Is your surname Giegengack, Gigengack or Geigengack? Then this website is about you!
Giegengacks, Gigengacks and Geigengacks live all over the world, and they are all related. The roots of the Giegengack family are in Kleinschmalkalden, a little village in Thüringen, in the green heart of Germany. Join us in our search for our ancestry and explore the stories on this website, about different family branches, the meaning of the name Giegengack and about Kleinschmalkalden. But first, e-mail us your information, because as a Gi(e)gengack, you belong in the family tree! Have fun!

Ist Ihr Name Giegengack, Gigengack oder Geigengack? Dann geht diese Website über Sie!
Giegengacks, Gigengacks und Geigengacks leben in der ganzen Welt, und sie sind alle verwandt. Die Herkunft der Familie liegt in Kleinschmalkalden, ein kleines Dorf in Thüringen, tief im grünen Herzen von Deutschland. Machen Sie sich mit uns auf die Suche nach unseren 'Roots' und erkunden Sie die Geschichten auf dieser Website, über die verschiedenen Familienzweige, die Bedeutung des Namens Giegengack und über Kleinschmalkalden. Aber bitte Mailen Sie zuerst Ihre persönliche Daten, denn als Gi(e)gengack gehören Sie auch auf der Ahnentafel! Viel Spaß.

Is jouw naam Giegengack, Gigengack of Geigengack? Dan gaat deze site over jou!
Er wonen Giegengacks, Gigengacks en Geigengacks verspreid over de hele wereld, maar ze zijn allemaal familie van elkaar.
De wortels van de Giegengack-familie liggen in Kleinschmalkalden, een klein dorpje in Thüringen, diep in het groene hart van Duitsland. Ga met ons mee op onderzoek naar je roots en duik in de verhalen op deze website. Over de verschillende takken van de familie, over de betekenis van de naam Giegengack, over Kleinschmalkalden. Maar mail eerst snel je gegevens, want als Gi(e)gengack hoor je in de stamboom thuis! Veel plezier.

Goodbye Mister Carousel

All his life he was the carousel man, travelling with and working in his beloved merry-go-round, day in and day out. Now, with the death of Tonnie Gigengack last Saturday the 13th of August 2016, this family tradition comes to an end. There is no successor found in the family to continue travelling with this carousel.

Tonnie Gigengack (77) died unexpectedly, just hours after he listened with his family to the beautiful carousel organ of which he was so proud. No matter how busy he was, he always took time to chat with us. We will miss him greatly.

Vaarwel carrousel-man

Zijn hele leven was hij de carrousel-man, dag in dag uit op reis met en werkend in zijn draaimolen. Nu, met het overlijden van Tonnie Gigengack afgelopen zaterdag 13 augustus 2016, houdt deze familietraditie op te bestaan. Er is geen opvolger gevonden in de familie om het reizen met deze carrousel voort te zetten.

Tonnie Gigengack (77) overleed onverwachts, slechts enkele uren nadat hij met familie nog luisterde naar het prachtige draaimolen-orgel waar hij zo trots op was. Hoe druk hij ook was, hij nam altijd tijd voor een praatje met ons. We zullen hem enorm missen.

(Photo taken in 2011 by Carlo ter Ellen, copyright De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

Also see the Hengelo Lineage.

‘Missing link’ found: the German, Dutch and American Giegengacks all come from Kleinschmalkalden
  This entry in the parish register of Roßdorf says that Johann Adam Giegengack and Anna Margaretha had a son baptized on March 26, 1750: Johann Valentin. The redeeming evidence that Johann Valentin Giegengack comes from Roßdorf.
Many have been searching in the past decades to find this lacking information. In 1972 Helmut Giegengack from Chemnitz wrote to Johan Gigengack in Holland: "I find it very interesting, what connection exists between the German and Dutch Giegengacks ... '. Johan had been searching the answers on this question already in 1954. More recently the tour group that visited Copenhagen in October 2008, was also looking for the 'Missing Link'. Eventually a tip from researcher Christian Hoske put us on the right track.

The churchbooks of Roßdorf (Thüringen) were found to contain the little pieces of information to finish the puzzle: the German, Dutch and American Giegengacks all come from Kleinschmalkalden.

In retrospect, we understand why it was so difficult to find the link. Namely, Moritz Giegengack from Kleinschmalkalden has moved around 1658 from Kleinschmalkalden to nearby Roßdorf. There he founded a large family. One of the descendants is Johann Valentin Giegengack who in 1771, being a young man, ended up as a soldier in Copenhagen. His son Johan Christian undertook a great journey starting in Denmark, through Germany and ending in the Netherlands. Johan Christian Gigengack is the ancestor of all Dutch Gigengacks.
Also see the Moritz Giegengack Lineage.

