Traveling from Germany with the Raub & Rinehart Families

Many of you know that I have started a couple of family history books - one for the Curtis Family and one for the Brooks Family.  Everyone donated a fixed amount of $$$ and I sent out their notebooks a month or so ago.  The plan is to send them new pages as I complete a section that they can add to their book. So far, it is working out OK.  

I am now on our “second generation” in the Curtis line - Jesse Curtis (who married Nancy Curtis, daughter of Henry) is the first generation.  We have no family records for Jesse & Henry and, believe me, we have looked for many, many years to find them.  One day I hope to be the one who finally breaks down this brick wall.   We do have records for Jesse’s children so that is a plus.

Jesse’s son was our Great-Great-Grandfather, Stephen Curtis, who married Josinah Rinehart.  Josinah’s mother was a Raub.  Now - let the games begin!

First of all, you’ve got to love the German Churches.  They kept lots and LOTS of records both in the colonies and in Germay.  So I am able to do quite a bit of tracing quite a ways back (1600’s and more). is a great site to find these German records.  And there are VOLUMES of “Pennsylvania German Pioneers” and “Pennsylvania Church Records.”  So you think this would be a piece of cake to find and verify records, right?  NOT!

First of all, let’s look at the last names:

Raub, Rabb, Rapp, Raup, Rauch, Rope, Roope                                   Reinhard, Reinhardt, Reinhart, Rinehart, Rinehard, Reinharth

Associated Families:  Schoeffel, Schoffell, Schofel,  Zimmerman (smile), Herman, Hermann, Hurmin, Hurman, Rees, Reese, Reece

Then the names of the children (OK - I copied this from someone else):

"In some German areas you will find that all of the sons had the same first name, frequently Johann, and all of the daughters also, often Anna or Maria. You might find a family with 1) Johann Georg, Johann Jacob and Johann Michael and 2) Maria Barbara, Maria Magdelena, Anna Maria, and Anna Elizabeth. People usually went by their second name. However, when an official record was involved they might revert to their full name. “Hans” is a nickname for Johann so there might also be records for Hans Michael or Hans Jacob. Of course, he might also just be John (the original Johann given to the whole family) so it is hard to tell which son it could be. Occasionally, names would be reversed so that Michael George became George Michael, probably because George was the name he went by and Michael was only secondary.

Lots of siblings & cousins named George, John, Peter, Jacob, Michael, Maria, Barbara, Magdelena, Margaretha, Andreas, Sarah…all with first names of John/Johann and Maria/Anna.  My favorite is the one who is just named “John” or “Maria.”   What do I do with that?!?!

I feel excited when I find a batismal record for Maria Barbara whose sponsors were George and Maria; but when every generation has at LEAST two couples named George & Maria…were the sponsors grandparents?  Aunt & Uncle?  Who knows!?   Dates then become everything and the guessing can commence!

One interesting thing is to see, as the generations live on in America, the names starting moving toward Susannah, Carl, Mary (!), and others.

And I thought the Curry family was madness...