Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weerts... My own neglected Surname

It seems funny that after 20 years of genealogy research, my own surname is one I’ve researched the least. Weerts… it is not a common name… German is its origin, though my line comes from Ostfriesland, near the Dutch border.  And besides Weerts, I have Kanngiesser, Funk, Benson, & Kruse surnames that I'd like to pursue....
One of the other drawbacks is that my family only came to the United States in 1892. Making my Father only the second US born Weerts generation; his Grandfather being only 6 years old at the time of immigration.
So, in the beginning it was quite easy to document the family of my Great-Great Grandparents & their 10 children. But it didn’t take long before I was just maintaining births, marriages, divorces and death for the family… not very exciting… and certainly not pedigree expanding research!
Years ago,  I was in contact with a cousin who still lived in Germany—he provided some information and even visited here a few times.  As is often the case—we’ve lost touch.
The idea of German research can be daunting – I don’t speak the language – and online research is stymied because it appears the Lutheran records of my family are not as nicely indexed and shared as other records.
Another frustration – my Great-Great Grandmother was “adopted” – the circumstances of which are a complete mystery. Elizabeth Funk was born 17 September 1862 in Petkum, Ostfriesland, Germany -- I believe Funk to be her adopted name – and have seen her also referred to as Elizabeth Benson – which I take to be her birth name.  Her 1884 marriage to Herman “Harm” Ludolf Weerts is also undocumented.
My immigrant Grandfather was Herman “Harm” Ludolf Weerts born 29 November 1864 in Petkum, Ostfreisland, Germany, the son of Ludolf Weerts (1834-1897) & Helena Kruse. The children of Ludolf & Helena include: Foelke, Antje, Harm, Wiegert, Ludolf, and Wilke.
Ludolf Weerts was the son of Jann Jurgens Weerts & Antje Kanngiesser. Information on these older lines is floating around Ancestry, though the sources remain unclear to me.
And because I know so little about these people, my research is drab... heck, even this posting is dull! But I don't have anything interesting little tidbits to spruce this up.... so I apologize that it feels rather clinical...but I digress.
I wish I was a whiz at German research, but I'm not comfortable with it... and I'm still not even sure how to go about trying to find the records I could really use to further my research... like the 1884 marriage of my Great-Great Grandparents, for one.....
I’d love to connect with anyone else researching the Weerts name… or the female lines that married into the family. German cousins still residing in Germany would be an added treat!  And the mysterious "adopted" Grandma is another female ancestor whose pedigree I would enjoy furthering.


  1. hi my great great grandmas name was goldie c.weerts she lived in Peoria il.and married my grandpa Patrick j. curran who passed away in 1913 and then a man with the last name fleugel-her dad was Anderson weerts -the 3 male weerts generations above that were johann George weerts- johann Jacob weerts then johann Christian WIRTH- we are german slavaky and jewish and dutch-then my grandpa curran added irish-found your blog interesting :)

  2. It wouldn't surprise me if the Weerts info came from the online "Ortsfamilienbuecher" at (local heritage books). The profile for your immigrant ancestor is here: You can go to the books of other towns in the top right corner, which will give you more ancestors.

    Enjoy :-)

    1. These heritage book are like population reconstructions. They're created by people who specialize in research in the area. Unfortunately, these books mostly do not contain source citations so there's no way to assess the quality of the underlying research.

  3. I have been using many German grave sites and it lets me translate to English. My ancestors are from Ostafriesland. I have ancestors with the first name of Weert. I had my DNA done through It has helped me and my cousins a lot. You might found out you are more Dutch than German? The borders switched eons ago after war. I have relatives from Petkum.