The Rancks are really German

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Date: 1641 to 2019
Location: Palatinemap
Surnames/tags: Ranck Ranc
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Ranck family in Germany

A place to keep the argument that Jean Ranc, born 1641 in Paris, is really Johann Valentin Ranck, born 1641, near Mannheim, Palatine, current day Germany.

Jean Ranc

I have been researching the Rancks all day and I am going to go out on a limb and say that I'm 100% convinced that Jean Ranc from Paris, France is really Johann Valentin Ranck from the Mannheim area of current day Germany.

A search of Jean Ranc born in Paris returns no results (other than unsourced trees based on the "family legend" books).

A search of Ranc, born anywhere in France, returns no birth of Jean (in case his residence was Paris but he was born elsewhere).

I don't see any Jean Ranc born in Paris from the time period 1550 to 1650: Family Search

We know now for a fact, that Jean du Ranc is a real person and was born in 1642 (a year after our Jean) at the Chateau de Vibrac, outside of Montpelier, France. This Jean was granted land in Coussargues and was titled Jean Duranc de Vibrac, Lord of Coussargues.

It is likely, very likely, that some of the early authors saw this Jean du Ranc in a French history book and assumed that this was the same Jean or a cousin.

What is previously known:

Jean Ranc, b. abt. 1641
father of
Hans Veltin Ranck, b. abt. 1688
father of
Ann Barbara Ranck, b. 1699, Neckarau – disposition unknown
John Michael Ranck, b. 1701, Neckarau (migrant to Pennsylvania)
John Philip Ranck, b. 1704, Neckarau (migrant to Pennsylvania)
Rosina Katherine Ranck, b. 1706, d. 1713, Neckarau
Susannah Margaretha (Ranck) Schneider, b. 1707, Neckarau (migrant to Pennsylvania)
Johan Valentine Ranck, b. 1710, Neckarau – disposition unknown

Ranck Surname in Germany

A search of the name Ranck in Germany in the late 18th century produces many hits. As revealed recently, Germany is putting more church records on FamilySearch. This map shows where most of the results came back, with Neckarau included: Perl, Ungstein, Oppenheim, Speyer, Eberstadt, Bellenberg, and Mansfeld. Not included are Frankenthall (see other map) and some hits in West Prussia (really east Prussia) located in current day Puck, Poland (would be off the right of the screen):

In looking at Rancks in Germany, here is what I found today:

All of the Ranck individuals shown below are from Fraknethall or Ungstein. Frankenthall is 16 miles, or about 3 hours walk to Neckarau, or about 1 1/2 hours by horse cart. Ungstein is the same distance to Frankenthall.


In Frankenthall we find:

Hanss Peter Rank, birth 19 May 1639 in Frankenthal, about 10 miles away from Neckarau (3 hour walk).

Son of: Jacob and Barbara Ranck

It appears that this or another family of Rancks stayed in or returned to Frankenthall after the war:

Catharina Eliesabetha Rank, birth 7 Feb 1706 in Frankenthall

Daughter of Johannes Ranck

Hanss Georg Ranck, birth 15 Jan 1713 in Frakenthal

Son of: Johannes and Barbara Ranck


And in Ungstein, we find Johan Valentin Ranck, possible son of Jean Ranc, brother of Hans Valentin Ranck:

Children of Johan Valentin Ranck (marked * below) – note childrens births about same time as those of Hans Veltin Ranck – very good chance that Johann Valentin is brother to Hans or cousin, meaning Hans and Johann are sons of Jean Ranc, or, sons of Jean’s brother who’s name is not yet known.

  • Maria Magdalena Ranck, born about 1698 (died 28 April 1705, in Ungstein, aged 7 years)
Daughter of Hanns Veltin Ranck and Anna Barbara
  • Hanns Georg Ranck, born before 1700 (estimated based on marriage in 1719)
  • Susanna Apollonia Ranck, born on or before 1702 (estimate based on marriage of 1726 and that first birth records for this family are in 1703, perhaps family lived in another town), marriage to Johann Friedrich Kraus on 12 Nov 1726 in Ungstein – record indicates first marriage for both
  • Johannes Ranck, birth 27 August 1703, death 7 January 1710, Ungstein
son of Johannes Valentine and Ranck and Anna Barbara

