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Updated July 21, 2011

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The early Rheins (Reins) were a widespead clan of executioners (1) in the Kingdom of Lorraine and (2) in low Alsace and in the Saarland in the Holy Roman Empire in early modern Germany prior to the Thirty Years War that ended in 1648. The first known Rhein in my line is Jean Gaspard Rhein, born 1595 in Saverne, low Alsace. His great-grandson Joannes Martin Rhein came to Herrlisheim in 1709.

The first known Laeng in my line is Urs Laeng born about 1529 in Utzenstorf, Canton of Bern, The Swiss Confederation. His great-grandson Dorsch Laeng came to Herrlisheim about 1672 from Utzenstorf.

Joseph Rhein, my grandfather (6th great-grandson of Jean Gaspard) was born April 13, 1866 in Commune de Herrlisheim, Department of Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France. He married Louise Laeng, born May 15, 1866 in Herrlisheim (6th great-granddaughter of Urs Laeng) on May 3, 1890 in St. Arbogast Catholic Church in then Herlisheim, Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, following his military service in the Imperial German Army in the German Territories in Africa. They left for the United States the day following their wedding, settling in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

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