Further research is needed
There is still a wealth of material in the region Schmalkalden-Meiningen. To continue genealogical research your support is crucial. We therefore request you to sponsor further research with a contribution to our family bank account or by PayPal.

New surprising discovery: familyname Gi(e)gengack found further back in time (1543)
We are happy to inform you about an exciting new discovery done recently. Researcher mr Rainer König from Kleinschmalkalden found at our request that the name Gi(e)gengack appears in the records of conscript soldiers already in 1543! This is great news that we of course like to share with you.
Mr König writes: "... The name Gigengack appears in Hessian Musterungsregister from 06.03.1543".

The names and equipment are:

Hanß Gigengack, spear (his equipment)
Hanß Gigengack, spear
Zir Gigengack, half armor
Jacobb (?) Gigengack, half armor
Jorg Gigengack, spear, rifle

Source: Thüringisches Staatsarchiv Meiningen Gemeinschaftliches, Hennebergisches Archiv (GHA) Sektion II, Nr.272.

The list contains 72 persons from Kleinschmalkalden that could be called up for military service (Wehrpflichtig). The estimated population at that time is 350. The conclusion is that our family lived in Kleinschmalkalden and Thüringen since the late Middle Ages and possibly longer. In our opinion it seems unlikely that we will find older sources. That makes this discovery even more special.

In June 2012 we visited the Staatsarchiv ourselves and got the images of this old document.

That time we also found another Giegengack in the same document. He is mentioned in the listing of the village Hergos (Herges, now part of Herges-Hallenberg, about 18 km south of Kleinschmalkalden):

Kirsten Geygengack, spieß (spear)

Old document with name Giegengack (1583):
no mercy for thief who stole from Valten Giegengak
  Don't mess with the Giegengacks
  Article in Heimatblätter 2-2009 by Rainer König.
From Helmut Giegengack we received an article written by Rainer König where a Valten Giegengak is mentioned. The story was based on a document from 1583 that, at the time it was discovered, was the oldest with the name Giegengack written in it. Later on we contacted Kleinschmalkaldens local historian Rainer König, and he sent us the photo he made from the original pages of the book 'Gerichtshandlungen Brottroda' (Jurisdiction in the town of Brotterode).
These two pages from the 'Gerichtshandlungen Brottroda' are about the lawsuit against the thief Hans Mahler, who had robbed Valten Giegengak. At the bottom part of the left page is written: 'Gefraget was sie denn Valten Giegengak in der Kleinschmalkalden aus dem Haus gestolen?'. Meaning: 'It was asked what they (the thieves) stole from the house of Valten Giegengak in Kleinschmalkalden'.

Read the horrible story here.

We are very thankful to mr. Rainer König,
who shared his work with us.

The Rechnungsbuch of Kleinschmalkalden 1591/1592
  Picture made available by Sam Dellit, Australia. He visited the Schmalkalden archive in the summer of 2006.
This photo shows a detail of a page from the Rechnungsbuch of Kleinschmalkalden for the year 1592. In this document two family members are mentioned: Margretha Giegenngagk and Nickell Giegenngagk.

According to Sam Dellit from Australia, who sent us this photo, in the books in the Schmalkalden archive 'there are numerous references to Giegengacks, including several years when a Giegengack was the official recorder'. He found three more Giegengacks on other pages of this Rechnungsbuch and that brings him to the conclusion that 'with 4 adult Giegengacks in Kleinschmalkalden in 1592, almost certainly takes the Giegengacks back to at least 1550 in Kleinschmalkalden'.

In the 'Kleinschmalkalder Heimatblätter' 4a and 4b, 2009, some pages of the 'Gemeinderechnung' 1591/1592 are published. There we find the following names:
Jacob Giegenngagk, Jorg Giegengagk, Valtenn Giegenngak, Clauß Giegenngack, Heinz Giegenngagk, Margretha Giegenngagk (Modo Clauß Giegengagk) and Nickell Giegengack.

Please send your reactions to us: Contact.

Churchbook Kleinschmalkalden 1641-1642
It is always special to find your family name in a document that's more than 365 years old. It's about the confirmation (Konfirmationen or aanneming) of three 14 year old boys in 1641 and 1642: Jörg, Moritz and Petter Giegengagk. Petter is one of the oldest ancestors of the German and the USA-lineage.

Source: Kirchenbuch Kleinschmalkalden 1626-1719, 2+, page 175.
Picture made available by Rick Elgin, Memphis, TN, USA.

