America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
The Family Wetzstein In The Rhineland Palatinate
Nicholas Reitenauer & Susanna Windstein in Alsace, France.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psa 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psa 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. Psalm 121:1-5)
Tracing the family Reitenauer to the 1500's, we learn that their ancient home was Alsace, France, which is located at the eastern border of France, 275 miles from Paris and right in the heart of Europe. It is flanked on the west by the Vosges Mountains, and on the east by the Rhine River and the Black Forest. Once part of the German Empire, Alsace only became French under the Louis XIV, who was called 'Le Roi Soleil, "The Sun King," or as Louis the Great, (In French: Louis Le Grand) Or simply Le Grand Monarch, "The Great Monarch." At his birth at the royal Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1638, his parents, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, who had been childless for 23 years, regarded him as a "divine gift," christening him Louis Dieudonne (Dieudonne" meaning God given." The blood of many of the Royal Houses of Europe ran in Louis's veins. His paternal grandparents were Henri IV of France and Marie de' Medici, who were French and Italian. Both his maternal grandparents were Hapsburgs, Phillip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. His paternal ancestry in unbroken succession was from Saint Louis, King of France.
Louis XVI is famous for his phrase "L'Etat, c'est moi" (I am the state!") Louis XVI ruled France for 72 years, the longest reign of any European monarch. He also increased the power of France in 3 wars: The Franco-Dutch war, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of Spanish Succession.
Germany later re-annexed it twice, from 1870-1918 and from 1940-1945. From a tourist's point of view, Alsace projects a fairy tale image of half-timbered houses adorned with flowers, gabled roofs, and chimneys - sometimes topped by stork nests. The upper Vosges, with majestic forests and peaceful lakes, presents inviting panoramas to the hiker and the intrepid mountain-bike rider. Here are some of the birds which abound in Alsace. The mountains have provided not only inspiration and afforded times of quiet solitude. During seasons of severe persecution, the mountains have afforded a place of refuge in times of danger. David and his band of faithful men hid at times in dens and caves from Saul and his army.
France was rocked by religious wars between 1562 and 1598. The Edict of Nantes, signed by Henry IV in April, 1598, ended the Wars of Religion, allowing religious freedoms in France.
THE FRENCH HUGUENOTS
"...Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)
Roche writes in his book The Days of the Upright, A History of the Huguenots that "Huguenot" is “ a combination of a Flemish and a German word. In the Flemish corner of France, Bible students who gathered in each other's houses to study secretly were called Huis Genooten, or 'house fellows,' while on the Swiss and German borders they were termed Eid Genossen, or 'oath fellows,' that is, persons bound to each other by an oath. Gallicized into 'Huguenot,' often used deprecatingly, the word became, during two and a half centuries of terror and triumph, a badge of enduring honor and courage. ”
Some discredit dual linguistic origins, arguing that for the word to have spread into common use in France, it must have originated in the French language. The "Hugues hypothesis" argues that the name can be accounted for by connection with Hugues Capet king of France, who reigned long before the Reform times, but was regarded by the Gallicans and Protestants as a noble man who respected people's dignity and lives. Frank Puaux suggests, with similar connotations, a clever pun on the old French word for a covenanter (a signatory to a contract). Janet Gray and other supporters of the theory suggest that the name huguenote would be roughly equivalent to little Hugos, or those who want Hugo. Hugh Capet (c. ...
In this last connection, the name could suggest the derogatory inference of superstitious worship; because, ignorant people believed that Huguon, the gate of King Hugo, was haunted by the ghost of Le roi Huguet (regarded by Catholics as an infamous scoundrel), and other spirits who instead of being in purgatory came back to harm the living at night, and it was in this place in Tours that the prétendus réformés ("these supposedly 'reformed'") habitually gathered at night, both for political purposes, and for prayer and to sing the psalms. With similar scorn, some even suggest that the name is derived from les guenon de Hus (the monkeys or apes of Jan Hus)
Other possible derivations are listed in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"is the name given from about the middle of the sixteenth century to the Protestants of France. It was formerly explained as coming from the German Eldgenosen, the designation of the people of Geneva at the time when they were admitted to the Swiss Confederation. This explanation is now abandoned. The words Huguenot, Huguenots, are old French words, common in fourteenth and fifteenth-century charters. As the Protestants called the Catholics papistes, so the Catholics called the protestants huguenots. The Protestants at Tours used to assemble by night near the gate of King Hugo, whom the people regarded as a spirit. A monk, therefore, in a sermon declared that the Lutherans ought to be called Huguenots, as kinsmen of King Hugo, inasmuch as they would only go out at night as he did. This nickname became popular from 1560 onwards, and for a long time the French Protestants were always known by it."
"The origin of the name is uncertain, but it appears to have come from the word aignos, derived from the German Eldgenosen (confederates bound together by oath), which used to describe, between 1520 and 1524, the patriots of Geneva hostile to the duke of Savoy. The spelling Huguenot may have been influenced by the personal name Hugues, "Hugh"; a leader of the Geneva movement was one Besancon Hugues (d. 1532)."
