If your name is Reeg, you probably belong to our family. It's a relatively uncommon name, both in the U.S. and in Germany. Four branches in the U.S. have been identified, two of which descend from a common ancestor. The German spelling is also Reeg but there it's pronounced with more of a hard "gh" or "k" ending sound than in English.
No definitive research has been done on the origin of the Reeg name. We know of its being spelled as Reg, Rech, Reek, Rehe and Reh. Other spellings assumed to be related include: Regh, Reck, Recke, and Reeck. Also Beeg, Deeg, Heeg, Keeg and Meeg. The many variations can be traced to the fact that until the 1800s many people were illiterate and couldn't spell or sign their own names; so clergymen and public officials, often only semi-literate themselves, commonly wrote down names the way they heard them. Also, these official recorders used a variety of writing styles which resulted in different interpretations of the spelling used.
Interesting tidbits: Hans Reeg, editor of Reeg-Blatter about the history of his family, writes that a Wolf Christoph Reeg from Nuremberg was bestowed with a coat of arms in 1574. The shield depicts a wild red boar on a three-peak hill. And the Schweinfurt city library has a completely preserved 18th century library of a Reeg who was a teacher in the nearby village of Geldersheim.
The oldest ancestor in this genealogy is Leonhard Reeg, whose son Hieronymus in 1637/38 was a "new neighbor" in Wallbach in the Odenwald, Hessen, Germany. The researcher responsible for the German part of this genealealogy is Arthur Reeg of Schweinfurt, Germany, and I am deeply appreciative of his generosity.
This site contains detailed information only on persons born before 1920, in order to protect the privacy of living family members. If your connection is a more recent one, I have current descendant data which I would be happy to check.
The German regions where Reeg nests are found include: Hessen, Franken, and Niedersachsen. There are probably others also. Significant U.S. nests are found in Indiana (my line), Iowa and Nebraska. The Indiana and Nebraska Reegs both came from the Hessen village of Ober-Kinzig and are related: The immigrant Reeg who settled in Indiana was a first cousin to the father of the five Reegs who immigrated 1887-1899 and settled near Wayne, Nebraska. A brother to the Nebraska immigrants settled in South Dakota about 1892. A sister married Adam Saul, who is related to Arthur Reeg of Germany on his mother's side, making him dually related to the Reegs of Nebraska. Many thanks to Phil Dirksen and Richard F. Reeg, who provided information on the Nebraska branch.
The Iowa Reegs came from another Hessen village only 25 miles away and are believed to be related to the ones in Indiana and Nebraska. Their immigrant, Konrad Reeg, came from Vielbrunn, Germany, in 1851 and for four years lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In 1855 he settled west of Bellevue, Iowa, where his descendants still live. His sister Elizabeth immigrated in 1883 and married a Mr. Flatt in the Dayton, Ohio area. Her passage cost $51. Information on this branch came from Stanley M. Reeg and Vernon & Esther (Reeg) Baasch.
Peter Reeg 1829-1899, my immigrant ancestor, was the second child of Balthasar and Elizabeth (Kredel) Reeg. His family derived significant income from a limestone quarry and kiln oven, which produced lime powder for mortar, plaster and whitewash. It was used to build houses and barns and to whitewash them. Whitewash was also a disinfectant for stables and sheds.
Peter, age 23, left Germany on April 26, 1852, without the required governmental permission and arrived in America on the ship Argo, which departed from Liverpool, England and docked in New York on June 18, 1852, a journey of just over seven weeks. Family tradition says Peter came with a brother or cousin, who later went west or south and was never heard of again. This likely was Michael Kredel, 31, laborer, who appears on the passenger list right below Peter. Since Peter's mother was a Kredel, Michael could be a cousin.
Peter settled first in Lancaster County, PA, where he worked in the bank iron ore mines and married Amanda Barbara Bruckart. In 1861 they and their three children moved to Whitley County, Indiana, where he first rented and then purchased a farm. Six more children were born there. A family tree for Peter's descendants was created by Mrs. Erwin (Clara) Mitchell in 1969, and I have built upon her work for the U.S. part of this genealogy. We are endebted to Clara for making such a valuable contribution to our family.
Other Reeg immigrants include two who entered the U.S. at New Orleans in the mid-1800s. Christopher Reeg, a shoemaker, wife Elisabeth and children Adam, George and Elisabeth arrived 2 Dec 1851 from La Havre, France on the Halburt. Carl, a farmer, and Maria "Reig" arrived 7 June 1852 from Liverpool on the Bellcarrigg.
A very early Reeg immigrant was Mary (or Maria) Catherine Reeg, who arrived in Philadelphia about 1760 with her parents, Georg and Catherie Reeg. Her childhood sweetheart, Anthony Shaeffer, came to America two years later and settled in the same area. They called their settlement Heidelberg after their homeland. Mary Catherine and Anthony married and later moved to Westmoreland County, PA. Their five children were Eva Catherine, George Peter, Elizabeth Christina, Susanna Margaret and John Phillip. This information comes from a descendant of Susanna who married Michael Raymayley in 1794.
If there's a REEG in your family, I'd like to hear from you. Click here to send me an email: Brenda . The email address is: BooksBoop@aol.com.
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