A Mennonite family name of Swiss origin, Roth is now found primarily in North America. Jakob Rott, a farmer from Bülach in the canton of Zürich, and Nesy Rott from Bipp in the canton of Bern are named among the early Swiss Anabaptists in 1533 and 1538. As early as 1527 Hans Roth preached at Kitzbühel, Austria, and baptized several people at Münichau. Othmar Rot(h), of St. Gall, is the author of hymn No. 53 in the Ausbund, composed in 1532.
In the 17th century Mennonite Roths were living at Diesbach in the area of Thun, and a Mennonite Rot family was located in the lower Aargau. Some Mennonites Roths immigrated to the Palatinate in 1670, while other Roths went to the Alsace region at the end of the 17th century. Among the Swiss Mennonites settling in the neighborhood of Groningen, Netherlands, in 1711, were Ulrich Roth, of Diesbach, with his wife and three children, and another Ulrich Roth, a miller from the Emmental, with his wife Elsbeth Steyner and four children. In the 18th century a Martin Roth is mentioned, who was a preacher of the congregation at Alwinc in Transylvania, and who under the threats of the Jesuit priest Delphini left the church.
The 1750 Montbéliard Mennonite church record lists Hans Roth, formerly of Aux Gouttes, later at Exincourt, who was probably the progenitor of Nicolaus Roth. Nicholas Roth died in Europe in 1834, leaving behind his wife, Veronica Zimmerman, and seven children. Veronica immigrated to Hamilton, Ohio, in 1837, probably from Baden, Germany and later moved to Morton IL. One daughter, Barbara Roth, who married Joseph Zehr while in Europe, settled near Tavistock, ON. Most descendants of Nicholas Roth are found in central Illinois, since six of his children settled in the localities of Morton, Groveland, Fairbury, El Paso, and Gibson City. The full range of his descendants, however, are scattered throughout North America. In 1955 there were approximately 2,364 descendants of Nicolaus Roth with approximately 300 bearing the Roth name.
Some of the outstanding personalities from the Nicolaus Roth descendents have been Daniel Roth, the youngest child of Nicolaus, who served as the minister of the Pleasant Grove (Amish) Mennonite Church at Tremont, IL and his grandson Roy Daniel Roth, who was a pastor of the Pleasant Hill Church at East Peoria, IL and later became president of Hesston College. A Genealogical Study of the Nicolaus and Veronica (Zimmerman) Roth Family (1834-1954), written by Ruth C. Roth and Roy D. Roth, published under auspices of Daniel Roth Family Reunion in 1955, is the first work written regarding the Nicolaus Roth family.
Obituaries in the Herald of Truth and other Mennonite periodicals reveal that Roths have lived in at least sixteen states and provinces, with Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Illinois leading in this order. These are mostly descendants of many 19th-century emigrants from Europe, who were not necessarily closely related to each other. Paul M. Roth, who was a Mennonite minister at Masontown, PA, is a grandson of Benjamin Roth from Alsace, one of these immigrants who settled at Bellefontaine, Ohio. His brother Daniel's descendants live principally in Oregon. Their half brother Joseph settled in Wayne County, Ohio, in 1868, but his descendants live principally in Henry County, Iowa. In 1947 there were 19 Roth Mennonite ministers in North America and Europe.
Roth, Ruth C. and Roy D. Roth. A Genealogical Study of the Nicolaus and Veronica (Zimmerman) Roth Family (1834-1954). Elkhart, IN, 1955.
Reeser, Harvey and Norma Hamilton Reeser. The Genealogy of Christian and Catherine (Rich) Roth. N.p., 1953?.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 363-364. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Roth, Ruth C. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Roth family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/R684ME.html.
APA style: Roth, Ruth C. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1959). Roth family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/R684ME.html.