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Traveling to Leimen, Germany
   (This was written by Dave Ream, November 2011)

Here's some limited info about Leimen, etc.

Johann Eberhardt Riehm, the true pioneer, migrated from Leimen to Pennsylvania in 1717. American Reams have not kept close contact with German Riehms over the years-or centuries. I don't know much about them. Anton "Toni" Riehm is about my age. He is the proprietor of a shop in downtown Leimen that used to be called Radio Riehm. I would imagine that he now deals in electronics of one sort or another. Toni's address is Rohrbacherstrasse 2. He has a couple of cousins, one named Heinrich. The last time I had any contact with Toni was in the mid-1990s. I have no idea whether Toni and his cousins are still alive. So all of the above info may be completely out of date. The most famous native of Leimen is Boris Becker, the tennis player.

The primary lodging/dining establishment in Leimen is called Gasthaus zum Baren ("bear guest house"). For many years, it was owned and operated by Riehms, but I believe they sold it in the 1960s to a man named Willi Hoffman. There's more to say about Willi Hoffmann and Gasthaus zum Baren. As I recall the story, ownership of the Baren had been in the Riehm family for at least a couple hundred years. Then, around 1950, for reasons not known to me, ownership went from the Riehms to Willi Hoffmann. Not all the Riehms were happy about this development. So, Willi and Emele Hoffmann are not Riehms, but they are restaurateurs and civic leaders who do socialize with the Riehms.

You may recall that the Old Man and Uncle Frank traveled to Leimen around 1970. They were treated as honored guests for a few days!

More writings by Dave Ream, November 2011.

I have received from Nancy 31 photos taken in 1966 in Leimen, Germany (including a few taken in Heidelberg, which is only a few Ks from Leimen). The people in the photos are mostly residents of Leimen and vicinity. Most bear the surname Riehm, which of course is the original spelling of our—and their—family name.

Leimen was the home town for Johann Eberhardt Riehm, who lived from 1687 to 1779. He and his young wife Elizabeth Schwab and two small children left Leimen in 1717 and migrated to southeastern Pennsylvania. There, Eberhardt and Elizabeth established a farm in Lancaster County and lived the rest of their lives there. He and Elizabeth were the immigrants from whom all blood Reams in the United States are descended. For an outline of the story of the Reams in America, go to John Ream’s family home page.

Eberhardt Riehm left behind several members of his family in Leimen when he immigrated to America in 1717. The list of those who stayed in Leimen includes several brothers and sisters and, perhaps most importantly, Eb’s father Hans Andreas Riehm. Over the next three centuries, Riehms have been leading citizens of Leimen. They have been bakers, wine makers, cigar makers, shopkeepers, and other occupations. They also have had a strong sense of family, from one generation to the next.

Reams in America have been aware of their “cousins” in Germany, and there has been some small amount of family correspondence back and forth across the pond. One of the Americans who has taken a great interest in the Leimen folks is Floyd Ream. Floyd (recently deceased, and buried in Reamstown, Penna.) was a career soldier stationed in the U.S. Army’s post-war Germany headquarters in Heidelberg. From there, he developed a close relationship with the Leimen folks. He even married one of them!! Floyd and wife are pictured in Photo #30 (next to last of the 31) of the Old Man’s album.

Chris Ream and I toured Europe in the summer of 1960. We made a special point of spending a few days in Leimen. There, we met several of the German Riehms, who wined and dined us! When we returned to the U.S., we reported our experience to the Old Man and to Uncle Frank Ream. Our stories stimulated Uncle Frank in particular. He had been a strong Ream family man already, and this encouraged him to study the German language and some German history. Then, sometime in 1965, the OM suggested that he and his brother Frank travel to Germany and meet the Leimen Riehms face-to-face. Finally, in May 1966, the two brothers did go to Germany and spent several days in Leimen. The collection of 31 photos that Nancy has distributed is the record of their visit. This experience was definitely one of the high spots in Uncle Frank’s long life (he was 86 at the time). BTW, he was dubbed “Onkel Franklin” by the Riehms.

All of the 31 photos were taken in Leimen and Heidelberg in May 1966. I cannot possibly identify many of the Germans in the photos. Moreover, because many of the subjects appear to be middle-aged or older in 1966, most of them are probably deceased by now. I personally have not been in Leimen since 1968, so most of my information about the Leimen Riehms is wildly outdated. But here are a few tidbits.

The young man with blond hair and baby-face is Anton Riehm, known as young Toni. He is approximately my age, and thus may or may not still be alive. Young Toni lived with his widowed mother (Kathe). His father, a German army officer named Heinrich Riehm, was killed in World War II. Young Toni was the proprietor of a shop named Radio Riehm in downtown Leimen. Young Toni had two cousins, Heinrich and Dieter, both in their 20s and both recently married at that time, and pictured in several of the photos. Heinrich and Dieter were the sons of Onkel Toni, who was the brother of Young Toni’s father Heinrich; Onkel Toni’s wife was Lotte. The elderly woman named Anna had, I believe, a daughter who lived somewhere in North Jersey. Uncle Frank kept in touch with Anna and daughter for a few years after 1966.

So, Nancy, in response to your question about our relationship to all these Germans. That would be a well-nigh exercise. You probably would have to go all the way back to Hans Andreas Riehm to find a common ancestor. We are probably something like “first cousins eight times removed” from Young Toni, Dieter, and the rest. Since 1966, there probably have been many new Riehms about which I know nothing. How about a trip to Leimen to meet the newer Riehms?


The Gasthaus Zum Bären, 2011, Leimen, Germany, hotel and restaurant.

The following photos from Joe Ream visit to Leimen, Germany, 1966

Ream Riehm Family Crest

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Photos from Susan Knepper Halen visits to Leimen, Germany, 2011~2013

From Sue Halen, Nov 2013
I happened to locate your site while googling Leimen and the Riehm family. We just returned from our second trip to Leimen a month ago. We met Anton Toni Riehm at the Zum Baren, he informed us that Emily Schilling of Heidelberg was his sister. She recently turned 85 and Toni will be 75 on January 2. They are both delightful and very welcoming! I hope you don't mind that I shared your site with Toni. They enjoyed seeing photos of family members who are since deceased. Toni also identified the American soldier as Floyd Ream, who is buried in Reamstown, PA. Both Emily and Toni have visited Reamstown.

I will send you a Powerpoint I prepared following our first visit....
The Duehren slides are the Wolfhardt line of the family.
Our most recent trip was devoted primarily to the Reeme family with emphasis on the Wolfhard line. I discovered a historian in Durnau, Manfred Wolfhard, who is researching for a book he is writing about the Wolfhards, Kuhorns, Renz families. He conducted day trips from his home for one week--among the places we visited were Alpirsbach Monastery, Waiblingen, Stuttgart, Tuebingen, Weinsburg, Wiesensteig, Strumpfelbach. I would highly recommend his tour!! He is planning to take his family to Leimen, Duehren and Sinsheim next summer.

"Cousin" Susan (descended from Johann Eberhard Riehm)
Susan Halen

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