We Hintermans are of Swiss descent. That's our coat-of-arms to the left - we aren't much for flashy graphics apparently. My great-grandfather Rudolph emigrated here in the later 1800's from Zurich. I grew up on the little farm that he settled six miles south of (where in the world is...) Merrill, Michigan. The log house that he built still stands and I had many adventures in it - both real and imagined - growing up there.
This week I was doing a little net surfing and ran across an article on the Hintermann (the old spelling - as if it isn’t a long enough name in its current usage!) family. It was all in German so I used a free online translator. It is worth every cent I paid for it. The translation is rough, but allows one to get the gist of the article.
Here are a few out-takes:
The Hintermann are one of the completely old families of Beinwil, (A small village that has a fairly strong Hintermann contingent) which already established themselves there in the outgoing Middle Ages. From where they came, is not anywhere held. If we test however, where except in Beinwil there are today "Hintermanns", the strong spreading of the name in the canton Zurich is noticeable, while it in other cantons do not (makes no sense) at all is. Therefore a strong probability exists that the Beinwiler Hintermann came from there. The first (makes no sense) mention of the name in Beinwil falls in the year 1500.
The following stanza explains so much....
Traces of the branch of Hintermann in the canton Luzern are us so far in the sources do not meet. There are descendants anyhow there today no more. In Beinwil however the sex spread with the time strongly. After the family listing of 1589 the village counted already seven Hintermann families.
A few final thoughts about the translation: I have always thought the name meant "the man behind" either indicating that our family lived geographically behind some more prominent personage or that we served as servants or that we were just a bit slow (the most likely of the options) However, in the on-line translation the Hintermann name was literally rendered as "backer". I like that! So maybe our family name means - "I’ve got your back!" Or I’m one who works behind the scenes to assure the success of another.
I’ve had several people ask how I’m doing with being "only" a staff pastor. After all, I spent thirty years as solo and lead pastor in four churches. The truth is, I’m loving what I am doing now. I enjoyed helping Joel succeed in his ministry and am very excited about the days ahead with our new lead guy, Brandon. So, I guess if anyone else asks me how I’m doing in this role, I can just say, I’m a Hinterman - it’s in my blood.