The Johann Jacob Rupp Family History Spans Two Continents

Back in the 1990’s my 4th cousin twice removed (4C2R) Theron Arvel RUPE consulted the microfilm of the Family History Library for the Protestant church records before 1752 for the little town of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg is the longest name of any commune in the Bas-Rhin department. It should always be referred to in it’s entirety [previous posts have been corrected] as there is another Oberhoffen in the Bas-Rhin department. Oberhoffen-sur-Moder lies 40 km (25 miles) south of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.

oberhoffensignAn entry in Annette Kunsel Burgert’s Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America[1] led Theron to research in Bas-Rhin for the Johann Jacob RUPP family. On pages 413-414 under entry 409 for Rubb, Joh. Jacob of Oberhoffen (Burgert did not give the full name of the town) the following information was given:

Johannes NONNENMACHER of Merckweyler md. 25 November 1721 Maria Barbara STAMBACH, daughter of Jacob STAMBACH of Oberkutzenhausen. They had 5 children: Maria Barbara 1722 md. Joh. Jacob RUBB, Anna Eva 1724-1733, Anna Maria 1727, Christina 1730 md. Joh. Michel WERNER, and Margaretha 1733. After the death of Johannes NONNENMACHER his widow Maria Barbara md. 1734 Joh. Michael FÜNFROCK. She died in 1768 and he emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1770.[1]

Although the above was very helpful for the ancestry of Johann Jacob RUPP’s wife Barbara no information was given for his parents. Nevertheless, Burgert included very important information on the three sons of Jacob RUPP and his wife Barbara – their dates of birth and baptism as well as the name of the church record they were found in: Steinseltz Reformed Kirchenbuch.[1]

FamilySearch Catalog:

Theron consulted the film (above) and found several entries for Johann Jacob RUPP. The first (below) was for his birth on 8 March 1723 and his baptism the next day. His parents are seen as Johann Jacob RUPP jun. (Jüngere=the younger) and his wife Maria Apolnia (sic). His godparents were Hans Georg RUPP’s son Johann Peter, Peter THOMAS’ son Johann Jacob, and Johann Philipp ERLMANN’s daughter Anna Juliana. Hans Georg RUPP was an older brother of the father of the child. The relationship of the other two sponsors has not been researched.

Photocopy of Film Number: 775041. Notizen 1737, 1758 Taufen 1685-1787 Konfirmationen 1689-1792 Heiraten 1685-1787 Tote 1685-1786 Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1789-1790, 1792. International Film of the Family History Library. Accessed by Theron A. Rupe in the 1990s.

As fate would have it, also on the same page of the church book was the birth and baptism of a set of twins born to Johann Jacob RUPP sen. (Senior=the elder) and his wife Anna Catharina (2. above) At the time Theron, or the person helping him with deciphering and translating, thought the elder RUPP was the father of the younger RUPP and followed the elder’s trail back. Rupp Sen. was the son of another man named Johann Jacob RUPP. Confusing? At the time it seemed logical and the line of Jacob RUPP b. 1723 was seen going back two more generations with father and grandfather having the same name.

If you take another look at the FamilySearch catalog entry for the church records of Steinseltz, under Notes you will see the records once available only on FHL film have been online since 20 July 2010 at the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin at this direct link to the church and civil records.

Access to the Archives of the Bas-Rhin is free. To access the site you must agree to their conditions by checking the box at the bottom “J’accepte ces conditions” (I accept these conditions). These are in French and in a nutshell allow you to use the images for your own personal use. You are not allowed to distribute them to the public or third parties without permission. If you wish to share them on the internet or in a publication you must sign a license for the public release of the images and send it to the Bas-Rhin archives for approval. This applies to commercial and non-commercial use. A fee may be applied when the use is of a commercial nature. There are several different variants of the license depending on the use of the images. Once you have agreed to the conditions, by checking the box, you may proceed to the graphic version or the adapted version of the site.

I learned about the records being online in May 2013 and found about 130 church records for RUPP individuals for the time period 1685-1752 within days but it took a bit longer to figure out where they belonged in the RUPP family tree.

