A tradition passed down in my family from my great-grandmother Rachel Elizabeth Louderback Wickline has said the Louderbacks were Dutch, possibly Dutch Jews. All the evidence I have seen suggest they were German, though the Jewish question might be harder to pin down. (That issue comes up because of a rare genetic disorder, usually only seen in Jews, that has shown up in some of my third-cousins.) Back to my great grandmother, she apparently said that the family sometimes spoke Dutch at home and wore Dutch outfits and had various Dutch cultural observances. I have thought of several possible explanations for this story:
1) They were Dutch, even though some others by the name were German.
2) They were German. The German word for German is "Deutsche," as in the common name for early German settlers in Pennsylvania, the "Pennsylvania Dutch."
3) They were German, but sailed to the U.S. from Holland, as some Louderbacks are known to have done. They may have been in Holland for some time, perhaps even a generation was born there. They may have had Dutch wives so that the Louderback descendants of this line were in fact 3/4 Dutch and only 1/4 German.
4) My relatives have gotten this old tale all mixed up, as they have a few others that have been debunked.
My known Louderback ancestor is Anderson Perry Louderback who married Mary Ellen Sturgill in Lawrence Co., Ohio in 1871. I think he is probably the same person as Anderson Louderback, born 1837, in Bracken Co., Kentucky, to James and Letitia Louderback. James is the son of Andrew Louderback from Pennsylvnia, who is presumably a relative of the Louderbacks who landed in 1737 from Rotterdam, though they were of German origins. However, Andrew may not be from that group. And Anderson Perry may be a different person from another line of Louderbacks. Confusing matters is the stepmother of Anderson Perry's wife, that is Sarah Jane Louderback Holmes Sturgill, who was born in the early 1850s. Is she related to him? I don't know. Neva Clark is working on this issue and may have an answer for us soon. In the mean time, I'd like to know what others have found about the earliest origins of their Louderback line.