(wife) Anna Barbara (Muller) Ranck, death 10 August 1774, Ungstein

daughter of Johannes Muller and Anna Dorothea

(2nd wife) - Anna Margareta (Leysenheim) Ranck, marriage, 19 May 1705 to Johann Valentin Ranck

daughter of Johann Leysenheim and Catharina
  • Johann Jacob Ranck, birth 15 December 1709, Ungstein,
son of Johann Valentin and Anna Margretha Ranck
later married to Anna Maria Kaletsch, dau of Hans Nicol Kaletsch in Ungstein
  • Johann Phillips Ranck, birth 17 March 1712, Ungstein
son of Johann Valentin and Anna Margretha Ranck
later married Maria Magretha Bar on 27 Apr 1740:
  • Hanns Georg Ranck, marriage 28 Nov 1719 to Catharina Elisabetha Munch, Ungstein
son of Johann Valentin Ranck
Catharina is daughter to Lorentz Munch (compare the name Lorentz to Johann Valentine’s son Johann Lorentz born the year after this marriage)
Note: marriage of 1719 puts birth ~ 1700, just a few years before Johannes Ranck in 1703.
  • Johann Lorentz Ranck, birth 26 August 1720, Ungstein
son of Johann Valentin and Anna Margretha Ranck,
Later married Anna Maria Muller, daughter of Jacob Muller on 14 Nov 1741 in Ungstein
Note: Muller is the surname of the first wife of Lorentz’ father Johann Valentine.

Johann Valentine Ranck, death 15 November 1735, Ungstein, aged 73 years, born in 1662 (compare to Hans born in 1688 – sibling our cousin?)

son of: Johannes Ranck and Catharina
father of children listed above, possible brother to Hans Veltin

Anna Margretha Ranck, widow, death 5 Sep 1742, Ungstein

wife of Johan Valentine Ranck (possible son of Jean Ranc, brother of Hans)
father's name Johannes Leisenheim, mother Catharina

Even if Johann Valentine is not the son of Jean, based on the proximity of the towns (walking distance), the same surname, the recurring given names, it is extremely likely that these two family groups are related to the Ranck family of Neckarau. Some of the recurring family names in this group that are seen in the Neckarau family and their descendants in Pennsylvania: Johann (Hans), Valentin (or Veltin), Anna Barbara, Johann Philip, Dorothea, Jacob & George.

Family and Friends Search

A good next step would be to do a "friends and family" analysis and see if any of the related surnames appear in Pennsylvania:


Additionaly names to cross reference are the relatives and witnesses to the Ranck family in Neckarau:

Phillipes or Philipes
Weinkrauss (Weigrauß) or Weinkraus

New Research

1657 Marriage of mother and father:

Name: Veltin Rinck
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 3 Feb 1657
Marriage Place: Evangelisch, Ittersbach, Karlsruhe, Baden
Spouse: Barbara Strotz
FHL Film Number: 1238163

1658 birth of son:

Name: Hanss Veltin Rinck
Gender: Male
Baptism Date: 30 Aug 1658
Baptism Place: Evangelisch, Ittersbach, Karlsruhe, Baden
Father: Veltin Rinck (Jean)
Mother: Barbara
FHL Film Number: 1238163

1661 birth of daughter:

Name: Anna Maria Rinck
Gender: Female
Baptism Date: 1 Jan 1661
Baptism Place: Evangelisch, Ittersbach, Karlsruhe, Baden
Father: Veltin Rinck
Mother: Barbara
FHL Film Number: 1238163,+Germany/Ittersbach,+Karlsbad,+Germany/Gr%C3%B6tzingen,+Karlsruhe,+Germany/Neckarau,+Mannheim,+Germany/@49.1173363,8.582213,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m26!4m25!1m5!1m1!1s0x47985de1fe896cf3:0x41ffd3c8d097390!2m2!1d9.858972!2d49.2544254!1m5!1m1!1s0x4797122323b12a93:0x514c8d5ae5d1860b!2m2!1d8.5057803!2d48.865317!1m5!1m1!1s0x479709043e5d338b:0x2ade059d2340d85e!2m2!1d8.4988087!2d49.0269806!1m5!1m1!1s0x4797c94bd2ddf069:0xbb84540f34c2e3a9!2m2!1d8.4906118!2d49.4542902!3e0?hl=en

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