Tobias Rauch of Vöhringen (1793-1873)

15 April 1793, Vöhringen, Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
30 January 1820, Vöhringen, Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
15 August 1826, Vöhringen, Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
10 May 1873, Otter Creek, Linn County, Iowa, USA

UPDATED 05/1/2020: On top of the previous update from 2017 that made use of's transcribed Württemberg parish registers to identify Rauch birth, marriage and death records, I have added additional footnotes to the bottom of the page to address a few old Rauch family stories that keep appearing. I combed the parish registers for Rauch family members to identify occupations and relationships that hopefully answer some of these longstanding questions.

Named after his maternal grandfather,Q Tobias Rauch was born and baptized on the 15 April 1793 to parents Matthias Rauch and Eva Schmid or Schmidt.1, 12, L They lived in Vöhringen am Neckar, in the administrative district (or county) of Sulz in the independent state Württemberg,2 although the region has not been know by that name since the formation of Germany and first world war. The area is now known as Vöhringen, Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

From what I can ascertain, Tobias, son of a farmer, seemed to grow up a part of a fairly prominent family in Vöhringen where family stories vaguely state he was trained in "the arts".E As he grows up, he appears to have been fairly active in the community and supposedly achieved the title of Bürgermeister (Mayor).P We've been able to identify that Tobias was raised with 6 brothers (Johan Martin, Johannes, Andreas, Johan Jacob, Friedrich & Mathias) and 6 sisters (Ursula, Maria Magdalena, Anna Barbara, Anna Maria, Eva & Eva), and that he was his parents eldest child. Two of his brothers and two of his sisters did not survive to adulthood.

Tobias married widow Maria Wolf on the 30 Jan 1820 in Vöhringen.1, F Entering into the marriage, Maria brought 3 daughters from her previous marriage. Tobias & Maria would add to this family with the birth of three daughters of their own. The first, Eva, came 6 months later on 19 July 1820, followed by Anna Barbara in 1823 and Anna in 1826.

A little less than a month after the birth of their 3rd daughter Anna, on the 09 Feb 1826, Maria passed away. The exact reasons surrounding her death currently remain a mystery, but based on the recent birth of daughter Anna, it wouldn't be a stretch to deposit a theory that some form of complication or infection followed the birth.C

Tobias would marry again 6 months later. This time on the 15 Aug 1826 he married Anna Maria "Mary" Gieger in Vöhringen.1, C, D

Their first child together, Catherine, was born in Vöhringen on the 14 May 1828 and would be followed by 2 sisters in the next 4 years. (There is reference to a fourth daughter, Christina, born 1833 in Vöhringen, but she does not appear on the emigration register nor the passenger manifest.)

In April of 1833 the Rauch family made the decision to leave Germany and formally registered for emigration (it appears Tobias registered with siblings Johann Jacob & Johann Martin Rauch and their families while the immigration manifest of the Charlotte lists his brothers Frederick, Matthias, Jacob + wife & child).2

An old family story says that after they made the decision to move to America, Tobias, a merchant, had sold off his business, and gathered up a sum of $10,000 to take to America. They spend their last night at his wife Maria's parents house (presumably because all property & unessential possessions had been sold off). He hid his cash under their mattress in her parent's home and when he went to retrieve the money before their departure, the cash was gone. They left anyway, but only had enough funds to pay for their passage over. Supposedly after Mary's parents died they willed $10,000 to either be divided among heirs or just to Tobias (multiple versions of the tale exist). But as both versions of the story go, her parents took Tobias' money thinking that would be cause enough to keep them from leaving or at least make things so difficult that the hardships would force a quick return to Germany.1

Anyway, The Rauch family departed from Havre, France aboard the Charlotte and arrived in New York, New York on the 22 Jul 1833. At this time Tobias was 40 years old and registered as a farmer. The stated destination of the arriving passengers on the Charlotte was Ohio.2, K

With Tobias' three brothers, Jacob, Matthew and MartinJ arriving with him from Germany, a great family story was passed down surrounding the purpose of their voyage. Supposedly, the brothers invented some type of explosive apparatus that the German Government wanted to get their hands on. The brothers each took a part of it, came to the US and separated. Martin & Matthew didn't become US citizens. Martin stayed single and came to Ohio, Matthew to Pennsylvania, Jacob to Ohio where he had a family of boysN, and a sister married & went to Canada (possibly Anna Barbara).1, I

The first record I've discovered of Tobias in America places him in Medina County, Ohio on the 07 Nov 1836 where he is at the Court of Common Pleas at the Medina County Courthouse making his Declaration of Intent to Naturalize in front of county judge Benjamin Lindsley & the Grand Jury.