REVOCATION OF THE EDICT OF NANTES IN 1685
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in October, 1685, began renewed religious persecution in France, and sent people fleeing to other countries for religious freedom. Children born to Protestant families were to be forcibly baptized by Roman Catholic priests, and Protestant places of worship were demolished. The Edict formally denied Huguenots permission to leave France, but about 200,000 defied this authority, taking with them their skills in commerce and trade. Many were artisans, craftsmen, and professional people, well-received in the countries into which they'd fled for refuge when religious discrimination or overt persecution forced them to leave France. Most of them went initially to Germany, the England, Switzerland and Holland.
The book of Revelation speaks of God's people as (the woman) who would flee into the wilderness where a place of safety was prepared for her from the dragon (Satan). "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." Revelation 12:6.
As we study the geography of Europe we see a place of refuge that God prepared for His people. In southeastern France are majestic mountains which provided a protective wall between those who wanted to know their God and those who wanted to wipe out every trace of the name of God and the people that named this name. In those pristine valleys between the mountains was the home of those that called themselves "His People." A people that guarded the sacred scriptures for posterity, to preserve the truth of God's Word from the corruptions of Rome.
It's been many years now that I opened an old box, given to me by my father Galen Otto Hunt, and my eyes fell upon the yellowed photograph of Selinda Jane Ridenour, who was my great grandmother. She is seated with her husband Joseph Madison Burger, and her children, among whom is the sweet young face of her daughter Margaret Elizabeth, my own grandmother, who died early in young married life, leaving two small sons, one of whom was my father, Galen Hunt. With this photograph were the faces of the ancestors that I am descended from. There's a picture of Joseph Madison Burger and Selinda Jane in their later years, wearing her white cap as Brethren women did, as well as one of a man with a shock of white hair that was Selinda's father, Samuel Ridenour.
The Reitenauer name and the history of the Reitenauer/Ridenhour/Reutenauer/Ritenour/Ridenour family can be traced back for hundreds of years, to a time when the family lived in Alsace, France. Hildegarde Von Reinhausen, daughter of Elli Count Von Reinhausen Hildegarde Of Alsace was born about 885 in Ferrette, France. She married Heinrich "the Bold" Henry Von Stade born 922 in Saxony. Henry von Stade Cont von Harsefeld, Heilingau, Hosti - Count von Stade born before 929 and died. 1 May 976 or 9 May 976 married: (1) Judith von Wetterau died. 16 Oct 0973 daughter of Eldo Count von Wettarau [son of Gebhard Duke of Lorraine, Count von Wetterau and (Miss) de Vermandois ch(1) Siegfried II (965-1037) He married (2) Hildegarde von Rheinhausen daughter of Elli I Count von Reinhausen
My Dad spoke of the royalty in the family lineage. Here in the royal Saxon house of Von Reinhausen and Graften von Ratelberg und Windberg the story begins.
MEGINHARD [IV], son of [THIEMO [I] Graf von Schweinachgau, in Reichenhall und im Salzburggau [Formbach] & his wife ---] (-killed in battle 1066). According to the 14th century Genealogia comitum Neuburgensium sive Formbacensium, "Meginhardus frater senioris Tiemonis genuit Oudalricum, Hermannum provincie comitem et Chunradum", although it appears chronologically more probable that Meginhard was the son rather than brother of "senioris Tiemonis" considering that it is unlikely that Meginhard's sons were born much before [1045/50]. Wegener refers to abbot Wirnto's description of the foundation of the abbey of Vornbach dated [1108/27] which names "Meginhardus comes, Ekibertus comes, Oudalricus comes supranominati [Meginhardi] filius et frater eius Hermannus comes et nepos Chounradi comes filius supradicti Oudalrici, Ekibertus comes, Heinricus comes et filius eius Dietricus comes". Graf. Vogt von Niederaltaich . "Heinricus…rex" donated property "villam Geroltisdorf in pago Bunnaha in comitatu Meginhardi comitis" to Kloster Gurk by charter dated 1066.
married: MATHILDE von Reinhausen, daughter of ELLI Graf von Reinhausen & his wife --- (-1073 or after).