The Most Important Discovery

Hans Barthol RUPP was the father of the younger Johann Jacob RUPP. Johann Jacob RUPP the elder was NOT the father of Johann Jacob RUPP the younger. They were born two years apart and most likely were cousins. Johann Jacob (father of Johann Jacob sen.) and Hans Barthol (father of Johann Jacob jun.) had an 8 years difference in age and died the same year. They were the only RUPP men of similar age during the time period in the Steinseltz church records. No reference to their parents was made in the records found. My assumption at this time is they may have been brothers. Further research will take me to Lembach and Wissembourg for Protestant church records before 1685 and more specifically during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) most likely the period in which Hans Barthol RUPP’s parents were born and married.

Photocopy of Film Number: 775041. Notizen 1737, 1758 Taufen 1685-1787 Konfirmationen 1689-1792 Heiraten 1685-1787 Tote 1685-1786 Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1789-1790, 1792. International Film of the Family History Library. Accessed by Theron A. Rupe in the 1990s.

Above is the title page the Protestant church register of Steinseltz. This is from the LDS film and not an image from the Bas-Rhin archives site. It is in this register that all information was found for the RUPP family from the time the register began in 1685 to 1752 when the Johann Jacob RUPP family emigrated to America. As I do not have a license to use the images I have listed complete source citations at the end for all interested in seeing the actual record for the births, marriages, and deaths found. If you have problems accessing or finding them please feel free to get in touch with me for help.

steinseltzsignJohann Jacob RUPP, son of Johann Jacob RUPP, der Jüngere (the younger) and Maria Apollonia FETZER, was born on 8 March 1723 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France[2]. He was baptized on 9 March 1723 in Steinseltz, the neighboring town where the Protestant Church was located.[2] He died after 1792 in Maryland or Virginia.

merkwillersignJohann married Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER, daughter of Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH, on 7 February 1746 in Kutzenhausen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France.[1], [3], [4] Maria was born on 17 November 1722 in Merkwiller, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France.[5] She was baptized on 19 November 1722 in Kutzenhausen.[5] She died after 1792 in Maryland or Virginia.

kutzenhausensignJacob and Barbara had the following children.

  1. Jörg Heinrich Rupp was born on 17 November 1746 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 20 November 1746 in Steinseltz.[6] He died at less than two months of age on 7 January 1747 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 8 January 1747 in Steinseltz.[7]
  2. Johann Jacob Rupp was born on 22 December 1747 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 26 December 1747 in Steinseltz.[8] It is not known if this son came to Baltimore County with his parents or where he lived during his lifetime.
  3. Johann Michel “Michael” Rupp was born on 6 April 1749 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 11 April 1749 in Steinseltz.[9],[10]  Michael married Magdalena “Magdaline” Tanner before 1776. Magdalena died before 3 April 1806. He also married Mary (Rhinehart) Weaver after 3 April 1806. Michael died before 13 April 1816 in Manchester, Baltimore County, Maryland, and left a will. His second wife Mary died 19 September 1848.
  4. Johann Martin Rupp was born on 6 March 1751 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 12 March 1751 in Steinseltz.[11], [12] Martin married Mary Barbara Mattias about 1777. Mary was born after 1755. He died between 1830-1835, most likely in Tennessee.
  5. Anna Maria “Mary” Rupp was born about 1753 in Pennsylvania or Maryland. Anna married John Shower about 1772 in Manchester, Baltimore County (present-day Carroll County), Maryland. John was born about 1750. He died before 2 March 1810 and left a will. Mary died intestate in 1833.
  6. Barbara Rupp was born about 1759 in Baltimore County, Maryland. She married George Weaver before 1778. George was born before 1755. He died in between 1800-1810. Barbara died between 1830-1840 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
  7. Henry RUPE Sr. was born about 1765 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Henry married Catherine Barbara NOLL, daughter of Johan Anton “Anthony” NOLL and Maria Magdalena BRUNNLE, about 1785 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Catherine was born on 24 February 1768 near Manchester, Baltimore County, Maryland. She was baptized on 13 March 1768 in Manchester. She died before 12 January 1860 in Montgomery County, Virginia. Henry died between 19 November 1845-1 December 1845 on the Old Henry Roop Place near Riner, Montgomery County, Virginia. Henry and Catherine were buried in the Family Cemetery on the Old Henry Roop Place.

