"DRAGO" FOUNDING FATHER OF
THE TRAGESER NAME
About 850 AD a member of the gentry named Drago acquired some property, cleared the area and built a large house which became a landmark for the villagers. The name given to the house, originally, was "Drago". (Drago means dragoon which was applied to a member of the cavalry who was permitted to carry a sword. Perhaps Drago was such a person.) Later, when a second manor was built, the property was referred to as "Drages". Much later, in the 17th century it was known as "Hof Trages".
Anyone associated with Trages -- builders, decorators, gardeners, housekeepers, valets, maids, etc., referred to themselves as "Trageser".
(A brief break to discuss pronunciation of the name ---- There are probably several variations within the English speaking world. In Baltimore, where I was born and raised it was and is pronounced Tray - guess - er, with the emphasis on the first syllable. When we vsited with some of our German cousins recently in Freigericht, they indicated the German pronunciation is Trugh - gaze - er, with the emphasis on the second syllable. Other pronunciations, such as those submitted by Andrew B. Trageser of Pittsburgh, PA, may be found in the guest book.)
We are not related to Drago, nor as far as we know, to any other owners. Since quite a few great-grandfathers were blacksmiths, we will have to content ourselves with being descendants of the "Erneuerungsarbeiten," or laborers. It is quite possible that this is where our forefathers learned their trade.
This is about as far as we need to go for identification purposes, but since details in the article are interesting, I’ll translate some of the highlights.
Through the years, it became a bit expensive to keep up the property and several other owners took over, one of whom was a church official from Cologne who added a chapel.
About 1727 the property was acquired by the von Savigny which produced several public figures such as a Prussian Minister of Justice. All of the von Savignys seemed to have had an entourage of colorful friends including musicians, artists, authors, political figures, landscape artists, architects and others, most of whom seemed to leave his/her mark on the property. Some of these friends considered the manor to be their home.
The grounds were turned into a park, a kind of fairy-tale place with a variety of plants, trees, flowers, small animals, birds and peacocks.
Buildings were added from time to time until it became the showplace of the area. First used as a summer home, it later became the principal family residence. The name "Hof Trages" was retained and still exists today as the home of the Baron von Savigny. (END OF TRANSLATION)
Further research reveals that the article by Torsten Kleine-Rueschkamp, titled: "‘DRAGO’ der Stammvater des Namens Trageser," from which the translation was made, appeared in the FRANKFURTER NEUE PRESSE, August 10, 1985.
Translation by Cele Holtman
(Cecilia is my first cousin - Daughter of my father' sister Isabelle Trageser and Joseph Holtman)