Graf Meginhard [IV] & his wife had three children:
1. ULRICH [III] (-1097). According to the 14th century Genealogia comitum Neuburgensium sive Formbacensium, "Meginhardus frater senioris Tiemonis genuit Oudalricum, Hermannum provincie comitem et Chunradum", although it appears incorrect that their father was brother of "senioris Tiemonis". The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a dispute with Suben monastery, and names "due…sorores Touta et Himildrud…nobilissimis" and "filios Meginhardi comitis Odalricum et Hermannum ac filios Tiemonis Ekkebertum et Heinricum et domnam Itam". Graf von Ratelberg 1074. Graf von Windberg 1095/1097. The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a donation by "domnus Odalricus de Windeperge frater domni Herimanni", names "Thiemo avus suus", and records that the donation was confirmed by "coniux illius domna Mathilt et filius eius Chonradus" after the donor´s death. Vogt von Göttweig 1083. The Annales Reicherspergenses record the death in 1097 of "Oudalricus comes de Ratilinesperg". m MATHILDE von Cham, daughter of RATPOTO [IV] Graf von Cham [Ratpotonen] & his first wife Mathilde im Chiemgau [Sieghardinger] (-[7 Nov] ). The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a donation by "domnus Odalricus de Windeperge frater domni Herimanni", names "Thiemo avus suus", and records that the donation was confirmed by "coniux illius domna Mathilt et filius eius Chonradus" after the donor´s death. The primary source which confirms her parentage has not yet been identified. The necrology of Oberaltaich records the death "VII Id Nov" of "Mathild com", which may refer to this Mathilde as the death of her son Konrad is recorded in the same necrology. Graf Ulrich [III] & his wife had two children:
a) KONRAD (-18 Aug 1121). The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a donation by "domnus Odalricus de Windeperge frater domni Herimanni", names "Thiemo avus suus", and records that the donation was confirmed by "coniux illius domna Mathilt et filius eius Chonradus" after the donor´s death. puer . Graf von Windberg-Ratelberg. Vogt von Göttweig . The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a donation by "Comes Chonradus de Ratelinberg…per manum patrui sui comitis Hermanni de Windeperge", which names the latter´s wife "cometissa Haedewic cum filio suo Herimanno". Wegener refers to the donation by Gräfin Mathilda to Göttweig dated  with her daughter Liutkarda for the souls of her husband Oudalrich and her son Konrad. The necrology of Oberaltaich records the death "V Kal Sep" of "Chonradus com".
b) LUITGARD (-16 Jan , bur Regensburg St Jakob). "Advocatus noster Fridericus et uxor eius Liutkard et frater eius Oudalricus et filius eiusdem Advocati" donated property to Oberaltaich. Wegener refers to the donation by Gräfin Mathilde to Göttweig dated  with her daughter Liutkarda for the souls of her husband Oudalrich and her son Konrad. Wegener also refers to the donation by "die Regensburger Domvögtin (Liutgard)" for the soul of her parents Graf Oudalrich and his wife dated . Her parentage is confused by a charter dated  under which "nobilis matrona Liutkard…uxor Friderici advocati, materque secundi advocati Friderici" donated property "in villa Pouningen" to Regensburg St Emmeram "pro anima patris sui Rudperti". m FRIEDRICH [III] Domvogt von Regensburg, son of FRIEDRICH [II] Domvogt von Regensburg & his wife Adelheid of Carniola (-29 Oct 1120).
2. KONRAD (-Basel 1084). According to the 14th century Genealogia comitum Neuburgensium sive Formbacensium, "Meginhardus frater senioris Tiemonis genuit Oudalricum, Hermannum provincie comitem et Chunradum", although it appears incorrect that their father was brother of "senioris Tiemonis", specifying that Konrad captured Rome in the name of King Heinrich IV. 1079.
3. HERMANN von Windberg (-Vornbach 1122). According to the 14th century Genealogia comitum Neuburgensium sive Formbacensium, "Meginhardus frater senioris Tiemonis genuit Oudalricum, Hermannum provincie comitem et Chunradum", although it appears incorrect that their father was brother of "senioris Tiemonis". Graf von Windberg 1097. The Codex Traditionum of Formbach monastery records a donation by "domnus Odalricus de Windeperge frater domni Herimanni", and names "Thiemo avus suus". Graf von Ratelberg 1107. Graf von Winzenburg 1109. Markgraf 1112. Markgraf von Sachsen 1114.
GRAFEN von WINZENBURG.
Nicholas Reitenauer and his family arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the ship Robert & Alice, 3 September 1739. The story was told that the Ridenours were close friends of Marie
Antoinette and planned to bring her to their home in America when things became difficult for her, but the plan failed and she was executed. In the collection of old photos, there is another precious photo that was sent to me by a family member, of the dark haired Ridenour brothers, David and Daniel. Selinda Jane
Selinda Janewas born April 24, 1853 in Wabash Co., Indiana, the daughter of Samuel Ridenour and Phoebe Jane Murphy,.
She married Joseph Madison Burger. Our Ridenour family name has numerous spelling varients and has been spelled Ridenour, Ridenhour, Reitenauer, Reitnower, Ridenhour, Ritenour, Reutenaur. The family lineage has been traced to the country of Switzerland in the 1500's, with the family progenitor Anthony/Anton Reitenauer and his son Hans and later, Nicholas Reitenauer (Ridenhour) born Feb 14, 1711, Drulingen, Alsace, France.
The 15th century sees Alsace become the cradle of a new technique or industry, the art of printing. It attracts all those who want to spread new ideologies. Many of its towns played a major role in the birth and development of Protestantism. Many famous theologians such as Martin Bucer, Beatus Rhenanus, Luther and Calvin lived and taught here.