The family decided to go to America after the birth of child #4. Burgert wrote, “Zweibruecken Manumissions Protocoll, Clee- and Catharinenburg, 1752: Jacob Rubb with wife and three children, from Oberhoffen, leaves for America.”[1]

In 1770 Jacob RUPE bought Rhineharts Folly in Baltimore County, Maryland. The following year on 12 April 1771, per Burgert, Jacob RUP, German, was naturalized. Her source: Colonial Maryland Naturalizations by Jeffrey A. Wyand, Florence L. Wyand (Genealogical Publishing Com, 1975).[1]

There may have been a son named George RUPE who signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1778 in Baltimore County, Maryland. I have not found any documentation to support his being a son nor have I located a person by this name with an estimated birth being between 1752-1757. Could the oldest living son of the emigrant have used the name George? His father owned land in Baltimore County and was most likely the Jacob Rupe who signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1778 with George Rupe and Martin Ra(u)pe.

Also included in many family trees for Jacob RUPE and his wife Barbara is a son named John. I found no trace of a John RUPE in Baltimore County, Maryland. The brothers Johann Michael and Johann Martin went by their second names, Michael and Martin. Could the fact that Jacob and Barbara named three of their sons Johann with a middle name in the German tradition have caused this confusion? There was a John RUPE in Franklin County, Virginia, from at least 1799 to after 1827. In 1812 and 1817 he was surety for the marriage of two RUPE ladies to BECKNER men. In 1827 he was security for his son-in-law Samuel BECKNER. He did not appear to have sons who lived to adulthood and his line was likely continued by 3 or 4 daughters. Further research is planned to determine if he was a son of Jacob RUPE.

Next week I will be going back another generation to Johann Jacob RUPP jun. and his family. Have you missed one or the other post about Johann Jacob RUPP and his wife Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER? Here’s a list:

Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, present-day France

Rupe/Roop/Ruppe/Rupp Migration in the Years 1752-1820

“I found the ship!”

How to Find Your 18th Century Immigrant’s Signature

Rhineharts Folly in Pipe Creek Hundred, Baltimore County, Maryland

Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland

Three Fantastic Finds Made While Researching 1752 Immigrant Johann Jacob Rupp

Proof of Patriotic Service During the Revolutionary War for Jacob RUPE

[1] Annette Kunsel Burgert, Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America (Camden Press, Camden, Maine, 1992), pg. 413-414. Photocopy of 4 pages received from Louise Roop Akers in March 2001.
[2] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online, Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 36 of 268, right page. Images from this site are not allowed to be shared with others, used on the internet, or for commercial purposes without permission. 1723 Baptismal Record, 6th entry under MDCCXXIII. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).
[3] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1737-1784, 3 E 253/13, image 14 of 54, bottom left . 1746 Marriage Record (part 1). ( : accessed 27 May 2013).
[4] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1737-1784, 3 E 253/13, image 14 of 54, top right. 1746 Marriage Record (part 2). ( : accessed 27 May 2013).
[5] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1714-1736, 3 E 253/9, image 20 of 81, right page. 1722 Baptismal Record, 4th entry ( : accessed 16 June 2013).
[6] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 85 of 268, left page. 1746 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 2 June 2013).
[7] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 242 of 268, left page. 1747 Death Record, right page 1st entry. ( : accessed 28 May 2013).
[8] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 88 of 268. 1747 Baptismal Record, right page bottom. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).
[9] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 92 of 268. 1749 Baptismal Record, left page bottom, 1st part. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).
[10] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 93 of 268. 1749 Baptismal Record, right page top, 2nd part. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).
[11] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 98 of 268 . 1751 Baptismal Record, left page bottom, 1st part. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).
[12] Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 99 of 268. 1751 Baptismal Record, right page top, 2nd part. ( : accessed 26 May 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann Jacob RUPP
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP and Maria Apollonia FETZER
Spouse: Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Parents of spouse: Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH
Whereabouts: Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, France and Baltimore County, Maryland
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandfather

  1. Johann Jacob RUPP
  2. Henrich “Henry” RUPE Sr.
  3. James ROOP
  4. Gordon H. ROOP
  5. Gordon Washington ROOP
  6. Walter Farmer ROOP
  7. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
  8. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
  9. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

A Trip to Northern Alsace, France

 Our first stop was the town of Merkwiller-Pechelbronn, the birthplace of Jacob STAMBACH and his daughter Marie Barbara STAMBACH. We will have to go back to this town as I have learned that the house that once belonged to Jacob STAMBACH still stands in this village.

