirty Years’ War and settled there. His grandfather himself told him that their ancestors have been Vikings.

There are no documents evidencing as to how our ancestor came to Germany. According to the various versions of tradition, Joannes Carolus Scarbades must have stayed here in war. This could probably have been the first Coalition War 1793/97 in which Austria (Bohemia was part of Austria at that time), Prussia and members of the Reich fought together against the French invading the country.
In the Separate Peace of Basel Prussia left the Coalition and the whole North Germany joined the Separate Peace. This Separate Peace of the Prussians might have been the reason why also the Austrian Scarbades/Skarbata laid down his weapons and looked for a new homeland at the Prussians in Raasen near Schleusingen (at that time, Schleusingen belonged to the Prussian Province of Saxony).

The research as regards our ancestors and their descendants has only been possible with the active support of many relatives, particularly those in Middle Germany, throughout many years. Let me express my thankfulness to them all.
All of us are very thankful to the registrars, pastors and parish-register keepers in Thuringia and Saxony, which always found a way to help when other sources disappeared.

Finally, let me express my wish, that this family book will always meet great interest and inspire further research.

Behringersdorf near Nuernberg
April 17, 1965 sgd. Scarbath