Last updated 3 April 2011
Contents & Links
My Gerhardstein Ancestors
Credits And Acknowledgments
About The Name Gerhardstein
The Major Gerhardstein Branches
Descendant Number Systems
Gerhardsteins of Hauenstein, Germany
Early Gerhardstein Family History
USA Gerhardstein Family History
Siblings of Johann Adam Gerhardstein
William L Gerhardstein
Gerhardstein Genealogy Puzzles
Points of Interest - Ohio
Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace
Pirmasens Genealogy Study Group
Gerhardsteins who served in the World Wars
How You Can Help
Seven Generations of Gerhardsteins
Gerhardstein Entries In GENDEX And ROOTSWEB
GERHARDSTEIN-L Mailing List
Gerhardstein.ORG Home Page
Electronic Mail Addresses
The Legend of Der Speerwurf
Our Genealogy Pages
Our Home Page
Welcome to my Gerhardstein genealogy and family history web site. Perhaps you came here via links on Gerhardstein.org, Cyndi's List, RootsWeb, or WorldConnect. Or perhaps you came here from an Internet search engine, like AltaVista, Google, and Yahoo. Whatever method you came here, I'm pleased you stopped by.
This web site traces
Gerhardstein genealogy starting about 1698 in
The purpose of this web
site is to create a presence on the Internet for promoting research and
interest in the Gerhardstein surname, and to encourage communication and
information sharing among related family branches. Because it is so rare,
the Gerhardstein surname represents a very tightly defined group, and 175 years
after immigration the name still is most often encountered in
There are currently 4
Gerhardstein branches known to have immigrated to the
GERHARDSTEIN-L, a RootsWeb mailing list, the GERHARDSTEIN GenForum, and the Gerhardstein.ORG domain web page are introduced below.
This site also provides
URL links to web pages about the play "Der Speerwurf," ( The Spear
Toss ) performed in
The newest addition to this web page is a list of Gerhardstein descendants who served in the military during the major wars. I currently have 4 listed for WWI and 6 for WWII. If you know of additions, please send me email.
If you are a
Gerhardstein descendant or related to us through a collateral line, please let
us know of your presence by joining and posting to the mailing list, or by
electronic mail to my email address. We're
always interested in learning more about what others are doing.
Electronic mail addresses of other Gerhardsteins on the Internet are listed
further down on this web page. If you are planning a Gerhardstein Family
There exists a few
family history puzzles, still unsolved. The major puzzles at this time
include 1) ancestry and descendants of William L Gerhardstein (1864-1932).
Please see PUZZLES section below. NOTE the
ancestry of Paul Gerhardstein was resolved via communications from
In constructing these pages, I have tried to use only web programming constructions, which are standard among all of the major web browsers. I have purposely avoided many modern and exotic web programming techniques that might not be supported in all browsers. Thus, I have tried to concentrate more on information presentation than on graphic style. However, if you notice anything in the rendering of this web page that does not appear graphically correct on your computer, please let me know.
In addition to email, you can usually reach me via the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), whenever I am online. My AIM ID is LHGerhardstein. Please send me email first. If you have installed AIM version 5.5 or higher, you can try calling me using voice over the Internet, though I have not found this method of communication to be highly reliable.
If you have questions regarding the Gerhardstein family history, or our collateral lines, please email me and I will do my best to answer, or direct you to others who may be able to help you.
p.s. Shirley Fedele: Please contact me. Andrew Gerhardstein: Please contact me.
The following chart shows my Gerhardstein ancestor line using Ahnentafel notation. In this system, the root person's number is 1. The number of any person's father is 2 times that person's number. The mother's number is 2 times the person's number plus 1, as follows:
128. Johann Georg Gerhardstein (c.1698-1778) + 129. Maria Barbara Dreyer
64. Johann Paul Gerhardstein (c.1733-1804) + 65. Marguerite Lerch (c.1735-1795)
32. Georg Adam Gerhardstein (1758-1823) + 33. Dorothea Christ (1760-1795)
16. Johann Adam Gerhardstein (1789-1849) + 17.
8. Anthony Gerhardstein (1832-1908) + 9. Anna Zimmer (1832-1903)
2. Carl Vincent Gerhardstein (1900-1972) + 3. Cora Marjorie Boblet (1901-1987)
1A. My sister, Mary Agatha Gerhardstein (1935- )
1B. And me...,
From the Ahnentafel chart above, you can determine how we are related (e.g. second cousin, third cousin, etc.) Make this same chart for yourself and find the common ancestor. Get the number of the common ancestor in your chart and in my chart. If the smaller number is between 8 and 15, we are second cousins, if between 16 and 31, third cousins, if between 32 and 63, fourth cousins, etc. If the 2 number are in the same range (e.g. 8-15, 16-31, 32-63) then no removed. If one number's range is twice the other's then once removed. If one number's range is 4 times the other's, then twice removed. If one number's range is 8 times the other, then three times removed, etc.
Some information on this
web page was provided by the Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace, Archives du
Bas-Rhin, 5 rue Fischart , 67000
Historic information about the castle Ruine Burg Gerhardstein, Gerolstein, Germany came from the publication BURG GERHARDSTEIN, auch LÖWENBURG genannt, Die Schicksale der Eifelburg während ihres 700 jährigen Bestehens, by Peter Horsch, auf der Burg, Gerolstein, Germany.
We are most grateful to
the Pirmasens Genealogical Study Group,
We are grateful to the many relatives and cousins who have contributed to the genealogy and history of the Gerhardstein family. Those who contributed greatly to this effort during their lifetimes include Agatha J. (Ruffing) Gerhardstein [ my grandmother ], Bellevue, OH, Agatha L. Gerhardstein [ my aunt ], Bellevue, OH, Carl V Gerhardstein [ my father ], Everett, WA, Robert L. Gerhardstein, Dearborn, MI, Maurice Gerhardstein, St. Stephens, OH, Rodger Gerhardstein, Bellevue, OH, Herman Gerhardstein, Ft. Wayne, IN, Paul and Anna Mae Gerhardstein, Grosse-Pointe Woods, MI, Stanley Gerhardstein, Cincinnati, OH, Mary O'Conner, Bowling Green, KY, Albert O. Bacher, Bowie, TX, Julius Gerhardstein, Clyde, OH, and Helena (Callas) Stansfield, Santa Rosa, CA.
Other Gerhardstein history contributors include Nancy (Rush) Schuster, Elyria, OH, Steve Messier, Killingworth, CT, Susan (Ericksen) Meek, California, Vicki (Flener) Banks, Monroe, WA, J Joseph Callas, Norfolk, VA, Sam Gerhardstein, Columbus, OH, Linda Oatley, Bellevue, OH, Dr. Richard & Helen Gerhardstein, Milwaukee, WI, Vince Falter, Virginia, Fred Link, Corona, CA, Anita (Meng) Pozsgay, St. Louis, MO, Beth Ann (Miller) Walliser, Indianapolis, IN, Mary A. Gerhardstein [ my sister ], Waterloo, ONT, Canada, Ronald C. Gerhardstein [ my son ], Yakima, WA, and Jeffrey J. Gerhardstein [ my son ], Yakima, WA.
Plenty of up-to-date information has been gleaned from the books, web pages, and email communication of our collateral lines. These include the web pages and email of Janet Hunt, Rachelle Ibrahim, Denise Pitzen (Neiss & Winter families of Alsace, Ohio, and Indiana), Dianne Croak, Harold Bacher (Bacher family of Texas), David Hill (McBay family of Texas), Vince Falter (Dick, Falter, & Wurm families of St. Stephens, Seneca County, Ohio), and Beth Ann (Miller) Walliser (Brown & Walliser families of Seneca County, Ohio). To the extent that these lines share common threads with Gerhardsteins, I have been able to benefit from their efforts.
However, by far the
largest collection of gleaned information came from the excellent manuscript
The list of people who
have sent me photographs (some already scanned) for this web page is
growing. They include Mary A. Gerhardstein, Linda (Gerhardstein) Oatley,
David Hill, Beth Ann (Miller) Walliser, Marilyn (Holmer) Fox, and Anita (Meng)
Pozsgay. In addition, some of the photos presented on this page are from
my own collection. I use an
Finally, a special
thanks and recognition to Ann A. Allen,
The name Gerhardstein is
very uncommon and unusual. There are presently no more than about 125-150
households listed in national telephone directories. Even in
The Gerhardstein surname probably originated near Gerolstein, Germany, where there is an ancient castle ruin named Burg Gerhardstein. First constructed in about the year 1115, the castle was named by and for Gerhard von Blankenheim, the land baron who first built it. Thus, the name Gerhardstein, which translates literally to "Gerhard's Castle." The medieval castle, Burg Gerhardstein, also known as Löwenburg (Lion's Castle), was occupied until the mid-1800s.
Exact relationship of the modern USA/Canada Gerhardstein family to early residents of Burg Gerhardstein, and the surrounding region, remains unknown to us at this time. There is a mid-1600 notation of a Pontleon Gerhardstein, living near Gerolstein. However the relationship of Pontleon to the present day family has not been determined. Also, there exists evidence that Gerhardstein was in use as a surname during the 1400s and earlier.
Four major Gerhardstein
branches are known to have immigrated to the
addition, at least one Gerhardstein branch remains in
The numbering system used on this web page to identify descendants is essentially the Henry System, invented by Reginald Buchanan Henry in about 1935 to identify descendants of American presidents. Other descendant numbering systems frequently used are de Villiers/Pama System, the Register System, and the D'Aboville System. Some major genealogy organizations have invented and standardized their own descendant identification systems.
Each of these numbering systems has its own merits and drawbacks, and while I do not endorse nor recommend the use of one over another, I chose to use a variant of the Henry System on this page, at this time, because of its simplicity and compactness. Note that the Henry System fails for family size greater than about 30. To learn more about genealogy numbering schemes, see http://www.saintclair.org/numbers/, the excellent web page "Numbering Systems in Genealogy," by Richard A. Pence.
Currently descendant identification numbers used on this web page signify where a person, and his/her ancestors are positioned in their respective family group sheets, starting with the family of Paul and Margaretha. Since Georg Adam is the 4th child in the first family, his number is 4. Johann is 3rd child, so his number is 43. My great grandfather Anthony was 8th so his number is 438. My grandfather Laurence's number is 438-8. My father Carl's number is 438-82. My Aunt Agatha's number is 438-81. My sister Mary's number is 438-821, my number is 438-822, my children are 438-822-X, and my grandchildren are 438-822-XX. When appropriate, I have identified spouses as NUMBER-S regardless of gender, and NUMBER-S1, NUMBER-S2 in the case of multiple marriages.
On this page, the letters A, B, C, etc. are used to represent the numbers 10, 11, 12, etc. The letter X is used when the person's position in their parents' family group sheet is unknown to me. If and when additional ancestor generations are identified, this scheme can be easily adapted to accommodate the new information. Note that this scheme is a minor variation of true Henry System, as there the letter X was used to represent the 10th child in a family. I chose the letters A, B, C, etc. to stay consistent with other web pages on the Internet that use this same notation.
