Johann Hoft Ruge was born in Nordhastedt, Suder Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 1790. He was united in marriage to Trina Schluter in the neighboring town of Albersdorf. Johann and Trina had ten children: Hans (1818-aft 1854), Claus (1820-1905), Telsche (1823-1851), Gretje (1825-1902), Johann (1828-1898), Jurgen (1831-1832), Catharina (1833-1870's), Jurgen (1836-after 1870), Wiebke (1839-1908), and Peter (1842-1922). Around 1845 the family moved to Osterstedt, Rendsburg, Schleswig-Holstein. Trina died in 1846 and John in 1854. Both are buried at Schenefeld Parish Cemetery.
Of the eight children that survived to adulthood, five immigrated to the U.S.A.
- Hans, Claus and Johann remained in Germany.
- Gretje married Johann Hell and immigrated with her two daughters and two sisters (Catharina and Wiebke) in 1854. They sailed on the 'George Canning' which departed Hamburg on September 1 and arrived in New York six weeks later on October 16, 1854. Of the 342 passengers only 322 survived the trip. They were headed for Davenport, Iowa. Johann died somewhere in the U.S.A. and Gretje, who went by her full name Margaretha, married her second husband, William Heinrich. Margaretha, William and their children moved to Faribault, Minnesota where they remained until their deaths.
- Catharina married Claus Hill after arriving in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area. They settled briefly in La Crescent, Minnesota in the 1860's before returning to Wisconsin.
- Jurgen had immigrated to the USA by 1870 and lived for a short time in New Hartford, Minnesota.
- Wiebke went by her second name, Christina. She immigrated to the U.S.A. with her sisters. She was living with her sister, Catharina, in La Crescent, Minnesota when she met Fritz Meinke. Fritz and Christina were married in 1861.
- Peter immigrated to the U.S.A. in the mid 1860's and returned to Germany in 1869 to marry. He returned to the U.S.A. with his bride, Anna Voss, in 1869. He settled for a few years in New Hartford next to his sister, Christina. Later he moved to Faribault, Minnesota where he became the mayor in the 1890's.
My book "Our Meinke Ancestors" documents this Ruge family from 1680 to 1922.
Page last updated 03/30/96.
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