Two years later, on the 10 July 1838, Tobias purchased 30 acres in Liverpool Township, Medina, Ohio from John Cosset for $170 (parts of sections 17 & 18; The property transaction was recorded on county books on 17 Jan 1839).

On the 1840 census Tobias is listed as living in Liverpool Township, Medina County, Ohio. He is the head of a house of 12 people: 2 Adults, 2 boys under 5, 2 girls under 5, 2 girls 5-9, 2 girls 10-14, 2 girls 15-19. While the ages are slightly off (to be expected), the number of family members is accurate. (The property is located just south of the village of Valley City)3

The 1850 census was taken on the 22 August where we find Tobias and family again in Liverpool Township.4 They were living on a farm that was fortunate enough to be described on the non-population census as 30 Total Acres, 25 of which had been improved (cultivated/cleared) and valued at $800. The farm cared for 3 Milk Cows, 2 Oxen, 4 Calves and 8 Pigs. The previous season's crops had harvested 88 bushels of Wheat, 50 bushels of Indian Corn, 12 bushels of sowed Oats, 20 bushels of Irish Potatoes, 10 bushels of Barley, 150 lbs. of Butter, 12 tons of Hay, 2 bushels of Clover seed, 1 bushel of Grass seed and 30 lbs. of Maple Sugar.5

After their final child, Sarah, who was born in 1850, the family relocated from Medina county to Otter Creek in Linn County, Iowa. Their daughter Catherine had married a local farmer name Levi Schnell, who was a widower with 4 children. When the time came to leave, Catherine and Levi stayed in Liverpool Township, but it looks as though three of Levi's four children went along for the ride with Tobias. Levi's eldest son Lewis would live with Mary Anna (Rauch) and her husband Andrew Steinagle, but the 2 girls Mary and Elizabeth seemed to eventually continue west to Colorado.

Tobias sold off their property in Medina County on 1 Mar 1856 and arrived in Linn County on 24 March 1856 when he purchased 102 acres in West Half, SE Quarter of Section 25 and NE Quarter, SW Quarter Township 85 N, Range 8 W. The family also appears on the 1856 Iowa State Census in Otter Creek. (Son Tobias' Jr's obituary also says the family arrived in 1856).6, L

The relocation was definitely an upgrade as far as property goes for Tobias and his farm. The 1860 Agricultural Census states that Tobias' farm now encompasses a total of 102 acres, 40 of which has been cultivated/improved and valued it at $1200. The livestock on his farm consisted of 1 milk cow, 5 calves and 16 Pigs. Harvested crops included 109 bushels of Wheat, 550 bushels of Indian Corn and 250 bushels of sowed Oats (the 2nd page of the census is missing).7, 8

By 1865 Tobias was noted as joining the Otter Creek congregation and was known "through [the rest of] his life" in Linn County as being a Methodist circuit rider. 11, B

By the time of the Iowa State Census in 1866, Tobias, now 73, is specifically noted as being a "hog slaughterer" which likely meant his farm's primary source of income was through pig farming and butchering.9

By 1870, Tobias had become physically unable to keep up with his work on the farm and he and his wife moved in with their youngest son Jacob, a Civil War veteran of the Union Army, and his spouse Melinda. 10

On the 10 May 1873, Tobias Rauch died of old age at 80 years and 25 days old. He was buried on the 12 May at Lafayette Cemetery in Otter Creek by his widow and 12 surviving children.11, A


Matthias Rauch, 07 Nov 1770 – 27 Mar 1826


Eva Schmidin, 7 Jul 1770 – 13 Feb 1853


Maria Wolf, 31 May 1789 – abt 1825


  1. Eva "Eve" Rauch, 19 Jul 1820 – 18 Nov 1906
  2. Anna Barbara Rauch, 21 Apr 1823 – 23 Apr 1889
  3. Anna Rauch, 19 Jan 1825 – 28 Aug 1880


