Meeting our long-lost Ringel cousins

I googled "Kissler in New Jersey" and immediately discovered Kissler & Co., a plumbing supply store in Carlstadt, N.J., with a Barry Kissler and Glenn Kissler as the top executives. Bingo! These brothers had to be the grandsons of Bella Giesskann, nee Ringel. They would be my third cousins. 

The Kissler & Co. web site offered a contact page, where I could send in a message. I wrote:

Hi Barry and Glenn, Unless my sleuthing is wrong, your maternal grandmother was Bella Ringel, Born in Scotland of parents previously from Hamburg. Her father was Jacob Schia Ringel, who was born in Rzeszow, Austria. Jacob’s older brother was Schia Ringel, Born in Rzeszow. Schia relocated to Berlin when Jacob went to Hamburg. schia’s son Hermann Ringel was a businessman in Berlin until his death by natural causes in 1938. He was my grandfather. His wife Elly and my mother Helga Ringel fled Berlin in September 1938 and made their way to New York in 1941. So that makes the two of you my third cousins. Let me know if I am right and if I can tell you any more. — Dan Ruby, 66, in Oakland, Calif.

Barry replied the next day. He thought my information sounded correct, but he had sent my info on to his sister, Sharon Goldstein, whom he thought would know more. Sharon then called her second cousin Madalyn Kates, nee Brody, on Long Island. They agreed I had identified their two grandmothers correctly, but that I hadn't mentioned the third sister, Betty, whom Madalyn remembers meeting as a child. They vaguely knew about Scotland, but had no idea about Hamburg or Rzeszow or any other Ringel family members in Germany. A few days later, I connected with Madalyn's 36-year-old daughter Dani Kates, who was the one who had posted the helpful tree on Ancestry. 

Dani wrote to me in email:

When my grandpa passed away (Morton Brody) I was helping my mom go through the house, and in my grandmas things I found a journal. It was Leahs or Bella's I cant believe I dont remember whose, but I think Leah since that was my great grandma. It was her journal while they were on the journey from Glasgow to Montreal. It has dates and everything. I gave it to my mom and it is packed away somewhere with their things so we will have to look for it again. Finding that journal was what first sparked my interest in learning about our past. 

A few months later, we Rubys were all going to be in New Jersey for a wedding. We hoped that we might arrange a meeting with some of the Kissler family. Barry was interested and tried to make it happen, but it turned out our schedule was too rushed. and it didn't come off. I know that he and his family members appreciated learning more about their Ringel family history from me. I regret I didn't post about thiis at the time, but I got very busy with my book project after that New Jersey trip and I stopped blogging altogether until restarting last week.

I'll look forward to hopefully meeting some of the Kissler and Kates family members on a future trip to New York, whenever that becomes possible again. 

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