The popular de
Villiers/Pama System has been used in documentation by some of our collateral
lines, e.g. the book "Ruffing In
The earliest known
Gerhardstein and ancestor of modern day Gerhardsteins is Johann Georg
Gerhardstein (1698-1778) and his wife Maria Barbara Dreyer (1705-1755) of
1. Maria Margaretha( - ) m.
20 Oct 1744Johannes Frari
2. Johann Wilhelm ( -1783) m1.
22 Sep 1750Anna Barbara Daussmann, m2. Maria Margaretha Straub
3. Johann Paul ( -1804) m.
8 Jan 1753Margaretha Lerch
4. Johann Matthew (1734-1749)
5. Georg Jacob (1737- ) m.
8 Jan 1759Susanna Magdalena Straub
6. Christian Carl (1741-1744) b. & d. Falkenburg, near Hauenstein
7. Johanna Philippina (1747-1747)
2. Maria Magdalena (1760- )
3. Katharina (1762- )
4. Georg Friedrich (1771- )
5. Maria Catharina (1775- )
6. Johann Phillipp (1778- )
1. Maria Catharina (1753- )
Paul Gerhardstein and Margaretha Lerch were married in Busnberg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany on 8 Jan 1753, as recorded in the town's Catholic church records. Paul and wife Margaretha (nee Lerch) started raising their family at Busenberg in about 1754. Records in the civil records and parish books of Busenberg yield the names of 12 children of Paul and Marguerite:
1. Margaretha (1755-1830) m1. Johann
Adam Mueller, m2. Jakob Kauff
2. Georg Jakob (1755-1814) m. Catherine Offner
3. Georg Albert (1757- )
4. Georg Adam (1758-1823) m1. Dorothea Christ, m2. Barbe Ott
5. Georg Michel (1760-1833) m. Anne Maria Fuhrmann
6. Wilhelm (1761-1821) m. Anne Barbe Bauman
7. Katharine (1764- )
8. Georg Peter (1765-1834) m. Barbara Hausmann
9. Anna Maria (1767-1835) m. Francois Caspar Liebel
A. Johann Georg (1769- )
B. Elisabeth (1771- ) m. Jacob Schlick
C. Marie Eve (1773- ) m. Sebastien Liebel
several of his sons emigrated from Busenberg, Germany to Bas-Rhin,
first child, Margaretha was born about 1754 in Lindelbrunnerhoff. She
11. Johann Adam ( - ) m.
12. Catherine (- ) m. Johann Hemmer
second child, Georg Jakob was born about 1755 in Busenberg. He died
21. Antoine (I) (1779-1781)
22. Catherine Elisabeth (1781- ) m1. Simon Lehmann, m2. Jean Adam Rappold
23. Marguerite (1782- )
24. Georg Michel (1784- )
25. Laurent (1785-1862) m. Maria Anna Orhy
26. Antoine Johann (1789-1819) m. Barbe Katzenberger
27. Jean (1790- )
28. Caspar (1791- )
Paul's fourth child Georg Adam, born about 1758, also a shepherd, emigrated to Siegen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace in about 1780. Georg Adam had 5 children with first wife Dorothea Christ and 2 with second wife Barbe Ott. Children of Georg Adam and Dorothea, assumed d/o Jacob Christ & Barbe Klein, are:
41. Catherine (1782-1854) m. Urban
42. Regine (1788-1788)
43. Johann Adam (1789-1849) m.
44. Antoine (1789-1844) m. Catherine Jost
45. Walburga (1790-1850) m. Georges Warter
4. Georg Adam GERHARDSTEIN ++ Barbe OTT
After the death of
Adam Gerhardstein died at Siegen on 26 May 1823, and Barbe (nee Ott) on
fifth child Georg Michel, was born in Wilgartswiesen, Rheinland-Pfalz and
51. Andrew (1795-1824)
52. Catharina (1796- ) m. Jacques Sieffermann
53. Jean Michel (1811-1841)
First child of Paul and Marguerite, Wilhelm was born about 1753 in
Busenberg. He died
61. Jean Paul (I) (1787-1787)
62. Anna Catherina (1788-1832) m. Johann Friedrich
63. Nikolaus (1791-1820) m. Catharina Liebmann
64. Maria Barbe (1792- )
65. Paul (II) (1794-1828) m1. Sybille Gillman, m2. Veronique Haeussler
66. Marianne (1796- ) m. Michel Heintz
67. Francois Caspar (1798- )
68. Sebastien (1801-1854) m. Marie Anne Erhard
69. Johann Wilhelm (1802- )
6A. Marianne (1806-1835)
6B. Francois Georg (1809- )
65. Paul GERHARDSTEIN ++ Sybille GILLMAN
651. Marie Barbe (1817-1817)
652. Casimir (1818-1818)
653. Agnes (1819- ) m. Philippe Klein
65. Paul GERHARDSTEIN ++ Veronique HAEUSSLER
654. Francios (1820- )
655. Michel (1823-
656. Philippe (1824-
657. Charles (1826-1826)
658. Marianne (1827-1828)
68. Sebastien GERHARDSTEIN ++ Marie Anne ERHARD
681. Anne Marie (1829-1835)
682. Reine (1832- ) m. Philippe Fink
683. Sebastien (1835-1835)
684. Richarde (1836- )
Paul's 8th child Georg Peter, was born about 1765, probably at Busenberg, Germany. Where-as his father and brothers emigrated to Alsace, Georg Peter appears to have lived at Busenberg all his life. He died on 18 May 1834 in Bärenbrunnerhof, and Barbara sometime after that. He and Barbara had 10 children or record. Thanks to Steven Messier of Connecticut, and Bernhard Braun at the Pirmasens Genealogy Group for working with us to sort out this family group. Descendants of #81 Johann Adam live in New York and Connecticut. See #811 Barbara Gerhardstein.
81. Johann Adam (1797-1870+) m. Anna Marie Funck
82. Barbara (1798-1799)
83. Josef Adam (abt. 1800-1832)
84. Catharina Barbe (1803- ) m. Johann Burkhard
85. Johann (II) (1806- )
86. Johann (III) (1807- )
87. Fredrick (1809-1810)
88. Maria Barbe (1812- )
89. Georg Peter (1814- )
8A. Georg Jacob (1816- )
81. Johann Adam GERHARDSTEIN ++ Anna Marie FUNCK
Barbara (1835-1884) m. Johannes HEFT (1825-1898)
812. Jacobine (1798-1799)
Paul's 9th child, daughter Anna Maria, was born about 1766, at Busenberg, Germany. She emigrated with her parents' family to Salmbach, Bas-Rhin, where she married Francois Caspar Liebel s/o Sebastien Liebel & Catharine Friedrich. Their 10 recorded children, all born at Salmbach, are:
91. Maria Barbara (1785-1786)
92. Jean (1786- )
93. Francois Joseph (1788- )
94. Joseph (1789- )
95. Wilhelm (1796- )
96. Maria Agathe (1798- )
Paul's 11th child, daughter Elisabeth, was born 15 July 1771, Busenberg, Germany. In about 1810, with her husband Jacob Schlick, she emigrated to Kandel, Ukraine. Their 6 recorded children are:
B1. Eva (1791- )
B2. Franciscus (1797- )
B3. Regina (1799- )
B4. Johann (1801- )
B5. Balthasar (1807- )
B6. Apollonia (1810- )
Paul's 12th child, daughter Marie Eve, was born 4 Nov 1773, at Salmbach, Alsace. She married Sebastien Liebel s/o Sebastien Liebel & Catharine Friedrich. Their 4 recorded children are:
C1. Jacques (1795- )
C2. Sebastien (1797- )
C3. Marie Eve (1799- )
C4. Antoine (1801- )
Johann Adam (no. 43), third child of Georg Adam Gerhardstein, is the ancestor of nearly all Gerhardstein surname people currently living in the United States of America and Canada. To the left is displayed the actual signature of Johann, digitized and copied to this page nearly 184 years after he signed the birth registration of his oldest son John in December 1817. Johann's handwriting is of the old Fraktur style, not seen much these days. Making out "Johan"and "Adam" is easy. With a Fraktur Guide and a little patience, each letter of the name "Gerhardstein" can also be seen.
Johann Adam married Magdalena Anna Michel d/o Antoine Michel (a lumber man) and Regine Neiss on 19 Jan 1817 in Siegen, Bas-Rhin. By the time Johann Adam and Magdalena Anna emigrated from Bas-Rhin in 1830, they had 4 living children and 3 whom had died. Johann Adam and Magdalena left Siegen during mid-1830, and arrived in Thompson Twp., Seneca County, Ohio about August or September 1830. It may be that Catholic clergy of Bas-Rhin helped them arrange their emigration from Alsace to Ohio. This was related to me many years ago by my father Carl Gerhardstein.
Civil records of Siegen, Bas-Rhin list Johann's occupation as Laborer and Tailleur. Family tradition also holds that Johann may have been a teacher in Siegen as a young man. However, I have not found any documentation in the records of Bas-Rhin to support that theory.
In Thompson Twp., Seneca County, Ohio, Johann became a farmer. As evidenced by the inscription on his grave marker at St. Michael's Cemetery, he was a leader among the Thompson Twp. German-Alsatian community. The translated inscription reads, "Johann Gerhardstein - our unforgettable Father of the Community and first settler. Died 1 September 1849 in the 60th year of his age." On the iron cross next to Johann is the inscription, "Magdalena Gerhardstein - died 10 August 1849 at the age of 57 years. Only the husk is covered. The gift of the Spirit is eternal life."
Johann and Magdalena died within a one month period of each other during the 1849 Cholera. Their markers are the distinctive iron crosses common among German Alsatian communities of that era. Several years ago, the family bonded together to restore the grave markers of Johann and Magdalena, so that Gerhardstein generations that follow will be able to view them in the proper positions.
There exists some evidence suggesting that Johann may have acted as a mentor and facilitator for residents of Siegen, Alsace who followed the Gerhardsteins to Seneca County, Ohio. A few of the surnames which appear both in 1800-1850 Siegen & Bas-Rhin record books, and in 1830-1900 Seneca County include Billman, Christ, Denninger (Dendinger), Fritz, Holler, Koenig, Lehman, Michel, Neiss, Omlor, Ott, and Rheinhart.
My attempts to locate mid-1830 immigration records and ship list entries, at the U.S. National Archives, for the Gerhardsteins have been unsuccessful. Immigration patterns of the time suggest they may have traveled via Le Havre and New York City. But for reasons unknown, the 1830 ship lists are missing from the New York immigration records that survived. Many of the gaps in these ship lists can be attributed to fires and lacking record preservation methods in the not well cared for archives of the 1800s.
At least 3 more children were born to Magdalena and Johann Adam after arriving in Ohio, 2 sons and 1 daughter. Of their 10 known children, 6 lived to adulthood: John, Dorothea, Mary, Joseph, Anthony, and Laurence. Note that family tradition may relate that Johann and Magdalena had 11 children. I do not doubt there could be 11, however, to this date I have found evidence of 10 only: 7 in Siegen, Bas-Rhin records, and 3 in records of Seneca County, Ohio and U.S. census. The known children of Johann Adam and Magdalena are:
431. John (1817-1890) m. Catherine
432. Rosine (1819-1819)
433. Michel (1820-1826)
434. Barbe (1822-1826)
435. Dorothea (a.k.a. Dora) (1824-1904) m. Jacob Schwartz
436. Marie Anne (a.k.a. Mary) (1827-1902) m. Joseph Neiss
437. Joseph (1830- ) m. Catherine Rebecca Croxton
438. Anthony (1832-1908) m. Anna Zimmer
439. Girl (unknown name) (about 1834- ) [ see 1840 census ]
43A. Laurence (a.k.a. Laurence Garhart) (1835-1915) m. Judy Emmalena Holly
John (no. 431) and Catherine lived at Bismark, Huron County, Ohio near St. Sebastien Parish. Anthony (no. 438) and Anna lived at Thompson Twp., Seneca County, Ohio. Dorothea (no. 435) and Jacob Schwartz lived first in Seneca County, then later in Mercer County, Ohio. Mary (no. 436) and Joseph Neiss moved to Pulaski County, Indiana. Some family historians believed that Johann's son Joseph (no. 437) may have gone back to Germany in about 1865-70. However, I have seen no documentation to support the theory. In any case, Joseph's place/date of death are unknown. In about 1851, Laurence (no. 43A) relocated to Centralia, Illinois and then via covered wagon to Oklahoma and Bowie, Texas. Laurence altered his name to Garhart, perhaps to foil being traced by his siblings.
Gerhardstein family members who still live around Bellevue, Ohio in Huron, Erie, Sandusky, and Seneca Counties, are mainly the descendants of John (no. 431) and Anthony (no. 438). Descendants of John (no. 431) organize the tri-annual Gerhardstein family reunions at Bellevue, Ohio. Gerhardsteins around Tipp City, Ohio are descendants of Joseph (no. 437). Known descendants of Mary (no. 436) live in Indiana and California. No descendants of Dorothea (no. 435) have been located to date, but possibly live around Celina, Mercer County, Ohio. Known descendants of Laurence (no. 43A), live in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Calilfornia, Oregon, and the southeast.
