After stepping back and looking at the information on my branch of the Reiffers family tree (starting with Christoffel Reiffers), it is interesting to see the continuity. For example, the close proximity of the towns. From Lichtenborn, Reiff, Uttfeld, and Luenebach in Germany and Rodershausen, Bockholtz, Siebenaler, Wiltz, Lentzweiler, Boxhorn, Hachiville and so on across the border in Luxembourg.
Since at least 1745 when Christoffel Reiffers was born, the family continued to live in the same general area. Even when my Great-Great Grandfather, Michael Reif(f)ers, came to America in the 1850’s, the family had already remained in the same local area for over 100 years.
It also appears that Roman Catholic seems to be a common thread. However, this might not have been by choice but swayed by the region’s rulers.
Recently, I have been made aware of another large group of Reiffers. This group originated farther north and father east in the Hessen-Kassel area. Stoffer Reiffers was born in 1715 and later married and had a son named Christiaan-Frits in 1740. At some point before 1766, Christiaan-Frits lived in Bruchhaussen. The town is located west of Kassel, and I believe is located in the current state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. As a side note, there are LDS records for other Reiffers around this time period from Bruchhaussen. Christiaan-Frits then traveled west through Germany into the Netherlands and in 1766 was married in Zeerijp in the Netherlands.
Is there a connection? What time period?
The origins of these two groups are some distance from each other. If Christiaan-Frits was born in 1740 around Kassel and Christoffel Reiffers was born in 1745 in Lichtenborn, then if there is a connection it must be earlier?
What religion was these early Reiffers?
Were Christiaan-Frits and his father Stoffer Reiffers Roman Catholic? The LDS records I found for Reiffers in Bruchhaussen indicate Protestant.
What is the significance of the spelling Christoffel and Christiaan tell us?
Is there a connection?
What is the origin of the last name?
The surname Reiffers appears to derive from the word Reiff. Interestingly enough, there is a small town named Reiff. Note that Lichtenborn and Reiff might be around 5 miles from each other. It has been speculated that last name Reiffers denotes “from Reiff.” If true, is it possible that two different people over time left Reiff and took the surname Reiffers? Hence, there is also the possibility that there is no direct connection?
If anyone has information, data, answers, or interesting thoughts, please post. Thank you!!!
Martin P. Wolke
2015 Natchez Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44109-4466
Phone (216) 739-9333 Fax (216) 739-9344
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