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Family history

Family history


Family History



              According to research accomplished by a German genealogist the earliest ancestor of this Gilbert family line could be Hans Jacob Gilbert of Hoffenheim, Germany.  Hoffenheim is in southwestern Germany 1.4 miles northwest of the city of Sinsheim in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, and is one of eleven villages that make up the Sinsheim parish.

    It is most probable that Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert was the progenitor of my family line in America.  Andrew is the son of Georg Martin Gilbert and most likely a grandson of the aforementioned Hans Jacob.  A record of his arrival in America is yet to be located but it is quite probable that he either came with or soon after his brother Johannes Gilbert who arrived in Philadelphia aboard the ship “Shirley” in 1751. 

    It is known that Andrew and Johannes were living in Leacock Twp., Lancaster County as early as 1758.  By 1768 Andrew had purchased land and taken up residence in Windsor Township, York County.  Andrew was a patriot of the Revolutionary War.    A return lists 4th Class Andrew Gilbert, year 1776, of the Third Battalion, Pennsylvania Militia.  

    Andrew Gilbert, Jr. born around 1776 lived his entire life in Windsor Twp. where he and his family attended the Canadochly Lutheran Church.  Church records show that at least eight children, (five daughters, three sons), were born to Andrew and Anna Gilbert.  Andrew was elected deacon of that church, December 5, 1824. 

     Magdalena Gilbert, my 3rd great-grandmother was born in 1808.  She was the fourth child born to Andrew and Anna (Zeigler) Gilbert.   Magdalena married George W. Silar sometime around 1829-30.    She and George lived in the town of Craley located in Lower Windsor Township.  Matt, as she was called, was the community midwife.  She passed away in 1890 at the age of 81 years.


Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname

Research into the record of this Gilbert family line indicates that the meaning and history of this surname is most likely linked to that area of Europe where the German* language is commonly spoken. 


Meaning of the Name

Gilbert comes from Giselbert, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements gisil ‘pledge’, ‘hostage’, ‘noble youth’ (see Giesel) + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’. 

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 Family Facts (


History of the Name

The Gilbert surname comes primarily from Norman-French and even earlier pre 7th century Germanic origins.


Early Immigrants to North America

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to North America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity for to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents. Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Gilbert, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.    Some early known settlers of this family name or some of its variants were:  Bond Gilbert settled in Nevis and Jamaica in 1722; Eliz. Gilbert settled in Virginia in 1635; Elizabeth Gilbert settled in Barbados in 1654; Elizabeth Gilbert settled in Virginia in 1637.



 * German Surname Meanings & Origins

 Many German names have their roots in the Germanic middle ages. The process of forming family names began around the year 1100 and extended through 1600. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family. At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing. Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead. If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from. Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living. Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer. Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (low German, middle German and upper German) is often reflected in names.


Variations of the surname



Variations of
the Surname


Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  Spelling variations of this family name include Gilbert, Gilberts, Gibert, Giberti, Gilibert, Gilabert, Gilbertin, Gilberton, Gilbertas, Gilbertin, Giberton, Gilbon, Gilbain, and many others.


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. The Soundex system was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Gilbert is G416.  Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code: GALBRAITH | GALBREATH | GILBERTHORPE | GILBERTSON | GILBREATH | GLOVER | GUILBERT | GULLIFER |. 

Source: Surname Resources at ROOTSWEB


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Direct Ancestors


Ancestral Lineage


Descendant Register

Generation 1

? Hans Jacob Gilbert-1.

2.            i.         Georg Martin Gilbert, B: Abt. 1700 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany,

 Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany ?, M: 23 Feb 1718 in Hoffenheim,  Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.


Generation 2

Georg Martin Gilbert-2(? Hans Jacob Gilbert-1) was born on Abt. 1700 in Hoffenheim,  Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. He died in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany ?. He  married Maria Dorothea Precht on 23 Feb 1718 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany,  daughter of Peter Precht and Maria Elisabetha Precht (Nee?). She was born on Abt. 1700 in  Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany ?. She died in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg,  Germany ?.

Children of Georg Martin Gilbert and Maria Dorothea Precht are:

i.             Johann Jacob Gilbert, B: 18 Dec 1718 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg,  Germany, D: 22 Mar 1795 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, M: 15  Jan 1743 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

ii.            Hans Georg Gilbert, B: 26 Apr 1722 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg,  Germany, D: 22 Mar 1762 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, M: 21  Sep 1745 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

iii.          Johannes Gilbert, B: 14 Sep 1725 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

3.            iv.       Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr., B: 08 Jul 1728 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg,  Germany, D: Abt. Feb 1816 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


Generation 3

Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr.-3(Georg Martin Gilbert-2, ? Hans Jacob Gilbert-1) was born on 08 Jul 1728 in Hoffenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. He died on Abt. Feb 1816 in Windsor  Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. He married Magdalena Gilbert (Nee ?).