Biography Tom Coolman (Gigengack) online
"It is Sunday, 21 April 1996, and I am now finally making a start with writing my story!" With these words Tom Coolman, born as Antonius Adrianus Maria Gigengack, starts his biography, about which he mentions: "This booklet intends to describe my journey in life." And: "The matters I write about are as close as possible to the way I spent my life with my family and friends; at least as close as I can possibly remember. You should know that I am not an author, just a Dutch migrant who has worked hard all his life. So please take the good with the bad when you try to read my scribbling."
Tom and Anna live in Australia since 1965. You can download the biography here in English or Dutch.

Dewi goes back to her roots (in Dutch)
Journalist Dewi Gigengack from Holland wrote the story 'Back to our roots' about the role of DNA in tracing her roots. The story was published in the seven Dutch regional newspapers of the Wegener Media group.
Dewi and her father Erik took part in the Genographic Project and they sent their DNA-samples to the lab.
Click on the image or click here to go to a readable pdf and read about mitochondrial Eve, Homo sapiens, the exotic haplogroup M and group M253 that could be of Norman Viking descent (article In Dutch only).
The Genographic Project is a multi-year research initiative led by National Geographic geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells. More info on the Genographic Project here.
Lees of download het volledige artikel hier.

Source: Wegener Media, July 23rd 2011.

Happy family party in Brooklyn (USA)

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn.

11th Street in Brooklyn, were Cath Teegarden and her husband Rick live.

Prospect Park, a few minutes from Cath and Rick's house.
In April 2010 we (Erik Gigengack and his family) visited New York. On that occasion we were invited at a wonderful Giegengack party in Brooklyn, NY. The location was the lovely house of Cath Teegarden, daughter of Lucie Giegengack-Teegarden.
So present at the party were the organizers Lucie and daughter Cath, Cath's husband Rick, their kids Becca and Margot; Bob Giegengack plus his daughter Katie; Mary Giegengack and her husband, John Jureller; Ed Giegengack and his wife Terry plus their sons Philip, Paul, and Danny; Bob White (Jane's husband) plus his daughter Liz; and the five from the Netherlands: Erik Gigengack and his wife Greta, their kids Guus and Dewi and her boyfriend Sander. Nancy George McNabb and her husband Alan had hoped to come, too, but couldn't make it.
We enjoyed the warm and interesting conversations and the great food prepared by Cath. Although we forgot to take pictures, we will long remember this sparkling family gathering.

Wonderful stories: the Bocholt Gigengacks
The Germany-weekend in March 2010 started with the visit at Herbert (r.) and Käthe (l.) Gigengack in Bocholt. In the middle: Frans Gigengack from Hengelo. Wonderful stories were told.
Also see the videos and download the informative trip report (pdf).

Back to our roots: visit to Thüringen
From Bocholt the delegation of Gigengacks from the Netherlands went to Thüringen to visit Kleinschmalkalden. From left: John, Frans, Magdalene and Helmut (from Chemnitz), Frank, Erik and Ingo.
Also see the video and download the informative trip report (pdf).

  See the videos of the visit to Kleinschmalkalden, Schmalkalden and Bocholt in March 2010, made by John Gigengack.
You can also download here the very informative trip report (pdf) made by John. (Save file - Datei Speichern - Bestand opslaan.)

Your portrait photo at the website
All Giegengacks can send us their portrait picture and we'll place it at the website! Also the portraits of your parents, partner and kids are most welcome. Family members with profile photos on Facebook, Hyves etc., please send them to us! The photos will be a great resource for enlivening our family tree! The portraits in digital format can be e-mailed to: erik[at]gigengack[.]nl
Thank you for your help!

The Danish Link: visit to København
Part of the text in the Forseglingsprotokol from 1798 with the inheritance rights of the children of Valentin Gi(e)gengack. Photo: John Gigengack (Duivendrecht, NL).
  From left to right: Frank, John and Frans Gigengack. The København travelers visited the Garnisons Church, the Christians Church, the former Frederiks Hospital, the former Sølvgaden Kaserne, the Landsarkivet for Sjælland and the Arsenal Museum. But there also was time for a beer! Photo: Erik Gigengack (Hengelo, NL).
  Interesting meeting with Karsten Skjold Petersen (left), senior research worker at The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum (Tøjhusmuseet). He - as an expert in social history of the recruited professional soldiers in Denmark - could tell a lot about Valentin Gi(e)gengack's life as a sergeant in the Danish army.
Next to mr. Petersen are Erik, Frans and Frank Gigengack.
Photo: John Gigengack (Duivendrecht, NL).
Four family members visited København from the 18th to the 21st of October 2008, to find tracks of one of our forefathers Valentin Gi(e)gengack.

