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Bartholomew’s “Bible”

Bartholomew Riehle was educated at a religious (Roman Catholic) school near his home in Offenburg, Baden, Germany.  In 1810 he wrote a short “book” to meet the requirements for the completion of his program of study, to which he gave the title, “A Short Biography of The Lord Jesus and His Mother and His Mother’s Parents”.  He kept this hand written manuscript for the rest of his life and in it he faithfully recorded the births and deaths of his many children, much as others recorded such information in the family bible.

While we do not know the whereabouts of this book today, it was translated into English in 1969.  Jack Riehle painstakingly transcribed this into electronic format, working from a rather poor quality photocopy. We are very grateful that Jack has permitted Riehle.net to publish Bartholomew’s book on our site. The book provides interesting if somewhat disturbing insights into the education and religious beliefs of a relatively educated individual early in the nineteenth century. More significantly, the record of births and deaths has provided genealogical information from one of the most important Riehle immigrant ancestors that we have been able to identify. As Jack states in his introduction, “This document is important to Riehle genealogists and as such must be preserved for all generations who are interested in the Riehle surname.”

Most readers will not take the time to read the entire document, but we think you will find it interesting to read Jack’s introduction, to review the records of births and deaths and to read excerpts of the “Biography” itself in order to get a sense for the “education” and attitudes in Germany early in the nineteenth century.

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