Saturday, April 9, 2011

Following a Trail for the Keck family

On March 29 I posted a blog about a possible link to Maria Elizabeth Keck and two or three generations of the Keck family that came before her. I had found a family tree on ancestry.com with tantalizing information but no sources for this information except for a website, once on geocities, which no longer exists. I contacted the person who had posted the Keck family tree and waited.

When she responded she told me she had no source information but kindly pointed me in the direction of a person who might be able to help me. This gentleman responded by sending me a five page Group Record for the Johannes Ritter family. Maria Elizabeth Keck had married Johannes Ritter 29 April 1768. They had eleven children. Much of the information on those children corresponded with data I had accumulated over the years. It is always nice to see that someone else came to the same conclusions. 

There was, however, no information on the Maria Elizabeth’s parents or grandparents. Most of the Group Record listed sources for the family data. I started to read through those sources carefully. Several were sources I had used myself. Most of the sources related to the Ritters and made no mention of the Keck family.  Then I read this source: “Keck article; The Palatine Immigrant; Vol. XXI No. 3; Jun 1996; p. 143.” I did an internet search for this journal and found where I could order past issues.

The Keck family article can be found on the page listed. Most of this article titled, “? Conrad Keck = Frederick Keck?” centers on the youngest brother of Maria Elizabeth Keck. However is does yield some useful information on Maria Elizabeth.  First, the birth date & location given for her and the name of her father all match the information I had. It also mentions her husband, Johannes Ritter and one of their children. Therefore, I am confident that this woman is my fifth great grandmother connected to me through my paternal grandmother.

Hilary J. Rauch, author of the Keck article, writes that Maria Elizabeth’s father was Henrich Keck who came to America in 1732 from the German Palatinate aboard the pink (ship) John and William. The ship arrived in the Port of Philadelphia on 17 October 1732.  This information is new to me. I am already planning a library trip to search for this information in Daniel Rupp’s book, A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 – 1776. I have, in the past, found our Ritter & Dick ancestors in this informative volume. Hilary writes:
“By 1739 Henrich Keck is found in Bucks (now Lehigh) Co., PA and in 1750 in what later became Northampton Co., PA. In 1754 he acquired 100 acres of land in what later became Salisbury Twp., Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., PA. This is the land on which Henrich Keck spent the remainder of his life…”
The article also lists seven children of Henrich Keck. I had only had Maria Elizabeth’s name. I took that information and went to John T. Humphrey’s book, Pennsylvania Births in Lehigh County 1734 – 1800. I found a long list of Keck births that I can now relate to our family.

Hilary Rauch's article also tells us that Frederick Keck and two of his brothers served in the Revolutionary War. I plan to check the Daughters of the American Revolution website for the Keck brothers.  This may lead to both more military and genealogical information.http://www.dar.org/library/

I have filled out our Keck family tree with new branches. It is not exactly a large tree, but it is better than the sapling I once had. I would still like to learn more here. I plan to write to Hilary J. Rauch in hopes he still lives at her 1996 location and that she will respond. Perhaps she will lead me to more information.

..... 1 Henry KECK b:
..... + Hannah PETERSON b:
........... 2 Johannes KECK b: Abt. 1742
........... + Anna MARGARETHA
................. 3 Maria E. KECK b: 23 February 1770
................. 3 Johannes KECK b: 06 February 1772
................. 3 Johan F. KECK b: 26 April 1774
................. 3 George KECK b: 18 August 1776
................. 3 Andreas KECK b: 28 December 1778
................. 3 Anna M. KECK b: 22 August 1781
................. 3 Henrich KECK b: 07 April 1783
................. 3 Benjamin KECK b: 31 July 1789
........... 2 Georg KECK b: Abt. 1744
........... + L. CATHERINE
................. 3 Henrich KECK b: 05 April 1770
................. 3 Johan B. KECK b: 27 October 1773
................. 3 Joseph KECK b: 15 October 1775
................. 3 Johan J. KECK b: 04 June 1777
................. 3 Anna C. KECK b: 27 May 1779
................. 3 Johan A. KECK b: 31 May 1781
................. 3 Johan G. KECK b: 15 April 1783
........... 2 Henrich KECK b: Abt. 1746
........... 2 Maria Elisabeth KECK b: 15 April 1747, d: 02 June 1813 PA
........... + Johannes RITTER Sr. b: 17 Feb 1743, m: 29 April 1768, d: 18 April 1816 PA
................. 3 Infant RITTER b: 1769, d: 28 July 1790 PA
................. 3 Johannes RITTER Jr. b: 08 August 1771, d: 15 May 1864 Ohio
................. + Anna M RITTER b12 Dec 1777, m 26 Feb 1795 PA d 30 April 1842 Ohio
................. 3 Catherine Eva RITTER b: 03 Sept 1773, d: Abt. 1835
................. + Henry ROMIG
................. 3 Anna Margaretha RITTER b: 01 March 1776, d: Unknown
................. + Jacob NONNEMAKER
................. 3 Johann Heinrich RITTER b: 04 December 1777, d: 06 April 1857
................. + Magdalena BROUSE
................. 3 Johann Philip RITTER b: 27 July 1780, d: Unknown
................. 3 Christian RITTER b: Abt. 1781, d: Unknown
................. 3 RITTER b: Abt. 1783, d: Unknown
................. 3 Jacob RITTER b: 08 December 1785, d: 08 September 1847
................. + Maria Magdalena STUMPF
................. + Christianna REPMAN
................. 3 Maria Barbara RITTER b: 20 September 1788, d: 22 October 1828
................. + Andrew ULSH
................. 3 Mary Magdelena RITTER b: 25 October 1790, d: 1870
................. + John STUMPF
........... 2 Wilhelm KECK b: 26 June 1751
........... 2 Andreas KECK b: 10 January 1753
........... + BARBARA
................. 3 Solomon KECK b: 02 November 1782
................. 3 Andreas KECK b: 10 October 1785
................. 3 Maria M. KECK b: 10 September 1787
................. 3 Jacob KECK b: 31 October 1791
................. 3 Henrich KECK b: 21 October 1797
........... 2 Frederick KECK b: Abt. 1755

1 comment:

  1. I have a booklet of the family history that was printed I think in 1910 by a Keck Family member, It starts with Heinrich and Hannah and maybe the first generation of most of the children , but as they went out into the world and had children they were not as well recorded. I have spent hours and hours in library of congress researching my family history and this book gave me the best staring links. Yes some of the brothers fought in the american revolution and later on some of their sons and grandsons fought in the civil war. I now plan on scanning the book I have and posting it someplace for others to access hopefully by the first of the year. Please contact me if you would like...Fairygodmother58@gmail.com

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