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Here you will find information about the Ritter family, with roots in Bleidenrod Germany. This group of Ritters emigrated from the Port of Bremen, Germany between 1854 and 1866 and sailed into the port of New York.

After arriving in New York on various ships, the Ritters traveled west to the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area before traveling north to Shelby County Ohio, settling in Turtle Creek Township as farmers and in the City of Sidney as merchants.

As the 1800's ended and the 20th century began, some of the Ritters eventually moved from the farming community of Turtle Creek Township to the Dayton, Ohio area to seek their fortune as construction contractors. Here they began to take advantage of the industrial revolution that was taking place not only in Dayton, but around the world.
The Ritters: From Bleidenrod Germany to Sidney/Dayton, Ohio
Updated November 6, 2005

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  • 1880 - United States Census - John Conrad Ritter (250 KB)
    4 June 1880 -- Not much additional information... life goes on as usual.
  • Graceland Cemetery Map (293 KB)
    Shows location of the Ritter cemetery lot within Graceland.
  • 1887 - Court Document: John Conrad Ritter's Will (91 KB)
    11 July 1887 -- John Conrad Ritter -- As filed with the Shelby County Courthouse, here are the probate documents for John Conrad Ritter's hand written will! The will was written in the sweltering days of summer, just three days before his death.
  • 1912 - "Former Well Known Resident Is Dead" (122 KB)
    1912 -- Conrad Ritter -- From the Sidney newspaper. Very nice article about Conrad Ritter, the merchant tailor who had a prominent shop on the square in Sidney.
  • 1887 - John Conrad Ritter's Death Notice (56 KB)
    15 July 1887 -- A short death notice from the Shelby County Democrat newspaper. John died of Bright's disease during a sweltering July in 1887.
  • 1875 - Map of Turtle Creek Township (106 KB)
    1875 -- From the 1875 Page & Smith Combination Atlas Map of Shelby County, Ohio. Shows the Ritter farm (in red), the McClure farm (in yellow), the McDonald farm (in blue) and the Cole farms (in green).
  • 1863 - "I Have Received My Spring & Summer Goods" (157 KB)
    17 April 1863 -- Conrad Ritter -- Advertisement in the Sidney Journal for Conrad Ritter's clothing and tailor shop. This ad was placed while the American Civil War was raging... Abraham Lincoln was President, and the battle of Gettysburg would occur in just a few short months.
  • 1910 - Williams City Directory - Dayton, Ohio (123 KB)
    From the 1910/11 Williams City Directory Shows Conrad is a cement contractor. Shows Carl McD is a drug clerk downtown at 6 E 3rd St. Predis Ritter also appears at 509 North Harker Street (later renamed to Maryland Ave). Predis is living with his father, Conrad Ritter.
  • Bleidenrod Germany (125 KB)
    This picture of Bleidenrod Germany was taken in 2004. Bleidenrod is the city where this group of Ritters originated.
  • 1870 - United States Census - John Conrad Ritter (228 KB)
    8 June 1870 -- Another important document based on a personal interview. It shows John C "Riter" had a farm worth $3,500 and a personal estate of $750. His son "Coonrod" (Conrad) was 11 and attending school. A key item here is the place of birth shown for John and Elizabeth is Darmstadt. I believe Elizabeth provided this information to the census-taker and it represents her birthplace. John C. Ritter is firmly established to be from Bleidenrod, Germany, but this may be the key to finding Elizabeth's roots. Note that just above the Ritter family entry is the McClure family. Little Eddie McClure was 9 and Mary Ritter was 6. Eddie and Mary were later married, and they are buried in the Ritter lot in Graceland Cemetery in Sidney. Also note here that William Ritter shows up on the census and is only 1 year old. He died just two years later of typhoid fever.

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