This prosperity abruptly comes to an end with the 30 years war between 1618 and 1648. Alsace is invaded many times and devastated by plague and famine. The treaty of Munster in 1648 brings about the progressive integration of the province - except Strasbourg and Mulhouse - to the French Kingdom. Louis XIV succeeds in restoring its material wealth while allowing its intellectual and religious freedom. In 1681 Strasbourg is also annexed and the Rhine is established as the border.
From the 13th century to the French Revolution, the history of this village of Hilly Alsace was linked to the fate of the lordship of Diemeringen to which it belonged, like the village of Ratzwiller did. Archeological diggings proved that the place was already inhabited as early as the Neolithic age, but it was in a donation record written in 737 at the Wissembourg Abbey that the name of the village was cited for the first time. And it was only in 1212 that Dehlingen appeared in its present day spelling, named after the knights dynasty who lived in the village.
Like the county of Salm and the lordships of Puttelange and Morhange, the lordship of Diemeringen was part of the possessions of the Palatine Electors or Rheingrafen, also called Wild Counts. The Reformation settled in Dehlingen about 1570, as it happened in the whole lordship. During the 18th century, the village was used as a refuge by many protestant refugees. Bas-Rhin, France, (also known as Alsace) was devasted as a result of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). In order to repopulate the area, immigration was encouraged. Many Swiss from Canton Bern emigrated to Alsace,
Between 1670 and 1673, several trials for witchcraft sent a dozen of inhabitants of the lordship to the stake.
A Jewish community, of up to a hundred people about 1850, lived in Dehlingen from the late 1700's to the early 1900's.
Dehlingen was incorporated into France in 1793. Dehlingen counted 440 inhabitants in 1776, 491 in 1801, 824 in 1831, 755 in 1836, 698 in 1851, then the population continued to decrease and there were less than 600 people in 1885, the 535 in 1910, lesz than 500 in 1931 and 356 inhabitants in 1990. The first church book of the Reformed Parish of Dehlingen dates back to 1704. Before this date Dehlingen depended on the parish of Diemeringen. The village of Dehlingen is located near the Eichel Valley, on the slope of a hill in a part of Alsace called Hilly Alsace. The place was inhabited as early as the Neolithic Age. About 200 A.D., the village was close to a Roman road, therefore it had a real economic importance at this time. The mainly calcareous soil produced small crops but it provided the material used to build the houses. This is the reason why the village hosted more craftsmen than farmers. The main farms of Hardtwald and Langenwaldt are located on more fertile grounds above the village. In the valley, the Klappacher mill is no longer in use and stopped its work a long time ago.
In 1776, 440 people lived in Dehlingen, most of them were of protestant religion, but there were also 22 jews and 3 catholics. The village was annexed to France in 1793. Before 1821, the population of the village had highly increased and reached 788 inhabitants. During the next years the increase was less important and then from 1850 the population decreased as low as 361 inhabitants today. Dehlingen was a Jewish settling that had its synagogue and its cemetery. After WWI, most of the jewish inhabitants left the village and settled in bigger towns looking for better economic conditions.
In the past the population of Dehlingen earned its living by agriculture and handicrafts. But year after year, many villagers abandonned their agricultural and artisanal activities for economic reasons. More and more frequently farmers had a secondary activity at the pottery workshop of Diemeringen or at the crockery workshop of Sarreguemines and this work became progressively their main activity. Today many inhabitants work in the big german factories in the neighbourhood of Dehlingen. Diemeringen.
King Louis XIV of France took advantage of a weak and disunited Germany to seize Alsace (in German: Elsass) in the late 1600s. Called the Sun King, because he used the "sun" as his symbol of power, Louis XIV did not want any assistance running his country. So he removed the nobles from his government. He became king at the age of 5 and ruled for 72 years. It was France's dream for generations to make the Rhine River its eastern border. Fortunately, Alsace has been France's only lasting success in that regard, which is still sad enough.
Political negotiations between the Austrian Habsburgs and King Louis XV of France in the mid-1700s confirmed France's possession of German Lorraine (in German: Lothringen); that is, eastern Lorraine, western Lorraine having always been French. The major city in German Lorraine is Metz.
Following France's defeat at the hands of the German states under Prussia's leadership in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, Alsace and German Lorraine became part of the new unified Germany because the people living there were ethnic Germans, and France had earlier taken those territories from Germany. The new German Government then combined the two territories into Alsace-Lorraine (in German: Elsass-Lothringen), with Alsace's capital Strassburg (in French: Strasbourg) becoming the capital of the new German province of Alsace-Lorraine.
In 1919, following World War I, France took Alsace-Lorraine away from Germany again. In 1940, Germany took it back again. But then in 1945, France took it away from Germany yet again and it remains part of France today.
The first immigration of our Ridenour family to the New World was aboard the ship Robert & Alice which landed in Philadelphia, PA on September 11, 1738.
In the late 1600's there were three brothers living in Alsace, France, (Now Bas Rhine, France) who immigrated to America. Their names are as follows:
Children of Anthony Reitenauer & Margaret Christen:
Aargau can be found nestled between Basel and Zurich, the Aar Valley was the ancestral home of the Hapsburgs, one of the most powerful royal families in Europe.
