The origin and the way of the GELDREICH.
As you can see on the page " The Name
", it is likely that the name Geldreich,
Geltrich / Gäldrich, Gelderich, Göldrich
etc… came from Switzerland. It is there that we found the first traces
in 1103, but these can not necessarily be
linked with those of Ravensburg in Germany.
What we know of the Geltrich family is minimal,
and unfortunately nothing else is mentioned
on this franc named Geltrich and his clan,
the supposed founder of this village.
After having thoroughly examined the citizens
lists of Ravensburg, it is certain that our
family roots are in that city. In several
books, we could continually find the same
texts like that example:
<< The Geldrich’s belonged during 15th
and 16th centuries to the most honorable
families of the federal city Ravensburg.
Hainrich Gäldrich is presumably the son of
the Friedrich Geldrich, list of the citizen
27.III.1350, (22 and 23), and is mentioned
as a guarantor in 1350, 1361 and 1364. (A guarantor was a person who could vouch
for someone’s good standing).
Friedrich Geldrich is mentioned as the guarantor
for the first time in 1326 in the citizens
list, as well as 1335, 1347 and 1350. Conrad Gäldrich, presumably his brother,
in is listed in 1335, 1338 and 1350. Conrad
becomes a citizen 7/11/1331, while allowing
his father-in-law Distel, a part of the house.
Distel is mentioned only in 1364, 13 times
as guarantor in the citizens list >>.
The former archivist of Ravensburg, Alfons
Dreher, writes in his book, " Das Patriziat
der Reichsstadt Ravensburg " on the
pages 191, 192 and 193 following text:
Conrad became 1408 and Heinz 1410, probably
brothers, citizens of Ravensburg. There were two other brothers named; the abbot Johann von Rot (1407 - 1413), and
Heinrich von Weingarten, who died in 1430.
They were the sons of Friedrich, born in Ravensburg in 1383. During the 15th century,
at least three Konrads were named. Konrad
I had as wife Margareta, daughter of Hans
Hüpschli; their son, Konrad III, had Margareta
Täschlerin. Konrad II born in 1441 was married
to Anastasia Brandissin. He was a son of
the deceased Heinz, born in 1410.
Of the three Konrads, Konrad III is the most
remarkable. He was several times head of
thecourthouse as well as mayor of the city.
According to records of the Castle Sigmarshofen,
it is Konrad who acquired it. In the 16th. century, another two Konrads appear. The oldest had as his wife an Ankenreute.
Since 1473, there is a Hans who had as his
wife Barbara Humpis von Schachen. Of the
later named Gäldrich’s, there is a Jakob
who was mayor of Ravensburg several times.
In 1494 we find a Friedrich Gelderich, a
son of Konrad III and Margareta Täschlerin,
as mayor in Vienna until 1496. Hans Friedrich Gelderich of Ravensburg acquired
the castle Wolfsberg near Ermatingen in Switzerland.
in 1595. Friedrich G. died 07/05/1610. The Wolfsberg
Castle first passed to the deceased's wife,
Margaretha Schulthaiss. In 1614, the son
Johann inherited the estate of Friedrich
Gelderich. Hans Wilhelm Gelderich von Sigmarshofen
is listed on March 20, 1623 as owner of the
castle. He was born on May 14, 1583 in Ravensburg
as son of Hans Friedrich and Margaretha Schulthaiss.
Hans Wilhelm is a very important member of
the family for us, because he is the first
Geldreich we found in France.
Hans Wilhelm was leader of the supreme Council of Montbéliard.
He counselled of the Duke of Württemberg
in 1608. In 1615, he was chief of the Guards in Montbéliard
and was subsequently elected mayor of the
city of Montbéliard on January 08, 1618.
He also served as Bailiff. (a Bailiff was
a Judge and administrator of a Judicial circumscription
(manorial or royal).
The year 1618 was also the beginning of the
30 years war (1618 - 1648) that produced
a lot of chaos within the family Geldreich.
There was a struggle between Catholics and
Protestants. The Protestants opposed the Hapsburg (Austria)
regime that sustained the Catholics, and
the Catholics opposed the Princes of the
Wurttemberg who sustained the Protestants. The territorial arguments and the religious
measurements opposed the Hapsburg and the
With this understanding, it is necessary
to know that at the time Ravensburg was a
city in Austria under Hapsburg domination.
Montbéliard was therefore a Wurttemberg principality
which was Protestant, and Strasbourg was
a free city and Protestant.
