Martin Remus in Grossenhain

Grossenhain in 1628

Click here to see pictures of the parts of Grossenhain that date to the 15000's

Martin Remus the younger of Grossenhain was born in the mid-1500's in Saxony. Martin Remus the younger of Grossenhain appears to be the son of Martin Remus the elder of Grossenhain but we cannot be sure as the earliest birth records in Grossenhain start in 1570. However, we do find potential father Martin Remus the elder living in Grossenhain and fathering other children. I suspect but cannot prove that Martin Remus the elder came from Wiesa near Kamenz where there was a Remus family who were Burgers in Kamenz (Martin also was a common first name used in that family). Martin the elder had other children, some of which settled in the farming village of Wellsig, just south and east of Grossenhain. Click here to go to Wellsig.

The early Grossenhain church records show Martin appearing as Martin Remus as well as Martin Reim showing the family name was not yet stable (similarly the family name was not stable in Kamenz). This area was an early area to adopt Lutheranism. Remus first names in that era included Christian, Martin, Johan, Peter and Georg; these first names reappear in the family for many generations. Thus, this Remus name may be based the Latinized form of Rem or Reim - a change made in 1500's by scholars and churchmen. Alternatively as in Kamenz, Remus maybe an unstable variant of Remitz.

Martin Remus the elder was the Lutheran kantor in Grossenhain. In that era the title kantor could designate a choirmaster or teacher. The picture above depicts the music of the period. The Grossenhain church in which he was a kantor still exists although it underwent a major Baroque renovation in 1741. Here is a picture of that church:

Click here for wonderful pictures of the interior of the church.

In this period, the Reformation was unfolding based on the teachings of Martin Luther; Grossenhain converted to Luther's teachings in 1539.

Click here for more on the Reformation.

Click here for more on nearby Wittenburg where Martin Luther lived and taught.

Grossenhain was an important trading town on the highland trade route connecting Leipzig to the east. Thus, this Remus family may have been linked to the trading Rem(us) family of Augsburg. Here is map of the east-west trade route through Grossenhain; the map is from the Museum in the Latin School in Grossenhain.

Click here for some drawings of travelers on that road.

Here is a drawing of the town in 1745 from the Grossenhain Latin School Museum:

To go to a university in the 1500's, one first went to a Latin school since all higher education was then in Latin. The Latin school attended by the Remus family may have been the Latin School in Grossenhain. Here is a picture of the Grossenhain Latin School (now a museum):

Here is a classroom scene from teaching in the Reformation:


And here are more pictures of modern Grossenhain

And here for more pictures of old Grossenhain including its cloister, castle, and walls.

Martin Remus attended University of Leipzig. University of Leipzig prepared students for medicine and theology. Click here for more on Martin in Leipzig.

Kantor Martin Remus was likely to be involved with Jacob Fabricius who headed the first Lutheran School (located in nearby Meissen). Besides heading the school, Jacob Fabricius was instrumental in developing the music used in the Lutheran services so it would be natural that Martin, a kantor, would having a working relationship with Jacob. Click her for more on the first school in Meissen (the former St Afra monastery) and Meissen.

Martin Remus the younger attended the gymnasium (Latin school in that era) in Stolp around 1580, perhaps after earlier attending the Latin school in Grossenhain. Thus, he was a young man in 1580. (How he got to Stolp I have no idea). Then Martin became a teacher in Stolp. Eventually he was ordained as a pastor there. We do know he married before being called to Danzig in 1586, but if he did, the marriage probably occurred in Stolp. Click here to move on to Danzig (Gdansk), West Prussia.

Please send any queries to Bill Remus at

September 4, 2007