Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

My "Southern" Roots

I have recently discovered that I have ancestors who settled the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The Ringger family came from Switzerland to America via Philadelphia, PA in 1743. They were known as the Rinkers after arrival.

My 6th great-grandfather, Hans Casper Ringger was born on Christmas Day, 1727 in Nurrensdorf, Zurich, Switzerland. His parents were Jakob Ringger and Barbara Morff. His mother died when he was 9 years old and his father remarried Susanna Bachman. After Jakob’s death in 1743 the family came to America. Hans Casper grew up in Pennsylvania and was married in Germantown on April 11, 1757. The newly married couple went to Virginia soon after their marriage. They settled around Gainsboro, his brother, Hans Jacob Rinker, settled in the Shenandoah Valley in 1749.

Jacob, Casper and Henry, brothers, came to America in l743 after their father died. The step mother, Susanna Bachman Rinker, came with them. It is said they left Switzerland May 5, 1743 on the Ship “Francis and Elizabeth” from Rotterdam.

Source: ‘Pennsylvania German Pioneers’ by Strassburger & Hincke

It is said they settled in Philadelphia for a time before moving to Virginia by way of Lancaster, Pa. At least one of Jacob’s sons was born in Lancaster. Shenandoah County histories state that Jacob settled in Shenandoah Co. in 1749, while the Will of Casper states they settled in Frederick Co. in 1757. Henry, the brother was also in Frederick Co. It is said there were also sisters.

The Rinker family were all industrious people and the boys all accumulated sizable acreages of land. Ail were active church people and Jacob started the Reformed Church in his area. It was a type of Lutheran so when Ministers could not be gotten of the Reformed churoh, Lutheran Ministers were used.

Jacob Rinker built a small rock home over a good spring of water with port holes in the lower part for firing guns. This was for protection from the Indians who still molested the early settlers. This house built in 1749, still stands today as a monument to the sturdy pioneers who first settled Shenandoah.

Rinker, Casper, born in 1727 and died on Feb. 11, 1804, according to a tombstone inscription in the Quaker Graveyard (Back Creek Meeting) at Gainsboro, Va. Buried next to him In the Quaker cemetery (Back Creek Meeting at Gainsboro, Virginia) is wife Mary Rinker, born in 1729 and died on Jan. 26, 1820. In a Circuit Court record in Augusta County, Va., Mary testified in a deposition that she and her husband, Casper, moved to Frederick County, Va. in 1757.

Casper settled in Gainesboro, VA where he was the overseer of the Poor House in 1771 and kept a tavern in his home at which General George Washington stayed. Washington’s diary reads: Oct 7 1770 “Dind at Rinkers…”

Historical Records Of Old Frederick County, Va.
Page 321

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Ringger, Rinker, Shenendoah Valley, Virginia

July 2020