My Corner Online
John & Mary Michel
We start this page with a tribute to John Bergman, our pioneer genealogiest for our Rietz and Michel family lines. Much of the information provided on these pages was due to his research which was obtained from his typewritten notes. John traveled to Germany on August 15, 1939, to meet with distant relatives. He was caught in Germany when Hitler came to power and had to make his way to England to get a ship home.
This is an excerpt of a writing by our pioneer genealogist, John Bergmann: Now we come to a suprising find by myself which happened on 15 August 1939 when I arrived in Raibach, Hessen Darmstadt, to visit Reitz ancestral home. From railroad station in Gross Umstadt, I had walked to Raibach, then on next morning with a Heinrich Fischer had ridden on bicycles to Semd, the village from which Maria Seibert had come. I met distant relatives (this was 89 years after she had left), then rode to Gross Umstadt to visit a very old great grandmother by name of Mrs. J. Walter who was a godchild of Maria Seibert and to whom Maria probably had written many times up to her death in 1895. How astounded I was to find in her living room displayed many pictures of Reitz daughters born in St. Louis, Mo. all sent before 1895. Then she gave me the letter which Maria Seibert had written in March 1851 to her father in Semd in which she describes her travels to Mainz, steamer to Koeln (Cologne) train to Antwerp, sea voyage, steamboat trip up from N.O. (11 days) arrival at St. Louis levee, being taken to residence of John Tempel because she had had a badly burned food on steamboat coming up from N.O. This letter I still have now 126 years old. She also gave me a letter writn to her in 1893 by Elisabeth Zachelmayer Michel (widow of Heinrich Michel, eldest son who had died 1887) in which failing health of Maria is described, also the nearing completion of St. L. Union Station at 18th & Market.
(this page under construction)