« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 07:09:48 AM »
The following information is provided in part by the work of Gordon [Ruben]King. Additional details are filled in by way of my own research.
Oral tradition has it that the surname of "Reuben Koenig" originated as two separate families, the Reuben's and the Koenig's, merged to form one stronger family unit; possibly for financial reasons, possibly for military strength, or maybe for both financial stability and military strength. And considering the persecution suffered by many Jewish families, fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition (from the late 15th century through the middle 16th century) and the Church of Rome, plus the fact that such family mergers were fairly common among Gentiles in feudal Europe, it becomes easier to see this being a strong possibility, especially if the two families wanted to blend in with the indigenous peoples, in order to avoid much of the persecution that went with being Jewish.
* In 1705, in the town or village of Bad Hersfeld (Hesse; Germany) a boy was born into the family of the Reuben Koenig surname.
* In 1730, then 25 years of age, this man fathered Johann Reuben Koenig, who became a Lutheran church pastor in Bad Hersfeld and Trubenhausen (Germany).
* In 1759, Johann Reuben Koenig became the father of Weyland Bartell Reuben Koenig, born in Trubenhausen. According to the records of the Laudenbach Lutheran church, there were 14 children born to pastor Johann Reuben Koenig: 5 boys, 7 girls, and 2 unknown.
* Weyland Bartell Reuben Koenig moved to Laudenbach, Hesse (Germany), where he met and married his wife; name unknown. In 1790, Weyland became the father of Johann Peter Reuben Koenig. There might have been other children, but the records are sketchy at best.
* In 1806, Johann Peter married an unknown woman; apparently, she died before they had any children.
* In 1816, Johann Peter Reuben Koenig married Dorothea Elisabetha Moeller, who also died, but not before giving birth to three sons: Johann Heinrich (November 16, 1817), Justus Wilhelm (December 19, 1819), and Johann Hermann (October 2, 1821) who later emigrated to the USA.
* In 1827, Johann Peter Reuben Koenig married Katharina Elisabetha Moeller, possibly the sister of Dorothea; and they had five children, 3 boys and 2 girls. Their third son, Johann Philip Reuben Koenig, was born November 9, 1832, in Laudenbach.
According to one family journal, in 1849, most of the family members combined the two part surname, to form one new name of Reubenkoenig.
In August of 1852, Johann Hermann Reubenkoenig and two of his half-brothers (Johannes and Johann Philip) emigrated from Laudenbach (Germany) to New Orleans, LA. (USA). And upon reaching the United States, at least two of the three brothers Americanized their names, in order to blend in. Johannes became John Reubenkoenig. And Johann Philip became John Philip Reubenking.
*In 1853, the three brothers each got married. Johann Hermann Reubenkoenig married Maria Wilhelmina Ruehrwiem (from Prussia; Germany), and they had two sons (Christian Friedrich and Philipp Hermann) before Johann Hermann died (August 5, 1856) in New Orleans. And while some records show that Johann Hermann and Maria Wilhelmina knew each other in Laudenbach (Germany), there are other reports that they might have actually gotten married in Laudenbach, just prior to making the move to the United States.
* John Reubenkoenig married a French dancer, who had emigrated from Paris, France. The name of his wife, listed on her death certificate (November 21, 1854) was illegible. She died of Yellow Fever. They had one daughter, Catherine Louise, who married Gerhard Gohlinghorst. She was born 3 days before her mother's death. John was wounded in the Civil War (1861-1865) and eventually died in Havana, Illinois, in 1876.
* John Philip Reubenking married Anna Martha Luebeck (from Germany), and they had 10 children; 4 boys and 6 girls. Like Maria Wilhelmina Ruehrwiem, Anna Martha Luebeck might have also been known by her husband, before coming to the USA. And if they did not know each other beforehand, they would have had plenty of time to get to know each other during the ocean voyage, from Europe to New Orleans.
In early 1859, the families of the two surviving brothers had saved enough money to move north, up the Mississippi River to Illinois, where they settled for a time. John Reubenkoenig and his daughter, Catherine Louise, joined the growing family of his younger brother, John Philip Rubenking. And while John Philip's first two sons (John Herman and Frank) were born in New Orleans, Heinrich Wilhelm (William Henry), my great grandfather, was born in Alton, Illinois (May 22, 1859). And the other 7 children were all born in Havana, Illinois.
John Philip ("Philip") and Anna Martha ("Anna") Rubenking found and purchased a farm, where they settled, near Havana, Illinois.
Some reports suggest that John and his daughter, Catherine Louise, also lived in the family home of Philip and Anna Rubenking. And considering that John never remarried, it would have been a logical place for the girl to grow up and be able to take advantage of the nurturing and mentoring of her aunt Anna, as well as the friendship and fellowship of her cousins, some of whom were similar in age. And eventually, after settling down in Havana, even John Americanized his name completely.
The children born to Philip and Anna Rubenking were as follows:
1) Johann Hermann (changed to John Herman) born Feb. 26, 1855, in New Orleans. John Herman married Johanna Helena Elisabeth Bevermann in Havana, on Nov. 9, 1877.
2) Frank born Jul. 19, 1857, in New Orleans. Frank married Margartha Kastendick; date and place are unknown.
3) Heinrich Wilhelm (changed to William Henry), my great grandfather, was born May 22, 1859, in Alton, Illinois. William Henry married Rachel Jane Atkins on Jul. 27, 1882.
4) Anna Martha born Mar. 25, 1861, in Havana, Illinois. Anna Martha married John Henry Koke, Senior; date and place are unknown.
5) Katherina (changed to Catherine) was born in 1863, in Havana, and married George Herman Steging on Apr. 7, 1880, in Havana, Illinois.
6) Mary was born in 1865, in Havana, and married Charles Beck.
7) Margaret Anna was born on Nov. 29, 1867, in Havana, and married Charles Tangman.
8) Elizabeth Catherina (changed to Elise) was born on Jul. 9, 1871, in Havana, and married Charles Miller (Mueller or Muller).
Philip and Anna Rubenking also raised two foster children:
Henry Steging, Jr., born Jun. 21, 1854, who married Katherina Elizabeth Glackmeier.
Anna Umland, but any details of her birth, marriage, and life are unknown at this time.
Private John Reubenkoenig enlisted in the 44th Illinois Infantry on July 1, 1861 and was given a disability discharge on May 3, 1865, after receiving a debilitating wound from a canon blast, in his left arm.
Philip did not renounce allegiance to the Duke of Hesse Cassel (Germany) and become an official citizen of the United States of America until he was 35 years of age (October 24, 1868), 16 years after landing in New Orleans.
The Next Genration:
William Henry Rubenking and Rachel Jane Atkins had 10 children; 8 boys and 2 girls.
1) Sylvester, my grandfather, was born on Jun. 9, 1883, in Havana, Illinois, and married Ola Mae Rutt on Aug. 3, 1909, in Randolf, Iowa.
2) Charles Henry was born on Oct. 18, 1885, in Havana, and married Margaret Virginia Myers on Jun. 15, 1910, in Sydney, Iowa.
3) Augusty was born and died on Jan. 31, 1888, in Havana.
4) Edward Franklin was born on Feb. 7, 1889, and had two wives. His first wife was Florence England. And on Feb. 5, 1920, he married Clara Mildred Rhino.
5) Laura May was born on Mar. 16, 1891, in Poplar City, Illinois. Laura May married Herman Fredrick Vogel on Dec. 5, 1906, in Randolf, Iowa.
6) Alven Fred was born on Jul. 30, 1893, and married Blanche England.
7) Louis Philip was born on Nov. 25, 1895, and died on Jan. 28, 1900.
8) A boy was stillborn on Jun. 11, 1898.
9) Effie Jane was born on Apr. 21, 1900, in Illinois, and married Elmer Hall. And after Elmer's death, she married George J. Buckman.
10) A boy was stillborn on Feb. 17, 1903.
