01 March 2011

Milling in the Rhine Valley

I know that my great great grandfather Adam Beringer was born in 1856 in Rauenthal, in the Rhine Valley, Germany. I know his brother Valentine (known as John Valentine here in Australia) was born in 1858 in Wiesbaden. They are approximately 15km apart (very approximate, allowing for the fact that Wiesbaden would most likely have been much smaller then).

I also know that their father, Valentin Beringer, was a miller. Where did he work? There are mills in the Rhine area (Rheingau), but none currently exist in Rauenthal. The closest mills are in Walluf, a town on the Rhine, and they are watermills. One of these mills was owned by a Nikolaus Behringer (note different spelling of surname) but had been sold by 1818, so even if there was a family connection I can't assume Valentin worked there.

The only mills I have found information for in the Rheingau were watermills. As there is no water flowing through Rauenthal I have to assume that either Valentin worked in a different type of mill, perhaps either a windmill or horsemill, or else he travelled to a different town to work. And I haven't found any reference to mills other than watermills in the Rheingau. There is a possibility that there was a mill of some type in Rauenthal though as I have found reference to something called "Lochmühle bei Rauenthal". Mühle is the German word for mill, and although I cannot find a translation for Lochmühle perhaps this refers to some type of mill at (bei) Rauenthal.

Does anyone know any experts in the milling industry in the Rhine Valley in the early 19th Century?

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