To pay tribute to our ancestors by preserving their life stories so that future generations might come to know them.
One of the greatest experiences anyone can have is to walk the very same streets their ancestors walked hundreds of years before. As Americans, most of us have only a recent history in our own country, as often it was our grandparents, great grandparents or great great grandparents who immigrated here, and mostly within the last 150 years. For most of us, the bulk of our familial history lies on another continent, where our ancestors lived for hundreds of years before crossing the seas. Mining that vast pool of information is the passion of genealogists, all of whom recognize that the quest to know our ancestors is also a quest to know ourselves. Often, along the way one often discovers startling similarities that span the generational divide between us and those with whom we share a blood tie.
Please feel free to contact us if you think you might have a family connection to any of the family lines listed here or if you would like additional information. You may use the contact form below and we will respond to you as quickly as possible. Please note that these names are from our personal family tree and include families related by marriage.
For those seeking research assistance, we do accept project work and specialize in locating ancestral towns of origin. You may describe your project in the Comments section or ask to be contacted by us.
Bean, Beane, Baine, Bayne - St. Mary's County, Maryland
The arrival of the Bean family in St. Mary's County pre-dates the American Revolution, with the earliest known ancestor being Alexander Bean, b. abt. 1690. The Bean family was Roman Catholic and may have left either Scotland or England seeking religious freedom. (It is not currently known if there is a connection to the Bean family represented on Lord Baltimore's ships, the Ark and the Dove.) The Bean family farmed numerous colorfully named tracts of land in St. Mary's County, such as Frog's March and Taylor's Lot. Many spelling variations of the name appear over the years, such as those noted above. Wilbur & Calvert Bean founded the Equitable Credit Corporation in Albany, NY. Associated Surnames: Hruschka (aka Russell), Mokrey (Moravia), Hebb, Held, Lynch, Fenhagen, Clements Photo: Stephen Herbert Bean, 1872-1958, GGGreat-grandson of Alexander Bean & Jane Hebb, son of John Stephen Bean & Ann Elizabeth Fenhagen, husband of Ann Clements, circa 1915. Note: We are participating in the Bean/Beane/Bayne Y-DNA project at FtDNA.
Dugan, Higgins, Ronan - Parkbaun, County Galway, Ireland
The Dugan, Higgins and Ronan families all hailed from Parkbaun, Glenamaddy, Galway. Branches of the Dugan and Higgins clans settled in Indiana, specifically in Hendricks and Marion counties. Associated surnames: Greeley, Mannion, Glimmer, Deviney, Carney Photo: William Higgins, circa 1945. William Higgins was born abt. 16 August 1859 in Parkbaun, (Whitepark) Galway, and died 16 April 1949 in Indianapolis, IN. He was the son of Patrick Higgins and Catherine Ronan. William was the husband of Katherine Johanna Dugan (daughter of Patrick Dugan & Honora Carney) born 14 July 1860, Parkbaun, Galway, died 20 August 1924, Beech Grove, IN. Note: We are participating in the Higgins Y-DNA project at FtDNA.com
Forstner, Schönhammer, Wimbauer - Großköllnbach, Bavaria, Germany
In addition to Großköllnbach, the extended Forstner family lived in numerous small towns in the area of Bavaria known as Niederbayern. The earliest Forstner in our line is Gregorius Forstner, b. abt 1750 in Weng. His grandson, Johann, moved to Hadersbach where his son Josef was born in 1845. Josef married Josefa Schönhammer and purchased a farm outside of Großköllnbach known as "Wiesen." They had 10 children, three of whom came to America and settled in NYC. One branch of the Forstner family relocated to what is now Merano, Tirol, Italy. There is also evidence of a connection to the Forstner's of Waging am See and Grabenstätt. Associated surnames: Roglmeier, Bauer, Stighafner, Schmidbauer, Schindlbeck, Reinthaler, Peiffer, Renner Photo: Josef & Josefa Schönhammer Forstner with daughter Rosina, circa 1906, Wiesen, Bayern.
Geiß, Schlichter - Bensheim, Darmstadt, Germany
The earliest identified ancestor in the Geiß line is Bartholomaus Geiß, b. abt 1630 in Altenbuch am Main. He died in 1691 in Großwallstadt, Bayern. His grandson, Johann Nicholas (1740-1790) relocated to Kleinwallstadt where the next two generations were born. It was Johannes Geiß (1780-1859) who moved to the beautiful city of Bensheim and married Anna Maria Schlichter. Their son, Georg, and his wife, Katharina Alt Geiß, left for America circa 1852 with their son Georg and daughter, Sarah Rosalie. In New York they had a third child, a daughter named Mary Magdalene, who married Louis Bieral, Jr., son of the hero of the Battle of Ball's Bluff. There is strong evidence that Georg Geiß Sr. also fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. Associated Surnames: Alt, Becker, Beißbart, Bieral, Fischer, Unger, Köhler, Sommer Photo: Sarah Rosalie Geiß Sommer, (1849-1910), born Bensheim, died NYC, wife of Alphons Robert Sommer (1845-1909), circa 1900.
