Welcome to the von Reyn website!

This website has several purposes. One is to construct the family history and develop its genealogy. Your contributions to this effort are most welcome and it is hoped you enjoy what is available thus far.

This website will also serve to reflect some of the interests of the webmaster, Arthur P. von Reyn.

Mr. von Reyn may be contacted at artz@vonreyn.com. In order to prevent web crawlers from harvesting e-mail addresses on this website for spam, please remove the "z" inserted before the "@" [or one "z" in the event of multiple "z"s] in any e-mail address before attempting contact.


The connection of those in America who have the surname "von Reyn" to any relations in the past who went by that name in Germany or elsewhere in Europe has yet to be established. By all usual naming conventions, anyone in America going by "von Reyn" in America should actually be a "Striebeck," as all the von Reyns in America are descendants of German emigrant Carl [Charles] Augustus Striebeck who came to the United States in 1872.

"von Reyn" is likely the German version of the Dutch "van Reyn." Limited research indicates some "von Reyns" appear to have lived in the southwestern area of present day Germany, close to present day Netherlands, and there are records of the name back to the mid-1500s. Much more research is required to construct a family tree and any possible connections with the Dutch "van Reyn" or maybe "van Reijn." While research easily turns up "van Reyns" and "van Reijns" in the low countries of northern Europe today, so far there is no evidence today of any "Reyns" now living in Germany [after World War I, official use of noble titles like "von", "graf" etc. in Germany and Austria was abolished].

It is known that the "von Reyn" name has been used in the past in Germany. The first mention of the name "von Reyn" in some connection to America is the result of Palentine Emigration from Germany in the second decade of 1700, the first large emigration of Germans to America. This exodus was prompted by the devastation of the Palentine and surrounding areas of southwest Germany due to the 30 Years War [1618-1648] and subsequent incursions by the French, the cruel winter of 1708-09, religious quarrels, onerous taxes, abundant advertising of opportunities in the New World by entrepreneurs, cooperation of the British government and a desire for adventure. Kristiaen von Reyn, his wife, and a child are listed as among 15,000 impoverished Germans who arrived in England in the summer of 1709 under false impression that Queen Ann would pay their passage to America. In the end, most were encamped around London and were dispersed the following summer; the majority wound up back on the continent, but a few made it to Ireland, some others to North Carolina and around 3,000 to New York. Apparently, Kristiaen von Reyn and his family never arrived in America.

Although it was first believed that the "von Reyn" connection was due to Carl August Striebeck's last marriage, to Sophie Anna Auguste Schenitzky in 1905, public and other records now indicate otherwise. Up to the time of Carl's death in 1905, the double name "Striebeck-von Reyn" was occasionally used instead of just "Striebeck" alone. The latest research indicates that Carl's great grandmother had that surname before her marriage.

January 14, 2019

The first clear example found so far of the use of the "von Reyn" name in America is on an 1884 birth certificate for daughter Constantine, the second living child from the marriage of Carl to Marghareth Maria. The earlier 1878 birth certificate for son Fredick and 1880 birth certificate for daughter Constanze list only the "Striebeck" name.

Another example is when Charles and Sophie returned to Germany, for reasons not clear [perhaps to introduce themselves to her relatives], in February of 1896. She returned to America in 1898 with a son born a year and a half earlier. She is shown as aboard the Hamburg-American Line ship Pennsylvania that departed Hamburg for New York City on November 29, 1898. Her name appears on the passenger log as Sophie Striebeck von Reyn, and she is erroneously listed as "married;" the name of a son born in Germany on the line below her log entry is a Germanized "Eberhard" [not the Anglicised "Everhard" that appears on the child's 1896 birth certificate].

Despite the previous examples, most often only "Striebeck" is used for the last name. A passport application by Charles Striebeck in 1896 while the family was in Germany provides no evidence Charles was using a double surname. Likewise, the 1900 U.S. census indicates the family name is “Striebeck," with no mention of “von Reyn.”

. The occasional use of "von Reyn" from the maternal side of the family was apparently an attempt to connect to a noble past by Carl. It is evident that upon the death of Charles in 1905, Sophie used "von Reyn" as part of the surname much more frequently, at times dropping the Striebeck altogether. A real estate transaction report in the February 10, 1915, New York Times has von Reyn Striebeck; in the 1920 U.S. Census her last name is erroneously recorded as von Meyer or maybe von Meyn; In the 1920-21 Manhatten city directory, it's von Reyn-Striebeck; a real estate transaction report in the April 3, 1930, New York Times has von Reyn Striebeck; in the 1940 U.S. Census, it's back to von Reyn.

Her son Everhard Carl Auugust Striebeck at some point adopted von Reyn as his surname and used Striebeck as a middle name; however, the 1925 New York census records indicate his middle initial was "H" with no evidence of Striebeck. It's apparent that inconsistency in surname usage was a von Reyn trait during their first four or five decades in America!

Much of the genealogical related information on this website is the result of the research by Patricia B. von Reyn and John M. von Reyn, who made trips to Germany in 2015 and 2018, visting towns and churches where records are kept. They may be contacted as follows:
John von Reyn: jvonreynz@gmail.com, (571) 345-5760
Patty von Reyn: PBVONRz@gmail.com, (571) 345-5761


  • "von," which means "from" in the German lanquage, most often indicated a noble past. With the abolishment of the aristocracy in Germany and Austria after World War I, use of "von" in a surname was officially banned in Austria, while in Germany it was no longer accorded its former status; for example, a "von Wiesel" would no longer be listed in the "v" section of a phone book, rather the "w" section.
  • It was not uncommon for upper class Germans to use multiple surnames to preserve their heritage, sometime combining three or more. Often these combination names were used with hyphens, such as Mainz-Beckner-Rechner, but not always. (A German law passed in 1993 now requires the use of a hyphen in a multiple last name and limits the number to two.)
  • A "y" is seldom used in the German language today, mostly in loanwords from foreign languages, particularly Greek. A throwback to an earlier era, it occasionlly appears in other situations, usually German surnames. The German name for Bavaria includes a "y"—Bayern.