Our Berger family history goes back to Meinrad Berger. His father's birth record in the microfilmed Church records gives us the name of his grandfather.
Meinrad's family lived in Atzenbach (a small village about 2 kilometers north of Zell) and in Zell (a small town about 10 miles north of Wehr) in Baden, in Germany about 25 miles from Basel, Switzerland.
Meinrad's father's name was also Meinrad. He was born Meinradus, 2/24/1780. On 6/9/1806 Meinradus (Sr.) married Magdalena Frauschle. Meinradus (Sr.) and Magdalena had 4 children. Their first child was a son they named Meinradus, was born 7/6/1807, who only lived about 7 months. He died 2/24/1808.
Our Meinrad was born later that year. Our family records show his birth as 11/24/1808, however the microfilm records from the church show his birth date as 12/16/1808 and baptism on 12/17. Meinrad had a younger sister named Josepha born 1/21/1811 and a younger brother named Karl born 1/29/1814.
When Meinrad was out of school and in his late teens he became a dyer by trade. He then moved to Wehr to work in a big textile mill owned by by Johann Bruegger.
Meinrad learned quickly. He was quite capable, had many talents, and was a good manager. Meinrad became foreman of the factory.
Johann Bruegger, the owner of the mill, died on September 5th, 1834. After Mr. Bruegger died Meinrad continued as foreman and ran the mill for Mr. Bruegger's wife Katharina Trefzger Bruegger. In this capacity evidently Meinrad and Katharina became very close.
Meinrad asked Katharina to marry him, Katharina said "Yes", and they were married. Meinrad took Katharina and her 3 small daughters into his home and raised the girls as his own.
On 10/18/1837 Meinrad and Katharina had their first child Johann Berger. Johann was baptized in the Catholic Church in Wehr the following day. They had a second son Leander who was born 2/22/1844.
Meinrad's father Meinradus (Sr.) died at 8pm the day after Christmas in 1844 when he was almost 64 years old. He was buried at 9am on the 29th of December. Meinrad's mother Maria Magdalena died on August 18, 1852, when she was 74 years old.
In the early 1850s Meinrad and Katharina sold the textile mill for $20,000.00. On May 7th, 1853 Meinrad picked up his and his family's passport to leave Wehr. Meinrad, Katharina and their family emmigrated to the USA. They settled in Cincinnati, OH. In Cincinnati, with his son John, Meinrad founded a cigar factory. The factory was on the corner of 6th and Vine in the Mechanics Institute.
Meinrad and his family lived on Richmond street until one year before he died. Meinrad had moved to Berger Hill to live with his son John. Meinrad was an organist at St. Peter's church on Lick Run just east of Wyoming Ave.
Meinrad's funeral was at St. Bonaventura church on April 18,1882. He is buried in St. John's Cemetary in St. Bernard, Ohio.
For more Berger history see the links to John Berger, Mary Metz Berger and Berger Hill.
Fred Berger has written an excellent book 'Stories from The Berger History'.
For information about Berger beginnings in Germany see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.13".