The Durrenberger Family
This site is devoted to the genealogy and history of the Durrenberger family of Alsace, Switzerland, the United States, and wherever else its members may be found.
This website is the most complete and accurate record of the Durrenberger family available anywhere. The extensive database on this site, now containing nearly 10,000 family members, was made possible in part by generous contributions from, and collaborations with, other researchers. If you are related to the Durrenberger family and can contribute or correct any information, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
I have tried to note primary sources wherever possible so that you can verify them for yourself, and I am continually adding new information and correcting errors, so please check back often. Feel free to use this information in your own research. If you repost information from this site, I would greatly appreciate it if you would cite ĎThe Durrenberger Family (freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fams/durrenberger)Ë.
Here is an overview of the site:
If you are already familiar with this site, you can go directly to the database from here.
Note: For those interested in genealogy of northern Alsace, I have a sister site devoted to the Jung family of Engwiller (Bas Rhin), Alsace. The URL is http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fams/jung/index.html
The earliest Durrenbergers of which we have evidence lived in canton Basel-Landschaft (the district around Basel city), Switzerland, which following the Reformation was a Calvinist region. According to Reformed Church records from the region, the surname was already numerous there at the turn of the 17th century. The name is clearly Germanic in origin: the suffix -berger refers to someone hailing from a place ending with -berg, meaning mountain, and the prefix dčrren- means dry or barren. Hence, the surname was probably originally taken by someone who had come from Dčrrenberg, a dry or barren mountain.
The surname is still concentrated in the region around Basel today, but in the intervening centuries, the Durrenbergers have spread far and wide, most notably to Alsace in France, and from there to the United States. Changes in time and space have caused the name to take on many different spellings. In Switzerland, France, and Germany, the spellings Durrenberger, Dčrrenberger (Duerrenberger), and Dirrenberger predominate. In the United States and Canada, the name has also become Derrenberger, Derenberger, Dernberger, Durenberger, Terryberry, Derryberry, Derreberry, Dayberry, DeBerry, Derrie, Barker, and many other variants.
Following the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the area lying between France and Germany known as Alsace had become drastically depopulated as a result of the fighting and the ensuing famine and disease. With many towns nearly empty and economic activity at a standstill, local feudal lords encouraged repopulation by the Swiss, and as a result many Swiss migrated north to Alsace seeking land and economic opportunity. Several Durrenbergers were among them, coming from Basel-Landschaft and settling in Alsatian towns like Mertzwiller and Birlenbach in Bas-Rhin (northern Alsace), and RibeauvillÄ in Haut-Rhin (southern Alsace). Their descendants, some Lutheran and some Catholic, were numerous, and the name Durrenberger to this day is concentrated in Mertzwiller and environs.
As Alsace's population grew, people again sought economic opportunity elsewhere, and in the 18th and 19th centuries the destination of choice was America. Some Alsatian Durrenbergers arrived in the American Colonies as early as 1738, but many more Durrenbergers from both Alsace and Switzerland came in the 19th century with the great waves of immigration from Europe to the United States. One goal of this website is to connect the descendants of all these separate immigrants. I currently have some miscellaneous information on 18th century Durrenberger immigrants to America here.
There are other German families by the names of Duernberger and Dornberger, but their connection to the Durrenberger family is much less certain, and are considered beyond the scope of this website.
The database / family tree is an ongoing project that is being continually updated. The primary focus of the database is on people with the surname Durrenberger (or variations thereof), but many Durrenberger descendants with other surnames (as a result of maternal descent) have been included as well. To limit the size of the project as well as protect the privacy of living descendants, the database includes only those persons born about 1910 or earlier. Furthermore, ancestors of non-Durrenbergers (e.g. parents of spouses of Durrenberger descendants) are also not included as separate entries except where they shed light on sibling relationships; however, when known, they are generally described in the notes.
The database has been created for the Web using the Gedpage program. Entering brings up a list of all surnames included, and clicking on a surname then brings you to a list of all persons in the database with that surname. Clicking again on an individual brings up the appropriate Family Group Sheet. One current limitation of the database is the inability to properly display source information. I do keep records of the source of all the information I have entered in the database, and the other contributors have source information for the content they have included, so until such time as I can get the source information on the web database, if you have any questions about sources or references, please contact the appropriate contributor.
