In 1987, Max Raithel, a descendant of many generations who lived at Schwingen, Stobersreuth, West German, indicated that his ancestors received a plaque from Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Behemia and Hungary, who sought to end the great schism which split the Roman Catholic Church. King Sigismund lived from 1368 to 1437. Max owed and resided at the home site, although the buildings have been burned and rebuilt repeatedly during the many wars,. There were many large families, generation after generation, and as each group matured, most of them left or were crowded out to seek their own opportunities elsewhere. In 1987, the ancestral estate had three houses, several barns, with paved roads and yeards of blended stones, creating an impressive medieval perspective. According to German archives, the Raithel name developed gradually through the middle ages. It is found as Raitell in 1567, Reitel in 1610, Reitl and Radell in 1618, Rathel in 1639, REytel in 1642, and Raithel in 1714. These names are picked from Church records showing the contributions or taxes of the Raithels and their "subjects" in florenes, guilders, and thalers. The marital records show Raithels (bride or groom) married into families named Greim, Ritter, Fischer, Trampler, Rauber, Neupert, Seiler, Kiessling, Bugrucker, and Sack, from 1580 to 1783. In 1854, Max's ancestors left their farm near Selb in the Stobersreuth area, journeying to Hoff where they stayed overnight, and onward to Bremen where they boarded the sailing ship Hermine, leaving July 12, 1854. After 56 days on board, they arrived in the New York Port on June 28, 1854, from whence they proceeded on their intended route to a relative, John Ruckdeschel, at Jefferson WI. Among the 190 passenger list members were John Raithel age 51, Anna Dorothea Raithel age 43, Johannes Raithel age 28, George Raithel ae 24, Jacob Rathel age 13, Catherine Raithel age 19, Elizabeth Ruckdeschel age 42, and Eva Margaretha Ruckdeschel age 19. Another son, Johann Wolfgang, b Feb 13, 1833, had come to the U.S. earlier.
Johannes and Catherine have not been found in Jefferson records - Johannes was born before marriage of John and Anna and may have married Catherine, who was a Raithel second cousin to George, Jacob and Johann Wolfgang. In this period many Jefferson German immigrants were toing to Missouri to another German settlement where there are now many Raithels, and perhaps Johannes and Catherine did as well. The John Ruckdeschels, their original hosts, later moved to Iowa. The present Raithel name can be traced into the 1400's. The spelling of the name has changed over the centuries until the present day spelling of Raithel.
Raithel Name Meaning - diminutive of Raith 3.topographic name for someone living within the extent of a farm, die Hofreite.nickname for a rough individual, from Middle High German reitel ‘pole’, ‘cudgel’.