Melchoir RUCH was born on December 25, 1644. He is known to have lived (most if not all of his life) in the Germanic area known once known as the Northern Alsace and now known as Bas-Rhin in Northeastern France. It appears he was a nomadic herder (cows, sheep, pigs) and as such moved fairly often from one little village to another.
His forefathers, the earlier Ruchs, appear to have possibly originated in Emmental (now part of Switzerland), having moved to the area of the Northern Alsace sometime during the first half of the 17th century. But this has yet to be proven. It is true that many Germanic people were leaving the Swiss area at that time because of hardships resulting from "The Thirty Years War" of 1618-1648.
Researcher, R. Tipton Biggs, reports that he has found record of a Ruch family in LDS records (International Records for Switzerland). That LDS entry reads as follows: "On 12 Mar 1657 in Duerrenroth, Bern, Switzerland ULRICH RUCH married ELISABETH DISLI". "To that union was born URSULA (1658), MELCHOIR (1662), SUSANNA (1665), HANS ULRICH (1668), and NICHOLAUS (1670)". This Ruch family may or may not be connected to the Ruchs of Alsace.
Our Melchoir Ruch of the Northern Alsace appears to have married his fist wife, Maria Eva, about 1660.
He was recorded in the year 1676 in the church register at Oberbronn where he was mentioned as a Shepherd from the Village of Schillersdorf. Daughter Christina was born in 1676 in Ingwiller.
After giving him at least 4 children, his first wile (Maria Eva) died in January 1677.
He remarried in August of 1677 in Ingwiller to his 2nd wife, Susanna Margaretha. Susanna appears not to have lived long after her marriage to Melchoir and records have not yet been found indicating she had chilren by him.
He is mentioned in a church register in 1679 as a Citizen and a Shepherd at Ingweiler. That same year, on August 21, 1679 at Ringendorf, he married his third wife, Anna Maria Jaenck . Records indicate that prior to Anna Maria's marriage to Melchoir she had been the widow of Hans RAUSCHER.
In 1680 Melchoir and 3rd wife Maria were recorded as being in Alteckendorf for the birth of their son, Lorentz.
In 1682 Melchoir appears in the record as a "shepherd at Zutzendorf". This was the record of the birth of his son , Hans George. Hans George moved to America in 1733 and in so doing left many descendants in the Colony of Pennsylvania and the United States of America. Many of these descendants (particularly those through grandson, Michael) eventually came to be known by the surname "Rugh".
In December of 1688, in Zutzendorf, Melchoir's son, Johannes Adamus (Hans Adam), was born. Many of Hans Adam's descendents retained the surname "Ruch" and eventually came to reside in Canadian America.
Other records indicate that by 1689, Melchoir and Maria were in Schalkendorf, and by about 1704 were living in the vicinity of the village of Uhrwiller.
Maria died on September 9, 1715 in Uhrwiller. Melchoir died on August 25, 1720 in Altechendorf.
Melchoir RUCH and Maria Eva had the following children:
1. Johann Ruch.
2. Jacob (Johann Jacob) Ruch.
3. Melchoir Ruch (the jr.). (born in 1672). He was a Royal Swiss soldier.
4. Christina (Maria Christina) Ruch (born on February 16, 1676).
Melchoir RUCH and Anna Maria JAENCK had the following children:
1. Lorentz (born on 19 Apr 1680) His descendant, Jacob Ruch, came to America (Ohio) in 1813.
2. Barbara (born 23 Dec 1681)
3. George (Hans George) RUCH Sr. (born on 29 Dec 1682)<Go there>*.
4. Hans Michel (born on 5 Oct 1684, baptized on 8 Oct 1684)
5. Catharina (baptized on Friday 22 Mar 1686)
6. Johann Jacob (died at age 5 in 1693)
7. Adam (Johannes Adamus) RUCH (born on 12 Dec 1688) <Go there>.
8. Johann Martin (born on Saturday 1 Apr 1690, baptized on 4 Apr 1690)