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Hans Heinrich Reiff
(1622-After 1689)
Anna Hitz
(1617-Abt 1690)
Hans Junghans Hiestand
(1629-Abt 1688)
* Regul Aeschmann
Michael Reiff
Kungold Hiestand
Anneli (Anna) Reiff
(1680-After 1755)


Family Links

Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens

Anneli (Anna) Reiff

  • Born: 1680, Wadenswil, Switzerland
  • Marriage: Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens in Aug 1702 in Weissenan, Mainz, Palatinate, West Germany
  • Died: After Nov 1755, Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
  • Buried: Salford Mennonite Cemetery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

bullet  Noted events in her life were:

Immigration, Bef 1682. My parents fled Switzerland for Ibersheim, Germany before the 1682 census was taken. My father died when I was just 4 years old. My mother and stepfather Hans Stauffer raised me.

faith: Menonite Church.

Notes of Interest. 663 The original spelling of Reiff is pronounced to rhyme with life, the German ei having a long I sound. Changing through the centuries the name mutated to its present forms of Reiff, Reif, Rieff, Rief, Riffe and Rife.

Some Reiff emigrants retained the name as Reiff, Reif, Rieff or Rief, others changed the spelling to Riffe or Rife but retained the original pronunciation.

Often German names such as Rhein when written in English the e is transposed to the end and becomes Rhine. So the Americanized spelling of Riffe, also with the e transposed to the end, is a somewhat logical translation.

The Reiff name took its initial formation between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries when it was first recorded as a descriptive identification to distinguish one person from another. By 1300, Reiff had become a recognized surname and was passed on to others in the family. The name is of Germanic origin but it's meaning is questionable. In Europe the name is often written Rief, Riefe, Rieff, Reiff, Reiffe, Reff and Rff. There is the possibility that the name had its origin in the German nouns reifen that means ring, hoop, or wheel; or reif that means frost; or in the German adjective reif that means ripe or mature. In speaking of fruit in English we say it is ripe for harvest, in German reif zur ernde.

Reviewing old court and deed records, the researcher meets with the diverse and varied way our ancestors spell their own name. In this age of automation where we are named, numbered, cataloged and indexed by government and private computers, it is at first difficult to comprehend why our ancestor's surnames were spelled so many different ways. Elsdon C. Smith, in his publication American Surnames, explains surname variations in this manner. What is today spelled in just one way had many origins among people the great majority of who were illiterate. Even educated men spelled as fancy dictated at the moment. The influx of names into the United States from non-British sources . . . forced the wide extension of the legal rule of idem sonans, which provides that a slight variation in the spelling of a name is immaterial if both modes of spelling have approximately the same sound. Names that sound alike are the same although spelled differently. The law regards the sound more than the spelling. American courts throughout the history of the United States have upheld this doctrine and ruled that couplets such as Reiff and Ryphe are indeed the same name


Anneli married Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens, son of Jacob Clemens Sr. and Mary Unknown, in Aug 1702 in Weissenan, Mainz, Palatinate, West Germany. (Gerhart (Gerhard) Clemens was born in 1680 in Niederfloersheim, Pfalz, Germany,425 died in 1745 in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania 654 and was buried in 1745 in Lower Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse 655.)

bullet  Noted events in their marriage were:

Wedding Gifts, Aug 1702. Hans Stauffer, Anneli's step father gave us an ox weighing 120 pounds, a hog, groceries, linen cloth, a chest, some glory wax mixed with other wax, a cow with a calf and some woolen cloth as wedding presents.

bullet  Marriage Notes:

General Notes: Hans Stauffer, for the wedding of his step daughter, Anneli Reiff, gave an ox, weighing 120 lbs., a hog, groceries, linen cloth, a chest, some glory wax mixed with other wax, a cow with calf and some woolen cloth.

GERHART* CLEMENS: Burial: 1745, Cemetery of Lower Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse Daughter: Heckler, in his History of Lower Salford, says that Gerhart had a daughter Mary who married Hans Ulrich Bergey but the records in the Clemens family do not support that.312 Emigration: 1709, From the Palatinate to Pennsylvania in first wave of Palatine Mennonites to leave for Pennsylvania Homestead: 1983, Home of Gerhard's son Jacob but Gerhard died here. Present farmhouse built by grandson Gerhard in 1780.313 Occupation: 1726, Gerhart built a mill on the branch of the Perkiomen that went through his land. The mill stood until 1823 and was known as Alderfer's Mill Petitioned: 1713, With Jacob Godshall Clemens and Peter Seller the court of Philadlephia for a road from the Skippack area down to Whitemarsh Township where Farmar's Mill was situated on the Wissahocken Creek (See Christopher Dock Tour Map ) Property: 1718, Purchased from David Powell 690 acres of land in Salford on a branch of the Perkiomen Creek Recorded: First generation keeper of the Clemens Account Book314

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