Updated:23 May 2024

Balthasar Ruf


Balthasar Ruf

Born: July 1820
Wintersdorf, Germany

Died: 11 Mar 1907
Rochester, NY

First Wife:
Appolonia Getz
Born: 1819

Died: 26 Apr 1848
Rochester, NY

married: 13 Jul 1847
Rochester, NY

2nd Wife:
Adelaide Peter
Born: Dec 1826

Died: 30 Oct 1902
Rochester, NY

married: 8 Aug 1848
Rochester, NY

Here is a link to Balthasar Ruf.


The Rueff-Ruff-Ruf families that are related to my Merkel family originated in Wintersdorf, Baden, Germany. The oldest records from the early 1700's in Wintersdorf spell the name "Rueff". By the 1800's, the name is spelled "Ruf or Ruff". The Rochester records have both "Ruf" and "Ruff".

Towards the bottom of the descendant chart you will see one of Balthasar's daughters, Adelaide. She married Albert Merkel. At this time, I can't tell what Merkel line Albert came from.


First marriage of Balthasar Ruf to Appolonia Getz on 13 July 1847. Appolonia was born 1819. She died 26 April 1848 nine months after marriage so possibility death during childbirth. Witnesses at that marriage were: Henry Haist and Michael Getz.

Second marriage of Balthasar Ruf to Adelaide Peter on 8 Aug, 1848 in Rochester, NY.

1855 in the 8th ward in Rochester, NY.
1865 still in 8th ward on Frances ST. in Rochester, NY.

In 1900 living at 239 Jefferson Ave. Rochester, NY. Living with wife(Adelaide) and son George.
*** His house on Jefferson Ave. was the first house on Jefferson Ave. It was still
standing in 1949. SOURCE: Obit. of his wife in "Times Union" newspaper dated
4 June, 1949.


1855 and 1865 NY census - Balthasar listed as a shoemaker. 1900 federal census indicates shoe repair.


Buried with wife(Adelaide) in Holy Sepulchre cemetery, Rochester, NY. Cause of death listed as senility.
His wife Adelaide Peter died Oct. 30 1902 of asthma.

Balthasar and Adelaide are buried together on Double Grave 39 Tier 3 Section K. Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

The third child of Balthasar Ruf and Adelaide Peter was Elizabeth Ruf. She became the wife of my Great Grand Father Jacob Merkel.

ELIZABETH RUF 21 Mar. 1852 - 3 June 1949

Elizabeth was born in a house on the corner of Jefferson Ave. & Champlain St. which was still standing in 1948. SOURCE: Newspaper article from"Times Union" 20 Mar. 1948.

1865 NY census says she is living on Frances St.

1870 until Husband dies in 1916, addresses are the same as Jacob Merkel.

1918 Rochester City Directory listed her as widow of Jacob living at 292 Champlain St.

1920 Federal census list her at 292 Champlain St. living with daughter Eliz., & son Edwin. of Rochester, NY. Also there are Lorretta Bickel, niece-age 25 & John F. Bickel nephew age 22.

1937 she moved to the home of her daughter Anna Mary (Mrs. Carl Lotz in Webster at 193 E. Main St. SOURCE: Newspaper article:"Times Union" March 20, 1948.

15 Nov. 1870 St. Peter and Paul Church of Rochester, NY

The year 1949 comes from research by Dick Apolant at Holy Sepulchre Cem.
Husband Jacob, and daughter Lillian located together in Section 3 South, lot 147. There are 3 all stones in a row with just names & years. The stones are identical and of a rather unusual design. Directly behind Lillian's, in the next row, was another of the same: Marian Lotze 1920 / 1921. She is Eliz.'s granddaughter. The daughter of Anna Mary Merkel and Carl Henry Lotze

A Few Explanations:

The following information is based on one assumption:
*** That Balthasar Ruf and Elizabeth Ruf (who married Henry Heisel)  are brother and sister ***

I'm still trying to find that last piece of evidence that will connect these two people.
I have included the information below that I believe may indicate Balthasar and Elizabeth are brother and sister.

If you believe they are  then you will find here the marriage of Balthasar Ruf and his descendants in Rochester. You will also find the marriage of Elisabeth Ruf to Henry Heisel in Rochester and their descendants. You will also find the Rueff/Ruf families in Wintersdorf, Germany to the 1700's.

Balthasar Ruf married Appolonia Gotz in Rochester in 1847 and then Adelaide Peter in Rochester in 1848. Elisabeth, the daughter of Balthasar and Adelaide, eventually married Jacob Merkel - my great grandfather - in Rochester in 1870.
Maria Elisabeth Ruf was born in Wintersdorf and married Henry Heisel in Rochester in 1844. For more information on the Heisel-Ruf connections, contact Bill Sauers at wsauers@rochester.rr.com

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