All persons are hyperlinked to one another to the extent that their relationship is known. At the moment, not everyone in the database is connected to everyone else, although one ultimate theoretical goal of the project is to make such connections if they exist. A list of the earliest Durrenberger ancestor of each of the discrete trees in the database is useful for getting a sense of how many unconnected families are currently represented in the database, and can be found here.
This site was last updated January 11, 2015
January 11, 2015. Biographies, additions, and corrections to all descendants of Adam DerryberryŇs youngest sons John, Andrew and Thomas have been added. The same goes for descendants of George and Nancy Derreberry of Burke Co., NC, whose descendants all run through their daughter Kezziah (McKinney); all of her children and grandchildren have been added. Children of Abraham Richard Derryberry, Sr. have also been added. Finally, a new landing page for the Derryberry family has been added, with links to articles in the Burke County Genealogical Society Journal about the early history of that family.
September 15, 2014. Biographies, additions, and corrections to all descendants of Daniel Derryberry and Catherine Long have been added. In particular, descendants of DanielŇs sons James L. and Joshua D., which had not been done previously, were completed. Connections between the various members of the Hardison family that married into the Maury Co. Derryberry family have also been made. Finally, biographies, additions, and corrections have been made to all descendants of Cassie Derryberry of Dade Co., GA, with tremendous help as always from Gloria R. Derryberry.
June 3, 2014. Biographies, additions, and corrections to all descendants of Andrew J. Derryberry of Marshall Co., TN, son of Daniel Derryberry and Catherine Long, have been added. Some additions and corrections to the family of Peter Dčrrenberger and Elisabeth Muller, immigrants on the ĎDianaË from 1791, have also been made.
April 17, 2014. Children of John W. Berry of Autauga Co., AL and Mississippi by his third wife have now been included. In addition, biographies of, and additions to, all descendants of the two oldest sons of Daniel Derryberry and Catherine Long of Maury Co., namely Albert G. and William H. Derryberry, have now been added, as have the descendants of John Derryberry of Monroe Co., MS. Descendants of William H. Derryberry include all the family members who spell the name Derebery and Dereberry. Biographies of the three daughters of Adam Derryberry of Maury Co., TN have also been added; thanks to Wayne Armstrong for providing family Bible pages.
February 24, 2014. More additions and corrections to various lines of the Berry family have been made, including additional children of Austin Berry and Edward Berry, both of Prince Edward Co., VA. In addition, biographies of, and additions to, all descendants of Michael L. and Elijah Derryberry of Dunklin Co., MO have been added, completing work on all descendants of Daniel Derryberry (ca. 1771-1835), one of the original Derryberrys of Burke Co., NC. Finally, biographies of Abraham Derryberry of Henderson Co., as well as all of his descendants, have also been added.
January 17, 2014. The Berry family originating Prince Edward and Amelia Cos., VA, and descended from brothers Joseph Berry (b. abt 1740) and Peter Berry (b. abt 1742), and whose descendants are genetically nearly identical (Y-chromosome) to the Alsatian Dčrrenbergers, have been proposed to descend from the Christoph Dčrrenberger who immigrated in 1750 on the ship ĎPhoenix.Ë Joseph and Peter Berry closely match in name and age ChristophŇs sons Johannes and Johann Peter Dčrrenberger. In addition, ChristophŇs father Johannes, originally from Reigoldswil, Switzerland, is proposed to have been the son of Peter Dčrrenberger and Anna Grattiger, not a ĎHanssË as stated on his marriage record. Finally, Edward Martin Berry of Wood Co., WV has been traced back to the Prince Edward Co., VA Berry family. Many additions and corrections to the Berry family have been made, thanks to help from Martha Berry and David Joe Berry. These include descendants of Joseph Hastie Berry, who migrated to Putnam Co., MO, and John A. Berry, who migrated to Autauga Co., AL.
December 8, 2013. Biographies of, and additions to, all descendants of Thomas and Sarah Derryberry of Henderson Co., TN have been added, again in collaboration with Gloria R. Derryberry. Several corrections and additions to other Derryberry lines have also been made. Note also, I have set up a new email address for this site: durrenbergerfamily#gmail.com (replace "#" with "@").
