The first time I became immerged in the knowledge of my dad’s side of the family was the spring break of my freshmen year. My family and I went to the Rio Grande Valley to visit some of my grandpa’s brothers but while we were there I got to experience some pretty neat stuff. First of all I saw the hospital where my dad was born (it isn’t a hospital anymore), the house of my great grandparents and the graveyard of my great grandparents. This trend of getting to know my dad’s dad side of the family continued throughout the next year when my family (the same family that went to the Rio Grande Valley together) and I drove to South Dakota which is where my great grandparent’s parents settled when they moved from Pennsylvania. On this trip I was able to see where my grandpa’s family lived before they migrated to Texas.
The farthest back my grandpa (Glen Rydl) can identify accurate detailed facts about our family is from the generation of his great grandparents (my great-great-great grandparents). His great grandfather, George Albert Fenstermacher, was born in Catawissa, Pennsylvania and ended up dying in Huron, South Dakota. He was a dedicated farmer. However, George is not the farthest back I was able to research. On ancestory.com, I was able to date all the way back to 1650 when Hans Conrad Fenstermacher was born in HIllscheidt, Rhenish Bavaria, Germany. Although I don’t know much about him other than he married Johanneten Hoffner on November 6, 1678 in Thalfang, Bavaria and died in 1678 at Rhein-Pfalz, Germany. He had one son, Matthias Fenstermacher who was born on September 24, 1678 in Rhenish Bavaria, Germany. Matthias was the first of the Fentermachers to migrate to America where he settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738 with his wife, Anna, and sons, William and Jacob on the ship “Glasgow.” I also found out Fenstermacher means “windowmaker” in German. This gives me a better idea of what the first Fenstermacher’s did for a living.