Reisenbichler Roots

We have a Reisenbichler birthday that will enable me to go back in time to share some documents that show the arrival of a Reisenbichler family that settled in Shawnee Township in Cape Girardeau County.  As you can already tell, this is not the tale of a short surname.  This will be one of those posts when my fingers are going to have to punch plenty of keys on my computer to just indicate the surname.  However, one of the Reisenbichler’s married a woman by the name of Mary Hitt.  That’s a short one.

Martin Reisenbichler was born on November 22, 1877, the son of George and Marie (Schupfer) Reisenbichler.  Here are photos of Martin’s parents, George and Marie.


Martin was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Below is his baptism record.

Martin Reisenbichler baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Martin Reisenbichler baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Before we continue with Martin’s story, let’s backtrack a little.  His father came to America in 1858 at a teenager.  Martin’s grandparents were Leopold and Theresia Reisenbichler.  We find the Reisenbichler family arriving in Baltimore in December of 1858.  The list I found says it was made up of passengers from a variety of ships.

Reisenbichler family passenger list Baltimore MD Dec 1858
Reisenbichler family passenger list – December 1858

I included one other person on this list, Johann Kieninger, because he was another character to settle in the same area of Shawnee Township.  By the way, the document above may result in Lynn Degenhardt doing a little repair work on our German Family Tree because some of these Reisenbichler’s are not tied to each other in that document.  I also think the above document shows how most, if not all, of the original Reisenbichler’s got to Shawnee Township.

We find the Reisenbichler family in the 1860 census for Shawnee Township.  I included the Putz family which was listed right above the Reisenbichler’s because the name Putz shows up in this story later on.  The person shown as Caleb is probably Gottlieb, and the census taker may have thought he heard the name, Caleb, when he was told, Gottlieb.

George Reisenbichler 1860 census Shawnee Township MO
1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

I am going to skip to the 1880 census where we first find Martin Reisenbichler.  I have also included an Erlbacher family on this image.

Martin Reisenbichler 1880 census Shawnee Township MO
1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The reason I included the Erlbacher family is that Martin’s future wife, Anna Erlbacher, will come out of that family.  Anna was the daughter of Balthazar and Elizabeth (Putz) Erlbacher.  She was born on March 14, 1882.  I almost decided to postpone this story when I found someone who was born on “Pi Day” (3/14), but I had already done too much work to start on another story.  Like her future husband, she was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  Here is an image of her baptism record.

Anna Erlbacher baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Anna Erlbacher baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Because Anna was born after 1880, she would not show up in a census until 1900.  When we look at that census, we find the interesting situation shown below.

Martin Reisenbichler 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

At the top of the image, you find Martin’s father and his remaining family.  In the middle, you find the Erlbacher family with Annie being listed as an 18 year-old daughter.  Toward the bottom, you will see the family of Christian Reisenbichler (who had married Mary Hitt), and Martin Reisenbichler was living in that household.  I think you could use this census record as yet another one to illustrate how young men and young women found each other before getting married.  They found their mate on a nearby farm.

Martin Reisenbichler and Anna Erlbacher were married on November 22, 1908.  There is a little debate about this date.  Some family trees on state the marriage date was November 28, 1908.  However, if you look at the marriage license for this couple, you see the date as November 23rd.

Reisenbichler Ehlbacher marriage license
Reisenbichler/Erlbacher marriage license

We also have the church record for this wedding.  They were, as expected, married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  This shows the wedding taking place on November 22nd.  I lean toward the November 22nd date because in 1908, that was a Sunday.  If you look at the image below, you also can see that the previous marriage took place on another Sunday, November 15th.  That means Martin was married on his birthday, which would have made it easier for him to remember his anniversary.

Reisenbichler Erlbacher marriage record Immanuel New Wells NO
Reisenbichler/Erlbacher marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The marriage record on top was the one for Martin’s younger sister, Marie Reisenbichler, and Rudolph Landgraf which took place the week before Martin and Anna’s wedding.  Also, you can see that both Martin and Anna were the witnesses for that marriage.  Marie was the baby in the Reisenbichler family.

We can find this Reisenbichler couple in every future census through 1940.  Each census entry shows just slight differences.  Here is the 1910 census.  Anna’s father, Balthazar, had died in 1905, and we find Martin and Anna living with Anna’s mother in this census.  We also see a boy by the name of Theodore Putz, who is listed as a grandson.  He would have been the grandson of Elizabeth Erlbacher.

Martin Reisenbichler 1910 census Shawnee Township MO
1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1918, Martin had his World War I draft registration completed.

Martin Reisenbichler – WWI draft registration

Ten years later, we find this situation.  A few children had been born to Martin and Anna, and we still see Theodore Putz listed in their household.  This time he was called a nephew which makes sense.

Martin Reisenbichler 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we see this family in the 1930 census. We see four children in this image.  There were 5 children born into this family, but one died as an infant.

Martin Reisenbichler 1930 census Shawnee Township MO
1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

At the time when the above census was taken, a set of plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County.  We find a parcel of land near New Wells that has Martin Reisenbichler’s name attached to it.

Martin Reisenbichler land map 1930
Martin Reisenbichler land map – 1930

The last census in which we can see the Reisenbichler’s was taken in 1940.

Martin Reisenbichler 1940 census Shawnee Township MO
1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1942, at the age of 64, Martin had his World War II draft card filled out.  His apparently unsteady signature indicates his advancing age.

Martin Reisenbichler – WWII draft card

Martin died in 1950 at the age of 73.  We have his death certificate.

Martin Reisenbichler death certificate
Martin Reisenbichler death certificate

Anna died in 1974, too recent to view her death certificate.  She was 92 years old when she died.  Both Martin and Anna are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.



This post is another one that enables our research library to update some information that we have.  We are always interested in making our research materials as accurate as possible.  Sometimes it just takes an excuse to do the research, and that is sometimes what this blog provides.

One more thing.  Pocahontas is the location of the business, Reis Meat Processing, which is quite busy these days processing the many animals which are being brought to them during deer hunting season.  Reis is a shortened form for Reisenbichler, and whoever started that business is somehow from this Reisenbichler family.  I just do not have the time to look into that today.





2 thoughts on “Reisenbichler Roots

  1. Pingback: Bertha and Paul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s