Ancestry and DNA–Part Two


My cousin on my father’s side sent me 75 pages of ancestry information.  Much of it goes back to the 1600s except for some ancestors from Switzerland.  My great grandfather, Gottlieb Werth, was born in Bern on 1832.  He married my great grandmother, Elizabeth Townsend, in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1867.  Her Townsend ancestry goes back to Rayham, England, in the early 1700s and further back to 2nd Viscount Charles Townsend who was born in Rayham in 1675.  Charles married Elizabeth Pelham from Sussex in 1698.  Their descendants went to North and South Carolina in the 1700s, but eventually moved to Indiana in the early 1800s.  Elizabeth Townsend was my grandmother’s mother. My grandmother was born in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1872.  Her name was Lillie Belle Werth.  Because my dad was born late in her life and was the youngest child by many years, I never knew her.  She is my only grandparent who did not live to at least 80.

Looking at the other side of Elizabeth Townsend’s ancestry, her father married Catherine Zimmerman in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1867.  The Zimmerman side of the family goes back to North Carolina in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  However, Catherine’s grandfather, Johann Christian Zimmerman, was born in Hof, Nassau-Dillenberg, Germany.  From Germany he went to Pennsylvania and died in North Carolina.  The record even goes back further, mostly to Bern, Switzerland, and the Meyer name in Germany with no specific place mentioned.

Elizabeth’s grandmother was Catharina Fiscus who was born in Surry County, South Carolina in 1782.  Both her parents were from Pennsylvania–York and Lancaster Counties.  The Fiscus line goes back to Pfalz, Germany.  Catharina’s mother was Anna Elisabeth Spainhour who was born in Pennsylvania in 1762.  Her father was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1719, and died in Surry County, North Carolina.

On the Townsend side, Elizabeth’s grandmother was Mary Voyles.  She, too, was born in North Carolina.  However, her ancestry goes back to Westmeath, Ireland; Ballybrunhill, Carlow, Ireland;  two ancestors from Danbighshire, Wales; and one great grandmother born in Italy in 1747.  A number of these people finally resided in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and then in Indiana.

I can never thank my cousin enough for all this.  After attempting to start the same task on my mother’s side of the family and spending hours, often hitting dead ends, I cannot even begin to imagine how many hours he spent compiling so much information.

Monday, I mailed in my DNA to ancestry.com.  I also provided what little I was able to find to date on Mother’s side of the family.  Since I am a woman, all I will be able to get is the results for my mitochondrial DNA.  As mentioned in the first ancestry post, my guess is that I will have a lot of Ireland and England as places of DNA origin.  However, I have learned from friends and my grandson’s experience that surprises frequently arise.

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