Children of Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr. and Magdalena Gilbert (Nee ?) are:

i.             Unnamed Gilbert (1), B: Abt. 1760 in Leacock Twp, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania.

4.            ii.        Elizabeth Gilbert, B: Abt. 1765 in Leacock Twp, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, D:  Abt. 1803 in Madison, Fairfield Co., Ohio, M: Abt. 1785.

iii.          Unnamed Gilbert (2), B: Abt. 1769 in Pennsylvania.

5.            iv.       John (Johannes) D. Gilbert Sr., B: 09 Jun 1772 in York County, Pennsylvania, D:  15 Aug 1846 in York County, Pennsylvania, M: Abt. 1796.

6.            v.        Andrew Gilbert Jr., B: Abt. 1776 in York County, Pennsylvania, D: Feb 1828 in  Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, M: York County, Pennsylvania ?.


Generation 4

Andrew Gilbert Jr.-4(Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr.-3, Georg Martin Gilbert-2, ? Hans Jacob  Gilbert-1) was born on Abt. 1776 in York County, Pennsylvania. He died on Feb 1828 in Lower  Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. He married ?? Anna Maria Ziegler in York County,  Pennsylvania ?, daughter of Michael Ziegler and Anna Maria Ziegler (Nee ?). She was born on  Abt. 1790 in Shrewsbury Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. She died in York County, Pennsylvania ?.

Children of Andrew Gilbert Jr. and ?? Anna Maria Ziegler are:

i.             Elizabeth Gilbert, B: 09 Jan 1803 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

ii.            Catherine Gilbert, B: 28 Feb 1805 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

iii.          Anna Maria Gilbert, B: 30 Dec 1806 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

8.            iv.       Magdalena Gilbert, B: 24 Oct 1808 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D:  26 Feb 1890 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, M: Abt. 1830 in  York County, Pennsylvania.

v.           Michael Gilbert, B: 01 May 1811 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

vi.          Henry Gilbert, B: 09 Mar 1813 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D: 21  May 1860 in East Prospect, York Co., Pennsylvania, M: 01 May 1838.

vii.         John Gilbert, B: 15 Dec 1815 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

viii.         Lydia Gilbert, B: 14 Oct 1817 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


Generation 5

Magdalena Gilbert-5(Andrew Gilbert Jr.-4, Andrew (Andreas) Gilbert Sr.-3, Georg Martin Gilbert-2,  ? Hans Jacob Gilbert-1) was born on 24 Oct 1808 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. She  died on 26 Feb 1890 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. She married George W. Silar Sr. on Abt. 1830 in York County, Pennsylvania, son of John Frederick Siler and Catharine  Siler (Nee ?). He was born on 09 Oct 1809 in Pennsylvania. He died on 05 Oct 1881 in East  Prospect Borough, Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., PA.

Children of Magdalena Gilbert and George W. Silar Sr. are:

i.             George W. Silar Jr., B: Sep 1831 in Pennsylvania, D: Bet. 1900-1910 in Lower  Windsor Twp. York Co., Pennsylvania, M: Abt. 1855.

ii.            Mary Silar, B: 1834 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D: Jun 1880  in York County, Pennsylvania ?.

iii.          Rebecca Silar, B: Apr 1836 in Pennsylvania, M: Abt. 1856 in Pennsylvania.  More About Rebecca Silar:

b: 1840

iv.          Benjamin Franklin Silar, B: Jul 1839 in Pennsylvania, M: 01 Jan 1869.

v.           Catherine Silar, B: Abt. 1841 in Pennsylvania, D: 1908 in Dallastown, York Co.,  Pennsylvania, M: Mar 1861.

vi.          William Henry Silar, B: 14 May 1844 in Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D:  04 Feb 1915 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.

vii.         Wilmina Silar, B: 1847 in Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania, D: 1921,  M: 10 Feb 1867.


Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS  as well as a complete listing of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on the following LINK.

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Ancestral locations





Researching the locations where my ancestors lived has provided me with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in my family trees.  It has also led me to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and/or died.









York County


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Source documents




The documents and headstones contained within the “Source Documents Archives” have been located during my research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?;  (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive.

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Contact Information



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051



Snail Mail:

889 Dante Ct.
Mantua, NJ 08051