RUDERER-L ArchivesArchiver > RUDERER > 2005-02 > 1108706192
From: "Ella Coleman" <>
Subject: German/English Pennsylvania "RYTERs" and their connecting families. Late 1600's to early 1800's. Let's do this together.
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 00:56:32 -0500
Did you know that ROEDER, RODER, ROYTER, ROTER, RIDER, REIDER, REITER, RITER, RITTER, RUTER, RUTTER, RIGHTER, RUETER, RIGHTER, RUDDER, RICHTER and RUYTER (etc.) could all be pronounced RYTER in German?
WRIGHT, RITTEN, RITTENHOUSE and KNIGHT could also be variants.
I've seen, in quite a few German names, the suffixes s, es, in, er and even ing dropped, added and interchanged and wondered if the same happened with some "RYTERs".
With their different dialects the German's came up with about 20 different ways to writing their language phonetically and that is why there are so many variations of German names. Fleeing their homeland because of religious persecution (they were non-catholics during the time of The Holy Empire), many Germans went to England where they were welcomed with open arms before Germans came to Pennsylvania in the late 1600s to the early/mid 1700's.
Now they didn't just leave their immediate neighborhood or town or state mind you. They left in fear from their whole country! Some of the churches that they were members of did not keep their records in German while others did. So while they, or their descendants, moved from place to place and belonged to different churches their names changed accordingly. I assume that one of the reasons that they did this was in fear of being tracked and persecuted.
In the attempt to hide and anglicize the name, while the next generation attempted to go back to using the German spelling and vice versa, one, two or both things happened. Either some did not know exactly how phonics worked in either English or German and ended up making mistakes in trying to accomplish the phonetic spelling...or they came up with their own way to write their language so that only they, and others in their group, could understand it because there are many contradictions out there.
In an effort to go back further in my "RYTER" tree I have been pouring over old wills at rootsweb.com's ftp site and the 1850 Pennsylvania census. This may end up being a one name or one place study but I wll keep my research to a minimum by sticking to Pennsylvania names that connect to my "RYTER"s and those that connect to other Pennsylvania "RYTERs" which in turn will hopefully connect them all if not most.
The time period that I am interested in is about 1600 to 1750 in Germany and England and as early as possibly to the early 1800's in Pennsylvania. My research mainly takes me into Philadelphia, Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties.
The following names have been found connected in one way or another to these different "RYTER" families. Some names are in my family tree, that I've found out so far, while others simply share the names of neighbors of my "RUTTER/RITTERs" in the Southwark District of Philadelphia and or Camden, NJ.
Robert and Richard WHITEHEAD
Benjamin and John BROWN
The WHITEHEADs, BROWNs, KEAN/KEENs and NORTONs are the names that I found in old wills that mainly tie these families together.
KNAUSS/NUSS/NEUSS/NEUß...possibly NEU/NEY if the ß was dropped in attempt to anglicize the name.
If anyone out there is researching any of the above families and can help to put this puzzle together I would love to hear from you! If you find that you connect and send me your connecting family info I will piece together what I can and share the information that I have. If you think there might be a connection drop me a line and I'll see if your information matches anything that I have.
I am a married mother of a 2 and I will be doing this in my free time so please be patient with me.
Type your German surname into the "nachname" box, make sure that soundex is checked, click on "suchen" and see what you find. The site is in German but isn't too hard to figure out. "nechste seite"=next page.
A little History Lesson...if you don't know the history of Germany and it's language and religious issues you'll have one heck of a time tracing your German roots.
A German <-> English Dictionary
Omniglot-A Guide to Written Langauage.
Old wills at rootsweb.com's ftp site.
More Philadelphia Records at rootsweb.com's ftp site.
Pennsylvania Records at rootsweb.com's ftp site.