The Nendel family in Saxony
The earliest evidence of the surname Nendel in Saxony can be found in the Leubsdorf tax register of 1501. Three farms in the village were owned by members of the family. From Leubsdorf the family spread along the Flöha river and into adjacent valleys. Analysing the entries of the first pages of the area's 16th century church and court books gives evidence that the surname had already spread within a circle of about 35 km diameter. The Nendel family in Leubsdorf goes back to the farmer Laurens Nendel (* about 1485), who appears in the court book of the Schellenberg authority of 1551 and who is a son of one of the farm owners mentioned in the 1501 tax register. He is the ancestor of the largest family branch in Saxony. His descendants still live in this region. It is assumed that the farmers that later appear in the adjacent villages Borstendorf (Valten, * about 1527), Brand-Erbisdorf (Paul, * about 1555), Forchheim (Johannis, * about 1563), Grünhainichen (Paul, * about 1563), Lengefeld (Christopherus, * about 1570), Wünschendorf (Hans, * about 1571) and Großhartmannsdorf (Caspar, * about 1647), are related to the family in Leubsdorf.
In the same period, on 17 September 1527, Jacob Nendel (* about 1485) was appointed judge in Kirchbach near Frankenstein (court book of the Schellenberg authority, 1551). It is almost certain that Jacob Nendel came from Leubsdorf. He passed on his duty to eight descending generations until the linie vanished at the end of the 18th century because no son was born to carry on the name. The judge's farm still exists on the easter end of the village of Kirchbach. In the neighbouring village of Langenau Caspar Nendel (* 20.05.1663), an offspring of this line, also held the position of the village's judge, which he passed on to his son and grandson. His descendants later moved deeper into the valleys and practised the craft of making passementries in the towns of Wolkenstein and Annaberg.
In Frankenstein itself lived Mattes Nendel (* about 1525) and Hans Nendel (* about 1528) with their children (Oederan court book 1579). In the vicinity of Frankenstein a large community of Nendels have been recorded in the following decades. Many of them were miller. The ancestors of the families in this cluster were the father of Michael, Nicol and Martin Nendel in Schönerstadt (* about 1547), the inhabitants Jacob (* about 1596) and Nicol Nendel (* about 1607) in Hartha, the miller Peter Nendel (* about 1596) in Wingendorf and the miller Martin Nendel (* about 1626) on the Gückelsberg.
The descendants of Peter were miller on the mill of Wingendorf for three generations. His grandson Hans (* about 1649) later had the mill in Hainichen and subsequently also the Ratspachtmühle, the middle mill of Freiberg. Michael (* about 1675), the son of Hans, was the last generation of the family being a miller. His descendants could still be traced in Freiberg until the middle of the 18th century.
Also the Wiesenmühle (meadow mill) in Frankenstein was in Nendel`s hands. Friedrich Nendel of Hartha (* about 1607) was the first recorded miller in Frankenstein, while Caspar Nendel (* about 1615), who later leased the mill in Memmendorf, was born on the Wiesenmühle according to his death record. They were presumably sons of Caspar Nendel "der Wiesenmüller" (the miller on the meadow) and grandsons of Mattes Nendel. Friedrich had two daughters only, so the name Nendel died in this line. Two of the three sons of Caspar married 20 km further north in Siebenlehn. The younger son Christoph (* 1648) later was the father of two strong family branches in Siebenlehn, of which one survived elsewhere until today.
Martin Nendel was the father of a miller dynasty on the Gückelsberg. His son Christian bought the Gückelsberg mill of Christian Naumann on 30.04.1675 and passed it on. The dynasty ended after six generations with the death of Christian Friedrich Nendel (* 1765), who had to pay off his sisters after their father's death and therefore was forced to sell the mill on 17.06.1795.
In Schönerstadt Nendel family members still live today. Surprisingly, they are descendants of the Nendels of Leubsdorf. Joseph Nendel, born in Leubsdorf in 1790 and a proven descendant of the farmer Philip, married Dorothea Elisabeth Richter of Falkenau. His son Carl Friedrich, a factory worker, later moved to Schönerstadt. Of the Nendels that have been known in Schönerstadt since the 16th century the trace disappears because of missing church books. For about 150 years no Nendels can be found in Schönerstadt.
Of the third cluster in the North of Chemnitz two ancestors are known: Nicol in Niederlichtenau (* about 1565) and Jacob in Auerswalde (* about 1586). Of both no profession has come down in the documents.