The Hapsburgs actually took their family name from a castle near the town of Brugg – known as Habichtsburg, "Castle of the Hawk" – in which their ancestors once lived.
He was born 1612 and married Catharina Schlar
*Note: "Windstein" is the name of a town in Alsace-Lorraine.
THE FOUNDING OF BERNE, SWITZERLAND
It was at times difficult for French refugees in Bern. In 1689, an order came forth that all Huguenots be expelled who lived on charity, except the sick or the elderly. Citizens of Bern had never taken kindly to French immigrants. Yet towns profited from Huguenot tradesmen, such as clothworkers in silk, wool and embroidery.
A building for receiving Huguenot refugees bore the name Hotel de Refuge as late as 1787. City porters had to accompany the French refugees to the doors of the hotel to enforce admittance. In 1699 there were 8000 Huguenot exiles in Switzerland. Beofre the end of 1685, the elector had written all princes of the Augsburg Confession and the United Provinces asking cooperation in support of the exiles in Switzerland. In 40 years, Bern with it's immense resources, spent 4 million florins.
Nicholas Claus Reutenauer's life would have been dramaticly impacted by the Act of Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which occurred in 1685, and which took away both the civil and religious liberties of the French Huguenots and ushered in a new wave of Huguenot persecution and discrimination. Nicholas would have a man of 35 years old at this time that all Huguenot worship and schooling was strictly restricted and all Huguenot churches were ordered destroyed or transformed into Catholic churches. All Huguenot clergymen were ordered to leave France within fourteen days.
To further harass the Huguenot population, some 400,000 forced "converts" were ordered to attend mass and participate in the Catholic Eucharist. Many of those who refused were condemned to the stake or imprisoned. As might be expected, there was a tremendous exodus of Huguenot families from France. Of the 1,500,000 Huguenots living in France in 1660, almost one fourth left the country in the decade following the Revocation. This exodus resulted in the extension of Huguenot family branches into England, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, and would eventually result in links to the English, German, and Dutch colonies of North America.
Nicholas "Claus"3 Reutenauer (The son of Anton Reitenauer) was born: August 07, 1650 in Gondiswill, Aargau, Switzerland1, Christened: June 8, 1651, Gondiswil, Canton Berne, Switzerland. Gondiswil (local dialect Gumiswil) is a municipality in the district of Aarwangen, in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. It lies in the Oberaargau in the Swiss Plateau.
From "Reitenauer Immigrants, The Early Years by Nona Harwell and Mona McCown., "Two of Nicholas and Maria Magdalena's sons, Heinrich and Peter, came to America on the ship "Robert and Alice" with their uncle, Balthasar Reitenauer and their aunt, Anna Christina (Reitenauer) Klingenschmidt in the summer of 1738 (arriving in Philadelphia and signing the oath of Allegiance on Sept 11, 1738)." Baptism: May 08, 1692, Waldhambach, Alsace, France
Nicholas Reitenauer died: February 27, 1716/17 in Tieffenbach, France. His occupation was that of a Roof Shingler, schindeldecker. His religion was considered Luthern. He married Susanna Lufidach Windstein in 1674 in Tiffenbach, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. (in the Alsace region a few miles west of Strasbourg), France) Susanna was the daughter of Nickel Windstein born: Abt 1610 in , Bas-Rhine, France and died: 1690 (Age 80)and Ottilia Eich born:1620 and died: 11 September 1692 (Age 72), Bas-Rhine, France Susanna Windstein Reitenauer died (Age 61)on 28 March 1713 in Tieffenbach, Alsace, Bas-Rhin, France
*Note: Susanna Windstein was a descendant through Heinrich Ostertag Von Windstein born: abt 1160, Wasgau, Upper Alsace, Holy Roman Empire and died abt. 1217 at Windstein Castle, Alsace, France, and later through the descendancy of Ostertag Von Windstein born in Windstein Castle, Alsace, France abt. 1225 and died abt 1255 in Windstein Castle, Alsace, France. He was the son of Werner Ostertag Von Windstein, whose son was Friedrich Ostertag Von Windstein who was born abt 1255 in Windstein Castle,, Alsace, France, and died ABT 1337 in Windstein Castle, Alsace, France. .
