The Rauch Family Name.

The Rauch Family Name


The ancestral home of the Rauch family is in the German province of Bavaria. Rauch is a German nickname surname. Such names came from eke-names, or added names, that described their initial bearer through reference to a physical characteristic or other attribute. It is a name for a shaggy or unkempt person, stemming from the German word "rauch," meaning "rough, hairy." As with many early names such as this, the reference was often in jest. More likely, the origin is in reference to the smoke generated by smithies and thereby would be a trade name. The name was translated to English when the first settlers immigrated to North America, giving rise to such variations as "Smoak" or "Smoke."

Spelling variations include: Raucher, Rauche, Raeuchlin, Reuchlin, Raeuchle, Rauck, Raucker, Raucke, Rauk, Rauker, Rauke, Smoak, Smoke, Ruch and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area.

Johann Georg Rauch is believed to be born in the Meisenheim, Rheinland District of Germany in 1717. His father, Hans Daniel Rauch (1676-?) , lived in this same German District DEU all his life. Johann Rauch married Maria Kohler, and they had two children in Germany. In (1747?) the family came to Pennsylvania as part of a group of Swiss-Germans. Some researchers claim he came on the Ship Robert and Alice in 1740, but his own words seem to suggest otherwise.

In March 1748, Georg Rough (Rauch) applies for a 200 acre SC land grant where he was dwelling and stated that he had come from Germany to Philadelphia and then to SC with his wife and two children. Then in March 1750, he requested from the SC Council permission to return to Germany to bring other settlers and a German speaking minister. At this time he further stated he had come from Germany two years before with his wife and two children and obtained a 200 acre grant.

John George Rauch, his wife Mary, and their four sons arrived in Charleston, S.C. about 1766 aboard the Brittannia. I'm told a more complete record of this may be found in Council Journal 32, page 842-846, S.C. Historical Commission.

Name: Johann Georg RAUCH

Sex: M
Birth: 8 JUN 1717 1 in Desloch in Meisenheim Dist., Germany
Christening: 15 JUN 1717 2 Odernheim Ref. Ch., Odernheim Palatine/Pfalz, Germ . 2
Death: ABT 16 OCT 1772/1773 3 in Amelia Township, Orangeburg County, SC
Burial: Smoke Cem,10 miles n. of St. Matthews, SC
Note: Smoak is the English form of the German name Rauch--Rouk--Smoke--Smoak. Rauch means Smoked meat--likely the family's occupation.
Note: Johann (John) George Rauch came to this country in 1740.He is listed among the German Swiss immigrants who came in to Pa. on the ship, "Robert and Alice" from Rotterdam in 1740.
Note: "Palatines imported in the ship Robert and Alice, Walter Goodman, Master from Rotterdam, last from Cowes," Dec. 3, 1740.
Note: Endless research leaves little doubt that Johann George Rauch emigrated from Desloch, in Meisenheim Dist. in Germany.
Note: *Info found on the internet submitted by Roxanne Von Wagoner shows that Hohann George Rauch was born in 1720 in Zweibruchen, Palatinate, Germany.*
Note: Queen Anne offered bounty lands in S. C., N. C., and Virginia. It could have been this that brought Johann George Rauch to S. C. The pre-Revolutionary Plat Books, Vol. 20, page 214 shows that on May 20, 1767, 300 acres of land in Amelia Township granted to John George Rauk. (Long Branch on Half-way Swamp, north of Caldwells, southwest of land of Conrad Hoover on whose plot dated 1771, he is called George Smoak).
Note: The grant transaction was completed and recorded in the Pre-Revolutionary Land Grants, vol. 16, page 122, on March 21, 1768. He and his wife evidently had four children living within their household on this date.
Note: There were at least 200 additional acres, according to his will, written 10-16-1772. He died less than four months later, between 10-16-1772 and 2-5-1773. His will was written 10-16-1772 and proved 2-5-1773. His will may be found in the Fireproof Bldg. in Charleston, SC. "Charleston Wills, Volume 55, Page 303922A". (another source shows volume SS, pages 303-304, 22-A. The WPA copy is in Charleston Wills, vol.15 (1771-1774) pp. 397-398.
Note: According to a number of sources, Johann George Rauch was a Lay Lutheran Preacher. He is buried in the Smoak Cemetery about 10 miles north of St. Matthews, SC.
Note: In his will, he named five sons. We feel sure there were a number of daughters because of the wide variation of the sons' ages. All of the children were likely born in Pa.
Note: Reference: Salley Archives, Orangeburg, SC -Smoak folder
Note: In explanation, it might be said here that the Rauch family was classified as Palatines because they were natives of the Palatinate, a region in West Germany west of the Rhine River. According to the record found in the book by I. Daniel Rupp, "From Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776", Johann Georg Rauch landed in Pa. and began life in this country among many settlers from his homeland. On page one of this book appear: "From 1682 to 1776, Pennsylvania was the central point of emigration from Germany, France, and Switzerland. Penn's liberal views, and the illiberal course of the government of New York toward the Germans, induced many to come to this province.

