page header image

The Henderson - Wiegand Family Tree

About This Family Tree

This tree has as it's base my parents, a Henderson and a Wiegand, who were married for 55 years before my mother died in 2000. My father outlived her by 16 years. This endeavor is my tribute to them and a legacy for their descendants in case any of them develop an interest. I got my start when one member on each side undertook work on their part of the family tree. My paternal grandfather began in the 1960s writing to Greitz, Germany for the records that documented that part of the tree (the Greiz branch). My maternal-aunt commuted a few times from her birth town in New Jersey to Philadelphia in the days that preceded Ancestry.com to try to find information about her grandparents. I'm grateful to them both for giving me a start. Aunt Duke didn't have access to the wealth of information I've discovered with the advent of technology that's spurred an interest by millions in genealogy. And interestingly, the information my grandfather gathered with frequent and time-consuming correspondence to Germany is still not available at such resources as Ancestry.

Research and Goals

My project started with my Aunt Duke's goal of discovering information about their mother's paternal family. Their father had been born and raised in Philadelphia before settling for the rest of his life in my grandmother's home town of New Jersey. His children said he was somewhat reticent to talk about his family. His mother died when he was ten. I learned in looking at his census forms that he didn't know her birth place. So information was scant. She knew her grandparents' names and had a copy of their wedding invitation that revealed the date of their marriage and the names of her grandmother's parents. The census information led me to her surprising Marblehead place of birth, and that first little success led me on a genealogical journey that has opened up the "uncovering" of many generations on both sides.

It didn't take me long to figure out that research from the "home countries" was difficult to come by. So I set as my goal to research my mother's ancestors to the time of their immigration to America. Her Marblehead branch turned out to be a deep and fascinating one since many of her ancestors came in the early 17th century. Coming so early and located so close to Boston, their stories parallel America's history, and many of their lives were impacted by the Indian wars, the Salem witchcraft trials, the Revolution, maritime adventures, and the growth of industrialism. The German immigrants (Bavaria group) came a bit later, but achieved enough to give us an interesting trail in the newspaper archives. The Philadelphia branch proved the most challenging, but I've traced the male Hendersons to their original immigrant, who came from Ireland. They immersed easily, but the families of the women they married are still a mystery. I've completed the research I can do unless and until more records open up so I can resolve the brick walls. I've gathered the research tools I use most frequently. My post-retirement ancestry project is to research each family group again and add any new information to their revised place on this site. I'll add any suggestions for future genealogists on additional information that can be researched.

Link to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Historical Society of Pennsylvanis Vital Records of Early Marblehead and Massachusetts A newspaper archive site. Link to Ancestry.com American Ancestors.org Alphabetical List od Direct Ancestors in This Family Tree Family Search website

You can find more details about the resources I've used here.

What's on This Site?

Trees

The standard Family Tree structure is a good visual way to look at each ancestor in his or her place in the tree. I've added screen shots of various sections of our Family Tree in the Trees section of the site. As I revise each Family Group, I'll attach a document that shows that couple's place in their immediate tree.

Branches

I've split the direct ancestors into four subgroups according to what they have in common: either the place where they settled or the place they came from:

  1. Greiz - half of my ancestors are in this group, although due to lack of availability of records from overseas, the data on this site contains only what my grandfather obtained directly from Greiz. This branch starts with my paternal grandparents.
  2. Philadelphia - the direct ancestors on my maternal grandfather's side who settled in Philadelphia starting with Samuel Ruggles Henderson. (Half of my maternal grandmother's side also settled in Philadelphia, but I've placed them in the Bavaria group).
  3. Marblehead - the direct ancestors on my maternal grandfather's side who settled in or around Marblehead, Massachusetts, This branch starts with Thomas Martin and Mary Oliver Lemaster Harris, the parents of Martha Harris, who married Samuel Henderson after her family relocated from Marblehead to Philadelphia.
  4. Bavaria - the ancestors on my mother's maternal side who immigrated from various parts of Bavaria, Germany. The first page for each Branch starts with an index of the direct ancestors in that branch with links to their family group pages. You can read more about the Branches concepts of this tree here.

Family Groups

A Family Group in this Tree consists of the direct ancestor couple and their children. If you know the name of one direct ancestor, you can find him or her on the alphabetical list of all direct ancestors in the tree with links to their pages. The first page of each Branch has a list of the direct-ancestor couples in their branch (with links) in generation order.

The family group numbers are assigned according to their distance from my parents, A direct ancestor with a number beginning with 6 will have parents who begin with 7. They are three digits until the tenth removal, at which point, they assume a four-digit number. The last two digits in each number have no significance. I've used this numbering at Ancestry.com to facilitate the distinction of the direct ancestors from their siblings.

Each Family Group page has a table that shows the names of the ancestor couple, their parents, and their children followed by a narrative of what "we" know (we refers to me and some of the wonderful third cousins I've discovered during research). The father of each direct ancestor is linked to the family group page for him and his wife as is the child or children who are direct ancrestors. Documents and photos can be accessed in .pdf format from the documents page. I've found many documents for individuals that are attached to them at Ancestry.com, but are not included on his website.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the Contact page or email me lee@leewiegand.com,