Ruth family

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Ruth (Rutt), a Swiss family represented in the Lancaster and Franconia conferences (Mennonite Church) of eastern Pennsylvania. In Lancaster the name is spelled Rutt, and in Franconia, Ruth. Henry Ruth settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, ca. 1720. Some outstanding persons of this family in the history of the Franconia Conference Mennonites were David Ruth (d. 1820), bishop of the Plains and Lexington congregations; Benjamin Ruth (1849-1904), deacon of the Towamencin congregation; Joseph G. Ruth (1857-1928), bishop of the Line Lexington congregation; and the latter's nephew, Arthur D. Ruth (b. 1892), senior bishop of the Franconia congregation in the mid 20th century. In the Lancaster Conference Martin Rutt (1840-1905) served as bishop in the Risser district; he was a strong figure in the conference. Abraham Rutt (1838-98) was a deacon in the Strickler congregation and Edwin Rutt, his son, succeeded him as deacon. Albert B. Rutt, a Lancaster Mennonite, served for a time as a missionary in Chicago early in the 20th century, but later went into business. J. L. Rutt served for a number of years as a missionary (MC) in Argentina. In the Wisler division of 1872 in Indiana and Ohio the Rutts of Ashland County, Ohio, followed Jacob Wisler. The references to Swiss Mennonite church leaders of 1645 bearing the name Ruth as an apparent Christian name are not entirely clear. -- JCW 

According to the "Haus und Hand-buch für die Familie David Ruth zu Eichstock, 1852" (in Mennonite Library and Archives [North Newton, KS]), Gerhard Ruth and his family migrated from the Rhein area to Upper Bavaria in 1819, where he purchased the Eichstock estate near Dachau. About 1852 his son David Ruth, emigrated from Eichstock to Franklin Center, Iowa, and there he served as a preacher. From here family members moved to Halstead, Kansas, and have also spread to other states. The children of David Ruth were John W., Susanna A., who married Christian Krehbiel, David C., Henry G., Jacob E., and Gerhard B. Ruth. The "Haus und Hand-buch" contains historical and genealogical data about the family in Bavaria, Iowa, and Kansas. The original German narrative has been translated into English. -- CK


Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 823.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 1122. Available online at:

Author(s) John C. Wenger
Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wenger, John C. and Cornelius Krahn. "Ruth family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Apr 2024.

APA style

Wenger, John C. and Cornelius Krahn. (1959). Ruth family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 394-395. All rights reserved.

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