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We thank Manfred Haufler for this fine picture of Geradstetten.  For more Geradstetten pictures, please see:

                                                       A Walking Tour of Geradstetten

For a list of emigrants from Geradstetten to the U.S., 1804-1928, please see:

                                        Emigrants from Geradstetten to the U.S. 1804-1928


Here and in some pages linked to this page we gather some background material on Geradstetten, the town where my parents were born.  East of Stuttgart, in the southwestern German State of  Baden-Wuerttemberg, Geradstetten has a rich history going at least to year 1200.  For most of this time Geradstetten was an agricultural community, with wine the most important product, along with fruit, vegetables, and the usual cows, pigs, and chickens for local consumption.  Common to this area of southern Germany, the houses are tightly clustered around a center including church, schools, and shops, with the fields a patchwork of plots outside the town proper. The current population is around 5000, but historically it varied from about 500 in the1400's (when it first had its own church) to around 1200 in the 1850's  to around 2500 in the 1920's.

Geradstetten has joined with several neighboring villages to form the subdivision of  Remshalden, which has an excellent website with many links to area attractions.

Here is a map link to orient Geradstetten with respect to the nearest large city, Stuttgart: 

        Geradstetten Map Link

There are many sources on the history and sociology of Geradstetten.  Here we rely on two main sources, the first a set of books by Han Rilling:



Front and Back Cover from the volume "Geradstetten Folks -- It takes all Kinds" by Hans Rilling.  These are reproduced here with the permission of Herr Rilling, who has done a marvelous job of researching the history and sociology of Geradstetten. We are currently translating several excerpts from his works.  For a short biography and list of his Geradstettn publications, as well as excerpts from them, please visit the following links:


        Biography and Geradstetten Publications of Hans Rilling 

Han Rillings's  Social History Sources of Geradstetten History From the Proceedings of the Church Court 1707--1847

 Hans Rilling's  Stories from the Old Days: "Geradstetten Folks: It takes all kinds!

        Introduction--Contents, Translator's Preface, Author's Forward, Short Geradstetten History

        Two Letters of Settlement                                       1515 and 1536 

         Pastor Jodocus Vochenzer in the "Interim"              1550

        Two Pig-headed Schoolmasters                    about  1600

        Jakob von Gueltingen                                              1600

        Pastor Johannes Brand                                            1656-1661

        Abbot Johann Adam Lederer                                   1692-1774

        Teaching Assistant Johann David Krauss                 1776

        Schoolmaster Georg Michael Mayerlen                    1742-1809

        Surgeon Johannes Muehlecker                                 1720-1778     

        Duty Assignments in the Town of Geradstetten        1830

        Johann Friedrich Heigelin, M. A.                              1765-1845  

        Pastor Gottlieb H. Wittich, M.A.                              1836-1844

        Four Insubordinate Young Schoolteachers                 1838

        Mayor David Friedrich Lederer                                  1812-1847

        Sources and Literature


Hans Rilling's Events from Geradstetten History: Who Woulda' Thought

        Introduction--Contents, Translator's Preface, Author's Forward, Short Geradstetten History  

        First Mention of the Town Name of Geradstetten    1291

        Establishment of an Independent Parish                   1496

        Revenue Book of the Geradstetten Pastorate            1532     

        The Turkish Tax Levy in Geradstetten                     1544/45

        Establishing a School In Geradstetten                      1559    

         From an Old Town Ordinances Book                     1576   

        Renovation of the Church Steeple                            1577

        Geradstetten Family Names in Early Times    about 1649  

        Border Marking Stones of the Township       about 1649

        Bake Days                                                    about 1720

        Gilding the Organ                                                   1769

        O Tempra, O Mores                                     about 1800

        Report of the Famine and Hyper-Inflation                1816

        The Coronation Jubilee                                           1841

        Setting Up a Citizen Militia                                      1847

        The Rems Railroad                                       about 1860

        Diligent and Lazy Workers                            about 1891                                    

        Mayday                                                                  1750

        Sources and Literature



The other source that we rely on is a series of articles in a booklet "Heimattage Geradstetten 1960," from which the pictures below were gathered. On the occasion of a four-day festival, Hometown Days 1960, the town of Geradstetten published a handsome 100 page booklet which includes a charming article by its school Headmaster Julius Seibold. For the sake of family members, other descendants of immigrants from Geradstetten, and any interested parties, we have translated this article into English. We have tried as best we can to remain true to the original text (and hope that those better versed in German can give us their advice for changes and improvements). Please click on the bold-faced title below for this article, as well as a short biography of Julius Seibold:

"Aus der Geschichte des Dorfes Geradstetten" [From the History of Geradstetten] by Oberlehrer Julius Seibold from the booklet "Heimattage Geradstetten 1960" [Hometown Days Geradstetten 1960]


Shown to the left is the coat of arms of Geradstetten.  The symbol appeared on boundary stones between different plots of land.  Its origin is obscure, but the "M" is thought by some to refer to an early parish of Winterbach (a neighboring town), St. Michael, predating the current St. Konrad, founded in the 1400's.  The symbol with the town colors is repeated on the first thumbnail below, the cover of of a brochure entitled "Heimattage Geradstetten 1960, kindly lent to me by Margaret Vesper, a friend of the family.  These pictures show the Geradstetten Lutheran Church, St. Konrad, some of the older houses, and a vineyard of the traditional type, prior to the modernization of the later 1960s. 


 Please click on each of the "thumbnail" pictures below for a full page version.  Use your "back" arrow to return to this page.


1. Brochure Cover    2. and 3.  Konrad Kirche    4. Schaal Haus    5. Schmaltzgasse    6. Wirthaus    7. Vineyards     8. Town council, 1960.  The proud figure on the bottom right is my Uncle, Karl Siegle.






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