Riedesel Emigrants


Approximately 60 persons named Riedesel (and a few Rietesels) are known to have come to the United States from the various German states from 1800 onwards. We have ancestry information on almost all of them, and know something about the families and descendants of a large majority.

Correctly identifying the "right" emigrant can be difficult for a couple of reasons. Many had similar names, and their birth names may not have been how they were known in America. I have organized this listing on the basis of where people settled rather than by name or even age. Clicking on a link will open a page specific to that individual. Those who died as children in this country are not shown.

Index (by area of settlement)


The three earliest Riedesel emigrants of whom we have solid records settled in the Keystone state. One had his name altered, so that his Riedesel origins were only discovered in recent years. Another was probably the father of the only Riedesel to fight and die in the American Civil War.
  • John Rittase (sic; 1787-1855; emigrated 1814/1815); Littlestown, Pennsylvania
    • His son, also John (1814-1831); Littlestown, Pennsylvania
  • Johann Heinrich Riedesel (1772-?); Emigrated 1819; Philadelphia
  • Johann Ludwig Riedesel (1775-?); Emigrated 1819; Philadelphia, like his brother, originally from Berleburg

Wheatland, Iowa

No single locale attracted more emigrants from Wunderthausen--Riedesels included--than the farming community of Wheatland in Clinton County.
  • Ludwig Riedesel (1784-c1848; emigrated 1845) was the father of the following five, but died in Crawford County, Ohio soon after they all came to America.
  • L. Henry Riedesel (1818-1894; emigrated 1845)
  • Anna Elisabeth Riedesel Homrighausen (1820-1809; emigrated 1845)
  • J. Ludwig Riedesel (1822-1910; emigrated 1844); later to Glidden
  • George Riedesel (1825-1901; emigrated 1844)
  • John Riedesel (1829-1904; emigrated 1844)

    The following three were siblings
  • Wilhelmine Riedesel Schneider (1829-1897; emigrated 1848)
  • Henry Riedesel (1834-1898; emigrated 1855); later to Lanesboro.
  • Louis C. Riedesel (1840-1913; emigrated 1867)
    • Friedrich Riedesel (1861-1910; emigrated 1867 with his father, Louis C.)
  • Henry F. Riedesel (1865-1932; emigrated 1881)

    The following four were siblings
  • John Riedesel (1833-1898; emigrated 1854)
  • Henry D. Riedesel (1841-1917; emigrated 1867)
  • George D. Riedesel (1844-1932; emigrated 1861; later to Moore, Oklahoma
  • Louis D. Riedesel (1847-1929; emigrated 1866)

    George and Katherine Riedesel and all their adult children
  • George Riedesel (1842-1927; emigrated 1906), married to:
  • Katherine (Riedesel) Riedesel (1854-1908; emigrated 1906)
    • Catherine Riedesel (1876-1933; emigrated 1906)
    • Emelia Lisetta Kroh (1879-1963; emigrated 1902)
    • Louisa Riedesel Strackbein (1881-1937; emigrated 1906)
    • George Riedesel (1883-1931; emigrated 1906)
    • Anna Elisabeth Riedesel Strackbein (1885-1952; emigrated 1906)
    • Frederick Riedesel (1889-1977; emigrated 1906)
    • Emma Riedesel Strackbein (1891-1986; emigrated 1906)
    • Gustave Riedesel (1893-1959; emigrated 1906)
    • Adolph Riedesel (1895-1973; emigrated 1906)

Other locations in Iowa

Oxford/Warren County, New Jersey

Several Wunderthausen Riedesels lived in this industrial area, and had some company from the home village. Curiously, the name was altered, leaving no descendants named Riedesel.

Kansas City area

As the frontier moved west, so did newer waves of emigrants. Several Riedesels were at home around Kansas City, in both Missouri and Kansas.


Two brothers and a female cousin, all from the town of Erndtebrück called Texas their new home.

New York state

The first five were from Wunderthausen and the first three were siblings; the sixth from what is now Alsace Lorraine, France

Chicago area

The east German province of Pomerania (specifically the district of Vorpommern) sent a great many emigrants to Cook (Chicago), Kane and McHenry Counties in Illinois. Among them were several Riedesels and Rietesels. Both spellings were found in the 1800s in the region and one presumes that their pronunciations were virtually indistinguishable. I believe they had a common root in an impoverished Riedesel knight or two in the late Middle Ages.

All other locations

Unsolved Mysteries

Ships' lists from the 1800s show a few other Riedesel bound for America who I cannot identify or find any trace of descendants. I believe I have records for every Riedesel born in the old County of Wittgenstein through the 1800s, so it is likely these were descendants of Riedesels who had left Wittgenstein a generation or two earlier.
  • "H. Riedesel" was on board the ship Lahn that docked in New York on April 19, 1894. He is listed as being 21, so born about 1873. The record is especially faded, but appears to show his former residence as Hatzfeld (a town in Hesse) and his destination as Minnesota. I've found no further trace of him.
  • Another Baltimore-bound ship had a passenger listed as "Carl Reidesel." It arrived on November 1, 1870 out of Bremen (like all the others mentioned). He was said to be 30 and bound for Ohio. "Place of Origin" is listed as Darmstadt. While that is a city, it is just as likely to have meant the Duchy known as Hesse-Darmstadt.
  • A "Ludwig Riedesel" arrived in Baltimore on the ship Duisburg in May 1857. My hypothesis is that he was Ludwig Heinrich Riedesel, from "Weisse" house  in Wunderthausen (born December 29, 1839). His destination was listed as St. Louis. I've found no further trace of him.
Template design by Arcsin