Georg Jakob Gerhardstein's third child, Laurent (no. 25), is a first cousin of Johann Adam Gerhardstein (no. 43) of Ohio, and also an immigrant to the USA. Laurent was born 4 Oct 1785 in Trimbach, Bas-Rhin and died about Aug 1862 at Bowling Green, Butler County, Kentucky. In about 1850, Laurent came with his son Andrew to Butler County, Kentucky. Daughter Catherine and Joseph Schneider also immigrated to Kentucky at about the same time. Laurent married Maria Anna Orhy, d/o Andre Orhy & Catherine Heyd, on 15 Sep 1818 in Seltz, Bas-Rhin. Two children born in Bas-Rhin as follows:
Laurent's first child Andrew was born 28 Mar 1821 in Bas-Rhin and died 14 Oct 1871 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He immigrated to Kentucky with his father in about 1850, settling on Little Big Muddy Creek, near Woodbury, Kentucky. He married Mary Ellen Phelps (1831-1857), d/o Julian R Phelps & Sarah Smith. Four children have been reported by descendant Helena C. Stansfield (251-421-X), all born at Woodbury, Kentucky:
251-1. Julian L (1850-1851)
251-2. Sarah Katherine (1852-to-56-1941) m. J. Will Wright (birth year & order questioned)
251-3. Gregory (1853-1857)
251-4. Mary Belle (Dinah) (1855-1937) m. Louis Fredrick Ritter
Laurent's second child Catherine married Joseph Schneider, s/o Joseph Schneider who was reported to have served in the army under Napoleon. One child was reported by descendant Mary O'Conner (352-15):
252-1. Joseph (1850-1908) m. Julia L Woerne (1856-1899)
Laurent's grandson Joseph Schneider (252-1) married Julia L Woerne, d/o Michael Waerne and Julia A Flack. A farmer and distiller, Joseph was born near Strasbourg, France. He is of Spanish-Swiss descent. He learned the trade of a cabinet maker in France and emigrated to America in 1871. He landed in New York 1 May 1871. He remained there until Nov 1871 and then went to Bowling Green, Kentucky. He married Julia Woerne in 1874, a native of Bowling Green. Joseph was reported to be a tavern operator, leading farmer, Democrat, and prominent business man of Warren County. Julia died in 1899, Joseph in 1908. The children reported by Mary O'Conner (252-15) [ she was very old when she corresponded with me ], a daughter of this couple, are:
252-11. Joseph (1876-1933)
252-12. Catherine (1879-1897)
252-13. Fred (1882-1907)
252-14. Florence (1890-1971)
252-15. Mary M (1893- ) m. John S O'Conner
Johann and Magdalena's first child John Gerhardstein was 12 years of age when the family emigrated from Bas-Rhin Alsace to Ohio in mid-1830. John was born on 16 Dec 1817 in Siegen, Bas-Rhin. In Ohio, he received his schooling at St. Michael's. Historical reports about Seneca County relate that John's father helped construct St. Michael's.
John married Catherine Host, d/o of Johann Host and Barbara Wittenmeyer, in January 1841 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Bronson Twp., Huron County. Catherine, born 9 Jan 1821, was the 7th of 9 children in the family of Johann & Barbara Host. A researcher in Michigan reports that some of the 9 children in this family were born at Bubenhausen, Germany. John and Catherine lived on a farm at Bismark, Sherman Twp., Huron County near St. Sebastien Parish. They had 11 children. John died on 29 Sep 1890 at Bismark. Catherine died 10 Jan 1892.
All of Catherine Host's surviving siblings departed Huron County, Ohio during the 1840s and relocated to Wright Twp., Ottawa County, Michigan. Her brother Henry Host in 1844 was possibly one of the first to settle in the wilderness of Wright Twp and was instrumental in establishing St. Joseph's Catholic church. These were not the only Seneca & Huron County residents relocating to Michigan. At about the same time several other Huron County familiar surname families from Ohio moved to Wright, Michigan. These included Omlor (Umlor), Zimmer, Ruffing, Braun (Brown), and others.
Thanks to Linda A (Gerhardstein) Oatley (431-473-2), Bellevue, OH for the photograph at left. The men in this excellent old photo are the 5 adult sons of John and Catherine (Host) Gerhardstein. They are from left to right, Joseph, Jacob, Henry (priest), Michael, and Anthony.
Most of the Gerhardstein residents remaining in the Bellevue and Huron County, Ohio region are descendants of John and Catherine's son Anthony (431-4) and his wife Theresa Ruffing. This is just one example of the several marriages between Gerhardsteins and Ruffings. The Ruffing family of Bellevue has done a wonderful job documenting the descendants of Theresa and Anthony, a Bellevue area brick maker. These include the family of Rodger Gerhardstein (431-473), who host the tri-annual family reunions. Anthony operated the brick yards at Bismark near St. Sebastian's, and then bought the old Kern brickyards on Gardner Road in Bellevue, living there the rest of his life.
The descendant line of John (431), Anthony (431-4), Otto (431-41), and Arnold (431-412) represent 4 generations of Gerhardstein kiln operators. An August 12, 1948 article from the Bloomville Gazette [reprinted 2002 in the Attica Hub] relates the story of the St. Stephen, Ohio brick factory operated by Otto Gerhardstein and later by his son Arnold. The article states that the Gerhardsteins began operating the St. Stephen kiln in 1906, that Otto's father [Anthony] operated the Bellevue kiln, and that his grandfather [John] operated a kiln and "burned the bricks for the Bismark Church in Huron County." That would be St. Sebastien.
Joseph (431-5) moved to Sandusky, Ohio and many of the Sandusky area Gerhardsteins are his descendants. Among the descendants of Joseph are some who changed their surname to Gerhard. Joseph is reported to have been a music professor in Sandusky. I would appreciate anyone knowing more about Joseph and his musical qualifiactions contacting me.
Debbie Smith, a descendant of Joseph Gerhardstein, sent me the following narrative, which comes from a 1930 St. Mary's Church and School book, "In 1881, Mr. Joseph Gerhardstein became choir director and until the time of his death 29 years later he devoted himself untiringly to the parish, teaching in school and directing the choir."
Michael (431-9), not desiring to follow in the family traditional farming profession, moved to northern Kentucky in order to pursue a different occupation. He is the ancestor to many of the Gerhardsteins living around Cincinnati, northern Kentucky, and Cleveland. Michael married Teresa Hengelbrok in Newport, KY, her birthplace. He moved his new family back to the Bellevue area long enough that their first 3 children were born in Ohio. They then moved back to Kentucky in about 1890 and lived there the remainder of his life. Michael and Teresa lived at 511 Patterson, Newport, where Michael worked as a clerk. Two of Michael and Teresa's daughters became nuns, Mary Irene (SR Andrea) (431-93), and Mary Ruth (SR Redempta) (431-95).
Recently, we learned that Michael had a twin sister Catharina (431-8), who must have died as a child, as nothing is know of her. A copy of their 9 Oct 1855 baptism records from St. Sebastien parish records (CLICK HERE) has been provided by Denise Pitzen of Curtice, Ohio [ related to us via Neiss ], and Bowling Green University Library, Bowling Green, Ohio.
Neither Jacob (431-6) nor Anna (431-A) ever married, and both lived in John & Catherine's Bismark family home all their lives. Descendants in the Michael (431-9) line reported visiting their Uncle Jake and Aunt Anna at the Bismark home during trips to Ohio, and also their excellent homemade sausages. Also living in the family home with Jacob and Anna from about 1891 to 1922 is Louisa Gerhardstein, whose identity has not been confirmed. In various census, Louisa is listed as both cousin and daughter.
John and Catherine's youngest son Henry J. (431-B) became a Roman Catholic Priest. He was schooled at Canisius College, Buffalo, NY and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland, OH. He was ordained by Bishop Horstmann on 17 Dec 1892. He then became the Pastor of SS. Phillipp & James in Canal Fulton, OH on 28 Jun 1898, and Pastor of St. Peters, Cleveland, OH on 30 Jun 1901. It is reported by family members that he also served in a pastoral capacity at St. Sebastien Parish.
431-1. John (1841-1860)
431-2. Mary M. (1844-1901) m. Joseph John Dick (1838-1898)
431-3. Francesca (1845-1899)
431-4. Anthony (1847-1909) m. Theresa Ruffing (1858-1928)
431-5. Joseph (1849-1907) m. Louisa Coates
431-6. Jacob (1851-1933)
431-7. Andrew (1853- )
431-8. Catharina (1855-??)
431-9. Michael (1855-1908) m. Teresa Hengelbrok (1863-1940)
431-A. Anna (1857-1922)
431-B. Henry J. (Priest) (1859-1918)
Johann and Magdalena's daughter Dorothea (aka Dora & Dolly) Gerhardstein was born at Siegen, Alsace on 15 Dec 1824. She was the next oldest surviving sibling to John and was 5 years old when the family emigrated to Ohio. In about 1847, Dora married Jacob Schwartz, apparently a relative of Katherine Schwartz, wife of Joseph Ruffing and also an ancestor of the Bellevue, Ohio Ruffing family. After marrying, Jacob and Dorothea lived briefly in Seneca County and are listed in the 1850 Seneca County census with their 2 oldest children. However, by 1860 this family had moved west to Mercer County, Ohio. As listed in the 1860 Mercer County census, their family numbered 7 children as shown below. Dorothea died on 18 Jan 1904 in Celina, Mercer County.
Jacob's father Jacob Sr. owned property next to John Host, father of Catherine wife of John Gerhardstein. Part of the land that is now Sebastien Catholic Cemetery was donated by Jacob Schwartz Sr. Beyond the names of 7 offspring listed below, I know nothing else about this Gerhardstein descendant branch.
435-1. Mary Ann (1848- )
435-2. Elisabeth (1850- )
435-3. Anthony (1852- )
435-4. John (1854- )
435-5. Jacob (1856- )
435-6. Joseph (1858- )
435-7. Magdalena (1859- )
Johann and Magdalena's 6th child Marie Anne (Mary) Gerhardstein was born in Siegen, Alsace on 12 May 1827. Thus, she probably was 3 years of age when the family moved from France to America. In about 1850, Mary married Joseph Neiss, her second cousin. [ I have heard that Joseph and Mary had 14 children, though I have the names of only ten. ] The ten children listed below were all born in Seneca County, Ohio. However, sometime later this family and several others among the German-Alsatian residents of Seneca County relocated to Pulaski County and White County, Indiana. Mary died on 28 Jan 1902 in White County, Indiana. [ Though a few in this family have been in contact with my cousins in Ohio and Michigan, I know very little to nothing about their history in Indiana. ]
Joseph Neiss was born 14 Jun 1825 in Siegen, Alsace, s/o Jean Daniel Neiss and Marie Anne Bessler who also emigrated from France to America. Joseph Neiss died October 1904 in White County, Indiana.
Jean Daniel Neiss' parents were Michel Neiss Jr. and Anne Marie Beyl. Michel Jr. and Regine Neiss, Magdalena (Michel) Gerhardstein's mother, were siblings, thus how Mary and Joseph Neiss are second cousins. Either Michel Neiss Jr. or Sr. was an official in the Siegen Town Office and for some time was the person who most often wrote in the Siegen civil record books. Several of the Neiss family immigrated to Seneca County, Ohio and were present in the early membership of St. Michael's, (e.g. Fritz, Holler, Neiss) and are buried at St. Michael's Cemetery.
436-1. Adaline (1851- ) m. Faldine Baker
436-2. Magdalena (1852-1892) m. Franklin Gilsinger
436-3. Anthony (1853-1916)
436-4. Margaret (1854-1936) m. Valentine Gilsinger
436-5. Mary (1856-1932) m. Balthasar Bauman
436-6. Daniel (1857-1865)
436-7. Joseph (1858- )
436-8. Jacob (1860- ) m. Rosa Baker
436-9. John (1861-1942) m. Elizabeth Hein
436-A. Anna Margarita (1863-1918) m. William Weaver
Johann and Magdalena's 7th child Joseph Gerhardstein was their last born in Alsace. He was born on 16 Mar 1830, and only weeks or months old when the family left Alsace and Europe for America. Joseph's wife was Rebecca Croxton, from Stark County, Ohio, d/o Samuel Croxton. Joseph and Rebecca had 4 children, see below. Joseph probably was a farmer, but is also reported by his descendants to have been a country doctor. Some time about 1865, Joseph's whereabouts become unclear and stories about his activities after that year border on legend.
Cousin Robert L. Gerhardstein, an avid family historian, Dearborn, MI reported that some of Joseph's descendants believed he may have left to serve as a doctor in the Civil War, but went back to Germany instead. However, Civil War military records do not appear to include the name of Joseph Gerhardstein (a gross mis-spelling is always possible). However, it is possible that the U.S. Union Army could have contracted with doctors for their services, without them actually being enlisted in the military. Thus, he could have been a war doctor and his name might not appear in military rolls. Whatever happened to Joseph after about 1865 continues to be a mystery.
