THE NAME UTERMÖHLEN
A colorful article about the origins of the name Utermöhlen appeared in a German newspaper, Wie der Name Utermohlen enstanden ist." (Joachim Kaiser indicates that it was his uncle, Hermann Utermöhlen (1896-1975), who was the source of this story, under the pseudonym H.C. Hun):
A translation, furnished by Marianne Driscoll and Joachim Kaiser:
Where the Name "Utermohlen" Comes From
The Low German Mother Tongue Gives Many Clues for Family Name Research
[From high German:]
During recent times more efforts are again being made to keep our low German mother tongue alive. Moreover, how important these efforts are, shall be further examined in more extensive article. Today the effort is made to prove that family names, among other things, stem from "Plattdeutsch," as, for instance, the name of Utermöhlen or Utermöhle. Many residents of this area carry this name.
Shortly before WW II, a Dr. Utermöhlen from Kassel sent out invitations to a family day in Göttingen. Approximately 250 people with that name came from all over Germany. At a second get-together a year later in Hann. Münden even more people arrived. Unfortunately, the attempts to continue the meetings after the war were not successful. Following we try to find out how this name was established:
Many years ago the Romans came to our land and carried on badly. The leader Hermann called his Cheruskers together. The enemies started to fight. The fighting lasted for three days, but Hermann was successful so that not one bone of the Romans was alive. When Emperor Augustus in Rome heard about this, he started to cry and ordered, "Varus, give me back my legions!" Well, forget it. General Field Marshall Varus, who of all the Romans was the only one to survive it, ran off to Holland together with the war chest which still had in it the whole pay for the soldiers.
The German Emperor Barbarossa in his castle in Goslar was very proud about the accomplished Hermann and made him a General. And then they celebrated for three days until everybody was drunk and lying under the tables. When Hermann was ready to go home, he was allowed another wish, but he was modest and meant that his son who was working as a wood burner would like to get another job. He would really like to become a forester. This wish was granted and the boy got the position of a forester in the Harz, namely in Buntenbock.
One day this young forester was in the woods when he heard some noise in the fir trees which sounded like someone was sawing off a tree. He right away went to the place. Somebody was there sleeping. "My God," he calls out, "it's Emperor Barbarossa!" The old man must have gotten lost during a hunt, wanted to take a little rest and fell asleep. Quietly the forester approached and firstly chased away the flies crawling over the old man's face, and then he laid the grey head into his lap. At once there arrived a big wolf that was to rush at the both. But now the forester took his gun and shot the beast. From this the emperor awoke and was enjoyed that the forester had saved his life. A fortnight later the forester became the director of the "Rhumemühle" (it really exists) at Northeim.
It wasn't long that the new director was in high favour at the imperial court, due to the fact that he always delivered such a nice white wheaten flour at that the weight of the sacks was correct. The years passed by. Long ago Hermann - as did his father - had risen to a general director and the emperor had raised him to nobility on his birthday. He called himself now Hermann von där Möhlen (Hermann of the Mill). After he retired, his oldest son got this good position. This guy was an air head and did not take care of the mill.
He rather went all over the place and spent his time with others' wives in the bars. When the flour at the emperor's castle got worse and worse, the Emperor himself with this Minister of Food came, because all warnings had not helped. The Emperor screamed so that everybody could hear it: "I am going to throw you dirt out! From now on, you are not allowed to enter the mill again. But I am not going to touch your nobility status. However, you are not allowed to call yourself "Von där Möhlen" [of the mill]. From today on your name will be "Ut där Möhlen" [out of the mill?].