52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 10:
Name’s the Same

Name’s the Same

A few years ago I started researching my maternal grandfather’s linage and quickly recognized several surnames in common with my maternal grandmother’s linage. With the name’s being the same, were they some sort of distant cousins? For last years’ Week 7 prompt Favorite Discovery [1], I wrote about discovering, through same names, that my parents are 9th cousins. So, why not my maternal grandparents? At first, it seemed unlikely since one was from Mercer County, Ohio and the other from Knoxville, Tennessee. Nevertheless, the research is it’s own reward.

Meet My Maternal Grandparents

Edith King was born in Mercer County, OH in 1903. [2] Nearly all her ancestors were of German or English descent. They mostly arrived in American during the 18th century at the Port of Philadelphia.

Major Graves Dyer was born in Union County, TN in 1901. [3] His ancestors were mostly English who arrived in Virginia during the 17th century. However, he also has some Scots-Irish, Swiss and German ancestry.

My grandfather moved to Indiana from Tennessee in 1923 in search of work. He met my grandmother when they both worked at Wayne Knitting Mills in Fort Wayne, IN. They married in May 1924.

Wayne Knitting Mills
Edith King 1924

Edith King 1903-1991

Major Dyer 1924

Major Graves Dyer 1901-1973

Tree

Majer

On my grandmother’s maternal line is my 5th great grandmother Anna Barbara Majer. She was baptized near Stuttgart, Germany in 1720 and immigrated to Pennsylvania with her husband Lorentz Simon in 1753. She was definitely German. [4]

Major

On my grandfather’s maternal line is my immigrant ancestor, and 10th great grandfather, John Major. He arrived in Colonial Virginia as a head-right in 1621. He was definitely English. [5, 6]

verdict

This is a case of a German surname being similar to an English surname. As a result, I do not see a path for how these two lines could be related.

Kuntz

On my grandmother’s maternal line is my immigrant ancestor, and 6th great grandfather, Hans Michel Kuntz. He immigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania in 1749 with his wife and six children. His eldest daughter, Anna Catherina, would eventually marry one of their fellow passengers, my 5th great grandfather Johannes Rumple. They lived in Heidelberg Township of Northampton County, Pennsylvania. [7]

Koontz

On my grandfather’s maternal line is my 3rd great grandfather George Koontz, he is a brick wall. [8] I wrote about him last year for the Week 13 prompt Nearly Forgotten. [9] I do not know his origin. I pick him up living in Knox County, Tennessee in 1830. I think he was born in North Carolina. I have attempted to use DNA to find his ancestors. But, because I have the other Kuntz ancestors it has proven to be difficult. He MAY descend from an immigrant named Johann Michael Koontz/Kuntz of Adams County, Pennsylvania.

verdict

I cannot conclusively prove George Koontz’s lineage. Yet, I think it is possible that he some how connects to the Hans Michel Kuntz family. Although, it may be in Germany, not Pennsylvania.

Gilbert

On my grandmother’s maternal line is my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Gilbert, he is a brick wall. [10] According to his death record [11] he was born in Pennsylvania in 1812. Beyond that I do not know his ancestry.

Gilbert

On my grandfather’s paternal line is my immigrant ancestor, and 10th great grandfather, Thomas Gilbert. Thomas was born in Yorkshire, England in 1589 and immigrated to Massachusetts in 1635. [12] This Gilbert family is fairly well documented. [13] They relocated to Wethersfield, Connecticut and then to Southampton, Long Island before settling in Orange County, New York by 1720. It is during the American Revolution this Gilbert line reaches Virginia and then afterwards Tennessee.

verdict

Despite having no further knowledge of my grandmother’s Gilbert ancestor, I do not believe these two lines of Gilbert’s have a connection.

Conclusion

In spite of these names being the same, I have not discovered a common ancestor for my maternal grandparents. Assuredly, not all same names share a common ancestor. But, some of the ancestors highlighted here are brick walls in my research and I may yet discover a connection.

SOURCES:

  1. Blog post, Family Finds: Favorite Discovery; https://barblafara.com/favorite-discovery/
  2. Profile of Edith King, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/5107433504/facts
  3. Profile of Major Graves Dyer, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/5107439160/facts
  4. Profile of Anna Barbara Majer, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12476740665/facts
  5. Profile of John Major, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12748823129/facts
  6. Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I” [database on-line], by Nugent, page 10, 1st paragraph, Entry for John Mayor.
  7. Profile of Hans Michel Kuntz, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/13022262018/facts
  8. Profile of George Koontz, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12585375147/facts
  9. Blog post, Family Finds: Nearly Forgotten; https://barblafara.com/nearly-forgotten/
  10. Profile of Samuel Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/12164041102/facts
  11. Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch, Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6XQ-M29 : 1 March 2021, Entry for Samuel Gilbert, 27 Oct 1895; citing Death, Napoleon, Napoleon Township, Henry, Ohio, United States, source ID v 4 p 87, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 423,636.
  12. Profile of Thomas Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27555808567/facts
  13. A record of the Benjamin Gilbert branch of the Gilbert family in America (1620-1920)” by Eliza Howe Gilbert, Pub: Johnson City Publishing, 1920. Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/recordbenjaming00gilbgoog
Remember Me and I Will Live

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!