Anna Maria "Mary" Geiger, 23 Jan 1803 – 27 Nov 1883


  1. Catherine Rauch, 14 May 1828 – 18 Feb 1903
  2. Mary Anna Rauch, 06 Aug 1829 – 15 Oct 1871
  3. Ursula "Julia" Rauch, 24 Feb 1831 – 05 Aug 1891
  4. Christina Rauch, abt 1833 – ?
  5. Tobias Rauch Jr, 20 Mar 1835 – 23 Jan 1917
  6. Agnes Rauch, 1836 – 17 Jan 1906
  7. Jacob Rauch, 09 Mar 1839 – 03 Oct 1919
  8. Mary Magdalene Rauch, 20 Apr 1841 – 16 July 1914
  9. Elizabeth Margaret Rauch, 15 Dec 1843 – 28 May 1913
  10. Sarah Rauch, 31 Jan 1850 – 22 Nov 1904

A Tobias' obituary contains a few errors. First the obituary states that he died on the 19 May. This is a misprint or transcription error that is contradicted later in the obituary when his burial was listed on the 12th. His headstone confirms the 10th. Also, there has been no evidence that the family ever lived in Columbiana county (east of Columbus along PA border) and having it change to Summit county is incorrect, Summit was formed in part from Medina County... Liverpool Township, where they lived is in Medina county but on the opposite end of the county from the area that was converted to Summit county. The only thing close was Columbia Township, which bordered Liverpool to the north and that was in Lorain county.

B Before arriving in Otter Creek and becoming a noted methodist, Tobias was noted as being a German Lutheran.

C A family belief is Tobias might have been known as Tobias Von Rauch in Germany (no evidence supports this)... another source believes he could have been in America before his first wife died and returned to Germany to find a new wife after her passing (this is extremely unlikely as it was not documented on the German / Württemberg emigration register, but is being noted since it was tossed around by other sources).1

D Old family stories from multiple sources said Anna Mary Geiger was supposedly 18 when she married Tobias however records of her baptism and marriage place her age at 23 years old.1

E Tobias was "High German" (high references altitude and refers to the German dialect used by the southern Germans of the Alps) and the family was supposedly trained in "the arts" (which "arts" are never clearly stated).1

F Maria Wolf's first husband Friderich Schmid died on 18 Dec 1818 and left her 3 daughters: Anna Maria (b.9 Dec 1809), Margaretha (b.24 Oct 1811), and Christina (b.19 Sep 1813).

G Tobias' wife Anna Maria Geiger supposedly had a family of brothers and a sister Christina who all died in Germany. Christina is believed to have died with a small estate to her name.

H Tobias Jr. & Sr. supposedly returned to Germany about 1853. While there they picked up some papers and books that German officers wanted to get their hands on. These were brought back to the US but lost in a barn fire after a lightning strike in 1873 near Toddville, Iowa.1

I Take it for what it's worth, but supposedly there was also a report during WWII that the German government was again trying to trace the Rauch family in America (It's assumed that the reason was related to the brothers' explosive apparatus...I am not aware of any proof of this). 1

J There is a belief that Tobias' brothers Matthew & Martin were possibly 1/2 brothers, however baptism records do not substantiate this claim as Matthias & Eva are listed as both of their parents.

K Stories say Tobias' step-children from his 1st wife Maria were old enough when the family decided to immigrate to America that they did not join the rest of the Rauchs on the voyage across the ocean... This family story is 100% true. Anna Maria and Margaretha had already married by 1833 when Tobias left for America, and Christina was 20 years old and would marry the following year.

L The short length of time between Tobias selling his property in Medina, Ohio and purchasing in Linn, Iowa all but proves that the Rauch family took a train out west to Iowa. The railroad was completed in Iowa about 10 years prior.

M While a number of trees name Tobias' mother as Eva Schmidin due to how it's written and transcribed on Tobias' baptism record, the vast majority of Vohringen church records mention the family name list it as Schmid. A name that would nowadays be commonly seen as Schmidt... The -in suffix on a woman's surname is a German custom denoting a married woman. The English equivalent is calling someone Mrs. Seeing the on a baptism record is a subtle identifier saying the birth was legitimate.

