Volume 1 Number 1 Spring 1992
A Newsletter Of Rauschkolb Family History
Published by Mark Richard Rauschkolb Box 171 Asbury, NJ 08802
Who am I?
My name is Mark Richard Rauschkolb. I am researching my family history, and your family history. When I started, I knew very little about my ancestors, so I decided to research every Rauschkolb that I could find. It is a relatively rare name, so I thought that we must all be related somewhere back in history. I had hoped that this connection would be a common ancestor (or family), who came to `The New World'. Recent discoveries made me realize that, if we do all share a common ancestor, that connection is back in Germany. I am still going to work on every line that I can find in America, there are still very few of them.
The First In America
I recently discovered the first Rauschkolb to come to America. On October 3, 1764 a Johan Philip Rauschkolb arrived in Philadelphia, PA on a ship named The King of Prussia, from London. On January 28, 1778 he took the oath of allegiance (to Pennsylvania) and became a soldier in the colonial militia. He is listed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, 6th Company in Philadelphia County, PA.
I also discovered a baptismal record for Johan Philip, born November 14, 1778 and baptized June 1779 in upper Paxtang Township, Dauphin County, PA. His parents are listed as Philip and Maria Anna. (It was quite common for a person to use their middle name in those days, which can make things quite difficult when researching. The father Philip, is probably Johan Philip.)
The earliest record that I had before these discoveries was the baptism of Jacob which took place in 1804 in Washington Township, Northumberland County, PA. Again, the parents are Philip and Maria. The next group of records that I have are 1850 census listings. There is a John listed in Northampton Township, Lehigh County, PA. There is another listing in Bethlehem Borough, Northampton County, PA, but there is no first name listed.
Next Stop: Ohio?
The next dated evidence I have is the marriage of Frederick and Anna Maria from November 1854, in Franklin, Ohio. I also found a marriage in Coshocton, Ohio, in May 1885, for Charles and Louise.
I have information on another family line that `starts' in Ohio (I cannot trace it back to when they arrived in Ohio, and also do not know where they came from before then). This line has been researched previously, and they believe that their family ties go back to Darmstadt, Germany. (I believe that my family line goes back to Darmstadt also, so I am pretty sure that this line is connected with mine).
On to Illinois
I have found census records for a Lewis in St. Clair County, IL in 1840. I have also found some of his descendants. This line was traced by a previous researcher, but for only a few generations. I believe that this previous research may contain a few errors.
I have also found two records from 1850. One is a Death record for Peter, who died of cholera at age 31, in St. Clair County. The other record is for Margaret (which means her husband was deceased) in Belleville, St. Clair County.
New York: Where My Line Begins
I recently found my GGG-Grandfather, Peter listed in the 1880 Census of New York. He is listed with his son John, and John's family. Peter, John and John's wife, Eleanore, were all born in Darmstadt, Germany. I now know the range of years that they must have arrived in America. (sometime between John's birthdate, 1845 and 1872, when his first child was born in New York).
Why a Newsletter?
When a neighbor of mine heard that I was doing family research, he told me about being contacted by someone researching his family name. He received a letter requesting information on himself and his family, which he threw away without replying. Now he wishes that he had replied -- both to share what he knows and to find out more.
I decided that a newsletter would "catch" people like him, who did not respond but later wished that they had. A newsletter might also come up in conversation with other family members, and I might get a reply from someone who I did not send one to. I also wanted a way to keep in touch with people who have sent in information.
Men vs Women
Most women lose the family name, making it hard for someone like me to contact them. Unfortunately, they are the best sources of information. Women usually know (or remember) more family history than men. More women write letters than men, and are therefore easier to get the information from. Please send me names and addresses of your daughters and sisters (and other women who no longer have the family name) or ask them to write to me.
Some of you have previously been contacted by me. Some of you responded and sent me information about your family. Many of you did not. For those of you who did, Thank You. For those of you who did not, please do.
But, I don't know ANYTHING!
I have heard many people say that they don't know anything about their family history (I was one of those people a year ago). But everybody does know something. We all know when we were born, most know where. Most people know the names and birthdays (if not actual birthdate) of their siblings, parents and grandparents. If this is all you know, write it down and send it to me. If you know more, send more. If you have certificates or papers that prove any of it, I would appreciate copies.
What Will Happen to the Information?
My immediate plans are to assemble the information into a booklet or pamphlet that I will send to family members. I will also send one to the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) who have the largest collection of genealogical materials in the world. This will make it easier for our grandchildren when they start to wonder about their ancestors. (This is one of the reasons I want to know about you and your children, not just your ancestors) For those of you concerned about giving information about yourself and your children, the Mormons do have a policy of not giving out information about people who are still living.
If I find out that we had some particularly interesting ancestors, or get a great deal of detailed information about them, it may end up as a book.
At some time in their lives most people have wondered about their ancestors. Who they were, where they came from, what did they do, etc. I have decided to do the research required to find out. There have been at least 3 previous attempts (that I know of). If you have a copy of something like this, I would like to see it. I have been sent a copy of one that only goes back 4 generation. It does not go back as far as Germany, but it still contains a great deal of information.
My grandmother, Anna, is the one who inspired me to begin. She had tried to find information about our ancestors, but was unable to learn much. She died recently, and took what she knew with her -- we had never gotten around to writing down what she knew -- we could always do that later.
The fact that much of what she knew is gone forever made me decide to start my research, so that less information would be lost. When I started, I knew very little. I knew my grandfather's first name (John) and birthdate, but had a number of certificates that all contain different middle names. I had almost no information about his parents -- just a family rumor that his father's name was also John, but nobody was sure.
Meaning of the Name?
There are many different definitions that I have heard. Some depended on the fact that the name may have been longer in the past.
The best possibility comes from a book of names that says that Kolb means a descendant of Kolb, and Rausch means one who dwells near rushes (a type of water plant), so Rauschkolb would mean a descendant of Kolb who lives near water.
My personal favorite comes from the dictionary: Rausch means Drunken, Kolben means Mace or Club (a type of weapon) so Rauschkolben would mean a drunken person with a mace.
A Plea for Help
For some of you, I have enclosed a `branch' of a family tree. I hope it is the correct branch for your family. If it is, please look at it, make any corrections, and send it back to me. If it is not your branch, please draw your family tree and send it to me. For those of you who received no chart, that means that I have not determined who you are, which line you are connected with. Please send back the completed form so I can add you in your correct place.
If you have too much information, or don't know how to organize it, or do not know if it is important, send it anyway. I'll figure it all out. Send copies. Send originals (I'll copy them and send them back) Give me a call, maybe I can come and visit and help you sort through things. ( I have been known to take 24 hour drives for less important reasons)
If you are not interested, or are too busy, please pass the form on to a family member who will reply.