Bye the way, A.Dreher mentions in one of
the chapters of his book that in 1629 no
Gäldrich was living in Ravensburg anymore.
German Protestantism was threatened during
the conflict. On March 06, 1629, the emperor
proclaimed an edict of restitution. This
meant all ecclesiastical goods were given
to the Catholics. The Geldreich’s who were
Protestant were forced to flee.
In the conflict, only Strasbourg took the
liberty not to conform itself to this edict.
At this time the Geldreich’s were in the Castle
Wolfsberg, in a free land. They were not worried. We also found them
in the region of Strasbourg. The Branch of
Hans Wilhelm being in Montbéliard (principality
of the Wurttemberg) was not concerned because
they lived in a principality.
During this war, the Kings of France and
Sweden intervened in this conflict in order
to protect the Germanic liberties. At the time of the Swedish intervention (1630-1634) Strasbourg got engaged
with Sweden in June 1632. At the end of August 1632, General Gustave
Horn is received as a friend in Strasbourg.
It is to specify that at that moment one
of our ancestors may have been Swedish. It
is written in a document of booklet 84, "Thurgauische
Beiträge zur Vaterländischen Geschichte"
chapter “Geschichte vom Schloß, Freisitz
und Gut Wolfsberg" by Jakob Hugentobler
that he died in Wollmatingen near Koblenz
during a fight of the war (around 1633) under
the orders of the General Horn. This Geldreich
must be therefore in Strasbourg.
At the beginning of 1633, Gustave Horn leaves
When observing a map we can find the Geldreich’s
near Strasbourg, in Durbach, Oppenau, Haguenau,
Weitbruch, these cities were managed by Strasbourg.
We easily understand why during the period
of this 30 years war we can suddenly find
the family in the region of Strasbourg and
then in the region of Haguenau. Having to escape the Hapsbourg threat, they
had to take refuge near protected cities.
The treaty of Worms, signed October 22, 1634,
between France and Sweden assured to the
King of France all cities of Alsace as well
as the use of the bridge in Strasbourg. Alsace
is therefore under French protection (1634
- 1648) and France occupies the whole stretch
of the Rhine River from Basel to Mainz.
With the treaty of Westphalia of October
24, 1648 Alsace became French. Strasbourg
and Mulhouse remained immune from this treaty.
Only later will they become French as well
as the city of Montbéliard.
The Squire Hans Wilhelm Gelderich von Sigmarshofen
died on January 25, 1651 and was buried in
the cathedral of Basel. His son Georg Leopold
inherited the Wolfsberg Castle. Like his
father, he was widely known in the region
of Montbéliard. Descended from the first
marriage of Hans Wilhelm with Elisabetha
Freudenstein (August 01, 1618), in 1667 Georg
Leopold purchased the village of Allenjoie
at the southeast corner of Montbéliard.
The city of Strasbourg was a free city of
the empire until 1681 when it was annexed
by Louis XIV. The city of Montbéliard was a Principality
of the Dukes of Wurttemberg with Allenjoie
(that was managed by Montbéliard) until 1793.
The Geldreich’s preferred to remain faithful
to Germany and to the Dukes of Wurttemberg.
Living far from their city of origin (that
means Alsace, Black Forest and Franche Comté)
we can note that their goods were sold only
after the conflict (war of 30 years) and
during a quiet short time.
- The castle of Wolfsberg was sold in 1701.
- The house of Ravensburg in 1728.
- The castle of Sigmarshofen in 1735.
- The castle of Allenjoie in 1743.
Another branch got settled in Russia. Unfortunately
we don't know too much on this Göldrich family
because previously very strong laws didn't
permit people to do any kind of genealogical
research. Such activity led immediately to the suspicion
of spying. We are in contact with a member of this family
branch and we hope very soon to know more
In the mid to late 19th century, the conquest
of the new world in the United States of
America also attracted some Geldreich’s.
All branches that we know of and are in contact
with originated either from the Oberkirch
/ Black Forest region or from Weitbruch in
Alsace / France.
To finish this chapter, we have noticed that
marriages led to family displacements. Many Geldreich’s were left to live in the
region of birth of their wife. Of course we should not forget that due to
the aforementioned wars, the modifications
of territories, famine, epidemics, the search
for work, a lot of families had to move.
Today, most of the European Geldreich families
live in the French region of Haguenau, and
in German region of Oberkirch in the Black