437-1. Joseph (1857- ) m. Mary Peckinpaugh
437-2. Mary (1859- ) m. Frank Eberhard
437-3. Theresa (1861- ) m. __ Horsfield
437-4. John Henry (1865- )
Johann and Magdalena's 8th child Anthony Gerhardstein [ my great-grandfather ] was their first born in America. Anthony was born on 18 Mar 1832 at Flat Rock, Seneca County, Ohio. Anthony and his wife Anna (nee Zimmer) were married at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Bronson Twp., Huron County. Anna was born in Germany on 4 Nov 1832, exact place unknown, d/o Nicholaus and Mary (Neuman) Zimmer. Nicholas, Mary, and Anna Zimmer came to the U.S.A. in 1835. Nicholas owned land in Peru Twp., Huron Co., but sold all in about 1865 and then moved to Wright Twp., Ottawa County, Michigan. Anthony and Anna farmed in Thompson Twp., Seneca County. Anthony died on 22 May 1908 at Franks, Ohio. Anthony and Anna are buried at St. Michael's Parish Cemetery, Seneca County. Anthony and Anna had 10 children, see below. Descendants of Nicholas Zimmer's sons Alphonse and Nicholas Jr. are known to live in Michigan. Some Ott family descendants of Nicholas Zimmer still live in and around Peru Twp., Huron County.
Oldest son Joseph Gerhardstein (438-1) is the ancestor of Robert L. Gerhardstein (438-122), Dearborn, MI, one of our principal Gerhardstein family historians. Joseph lived at 102 Douglas, Hammond, Indiana where he worked as a carpenter. Joseph died in East Chicago, IL.
Anthony Gerhardstein Jr. (438-2) and Sophia (nee Glassner) operated the farm of Anthony & Anna after their deaths. After the deaths of Anthony Jr. and Sophia, the farm passed to their son Willie (438-21). There were no heirs in this branch to receive the farm later on and it passed from the family. The farm was then owned by the Schneider family and then by the Holmer family, neither of whom are closely related to Gerhardsteins.
Jacob & Elisabeth (438-3) Heitz farmed and lived at Norwalk. They are buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Norwalk.
Daughter Magdalena (438-4) died in childhood and is buried at St. Michael's, Thompson Twp. close by her father and mother.
Mary Gerhardstein (438-5) married Louis Walliser, of Swiss ancestry, who immigrated in 1875 from Ridushaffer, Alsace at age 14. Louis lived with the (Anthony and Anna) Gerhardsteins and worked on their farm. Later, in 1891, Albert Walliser also came to the USA with the assistance of his brother Louis, and Frank and Mary Gerhardstein. The Walliser brothers left 4 sisters behind in Alsace. This brief history of the Wallisers came from historians Leonard Walliser, and Marilyn (Holmer) Fox. Louis and Mary Walliser farmed at Hopewell Twp., Road 18, near Tiffin. The farm is still being operated by their descendants. They had 11 children. They are buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Clinton Twp., Seneca County along with several family members. The undated photograph at left above shows Louis and Mary (Gerhardstein) Walliser apparently standing on their front porch. This photo was sent to me by Marilyn (Holmer) Fox, Cincinnati, OH [ spouse of my second cousin ], and Beth Ann (Miller) Walliser, Indianapolis, IN, spouse of Ned Walliser, a descendant of Albert Walliser.
John Martin Gerhardstein (438-6) and Lizzie (nee Lehman) lived at 133 Wood St., Bellevue, OH. Their young sons Oscar (438-63) and Clarence (438-64) both died in 1896 of an unknown cause and are buried at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Bellevue, OH. Then later in 1900 John and Lizzie named their 6th child Oscar C. (438-66), same as their sons that died 4 years earlier. Their child Edna (438-65) married Frank Hagar, a Wood St. neighbor, whose parents immigrated to America from Switzerland in about 1880. John Martin worked as a butcher in Bellevue. After contracting an unknown illness, John entered a hospital in Toledo, OH, and died in about 1910.
After John Martin's death, his widow Lizzie then returned to her family home at Weavers Corners, just south of Bellevue, OH in Huron County. Upon their father's death, the young boys of that family went to work for, and to live with different farmers of the region in return for their board and keep. In 1921 at age 21, Oscar with his mother and two younger sisters, moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. John and Lizzie's son Albert (438-62) became a well known Roman Catholic priest, was ordained on 19 March 1917, and served at St. Charles Seminary, Indiana. Oscar's descendants live in Indiana, Ohio, and New Mexico.
Frank Gerhardstein (438-7) farmed near Rockaway, Ohio (intersection of US224 & SR 67). Frank married Mary Theresa Meng. The photograph to the left above, taken at the time of their February 1891 marriage, was provided by Anita (Meng) Pozsgay of St. Louis, Missouri. [ As Frank Gerhardstein is my great uncle, Mary Meng is Anita Pozsgay's great aunt. ]
Frank and Mary's oldest son Clem Gerhardstein (438-71) was well known among the Bellevue family for his unusual wit and eccentric political views. Clem and his brother Charles (438-73) both served in World War I. Grandson Louis Weber (438-72X), s/o Augusta (Gerhardstein) and Edward Weber, an Army PFC, died in combat during World War II in Northern Italy, January, 1945. [ I do not know where Louis Weber is buried, perhaps Toledo. ]
Frank Gerhardstein was killed tragically on 10 May 1907 by Pennsylvania Railroad freight train #429, driven by engineer George Roth, near the box factory, Tiffin. Details of this tragic event can be found in Seneca County Coroner records. No blame was placed upon the railroad nor the engineer. Since Mary had already died, upon Frank's untimely death, the children of this family became orphans, and went to live with their Uncle Joseph Meng and Aunt Elizabeth (Ruffing) Meng. During the 1960s, Rockaway, Ohio, in Scipio Township, Seneca County (Sections 31-32) on US 224 (reported location of the Frank Gerhardstein farm) was destroyed by a tornado.
The photograph at left shows siblings Alphonse, Anna, and Laurence Gerhardstein [ my grandfather ], the 3 youngest children of (438) Anthony and Anna (Zimmer) Gerhardstein. This photograph was taken sometime about 1895 or before, and possibly about the time of Anna's marriage to Andrew Braun (Brown). This photograph was provided by [ my sister ] Mary A. Gerhardstein, Ontario, Canada.
Lawrence (438-8) and Agatha (nee Ruffing) lived at 306 North Sandusky, Bellevue (now a parking lot), and later at 412 Northwest Street. Lawrence worked as a clerk at Shuggs Hardware Store in Bellevue.
Oldest daughter Agatha (438-81) managed the women's clothing department at Ruffing's Store for many years. Carl (438-82) [ my father ], after graduating from Bellevue High School, worked in Detroit, and Cleveland as an electrical distribution operator. Then in 1925, Carl moved west and worked as appliance & furniture sales manager for Montgomery Ward and as an electrical distribution substation operator in Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Carl retired from the Bonneville Power Administration in 1969. After studying music, Ann (438-83) became a Catholic Family Services social worker in New York City. After Ann retired due to poor health, she and Agatha lived together in the home on Northwest Street. Mary Helen (438-84) died at age 16 months of Meningitis. Lawrence, Agatha, Agatha Jr., Ann, and Mary Helen are all buried at Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery, Bellevue.
Andrew and Anna (Gerhardstein) (438-9) Brown farmed 160 acres 1 or 2 miles southwest of Frank, Ohio. Andrew also worked as a brick mason. They are buried at St. Michael's Cemetery, Thompson Twp. Three of Andrew and Anna's six daughters became Sisters of Notre Dame, Loretta (SR Mary Joseleen), Stella Marie (SR Mary Hildalin), and Bertha (SR Mary Andrew). The photograph at the left shows Andrew Brown with his 3 daughters who became nuns. They are left to right SR Joseleen, Andrew, SR Hildalin, and SR Mary Andrew. This photograph was provided to me by Beth Ann (Miller) Walliser, Indianapolis, Indiana, who is a Brown family descendant. The last of these to survive was Sister Hildalin, who died 2 July 2002.
A faithful Catholic family, Andrew himself studied at seminary for 3 years. Anna died during childbirth in 1916, leaving Andrew and 8 children. It was at that time that Bertha (age 13) left home to become a novice at St. Michaels, followed by Loretta and Stella. Andrew Brown was the stone mason who erected the Way of the Cross at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Marywood, Ohio. The log house where Andrew Brown grew up is now Historic Lyme Village in Bellevue, Ohio. It was Annie Brown's house, Andrew's old maid sister. In 1978 it was donated to Historic Lyme Village. See a schetched picture of it with some information at http://www.lymevillage.com/.
Alphonse (438-A) taught grade school in Seneca County as a young man after studying at Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio. In 1903. Alphonse purchased the general merchandise store at St. Stephens, which he operated until his death in 1953. His son Maurice (438-A5) then continued operating the St. Stephens General Store until 1963, when cancellation of the passenger rail trains forced them to close. Al Gerhardstein, the famous civil liberties attorney in Cincinnati is a descendant of this family branch. Alphonse, Ludwina, Maurice, Mary, and other close family are buried at St. Stephens Catholic Church Cemetery, St. Stephens, Seneca County, Ohio. [ I still remember in 1947 meeting my Great Uncle Alphonse. I was 8 years old. ]
438-1. Joseph (1855-1907) m. Mary Ann Gilsinger (1861-1936)
438-2. Anthony (1857-1891) m. Sophia Glassner (1862-1933)
438-3. Elisabeth (1859-1930) m. Jacob Heitz (1856-1930)
438-4. Magdalena (1861-1864)
438-5. Mary (1863-1928) m. Louis Walliser (1861-1921)
438-6. John Martin (1865-1910) m. Elisabeth Lehman (1869-1941)
438-7. Francis (Frank) (1867-1907) m. Mary Theresa Meng (1867-1905)
438-8. Lawrence Henry (1869-1947) m. Agatha Ruffing (1867-1953)
438-9. Anna (1872-1916) m. Andrew Brown (1870-1958)
438-A. Alphonse A. (1874-1953) m. Ludwina Walter (1879-1951)
Not many photographs exist of the children of Johann and Magdalena Gerhardstein, but this picture is one such photograph. This aged and worn photograph was provided by David Hill (43A-491), Greensboro, North Carolina and shows Laurence at about age 75.
Laurence (Gerhardstein) Garhart was the tenth and youngest child born of Johann and Magdalena. Laurence was born 14 Jul 1835, in Seneca County, Ohio. Laurence was 14 when his mother and father both died of Cholera in August and September 1849. There exists many interesting stories and theories about what happened to Laurence after his mother and father died. He lived for a time with his married siblings, John, Mary, and Dorothea. He was present in his brother John's home for the 1850 U.S. Census of Huron County. It has been variously reported that one or more of the older siblings encouraged Laurence to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood. However, Laurence was not disposed to becoming a priest, and thus became disenchanted with his adult siblings. To escape their pressure, in 1851 he ran away, going first to Kentucky. He then came back, wandered for a time, but finally settled in Centralia, Illinois. There he married Judy Emmalina Holly on 16 Feb 1862.
For reasons uncertain, but possibly to thwart being traced and found by family members in Ohio, Laurence altered his name to Garhart. Then in about 1870, he purchased a covered wagon, and moved his family first to Oklahoma, and later to Texas. He became active in Baptist churches and helped construct several. Once in Texas, he became a hog farmer. Laurence was a spirited man, with a zest for life, and a love for his evangelical religion.
Only in 1913-14, shortly before he died, did Laurence divulge his true name and Ohio background to his children and grandchildren in Texas. In a letter dated July 7, 1914, Emma Lena (Garhart) Bacher (43A-3) wrote to her sister Cora (Garhart) McBay (43A-4), "... our father told us he was married once before, his name was Gearheart Stine. We would ask him over and over and he would say, 'I can't make you understand.' He told me this on the 31st of December ..." That would have been about 1 year before Laurence's death, 15 January 1915 at Bowie, Texas.