Kuth, Lübcke, Moll - North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
We have traced this line back to Leopold Kuth, born abt. 1775 in the region known as Bergischen Land, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Leopold's great-grandson, Johann Friedrich Alois Kuth, b. 1863 in Winz, became the mayor of the Cologne (Köln) suburb of Vingst and is credited with introducing urban planning to that area. Later, he selflessly spearheaded the joining of Vingst to Cologne, a move that eliminated his own job but assured the continued progression of the area. A street in Vingst still bears his name and in 2012 a re-dedication ceremony took place with the current mayor and Kuth's American great-granddaughter in attendance. He married Henriette, Elisabeth Dorothea Lübcke (1886-1906) and together they had six children. Their son, Heinrich Adolph Kuth, b.1891-1970, came to the USA circa 1908 and settled in NY, later marrying Margaretha Moll, b. 1899-1986. Associated Surnames: Hegenscheitt, Melscher, Strang, Blocksiepe, Bean Photo: Johann Friedrich Alois Kuth, former Burgermeister of Vingst, Köln, author and teacher, circa 1895. Note: We are participating in the Kuth Y-DNA project at FtDNA.com
Lipp, Hörner - Sinsheim, Rohrbach, Baden, Germany
Sinsheim had been home to the Lipp family since before the birth of Jakob Lipp in abt. 1764. His grandsons, Adam and Henry, left Sinsheim for Canada at different times in the early 1850's. Adam married a German woman named Theresa and Henry sent to Germany for his sweetheart, Anna Marie Hörner, whom he married in Canada. In the early 1860's, Adam and Theresa left Canada for Iowa and Henry and Anna Maria went to Indianapolis, IN. Henry enlisted in the Army during the Civil War and was a Musician 3rd class of the Band of the 19th Regiment of the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged due to curvature of the spine. Henry died in 1874 and Adam died in 1875. Associated Surnames: Mohrenser, Pfahler, Otte, Kümpf, Theys Photo: Anna Marie Hörner Lipp, 1880.
Marlow, Marlowe, Maginn - Newcastle, County Down, Ireland
The beautiful coastal village of Newcastle stands in the shadows of the Mourne Mountains, in Northern Ireland. In that beautiful land, Thomas John Marlow of nearby Ardglass married Mary Ann Maginn of Newcastle in abt. 1860. Thomas and Maryann had five children, four of whom left Ireland to begin lives America. Their daughter "Minnie" and son Frank remained in NYC, with Minnie marrying John Joseph Woodworth. Sons Thomas and James sought their fortunes in Toledo, OH, and changed the spelling of their name to "Marlowe." Thomas married Delia Whelan and James married Anna Bird. Brother Frank married Helen McMahon. Associated Surnames: Maginn, Woodworth, Warmworth, Wormworth, Whelan, Bird, McMahon Photo: Mary Ann "Minnie" Marlow Woodworth (abt 1863-1921), circa 1883, Brooklyn, NY. Note: Female descendants of Mary Ann Marlow are registered in the MtDNA database at FtDNA.
Wilhelm Heinrich Otte was born 15 May 1825 near Osnabrück and was a master carpenter by trade. He immigrated to the US sometime prior to 1854, for in that year he married Anna Maria Höckmann of Schledehausen, possibly in Pittsburg, PA. They moved to Indianapolis and raised seven children where Wilhelm worked as a carpenter for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Willhem died in 1925 and Anna Maria the following year. Both are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. Associated Names: Hemminghaus, Greiwe Photo: Wilhelm Heinrich and Anna Maria Otte, 1890.
