I sent you other data via your e-mail but thought I'd post the Sitler Story to the Board in case anyone else is interested.
Here are the legends behind the Sitlers. I have no doubt that they are really true although there are those that pooh-pooh the whole thing, but there is just too much data to back such a wild story(s) up. All my dates are "about", not because I don't have the exact dates, in most cases, but because it is such a hassel to keep flipping back and forth from my family history program.
OK, here goes, as I remember;
From about 1651 to 1747, there existed a man by the name of The Baron Mathias Von Sitler in Germany, then Prussia. He had 2 sons, Mathias and Dietrich. There is some speculation that he had more, but those 2 are the main concerns. Your, my and Brads line descend from the son, Mathias line.
The Baron was a very, very devote Roman Catholic. Mathias and Dietrich were converted to Lutherens, protestants or some such thing and Dad went ballistic and threw them out. He gave Mathias and Dietrich a bunch of
money and said never darken my door again.
Mathias and Dietrich left Germany about 1740 to come to America to start a new life. On the trip over, during a storm, Dietrich apparently had an accident, broke his leg, and while unconscious, was robbed by his shipmates. He was nursed back to health by his wife. On arrival in America,
he and Mathias settled in various places in Pa., Mathias, by far, the wealtier of the two, eventually went from Pa to Baltimore Md where he finally died in 1787, very wealthy, owned various properties in Baltimore, 6000 acres of land in Virginia(received from George Washington) and apparently at the time of his death had leased the City of Baltimore lots of land on a 99 year lease.
The Baron, oh so wealthy, was so furious with the boys over the religion thing that when he died, about 1747, he had his whole estate invested in government bonds, not to be converted for 100 years, and then to be destributed among his descendants, as a way of keeping Mathias and Dietrich from getting any.
About 1850, after the government bonds matured, a representitive from Germany was sent to America to find his descendants and settle the estate. Apparently, after much infighting, back stabbing and general pain in the you know what, the representitive threw up his hands in disgust and went back to Germany. In effect saying, "If you guys ever get it together, let us know and we'll give you the 65,000,000.00".
In comes story 2: about 1890, around 100 years after the death of Mathias Sitler of Baltimore, His descendants formed the "Sitler German Society" with two goals in mind. First to get a settlement from the city of Baltimore for the 99 year ground leases that Mathias had let out to the City and
second, when they had that money to use it to pursue the Baron fortune.
They apparently had some meetings over the years, but for what ever reasons just could never get it all together.
Around 1900, a second society was formed, this one called the "Dietrich Sitler German Society", the Sitler German Society then became known as the "Mathias Sitler German Society". Their goal was the pursuit of the Baron's
fortune only, since they were not the descendants of Mathias. Confused yet?
The DSGS joined up with the MSGS to pursue the fortune. Keep in mind that the MSGS was the wealthy side of the family(probably since Dietrich had been "rolled" at sea, so had a tendancy to be, shall we say, a little more upity.
Meetings were held, much bickering occurred and in a nutshell, everything fell apart. It is my understanding that the Baron's fortune never was distributed and most probably lost to the powers that be when war broke out over there. As far as the ground leases in Baltimore, again, my
guess would be that nothing ever happened. Most probably because of the same problems of getting all the descendants together to settle it.
Now, this whole thing could be a pipe dream, but there does appear to be quite a bit of documentation. I sent Brad a copy of "Proceedings of meeting of the Dietrich Sitler German Society held at Lockport, n.y., August 21st and 22nd, 1901" which covers a lot about both Societies and the history of the whole ordeal and he sent me a copy of a letter written Jan 26 1903 by William J. Sitler, President of the MSGS, which pretty much sums up all the bickering and infighting. If you would like to get involved, let me know and I'll send you copies.
It sometimes is really nice to come across things like this, it makes a family history so much more interesting. Hey, who knows, maybe we're millionaires, course by now, with all the descendants it's probably more like $1.98 aires