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Rickenbacker Research Notes

Generation 1

Heinrich [Henry(1)] Rickenbacher

Heinrich Rickenbacher, bapt. 23 Feb 1690 in Kilchberg, BL, Switzerland married and Anna Burgi, bapt. 29 Sep 1695 in Bubendorf, on 8 Oct 1714 in Kilchberg. Some seven years later, they had one child, Heini, bapt. 22 Feb 1722 in Kilchberg. Residents of nearby Runenberg (1 Km NE) Heinrich and Anna attended church in Kilchberg. An extensive search of the Kilchberg church records shows no other child of Heinrich and Anna.

Heinrich was granted 350 acres of land which would normally indicate a family of seven. How he managed this is unknown, but three companion families (the two Giegelman families and the Sali family) were granted 200 acres less than their family sizes would indicate suggesting that Heinrich may have claimed some of their children when getting his grant.

According to Faust, Heinrich sent a letter to his brother via Hans Spring in 1739. According to Salley, his wife Anna Burgi re-married 1 Jan 1740. Based on these I've assigned a death date of 1739. He was probably buried on his plantation but there is no record of this. Anna died 31 Aug 1759 in Orangeburgh Township and was buried on the Rickenbacker Plantation then owned by her son Heini.

Generation 2

Heini [Henry(2)] Rickenbacher

Heini, bapt. 22 Feb 1722 in Kilchberg, BL, Switzerland, married Anna Till, bapt. 12 Apr 1722 in Pratteln, abt. 1740 in Orangeburg Township (the marriage was documented by Rev. Giessendanner but the actual date is uncertain). Heini and Anna had 5 sons:

  1. Hans Heinrich, baptized in the Orangeburgh Church 7 Mar 1741. He is called Henry in the baptism record in Salley (p.99), however, Joop's transcription gives his full name.
  2. Nicholas(1), born abt. 1947, must be the son of Heini Rickenbacher. Although there is no documented proof, there is no other Rickenbacher who could be his father. He was most likely named for his maternal grandfather, Niclas Till. Born about 1947, the record of his baptism may be one of the missing records implied by Salley: "The parts, preserved and translated, of those records kept up to the time when the younger Giessendanner went to England [Oct 1749] are very meagre and scattering, but those kept after his return [Mar 1750] are very complete."
  3. Johannes, baptized in Orangeburgh Church 19 Aug 1750.
  4. Samuel, born bef. 1765 is a virtual unknown. He was in the Orangeburgh Militia in 1781 which suggests that he was born before 1765. Since these are all the Rickenbachers known to exist at this time, he is assumed to be a son of Heini and Anna and is assumed to fit in the obvious gap between Anne Catharina and Jacob. There is a small probability that he was a son of Hans Heinrich.
  5. Jacob, was born 10 Dec 1763 (from gravestone). This was after the death of Rev. Giessendanner so we rely on Salley's quote (p. 67) from the writing of John Lucas: "The said Jacob Rickenbacker [the grandfather of Donald and John C. Rowe] was the son of the first Rickenbacker that came to this country from Germany." Since Jacob was born over 20 years after the death of Heinrich, he must be the son of Heini, the only other Rickenbacher emigrant.

Generation 3

Hans Heinrich [Henry Jr., John(1)] Rickenbacher

Hans Heinrich is identified as Henry, Jr. on a single plat for 50 acres adjacent to his father's 200? acres near Bull Swamp? In Census and Revolutionary War records, he is called John (as is his brother Johannes). Based only on census records, he may have had 3 sons and 2 daughters. He does not appear in the census after 1810, thus I've assumed a death date of 1810-1820.

  • 1790 - Rickinbaker, John [Hans Heinrich]
    1 fw male 16-? yrs; 3 fw males 0-16 yrs; 3 fw females; 0 slaves
  • 1800 - Rekambekar, John [Hans Heinrich]
    2 males 10-16 yrs; 1 male 45-? Yrs; 1 female 26-45 yrs; 0 slaves
  • 1810 - Ricembecker, Jn [Hans Heinrich]
    1 male 45-? yrs; 1 female 45-? yrs; 0 slaves

Hans Heinrich is most likely the John Rickenbacker who provided supplies during the Revolutionary War and is most likely the John Rickenbacker who is noted as his father's executor on a Revolutionary War Claim of Henry Rickenbacker.

Nicholas(1) Rickenbacher

Census records indicate that Nicholas(1) may have had as many as 6 sons and 5 daughters:

  • 1790 - Rickinbaker, Nicholas(1)
    1 fw male 16-? yrs; 3 fw males 0-16 yrs; 5 fw females; 5 slaves
  • 1800 - Richanbaker, Nicholas(1)
    3 males 0-10, 2 males 10-16 yrs; 1 male 45-? Yrs; 2 females 0-10, 2 females 16-26, 1 female 26-45 yrs; 10 slaves
  • 1810 - Ricambaker, N[icholas](1)
    1 males 10-16, 1 male 16-26, 1 male 45-? yrs; 1 female 0-10, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 45-? yrs; 9 slaves

The death date of Nicholas(1) and proof that he was the father of Nicholas(2) comes from a note page in the Family Bible of Samuel Elkin Rickenbacker: "4 Nicholas Rickenbacker Departed this life 7 July 1812"; "Nombers 4, 10 12 & 13 are our Grandparents".

