Skip navigation

I have been researching my wife's and my family lines for over 25 years. Much of my research has been published as separate books or online. This site brings together much of that research in one place. You will find below several of our ancestral families. In the process of conducting the research I became interested in larger groups of immigrants or specific areas of interest that resulted in larger projects.


Greiner Family (Meckesheim, Baden, Germany)

My immigrant ancestor, Martin Greiner, arrived in Philadelphia with his family in 1730 on the ship Alexander and Anne. They came from the village of Meckesheim, Germany. Martin settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania as a farmer. The majority of his descendants remained in that county for many generations. More »

Hardenstine / Hartenstein Family (Herschberg, Pfalz, Germany)

In 1831 Michael Hartenstein and his family immigrated from Herschberg, Germany to New York City. The families of two of his siblings came about the same time. Within a few years Michael settled in Monroe County, Pennsylvania with several other immigrants from Herschberg. His descendants, including my wife's family, remained in that location. More »

Bitner Family (Reichensachsen, Hessen, Germany)

John Bitner (Johannes Böttner) arrived at the port of Philadelphia in May 1848. He apparently went directly to Berks County, Pennsylvania where relatives and friends from the German village of Reichensachsen had settled a year before. A year later, in May 1849, his wife arrived with their four children aged 3 to 14. More »

Woodside Family (Northern Ireland)

James Woodside, of Scots-Irish descent, arrived in Philadelphia in 1746 as an indentured servant. Although there is no absolute proof, it is believed that he is the same person who married and settled in the upper part of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Many of his descendants remained in that area. My wife's great grandmother was a daughter of John Calvin Woodside, who resided in Lykens, Pennsylvania. More »

Kreider Family (Ittlingen, Hessen, Germany)

The Kreider family of Lancaster and Lebanon County, Pennsylvania were some of the earliest immigrants to Pennsylvania. This family has been well documented by others. My grandmother was born in 1889 in North Dakota to a direct descendant, Daniel Kreider. The riviting story of this family is told on this site. More »


Herschberg Immigrants (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)

In 1831 several families from the southwestern part of the Rheinland-Pfalz state of Germany began a wave of immigration to the United States. My wife's Hartenstein family, along with others, left from the village of Herschberg near Pirmasens. The surrounding region - known locally as Sickinger Höhe, for its unique terrain - contributed dozens of immigrant families over the next few decades. More »

Herschberg Church Book

When we first began to research the Hardenstine family, my wife's aunt discovered that the Morman Church had extracted the facts about the marriage of Michael Hartenstein and Elisabetha Kiefer in Herschberg, Germany. They also had the baptism records for several children who were born before they immigrated to the United States. More »

Reichensachsen Immigrants

We had the privilege of viewing the original church books in Reichensachsen, Germany during our 2002 tour. In addition to my wife's ancestor John Bitner (Böttner), we discovered that several of his siblings immigrated to the United States. After additional research, we identified several other families who traveled on the same ships with them. Using the church book entries and other resources in the United States, I documented these other families along with the Böttners. More »

Pastoral Records of Frederick W. Geissenhainer, Jr.

The Rev. Frederick W. Geissenhainer Jr. was the assistant pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in New York City from 1827 – 1840. At the end of his ministry with St. Matthew’s, Rev. Geissenhainer transcribed the pastoral events that he presided over from the church books into two new ledgers. In 1841 he was called to be the pastor of the United German Evangelical Lutheran Church (later St. Paul’s) and remained there until his death in 1879. He maintained St. Paul’s records in three additional volumes. More »

Godwin Family (Queen Anne's County, Maryland)

Henry J. Godwin and his wife Julianna Rochester are buried in a small family plot on the farm that they owned in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. I was asked by a friend to look for information about this couple to learn about their family and the history of the farm. I was quickly able to find the family in the 1850 United States census and get an initial view of the family. Further research proved challenging and revealed a much more complicated set of relationships. This site documents what I discovered about the Godwin and related families who owned land near Church Hill and Centreville. More »

Yates Family (Columbiana County, Ohio and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania)

I did some preliminary research on this family to identify ancestors of my cousin's husband. He had a picture with photographs birth dates of multiple family members, but was not sure of their relationship to his family. I was able to identify the people as the Carter and Jane (Hanna) Yates with their children. Photos of both Carter's and Jane's siblings and their spouses were also included. More »