Research into the family name of REICHARDT has shown that it can be traced back to Switzerland. Celts of this area were named Helvetians by the Romans who conquered this area. Between the year 300 and 500, Alemannen tribes from the north conquered the northern and eastern parts of Switzerland. The south was ruled by the Burgundians who settled in France. In the year 600 the Franks took control of Switzerland and most of this region then belonged to the Duchy of Swabia. Over the years the name changed - there have been many variations of this name which include REICH, REICHE, REICHER, REICK, REICKE, REICKER, REICHERS, RYKE, RYCKE and REICHEL. The most prominent branch of this family was the REICHENSTEIN who ruled the city Basel early in the Middle Ages. Rudolph Reich von REICHENSTEIN was the Abbot of Dissentis in l277, and Petrus Reich von REICHENSTEIN became Bishop of Basel in l286. The family's castle near Helesheim was in ruins as early as l356. Numbers of people from Switzerland emigrated from their homeland to seek their fortunes in other nations of Europe or in the New World. In the United States they populated the states of Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois, Texas and California. One of the early settlers was a Thomas REICH who sailed to New York in l7l0. Another settler was Gottfried REICH who sailed to Philadelphia in l840. Later bearers of the name RIKER achieved prominence through contributions to society. Amongst these were WILLI REICH (l898-l980) who was an Austrian musicologist and critic. Steve REICH (b.l936) was an American composer who was influenced by African and Asian music. John Theodor REICH (b.l906) was the producer of Reinhardt Theaters in Vienna (l932-38) then producer of the Salzburg Festival and then Head of Production of the T.V.Workshop of New York. He was awarded the Chevalier, Ordre des Arts et Lettres in l964.
The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from what line each is descended.
Linden Hall Seminary was founded in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the year 1794. The descriptive account of the Hall is as follows:- 'This institution for the education of young ladies, came into existence at the request of parents living in Pennsylvania and Maryland, who desired to have their daughters instructed in the elements of polite education, while their physical and religious well-being should at the same time be specially considered and fostered'. One of the Principals of Linden Hall Seminary include one William C. REICHEL who presided from 1862-1868.
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