Laurence's grandson Albert Bacher (1901-1997) (43A-3A), Bowie, Texas was an avid family historian and communicated frequently with the Gerhardstein family members in Ohio and elsewhere. Laurence's many descendants now live in Texas, the southwestern USA, southeastern USA, Oregon, and California. Few if any in this family branch still use the Garhart spelling adopted by Laurence. Laurence and Judy Emmalina's children are:
43A-1. Alfred A. (1862-1941) m. Annie Judy
43A-2. Almeda F. (1864-1878)
43A-3. Emmalina (1867-1898) m. Josiah Bacher
43A-4. Cora Martha (1869- ) m. William Jordan McBay (1868-1955)
43A-5. James S. (1871-1876)
43A-6. Matilda (1872- ) m1. ? Durham, m2. Oscar Schneider
43A-7. Alice (1875- ) m1. ? Felnor, m2. Frank Burnett, m3. Snook Nobel
43A-8. Hollis Irving (1878-1949) m. Lilly Overstreet
43A-9. Lawrence Curtis (1878-1916) m. Maud Livesay
43A-A. Oratio Heenan (1882-1914) m. Maggie Dyer
43A-B. Hallie Irene (1884-1958) m. Leo Martell Thames
Many thanks to David Hill (no. 43A-491), Greensboro, North Carolina for sending the following old photographs:
PHOTO Laurence (Gerhardstein)
Garhart (43A) (1835-1915) taken about 1910
PHOTO Alfred P Gerhart (43A-1) (1862-1941) taken 8/17/1921
PHOTO Cora (Gerhart) (43A-4) & William McBay and family, taken about 1912
PHOTO Matilda Gerhart (43A-6) taken about 1918 (WW-I end)
PHOTO Sisters Hallie, Matilda, Alice Gerhart (43A-B,6,7) taken 1930s
811. Barbara GERHARDSTEIN ++
A granddaughter of Georg Peter Gerhardstein (#8) and Barbara Hausmann, Barbara Gerhardstein (1835-1884) and her husband Johannes Heft (1825-1898) are the ancestors of a Gerhardstein branch that immigrated to America. Their son John Heft immigrated first to New York City, NY in about 1890 with his new wife Anna Bischoff, and then to Connecticut in about 1890. The family of Barbara and Johannes Heft include:
John Heft (1870-1961) m. Anna Bischoff (1872-1944)
811.2 Phillipine Heft (1874-1876)
811.3 Valentin Heft (1879-1908)
A great deal of research went into developing the relationship of this family to the ancient ancestors in Germany. We are indebeted to Mr. Bernhard Braun of the Pirmasens Genealogy Study Group and also to (811-113-1) Steven Messier of Killingworth, Connecticut, a descendant of Johann Heft, et. al.
The following descriptions document what we know about Johann's siblings. These people include 3 siblings and 2 half-siblings of Johann Adam Gerhardstein. A fourth sibling, Regine, died in infancy. Whereas Johann moved his family to America in 1830, his siblings stayed in Siegen, or located elsewhere.
Johann's oldest sibling, Catherine was born about 1782 in Siegen. She would have been about 7 years of age when Johann was born in 1789. Catherine married Urban Werner of Oberlauterbach, s/o Martin Werner and Marguerite Kresselring, on 9 July 1810 in Siegen. They had 10 children as reported by Jean Schweitzer of the Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace. One of their grandsons, Alfred Werner became a noted chemist and won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Catherine died on 14 June 1854 at Mulhouse, Bas-Rhin. Urban Werner died on 16 May 1870 at Mulhouse. Source of this information is Jean Schweitzer. Recorded children of Urban and Catherine (Gerhardstein) Werner are:
411. Antoine (1811- )
412. Marguerite (1812- )
413. Jean (1812- )
414. Catherine (1815- )
415. Joseph (1817- )
416. Madeleine (1819- )
417. Jean Adam (1820- ) m. Salome Jeanette Tesche
418. Elisabeth (1823- )
419. Laurent (1825- )
41A. Jacques (1827- )
Johann's brother Antoine was born in Siegen, Bas-Rhin on 5 June 1790. Johann was about 1 year older than Antoine, and thus we can assume they spent their boyhood years together. Antoine married Eve Catherine Jost, d/o Valentine Jost & Marie Eve Wagner, on 10 Jan 1813 in Siegen.
A total of 12 children of this couple were recorded by Jean Schweitzer, and later verified. For reasons we can only speculate, only 4 of their 12 children lived past infancy, and only 3 survived to adulthood. Whether due to disease, still births, etc. we can only guess why the mortality rate among the infants in this family was so high. Perhaps Eve Catherine was prone to problematic pregnancies. However, she otherwise must have been in somewhat good health, perhaps better than the males in that family, as she lived to the age of 71.
Whereas Johann and Magdalena uprooted and moved to America, Antoine and Eve Catherine lived in Siegen all their lives. Antoine died on 1 Sep 1844 and Eve Catherine on 23 Dec 1862, in Siegen. Of their 3 children who lived to adulthood, only Christine married. Observe the name of Antoine's oldest son, Laurent. Perhaps Johann's 2 sons Anthony and Laurence, born in America, were namesakes of his brother and nephew, left behind in Siegen. The 12 children of Antoine and Eve Catherine are:
441. Laurent b: (1813-1853)
442. Dorothea (I) (1815-1820)
443. Joseph (I) (1816-1816)
444. George Valentine (1818-1852)
445. Antoine (I) (1822-1823)
446. Christine (1824- ) m. Antoine Heyd
447. Antoine (II) (1827-1827)
448. Joseph (II) (1828-1828)
449. Dorothea (II) (1829-1829)
44A. Joseph (III) (1831-1831)
44B. Elisabeth (1833-1833)
44C. Francois (1834-1834)
Johann'ssister Walburga was born in Siegen, Bas-Rhin about 1790-91. Her husband was Georges Warter from Surbourg. Georges and Walburga emigrated in 1809 with several other families to the village of Sulz, Ukraine. Georges became a school master in Sulz. He was assassinated in 1920 in Sulz. Walburga died in Sulz in about 1850. Source of this information is Jean Schweitzer. It is unknown whether this couple had children.
Johann's half-sister Marguerite was born on 24 July 1795. She married Joseph Koebel (1793-1842) of Oberseebach, s/o Pierre Kobel and Marie Eve Graff, on 20 July 1816 in Siegen. This couple had 8 recorded children. Marguerite died on 13 April 1851 in Siegen. A few Kobel family members from Oberseebach emigrated to America. Charlie Sheridan, and Janet Hunt (see email addresses) are two such descendant. Note: It is possible/probable that Marguerite was the step-or-adopted child of Georg Adam, rather than his biological offspring. Marguerite and Joseph's children include:
461. Joseph (1817- )
462. Michel (I) (1819- )
463. Marie Eve (1821- ) m. Nicolas Winter
464. Laurent (1824- )
465. Anne Marie (1826- )
466. Sophie (1828- )
467. Jean (1830- )
468. Michel (II) (1831- )
Johann's youngest half-sister Anne Marie was born about 1800 in Siegen. She married Michel Heintz (1792- ). The known children are:
471. Theresse (1822- )
The photograph at the left was provided to me by Robert
Gerhardstein, Hudson [near Cleveland], Ohio. The man at right is William
Gerhardstein (1892-1950), Bob's grandfather. William's father William L
Gerhardstein (1864-1932) is at left. Bob first contacted me in May 2004
after seeing this web page and reading my inquiry about his
great-grandfather. Bob has provided me with lots of useful information
about this family in addition to this excellent old photograph. An
estimate would be this photo was taken sometime about 1925-30 during a cold
This branch, including William, William L, and William L's father Joseph/John Gerhardstein represent a branch of the Gerhardstein family that until November 2000 had been unknown to me. Though descendants of William L have lived in Cincinnati and Cleveland for 100 years or more, it may not have been recognized by members of my branch, descendants of #43 Johann Adam Gerhardstein, that this separate branch of Gerhardstein existed in Cincinnati. In a way, they were hiding from us right in plain view, as there certainly are descendants of the #43 branch also living in Cincinnati and in nearby Kentucky, e.g. the many descendants of (431-8) Michael Gerhardstein.
It was during my visit to the Ohio Historical Society's library in Columbus, Ohio, November 2000, that I first became aware of William L Gerhardstein. His death certificate, on file at OHS, indicated a birth of January 25, 1864 Louisville, Kentucky and a death of October 5, 1932 Cincinnati, Ohio. It also identified his wife as Magdaline, father as John Gerhardstein, his last address, and his occupation. It is 1932 Hamilton County death record #59255.
The earliest record of this family found so far is the 1850 US Ceusus of Boston, Massachusetts Ward 12. In that record, John Gerhardstein 25, and John Jr. 1 are both listed as Joseph Garhardstein. Also listed is Louisa 27. Ward 12 in 1850 was populated mainly by a German population. The 1850 houshold also included wife Louisa, another couple with 2 children, and an older woman who could be the mother of John or Louisa. In 1850, the census did not enumerate Lawrence who was born in about 1851.
The 1860 US census of Louisville, Kentucky enumerates Jn Gerhatstein 35, Louisa 33, Jn 11, Lawrence 9, Louisa 6, and Emma 4. Birthplaces are listed as France for the adults and Ohio and Kentucky for the children. This family appears to be living in a house with a second family from France, Peter and Anne Miller, along with 4 children, all born in France.
The 1870 US census of Louisville, Kentucky does not include John, so he possibly died between 1863 and 1870. The 1870 census enumerates Louisa age 47, and children Laurence 18 b. Massachusetts, Emma 13 b. Massachusetts, and William 7 b. Indiana. Also present in the 1870 household is Antoinette Nutler age 74 born France. We can assume this family relocated to Kentucky or Indiana (Louisville area) from Boston, Massachusetts sometime between 1856 and 1860.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI), the 1870 US Census of Louisville, the 1860 US Census of Louisville, the 1850 US Census of Boston, Massachusetts, communication from (WmL-517-1) Robert Gerhardstein, and (WmL-515-12) Toni Ann (Gerhardstein) Rozsahegyi establishes the first 4 generation tree for this family shown below:
-- Joseph/John Gerhardstein b. 1825 France ++ Louisa (1827-)
Joseph/John Gerhardstein b. 1849 Massachusetts
2. Elizabeth b. 1850 Massachusetts d. 1851 Massachusetts
3. Lawrence Gerhardstein b. 1851 Massachusetts
4. Louise Gerhardstein b. 1854 Massachusetts d. before 1870
5. Emma Gerhardstein b. 1856 Massachusetts
6. William L Gerhardstein b. 1864 Louisville, KY or Indiana d. 1932 Cincinnati, OH m. Magdaline (1866-1941)
61. William J Gerhardstein (1892-1950) ++ Catherine Haarmann (1894-1977)
Carl G Gerhardstein b.1917 Ohio d. 1997 Fayetteville, Ohio
612. Virginia Gerhardstein b. 1918 Ohio ++ James Jefferies
613. Madeline Gerhardstein b. 1919 Ohio d. 2002 ++ Jack H Cornell
614. Edward H Gerhardstein b. 1920 Ohio d. 2003 Ohio
615. Bernard J Gerhardstein b. 1921 Ohio d. 1979 Ohio ++ Lucile H Albright (1922-1998)
616. Lillian Gerhardstein b. 1930 Ohio ++ Ashbrook
617. Gilbert Gerhardstein b. 1931 Ohio d. 1984 Ohio ++ Margaret Holmes
618. Mary Louise Gerhardstein
Christen Gerhardstein b. 1895 Ohio d. 1986 Ohio ++ Cynthia
63. Louise Gerhardstein b. 1901 d. 1971
64. Walter Gerhardstein b. 1907 Ohio d. 1955
As of June 2004, we have not determined the ancestral connection of this family with the ancient family in Germany and/or France. The various censuses list John and Louisa's birthplace both as France and Germany. France birthplaces for both spouses would almost certainly identify John within the descendants of Johann Paul Gerhardstein of Salmbach. One possible parental link for John might be Johann Wilhelm Gerhardstein (#69) b. 1802 in Salmbach, Alsace, France in the larger chart [ because of the strong presence of the names John (Johann) and William (Wilhelm) ]. If any readers of this page know anything about the ancestors and/or descendants of William L Gerhardstein and John Gerhardstein, please email me.
1) Who are the two people in this photograph? This photo was in my grandparents and aunt's possession, but there is no identification included. I believe that one or more of my Gerhardstein cousins has this same photo, but so far, no one has been able to provide any names. More likely than not, this is either a Gerhardstein couple or a Ruffing couple. If you have any knowledge of who this couple could be, please email me.
2) NOTE The ancestry of Paul Gerhardstein has been resolved via communications from Pirmasens, Germany. Our thanks to Ms. Gabrielle Herold, Pirmasens Genealogy Study Group.
Following are some points of interest in Ohio with approximate GPS coordinates using WGS-84 datum. Many of these locations are mentioned in the narratives. Note that at the time of this entry, the GPS locations published here have not been verified. If any readers of this web page, living in the Seneca or Huron County area, would like to drive around with your GPS, record coordinates of these historical Gerhardstein family locations, and send them to me, I would be most appreciative.
N41.15306 - W82.87956 -
Assumption Cemetery, Reedtown Road, Seneca County
N41.26670 - W82.83439 - Bellevue, Ohio - Bellevue Cemetery, Cemetery St.
