Backgrounds of My Families

This is some background information for the eight families (mine and my wife’s) of my grandparents’ generation.

Harris

Our Harris family is of English decent. Their ancestry can be traced back to the earliest days of our country. John Earl Harris was born in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY in 1798. He married Nancy Ormsbee in 1820. The Ormsbee family originally came to America in the 1630′s, settling in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Nancy’s father Joshua fought in the Revolutionary War and travelled to Greenfield with his family around 1796. John Earl, Nancy and their descendents moved on to Pierpont Ohio, Town of Morgan Indiana, and eventually Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. There, they engaged in the mill business. Related families include Seybold, Protz, Cleveland, Ormsbee, Benjamin, Newcomb and Bradford.

Harvey

George Harvey and his wife Elizabeth (Louden) were married in England in 1859. Soon after, they came to America and settled in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Their son and grandson farmed on Harvey Road in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. Related families include Musbach, Louden, Notten and Kruse.

Hau

Came to America from Prussia in the early 1860′s. According to family stories, Wilhelm Hau was a land owner in Prussia. He settled in Russel Twp., Sheboygan Co., Wisconsin. He married Kathrine Tuepper in January of 1869. Her family was also from Prussia and settled in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, where they farmed. Wilhelm and Kathrine’s descendants remained in the county, with our family owning a restaurant in Fond du Lac. Related families include Fuhrmann, Tuepper and Michels.

Heim

Our Heim family came to America in the 1840′s. Damian Heim was born in Steinbach Germany in 1815. His wife, Regina, was from the same area. They settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., Michigan. Related families include Gage, Hoppe, Parker, Knight and Lombard.

Hela/Heller

Laurentius Hela, his wife Elizabeth (Fleming), and their five children arrived in America from Prussia/Poland in May of 1866. They settled in Princeton, Green Lake Co., Wisconsin. Their grandson, Francis (Frank) married Catherine Jackowski in 1905. Her family was also from Prussia/Poland. Frank worked in the granite quarry in Montello, WI. Related families include Jackowski, Soda and Swiderski.

LeVan

The LeVan family was among the German-speaking French Huguenot refugees who fled from France to Holland, probably after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Family tradition says they were manufacturers of brocade and taffetas in their native country, and that they were of considerable wealth.

Jacob LeVan was born about 1702 in Amsterdam. Records indicate he came to America around 1717. Jacob married Mary about 1725 in Maxatawny Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. The family lived for many generations in Berks Co. They moved to Logan Co., Ohio and eventually to Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Related families include Robison, Winner, Leymaster and Leidigh.

McConnell

Our McConnell family can only be traced back to the early 1800′s. Charles Russell McConnell was born in New York in 1828. He married Sophia Laib in Kent Co., Michigan in 1859. She was born in Ohio in 1837. They farmed in Carmel Twp., Eaton Co., MI. Related families include Bradley, Laib, Blackmer, Kimball and Lankton.

Voiland/Weller

Originated from the town of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. Charles Xavier (Jean Baptiste) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children arrived at Castle Garden in New York City in December of 1857. His son Joseph Voiland and wife Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond arrived in New York City in May of 1857. Sadie’s family was from the town of Urcerey, also in the Territory of Belfort. Joseph and Sadie traveled to Buffalo, NY, and then settled in Little Wolf Twp., Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

The family name was changed to “Weller” when their children started school in Wisconsin. Their German school teacher couldn’t pronounce the French name “Voiland” and so it was changed to reflect the German pronunciation “Weller”. Their descendants remained in Waupaca County, with our family living in Clintonville and owning a hardware store. Related families include Heinke, Romond and Eglin.

There was also a Voiland family that came from Cravanche, another small village in the Territory of Belfort, France, in the 1850’s. Thibeau (Tebo) Voiland, his wife Marie (Frossard), and their eight children arrived in America on October 15, 1852, and settled in Macomb Co., Michigan, just north of Detroit. The homestead was located a short distance west of Gratiot Avenue between what is now Fourteen Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard.