Renz, Mohl - Dußlingen, Württemberg, Germany
The birth of Johan Renz in 1638 appears in the Dußlingen church registers, as the son of Hans and Regina Vollmar Renz. In 1845, Hans's GGGG grandson, Johann Georg Renz and his wife Agnes Mohl welcomed a son to their Dußlingen home whom they named "Adam." Adam was to travel to America in 1869 and settle in New York City where he worked as a "varnisher." He married Louise Jung of Oßweil and had three sons and one daughter. Through hard work they were able to move from the immigrant tenements of Orchard Street and eventually own numerous real estate holdings in what is now the South Bronx. Louisa died in 1911 and Adam died in 1915 and both are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Their grandson, Lt. Col. Frederick August Renz (1918-2011) honorably served his country in both WW2 and Korea, earning a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He is buried at Arlington. Associated Surnames: Jung (Oßweil), Waldenmayer,Mohl, Gülden, Vollmar, Herrmann, Busch, Radle, Forstner Photo: Adam Renz Jr. & Adam Renz Sr., in front of the Renz home at 228th Street, Bronx, New York, circa 1914 Note: We are participating in the Rentz/Renz Y-DNA Project at FtDNA.com
Schosker, Schosger - Montbronn, Lorraine, France
Montbronn is located in what is now north-eastern France in the historically contested Lorraine Region. It is the home of various crystal works which at one time employed members of the Schosger family. In approximately 1853, Michael and Odille Schmitt Schosger and their children landed in NY where they lived for 8 years before relocating to Indiana. The life of their son, Adolphus (1851-1928) owned several businesses in Spencerville, OH, before returning to Indianapolis and marrying his second wife, Catherine White. Adolphus changed the spelling to "Schosker." Other members of the Schosger family remained in NY and worked for the famous Corning Glass Works. Associated Surnames: Ferstler, Kapp, Petrus, Ralinger, Ebour, Josquin, Fath, Halter, White (Cahircaveen, Kerry, Ireland) and Shea (Portmagee, Kerry, Ireland). Photo: Mary Ann Josephine Halter and Adolphus Schosker, circa 1890. She was the first of his two wives.
The earliest Seng in our tree is Johan Conrad Seng, born approximately 1525 near Langenbieber, a suburb of Fulda. The family remained in that general area until 1837, when Franz and Anna Maria Hillenbrandt Seng boarded a ship at Hamburg bound for Quebec. One month later, they crossed the border into the US with their two sons, eventually settling in Celestine, DuBois County, Indiana. Franz died in 1863 and Anna Maria lived until 1890. Son Louis H. Seng (1825-1891) married Elisabeth Hoffmann and son Jacob H. Seng (abt 1830-1907) married Barbara Nodler. Both had very large families which they raised in DuBois County, IN. The great grandson of Franz and Anna Maria Seng, Frances Joseph Seng, became an Indiana State Senator in 1948. Associated Names: Leinweber, Helfrich, Klug, Henkel, Wohmann, Heil, Vezolles, Hoffman, Schnezer, Nodler Photo: Rathaus in Flieden, 2004. Note: Female descendants of Anna Mae Seng are registered in the MtDNA database at FtDNA.
The Sommer family can be traced to circa 1725 in Neckarweihingen, Württemberg, to the life of Burkhard Sommer. Records indicate that the Sommer family was involved in viticulture. Burkhard's grandson, Johann Jakob Sommer (1777-1857) left Neckarweihingen and became a citizen of Ludwigsburg, where he married a daughter of that city, Christina Dorothea Kleinbach (178o-1830). Johann Jakob is listed in the Ludwigsburg City Register as a "tailor and court counselor." His twin sons, Gustav and Adolph, went to America and lived in NJ and PA. Another son, Carl Christian Jacob Sommer 1808-1851) married Amalie Billharz (1813-1850) of Dundenheim and had five children, all of whom emigrated to America. Several of his children returned to Germany to live out the last years of their lives. Associated Surnames: Billharz, Textor, Amman von Borowsky, Keppelmann, Veesenmayer, Losch, Wenk, Sohn, Grau, Schanzenbach, Kiesel Photo: Amalie Billharz Sommer, wife of Carl Christian Jacob Sommer. Painting circa 1840 Note: We are participating in the Somer/Summer/Somers/Sommer Y-DNA project at FtDNA.com
Warmworth, Woodworth, Wormworth - Canada
The name is believed to have been originally Wormworth and the family from Canada, perhaps Nova Scotia. Branches of the family relocated to the Albany and Troy, NY areas. In 1847 in Albany, NY, under the name "Wormworth," John Henry married Rosanna Quinlan of Droghill, County Cavan, Ireland. John Henry Woodworth was a boilermaker by trade and helped build the iron-clad gunboat Monitor in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. The Woodworths remained in Brooklyn and became involved in real estate and renovations, a business in which several of John Henry's sons also participated. John Henry's parents were James and Rosann Fraser Wormworth. His son, John Joseph, married Mary Ann Marlow of Newcastle, County Down, Ireland, and they had four beautiful daughters. Their daughter, Kathleen, married Walter Morris Sommer and had four children. Associated Surnames: Quinlan, Doran, Fraser, Marlow Photo: John Henry Woodworth (abt. 1825-1908), husband of Rosanna Quinlan, Brooklyn, NY, circa 1890