Born in 1683 in Fredrickshaven County, Alsace, France Died: 1760 in Washington County, Hagerstown, Maryland Note: Conf. 1698 France. Nicholas Reitenauer and his family arrived in Philadelpia,Pennsylvania on the ship Robert & Alice on 3 September 1739. They came with a group of 238 immigrants from the Palatinates, which included 78 men, 57 women and 88 children. Verbal history and records recount Julius Caesar's first campaign into the barbarian country known as Gaul ended on the banks of the Rhine, east of the Vosges Mountains. Across the Rhine lay the Black Forest, while ahead of him lay the heartland of Europe. Why did Caesar turn back? His history of the Gallic campaign does not say, but we can guess what happened. Proceeding toward the Northern [Lower] Vosges Valley, Caesar began to meet ferocious resistance from the inhabitants of the Valley: the Western Leuci. [ While the moderns know the Leuci to have been just another branch of the Celtic tribes whose descendants still roam coastal France, Wales and Ireland, Ceasar never referred to the Leuci as Celtae. Their languages seemed similar, but there the resemblances ended.] Caesar snatched the first noble excuse to get out of the Valley, and declaring himself victorious, retreated southward to regroup. Eventually, Caesar subdued the Leuci, and they became an independant state--a civitas--called Triboci, with its Western center at Argentoratum [Strassbourg]. While Teutonic barbarians crossed the Rhine from time to time [e.g. 167 AD] to interupt farming operations in the Valley, Rome was able to placate the barbarians by allowing some of them to settle in the Valley. Triboci, which for centuries had produced wines far superoir to the Italian varieties, now began to suffer under Rome's strict import tax on wines. When the Burgundians of Germany began to invade the country around 413, Triboci offered little resistance. The barbarians eventually settled in France, but many stayed behind to mingle with the Valley people. In 451, the Burgundians joined Triboci and Rome to defeat Attlia the Hun at Chalons. Nonetheless, Rome fell in 476, and the Valley fell deep into the Dark Ages following its conquest by Clovis the Frank in 496. The battle must have been a close one, for Clovis and 3000 of his men converted to Christianity in the course of it. While times were bad for the Valley, Charlemagne's reign as Emperor provided a brief interlude of peace. Then, in 842, after Charlemagne died, his children split the Empire into three parts in an agreement made at Strassbourg: Charles got France: Louis got Germany; Lothair got the middle scraps, including the Rhine Valley. This Strassbourg Oath, as it came to be called, set the stage for 1000 years of armed conflict between France and Germany to gain control of Lothair's inheritance along the Rhine. First, the Holy Romans of Greater Germany seized it from Lothair's people. Then, Louis XIV of France moved into the territory in 1648 under the Peace of Westphalia, following a period of usurpation which began in 1643 against the will of the Valley people, who were now becoming known as the Alsatians. The Alsatians felt themselves to be German, and spoke German, so that the gradual takeover by the French, which culminated in 1792, when France abolished the feudal rights of the German princes in Alsace, caused considerable upheaval.
Among the fortunate German elements who left Alsace during this period were Hans ReidenauerMary. Those who remained behind saw Germany regain the territory in 1871, only to lose it to France in the Great War. Germany took the Valley again in World War II, but the Allies returned it to France after the war.
Hans Reidenauer was born to Nicol and Susan Lufidach Reidenauer on March 18, 1690 in Lower Alsatia [near Strassbourg]. While Alsatia had already become the French province of Alsace, the Reidenauers, like most Alsatians, continued to speak the German of the Teutonic warlords who had first taken Alsatia from its Roman masters. That the Reidenauers spoke German is most clearly evidenced by the German script and epitaphs on the Reidenauer headstones in Hill Church, outside of Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
The legend exists that the Ridenours were close friends of Marie Antoinette, and it was planned to bring her to their new home in America but the plan failed and she was executed. It appears likely that the Reitenaurs were relatives, as Suzanna Windstein who married Nicholas Reitenauer, was of royal descent through Ostertag Von Windstein.
Marriage #1 Anna Magdalena Arnet born: 1690
Nicholas Clause I Reitenauer
He was born: 7 Aug 1650 at Gondiswil, Aargau, Switzerland Chr: 8 Jun 1651 Gondiswil, Bern, Switzerland He died: 27 February 1717 (Age 66) at Tieffenbach, Alsace, France. He was the son of Hans Reitenauer and Katharina Schar. He married Susanna Warzenluft in 1670 at Tieffenbach, Bas-Rhin, France Occupation: Roof Shingler
Johan Mathias Ridenour Or Reitenour
He was born: 11 Jan 1726/27 in Alsace, Fredrickshaven, France 1 Died: 14 Feb 1792 in Washington Co., MD, USA He was the son of Nicholas II Ridenour, Reitenour Or Reitenauer born: 1695 in Alsace, Fredrickshaven, France and Rosina Kershner born: Abt 1700 in Germany (From Alsace, Rosenthal, France) He married Anna Eve/Eva Welti (born: 7 Oct 1721 in Hinsbourge, Alsace, France) They were married on 29 Nov 1742 in Tieffenbach, Alsace, France She died: 19 Jun 1778 in Hinsbourge, Alsace, France
*Notes: for Johan Mathias Reitenauer: Mathias Reitenauer's will in 1792, states in part, "wife Eve £40 current money 1 sorrel horse named Jack, my bed and bedding thereunto belonging; 2 cows, all the kitchen furniture; as many apples and pears she may want; saddle and bridle, privilege of the house and kitchen and the back room for her to live in, with the cellar under said room, and sufficient firewood and privilege of the small garden." The will also orders his son John to deliver to his mother Eve, yearly among food stuffs and other things, 1 barrel of apple brandy and 15 gallons of rye whiskey.