We are unable to connect the Michigan Voilands to our Wisconsin Voilands. Since both families came from the same region in France during the same time period, we are hoping to find a connection!

Today’s Tidbit | March 27, 1797 – Charles Francois Xavier Voiland

On this date, in 1797, my third great grandfather, Charles Francois Xavier Voiland, was born in Essert, Belfort, France. He was a farmer. In October of 1857, at the age of 60, he emigrated to America with his wife, Adelaide, and daughters, Madelaine, Catherine Philomen, Julie and Adele.

More about the Voiland/Weller family can be found here.

My Voiland Family in the 1836 France Census

I was recently introduced to the website of the Departmental Archives of the Territory of Belfort by a French cousin. My Voiland family emigrated from the commune of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. The site contains scanned census images beginning in 1836. I was thrilled to find my 3rd great grandparents and their children listed!

Seeing my family listed in the census continues to amaze me. It really brings them to life – just imagining someone going to their house and writing down the information that I’m looking at. This census was taken 175 years ago! 21 years later, Jean Baptiste (Charles Francois Xavier) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children would cross the ocean and settle in America.

Please click on for a larger image

Mystery Monday | Charles Francois Xavier Voiland

My 3rd great grandfather, Charles Francois Xavier Voiland, emigrated to the United States from Essert, France. He, his wife Adelaide (Perrin), and 5 of their children arrived at Castle Garden, on board the William Tell, on December 3rd, 1857. Charles’ name has also appeared in family records as Jean Baptiste Voiland. It seams that he used both names.

I’m trying to find out where Charles and his family eventually settled. I believe they initially made their way to Buffalo, NY. Daughters Celia, Philomene, Adel and Magdalena are listed in the 1860 Census as living in Buffalo. Another daughter, Julia, is listed in the 1879 Buffalo Census. I can’t find Charles in the Buffalo census.

I do believe that Charles (Jean Baptiste) and Adelaide came to, and lived in, Wisconsin. There is a John and Adiel Welling in the 1870 US Census for Royalton, Waupaca Co., WI. I believe that this may be Charles and Adelaide. They are living next door to Magdalena (Voiland) Roman, who would be their daughter. The name “John” is the English spelling of “Jean”. The ages listed also make sense with the birth dates I have for them.

Most of the Voiland family changed their names to “Weller”. Charles’ son Joseph went by the names of Joseph Voiland and Joseph Weller. I can imagine a census taker trying to decipher a Frenchman pronouncing Voiland or Weller.

So, if John and Adiel Weller are indeed Charles (Jean) and Adelaide Voiland, what happened to them? I wonder when they died and where they are buried. Magdalena, and her brother, Joseph, who also lived in the area, are both buried in nearby Manawa. I haven’t found a record of Charles and Adelaide there or anywhere else in the area.

Surname Saturday | ROMOND

My 2nd great grandmother, Marie Felicitee “Sadie” Romond, came to America on May 27th, 1857. She and her husband, Joseph Voiland, started their journey soon after they married in Essert, France. After arriving in New York, they traveled to Buffalo, and remained there until passage through the Great Lakes could be obtained. They finally arrived in Little Wolf Township, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin in Dec. 1857.

Sadie grew up in Urcerey, in the Territory of Belfort, France. Her parents, Jean Pierre Romont and Marguerite Ancla’eier Eglin, both died when she was a teenager. So, her brother Charles gave her away in marriage. Joseph and Sadie settled on an 80 acre farm in Little Wolf Township, and then retired to the village of Royalton in 1903.

The Romond surname has also been spelled Romont, Romon and Roman.

Further reading can be found here.

Today’s Tidbit | May 27, 1857 – Joseph and Sadie Voiland

On May 27, 1857, my 2nd great grandparents, Joseph Voiland and Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond, arrive in New York City from France.

