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Reich, Johann Family Overview


This page exists to serve as single-family index to German Catholic parish records related to the family of Johann Reich.

Johann was born in Bad Dürrheim, Baden-Württemburg, Germany, in 1779 and spent much of his life in the nearby town of Obereschach--today a borough in the city of Villingen-Schwenningen. He was the father of Joseph, Martzel, and Ignatz Reich, all of whom emigrated to the U.S. and settled around Glasgow, Missouri, in the mid-1800s. Another son, Anton, may have joined them. Johann Reich was also the grandfather of Charles, Scholastica, and Petronella Reich, who made the same journey in 1871.

Copies of vital records for Bad Dürrheim, Obereschach, Villingen-Schwenningen, and other nearby places are held by Staatsarchiv Freiburg (the Freiburg State Archives). Amazingly, Staatsarchiv Freiburg has put 60 years' worth of these vital records online--for free!

About the Records

The record set in question consists mainly of birth, marriage, and death registers from various locations within Freiburg's administrative district (Regierungzbezirk) during the years 1810-1870. The records are organized by Amtsgericht (local court district), then by town/parish. If you know the name of a town/parish but don't how it fits into this governmental hierarchy, there is a search feature to help you out. All the records I've run into so far are duplicates of Catholic parish registers, but other types of records are available for some places, as well.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks to this free Internet bounty.

  1. The records consist of scans from microfilm. There is no searchable index of names or events. On the one hand it's wonderful to have the image, because you get to work with something very close to the original source without having to go to Germany--or leave your chair! On the other means that even if you know the who, when, and where of the record you're looking for, you can only narrow your search a little bit (e.g., Fischbach births, 1837-1869). After that, you have to go page-by-page and hope you spot it.
  2. Everything's handwritten, in German, in an old script that looks different from the modern alphabet. So not only do you need to know some German to read the records, you have to be willing to get comfortable with the old script. Fortunately, assistance is easily Googled!
Hoping to save future researchers an eyestrain headache or three, I aim to offer both German transcriptions and English translations of all the Reich-related parish records I've located. More information is still surfacing, so this will be an ongoing process.

Most of the individuals in the outline below have their own linked transcription pages, where you will find information about the German records I've located that pertain to each person. I will fill in transcriptions and translations of the records as time allows.

Use of Information

The records I've located, transcribed, and translated here are public records, and therefore I can stake no claim to anything but my own comments on them. However, locating those records, figuring out what they say, rendering it into English, and then linking everything together has taken a great deal of work on my part. So if you want to use what you find here, I have three polite requests:
  1. Please, please include the URLs for the originals that I've helpfully provided! They took me many hours to locate, and you get to just click--why would you not want to share that love?
  2. I'd love some credit (to Documentarian) and/or a link back to this page. Especially for the translations!
  3. If you can't read 19th-century German script or aren't very good at it, I'd like a shot at double-checking my transcription/translation before you use it. By the same token, if you are good at reading 19th-century German script--or even just German--please let me know if you find a mistake.

Family of Johann Reich

  • See how the record transcription/translation process is going here.


Johann Reich (19 August 1779 - 7 October 1857) married and had several children with Brigitta Rottler (8 October 1777 - 23 February 1814). Johann and Brigitta were close in age and probably married somewhere around 1800-1807. I don't know exactly when or where, but it's likely they had at least a couple of children before 1810 whose existence I did not discover. (1810 is the first year for which records are available online.)

After Brigitta's death, Johann married Petronella Rottler (27 May 1793 - 3 March 1851), who was significantly younger than he was. They had eleven known children. Petronella and Johann had to get special permission to wed because of a close degree of blood kinship. Most likely, they were first cousins, but more research is needed to establish the exact relationship.

Children with Brigitta Rottler

  • Maria Reich (c. 1808 - 22 May 1850),
    have had one or two children out of wedlock (both died);
    sp. Johann Georg Schlenker, at least one child:
  • Joseph Reich (9 March 1810 - c. 1875), immigrated to U.S. before 1845
    sp. Marianne Zimmerman, married 31 May 1845 in Glasgow, Howard Co., Missouri; 1 child.
  • Catharina von Senis Reich (9 April 1812 - 21 May 1850)

Children with Petronella Rottler

  • Regina Reich (14 August 1816 - ?)
  • Ferdinand Reich (18 October 1817 - 21 October 1817)
  • Cecilia Reich (c. 6 November 1818 - ?)
    at least one child out of wedlock, father unknown:
  • sp. Anton Zahn (married 1856), at least one child (line largely unresearched):
  • Karl Boromaeus Reich (4 November 1820 - ?)
    sp. Gertrud Flaig, 3 known children (bap. record images for Fischbach unreadable after 1855):
    • Charles Reich (13 January 1852 - 6 May 1929), immigrated to U.S. in 1871
      sp. Louisa Mary Erdle, married c. 1878, prob. in Missouri; at least 11 children
    • Juliana Reich (24 April 1854 - ?)
    • Regina Reich (27 August 1855 - ?)
  • Ferdinand Reich (10 October 1823 - ?)
    sp. Ludwine Dörflinger, 12 known children:
  • Anton Reich (12 June 1825 - ?), may have immigrated to U.S.
  • Anna Reich (11 July 1827 - ?)
    at least one child out of wedlock, father unknown (but poss. her future husband):
  • sp. Joseph Schelling (married 1859; have not yet looked for children)
  • Luzia Reich (21 November 1828 - ?)
    sp. Matheus Rauss, at least two children (line largely unresearched):
  • Martzel Reich (16 January 1832 - ?), immigrated to U.S. before 1865
    sp. Olive Christine Sherpy, married 23 May 1865 in Howard Co., Missouri; 6 known children
  • Ignatius Reich (22 January 1834 - before 1900), immigrated to U.S. before 1860
    sp. Catherine Christine Sherpy, married 10 April 1860 in Howard Co., Missouri; 4 known children
  • Victoria Reich (5 December 1836 - ?)

Other Family Members

Georg Rottler (4 April 1740 - 23 February 1814), father of Brigitta Rottler (with Maria Wintermantel)

Map of Obereschach and Surrounding Area, with Reich Highlights

Note that this is NOT the Obereschach in Ravensburg! You may have to zoom out to see all the blue placemarks. There are currently 4.

Johann Reich family locations