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Earlier Reifel Generations

My research in the Bellheim and Hördt area has not been very thorough, but I am happy to learn that Mary Lou Reifel is doing research there, and perhaps she will be able to sort out the earlier generations of the Georg Heinrich Reifel I family.

In 1980, Charles W. Niehaus sought and received genealogical research from an archivist, Roland Paul, who received the information from a Mr. Dreyer at the Verbandsgemeindeverwaltung Rulzheim.

The earliest name on the chart was Georg Heinrich Reifel I. His date of birth was given by the archivist as simply "1780." His date of death was also given, as February 6, 1814. He married Anna Elisabeth Hengan, born "1781" and died "April 4, 1843."

While searching the Germany IGI (International Genealogical Index), I found the following information which seemed to be on target:
George Heinrich REIFEL
Christened: 18 April 1780
Evangelisch-Reformierte, Bellheim, Pfalz, Bayern
Father: Abraham REIFEL
Mother: Anna Elisabetha _________.

This led me to search for Abraham Reifel. Apparently Abraham was a favorite name in this family.

For example:

Abraham REIFEL, born 11 October 1715, Bellheim, Pfalz, Bayern
Father: Hans Martin REIFEL
Mother: Eva Margaretha LESCH
Source: IGI (Film #537252)
Note: This Abraham Reifel would have been 65+ years old when Georg Heinrich Reifel I was born, so he is certainly not the father.

Here is a second Abraham:

Abraham REIFEL, married 6 May 1830, Evangelisch-Reformierte, Bellheim, Pfalz, Bayern
Spouse: Katharina Elisabetha PETER
Source: IGI (Film #0193781)
Note: If this had been the same Abraham Reifel that was born October 11, 1715, he would have been not quite 15 years old at marriage, so it is likely this is a different Abraham.

Here is a third Abraham:

Abraham REIFEL, married 24 April 1736, Bellheim, Pfalz, Bayern
Spouse: Maria Margaretha WEISS
Source: IGI (Film #537227)
Note: If this is the same Abraham Reifel that was born October 11, 1715, he would have been 21 years old at the time of his marriage, a much more likely prospect. However, it is unlikely that he is the father of Georg Heinrich Reifel I, since it would be rare for a child to be born to a man who would have been already married for 44 years (and who is probably 64 years old or more).

On August 19, 2001, I received a note from Mary Lou Reifel. Here is part of it: "I have copied all the films from the LDS Bellheim tapes and since I read German and have studied Old German, I have been able to get a lot more information. Anna Elisabetha's last name was Weiss. And they did have a son named Georg Heinrich according to the births, who was born in 1772, and married Suzanna Sutter."

Based on this information, the Abraham Reifel who married Maria Margaretha Weiss is not Georg Heinrich Reifel I's father, unless Maria Margaretha Weiss died and Abraham married Anna Elisabetha Weiss in his old age as his second wife.

And there is a discrepancy between the two Georg Heinrich Reifels--one born in 1772, and a second in 1780, to parents with very similar names. However, the 1780 Georg Heinrich married Eva Margaretha Dietrich on April 20, 1830, while the 1772 Georg Heinrich married Suzanna Sutter, marriage date not yet known. While they share the same name, they are almost certainly not the same person.

Here is the detail for the Georg Heinrich Reifel I marriage:

Georg Heinrich REIFEL, married 20 April 1830, Evangelisch-Reformierte, Bellheim, Pfalz, Bayern.
Spouse: Eva Margaretha DIETRICH
Source: IGI (Film #0193781)

And here is a fourth Abraham:

Abraham REIFEL, born abt. 1742 [Birkweiler], Pfalz, Bayern
Source: IGI - No parents given, no film #
Note: Although not well documented, this Abraham Reifel would have been about 28 years old when George Heinrich Reifel I was born, a much more reasonable age.

And a fifth Abraham:

Abraham REIFEL, married 2 September 1766, Birkweiler, Landau, Pfaltz, Germany
Spouse: Eva Katharina KLEINMAN
Source: IGI (Film #1761139)
Note: This Abraham Reifel would have been married for 14 years at the time Georg Heinrich Reifel I was born, and would likely have been 34+ years of age--likely ages. However, his spouse's name is not Anna Elisabetha [Weiss] unless this might be a first wife, second wife situation.

And so the search for the parents of George Heinrich Reifel I continues.

--Larry Christensen, San Diego

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