A Biographical Sketch of
Patriot John Rorabaugh
(Patriot Ancestor of Stephen, Frank and Leonard Rohrbough)

John Rorabaugh

Patriot John Rorabaugh, the patriot ancestor of Stephen, Frank and Leonard Rohrbough, supported the cause that led to the declaration of American independence from Great Britain in 1776 and the founding of the United States of America.

Stephen, Frank and Leonard Rohrbough are direct descendents of John Rorabaugh (baptized as Johann Conrad Rorbach). John was born in July 31, 1740 in Hochstadt, Germany 8 miles east of Frankfurt am Main. He was one of three siblings born to Johann Reinhard Rorbach and Anna Margaretha Koch. In 1749, at the age of 9, he immigrated with his family to America first settling in Berks County, northwest of Philadelphia, PA. In 1760, he married Barbara Rueger (born in 1740 in Tulpehocken PA), daughter of Antoni Rueger and Catharina (Schoch) Rueger who had emigrated from Switzerland in 1731. John and Barbara settled in Augusta (now Hardy) County in 1761 close to where Barbara's family had settled earlier. On May 29,1761, John bought 400 acres in South Branch Valley in Augusta County for 50 British Pounds from William and Ann Green. The deed was marked delivered June 1767.

During the American Revolution John had the interesting distinction of being a Patriot and a Tory. He was under indictment with thirty other participants in the 1781 Claypole Rebellion - an ill-fated Tory uprising. All eventually received clemency. During the War, John provided "pasturage and corn for the Militia marching to Carolina". In May 1782 in Hampshire County, John filed a claim in Special Court whereby he received 10 shilling and 6 pence. It is likely that John served with one of the many militias in the area but few records survived. The provision of supplies is the basis for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and SAR.

John died on his farm on October 30,1821. The homestead is located on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River near the present village of Milam, WV (about 15 miles south of Moorefield). The land was part of large tracts of land acquired by wealthy land speculators under patents in the 1740s and 1750s that subdivided acreage selling it to new settlers of the Virginia frontier. The homestead today includes over 3000 acres, a family farmhouse and a family cemetery containing approximately 40 graves.

Nimrod Judy married Mary Ann Rohrbough in about 1836. She inherited the Rorabaugh homestead and they lived there the rest of their lives. The homestead has remained in the Judy Family continuously since then. Today, Mr. and Mrs. George Judy own the Judy Farm, which primarily produces poultry.

A headstone was erected by the descendents of Patriot John Rorabaugh in May 2005. The grave was marked with an SAR Marker on June 4, 2005.





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Max Strozier


Web Page Created:

19 August 2009


Web Page Updated:

19 August 2009