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This website is dedicated to KONRAD RUETSCHI, born December 01, 1698, in Schlieren, Zurich, Switzerland who migrated down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, Holland with his sons JACOB RUETSCHI, born December 31, 1724, and HEINRICH RUETSCHI, born 1728, together with Konrad's wife BARBARA LIPPS, born July 04, 1697. They arrived in Philadelphia, PA, MAY 29, 1735 aboard the ship MERCURY. A third son, HANS JACOB RUETSCHI, was born abord the ship MERCURY Abt. May 15, 1735.

Economic conditions in Switzerland together with intolerance of the Lutheran religion in Europe caused these early immigrants to endure many, many hardships to come to America. They understood at the outset that they would have to venture into the wilderness and negotiate arrangements with resident Indians to build their cabin and clear their lands for farming. For this purpose they went from Philadelphia up the Deleware River, thence up the Lehigh River, building the first house in what is now the Borrough of Fountain Hills, Bethelehm, PA.

For 6 years they lived in peace and prosperity among the resident Indians whose customs and lifestyle were wholly unknown to them. Then, a hitherto "lost" purchase agreement known historically and THE WALKING TREATY fraudulently extended ownership to WILLIAM PENN's descendants of all Indian lands up to the foothills of the Blue Mountains . Any Rights to Use or Own that KONRAD RUETSCHI had negotiated with resident Indians were negated by the presiding magistrate, a close relative of WILLIAM ALLEN, heir to WILLIAM PENN's estate, who sanctioned the eviction of the "RUTSCHY SQUATTERS". One record suggests that the eviction had occurred by 1741, whereas another record suggest that Konrad had flax processed by Fountain Hills neighbors as late as 1743.

Following the fraudulent eviction, WILLIAM ALLEN sold the RUETSCHI property to the MORAVIAN CHURCH, which subsequently resold it. Ownership eventually passed to the BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION which, until recently, manufactured and sold steel products on Konrod's first farm in America.

Hostilities resulting from THE WALKING TREATY purchase ended the peaceful coexistence of resident Indians and imigrant settlers. Initial efforts of the Moravians to convert Indians to Christianity had been only marginally successful. Thereafter,the Moravians themselves were massacered during the American Revolution by patriot settlers who suspected Moravian loyalty to British/Indian causes. WILLIAM PENN's tradition of legally purchasing lands to which Indians had any claim whatsoever was abandoned by his heir, WILLIAM ALLEN, thus starting an era of violence and bloodletting in the Lehigh Vally which would not be exceeded until the Civil War.

KONRAD's first son, JACOB RUETSCHI, married MARIA KATARINA MEYER on October 08, 1747 in Williams Township, Northampton County, PA, suggesting that KONRAD and his family moved there after being evicted from the RUETSCHI farm. By 1753, JACOB and MARIA had migrated to Cabarrus County, North Carolina where he farmed and built a Grist Mill on Buffalo Creek.

Records of Jacob and Maria Katarina descendants abound but few records have as yet been discovered to prove where/how Konrad, Barbara, Heinrich, and Hans Jacob spent their remaining days in America. As more genealogical records become accessible on the Internet, these secrets will surely be disclosed. Meanwhile, the information at this website is freely offered to those seeking their Swiss RUETSCHI Roots.

DISCLAIMER: This database is not represented to be complete or without error. It is intended only as a guide that may be useful to genealogists undertaking additional research. Nor is this database represented to be my own original research. To the contrary, this database is the combined result of decades of study by RUETSCHIs and their close cousins, particularly the SUTHERs of Cabarrus County, NC.

Updated March 1, 2004

James Franklin Ruetschi

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