Margarette and Benedict Reiner Wedding PictureFanny's father Benedict Reiner is said to have run away from the seminary to Munich where he became a contractor but it turns out he was never at the seminary (see below**) but rather in prison!

The family story is that he got the daughter of an Innkeeper pregnant and did not want to marry her. He would have been welcomed to that family but did not want to be an innkeeper. The son he had with her (perhaps called Xavier?) is said to have visited Munich later and was considered family. We have since found our German relatives descended from this son Franz Xaver Löffler, whose family did in fact own an Inn.

The records show Benedict as a builder, a "maurer." He liked to retire to his study and read Latin and Greek after dinner according to his grandaughters.

He met his wife Margarette Wittman, Retta, on a double date when he was dating the downstairs maid at the establishment where Retta was the cook. He asked the maid to provide a date for his friend for the fasching ball they were going to. That date was Retta and soon after, Benedict started to court her instead. Their wedding picture is to the left.

Family rumor is that he was the son of the priest back in Griesbach where his mother was the heiress to a horse farm. But his birth record shows his father as an itinerant farm laborer who was not married to his mother and she actually lived in Malching (a place near Bad Griesbach, the administrative center, in Passau)

**the truth about the seminary: 

The Benedikt Reiner whom you have been looking for was never in a Youth or Priests' course of study in the diocese of Passau.  The relevant enrollment rosters do not list his name.   However, in our collection I have found the following title on records in the file  “APB Parish Archive, Wuerding,” with the signature “37”:“APB Parish Archive, Wuerding, 37. Testimonials Regarding Religion and Morality, e.g. Reports from Work Houses, Prisons, and Halfway Houses for Recently Released Prisoners, Who Had Residence Permits for the Parish from 1863 to 1897."On page 67 in that record there is a Certificate of Release from Lauren Prison dated October 29, 1883 for a Benedikt Reiner of Safferstetten:

“Benedikt Reiner, a farm laborer from Safferstetten, is careless and rash, has a mid-level education, and will be on probation for quite some time.”
It appears that the identity of the institution with which Benedikt was affiliated has changed over time because of oral transmission! (A farm laborer with a mid-level education can not possibly of attended Seminary for the Priesthood, which is why we don’t find him there.) A look at the matriculation records is not possible because they are sealed by privacy regulations.   This is the information we can give you about your ancestor.

translated from

Der von Ihnen gesuchte Benedikt Reiner war nie in einem Knaben- oder Priesterseminar der Diözese Passau; unsere einschlägigen Verzeichnisse nennen den Namen nicht. Wohl aber finde ich in unserem Bestand „ABP, Pfarrarchiv Würding“ einen Akt mit der Signatur „37“ und folgendem Aktentitel:
ABP, Pfarrarchiv Würding, 37: Religions- und Sittenzeugnisse bzw. Berichte über aus Arbeitshäusern, Gefangenenanstalten, Zuchthäusern zu entlassende Sträflinge, die in der Pfarrei Heimatrecht besitzen. 1863-1897.
Darin findet sich u. a. (p. 67) das Entlassungszeugnis aus der Strafanstalt Laufen vom 29.10.1883 für Reiner Benedikt, Safferstetten.
Dort heißt es: „Reiner Benedikt, lediger Dienstknecht Safferstetten, ist leichtsinnig und unüberlegt, besitzt mittelmäßige Schulbildung und wird für einige Zeit gewarnt sein.“.

Die „besuchte“ „Anstalt“ hat sich da wohl im Lauf der Zeit in der mündlichen Überlieferung etwas „verändert“.

Ein „Dienstknecht“ „mittelmäßiger Schulbildung“ kann kein Priesterseminar besucht haben (Weshalb wir ihn auch dort nicht finden).
Einblick in aus Datenschutzgründen gesperrten Matrikeln ist nicht möglich; zu Ihren Vorfahren können wir Ihnen Auskunft erteilen.

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