According to Eldson C. Smith, author of American Family Names (published by Harper and Row in 1973), the names "Minich" and "Minick" are German and refer to a person who was a male member of a religious order (i.e. a monk). Smith notes that these names are variants of "Minnick" (also spelled "Minnich") which is also German and indicates a "descendant of Minnich, a contracted form of Dominicus (Sunday's child); or of Minnich, a pet form of Meinhardt (might, bold)." According to another source, the Minnichs got their lands from the monestary at Lorch in return for pledging to defend the monks. The Lorch monastery (North Sea to the Alps) Minnick lands were in present day France.
The Minnichs who are descended from the immigrant Johann Wendel MÜNCH, can trace their ancestry to Fahrenbach, Baden, Germany.
After the thirty-year war, the churches of the villages in Baden were assigned to the Reformed denominations or to the Catholic Church. Fahrenbach was assigned to the Catholic Church and the church in nearby Lohrbach to the Reformed denomination.
A Johannes MÜNCH* was b. 8 Jul. 1599 in Fahrenbach, Baden, Germany. He died 22 Aug. 1686. In 1632, he married Maria FEIL* in Fahrenbach, Baden. Maria died 12 Aug. 1686 in Farenbach, Germany. Hans was the mayor of Farenbach. He was "formerly at court and a community representative in Fahrenbach and a representative to Eberbach." They had 2 sons: Hans Peter (A1) and Hans Georg (A2).
A2 Hans Georg MÜNCH* was born 6 January 1651/2. He died in 14 Jun. 1722 in Farenbach, Germany. He was married to Anna Maria SELTENREICH* (daughter of Abraham SELTENREICH* and Ann* ???) on 6 May 1683 in Fahrenbach, Baden, Germany. Anna was b. 2 Dec. 1651.
They had several children: Anna Maria (A21), Anna Katharina (A22), Hans Wendl* (A23), Johann Peter (A24), Johann Georg (A25).
A23 Hans Wendl MÜNCH* was born 3 Feb. 1683/4 in Farenbach, Germany. He died 18 Jul. 1732 in Farenbach, Germany. Hans was "a Recorder, a member of the Court of Justice, and the best man and friend to the local pastor." On 3 Apr. 1710 in Lohrbach, (Mosbach), Baden, he married Anna BRAUG* (daughter of Georg BRAUCH* and Anna Ursula* ???). Anna was born 5 Oct. 1682. She died 16 Jan. 1732/3. Anna and Hans had 5 kids: Anna Maria (A231), Maria Eva (A232), Anna Margareth (A233), Wendel* (A234), Johann Adam (A235).
A231 Anna Maria MÜNCH was born 25 Dec. 1711. She died 11 Jun. 1713.
A232 Maria Eva MÜNCH was bapt. 14 Jan. 1713/4 with Anna Maria Kirschenlohr as her Godmother. On 20 Jan. 1733, Maria Eva m. Johann Georg BALSCHBACH (see BALSBAUGH A1112.
In 1751, they set sail on the ship "Shirley" with their 5 children: Maria Elizabeth (17 yrs.), Georg Andreas (15 yrs.), Peter (13 yrs.), Maria Eva (8 yrs.), and Anna Catharina (4 yrs.). After a 114-day long journey across the sea, during which Anna Catharina died, the family arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 5 Sept. 1751. They originally settled in the east side of Derry Twp., Lancaster Co., Pa.
A233 Anna Margareth MÜNCH was born 27 Mar. 1718 and she died 20 Dec. 1718.
A234 Johann Wendel MÜNCH* was born 9 Sept. 1725 in Baden, Germany. He was married 27 Apr. 1750/1 to Gertraut BALSBAUGH*, the younger sister of Maria Eva's (A232) husband. Wendel sailed to America with his wife, his sister Maria Eva (A232) and her husband Johan Georg Balschbach.
Shown above is the ship list for "Shirley," as printed in the book Pennsylvania German Pioneers. The "<" point to the signatures of Georg Balshbach (spelled "Jörg Balschbach") and Wendel Minnich (spelled "Wendel Minch"), respectively.