November 6, 2013. Information from family trees of the early Swiss Dčrrenbergers, constructed by the late Werner Hug, has been added, thanks to Rosemarie Cohen. Many formerly unconnected Swiss Dčrrenberger lines have now been joined, with a new root created at the earliest recorded family members, Durss and Heinrich Dčrrenberger. (Formerly separate lines now connected are: Durss [der alt mayer, d. 1611], Pentaleon [1564-1636], Joss [of Lauwil, father of Jacob], ĎBogenthalË Hanss [d. 1638], Heinrich [d. 1636], Joss [d. 1624, husband of Verena Baschung], Remigius [husband of Anna Kettinger], Ulrich [of St. Romey], Appolonia [husband of Martin Plattner], Jacob [father of Jacob D. Barker], Wilhelm [of Kane Co., IL], and Jacob [b. 1852, of Paterson, NJ]). This information was further supplemented with dates, places, and minor corrections thanks to Ken Regenos, whose family website is now linked below. Biographies of, and additions to, all descendants of John R. Derryberry have now been added, with much help from Gloria R. Derryberry. These are the DeBerrys of northwest Missouri, and this completes all descendants of Michael Derryberry of Burke Co. In addition, biographies for all of the 7 original Derryberrys of Burke Co. have been posted. Finally, some corrections to the family of Albert A. Terryberry have been added thanks to Nancy Miller, and children of Overton F. Dearybury have been added thanks to Kelly Garrison.
August 27, 2013. Biographies and additions to the remaining children of John T. Derryberry of Maury Co. have been added, completing the line of Jacob Derryberry and Margaret Long. Biographies and additions have also been added to Daniel Derryberry of Henderson Co., TN and Andrew J. Derryberry of Tishomingo Co., MS, both believed to be sons of Michael Derryberry.
June 12, 2013. At long last, evidence has been found indicating the Derryberry family of Burke Co., NC were descendants of Johann Michael Dčrrenberger, who arrived in Philadelphia from Alsace in 1738! This is thanks to a find by Betsy Pittman, documented in her article of May 2013 in the ĎBurke County Genealogical Journal.Ë The formerly ĎunknownË Derryberry ancestor is now indicated as Michael, connecting this formerly unconnected family. In addition, biographies and additions to the 7 oldest children of John T. Derryberry of Maury Co., TN have been added. Information from records of Garrebourg, Lorraine have been added, and so Joseph Dčrrenberger of that town has been shown to be the son of Georg Dčrrenberger and Elisabetha Kleiss and joined to the tree. Information from Catholic church records of Ferrette, Haut-Rhin, Alsace has been added, and many corrections to that tree have been made. The Dčrrenbergers of that town have been shown to have all been descendants of Franz Dčrrenberger and Anna Margaretha FrÜhl. Franz, probably born ca. 1690, may have come there from another nearby town, currently unknown. (Franz has been added as a new unconnected family, and Wilhelm, formerly believed to be the patriarch of this family, has been joined as his son.) Finally, information from Catholic church records of RibeauvillÄ has been added. Johannes (b. 1640), father of Johann Georg Daniel Dčrrenberger, remains as an unconnected patriarch. Three others have been added as unconnected families: (1) Johannes (b. ca. 1560?) husband of Barbara Birckel, (2) Balthasar (b. ca. 1570) husband of Kunigunda BÜrser and ancestor of former patriarch Matthias, and (3) Christoph (b. ca. 1640?) husband of Elisabetha Seltz. Any Swiss origins of these RibeauvillÄ families remain unknown.
For a complete update history, click here.
www.durrenberger.org : an excellent website pertaining exclusively to the descendants of two Durrenbergers in particular: (1) Gephart Ignatius Durrenberger, born 1818 in Wurttemberg and immigrated to Minnesota, and (2) Joseph Durrenberger, born about 1820 in Alsace and immigrated to Erie Co., NY, and many of whose descendants went to Texas. Gephart's connection to the Swiss/Alsatian family is unknown. This site also has general information on the history of the Durrenbergers, and results of a Durrenberger Y-chromosome DNA study showing that Gephart's descendants and the Swiss/Alsatian family have different Y-chromosome haplotypes.
A Terryberry Family : another website devoted to Stephan Durrenberger and his descendants, authored by Gene Singer. It focuses on one particular line of descent from Stephan which went to Ontario, Canada in the early 19th century. It is written in story format, with biographical details of each descendant.
The National Derryberry Family Association: this page is devoted to the Derryberry family which has been traced back to Burke Co., NC in the late 18th century. Although their connection to the Durrenberger family has not yet been documented, results of DNA testing shows they are almost certainly a branch of this family. There has been much speculation that this family is descended from siblings of Stephan Durrenberger (son of Peter Durrenberger of Mertzwiller and founder of the Terryberry family of northwest New Jersey), but no connection has yet been proven.