N41.26996 - W82.85290 - Bellevue, Ohio - Gardner Road (location of Kern brickyards)
N41.27280 - W82.83735 - Bellevue, Ohio - Immaculate Conception Church & School
N41.27973 - W82.84063 - Bellevue, Ohio - Northwest St. (where my grandparents lived)
N41.26929 - W82.94194 - Bellevue, Ohio - Road 177 (location of family reunions)
N41.27616 - W82.83846 - Bellevue, Ohio - Sandusky St. (where my father was born)
N41.27423 - W82.82936 - Bellevue, Ohio - Wood St. (where John & Lizzie lived)
N40.88974 - W81.59761 - Canal Fulton, Ohio (location of SS. Phillipp & James)
N40.54911 - W84.57000 - Celina, Ohio - Mercer County Seat
N41.23581 - W82.86010 - Flat Rock, Thompson Twp., Seneca County
N41.24232 - W82.61550 - Norwalk, Ohio - Huron County Seat
N41.34018 - W82.75945 - Ohio Tpk. I-90 Exit 6A, Ohio Hwy 4 to US-20, route to Bellevue
N41.17021 - W82.61039 - Peru, Huron County (Zimmer and Ott family locations)
N41.08339 - W83.05378 - Rockaway, US-224 & Ohio Hwy 18, Seneca County
N41.17668 - W82.63897 - Saint Alphonsus Church & Cemetery, Bronson Twp., Huron County
N41.59776 - W81.48336 - Saint Mary Seminary, 28700 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe (Cleveland)
N41.19212 - W82.85107 - Saint Michaels Cemetery, Thompson Twp., Seneca County
N41.50532 - W81.68121 - Saint Peters Catholic Church, Cleveland
N41.16499 - W82.78678 - Saint Sebastien Church & Cemetery, Bismarck, Huron County
N41.02278 - W82.95819 - Saint Stephens, CR-6 & CR-23, Seneca County (general store)
N41.17419 - W82.88780 - Seneca Co. farm of Anthony & Anna (Zimmer) Gerhardstein
N41.17615 - W82.87916 - Seneca Co. farm of Anthony Jr. & Sophie (Glassner) Gerhardstein
N41.16454 - W82.82423 - Seneca Co. farm of Jacob & Elizabeth (Gerhardstein) Heitz
N41.21268 - W82.87580 - Seneca Co. farm of Johann Adam Gerhardstein (original property)
N41.15981 - W82.84555 - Seneca Co. old red school house where Alphonse Gerhardstein taught
N41.18312 - W82.84292 - Sorrowful Mother Shrine, Thompson Twp., Seneca County
N41.11600 - W83.16650 - Tiffin, Ohio - Heidelberg College
N41.09668 - W83.17702 - Tiffin, Ohio - Saint Josephs Cemetery
N41.11445 - W83.17792 - Tiffin, Ohio - Seneca County Seat
N41.20151 - W82.82454 - Weavers Corners, Huron Co. (Lehman property)
We first learned of the ancient castle with our name while our son Jeff was a foreign exchange student in Jülich, Germany with Youth For Understanding (YFU) and the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program in 1985/86. A newspaper article, "Gerolstein feiert Stadtjubiläum," telling of the 650th anniversary of Gerolstein provided our first information. The article explained how the name of the early town had been Gerhardstein. The village name evolved over time to Gerholdstein, Gerholstein, and finally to Gerolstein. A few rare documents show the name as Gerhardtstein.
Several of the USA Gerhardsteins have now visited Gerolstein and Burg Gerhardstein, also known as Löwenburg (Lion's Castle). We visited there in October 1993. The drive through the Eifel to Gerolstein was beautiful and picturesque, almost like traveling through a story book. We got lost looking for the castle site. Not speaking German made it difficult but eventually we met up with an elderly couple, out for an afternoon walk, who were kind enough to help us. Between their limited English and my meager German, they gave us directions and we finally found it. We were not able to meet and visit with historian Peter Horsch who lives nearby the castle.
Gerolstein is now famous for its natural mineral water, distributed world wide. Gerolstein is located in the Eifel region, a volcanic mountainous area. A serious visitor would devote more than the single day that we did. There are several ancient castles in the region with historic significance.
The following 2 paragraphs are from the Peter Horsch booklet, BURG GERHARDSTEIN, auch LÖWENBURG genannt, Die Schicksale der Eifelburg während ihres 700 jährigen Bestehens, see online version at http://www.jahrbuch-daun.de/VT/hjb1984/hjb1984.108.htm.
As with most castles in the Eifel region, the origin of the Gerhardstein castle is shrouded in mystery, as few documented records from the time of the castle are available. A certain Gerhard von Blankenheim is named as builder/architect of the castle. His name appears for the first time in the documents in 1115. The architect gave his property the name "Gerhardstein." The names Gerolstein, Gerholstein, Girardstein, Gerhartzstein, Geroldstein, Jirredstein all derive from this name.
At first only a fortified tower with modest living quarters stood at the site. It was important enough that the Count named it after his own name. It was the fourth Gerhard who was recognized as the builder of the actual castle, who led the building of the manor house into a larger, defense type structure. In 1468, the castle chapel was built in one of the half towers. The structure was changed several times over history, such as to accommodate the invention of fire arms in the 16th century. Damage caused by weather also required that several structural changes be made. The castle was occupied until the mid-1800s. Major damage occurred during the winter of 1944/45 due to bombs of American air raids during World War II.
Extending our research from the United States back to the homeland of Johann Adam Gerhardstein was enabled through a 1986 letter to the Genealogical Circle of Alsace. Upon making contact with this research organization, a letter from Professeur Jean Schweitzer, researcher and author, proved very helpful. Their address is:
Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace
Archives du Bas-Rhin
5, rue Fischart
67000 Strasbourg - France
Proceedings of the Genealogical Circle of Alsace can be found at EUROPE 944.383 in the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gerhardsteins in the USA/Canada can now trace their roots into Bas-Rhin, Alsace and Busenberg, Germany. This knowledge was lost to us for a time, has now been made available to us due to the research performed by Professeur Jean Schweitzer, member of the Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace.
Prof. Schweitzer in about 1981, published his article LES GERHARDSTEIN - GEROLSTEIN, LE DÉCLIN D'UNE DYNASTIE DE BERGERS EN ALSACE SEPTENTRIONALE in the Proceedings of the Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace. Proceedings of the Genealogical Circle of Alsace can be found at EUROPE 944.383 in the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Prof. Schweitzer is not related to the Gerhardstein family. Rather, his interest in researching the ancient Gerhardstein families arose apparently because of the social groups this family represented. His interest in Gerhardstein resulted out of his research of shepherd (Berger) groups in southern Palatinat and Alsace.
The Pirmasens Genealogical Study Group is a group of serious genealogy researchers located at the city of Pirmasens, Rheinland-Pfälz, Germany. Currently the study group is concentrating on Catholic parish records of the Pirmasens region. Specific information about the researchers and their projects can be found on the web page http://www.genealogie-in-pirmasens.de/geneengl.html. The study group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7.30 p.m. (19.30 hours) at Dinies-Restaurant in 66989 Petersberg-Staffelhof near Pirmasens. Anyone wanting more information should contact the members. Pirmasens is centrally located in Rheinland-Pfälz, the region of Germany where Gerhardsteins lived during the 1700-1800s. As such, the surname Gerhardstein shows up frequently in the research and publications of this group.
Starting on June 6, 2001 email from Gabriele Herold, of the Pirmasens Study Group, has extended the Gerhardstein history one additional generation, with the addition of Johann Georg Gerhardstein b.1698 d.1778 to the family tree. Paul Gerhardstein, previously at the root of our tree, is the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th child of Johann Georg. Emails from Ms. Herold have included the marriage of Paul Gerhardstein and Margaretha Lerch with names of fathers and mothers, death & approximate birth information of Paul's father Johann Georg, and family member information of 3 of Paul's siblings. We are indeed fortunate for this find, and indebted to Ms. Herold and Pirmasens Genealogical Study Group for this new information.
We are grateful to another member of this group, Bernhard Braun, for helping us sort out the family details of Georg Peter Gerhardstein, Busenberg.
World War I
Herman Joseph Gerhardstein - enlisted 14 Dec 1917, Indianapolis
431-47 Victor Henry Gerhardstein - enlisted 3 Jul 1917, Philadelphia PA
438-71 Clement Joscph Gerhardstein - enlisted 4 Jun 1917, Indianapolis IN
438-73 Charles M. Gerhardstein - enlisted 27 Jun 1918, Tiffin OH
World War II
431-431 Julius V. Gerhardstein - U.S. Army,
431-972 Eugene Michael Gerhardstein, F/O - 303rd Bomb Group Assn. (Hell's Angels), 358th Bohle Crew, February 1945.
438-722 Louis E. Weber, Pfc. - 168th Infantry, 34th Division - killed in action northern Italy, 29 Jan 1945 - Buried Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio, November 1948.
438-723-S Emery A. Feyes, WWII veteran - Buried Resurrection Cem., Toledo, OH, 16 Sep 2000
438-724 Kenneth L. Weber, cpl. 363rd Infantry - served in Africa and Italy - Buried Resurrection Cem., Toledo, OH, 11 Jul 2001
438-A5 Maurice A. Gerhardstein - Crew chief of a B-26.
Many relatives, cousins, and a few friends have contributed to the Gerhardstein family research. Larry's and Mary's Grandmother Agatha (Ruffing) Gerhardstein prepared an interesting scrap book, made from a hardware store catalog, containing loads of clippings, obituaries, and data about the Bellevue area Ruffing and Gerhardstein families. Larry's and Mary's Aunt Agatha Gerhardstein served as custodian of that scrap book for years until her death in November 1991. Several family members managed to find their roots with the help of Aunt Agatha's scrap book.
Much of the detailed information we know about Gerhardsteins in Seneca County was dug up and compiled by Maurice Gerhardstein, St. Stephens OH, Robert Gerhardstein, Dearborn MI, Julius Gerhardstein, Clyde OH, Linda Oatley, Bellevue OH, my sister Mary A Gerhardstein, Kitchener ONT Canada, and others. The information compiled in manuscript form about 1985-90 by Cousin Robert Gerhardstein has been invaluable in composing the brief histories appearing on these pages.
Of great importance to the Gerhardstein family is Professor Jean Schweitzer, Strassbourg, France, who conducted research in about 1980 on the ancient Gerhardstein families in Pfalz and Alsace. His articles can be found in the proceedings of the Genealogical Circle of Alsace, Strasbourg, France. Prior to making contact with Professor Schweitzer, the USA family knew only that Johann and Magdalena had emigrated from Alsace, France, and the family before them from Germany, but did not know the names of towns nor the names of Johann's nor Magdalena's parents.
In 1985/86 while an exchange student in Germany, our son Jeffrey Gerhardstein learned about the castle with our name, Burg Gerhardstein. Several family members have visited Gerolstein and the castle ruins since then. However, exact relationship of the current family branches to the early residents of Gerolstein and Burg Gerhardstein remains unknown.
In 1987, after learning of Siegen from Jean Schweitzer, I conducted research on the Gerhardstein, Michel, and Neiss ancestors of that village, using the facilities of the Family History Center, Richland, Washington.
I first established this Gerhardstein genealogy web site in about January 1997. At that time, I also published a few names to Gene Stark's GENDEX online genealogy index. Establishing Gerhardstein genealogy resources on the Internet had been a goal of mine for several years. I started being contacted by extended family members, who had seen the web page and/or GENDEX entries, in about mid-1997. I have been editing, and adding bits and pieces to this document ever since. In April 1999, I updated my GENDEX offering to the present 1650 name database.
In 1999, Sam Gerhardstein, Columbus, OH learned of a Gerhardstein branch living in Weisbaden, Germany. Soon, we may learn how this branch relates to our branch in the USA/Canada.
In 2000, I finally finished getting the 3rd generation of Gerhardsteins on-line in this web page. These include mine and Mary's grandfather Lawrence H Gerhardstein (438-8), and nearly 100 others of the 3rd generation of Gerhardsteins in America.
Extended family cousins from all over the USA, and a few in Europe, continue to send greetings after finding these web pages. Thanks to Fred Link, David Hill, Janet Hunt, Don Schostek, Lee Gerhardstein, Ken Gerhardstein, Joe Gerhardstein, Brian Gerhardstein, Linda Oatley, Anita Pozsgay, Beth Ann Walliser, Harold Bacher, and others for sending me information on their branches. Due to these inputs, I now have up-to-date charts of the Carl Link + Frances Gerhardstein (431-96) branch, the John Martin Gerhardstein (438-6) + Elisabeth Lehman branch, the Josiah Bacher + Emma Lena Garhart (43A-3) branch, and the Wm. Jordan McBay + Cora Garhart (43A-4) branch.