Wendel and Gertraut lived in Derry Twp., Lancaster Co., Pa. (Derry Twp. was included in Dauphin Co. when it was formed in 1785.) In 1763, Michael Frantz, the presiding Elder of the Conestoga Congregation of the German Baptist Brethren, recorded the conversion of Wendel, Gertraut, Maria Eva and George. This congregation seems to have been organized in Earl Twp. The fact that Wendel Minnich and his family were in Earl Twp. in 1763 suggests that they, like other frontier settlers, had been forced to flee from their Lancaster County home to escape the bloody attacks of the Indians and their French allies during the French and Indian War.
Wendel d. 5 Sept. 1784 and Gertraut d. 18 Aug. 1783. They husband are bur. in Hummelstown, Derry Twp., Dauphin Co., Pa.
Above are the graves of Wendel (second from left) and Gertraut (far left) Münch in Hummelstown, Pa. Gertraut's gravestone, on the far left, is broken. Both stones are inscribed in old German script.
Wendel's will is recorded in the Lancaster County Will Record E, Vol. 1, p. 29. It is in German, but a translation is recorded in Will Record X, Vol. 2, p. 449. It was dated 14 Apr. 1775 and names his wife Gertraut, and two sons; George and Wendel. In the final settlement on 5 Mar. 1788, the children are
Wendel and Gertraut had several children who came to Ohio, settling in the counties of Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Preble. Their children were: George* (A2341), Elizabeth (A2342), Catherine (A2343), Hans Wendel (A2344), Gertraut/Gertrude (A2345), Anna Maria (A2346) and Barbara (A2347).
A2341 George MINNICH* was born in Baden, Germany. He died Apr. 1810 in America. He moved from Germany to Pa. with his parents in 1751. George married Catherine MUELLER* (MILLER A1). They had several children: Wendel (A23411), Catherine (A23412), Barbara (A23413), Abraham* (A23414), Elizabeth (A23415) and George (A23416).
A23414 Abraham MINNICH* was born in 1784 and he died in 1866. He married Maria SHOEMAKER* who was born in 1788 and died in 1867. They had 7 children: Magdalena (A234141), Daniel (A234142), Nancy (A234143), John* (A234144), Abraham (A234145), Samuel (A234146) and Jacob (A234147).
A234141 Magdalena MINNICH was born in 1810. She had no heirs.
A234142 Daniel MINNICH was born in 1813 and he died in 1898.
A234143 Nancy MINNICH was born in 1815 and she died in 1907.
A234144 John MINNICH* was born in 1818 and he d. 1895. He married Elizabeth LONGENECKER* (see LONGENECKER). Elizabeth was born in 1818 and she died in 1882. They had several children: Maria* (A2341441), Eliza (A2341442), Amanda (A2341443), Jacob (A2341444), Annie (A2341445), Emma (A2341446), John (A2341447) and Fannie (A2341448).
A2341441 Maria MINNICH* was married in 1860 to Isaac G. PFAUTZ* (see PFAUTZ A114382)
A2341442 Eliza MINNICH m. Arron SWARR.
A2341443 Amanda MINNICH m. Phares SWARR.
A2341444 Jacob MINNICH was born 5 Jan. 1844. He m. Harriet GRAYBILL
A2341445 Annie MINNICH was born in 1848 and she died in 1918. She m. Henry SONONLER. A2341446 Emma MINNICH was born in 1850 and she died in 1915. She m. Johnson MILLER
A2341447 John MINNICH Jr. was born in1853 and he died in 1904. He m. Barbara STEHMAN.
A2341448 Fannie MINNICH was born in 1856 and she died in 1924. She m (1) Jacob NEFF and she m. (2) George SHRINER.
A234145 Abraham MINNICH was born 3 Mar. 1820 and he died 18 Oct.1889. He m. Susan HERSHEY.
A234146 Samuel MINNICH was born in 1823 and he died in 1899. He m. Polly BEMBERGER, who was b. 1829 and d. 1939.
