Sometime, probably during the early to middle of the 18th century, some member(s)of the KEICHER families in Southern Germany decided to cast their lot in the New World and shipped out for America. Apparently, they liked what they found or else were too poor to pay their way back home, so they stayed and have spread over the United States.
To a large extent, the spelling "KEICHER" has been Americanized to either "KYKER" or "KIKER," but some of the branches have retained the original rendering of the name. Donna Kiker Liddell and myself have ended up in the "KIKER" branches while Dick KYKER has the spelling which leaves less imagination to the correct pronounciation.
Donna, myself, and Dick -- located in Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee -- have collaborated on bringing all the branches of the family together and not without great effort have managed to tie together all those of us living in NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, AR, LA, TX, NM, AZ, CA, OK, KS, MO, NE, MD,and neighboring states. Those residing in PA, NJ, NY and other states in that area of the country share the name, but we have been unable -- to date -- to find anyone there who has any idea how they came have the name; therefore, we are at a loss for the moment to show their probable branch on the family tree. Our search will continue, of course, as their eventual connection may lead us once and for all to the European origin of the family.
We believe for the moment that the KEICHERS may well have come from a small village named "Erlenbach," south of Munich, Germany. There are a number of people living there named "KEICHER" and it seems that that is the only place in Germany where persons with that surname reside in any number. If we are correct, we descend from long-time wine makers who came to the Erlenbach area and began growing grapes on the foothills of the Alps.
We can speculate that one or two or three or more grew tired of whatever phase of wine making they were assigned and chose instead to come to a land where English became the dominent language, and their progeny, eventually, to war against their distant relatives -- those who had chosen to stay. My brother, for example, tells me that his armored division passed south of Munich during WWII. I'm sure he would have fired on any one who seemed a hazard or offered resistance as did one Kiker or another in the War Between the States.
We are sure that two brothers, Coonrod (an old form of Conrad), who census records show was born in Germany, and his brother, George Adam Keicher, who was born in Bucks Co., PA, were in the German area of NC in the latter half of the 18th century. Coonrod eventually immigrated to Eastern Tennessee and Northern Georgia, where their respective branches grew more distant one from the other in the next 150 years. We have, however, now closed the gap during the latter half of the 20th century and now are proceeding to fill in the gaps.
We invite all who now come reading this or are interested in their ancestory to join us in gathering any and all information pertinent to the KEICHER - KYKER - KIKER branches and bring it to Donna's, Dick's or my attention through this media. If possible, we shall tell you immediately if we have made a connection; otherwise, we shall retain the information until enough pieces of the puzzle come together that a total picture emerges. In any event, we will keep you advised. Eventually, we will put it all together in book form for your elucidation, education, entertainment or other purpose.
I doubt that we will find anyone among rich, famous, notorious, notably good or evil, but we have contributed our blood, sweat and tears for the country. That alone makes our ancestors' history worth recording and worthy of passing on to our children.
It will make no difference which of the three of us you contact initially as we share without delay. I am a descendant of a son, Benjamin Franklin Kiker, a son of George Adam Kiker while Donna comes from Charles Kiker, Benjamin Franklin's brother. Richard E. (Dick) KYKER is a descedant of Uriah KYKER, a son of Coonrod KEICHER.
Come on board. Genealogy is fun, interesting, and educational. We will welcome you to an interesting and worth-while past time.
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