Note: Email received from, July 24th, 2003:
Here is the 1717 Baptismal Record of Johann Jurg Rauch. It is the last entry at the bottom of the page. It comes from the 1661 to 1734 Odernheim Reformed Church Register page 291. There were four early RC Registers. The first started in 1588 and went to 1630. The second that went from 1630 to 1661 was presumably lost in the 30 years war. The third 1661 to 1734 and the fourth that covered 1735 to 1798. According to Karl Wentz a former Mayer of Odernheim Am Glan the three existing books were microfilmed by the LDS Church, but if so they do not have the first book listed as being in their archives. So most of my research has been in the 3rd and 4th books and I have had to rely on others for info, from the first register.
Chuck Chambers who was stationed in Germany from 1980 to 1982 while in the military has been very helpful in sharing what he found in the 1st register during several visits to Odernheim.
Apparently somebody from (or for) your Rauch family also did some more extensive research in the 1st register but, I have yet to find any particulars as to this research.
Note: " 1717 - Johann Jurg, Daniel Rauch and Anna Otilia's child was born the 8th of Juny (June) and the 15th baptized. The witnesses were Johann Jerg Rauch and Anna Eva N." (signifies that her surname was not known) from Abtweiler.
Note: Jurg was a more common spelling for Georg. To the untrained eye Daniel might appear like David. I suppose this is why some of your family have Johann Georg's father as David. But the German "v" is very distinct and definitely not present in this record.
4 5 4 4 5 4 5 2
Change Date: 29 JUL 2003

Father: Hans Daniel RAUCH b: 6 SEP 1676 in Odernheim, Rheinland, Pfaltz, Germany
Mother: Anna Otillia WEBER b: 25 APR 1685 in Abtweiler, Rheinland, Pfaltz, Germany
Marriage 1 Maria KOHLER b: 1725 in Hallgarten, Rheinland, Pfaltz, Germany
Married: 17 MAY 1745 6 in Reformed Lutheran, Obermoschel, Germany
Thomas RAUCH
Andrew (Andreas) SMOKE b: 1755 in Colleton County, SC
John George RAUCH
George Michael SMOAK
John Bernard (Barnett) RAUCH b: ABT 1759 in SC

Name:>World Connect Family Trees>database: carolyn4548>
Ramsey Family Connections>Colleton County Library, SC
Name: email received from DelLynn Leavitt 7-21-2003
Name: Hohann George Rauch (John George Smoak) - Calhoun County Museum records
Name: Smoak Folder, Salley Archives, Orangeburg, S.C.
Name: Cemeteries of Upper Colleton County, SC by Evelyn & Gibson Bryan
Name: Title: World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1
Name: Author: Broderbund Software, Inc.
Name: Publication: November 29, 1995