“The greatest history book ever written is the one hidden in our DNA.”
—Dr. Spencer Wells
Click this chart link for our full pedigree: https://doriswheeler.org/ui370-0.htm
Genealogy is viewed by many as useless information, a waste of time. That’s OK. Having spent most of the last 30 years working on it, however, I’d like to explain why it became my passion.
For many of us, the first introduction to the concept was bible study. The begats got us all and lulled us into sheer boredom unless the lyricism wove its spell. What later spurred our interest? Perhaps a photograph, or a long lost baby book,the death of a loved one, or just simple curiosity. Where did we come from? Who before us shaped our bodies, our beliefs, our customs and traits? What made them happy or sad? What hardships did they endure so we could live?
I am proud to present the results of my work in the form of a website.
Ted and Isabel, our parents
But, depending on mother’s mood, Dad was sometimes John. These two, with their vastly different backgrounds, managed to make their way through the cruelty of the Great Depression in the Big City, the horrors of World War II, and a lifetime of living on the edge.Yet they left us strong values, good memories and a foundation of love.
Dad was raised in a second generation German household, the only male child in his generation. Surrounded by love, he had many opportunities and was proud to have a flourishing business career and a substantial bank account when he married our Mom. The bank account was spent on a house in Valley Stream, a house that was lost in the same depression that took away his career. With no livelihood and me on the way, Mother set up a bakery in their tiny apartment. She baked for the lucky folk who could still afford such luxuries, and Dad and my uncle, her brother, sold and delivered her goodies. It would be eight more years before they and I arrived back in Dutchess County whee mother had been born. Dad finally had a job, delivering baked goods for the Krug Baking Company, and we finally had our family intact. We were ready to welcome Marilyn, Diane and Craig. His mother and stepfather (the man we knew as Grandpa) came to live with us when he retired.
Mom was born into a solidly American household with Colonial roots, but tragedy struck early. Her father lost one leg, which was a life-long disability, and her mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic.The four children were scattered but reunited as adults. Mother was adopted by a Worden, her grandmother’s sister, and sent to live in New Jersey, where she eventually met and married our dad. Her birth father, a wonderful warm, loving, long-suffering man, lived with us for a number of years in his later life.
Franklin Bowyer and Marie/Mamie Tigges, Dad’s parents (our paternal grandparents)
The relationship between Franklin and Marie could well have been doctor-patient, especially since Dr. Bowyer signed Dad’s birth certificate as officiating physician. That he was our grandfather, and not Theodore Muller, was discovered only in 2018, when DNA proved it.
Franklin’s parents had come together from England to New York, with her mother, in 1849. Their roots go back at least into the 1600s in England, and there may be a royal connection to Bowyer but it is not proven. Church records show both families to have espoused Protestantism quite early. They lived in the same area of England, Wiltshire near Bath, for many generations.
Grandma Tigges’ parents arrived separately from eastern Gerrmany. Her father’s history is less well known than any other close relative, but it is proven based on DNA. Some relationships are based on DNA but also a fair degree of logic and common sense rather than printed records. There is room for further research. Her mother’s line is fully proven and supported with DNA.
Jonas Coons and Anna Edna Tipple, Mother’s parents (our maternal grandparents)
Jonas comes from a long line of Coons/Coon/Kuhn men, whose immigrant ancestor came from Switzerland in 1710 with the first mass migration from Germany to New York. His mother’s line also descends from that same immigrant population. With all the subsequent marriages, his line represents Dutch, German, Swiss and French, truly a melting pot. Interestingly, despite the heavy migration from New York to points north, south and west, my direct ancestors never left New York and the area where they first settled in Columbia and northern Dutchess Counties, that is, until mother was adopted and sent to New Jersey. But she hurried back as soon as she could.
Anna Edna’s father also descends from that same mass immigration, the Palatine movement of 1710 with its own fascinating history fraught with danger and disaster. His mother’s line leads to our Mayflower ancestor, Elder William Brewster. Anna Edna’s mother’s line takes us back to our “gateway ancestor,” the one with a proven royal lineage (see the chart on Peter Worden’s page https://doriswheeler.org/g0/p56.htm#i1663), to our authentic pirate, and to our many early Dutch settlers, among others.
About this family history
Genealogy has occupied the better part of almost every day since my husband, Bill Wheeler, died in 1991. It started with a desire to learn more about his family, since he had been raised an orphan, and quickly developed into a seemingly unquenchable thirst to learn ever more about his and my family histories. This website is an outgrowth from my genealogy database and contains an enormous amount of information, organized primarily in the form of charts which best show relationships and person pages which bring together all the information I have gathered over the years. I have used DNA testing almost since it first became available in in the early 2000s to support or refute the conclusions I’ve drawn. Now, in 2019, virtually all of our lines have been validated by DNA matches.
Use the tabs above to find deceased persons who interest you. Click on any underscored name for more information. I have tried to provide documented evidence at least for our direct ancestors, but some has been diluted over the years as I moved from software to software. I apologize if this makes more work for you, but I am confident the result is more thorough and more accurate than you will find in most published genealogies, especially since I have had the good fortune to apply genetic genealogy to my findings. Almost every line has been validated to some degree by DNA. How much validation depends on how large the early families were, how many of their descendants have been DNA tested and other factors. Notice that I have not attempted to add every DNA match to my database. That would be a huge task. See the criteria I use in the separate article titled “Evaluating DNA Matches,” under the DNA tab, above.
My sincere thanks go to all those who have contributed valuable information that has added to our knowledge of our family -- you know who you are! For confidentiality purposes, I have omitted all details for living people.