N Jacob immigrated to Wayne County, Ohio with his wife Anna Barbara and daughter Eva. The family would settled outside of Wooster in Chester Township. Eva married Joseph Ritter and moved to Steuben County, IN. Anna Barbara passed away sometime before 1838 when Jacob remarried Mary "Polly" Henninger (and by complete coincidence, married into the other side of my family tree). The couple had 2 daughters together Sarah (b.1842) and Harriet (b.1850). Jacob died 30 Dec 1880 in Chester Township. He was never noted to have a son.

O The Three daughters from Tobias' marriage to Maria Wolf immigrated to America with the rest of the family and settled down in the Cleveland area (Cuyahoga County). They did not follow the Rauchs to Iowa. Eve/Eva married Walter Dalgleish in Cleveland, Barbara married Diebold Mallo in Brooklyn (Heights), and Anna married Berend Venderink in Cleveland.

P I have reviewed the baptism records for all of Tobias' children born in Germany (from both wives). None of these list Tobias as a mayor, or anything other than a farmer (and if he was mayor, they would have). Tobias was not a mayor of Vohringen, his father Matthias was. It was noted on his death record in 1826. The mayor is #3 in charge behind the Vogt or Village Administrator (#2), who is appointed by the lord of the land (#1). The Rauch family line contains a Mayor, a Village Administrator, as well as multiple Judges and members of the Judicial Court.

Q Tobias was named after his prestigious Grandfather Tobias Schmid who was the Vogt or Village Administrator for Vohringen. The Vogt was the 2nd in command, higher ranking that the town mayor, and only answered to the lord of the land, who appointed him. This means Tobias Rauch's father Matthias, the mayor, married the daughter of the Village Administrator, creating a prestigious local "power couple" of sorts.

1 Oliphant-Rauch-Doty Genealogy compiled by Eva Emery Doty; Published 1977 by First Copy Center, Lawrence, Ind.; 115 Pages (sourced pages 67-72); Avaliable via PERSI at HeritageQuest (access usually available via local library)

2 "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 July 2015), Tobias Rauch, 1833; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm.

3 "United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 July 2015), Tobias Bunch, Liverpool, Medina, Ohio; citing p. 264, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 412; FHL microfilm 20,171.

4 "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 July 2015), Tobias Rouch, Liverpool, Medina, Ohio, United States; citing family 1137, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

5 Tobias Rauch, "U.S. Agriculture Census, 1850" from Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880;; Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Nonpopulation Census Schedules for California, 1850-1880. Microfilm. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.Nonpopulation Census Schedules. (

6 Iowa State Census, 1856 for Tobias Rauch from the "Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925",, Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.Original data - Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa (

7 "United States Census, 1860," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 July 2015), Tobias Rauch, Otter Creek Twp, Linn, Iowa, United States; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population," database, ( : n.d.); citing p. 282, household ID 2032, NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 803,332.

8 Tobias Rauch, "U.S. Agriculture Census, 1860" from Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880;; Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Nonpopulation Census Schedules for California, 1850-1880. Microfilm. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Nonpopulation Census Schedules. (

9 Tobias Rauch, "U.S. IRS Tax Assessment List, 1866" from U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918;; Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.Original data - National Archives (NARA) microfilm series: M603, M754-M771, M773-M777, M779-M780, M782, M784, M787-M789, M791-M793, M795, M1631, M1775-M1776, T227, T1208-T1209. ( 30&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt)

10 "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 July 2015), Dobias Ranch in household of Jacob Rauch, Iowa, United States; citing p. 26, family 179, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,904.

11 Tobias Rauch Obituary, "The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, 2006", Szucs, Loretto D, and Sandra H. Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006. Print.; Page 229. (

12 Tobias Rauch in Taufen 1770-1866 in "Kirchenbuch, 1584-1876"; Evangelische Kirche Vöhringen (OA. Sulz) (Main Author), Manuscript/Manuscript on Film, German, Publication: Stuttgart : Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, 1990; 5 Mikrofilmrollen ; 35 mm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Film# 1732334, Page 100. Taufen (Baptisms) for 1793.


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