Conquering my Genealogy to William (the Conqueror)

It’s one thing to claim ties to royalty – or Vikings – and it’s a totally different thing to actually prove it (as well as something thousands of years can be, that is.) According to my family tree – which is fairly well sourced up until the early 1600’s, I am either the 27th Great Granddaughter of William. Yes, that one. I’m going to break down those lines and see if I can actually prove it. Hopefully, triangulating “cousins” and using DNA mapping will help. My connection is through my maternal “PELTON” surname line. Honestly, most of my really cool ancestry comes from that line (thanks, Mom!)

Keep reading for the information … Continue reading

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Distribution of the surname WETZOLD in Germany

Distribution of the surname WETZOLD in Germany:

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  • In Germany there are 60 phone book entries with the surname Wetzold and approximately 160 persons with this name.
  • They live in 36 cities and counties . Most occurrences are in Muldentalkreis reported, namely 9.
  • Other counties / cities with lots of occurrences are Unna (5), Lower Silesian and Main-Kinzig-Kreis with 2 entries.
  • Rainer Wetzold comes in Germany is most commonly found. Helga and Ursula are the next often found first name, followed by Theodor Michael , Michael , Brigitte , Bärbel , Uta , Harald and Bernd.

Information via

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Pelton’s in Leicestershire, England circa 1600’s

“Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the county of Leicester, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Leicester, 1495-1649, and in the Peculiars of St. Margaret Leicester, Rothley, Groby, Evington, and the unproved wills etc., previous to 1801. All now preserved in the Probate registry at Leicester” (full text ebook)

Series II Transcripts of Wills 1500 – 1558 (pdf ebook, non-searchable)

  • 1551 – Pelton, John ; Wigstone
  • 1587 – Pelton, Wm. ; Leicester 46
  • 1636 – Pelton, Wm. ; Peathnge parva 121
  • 1642 – Pelton, Wm. ; Leicester 3


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John PELTON – Crossing the Pond

There are some mentioned of the Pelton surname originating in Essex, England – but there is no proof as to whether our first ancestor in America – John Pelton – actually came from Essex. So, in order to figure out his origin we need to look at the facts that we already know. If you are researching this person please feel free to leave a comment and share what you know! Remember – facts only! We want cited sources.

John Pelton

Birth: circa 1616 in England

Immigration/Emigration: Between 1620-1650 from Leicestershire, England (source 3)
*** work-in-progress: Pelton’s in Leicestershire, England circa 1600′s

Marriage: Susannah Way(e) in 1645 (source 2)

Death: 23 JAN 1681 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts (source 1)


  1. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 for John Pelton (document)
  2. U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700 for John Pelton (document)
  3. Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650 (document) (ebook)


“A genealogical dictionary of the first settlers of New England showing three generations of those who came before May, 1692, on the basis of Farmer’s Register (1860)” by James Savage (ebook)

PELTON, JOHN, Boston, very early, had est. describ. in the book of
possns. rem. to Dorchester, his eld. s. John was bapt. 2 Mar. 1645.
In his will of 3 Jan. 1681, pro. 10 Mar. foil, he names w. Susanna, s.

“Genealogy of the Pelton family in America : being a record of the descendants of John Pelton who settled in Boston, Mass., about 1630-1632, and died in Dorchester, Mass., January 23rd, 1681” by J.M. Pelton (ebook)

“Records relating to the early history of Boston .. (1876)” (ebook)

“Records of the First Church at Dorchester, in New England, 1636-1734” (ebook)

More Information:

  • WikiTree Page for John Pelton
  • First Parish Church of Dorchester, Massachusetts (website)


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Brandenburg & Berlin Research

I think I’ve finally figured out that – in fact (after hearing it from my father all these years) – our family hails from the Brandenburg area of Germany. I speak ZERO German (except some swear words and “1, 2, 3, drink!”) so hopefully, Google Translate will be kind to me in my research!

Fredrick Charles Otto WETZOLD (he went by Otto)
Born: January 22, 1868 in Berlin, Germany

I had his parents listed as:
Louise WIRKE

Then, I found a potential sister of Otto … I say “potential” because I have no proof, just a search from I don’t have my usual access to to look further.