Joseph, from Essert, and Sadie, from the nearby town of Urcerey, must have started on their journey to America almost immediately after their March 26th wedding. They arrived in New York just 2 months and one day after they were married. Since the ocean crossing took around 6 weeks and travel in France to a seaport was slow, they could not have wasted any time.

After arriving in New York, they traveled to Buffalo and remained there until passage through the Great Lakes could be obtained. They finally arrived in Little Wolf Twp., Waupaca Co., Wisconsin in December.

More about my Voiland/Weller family can be found here.

Streets and Signs

It’s neat to come across streets that were named in honor of my families’ ancestors. It’s adds to their stories and certainly indicates that they were well thought of in their communities! He are some pictures of the street signs I’ve found.

The first one is located in Plymouth, MA. Bradford Street is named after one of my most famous ancestors, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony. He is my ninth great grandfather.

My wife’s maiden name is Harvey. Harvey Road, in Jackson Co., MI, is named after her great grandfather Herbert Harvey, who farmed there.

Another ancestral line of my wife’s is Notten. Her third great grandfather, Ehlert Notten, came to America from England and farmed in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI.

My 4th great grandfather, Isaac Ormsbee, settled in north of Greenfield, near Porter Corners, Saratoga Co., NY in 1796. The old family cemetery is along Ormsbee Rd.

Musbach Rd. in Washtenaw County, MI, is name after my wife’s Musbach family, who farmed nearby.

Hienrich Heinke, my 2nd great grandfather settled and farmed in Royalton Twp., Waupaca Co., WI.

My wife’s 2nd great grandfather, Damien Heim, came from Germany and settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., MI

This last one wasn’t exactly named after one of my family members (at least we haven’t proven it yet). Thibeau Voiland came to America from Cravanche, Belfort, France and settle in Erin Twp. (Roseville), Macomb Co., MI.

I also descend from Voilands who came from an area very close to Cravanche, but we haven’t been able to connect the two families! Maybe the addition of the sign here with help to prove or disprove the connection.

Today’s Tidbit | December 3, 1857

On this day, in 1857, Charles Francois Xavier Voiland, his wife Adelaide, and their children Magdalena, Catherine, Julia, Philomene and Adele, arrived at Castle Garden in New York City. They came aboard the ship William Tell. Charles’ name has also appeared in family records as Jean Baptiste Voiland.  It appears that he used both names.

Voiland Passenger List - click to enlarge

Passport record from Belfort, France archives

They eventually made their way to Buffalo, NY. Charles and Adelaide are my 3rd great grandparents. More about my Voiland/Weller family can be read here.

Today’s Tidbit | October 27, 1860 – Heinrich and Eliese Heinke

On this day, 149 years ago, my 2nd great grandparents, Hienrich and Eliese (Schroebke) Heinke along with their 2 daughters, Caroline and Amelia, arrived at Castle Garden in New York City. The ship’s record indicates that they had been living in Bretwisch (West Pomerania) Prussia (later, part of East Germany) before traveling to Hamburg to board the ship, “Deutschland“. E. Wesselhöft was the ship’s master.

"Deutschland" passenger list showing Heinke family

"Deutschland" passenger list showing Heinke family (click to enlarge)

The Heinkes arrived in Eldorado Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI in the fall of 1860. Three more children, Laura, Elisabeth, and Reinhard were born to them while living there. In 1879, they settled on the farm in Royalton Township. The location of their farm can be seen on this 1890 plat map.

Heinke property in Royalton Twp., Waupaca Co., WI (click to enlarge)

Heinke property in Royalton Twp., Waupaca Co., WI (click to enlarge)

This Heinke Rd. sign marks the way to the former location of the Heinke farm.

IMG_4393

Sign for street leading into former sight of the Heinke farm in Royalton Twp.

In 1883, their daughter, Laura, married Frank Weller, who had a farm nearby.

Heinrich and Eliese Heinke are both buried in Little Wolf Cemetery, Manawa, Waupaca Co., WI