Sometime during the year 2000, I hope to devise a better way to automatically create and manage the six generation outline. The current six generation outline is essentially up-to-date at this time with the information that I currently have. Sometime in the not too distant future, I shall do an update to my GENDEX and WORLD CONNECT PROJECT posting.
In addition to the 7 generation descendant outline, I am currently working on a 11+ generation descendant chart, which will be annotated using de Villiers/Pama notations. I am aware of several descendant Gerhardstein branches with 11-12 generations, and one with 12-13 generations. In my branch, there are 10 generations. The 11-12 generation descendant chart will be made available to extended family members via email attachment, CD, or diskette only. Send ME an email request for a draft copy of this chart. I am still working on last additions and corrections to the initial draft copy. It will be available soon.
You can help us by submitting information and data for the 11-12 generations of Gerhardstein descendants chart. In my branch, there are currently nine generations of descendants. I am aware of branches currently at 11 generations, and one of 12 generations. Please help us by submitting family group sheets for your own immediate family, your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, extended family, etc. You can download the 2 files below by clicking on the links, and then do SaveAs located in the File menu on most browsers. Save the files in some convenient location on your hard drive. The file FAMILY.TXT is your blank template for creating your group sheets.
File EXAMPLE.TXT is an example of how to fill out the family group sheet. This example is the family of my grandparents Laurence H Gerhardstein (438-8) and Agatha J Ruffing, including as children my father and aunts.
Use your computer's text editor, NOTEPAD, WRITEPAD, TEXTPAD program, etc. to create text files containing your family group sheets. For each group sheet, open the template FAMILY.TXT file, fill in the names, dates, places, etc. and then SaveAs to a new file name. Be certain to give each file a different name. If you have never used these programs before, they are easy to learn. Contact me if you are having trouble doing this and I will provide additional pointers. If you are using a Macintosh computer, use SimpleText or BBEdit. Note that these are flat ASCII file editors, not word processors or HTML editors.
Once you have created your family group sheets, please attach them to an email message and send to me at Larry (AT) 3-cities.com. Please also send the same charts to Linda Oatley at Goldhill (AT) hmcltd.net. If you prefer to post-mail printed or hand written data sheets, send me an email requesting my postal mailing addresses. I can also provide you with a FAX number if you prefer to do it that way. Your assistance in helping us keep up to date with new births, marriages, and filling in the gaps is greatly appreciated.
I am now sending out draft copies of this outline via email, diskette, or CD. Send me email to request a copy.
Another way you can help is by doing lookups in the death indexes and obituaries of the states and cities you live in. State death records are usually available at state historical libraries or at local family history centers. Compiled obituaries are usually available in microfilmed newspaper files at local public libraries. Your local genealogical society can also help you locate these records. States for which I am currently needing lookups in state death records or obituaries include Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, and California. If you wish to help, send me email and I will send you names and dates for which I need look ups.
Tri-annual family reunions are organized by descendants of Rodger Gerhardstein (431-473) in Bellevue, Ohio. The next reunion is scheduled for June 24, 2006. The reunions normally begin at noon with lunch at 1:00 or 2:00 PM. Again, the place shall be the Thom Gerhardstein (431-473-5) farm, 5367 County Road 177, Bellevue, Ohio 44811. Those wanting more information about the Gerhardstein reunions should contact Linda Oatley (431-473-2), Thom, or Sam Gerhardstein (431-473-7). Please email your address changes to Linda. Reunion activities usually include the potluck lunch, displays of family history information and photographs, discussions of recent genealogical findings, swimming for the kids, visiting with old friends and relatives, identifying new family ties, and sometimes a trip to St. Michaels in nearby Seneca County. For Gerhardstein reunion news and photos, please check out http://gerhardstein.org/.
Following are the pedigrees of Johann Adam Gerhardstein (no. 43) and Magdalena Anna Michel, ancestors to many of the Gerhardsteins currently known to be living in the USA and Canada:
---- Johann Georg Gerhardstein (1698-1778)
---- Johann Paul Gerhardstein (c.1733-1804)
| ---- Maria Barbara Dreyer (1705-1755)
---- Georg Adam Gerhardstein (1758-1823)
| | ---- Josef Lerch ( - )
| | |
| ---- Maria Margaretha Lerch (c.1735-1795)
| ---- Anna Maria Dietz ( - )
Johann Adam Gerhardstein (1789-1849)
| ---- (?) Jacob Christ
---- Dorothea Christ (1760-1795)
---- (?) Barbe Klein
---- Mathias Michels
---- Mathieu Michel (?-c.1800)
| ---- Anna Maria Blessi
---- Antoine Michel (1756-1829)
| | ---- Adam Jost
| | |
| ---- Barbe Jost (c.1712-1807)
| ---- Eva Koenig
Magdalena Anna Michel (1791-1849)
| ---- (?) Mathias Neiss
| ---- Michael Neiss
---- Regine Neiss (1753-c.1793)
---- Regine Billman
For about the past 5 years, I have been building and preparing my family history data in a Family Tree Maker database. From this database, I have isolated 7 generations of descendants of Johann Georg Gerhardstein (1698-1778) in a text file. I am making this descendant outline available in de Villiers/Pama notation. To view the 7 generation file, just click on the link below.
Only 7 generations have been included for privacy and security reasons. To have gone to 8 generations would have brought in many living Gerhardsteins, myself included. I believe that nearly all people in this 7 generation chart are not living. If you believe any people named therein are still living, please notify me by email.
Gerhardstein family members are currently working on a larger generation file of 13 generations or more. I am now sending out draft copies of this outline via email, diskette, or CD. Draft #7 contains 1365 descendants, and 615 spouses. Send me email to request a copy. You can help with this project; please see the section "How You Can Help" above.
If you wish to download the 7 generation file or request the larger file via email, you have my permission to do so, provided that you retain all credits contained therein. You have my permission to use the data for your personal research, or email it to other relatives, provided that you cite the sources, instruct others to do the same, and leave all copyright notices intact. I request that you not transmit this file, nor data contained herein, to any person, company, etc. whose purpose is to package, copyright, and publish family trees for profit or other commercial use, e.g. a CD distribution. The information on this web site is available to you for your non-commercial, personal use at no cost. Anyone wanting a copy of this file, and unable to download, can get a copy from me on diskette, CD-ROM, or hard copy. Thanks for your cooperation and interest.
GERHARDSTEIN.TXT -- Seven Generations of Gerhardsteins
On 6 Nov 2000, I posted my 2084 name, 821 family index to GENDEX, Gene Stark's online genealogy index. This index was created from my GEDCOM file using the GED2HTML version 3.6 program. A total of 433 of these names are Gerhardstein descendants and spouses. Of those, 178 have the Gerhardstein surname. This same database has been posted to ROOTSWEB's WORLD CONNECT PROJECT. RootsWeb is the largest free genealogy service on the Internet. For the time being, I am maintaining both of these online genealogy indexes.
Regrettably, Gene Stark terminated operation of the GENDEX genealogical data index, affective April 22, 2004. Our thanks to GENDEX for many years of wonderful service to the Internet genealogy community. GENDEX was one of the first Internet genealogy indexes, and still the best.
Please note: Except for source data listed elsewhere on this web page, I probably can not help you with source information, or genealogy research results pertaining to the many collateral lines in my database. I suggest you join the GERHARDSTEIN-L mailing list and post questions there. Someone on the list may be able to assist you. I answer all email from the members who post on this list. Also, consider joining other surname and area related mailing lists.
On 17 Feb 1998, the GERHARDSTEIN-L genealogy research oriented mailing list was established at RootsWeb. The purpose of this list is to promote communication and information sharing among family members, and to assist in the sharing of research data, the discussion of research projects and problems regarding the GERHARDSTEIN surname and its variants, i.e., GEROLSTEIN, GERHOLSTEIN, GEROLDSTEIN, GERHARDTSTEIN, GERHARDZSTEIN, and others. The address at RootsWeb to subscribe and unsubscribe is...
As of 5 Nov 2000, GERHARDSTEIN-L has 26 subscribed members. The first posting to the list of possible historical significance was on the discovery by Sam Gerhardstein of a branch of the Gerhardstein family living in Weisbaden, Germany. About every 6 months, I send out an update of genealogy related activities to this list.
Watch here for more information about the mailing list, as interest in it grows.
One excellent genealogy resource on the internet is Genealogy.Com. Among their many offerings are their on-line genforums, discussion groups, in the same spirit as Internet news groups. I have successfully used their genforums, and a few months ago, asked them to establish a genforum for Gerhardstein, which they have done. I also asked them to establish a genforum for Ruffing, one of the Gerhardstein's many collateral lines. The following links will take you to the genforums:
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/gerhardstein/ - Gerhardstein Surname Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/michel/ - Michel Surname Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/ott/ - Ott Surname Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/ruffing/- Ruffing Surname Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/zimmer/ - Zimmer Surname Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/oh/huron/ - Huron County, OH Genforum
http://genforum.gelealogy.com/oh/seneca/ - Seneca County, OH Genforum
I invite you to visit Gerhardstein.ORG, a front page to Gerhardstein resources on the Internet. Domain name services and forwarding for Gerhardstein.ORG are currently being provided by Cydian Technologies, Melville, NY. Web hosting services are being provided by BOSS Internet Group, Pasco, WA.
Currently Gerhardstein.ORG has 5 major sections: 1) Welcome, Introduction, and News, 2) Forums, Mailing Lists, and News Groups, 3) Gerhardstein Genealogy and Family History, 4) Collateral Lines Genealogy, and 5) Individual Home Pages. Cyndi Howells, Robert Behra, and others have been notified about this new domain name and have updated their links. Gerhardstein.ORG should be showing up on the major search engines soon, e.g. AltaVista, NorthernLight, Yahoo.
If you have authored non-commercial web pages containing Gerhardstein family information - current or historical, family trees, biographical information, vacation highlights, photo books, reunion details, etc. and would like a link included on gerhardstein.org, please send me an email containing the full URL of your web site, along with a brief one-line description, and it will be done.
Following are the email addresses of some Gerhardsteins on the Internet. Note that these people may-or-may not have any interest in genealogy. Thus, proceed with caution. If you have surfed to this page, have found yourself on this list, and do not want to be listed here, please flame ME and I will remove your name and email address from this list. Note these links display email addresses in a manner that is not easily captured by email address robots. Also note, I do not routinely validate these email addresses.
Susan (Ericksen) Meek
Robert Casanova (431-221-XX) ...
Christopher Gerhardstein (431-411-21), Hiram, Ohio
Richard Gerhardstein (431-411-34), Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Stacey (Heal) & Matt Schwartz (431-472-11 & -S), Clyde, Ohio
Greg Gerhardstein, (431-472-3), Friday Harbor, Washington
Linda A (Gerhardstein) Oatley (431-473-2), Bellevue, Ohio
Liz Young (431-473-3), Frisco, Texas
Mary Kaye Schlessman (431-473-4), Huron, Ohio
Thomas Gerhardstein (431-473-5), Bellevue, Ohio
Heidi Gerhardstein (431-473-53), Bellevue, Ohio
Dianne (Gerhardstein) Yingling (431-473-6)
Sam Gerhardstein (431-473-7), Columbus, Ohio
Charlotte Ebsen-Gerhardstein (431-473-7-S1), Columbus, Ohio
Natalie Gerhardstein (431-473-71), Columbus, Ohio
Rollie Smith (431-551-X), Fresno, California
Lee Gerhardstein (431-554-1), Westerville, Ohio
Joseph E. Gerhardstein (431-914-4), Kentucky
Carl A. Gerhardstein (431-914-5), Jacksonville, Florida
SR Mary Aloyse (Dorothy) Gerhardstein (431-915), Cincinnati, Ohio
Leslie Ann (Link) Trolli (431-961-2), Solon, Ohio
Janice (Link) Humphrey (431-961-3)
Nancy (Rush) Schuster (431-963-12), Elyria, Ohio
Fred Link (431-963-2), Corona, California
Peter Gerhardstein (431-9A1-3), Binhhamton, New York
Sue (Gerhardstein) Lange (431-9A4), Tiffin, Ohio
Joe & Monica Gerhardstein (431-9A6-1 & -S), Atlanta, Georgia
Rebecca Gerhardstein (431-9A6-4), Florida State University
Sherry (Gerhardstein) Martin (437-1X2-5), Michigan
Floyd Martin (437-112-X), Bradford, Arkansas
Karen Pitts (438-121-1) ...
