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Research shows that the earliest mention of the name Riethmiller appears in the southern German village of Radolfzel, which borders France. The area is sorrounded by marshlands. There, in the year 1327, a local miller is mentioned, by the name of Berthold Riethmüller. The name means "The miller from the marsh."

My ancestors surface in the small village of Wenzigerode in the mid 1600's. The earliest known ancestor, Johann Nicolai Riedmöller, was likely a simple farmer. The family eventually relocated to another small village, just a few miles to the west, named Braunau. Braunau got its name, apparently, froma a marsh or "brown bog" that once existed there.

The family stayed in Braunau, with some remaining there today, until the year 1840, when Johann Henrich Riethmüller left Braunau for Baltimore in 1840. Henrich's brother Lorenz arrived in Baltimore in September 1846 and it is from him that our family descends. Two other brothers also came to the US later, Johann Ernst in 1847 and Johann Conrad (known as Cuny within the family), who came in 1848.

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Updated June 20, 2010

Michael David Riethmiller

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