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Surnames I am Researching


Ashton
Axer/Auxer/Auxier
Balck
Bishop/Bischoff
Bower
Bowman
Breymann
Brittain/Britton
Carpenter
Carrington
Carvell/Carwell
Christopher
Cole
Coville
Crosse
Dare/Doering
Estenberg
Frane
Franz
Fricke
Gantt
Goda
Grantin
Groff
Grove
Heinrich
Hauenstine
Hiatt
Howenstein
Jaggli
Jonsdotter
Kleiss
Kupp
Leader 
Lindgren
Manke
Merki/Merck/Mark
 Niess
Nilsson
Olafsson
Persdotter
Persson
Rohl
Romann
Schulze/Schultz
Sherman
Staley/Stalie
Stillwell
Stroebel
Svensson
Throckmorton
Traub/Troup
Van Dyke
 von Breyman
Westerkold
Wettstein
Wilhelm
Wolf
Zeigler



Long ago and far away, they dreamed of America! and they started to come! The Groffs and the Merkis from Switzerland, the Carringtons from Ireland, the Ashtons, Brittains and Stillwells, the Throckmortons, and Carvells, all came from England, the Lindgrens came from Sweden, and the biggest group of them came from Germany! Among the Germans were the Auxers, the von Breymans, the Zeiglers, Shermans, the Wolfs, and the Traubs.

Soon their descendants would marry and move on and their lives would intertwine. In 1990 one of their descendants would decide to trace her roots and their lifes would become real again! Their hopes, their dreams and their tears would once again become known.

The British were the first to come! William Brittaine and his elder brother, Nathaniel emigrated from England about 1635. William settled at Mespat, also called Middleburg and Newton, in Queens Co. Long Island, in 1652; Nathaniel at Flatlands, also called Amersfoort, in Kings Co., Long Island in 1653. The family would intermarry with the Stillwells. Lt. Nicholas Stillwell immigrated to America with his two boys upon the death of his first wife in 1638. From one of these marriages would come Joseph Britton the father of Mary Britton who married William Carvell. The Throckmortons and Ashtons were also settlers in the New York area during this period.

Then one of our Swiss ancestors followed. Hans Groff was born in Switzerland in 1661. He came to America to escape religious persecution. Hans and Susanna (perhaps Kendig?) were to become the parents of John (Hans) Groff who married Elisabeth Carpenter. Their son Jacob Grove and his wife Catharine Staley's first child was a daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born November 29, 1759 in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Her husband, Peter Wolf was born in York County, Pennsylvania, May 14, 1757. Peter and Elizabeth moved to the Perry County area, where they are both buried. Their daughter Mary and her first husband, Philip Troup became the parents of my g-g-g-grandmother, Ann Eliza, March 23, 1816. Ann's husband, Philip Zeigler, was born near Gettysburg in Adams County. Their marriage would produce 6 children, one of which was Mary Jane. Mary Jane and her second husband, Jeremiah Mark Carvell had only one child who survived childhood. Carrie Virginia was my great grandmother.

Following the Grafs to the new world would have been Christian Axer. Christian came to America on the ship "Edinburgh". He arrived at the port of Philadelphia in September of 1749 from Rotterdam via Portsmouth, England. He settled in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Christian, who was born on the 17th of November 1711, came with his wife and children to America. He married Maria Barbara Wentz on July 24, 1742 in Armsheim, in what is now Germany.* One of Christian and Maria Barbara's sons, Michael Auxer, Sr. would marry Magdalena Wilhelm, daughter of Jacob Wilhelm of Donegal Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Their son Michael, Jr. would marry Catherine Kleiss. Interestingly enough, Catherine's mother was Michael's eldest sister, Elizabeth who married Philip Kleiss. These first-cousins, Catharine and Michael became the parents of my g-g-g-grandfather, Philip Kleiss Auxer. Philip married Maria Leader, October 5, 1837 in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They became the parents of 7 children, among which was Catharine, my g-g-grandmother.

Catharine married Ephraim H. Niess who was born in the Lititz area of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Ephraim and Catharine married in 1864 and moved north to the Harrisburg area, where Ephraim worked at Bailey Iron Works until retirement. Catharine and Ephraim had 10 children, only four of which lived to adulthood. Thank goodness Edwin Alonzo was one of those four! Edwin married Carrie Virginia Carvell and one of the two children they had was my grandmother, Nellie Viola. Nellie married William Francis Sherman in September of 1914 and a short year later, my father was to be their first born.

On September 4, 1915, William Francis Sherman, Jr. was born at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. For more on my father's life, click on his name ~ I hope you'll enjoy his life as much as I did! In 1990, he traveled from California on a vacation and his life's journey ended where it had started ~ in the Washington D.C., area ~ 75 years and 2 weeks after it began. And interestingly enough it ended on the 100th anniversary of his grandparents wedding! (Carrie Carvell and Edwin Niess!)

Nellie Viola Niess, my paternal grandmother

Nellie Viola Niess, circa 1900

Be sure to read Susannah's Story for the reason I started this Genealogical Pursuit in the first place!

And now please join me as I take you on a journey - one filled with my ancestor's joys, and their sorrows. I'd like to bring them to life again, and have you know them, as I feel I do now. It's an interesting journey . . . . . .

Me!  Linda Stienstra

The author, in her pin-up years

* My webpage has been changed to reflect new information recently uncovered regarding Christian Auxer. Please contact me for information, if you are interested in this line.

I do ask, if you copy any of these to put on YOUR website, that you have the courtesy to ask me. I've found some of my information on other sites, and know that the information originated with me! I know of two different people who published information that I had sent them and of one other who merely copied my work word for word and put it on her site! None of these individuals even asked if I would mind. Courtesy? Yes, I think it belongs in genealogy as well as in life in general!

See my page of Headstones, Grave Markers and Monuments

Help me Identify this family, c. 1870-1890

See my page of Obituaries

Pages from Rosa Gantt Hamilton's Photo Album, c late 1800's

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Please note:

The information contained herein may not be accurate, so please don't use it as such. It was obtained from many different sources, and some of them disagreed with others! If you have a question, or correction, I'd love to hear from you. I'm always looking for the accurate information ~ as well as the source!