A234147 Jacob MINNICH was born in 1826 and he died in 1911. He m. Elizabeth KAUFFMAN.
A23415 Elizabeth MINNICH was born in 1788 and she died in 1878.
A23416 George MINNICH was born in 1796 in Franklin City, Pa. He died 14 Nov.1850 in Franklin Twp., Darke, Ohio. Abt 1823, he m. Nancy SHOEMAKER. On 30 Mar. 1834, he came to Franklin Twp., Darke, Ohio. He was a farmer and a German Baptist. Nancy was b. 1796 in Dauphin Co., Pa. and d. 12 Sept. 1860 in Frankline Twp., Darke, Ohio. She was a housewife and a German Baptist.
Their children were: John (A234161), Jacob (A234162), Catherine (A234163), Mary (A234164), George (A234165), David (A234166), and Abraham (A234167).
A234161 John MINNICH b. 1825 in Dauphin Co., Pa. and d. at the age of 4 yrs. in 1829.
A234162 Jacob MINNICH b. 4 Jan. (or 6 Feb.) 1822 in Chambersburg, Franklin, Pa. On 28 Dec. 1847, he m. Anna Lee LONGENECKER in Miami Co., Ohio. Jacob d. 1 Jan.1909 in Painter Creek, Darke, Ohio. He is bur. in the Snell Cemetery in Washington Twp., Darke, Ohio. He lived in Painter Creek, Darke, Ohio. He was a teacher and a Brethren.
Anna was b. 10 May 1825 in Pa. and d. 19 Oct. 1882 in Dark Co., Ohio. She is also bur. in the Snell Cem. She was a Brethren.
Their children were: Josiah (A234162), Henry (A234163), David (A234164), Isaac (A234165), Jacob L. (A234166), Ezra (A234167), Samuel (A234168), and Jesse (A234169).
A234161 Josiah MINNICH b. 1852.
A234163 Catherine MINNICH b. 5 Sept. 1823 in Shelly Co., Pa. On 9 Sept. 1845 she m. Christian LANDIS. She d. 17 Mar. 1881.
A234164 Mary MINNICH b. abt. 1829 in Pa. She m. David YOUNG.
A234165 George MINNICH III b. abt. 1827 in Pa. He d. in infancy.
A234166 David MINNICH b. abt. 1831 in Pa. and he m. Malinda DEETER
A234167 Abraham MINNICH b. 2 May 1833 in Chambersburg, Franklin Co., Pa. On 26 Sept. 1857, he m. Elizabeth SWINGER. She was b. 1838 and d. 1923. Abraham d. 16 Jun. 1914.
A2344 Hans Wendel MÜNCH was born in 1755 in Pa. He died in 1820 in Dauphin County, Pa.
A2345 Gertrude (Gertraut) MÜNCH was born 19 Apr. 1759 in Pa. Bef. 5 Mar. 1788, she had been married to David FOGELSANGER. Gertrude died 1 Nov. 1831 in Cumberland County, Pa.
A2346 Anna Maria MÜNCH was born in 1769 in Dauphin County, Pa. She died in 1845 in Pa.
A2347 Barbara was born around 1770 in Dauphin County, Pa.
A235 Johann Adam MÜNCH was born Nov. 1725.
A24 Johann Peter MÜNCH was born 17 Jan. 1697/8 and he died 21 Jul. 1698.
A25 Johann Georg MÜNCH was born 17 Jan. 1697/8 and he died 10 Jul. 1753.
Sources of information and documents: Dave Minnich, Al Minnich of Greenville, Ohio. Al Minnich’s sources include: his research, work of James R. Mitchell, Ludlow Falls, Ohio; Pennsylvania German Pioneers, p. 530-1; The Minnich Family Tree by H. Spencer Minnich and Herbert S. Minnich Jr. on file in Garst Museum, Greenville, Ohio; History of the Balsbaugh Family by Edwar U. Balsbaugh, Jr.; Fahrenbach by Erna MÜNCH; the genealogical study of Charles Rudy Heath II.