In 1899, Noah H. ALBAUGH and Josiah A. AULABAUGH privately published a monograph entitled,"GENEALOGY OF THE ALBAUGH FAMILIES." In that work, a fascinating bit of family lore is revealed - a tradition that a certain coin had been passed down from generation to generation - evidently from youngest son to youngest son - a coin which had some unspecified connection with the family's ancestral homeland.
We're not speaking of the German period (Sayn-Hachenburg) of ALBAUGH history here. This coin antedated that. We're speaking of Austria - and the mountainous section of that country called the Tyrol. This was the time of the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation -- the era of the Holy Roman Empire.
Noah ALBAUGH described the coin in sufficient detail that its identification was a relatively simple matter. If you've read Noah ALBAUGH's account, or know of this coin only by reading it here - and you've ever wondered about this relic from our family's dim past - good news! Not infrequently, coins of this particular issue come up for auction on eBay. At this writing, Christmastime 2008, two fabulous specimens were being offered - with multiple other lesser face value coins from the same place and time.
The coin is a 1632 "Thaler" or "Taler" issued in the final year of the reign of Archduke Leopold V of Österreich (Austria). It was struck in solid silver at the mint in the little village of "Hall" (just east of Innsbruck) high in the Tyrolean Alps (thus, this coin is sometimes referred to as a "Hall Thaler"). Its front (obverse) is described thus: "crowned and armored half-length bust of the Archduke right, holding sceptre and sword by its pommel; date in field." The circular inscription on the front of the coin reads: "LEOPOLDUS D.G. (Dei Gratia) ARCHIDUX AUSTRIAE." The coin's reverse is described as follows: "crowned arms within order chain, framed by arabesques." The inscription on the back reads: "DUX BURGUNDI; COMES TIROLIS." ... This Hall Thaler of Leopold V dated 1632 is identified in DAVENPORT's catalog as #3338 [KM 804.4].
A beautiful website showcasing this coin and its related issues may be found here:
Leopold V died in 1632, the year of this coin. Did the ALBAUGHs leave the Austrian Tyrol this same year ... heading north ... seeking a new home ... finally deciding to settle in that part of Germany still known today as the Westerwald ... with its dense forests ... and winding streams (like the Sieg) ... flowing lazily past the hay farms and dairy cattle ... emptying at length into the mighty Rhine River?
We can only wonder.
Happy Holidays, cousins!
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