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Thomas Haemerken or Hammerlein was born in the lower Rhine District in Kempen Prussia which is now in present day Germany The lower Rhine District was the capital of Cologne and the third largest district of Prussia In the year of either thirteen eighty or thirteen seventy nine Thomas was born Thomass birth place Kempen is where his most known last name aKempas was derived Thomas would not be known by this name until the time of his schooling in Deventer Thomass parents were John and Gertrude Haemerken or Hammerlein Gertrude his mother was the keeper of the villages schools and his father John most probably was a black smith or a metal worker of some kind Being a smith or metal worker in Thomass time was more than likely most common job for the average man in Kempen This is also the most likely meaning of Thomass fathers last name Haemerken or Hammerlein The names Haemerken and Hammerlein seem to be a derivative of the Latin word for a little hammer Thomas had one sibling that has been proven to definitely have been his brother This brothers name was John John was older than Thomas by at least around fourteen years Thomass family was of the artisan class during that time Thomas was only around twelve or thirteen when he left his home in Germany and set out on his journey of life Thomass first stop the school of Deventer which was in Holland John Thomass brother John had gone to this school at least ten to twelve years earlier Despite the large amount of time between Johns and Thomass departures Thomas still expected to find his brother John in Deventer when he arrived Upon arrival Thomas did not find John but rather found out that John had left two years earlier with five brothers of the Common Life They had gone to begin the building of a new congregation of Canons
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