Transcriptions of Mathias Ridenour's will Will of Mathias Reitenauer written 2/14/1792 Wash. Co. MD , probated 3/03/1792 Wash Co. MD In the name of God--Amen. I, MATHIAS RIDENOUR of Washington Co. and State of MD., being sick of body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs, and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form follows, that is: First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors herein after named; and after my debts & funeral expenses are paid, I devise and bequeath as follows:-- I devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife EVE the sum of 40 pounds earnest money to be paid her by my executers out of my personal estate within 1 year after my decease. Item: 1 sorrel horse named Jack, my bed and bedding thereunto belonging; 2 cows, all the kitchen furniture, as many apples and pears as she may want, saddle and bridle, privilege of the house and kitchen and the back room for her to live in, with the cellar under said room and sufficient firewood, and privilege of the small garden. Item: my will is, and I order that my son JOHN deliver to my wife EVE 150 lbs. weight of good hogmeat, 100 lbs. weight of beef, 15 bushels of good clean wheat, 10 bushels of corn, 5 bushels of rye, 12 lbs. of hachled flax, 1 barrel of apple brandy, 15 gallons of rye whiskey, 2 barrels of syder; all this to be given her by my son JOHN, yearly and every year during her life, and I order that my son JOHN is to keep the horse and the 2 cows in good order summer and winter--the above to be in lieu of my wife's third or dower. Item: I give & devise unto NICHOLAS my eldest son, and unto HENRY my second son, all that tract of land called "White Oak Lick," whereon they now live, to be divided between them as follows: NICHOLAS to have 130 A. where he now lives which land I value to him at 290 pounds current money, and HENRY is to have 100 acres where he now lives, the meadow-ground to be equally divided between them, which land I value to HENRY at 200 pounds. Item: I give and devise unto my sons JACOB, MATHIAS & DAVID all that tract of land lying in the State of Virginia known by the name of "Richland," containing 630 acres, to be divided between them, as follows: JACOB is to have 210 acres where he now lives, which land I value to him at 78 pounds 15 shillings. MATHIS is to have 210 acres on the upper parte of said tract, which land I value to him at 78 pounds 15 shillings. DAVID is to have 210 acres of said tract on the lower part which said land I value to him at 78 pounds 15 shillings. Item: I give and devise unto my sons JOHN and DANIEL, all my land on where I now live, called part of "Nicholas Ridenour's Pond" and "Henry's Last Shift" [conveyed to him 12041773, by his brother Henry, 243 acres] and a tract I lately bought from David Ridenour (22 1/4 acres 22121789) which lyes adjoining the above tract, these 2 tracts to be divided between JOHN and DANIEL as follows: DANIEL is to have 100 acres on the south west side of said tract, the beginning for said 100 acres is to be at a large maple stump, stand at the division fence in the meadow and from thence to a mulberry near a large maple tree, and from thence to the northeast corner of the apple orchard, and thence by a straight line to the outlines of said tracts, so as to include the 100 acres, which 100 acres I value at 400 pounds current money, and the remainder of said land my son JOHN is to have, which I value to him at 900 pounds current money. All the above devised lands is to be theirs and each of them, their heirs and assigns forever. Item: My will is that my son NICHOLAS shall pay out of the 290 pounds the sum of 64 pound 17 shillings 10 pence to my son DAVID, to be paid in 6 equal payments, 1 each year. Item: I order that my son JOHN shall pay out of the 900 pounds, the sum of 674 pounds 17 shillings to his sisters and brothers and to pay 50 pounds a year until the same be paid , the first payment to be made to my daughter ROSSENNAL (ROSINA) and within a year after my decease. Item: I order that my son DANIEL is to pay out of the 400 pounds, the sum of 174 pounds 17 shillings 10 pence to his brothers and sisters in 17 equal payments, 1 each year, the first to be within 1 year after my decease, and my will is that the yearly payments from JOHN and Daniel is to be divided among my children hereafter named according to their sum they are to have: JACOB is to have 146 pounds 7 shilling 2 pence; MATHIAS is to have 146 pounds 7 shillings 2 pence; DAVID is to have 146 pounds 7 shillings 2 pence; HENRY is to have 225 pounds 2 shillings 2 pence. Item: I will & bequeath to my daughter EVE out of the above payments the sum of 225 pounds 2 shillings 2 pence. Item: I will and bequeath to my daughter ROSANNA the sum of 225 pounds 2 shillings 2 pence out of the above payments. Item: My will further is, and I order that my executors hereafter named shall sell the lott of ground in Hamburgh in Montgomery Co. [VA] and the money arising from said lott shall be equally divided among all my children share and share alike, and I empower my executors to give a deed of conveyance for a lott I sold in Elizabethtown (Hagerstown) if the person that bought pays for same, and my will further is, and I order that the remainder of my real and personal estate shall be appraised and sold, and the money arising from the same shall be equally divided among all my children share and share alike. And my will is that my sons Nicholas, John and Daniel shall pay unto my daughter Rosanna the sum of 50 pounds out of their part of the personal estate; nevertheless the said Rosanna is to give a receipt to them for the same sum, as being paid of the money she was to get of the Real estate
Item: My will is that all children shall have an equal share of both real and personal estate. And lastly I constitute and appoint Martin Kershner and my son Nicholas Ridenour sole executors of this my last will and testament, and declare this to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed my seal this 14th day of February 1792. Mathias Ridenour [L.S.]
