Have not found any MICHAEL connection, though there are some references to a Paulus MICHAEL, swineherd, around 1720 at Gundershoffen. Whoever he was, he didn't live at any of the 14 or so towns I have worked closely in the region, so he may have come from the nearby Zweibruecken territory.
There are 2 separate families of REISS in the area, who both connect to my tree eventually. The Bedford Co group are the ones from Pfaffenhoffen. The signature on the 1806 will of Frederick RICE Sr, in Bedford Co, is an amazingly close duplicate of his 1747 signature on the baptism of a nephew at Pfaffenhoffen. The only difference is that in 1747 he writes his name frit Rig Reiss and in 1806 it's frit rich reiss (his father also spelled his given name both frit rich and frit rig). His hand shows virtually no change overall. His ID is proven by the signature, and all the others of the group can be linked to him. The names, ages, and relationships match perfectly.
The aunt of Frederick and Andrew RICE, on the mother's side, was married to GASSER at Pfaffenhoffen; GASSER's sister was the wife of Christman DUCHMANN's cousin Christian BUCHER. One of Christman's cousins was a bp sponsor for one of the REISS children. I think Christman himself was in the same confirmation class as Jacob REISS, the oldest brother of Frederick and Andrew. But the families are not related overseas, which was a surprise to me, as I had long figured they would turn out to be cousins. However, they do come from towns about 1 km apart and both were acquainted with the RUCH family. But everybody in that territory knew everybody else, in any case.
No proof of the ID has been found, but it seems inescapable that the VALENTINE family of Allegany and Bedford are the children of Catharina Barbara REISS (b 1721), the oldest sister. She married in 1749 to Jacob VELTIN, from Schillersdorf, and like the REISS family, they disappear from Alsace after 1749. The number and intricacy of the RICE-VALENTINE connections argues pretty strongly that they are cousins of some kind, as well as the use of the characteristic names Andrew and Frederick among the VALENTINE family in the earlier generations. So far I've come up dry as to positive evidence, though.
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