Excerpts from The Derreberrys of Burke & Cherokee Counties, North Carolina and Their Descendants : A page by Ben and Ron Jones detailing their extensive research into this branch of the family. In particular, they follow the descendants of Michael Derreberry (b. 1778) of Burke Co., whose sons later went west to Cherokee Co., NC.
Fannie Helena "Lena" Derryberry : this page is devoted to the ancestors and descendants of Lena Derryberry of Collin Co., TX. She was a daughter of Civil War soldier Henry A. Derryberry and Mary Lasley, who came to Texas from Missouri.
The Dčrrenberger Family of Diegten : this page, mostly in French, is authored by Robert Dčrrenberger of Switzerland, and contains information about the history of the family in general and his particular line of Dčrrenbergers from the town of Diegten, KT Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland.
Regenass / Regenos Family Records : this page, by Ken Regenos, includes a number of Dčrrenbergers from the town of Lupsingen, KT Basel-Lanschaft, Switzerland. Some information on the Lupsingen line has been borrowed from this site for use here.
The Derryberry Families In America : The 1995 first edition of Bob Derryberry's exhaustive book on this family is now available online through LDS. An extensively revised second edition was published in 2006, and so this online version has a considerable amount of outdated information and needs to be used with caution, but it remains a useful volume.
GenForum's Durrenberger discussion group : a public message board devoted to the Durrenberger surname. Post your queries and comments for the general public here. A separate GenForum group exists for the Derryberry surname.
Ancestry.com discussion groups for Durrenberger, Derenberger, Dernberger, Terriberry, Terryberry, Derryberry, Derreberry, and Dayberry: more public message boards devoted to particular spelling variants of the surname. The Derenberger group pertains primarily to the West Virginia branch of the family (see also the Derenberger Genealogy page mentioned below), the Dernberger group so far pertains to the Oakland Co., MI branch, and the Terryberry group has attracted several family branches using close variants of that spelling.
Cercle d'histoire et d'archÄologie de l'Alsace du Nord : a website (in French) pertaining to the history and archaeology of northern Alsace, authored by Daniel Peter, an archivist at the Archives D(c)partementales de Bas-Rhin in Strasbourg (see below under Contributors). A good source of general information about the region of northern Alsace from which many members of the Durrenberger family hail.
Alsabase : a website devoted to Alsatian genealogy presented by the Cercle GÄnÄalogique d'Alsace which should be very helpful to anyone researching Alsatian ancestry. It includes databases of Alsatian surnames and the towns in which they can be found, a large collection of links for Alsatian genealogy, and contact information for researchers. Primarily in French.
Derenberger Genealogy : a website authored by Skip Derenberger devoted to the history and genealogy of the Derenberger family of West Virginia. I believe this family to be the descendants of Peter Dčrrenberger of Gundershoffen who emigrated to America in 1791. Further details on this family are forthcoming.
The Alsatian Durrenberger family of RibeauvillÄ and environs. The IGI suggests that the Durrenbergers of Bowling Green, KY have their origins in this area.
The following people have all generously contributed their research to the database. Please contact them if you have any questions about their respective branches of the family. (Replace the "#" with "@" in the email addresses. While less convenient than the old direct links, this helps guard against automated email-seeking programs used in spamming.)
Gloria Rocha Derryberry has been of invaluable help in sorting out relationships within numerous branches of the Derryberry family. She is related through the Dade Co., Georgia branch of this family, and is the principal organizer of the annual Derryberry family reunion. She can be contacted at DerryberryFamily#aol.com.
Sallie McHenry has contributed her exhaustive research on the Derrenberger family who lived primarily in Holmes and Ashland Counties, Ohio; they are descendants of Michael Durrenberger who was born 1779 in Mertzwiller, Alsace, and Catharina Margaretha Leininger who was born 1781 in Mietesheim, Alsace. Sallie can be contacted at SALLIE123#webtv.net.
Karen Tavernier has contributed a large amount of research on the Dernberger family of Warren County, New Jersey and Oakland County, Michigan. This family is descended from George Frederick Durrenberger or Dernberger, who came to what is now Warren County from neighboring Morris County, NJ in about 1790. Many of his descendants migrated west to Michigan between 1835 and 1865. Her research is ongoing, and she can be contacted at kdtavernier#hotmail.com.