Frans Gigengack, John Gigengack and Erik and Frank Gigengack (all from the Netherlands) visited the places where their oldest known forefather Valentin had lived and worked, where he was married, where his children were baptized and where he died.

In the Landsarkivet for Sjælland they saw the Forseglingsprotokol from 1798 with the inheritance rights of the children of Valentin Gi(e)gengack (picture above).

Update: Since July 2012 we know that Valentin Giegengack descends from Moritz Giegengack who moved to to Roßdorf.

Also see the Moritz Lineage.

Origin of the name Giegengack
  Celtic bird
Drawing by Cari Buziak (see her Home page)
What is the meaning of the name Giegengack and where does it originate from? Is our family name of Celtic descent or is it Slavic? It could also be a normal German name. For sure it wasn't thought up by Dutch people, like the book 'Xenophobe's guide to the Dutch' said. But the editor removed that theory in the last edition of the book.
Read more at the page 'Our Family Name'.

> Tell your suggestion or theory to us. Click here and we bring you to the page 'Contact'.

'Kermis' in the old days
  Picture made available by José Gigengack, Hengelo, the Netherlands. Photographer and year unknown.
This is a picture of the Kermis in the Netherlands like it was in the old days. In the background is a carousel, the one that is in our family for a long time now. The Hengelo Branch of the Gigengack Family is in the Kermis Business for more than hundred years. An example: in 1874 the Gigengack carousel [draaimolen] was in the little town of Wijhe (Overijssel, the Netherlands) for the first time.

All Kermis-pictures are welcome: Contact.

Coat of Arms
(Familienwappen - familiewapen)

Here is a picture of the Gigengack Coat of Arms that we received from at least three family members during the first year of this website. The one showed here is from Marion and Peter van Dijk from New Zealand. (Marion is the daughter of Ettina Maria Gigengack from Haarlem, the Netherlands).

The Gigengack Coat of Arms was registered at the CBG (Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, Den Haag) by Christiaan Antonius Gigengack from Zutphen, the Netherlands on 19 May 1978. The description of the Gigengack Coat of Arms from the CBG: Divided: 1) in blue a stork of natural colour; 2) in blue silver chevron charged with red crescent accompanied above with three silver roses beside each other. Crest: a blue set of wings (vol). Covers: silver and blue. [Geteilt: 1) im Blau ein Storch der natürlichen Farbe; 2) im blauen silbernen Twill lud mit dem roten Halbmond, der oben mit drei silbernen Roses neben einander begleitet wurde. Helmkleinod: ein blauer Flug. Abdeckungen: Silber und Blau. Gedeeld: 1) in blauw een ooievaar van natuurlijke kleur; 2) in blauw een zilveren keper beladen met een rode wassenaar vergezeld boven van drie zilveren rozen naast elkaar. Helmteken: een blauwe vlucht. Dekkleden: zilver en blauw.]

We are still searching for an answer about how long this coat of arms is used. It must be for 'some time' before registering. Also about the origin, meaning and use of the symbols, we look for further information. Please let us know if you have more information about the Gigengack Coat of Arms: Contact.

Writers inspired by the name Gi(e)gengack
Story De Giegelgak in the book 'Wat enigjes' by Marten Toonder. More >   De vogel Gigengack, poems by Tjaard de Haan   Mevrouw Gigengack by Nelleke Noordervliet.
More >

With the help of John Gigengack from Duivendrecht we show some books that have our family name in the title. Although the books are not really about (members of) our family, it is remarkable that these writers are inspired by our surname.
Read more here.

On the right you see the letter of Marten Toonder where he explains the use of the name Giegelgak.

  Click to see this letter.

Postcard from Kleinschmalkalden
The Giegengack family stems from the charming little town Kleinschmalkalden, situated in the beautiful Thüringer Wald (the Thuringian Forest), the green heart of Germany. This nice old postcard of the town of Kleinschmalkalden in the year 1904 we found at the website
We like to thank the makers of this website for their permission to use this image at our site. Do you also have a nice photo of Kleinschmalkalden or another picture that tells something about our family? Send your response here: Contact.

Song of Kleinschmalkalden (Heimatlied)
Lyrics of a song about the beautiful village Kleinschmalkalden in the Thüringer Wald.
Picture made available by Helmut Giegengack

The Giegengack House
The old Giegengack House in Kleinschmalkalden (Thüringen, Germany) that is build from wood. Photo Guus Gigengack, March 2004.
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The site was last updated on the 14th of January 2024.
Updated Hengelo Lineage
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