By Whitney McGowan, FamilyLink.com, Inc.
This week’s major collection at WorldVitalRecords.com includes new databases from Wales, Germany, and the United States (Virginia, and Maryland). The content comes from Genealogical Publishing Company and includes directories, a family history, and family tree data. Schlegel’s American Families of German Ancestry (available 5/11/2009) is free for ten days.
The Surnames of Wales (available 5/7/2009)
The purpose of this database is to provide the reader with detailed insight into the origins and occurrence of common Welsh surnames, together with some consideration of those surnames which are associated with particular locales, thus helping to suggest a likely place of origin within Wales. The opening chapters of the book give an historical overview of Welsh names, dealing, in particular, with the patronymic naming system and the gradual adoption of surnames. The central chapters include a comprehensive survey of Welsh surnames and an all-important glossary of surnames. This is the core of the work, as it provides the origins and history of surnames from the viewpoint of family history, and also shows the distribution and incidence of surnames throughout Wales. The final chapters cover such items as the distribution of surnames derived from the ap prefix, the incidence of surnames derived from Old Testament names, and surname evidence for the presence of people of Welsh origin in populations outside Wales. Nearly forty maps, drawn by the authors, show the incidence and distribution of typical surnames throughout Wales.
Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5. Fourth Edition. Volume One, Families A-F (available 5/8/2009)
This is the fourth edition of the most celebrated compendium of family histories in the entire field of Virginia genealogy. Prepared under the auspices of the Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5 in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, and edited by the foremost authority on Virginia genealogy, John Frederick Dorman, this new edition extends the lines of descent of the founding families of Virginia from four generations to six, bringing most families down to the Revolutionary or early Federal periods.
The purpose of the book is to establish descents–through the sixth generation–of the approximately 150 individuals who can be identified as (1) Adventurers of Purse (i.e. stockholders in the Virginia Company of London) who either came to Virginia in the period 1607-1625 and had descendants or who did not come to Virginia within that period but whose grandchildren were residents there; or (2) Adventurers of Person, 1607-1625 (i.e. immigrants to Virginia) who left descendants. With roots deeply embedded in the social fabric of the United States, descendants of these original settlers today number in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, and like descendants of the Mayflower passengers, they claim an ancestry that is unique in American history.
The foundation for this work is the famous “Muster” of January-February 1624/25– essentially a census taken by the Royal Commission which succeeded the Virginia Company to determine the extent and composition of the Jamestown settlements. In the Muster (which is reproduced in entirety here in Volume One), the name of each colonist appears with the location of his home and the number in his family, together with information about his stock of food, his supply of arms and ammunition, his boats, houses, and livestock. In all, about 1,200 persons are named in the Muster, of whom approximately 150 are shown here to have left descendants to the sixth generation. Most scholars agree that the total population of Jamestown between 1607 and 1625 was about 7,000, so by 1624/5 only about one-seventh of the colonists had survived the punishing conditions of the Virginia wilderness.
In addition to the Muster, this work builds on the investigations of dozens of scholars, correcting, revising, and supplementing the best genealogical scholarship of the past half century. New discoveries, newly available information, and a further reevaluation of evidence concerning previously accepted relationships have led, in some instances, to wholesale changes in the accepted genealogies. In consequence, this fourth edition brings together the results of all the most recent scholarship on these families, expand.
Schlegel’s American Families of German Ancestry, Volume 1 (available 5/11/2009)
Free for Ten Days!
This is a reprint of the largest collection of German-American genealogies ever published, a full-blown compendium of family history and biography unknown to all but a handful of specialists. The first three volumes were published somewhat inopportunely between 1916 and 1918, with a fourth volume added in 1926. Each volume was limited to 200 numbered and registered copies, and consequently only a dozen or so three-volume sets can be located today, while the fourth volume is all but unknown. This is a complete paradox, for like similar compendia by Virkus and McKenzie, this work should be available to all students of genealogy and should be the very first resource for anyone researching German-American ancestry.
Unlike other great compendia, however, Schlegel doesn’t just start out with the immigrant ancestor; rather, each family history usually begins two or three generations back, examining the family in its historic setting before bringing it forward to the immigrant ancestor and his descendants in America. Averaging about ten pages in length, including portraits and coats of arms, the family histories are no mere catalogues of births, marriages, and deaths but are rich biographical and genealogical studies, each depicting the education, service, achievements, life, and career of the various family members, and each tracing the roots of the first four or five generations in America, usually commencing in the 18th or the 19th century, naming thousands of related family members.
