Monday, June 16, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #25: Catherine RIFFEL, 1725-1799

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 25th installment, Catherine RIFFEL, my 4th great-grandmother, through my mother's father's lines.  

Although Catherine's birth date is 'known' to be 30 Apr 1725 in Germany, she married in Pennsylvania, so I can assume that she immigrated with at least one member of her family to Pennsylvania, before her marriage in 1744.  To date, I have no records of parent(s)  "Riffel" or variants of that name, and I am listing her on this blogging challenge to remind myself of all the research still to be done on her and her family.  I have no names of her parents at this point.

The group of immigrants into the Goshenhoppen region and later the Adams County region of Pennsylvania seem to have come from the southwestern region of what is now Wurrtemberg and from Bavaria. Two little villages' names which show up in several historical records are: Neckartailfingen, and Schlaitdorf in Wurrtemberg. Both of these villages are situated 20 km south of Stuttgart, as seen on the Google map at right.   Although these are tantalizing clues, I have yet to confirm that either the families of Catherine RIFFEL or John George KUHN originated from either of these places. A very sparse bread crumb trail! 

On 27 Nov 1744, in Macungie, PA, Catherine was married to John George KUHN, second son of John KUHN and Anna Barbara ADAMS. His parents apparently arrived about 1732 to Pennsylvania.  Catherine & John's marriage is listed in the Goshenhoppen Register (transcribed, online), as:

"KUHN, John George, 27 Nov 1744, in John Kuhn's house, to Catharine Riffel; witnesses the bridegroom's parents and brothers, and others."  

Because her parents are not listed as witnesses, I might wonder if they had died before 1744-? Of course, the "and others" statement doesn't tell us if those others were relatives of any kind.  Mystery. I took a moment to go through an online listing of the Goshenhoppen Registers of baptisms, finding and highlighting 79 RIFFEL names!  I felt like such a twit when I saw so many.  How did I possibly miss this? Well, probably because I'd earlier been searching only for KUHN names in those early searching days.  

Some of the highlighted baptisms took place "in John Joseph Riffel's house" or "at Joseph Riffel's house at Macungi".  This could be the same person of course. They give me bits of information which I need to research further, with several different possible relationships to keep in mind, at all times. I think I'll need a spreadsheet to figure out the who's and when's.

Catherine RIFFEL and her husband John George KUHN, had 5 children whom I know of, the first 4 born in Goshenhoppen:

1. George Jacob, b. 31 Mar 1746; m. 03 May 1768 Magdalen Tapper; d. 17 Nov 1825 Pikesville, MD
2. Barbara, b. abt 1748; m. 09 Jun 1767 John Lochler; 
3. Mary Eva, b. abt 1750; m. 13 Sep 1768 to (probably) Nicholas Walter; d. 1778, PA
4. Anna Margaret, b. 28 Apr 1752; m. 14 Mar 1771 to Robert Owings; d. 12 Apr 1802, PA; 6 children
5. John Ignatius [direct ancestor], b. abt 1753 in Greenwich, Berks, Pa; m. 25 Apr 1775 to Theresa (Tarasy) FRICKER; d. 1 Mar 1826, Reading, Berks, PA; 12 children

There may be other children as well, although because the Kuhns named their children the same names, there is some confusion about who belongs with whom.  

Catherine died 15 March 1799 aged 74 years of age, in Adams county, PA, and was buried in the Conewago Chapel Basilica Cemetery, where several generations of KUHN families are buried.  I'd love to give you a little more information on the Conewago Cemetery, but FindAGrave and Ancestry are down today from a DDoS issue... it could take awhile, so I'll post anyway.  I may update this post at a later time. 

If you have further information on any of the children, or of Catharine RIFFEL's parents and family, do please contact me at calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  I particularly appreciate any corrections you may have to share!  

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis