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The ancestral home of the Rauh family is in the German province of Bavaria. Rauh 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."
The surname Rauh was first found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. Literally, the name refers to the smoke generated by smithies. For instance, a smith in Zurich was known as "Meister Roeuchli," literally "Mister Smoke," around 1468. The various branches of the Rauch and Raeuchlin families declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region.
In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Rauh include Raucher, Rauche, Raeuchlin, Reuchlin, Raeuchle, Rauck, Raucker, Raucke, Rauk, Rauker, Rauke, Smoak, Smoke, Ruch and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rauh research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1522, 1740, 1743, 1745, 1808, and 1814 are included under the topic Early Rauh History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rauh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Rauh or a variant listed above:
Rauh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Rauh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
This page was last modified on 28 January 2016 at 12:51.