Of all the information-rich sources of German-American ancestry, none is this comprehensive or as useful to the researcher, as illustrated by its coverage of the following families:
Ackermann, Aichmann, Altenbrand, Ammann, Auer, Barkhausen, Bauer, Baumann, Becker, Bender, Bermel, Biertuempfel, Boos, Bossert, Brandis, Braunstein, Breidt, Broking, Burger, Cordts, Cronau, Dangler, Dannenhoffer, de Kalb, Deck, Dippel, Dittenhoefer, Dochtermann, Dornhoefer, Doscher, Draesel, Dreier, Dressel, Drewes, Dreyer, Eichacker, Eichhorn, Eimer, Engelhardt, Espenscheid, Faber, Faller, Fink, Fischer, Flammer, Focht-Vogt, Frank, Frey, Fritz, Froeb, Funk, Gaus, Gobel, Goebel, Goepel, Golsner, Grell, Gretsch, Groborsch, Gunther, Hauenstein, Haug, Haupt, Haussling, Havemeyer, Hechtenberg, Hecker, Helwig, Hering, Herkimer, Herlich, Herrmann, Hoecker, Hoffmann, Jaeckle, Jahn, Janson, Junge, Just, Katz, Keene, Kern, Kessler, Kiefer, Kircher, Kirsch, Kleinert, Kline, Kny, Kobbe, Kochersberger, Koelble, Komitsch, Korth, Kost, Koster, Kraemer, Kramer, Kroeger, Kuhn, Lafrentz, Lamprecht, Lausecker, Leisler, Lexow, Liebmann, Limbacher, Lohse, Lotz, Luckhardt, Luhrsen, Lutz, Marquardt, Martin, Maulbeck, Maurer, Meeker, Mehlin, Mende, Meurer, Meyer, Mielke, Mietz, Moeller, Moser, Mueller, Muhlenberg, Muller, Naeher, Nissen, Nungesser, Oberglock, Offermann, Otto, Pedersen, Peter, Pflug, Poppenhusen, Prahl, Rasch, Rath, Reichhelm, Reisinger, Reppenhagen, Reuter, Ridder, Riedman, Ries, Ringler, Roehr, Runkel, Ruoff, Sauerwein, Schaeffer, Schalck, Schering, Scherrer, Schieren, Schill, Schilling, Schissel, Schlegel, Schlitz, Schmelzer, Schmidt, Schmieder, Schneider, Scholzel, Schortau, Schrader,Schroeder, Schultz, Schumann, Schurz, Schwarz, Sebold, Seyfarth, Sigel, Solms, Specht, Spengler, Stabler, Steiger, Steil, Steingut, Steinway, Stemme, Stengel, Steubner, Steurer, Stiefel, Stier, Stohn, Strebel, Stuber, Stutz, Stutzmann, Sutro, Thumann, Vogeler, Vollweiler, vom Hofe, von Bernuth, von Briesen, von Steuben, Wahlers, Weber, Weimar, Weismann, Weitling, Wendel, Wenk, Wesel, Wilhelms, Wintjen, Wischmann, Wolffram, Zaabel, Zechiel, and Zobel
Maryland and Virginia Colonials: Genealogies of Some Colonial Families, Volume 1 (available 5/12/2009) and
Maryland and Virginia Colonials: Genealogies of Some Colonial Families, Volume 2 (available 5/13/2009)
Here is a true giant of a work, covering in full some twenty-two colonial Maryland and Virginia families and also treating hundreds of collateral families. Mrs. Doliante not only establishes the Virginia and Maryland ancestry of the twenty-two main families, but also corrects many longstanding inaccuracies and dispels some cherished myths, many repeated uncritically in one publication after another, such as the non-existent fourth wife of Henry Ridgley, the erroneous ancestry of Richard Duckett, Sr., and the putative maternity of the Sprigg children.
The physical specifications of the book are in themselves impressive. There are over 1,200 pages of text, more than 150 illustrations, a bibliography, a place-name index, and an index of personal names with over 23,500 entries! In addition to the standard sources both in print and manuscript, the author has had recourse to a wide range of private and public records to substantiate her facts. Hence the book is amply furnished with transcriptions of such records as wills, inventories, and Bible records. Little will be found wanting here, and for those who are interested in these families, from their origins in Maryland or Virginia up to recent times, it is gratifying to know that someone has spared them the drudgery of sifting through thousands of pages of court records.