In 1905, William Henry Rubenking packed up his family and moved to southwestern Iowa, from the Illinois River, across the Mississippi River, not too far from the Missouri River. However, Sylvester (my grandfather) was in his early 20's by that time, and he was satisfied with remaining in Illinois, where his friends and extended family were. And yet, in 1908, Sylvester changed his mind and also made the move, traveling by train, and joining up with the rest of the family, already settled in Randolf (Iowa).
Within a few months, grandpa had settled in himself and began courting grandma, Ola Mae Rutt, the daughter of Benjamin and Luella Rutt, of Casey, Iowa. Eventually, the two love birds got married (Aug. 3, 1909) and had 14 children of their own:
1) Mabel Christina was born on Apr. 15, 1910, in Randolf. She married Hugh Douglas Lawrence on Jun. 25, 1927, and they 3 daughters and 6 sons (the first of which was stillborn; 1928).
2) Ernest Abraham was born on Jan. 7, 1912, in Randolf. He married Callie Pickering on Jun. 5, 1934, and they had 5 daughters (1 set of twins died at birth) and 1 son.
3) Wayne Ralph was born Jul 5, 1913, in Malvern, Iowa. He married Jenie Audrey Blackburn on Feb. 23, 1935, in Bartlett, Iowa, and they had 4 sons.
4) William Henry was born on Dec. 29, 1915, in Randolf. He married Stella Dye White and had only one step-daughter.
5) John Merrill was born on Mar. 17, 1917, in Randolf. He married Norma Jean Taylor Kalkas and had 3 daughters, and later married Carolyn Diehl.
6) Edward Sylvester was born on Jan. 20, 1919. He died at the age of two, on Mar. 30, 1921.
7) Franklin Oliver was born on May 24, 1921, in Randolf. And he died short of his first birthday, on Apr. 27, 1922.
8) Pearl Luella was born Aug. 15, 1923, in Randolf. Aunt Pearl married Ivan Glade Taylor, Sr., on Nov. 9, 1940, and they had 3 sons and 1 daughter. They were divorced, and she married a church pastor.
9) Herman Norman was born on Sept. 14, 1925, in Randolf. And he married Purl; details not known at this time.
10) Laura Mae Jane was born on May 2, 1927, in Randolf. And she married George Albert Moore on Jan. 5, 1946, in Hiawatha, Kansas. They had 3 daughters.
11) Austin Vance (my dad) was born on Jul. 30, 1930, in Randolf. He married Gloria May (White) Simpson (my mother) on Dec. 22, 1951. And they had 3 sons:
a) David Allen was born on Jun. 26, 1953, in Des Moines (Iowa) and married Cindy Michael. They have two sons (David Allen II and Aaron).
b) Thomas Sylvester was born on Jan. 1, 1956, in Des Moines and married Rose Marie. They had a son (Chad Allan) before divorcing. Chad is married and has a son.
c) Robert Vance was born on May 2, 1957, in Des Moines. I fathered my son, Robert (Bobby) Vance Rubenking, Jr., with his mother, Catherine Elizabeth Custer. And Bobby married Sharon Wilson and have a daughter (Katelyn Breanne).
12) Thomas August was born on Aug. 22, 1932, in Randolf. He married Eleanor Joyce Vanderpool on Jun. 14, 1956, in Malvern, Iowa, and had 4 sons and 1 daughter.
13) Sylviann Belle was born on May 30, 1934, in Randolf. She married Robert Dunkin and had 33 sons and 2 daughters. After their divorce, she married Jack Mooney and had 1 daughter.
14) Anita Louise was born on Aug. 25, 1936, in Randolf. She married Robert Ray Beloud, and they had a son and daughter and adopted 1 son.
On July 14, 1908, a 26 year old by the name of John Rubenking was granted a patent in the United States, England, and France, for what was called "The Rubenking Negative Washing Device", a simple mechanism for developing glass negatives from the cameras of that era. However, the invention was made obsolete by roll film.
posted by: Robert V. Rubenking