New, 24 May 2011:  We’ve recently heard from William McClafferty, who while looking for information on his great-great-grandfather William Befuhs stumbled upon the 1857 letter on our web site, the one to William Hauch from his foster mother, Katharina Riede.  William has provided new and interesting information concerning Carl Befuhs, mentioned in the letter, whose wife was another Katherina Riede!

William Befuhs, cabinet maker, son of Carl Befuhs, master carpenter, and Katharina (nee Riede), was born in 1843 in Oppau, and ran away to America in 1860 at age 17.  He enlisted in the Union Army the next year, in Massachusetts.  William mentioned all this in a deposition he submitted when applying for a Civil War invalid pension in 1906.  Part of it was in a transcription of his birth certificate, which had been signed by Valentin Riede, Mayor of Oppau in 1843.  Carl Befuhs was 33 in 1843, and wife Katharina was 31.  Could this Carl Befuhs have been “Cabinetmaker Carl Befuhs” mentioned in the 1857 letter, who “wrote from America and says that this coming spring he will return to Germany”?  Anyways, Carl Befuhs, master carpenter, would have been born around 1810, and was thus about thirteen years older than our William Hauch.  So William Hauch could not have been his apprentice.  Who was Katherina Riede, Carl’s wife, born around 1812?  Surely she must have been related to Katharina Riede, William Hauch’s foster mother and author of the 1857 letter (who we believe was Katherina (Gönnheimer) Riede, wife of Georg Wilhelm Riede, and born about 1782).  But how was she related?  Daughter?  Niece?  Valentin Riede, Mayor of Oppau in 1843, surely must have been Valentin Riede, son of Georg Wilhelm Riede, Mayor in 1823, when William Hauch was born.  (This Valetin Riede is mentioned in footnote 4 in our article William Hauch’s origins and ancestry.)  William McClafferty is looking into some of these new questions and will keep us posted.
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