Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surname Saturday: Risch Oberieder

Can I play? I would like to be a part of the long-standing Geneabloggers blog prompt called “Surname Saturday.”  This is my first time, so I might need a turn or two before I have a good handle on the best way to take part.  But, there’s only one way to learn. Just do it!

I’m beginning with my fifth great grandparents on my mother’s side, Joseph Risch and Barbara Oberreider.  Both the Risch and the Oberreider surnames have alternate spellings.  Risch could be Rush, Rusch, Rish, Rich, Roesch and probably others.  And Barbara’s name might have been: Obereider, Oberreider, Oberictor or Oberreither.  This family line as far back as we know, in the early 1700s,  flows from Hugstetten, Baden, Germany.

I want to first say that I’ve been fortunate to have assistance in my Risch family research.  Thanks to my cousin, Becky Holzer Smith who passed along her mother’s, Aunt Dolly’s, genealogy work.  And from there I found my second cousin once removed, Mary Cathryn Zimmer Hoffman, whose thorough research for the book, Louis M. Risch Family and Ancestors (1), answers a family historian’s prayer.  She not only provides the facts, but documentation and interesting photos. I have learned a lot thanks to these ladies.

An example of Mary Cathryn’s Risch family book is this chart that she put together back in 1994 when publishing a familyLouis Risch Book pg102 tree wasn’t as easy as now.

Another area she assists in is  understanding the background of the family names. For Risch, she references Dr. George F. Jones book, German-American Names:  “the family name Risch derives from a word meaning swamp.” Then, if one looks for “rusch” in the Cassell’s German Dictionary you find that it means rush or reed.  Mary Cathryn notes that historians in describing the German land say that it is wetter on the side that faces Gaul, the land from which the Risch family came.  In my family wonderings with this name I recall encountering several related spellings, such as Risch, Rish, Rush and Roesch. 

To try to determine the meaning of the Oberrieder name, I’ll use the spelling from later records.  The prefix “Ober” means upper or beyond.  “Rieder” means marsh dweller.  Mary Cathryn’s analysis is: “Hence, an Oberrieder may have been one who lived on land beyond marshes, which were characteristics of the part of Baden in which these people lived.”  I can’t imagine there could be a more reasoned conclusion.

The parish records for the Catholic Church in Hugstetten are brimming with the records of these families.  The record of Joseph Rush and Barbara Oberrieder’s marriage is on 14 September 1710: …”young man Joseph Rush to chaste virgin Barbara Oberieter, both of Hugstetten“   Further study of these church microfilms at the Family History Library is a future research plan of mine: Kirchenbuch, 1708-1907, Authors: Katholische Kirche Hugstetten (A. Freiburg).

Also, maybe someday I’ll have the opportunity to visit Hugstetten that is situated in Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Freiburg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Many describe this area of southwest Germany as picturesque. 

The background on this family in my database to this point includes the lineage from the Zimmer book mentioned above and subsequent census research in the U.S. For my Descendant Report of Joseph and Barbara (Oberrieder) Risch, CLICK HERE.

This was fun kicking off my Surname Saturday lineup with the Risch and Oberreider family history.   Please let me know if we are family or if you know, or think you know, anything that I don’t. 

Best wishes on your family hunt.

1. Zimmer, Mary Cathryn, Louis M. Risch Family and Ancestors, Hugstetten, Baden, Germany, 1708-1828, Dearborn County, Indiana, 1828-1934, 1994, Columbia, MD.

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