Selma Louise Hedwig WETZOLD
Born: August 4, 1873 (Christened Aug 31) in Berlin, Brandenberg, Preußen, Germany

Parents of Selma:
Gustav Eduard WETZOLD
Louise WICKE

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Researching Civil War Ancestors (Henry MANN)

This is a post in progress 😉

I’m on the hunt for my ancestor Henry MANN who registered for the Civil War draft in the Third Congressional District, Brooklyn (Kings County) New York in 1863. According to an article posted in the NY Times – names were chosen from all who registered and his name wasn’t on the list. This leads me to believe he didn’t actually serve in the military.

Henry MANN
Birth 1822 in Suffolk, England
Death aft. 1882 1892 in New York [edit: found on 1892 NY State Census]

Henry married Elizabeth
Birth circa 1839 in Ireland
Death aft. 1882 1892 in New York [edit: found on 1892 NY State Census]

Children of Henry and Elizabeth were:

Henry E. MANN
Birth JUN 1863
Death aft 1923 in New York

William MANN
Birth 1868 in New York

Source for family info: 1880 US Federal Census (New York)

Note – according to the reason why I am seeing a LOT of armed guards mentioned in the NY Times article (linked above) is that in 1863 there were a lot of draft riots happening!

There were four drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3.175 million records. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863.

It’s crazy to know that my ancestor was at one of these “drafts” (and presumably; a riot). I wonder if he was in favor of the war or against it? He would have been 42 years old when the drafts were happening.

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Ancestry has free access to some of their Ireland immigration records right now!

Lord Morpeth’s Roll

The Morpeth Roll is a unique testimonial document signed by over 275,000 people across Ireland in 1841, on the departure of George Howard, Lord Morpeth, from the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland. The Morpeth Roll is scheduled to go on public display until next year. However, Christopher Ridgway, curator of Castle Howard, the UK stately home where the Roll was discovered, will display the real thing at a conference entitled The Gathering: Local History, Heritage and Diaspora, on 24 November. As well as explaining what it is, he will be talking about its potential value as a pre-famine census substitute for Irish genealogy research. [x]

When George Howard (Lord Morpeth) left office after 6 years as Chief Secretary for Ireland, he received a unique thank-you card: a 412-meter roll of parchment containing the signatures of more than 150,000 Irishmen (and a few women). Morpeth had been seen as a friend to Ireland, enough so that even nationalists like Young Irelander Thomas Davis signed the roll, extending to Lord Morpeth the “warmest Good wishes of our Country.”

Lot’s of great information! I haven’t done a lot of work with my own Irish heritage. Might be a good time to do so!

So far – I just have ONE absolutely legit Irish relative that I have a source for. My Great-Great Grandmother Elizabeth (who was the mother of my Great Grandfather Henry E. MANN) was born in Ireland circa 1839. She, along with her husband Henry (circa 1822 in England) and her children Henry E. (1863, NY) and William (1868) are listed in the 1880 NY Census.

Elizabeth wasn’t listed in the 1900 census, so I assume she passed away before then. All I have to go on right now is that 1880 census. I haven’t researched any further yet!

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WikiTree – Collaborative Genealogy

I’ll be honest – I’d never heard of WikiTree until the folks over at one of my favorite Genealogy websites – The In Depth Genealogist – posted about it. So, being the geek I am I of course went and signed up! AND volunteered to help out. I’ve been plugging away at my own family history for over 18 years now. I love this hobby and I love helping other people discover their roots!

WikiTree is designed to connect us all under one canopy, in one family forest. Rather than a collection of unconnected trees, WikiTree is a single tree where every ancestor has one profile that all the descendants and researchers share. One world trees have been tried before on various websites and there have been issues with the concept. Many people’s trees include unreliable information. When these trees are put together on a shared website, the mistakes get perpetuated. The incorrect information gets redistributed and the mistakes never get corrected.

I’ve personally been a member of a few and it’s a pain to update information and no one else seems to be able to either.

So far – I am the ONLY member of the WETZOLD family up on this website! I’d love to encourage my other family members to GO JOIN and share some information!

Click here to visit my profile on WikiTree!

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Tracing My BLAUVELT Family Tree

Blauvelt, NY Historical Sign

When I got started on my family history when I was around 12 years old I started the way most people start … by asking questions to my elders. I asked my Mom and Dad to tell me “whatever they remembered” and got the very basics and spread out from there. One of the “tips” I got from both my Father and my Aunt Muriel was that their Grandmother was named Eugenia and that she “was a BLAUVELT” from Stony Point/Haverstraw area New York.