Signed sealed and published as the last will and testament of Mathias Ridenour. in the presence of us the subscribers, who at his request have subscribed our names in presence of each other as witnesses Jonathan Hager, Daniel Ridenour, Henry Ridenour, Sr.
Wash. Co set. On this 3rd day of March 1792, came Martin Kershner & Nicholas Ridenour and made oath that the within instrument of writing is the lone and whole will of Mathias Ridenour late of said county deceased that hath come to their hands or possession and that they do not know of any other and at the same time came Jonathan Hager, Daniel Ridenour and Henry Ridenour the three subscribing witnesses to the within last will and testament of Mathias Ridenour late of said county deceased and severally made oath on the holy evangels of almighty god that they did see the testator herein sign and seal this will and they heard him pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, and that they respectively subscribed their names and witnesses to the will in the presence of each other. I further certify that Eve, the widow of the said deceased, was present at the time the above probate was taken, and that she declared in my presence that she was content and fully satisfied to stand and to abide by the will of her said husband deceased.
Recorded 3rd March 1792 Certified by Thos. Belt, Register.
ESTATE WASHINGTON COUNTY, MARYLAND, BALANCE BOOK, ESTATES
Feby 14th 1795 Balance due upon passing final accnt. L 511. 12. 8 3/4 Specie to be divided agreeable to the testator will as follows: Nicholas Ridenour L 59. 1. 4 3/4 Henry Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 Jacob Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 John Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 Mathias Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 Daniel Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 David Ridenour 59. 1. 4 3/4 Eve Oster 59. 1. 4 3/4 Rosena Echelberger 59. 1. 4 3/4 ________________ L 531.12. 8 3/4
David Ridenour Sr:
He was born: 20 Nov 1775 in Hagerstown, Washington Co., MD, USA He died: 11 August 1854 in Jefferson Co., OH, USA Buried: Cemetery, Knox Twp., Jefferson Co., OH, USA
He was the son of Mathias Ridenour Or Reitenour born: 11 JAN 1726/27 in Alsace, Fredrickshaven, France and Eve Ridenour- born in Hagerstown, Washington Co., MD, USA He married: Margretta or Margaret Wiles born in 1774 in MD, USA Abt 1796 in Washington Co., MD, USA Children: David Ridenour b: 7 Feb 1802 in PA, Harrison Co., OH or Preston, VA or WV
Born: 7 Feb 1802 in PA, Harrison Co., OH or Preston, VA or WV 1 Died: 13 August 1874 in Waltz Twp., Wabash Co., IN, USA 1 Buried: Cemetery, Wabash, Wabash Co., IN, USA 1
He was the son of David Ridenour born: 20 NOV 1775 in Hagerstown, Washington Co., MD, USA and Margretta or Margaret Wiles born: 1774 in MD, USA He married: Sarah Shauver born: 1806 in Jefferson Co., OH, USA on 15 April 1824 in Harrison Co., OH, USA
Children of David Ridenour & Sarah Shauver:
Samuel Ridenour & Phoebe Murphy
Samuel Or Sam Ridenour born: 8 May 1829 in Ohio. He was the son of David Ridenour born: 7 Feb 1802 in PA, Harrison Co., OH or Preston, VA or WV and Sarah Shauver born: 1806 in Jefferson Co., OH, USA He married: #1 Augusta Bent born: Abt 1833 in Oh.
Selinda Jane Ridenour was born: 24 Apr 1853 in Wabash Co., IN She died: 14 Sept 1929 in Modesto, CA Buried: Bretheren Cemetery, Unionville, IA She was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Ridenour and Phebe Ellen Murphy. She married Joseph Madison Burger b: 28 June 1850 in Jefferson Co., IA They were married on 10 Nov 1870 in Libertyville Iowa (at the home of the bride)
From "Reitenauer Immigrants, The Early Years by Nona Harwell and Mona McCown., "Two of Nicholas and Maria Magdalena's sons, Heinrich and Peter, came to America on the ship "Robert and Alice" with their uncle, Balthasar Reitenauer and their aunt, Anna Christina (Reitenauer) Klingenschmidt in the summer of 1738 (arriving in Philadelphia and signing the oath Sept 11, 1738)." The emigrant ship with Nicholas Reitenauer aboard came to America by way of Rotterdamthrough Cowes-for supplies
Baptism: May 08, 1692, Waldhambach, Alsace, France. The town of Waldhambach is located in the Canton of Drulingen, which is a French administrative division, located in the department of the Low-Rhine and the Alsace area.