Bob and Maggie Gerhardstein (438-122-1 & -S), Glendora, California
Terry Gerhardstein (438-123-3), Gonzales, California
Renae (Berge) Gerhardstein (438-123-3S), Gonzales, California
Marilyn (Holmer) Fox, (438-519-S), Cincinnati, Ohio
Donald Patrick Gerhardstein (438-661-X), Florida
Gerald Gerhardstein (438-661-X) ...
Andrew and Angel Gerhardstein (438-661-XX), Ft. Wayne, Indiana
Ken Gerhardstein (438-662), Mansfield, Ohio
Ken Gerhardstein (438-662-2), Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mary Gerhardstein (438-821), Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Larry Gerhardstein (438-822), Kennewick, Washington
Marlene (Grillo) Gerhardstein (438-822-S), Kennewick, Washington
Ronald Gerhardstein (438-822-1), Yakima, Washington
Laurie (Bennett) Gerhardstein (438-822-1S), Yakima, Washington
Jeffrey J. Gerhardstein (438-822-2), Yakima, Washington
Tonya (Gerhardstein) & David Hansel (438-822-3), Spokane, Washington
Marilyn (Felter) Distel (438-A11), Seneca County, Ohio
Nancy (Distel) Lucius (438-A11-3), Tiffin, Ohio
Mark E Gerhardstein (438-A42), Dayton, Ohio
Brian Gerhardstein (438-A42-2), Dayton, Ohio
Alphonse A Gerhardstein (438-A44), Cincinnati, Ohio
Roger Myers (438-A62), Indianapolis, Indiana
Gary Baker (43A-313-1), Columbia, South Carolina
Harold Bacher (43A-357), Azle, Texas
Vickey & Randell Lee Harmon (43A-3XX)
Dave Hill (43A-491), Greensboro, North Carolina
Vicki (Flener) Banks (43A-712-1), Monroe, Washington
Rick Flener (43A-7XX), California
Carolyn & Rick Truskowski (43A-8XX), California
Dale & Carol Daugherty (43A-XXX), Hope, Arkansas
Steven Messier (811-113-1), Killingworth, Connecticut
Edward Gerhardstein Jr. (WmL-515-11) Cincinnati, Ohio
Toni Ann (Gerhardstein) Rozsahegyi (WmL-515-12), Olmsted, Ohio
Robert S. Gerhardstein (WmL-517-1), Hudson, Ohio
Following are electronic mail links to folks who are not known to be Gerhardstein descendants, but may be related through collateral lines, or who are conducting research on collateral surnames. Again, if you have found yourself on this list and do not want to be here, flame ME and I will remove your name...
Mary Alt, Wright Twp.,
Ottawa Co., Michigan (Host)
Carolyn Beno, Scottsdale, Arizona (Kreber, Wagner)
Jana Buchheit, (McBay)
Jill Denton, Belmont, Michigan (Host)
Helen Gant Donald, (Link)
Vincent Falter, Virginia (Wurm)
Shirley Fedele, (McBay) (*)
George Geisler, Sheldahl, Iowa (Werner)
Kurt Hengelbrok, (Hengelbrok)
Janet Hunt, Rolling Prairie, Indiana (Kobel, Neiss, Winter)
Rachelle Ibrahim, Adana, Turkey (Neiss)
Phyllis Isgrigg, (Funai)
Teri Jones, Chatsworth, California (Neiss, Fritz)
Robert Kimbrough, Washington (Neiss)
Eleanor Kiser, Norwalk, Ohio (Ruffing)
Dennis Mang, Oregon, Ohio (Meng, Michel, Omlor)
John Mang, (Meng, Michel, Omlor)
Ruthie Meng, (Meng)
Jean-Michel Meyer, Oberlauterbach, Alsace, France (Lerch)
Arlene McCabe, Charlotte, NC (Fuhrmann)
Jean Michel-Levy, France (Werner)
Kaye Michels, East Liverpool, Ohio (Offner)
John McGarty, Maryland (Gerolstein)
Terrilyn A. Myers, Clovis, California (Christ)
Mark O'Neil, (Ruffing)
Cora Ott, Massachusetts (Ott)
Didier Ott, Alsace, France (Ott)
Sharon Palm, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Jost, Meyer, Wagner)
Denise Pitzen, Curtice, Ohio (Neiss, Rheinhart)
Richard Pohl, Germany (Neiss)
Anita Meng Pozsgay, St. Louis, Missouri (Meng, Weber)
Barbara Rapp-Austin, North Carolina (Rapp)
Ed Rose, (Michel)
Peggie & Mark Ruffing, Bellevue, Ohio (Ruffing)
Robert M. Ruffing, Wisconsin (Ruffing)
Dieter Schimmelpfennig, Germany (Ruffing)
Jochen Schlick, Steinweiler, Germany (Schlick)
Don Schostek, Columbus, Ohio (Ruffing, Heitz)
Charles Sheridan, Homosassa, Florida (Christ, Jost, Kobel, Koenig, Michel, Neiss, Ott, Wagner)
Cindy Smith, Wright Twp., Ottawa Co., Michigan (Host Zimmer)
Loyal Suntken, Brighton, Michigan (Zimmer)
David Velten, Massachusetts (Leis, Ruffing, Walliser)
Beth Ann Walliser, Indianapolis, Indiana (Walliser, Brown)
Isabelle White, (Ruffing)
Barbara Tyson Wise, Texas (Neiss, Winter)
Joanne Umlor, Erie, Michigan (Umlor)
Richard Zimmer, Jonesville, Michigan (Zimmer)
(*) Person may not have a valid email address any longer. Please send ME an update if you can.
The following geographically oriented mailing lists may be useful to Gerhardstein researchers. If you are new to mailing lists, it would be a good idea to check out the ROOTSWEB Genealogical Data Cooperative at http://www.rootsweb.com/first. Become familiar with mailing list procedure, policy, and etiquette - then subscribe.
To subscribe, select one of the XXXX-L-request links below and place the single word 'subscribe' (without quotes) in the body of the message. Leave subject line blank. Then select the SEND button. You will be notified by email of your successful subscription.
Select (Digest) to subscribe in digest mode, which will cut down greatly on the number of email messages you will receive. To remove your subscription, select XXXX-L-request link and place the single word 'unsubscribe' (without quotes) in the body of the message. Leave subject line blank. Then select the SEND button. To post a message, select (Post). Enter a title and message text. Then select SEND...
(Digest) (Post) - Gateway to soc.genealogy.german
BAVARIA-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Bavaria genealogy
PFALZ-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Rheinland-Pfalz, et. al. genealogy
BADEN-WURTTEMBERG-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Baden, et.. al. genealogy
ALSACE-LORRAINE-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Alsace Lorraine genealogy
OHSENECA-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Seneca County, Ohio genealogy
OHHURON-L-request (Digest) (Post) - Huron County, Ohio genealogy
The following regional, genealogy society, and library home pages should prove to be very useful to the serious Gerhardstein researcher...
Resources - Ohio
Seneca County, Ohio GENWEB home page
Huron County, Ohio GENWEB home page
Ohio GENWEB home page
Ohio Genealogical Society, Mansfield, Ohio (OGS)
Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio (OHS)
State of Ohio Information Services
Western Reserve Historical Society Library, Cleveland, Ohio
State Library of Ohio
Gradually, we're beginning to see U.S. Census data appearing on the Internet. The USGENWEB project is a major facilitator of online census records. As I find online census containing the Gerhardstein surname (often misspelled), or closely related collateral lines, I shall include the links here...
Cyndi Howell has compiled an excellent list of genealogy oriented web site links. Cyndi's France page is especially interesting as it contains links to many Alsace & Bas-Rhin genealogical society web pages and mailing lists...
Robert Behra has done an excellent job with his Alsace research web pages. You will find Siegen, Bas-Rhin, and other villages where the Gerhardstein family lived in Robert's index of Alsace communities. Check it out...
The Pirmasens Genealogical Study Group, a group of researchers, presently extracting Catholic church records of the regions near Pirmasens, which includes Busenberg and Hauenstein, where Gerhardsteins lived during the 1700s. The links to their web page can be seen at...
http://home.t-online.de/home/braun.b/herold.gif (Gabriele Herold who emailed the new information)
Following are web site links to Alsace genealogical societies. It helps if you can read French...
I've started making a list of web site links with information about Burg Gerhardstein, and Gerolstein. It helps if you can read German...
Geschichte der Löwenburg -
Gerolstein, Germany - http://www.gerolstein.de/
Gerolstein, Kreis Daun - http://www.eifelfuehrer.de/G/Gerolstein.html
Burg Gerhardstein, http://bwpc220.fh-trier.de/rieder.kulturdb/typObj?aktSchluessel=851
Landschaften Musikalischen, http://home.t-online.de/home/scherer-hall/rsh_mula.htm
The Great Castle Hunt, http://www.win.bright.net/~erilarlo/trip5.html
Gerolstein in der Eifel, http://www.eifeltour.de/Texte/Orte/VG_Gerolstein/Gerolstein.htm
A few who have seen this web site have asked me about coat of arms. Following are links to online articles about and displays of the Gerolstein, Blankenheim, and Rheinland-Pfalz coat of arms...
Blankenheim - http://www.bng.nl/ngw/int/dld/b/blankenh.htm
Rheinland-Pfalz - http://www.bng.nl/ngw/int/dld/rheinlan.htm
Coat of arms web site index - http://www.bng.nl/ngw/
The home page of Thomas A. Pick, La Pine, OR, Births and Marriages in the Eifel Region of Germany, based on his ongoing research of Catholic Parish Records of the Eifel Region and Rheinland, is a potentially valuable resource...
The handwriting displayed above is in the old German Fraktur style. Though some letter shapes are somewhat different than what I am accustomed to seeing, with a little inspection, each letter can be made out. I looked for an Internet guide on Fraktur, but so are the best I have found is the GERMAN WAYS web site at...
I recently found a reference on the Internet to Gerhardstein Round, a 20 km mountain bike trail in Austria. The trail is named for The Gerhardstein, a mountain near Saint Martin. Geographic coordinates of Mt. Gerhardstein are N47 32 E12 45. Check out these web pages...
It seems like every family and surname has its share of legends and improbable stories. These legends often involve connections to royalty, medieval heroes who perform impossible tasks, magical accomplishments, connections to mythology, etc. The surname Gerhardstein is no exception, as displayed by the Legend of Der Speerwurf.
I found some web pages that refer to the play "Der Speerwurf," recently presented on a castle Gerhardstein stage, at Gerolstein, Germany. Of those, only one is still active. The page linked below provides a nice summary of the play with photographs of the actors.
I asked my son Jeff to provide an approximate translation of one of the pages. This play is also referred to, and the story provided in some detail in the Peter Horsch booklet, cited above. Following are Jeff's comments...
... Without translating everything word for word, this web page is about a play called "Der Speerwurf," which means roughly "the spear toss." The play's main character is a certain Count named Graf Ulrich von Gerhardstein, who must have lived sometime during the Middle Ages [late 1100s], i.e. medieval times, and was in love with a certain Countess from a neighboring town or castle, her name being Katharina von Pyrmont.
Apparently this is a play that was first performed in the fifties, and then later resurrected for the 500 year celebrations in 1986. At that time it was performed on the "nature stage" at the castle Gerhardstein and was quite well received. It seems that it is being re-enacted this month [August, 2000], also at the castle. It sounds like this "stage" must have been used for the first time in 1986, though the play was performed at the castle in 1953 [when city's rights restored], perhaps on a different stage, and now that it's the year 2000 and therefore an important year, the town drama company has decided to perform it there again.
The play is referred to here as a "Sage," or saga, which I would take to mean that though the story is fictional, the persons represented in it may be based in fact. Possibly to impress the duchess, or win her hand, Ulrich has to throw a spear from the balcony of his castle across the Kyltal, which I assume is the Kyl Valley, to Munterley, which must be where Katharina lived. Ulrich succeeds in tossing the spear across the valley when he sells his soul to the devil. Having succeeded, he brings Katharina home with him and makes her his wife. Everything, as you might imagine, ends in tragedy or disarray.
The site says this play has been very popular each time that it has appeared, so that is another reason for it to be performed again.
I currently am using the following application software packages to maintain these web pages...