In May 1994 Mr. & Mrs. Ray B. Grove visited Merkwiller. He wrote: “Back on the road again we headed for Merkwiller to see the home of Jakob Stambach which had been sited on a plat plan dated 1717 which we had found in a Füenfrock genealogy. Sure enough, we were able to identify the structure from the plan and took several pictures of this very old but still lived in structure.”[1]

Marie Barbara STAMBACH, born abt. 1703 in Merkwiller, married (1) Johannes NONNENMACHER November 25, 1721. She married (2) Johann Michael FÜNFROCK on March 2, 1733/34, after the death of her first husband. FÜNFROCK emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1770 after his wife’s death in 1768.[2]

Marie Barbara STAMBACH and Johannes NONNENMACHER were the parents of Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER who married Johann Jacob RUPP, our immigrant.

Musée de Pétrole in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn (Petrol Museum in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn)
View of graphic on side of the museum building explaining the mining done in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn.

The white sign on the building reads: “1735-1965 Anciennes Mines de Petrole” (Old Petrol Mines) and is diagonal across the street from the petrol museum in Merkwiller-Pechelbronn

The bulletin board in the lower right-hand corner of the picture is on the facade of the “Mairie” (city hall).

 Leaving Merkwiller-Pechelbronn we passed through Kutzenhausen-le-Haut (Oberkutzenhausen) and continued to Kutzenhausen, the birthplace of Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER RUPP.

La Maison Rurale de l’Outre Forêt

La Maison Rurale de l’Outre Forêt, the group of buildings on the corner, to the left, houses a living museum. It is one of the oldest fortified farms in the historical center of Kutzenhausen. Situated near the Protestant church, it is made up of two buildings used as dwellings, a double barn, annexes, a garden and an orchard. Its history goes back to the end of the 17th – beginning of the 18th century when it was owned by the STAMBACH family. It remained in the hands of farming families until its existence was threatened. In the 1990s it was renovated and now brings about 12,000 visitors a year to the village of Kutzenhausen with its 800 inhabitants. The ways of our ancestors, their traditions, and events in their lives may be re-lived and discovered by the visitor. Our visit was too short to visit the museum but it will be on the top of our list when we go back.

The STAMBACH farm with its double barn on the left and one of the two houses on the right.

12-28-2001-08Front view of the Protestant church in Kutzenhausen. It was built in 1765. The Protestant parish dates back to before 1554 while records go back to 1714. There were a few old grave markers on the left side of the church. The living museum which once belonged to Felix STAMBACH is to the right of the church. On my next visit, I will try to find out if the old church was on the same site as it is mentioned in Felix STAMBACH’s will dated 1730. The relationship of Felix STAMBACH (1643-1729) to our Johann Jacob STAMBACH (1657-1715) will have to be researched. Mr. Grove believes that he may have been a brother to Felix.

Across from the Protestant church is the former administration building of the Fleckenstein family (I need to confirm this). In the background is the newer Catholic church. The building to the right I believe is the Ferme des Fleckenstein, an Inn owned by the MALL family. According to Mr. Grove, at the entrance and in the courtyard one still sees the remnant of the Fleckenstein coat of arms.

Typical farmhouse in Kutzenhausen across from the STAMBACH farm/museum. The steeple of the Catholic church can be seen in the background. On the street is the word “ECOLE” is a warning to slow down as the school is nearby.

 Another one of the typical old houses in Kutzenhausen.

12-28-2001-12Side view of the Catholic church in Kutzenhausen. It was constructed in 1905. From 1693 until 1905 both the Protestants and the Catholics worshipped in the same building, the Protestant church seen previously.

12-28-2001-13 Front view of the Catholic church in Kutzenhausen.

Statues on the opposite side of the street from the Kutzenhausen cemetery on the way out of town.

The entrance of Steinseltz on the main road. The older buildings are found only in the center of the village.

Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, the birthplace of our RUPPs. We drove through Steinseltz and Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg on our way to Wissembourg. We didn’t stop for pictures as it was raining.

12-28-2001-17Maison du Sel or House of Salt dates from 1450. The renovated old building faces the Lauter River in Wissembourg. The building has new windows and a new facade but the roofing gives away its age. The attic rooms, on four stories, have windows that open onto little balconies that are protected by the extended roof.

