Our Diverse Family Lines
There seems only space her to briefly mention the main lines I/we are researching. It seems more keep getting added as our search brings our full heritage into perspective! As each of us has 4 grandparents, each from a different family line (we hope!) it quickly multiplies until we take in the whole human race, so, wow. Slowly and methodically we pld on discovering links we never could have imagined.
Schulz, Stuenkel, Ehlers, Reibert and Dorschner are just the tip of my iceberg of direct descent from my German side. Then “Hunt” and Ontis for our “American” Midwestern side, including here also the German Feger and still mysterious “Jones” French-Indians and the “biological” fathers who aren’t on the certificates too (as best I can gleen from our oral histories) to fill in the gaps. I’m including adoptive relationships too. Therefore, the Bergan, Ferree, Gilbert families as well as the Talley, Simpson, etc. connections are being worked on. Actually, most of these have not been documented before, so this is ‘cutting edge’ first time genealogy. We simply are not prominent enough except to each other!
We have only been able to trace our Ontis family line back to Henry Ontis, the very first person we find any record of by that name and spelling and the same man is the founder of both branches of the family by two wives. One branch founded in New York State and the other branch begun in Illinois. Our common ancestor Henry Ontis seems to have left whatever parents and siblings he ever had behind him when he came to seek his fortune in Onondaga County NY shortly before the year 1812. It is unlikely that he arrived there before 1810, as he was not listed on the census that year, unless he was living with another named head of household. Henry first appears on record during the War of 1812 as a volunteer soldier in Onondaga County NY and from that point on the historical record is fairly clear on him and his descendants. After the war he lived he seems to have married a woman who bore him at least two children before moving to Illinois, leaving this first family behind and beginning a new one.