Here you will find notable relatives -- Mayflower passengers, Revolutionary War participants, presidents, kings, queens, knights, and more. But you will also find many more ordinary folk -- farmers, blacksmiths, ministers, soldiers, sailors, doctors, butchers, postmen, and undertakers. Virtually all came from England, Holland or Germany and settled in New England or New York. We thank them all for their courage and determination. We are their legacy.
Genealogy is a never-ending study, and I am always thrilled to find new information. All comments, suggestions and corrections are welcome, but please help me preserve the integrity of my data by furnishing sources.
Good luck in your quest!
If you're new to genealogy...
If you are new to genealogy and genetic genealogy, it can be overwhelming at first. You would probably benefit from joining a local genealogy group. Ask about how to find one at your local library. They can also suggest library books to help you get started.
The basic premise of genealogy is to start with yourself. Record what you know -- names, dates and places of birth, baptism, marriage. Then do the same for your parents and also include death and burial information. Talk to relatives to learn what they remember, ask if they have photos, did they move and why, was there anything unusual about their lives, are there any family stories, etc. Go back one generation at a time. That makes it manageable. Add siblings and more information such as occupation, military status, schools they attended, historical events, etc. as you find it, just to "put flesh on the bones," so to speak. Be aware that the spelling of names can vary greatly, depending on who recorded the information and whether or not the person providing the information was literate or knew how the name was spelled. Once you have two or three generations fairly well defined, go to Family Search, register for a free account, enter your relatives' names, and see if they already have some info. Do the same with Wikitree. (Be careful not to "adopt" the wrong person with the same or a similar name.) As you explore your ancestry back in time, you can often find links to royalty and to others who have made significant contributions to our history. Some of these are shown under the Notables subtab above. Wikitree.com is a free site that offers excellent tools to find how or if you are related to others, notable or not.
If you've taken a DNA test, you're looking for matches. They are relatives, oftentimes two, three or more generations removed from you, so the more information you have gathered about your own ancestors and their descendants the more likely you are to be able to identify these matches. See the DNA section (Click the DNA tab above) for more information.
Finally, heed this advice from the National Genealogical Society:
Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)
To reach a sound conclusion, we need to meet all five components of the GPS:
- Reasonably exhaustive research.
- Complete and accurate source citations.
- Thorough analysis and correlation.
- Resolution of conflicting evidence.
- Soundly written conclusion based on the strongest evidence.
A word about navigating this site
To orient yourself, you may want to use the Search form to find a specific nonliving person by clicking the Search tab, above. Or check for "recent changes" by clicking that title at the top of every page. Or visit the Charts section first; just click on the Charts tab then click on any of the chart titles that interest you. Or check the Surnames or Master Index. Find the surname in which you are interested and browse the entries. Names such as Adele of France or Louis III where no surname exists are indexed as surnames. By contrast, females whose birth surnames no doubt exist but are unknown are included under the heading Unknown. Icons are used as follows:
A tiny pedigree symbol means this person is an ancestor of Doris, Marilyn, Diane and Craig.
A head means that at least one photo is available for this person.
A camera beside a photo means there is another photo for this person or an associated exhibit.
The DNA symbol means this person is a DNA match to Doris, Marilyn or Diane or is the first nonliving person in line to the probable MRCA or is a confirmed ancestor, proven by DNA matching. Find the ID numbers using the Search tab.
This Y-DNA symbol means this man is a Y-DNA tested member of an established FTDNA Y-DNA Project or is in his confirmed Y-DNA lineage.
An American flag means that this person served in one of America's wars.
A crown means that this is a head of state, usually either a person of royalty or a president of the United States.
A globe means that this person was the first in his or her line to immigrate to America.
A document means that a story, certificate or other item can be viewed by clicking.
If you want to "bookmark" a person in order to find his or her page quickly in the future, just right click on the name in the index and save as or copy and paste the link address in the address bar of your browser. There are links to photos, charts and people throughout, so be sure to experiment. Anything underlined is a link. Every time you click on a link, it will take you to a new page, a different person, a chart or even another website. I hope you will enjoy browsing my site. It is my privilege to make it available to you. If you use my data, I hope you will first validate it (and let me know if you have questions), then credit this site.
What's next? The wonders of genetic genealogy
Today, everyone's DNA is valuable. When this website launched, there were only two tests available: Y-DNA for surname studies and mtDNA for finding one's early maternal line roots. Now we also have atDNA for autosomal, pedigree-wide tests that everyone can take... and should. Each person inherits 50% of each parent's autosomal DNA. What happens to the other 50%? It is lost forever unless there are multiple siblings who each inherit bits and pieces other siblings did not. To learn more about DNA testing for genealogy, click on the DNA tab in the menu bar above. As an early adopter and an avid student of genetic genealogy, I have tested with all the major companies. The next paragraph describes my personal DNA surname studies.
These Y-DNA projects are underway to advance and solidify my research and that of anyone interested in the names Worden/Warden/Werden, Southard/Southworth/Southwood, Tigges/Tiegs, Tipple/Teeple and Willour/Wheeler (and all similar spellings). See the Charts tab, above, and the DNA project links below to view results of these studies. In addition, a geographic DNA study launched in January 2008 is specifically designed for the descendants of Palatine emigrants, most of whom settled in the Hudson Valley in 1710 on their arrival in America. I founded all of these projects and continue to be the project manager for a few. I welcome any questions. All interested parties are invited to visit the websites; simply click on any of the links below. It is important to find more males who carry these surnames to take part in the studies. I encourage all living males, especially the oldest or last in a line, to have their Y-DNA tested, regardless of their surname. (Reduced prices may be available if you join one of the many free projects at FTDNA.)
Finally, please be sure to write me if I can answer any questions or if you can help me make my database better (more complete, more accurate, etc.). Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Just click on my name at the bottom of any page to send me an email.