The Lauter River runs through Wissembourg in front of the Maison du Sel.

Lovely view of the dwellings in Wissembourg along the Lauter River taken from the little bridge next to the Maison du Sel.

12-28-2001-20Hôtel de Ville, the city hall of Wissembourg, built between 1741-1752 in rose-colored sandstone with its little bell tower and clock. This building is in the center of town on the Place de la République. Turning to the left into the rue du Marché-aux-Poissons or Fish Market Street, you reach the little bridge over the Lauter River next to the Maison du Sel.

Coming back to Steinseltz after our visit to Wissembourg, we came in on one of the smaller roads leading into the village. An old sign at the entrance of Steinseltz is speckled with little holes from grenade fire.

We drove into Steinseltz and parked our car across from this building. SURPRISE!! The first thing we noticed was the street sign on the corner of this building.

Close up of the street sign

The main street of Steinseltz is named after one of their former mayors, a RUPP.

12-28-2001-24The little street to the left of the street sign “Rue du Maire Rupp” lead us to the Steinseltz cemetery. Inside the gate, to the right, was a row of very old grave markers. They were most likely taken from the churchyard in recent years. The very first stone was for a RUPP.

Close up of the old grave marker

Hier ruht in Gott
geb. Juncker
geb. 20 Januar 1819
gest. 29 Juni 1898

I am not sure about the last word in the first line. It translates to read Here rests in God, Magdalena JUNCKER, born 20 January 1819, died 29 June 1898, and she was married to a RUPP.

12-28-2001-27Tombstone for Albert RUPP (1906-1965) and his wife Elise ZIMMERMAN (1907-1996). Dates are in dd-mm-yyyy format. The row of old grave markers can be seen in the upper left-hand corner.

Grave of Georges RUPP, a former mayor of Steinseltz.

In front of the large grave site for the mayor, Georges RUPP were five markers. The farthest to the right was this one:

12-28-2001-30Magdalena Rupp
geb. Herold (maiden name)
Lina Rupp

I believe that Lina may have been a granddaughter of Magdalena. To the left of this grave was another one that was very difficult to decipher:

Lina Rupp
geb. Greiner
Henri Rupp

Note that this Rupp was also a mayor of Steinseltz. It is possible that Henri and Lina were the parents of Georges.

12-28-2001-31This grave was to the left of one previously mentioned (Henri and Lina) but not photographed:

von Herold

Heinrich Rupp must have been the husband of Magdalena Herold Rupp. There were two more graves to the left of this one but they were so weathered that the names and dates could no longer be read.

Typical old houses in Steinseltz that we passed while going up the hill to see the churches.


Front view of one of the two churches in the “rue des Eglises” (Churches Street) in Steinseltz. I have seen another photo of this church and if it is labeled correctly then this is the Protestant church.

12-28-2001-34Monument in the churchyard of the Protestant church in Steinseltz:

To our

At the foot of the monument, the names of the men from Steinseltz who died during World War II including Charles RUPP.

View of one of the older houses in Steinseltz. The stairs lead to the front door. The arched doorway to the right of the stairs is the entrance to the cellar. The large barn door can be seen behind the stairs. On the left is a house built most likely after World War II.

View of the main street, rue du Maire Rupp, in Steinseltz.

Plaque on a building in the rue du Maire Rupp

In Memory of
Georges Rupp
Promoter of the
Agricultural Co-op

Hope you all enjoyed the pictures that we took of the area that our ancestors came from. We will be going back again when the weather is nicer. The fields were filled with melting snow and it was raining most of the time we were there. With warmer weather, we should be able to get nice photos of the villages from a distance. Summertime is especially nice as the people there hang boxes filled with geraniums below all the windows. Steinseltz is especially well-known for their geraniums. Of course, we will be sure to get plenty of photos of the inside and outside of the museum in Kutzenhausen as well as visit with Mr. René RUPP in Oberhoffen-les-Wissembourg.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for our next visit.

[1] Grove, Ray B. Stumbaugh Tree of Life (Our Roots). Online: . Last accessed January 1, 2002. This site is no longer online. The book is on >
[2] Burgert, Annette Kunselman. Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America. pg. 413.

Updated 11 July 2018: Formatting and grammatical errors were made.

© 2001-2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.