On the same note page in SER's bible are the following: "1 Christeana Rickenbacker Departed this life 29 Oct 1805"; "2 Jacob Rickenbacker Departed this life 13 Nov 1814"; "3 Henry Rickenbacker Departed this life 27 January 1816". Since all of these deaths occurred before SER was 2 years old, they are presumed to be from an earlier record, probably his father's Bible (Nicholas(2). A reasonable assumption is that they chronicle deaths of Nicholas(2)'s siblings. Indeed, with what we can glean from census records about available Rickenbackers in generation 4, the only other choices are to say that these are children of Hans Heinrich or possibly Johannes (but why should deaths of their children end up in SER's Bible?). Can we find any proof?

There is some additional evidence for Henry(3). On 6 Feb 1806, Nicholas(1) gave 50 acres of land "to My son Henry Rickenbacher ...". Also there is a Hr. Recambecker, living near Nicholas(1) and Nicholas(2), who appears only in the 1810 Census:
    1810 - Recambecker, Hr.: 1 male 26-45, 2 females 0-10, 1 female 26-45 yrs; 5 slaves
Taken together, the evidence suggests that Henry(3), the son of Nicholas(1), was born before 1784, had a wife and two daughters in 1810 and died 27 Jan 1816.

There is less evidence for Jacob(2), however, there is a young Ja. Ricambacker who appears only in the 1810 census:
    1810 - 10. Ricambacker, Ja.: 1 male 10-26, 1 female aged 10-26 yrs; 0 slaves
Assuming that Jacob(2) was a son of Nicholas(1), this suggests that he was born before 1800, had a wife in 1810, and died 13 Nov 1814.

There is no other evidence for Christeana. She was probably one of the females who disappeared from the family of Nicholas(1) between 1800 and 1810.

Johannes [John(2)] Rickenbacher

Based only on census records, Johannes may have had 1 son and 3 daughters:

  • 1790 - Rickinbaker, John(2)
    1 fw male 16-? yrs, 1 fw female, 9 slaves
  • 1800 - Rickanbaker, John(2)
    1 male 0-10, 1 male 45-? Yrs; 3 females 0-10, 1 females 16-26 6 slaves
  • 1810 - Ricambaker, J[oh]n(2)
    1 male 45-? yrs; 1 female 0-10, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 26-45, 10 slaves

Johannes does not appear in the census after 1810, thus I've assumed a death date of 1810-1820.

Samuel(1) Rickenbacher

When I first found this Samuel, aged 45+ in the 1820 census, I thought he was a census taker's mistake. Since then I've found him in the 30 Nov 1781 pay abstract of Capt. Samuel Rowe's Company of the Orangeburgh Militia along with John Rikenbacker (presumably Johannes) and Jacob Rikenbacker. That is pretty solid proof of his existence. Since members of the militia were supposed to be at least 16 years old, he must have been born before 1765.

  • 1820 - Ricumbacker, Samuel(1): 1 male 45-? yrs, 29 slaves

Jacob(1) Rickenbacher

Jacob, was born 10 Dec 1763 (from gravestone). He supposedly married Margaret C. Rowe, born 16 Oct 1769, abt. 1783 but I am not convinced that Jacob married Margaret when she was 14 or younger. I suspect she was a second wife and that they actually married abt. 1790. This would be consistent with the Rowe Bible which only documents Jacob's three youngest children.

Census records are consistent with Jacob having only five children although Jacob does disappear from the Cemsus in 1810 and 1820:

  • 1790 - Rickinbaker, Jacob(1): 2 fw male 16-? yrs; 1 fw male 0-16 yrs; 4 fw females; 3 slaves
  • 1800 - Rikenbaker, Jacob(1): 1 male 0-10, 1 male 10-16, 1 male 26-45, 2 females 0-10, 1 female 10-16, 13 slaves
  • 1830 - Rickenbacca, Jacob(1): 1 males 60-70, 1 female 40-50, 48 slaves

Rickenbacker Wives

Generation 3

Mrs. Rickenbacker, 1746-47 - 16 Apr 1807

Buried 17 Apr 1807 as "Mrs. Rickenbacker aged 61 years" at St. Matthews Lutheran Church by Rev. Francklow. Born in 1746 or 1747 she must be the wife of Hans Heinrich (John(1)). She cannot be the wife of Nicholas(1) because from SER's bible notes, Nicholas(1)'s wife was Mary Heckle (the mother of Nicholas(2), b. 1784) who died in 1822; she doesn't seem to be the the wife of Johannes for his wife, Elizabeth Rowe, was born 1774-1784 from census records; and she is far to old to be the wife of Samuel or Jacob.

Elizabeth W. (Barton?) Rickenbacker, Abt. 1762/70 - 15 Jan 1852

A native of Cork Ireland, b. before 1770, she must be a generation 3 wife. I suspect this is the Elizabeth Barton who married John Rickenbacker according to the "Rumph and Frederick Families" but have no proof. If this is Elizabeth Barton, I suspect she was the sister of Timothy Barton rather than his daughter. I suspect this Elizabeth married Hans Heinrich (John(1) after the death of his first wife (see Mrs. Rickenbacker above) but again have no proof.

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