When Cristoffel Columbus Rhines & family fled Alsace

by Erin Rhines-Bierly
(Olivet, Michigan, USA)

Hello! Thank you for your site! This is so Cool!

My ancestor Cristoffel Columbus Reyn (Rhines) was born in 1742 in Alsace and had his first child in 1770 in America.

I have read much about war during the mid-1700's and assumed his family fled somewhere else or straight to America somewhere between 1742 and 1770. I am new to my family search, and can't believe I made it all the way back to Europe in less than a week! But where to go from here? Perhaps Christening records? Church records? I have no idea where in Alsace they lived. Only that it is Lorraine province, France (at the time! :).

I am searching for a ship manifest during this period into either Philadelphia, PA, US or Boston, Mass, US.

I do know the family settled a church called the German Reformed Church in Sharon, New York, PA.

Kind regards,

Erin Rhines-Bierly

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by: Suzele

Hi Erin,

You are extremely lucky to get that far with absolute certainty to the mid 1700s.

Not easy to do anywhere...but now will be the challenge haha

Everything is organized according to village or town here. So if you don't know, you have to look everywhere unless you can narrow it down a bit.

So you've narrowed it down to Lorraine at least which is good. Because that means you don't have to look in Alsace (probably) unless they drifted over to Alsace.

I have my doubts that protestantism was allowed in much of Lorraine at the time. Alsace accepted or at least tolerated it depending on where, but the rest of France was pretty anti anything that wasn't catholic.

Which is why he may have left...

The town of Metz may have had a group. Other than that, I can't say as I spend most of my time researching Alsace. Lorraine's history differs quite a bit from Alsace, so I hate to make too many assumptions.

Hope it helps,

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