Ella Foster has contributed her research on the descendants of Thomas Terryberry in Schuyler and Steuben Cos., NY and environs, particularly the family of his son Minard Teribury. She has provided many newspaper articles and important documents related to this family. She can be contacted at blueemf607#yahoo.com.
David Faux has contributed transcribed birth and death information from the family Bible of Philip Terryberry and Dorothy Swackhammer; these transcripts were received from the late Florence Watson, and may be the only extant records of many of these events. He can be contacted at fauxdk#yahoo.com.
The late Barbara Sprik kindly contributed her research on the descendants of Sarah Derenberger and Philip Hetzer of Meigs County, OH, including information from the Hetzer-Derrenberger family Bible. Sarah was the daughter of John Peter Derenberger who settled in Wood Co., WV.
Betty Harley has contributed information on the descendants of Samuel Terreberry and Catherine Moore. Samuel was a son of Philip Durrenberger of Morris Co., NJ who settled in what is now Welland Co., Ontario in the early 19th century. Betty can be contacted at betty#vaxxine.com.
Donna Fortman has contributed her research on several branches of the Terryberry family of Ontario, most particularly those in Grimsby and Saltfleet Twps. She can be contacted at Dmayteach#sympatico.ca.
Joyce Garrott has contributed information on the descendants of Adelphia Dunbargar (Dunbarger) and Martin Barringer of Washington County, OH and later Dayton, OH. Adelphia was the daughter of John and Sarah Dunbargar, and great-granddaughter of John Peter Derenberger of Wood Co., WV. Joyce can be contacted at joyk8#yahoo.com.
Mike Apgar has contributed the descendants of Mary Jane Terriberry of Hunterdon County, NJ, a granddaughter of Jacob Derenberger and Rachel nÄe Fritts. Mike is currently Vice President of the Apgar Association. He can be contacted at maapgar#comcast.net.
Daniel Hieronymus has contributed information on the descendants of Peter Durrenberger, youngest son of Christian Durrenberger and Anna Margaretha Graff of Mertzwiller. Peter's descendants, primarily the Pfeiffer family, moved from Alsace to Lorraine in the 19th century. Daniel can be contacted at daniel.hieronymus#esstin.uhp-nancy.fr.
Jean Nicolas Bouschbacher has contributed his research on the Durrenberger family of Alsting, Lorraine and environs. They are descendants of Heinrich (Henri) Durrenberger, who was born about 1696 in Neuleiningen, Palatinate and moved subsequently to Alsting in northern Lorraine. Jean Nicolas can be contacted at jnbetz#rtvc.fr.
Gilbert Hoff has contributed information on the descendants of Johannes Durrenberger, son of the Catholic Christian Durrenberger and Margaretha Reymann of Mertzwiller. Married first to Catharina Jochem, Johannes moved from Mertzwiller to Sturzelbronn, Lorraine between 1780 and 1793, when he married there a second time to Catharina Otter. Gilbert can be contacted at gilbert.hoff#free.fr.
Benjamin Durrenberger has contributed the ancestry of Jacob Georges Durrenberger of Mertzwiller. Jacob Georges is descended from three different Durrenberger lines: Adam Durrenberger and Lisbeth Lemmer, Eva Durrenberger and Georg Ledig, and Barbara Durrenberger and Georg Abt, all of Mertzwiller. Benjamin can be contacted at durrenbergerbenjamin#yahoo.fr.
Daniel Peter has written several books in French which contain invaluable information about the lives of the Durrenbergers in Mertzwiller, Alsace and environs, and may be of interest to anyone researching this family. Daniel can be contacted at dabri#free.fr.
Peter, Daniel. Naötre, vivre, et mourir dans l'Outre-ForÉt (1648-1848). Strasbourg, 1998 (2nd edition).
Peter, Daniel. Mertzwiller du village au bourg. Mertzwiller, 1986.
Brian Anton is the author of this website and maintainer of the database. I am a descendant of Michael Dčrrenberger who was born 1861 in Gundershoffen, Alsace. Michael and his two brothers, George and Philipp, immigrated to New York City in the 1870s/80s. I am actively researching the Durrenberger families of northern Alsace and Switzerland. I can be contacted at durrenbergerfamily#gmail.com.
All contributions (both additions and corrections) are welcome and strongly encouraged, so please, if you have Durrenberger roots or even just run across information pertinent to the family, contact me by email at durrenbergerfamily#gmail.com.
Author: Brian Anton
Email (replace "#" with "@"): durrenbergerfamily#gmail.com
Last updated: January 11, 2015
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