Problem was that this name was all I had to work with. I found my Grandmother Marian’s birth certificate and sure enough it listed Eugenia VanVailor BLAUVELT as her mother – BLAUVELT being her “maiden” name.

I talked Dad, Mom, my Aunt and even my Sister into driving me up to Stony Point to look around and check out records and I couldn’t find her. At all. Grandmother Eugenia remained my “brick wall” for over 10 years!

That is – until I was able to gain access to’s census records and spent a few HOURS tracing her assumed birth date time period and where I thought she lived (at this point it was Brooklyn, New York). I didn’t use her last/maiden name – I just looked for Eugenia. Jackpot! I found a Eugenia with the “correct” time and birthday along with a SEVERELY butchered name that appeared to be BLAUVELT. Her brother was listed as “Hamilton” which was also the name of her son (and my Grandmother Marion’s brother). Family names are always a great way to connect families!

Eugenia’s parents were listed as Thomas BLAUVELT and Rachel BABCOCK. In the 1870 census all the names were correct except Eugenia’s since she was listed as “Virginia.” Yet – on the 1880 census the names were all correct.

Cross-referencing is the KEY in genealogy!

Once I found Thomas BLAUVELT and his wife Rachel BABCOCK I was finally able to get back to the “beginning” of the BLAUVELT family in America. All using census records along with the already published genealogy of the family.

My BLAUVELT line is as follows:

Eugenia VanVailor BLAUVELT (my Great-Grandmother)
… (parents) Thomas William BLAUVELT & Rachel BABCOCK [source: census records]
… … (parents) Abraham BLAUVELT & Martha CONKLIN [source: census records]
… … … (parents) Abraham BLAUVELT & Margrietje BLAUVELT
… … … … (parents) Johannes BLAUVELT & Annatje QUACKENBUSH
… … … … … (parents) Gerrit BLAUVELT & Katrina MEYER
… … … … … … (parents) Huybert GERRITSEN (BLAUVELT) & Willemtje Ariaens /SMIDT SMITH
… … … … … … … (parents) Gerrit HENDRICKSEN (BLAUVELT) & Marretje Lamberts MOLL

Gerrit, son of Hendrick, arrived at “The Rocks” at Swede’s Landing, DE in March 1638 aboard the Kalmar Nyckel. He then traveled up the Hudson River to Rensselaerwyck. On 7 May 1646 he married Marretje Lamberts Moll in the New Amsterdam (NYC) Dutch Church. He received a grant of farmland on Manhattan Island on what is now Broadway near Maiden Lane and became known as the Blau Boer (Blue Farmer), his farm, the Blau Veldt. On 22 October 1679, he married Josyntje Janse. In due time, all the surviving children of Gerrit, with the exception of Elizabeth (child of the second marriage) became shareholders in the Tappan Patent, and resided there. [source]

Eugenia Blauvelt

The above photo is of my Great Grandmother Eugenia along with I would assume her sister. Eugenia is on the left side. There is a STRONG family resemblance to between her and my Grandmother Marian and also Marian’s brother Henry.

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Tombstone Tuesday: MANN Gravestone

You can learn more about Tombstone Tuesday and read more blog posts by visiting this link!

I’ve featured this photo before on this blog but never went into detail about the people buried in the plot. So, now I am really going to feature them and tell you a little information too!

MANN Headstone in Evergreens
(click to view larger)

This grave (Siloam/544) in The Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn, New York houses the following family members:

Eugenia Van Valor BLAUVET Mann
Born: April 1867 in Stoney Point, Rockland County, New York
Death: Between 1922 in Brooklyn, New York (in her early 50’s from complications from diabetes)
Marriage: Circa 1890 to Henry E. MANN
Parents: Thomas William BLAUVELT and Rachel Ann BABCOCK

Henry E. MANN
Born: June 1863 in New York
Death: 1930 in New York
Marriage: Circa 1890 to Eugenia Van Valor BLAUVELT
Parents: Born in England and Ireland

Henry William MANN
Born: January 23, 1903 in Stony Point, New York
Death: July 9, 1969 in Queens, New York
Married: April 30, 1927 to Julia Thiery
Parents: Henry E. MANN and Eugenia Van Valor BLAUVELT

Henry MANN
Born: July 17, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York
Death: Circa May 26, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York
Parents: Henry William MANN and Julia Thiery

Born: October 7, 1895 in Manhattan, New York, New York
Died: April 22, 1930 in New York
Marriage: Florence MANN (daughter of Henry E. and Eugenia)

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