My father's ancestors landed on the east coast in the 1700's and hastened westward as fast as the frontiers opened. They tended to belong to or join german-speaking communities, and to belong to one of the "peace churches", Dunkards, Mennonites and Quakers. Both their religions and their language tended to isolate these families from mainstream society, and of course from the historians!.
OHIO: HOME OF THE BRICK WALLS
The Winders, Harmans and Whitmores are first heard from in Ohio, settling in mid-eastern Ohio as that area became the frontier about 1795. Several of these families moved together to Iowa as that frontier opened up in 1842. So far, we do not know where any of these three families came from. We do, however, know where many of them ended up: in the Bladensburg, Iowa Cemetery and in the Dayton, Washington Cemetery.
Jacob Whitmore is another who appeared from parts unknown in Coshocton County, Ohio in the early 1800's. My closest Whitmore ancestor is my 3rd great grandmother, Juda Whitmore, who married George Harman.
George Harman appeared from nowhere in Ohio in the early 1800's. My closest Harman ancestors are his two daughters, both my 2nd Great Grandmothers: Eliza Harman, who married Thomas Winder, and Sarah Harman, who was the mother of Mary Jane Elizabeth Myers. Mary Jane Elizabeth Myers married her cousin, Levi Thomas Winder.
Frederick Tisius came to America as a Hessian mercenary, fighting for the British in the American Revolution. He defected and joined the Bartholomew Von Heer Provost Guard, which became the official body guards for George Washington. Frederick's children migrated en masse to Fairfield County, Ohio and from there across the country westward. My closest Decious ancestor is my great grandmother, Mary Frances Decious, who married William Hezekiah Sifford.
SOME TOOK THE SOUTHERN ROUTE
The descendants of Stephan Seyfried came from Switzerland, through Germany, to Pennsylvania. The Siffords settled in Rowan County, North Carolina. Some of Stephan's descendants migrated along the southern route, going from Rowan County westward to Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and to the west coast. My closest Sifford ancestor is my paternal grandmother, Charlotte Elizabeth Sifford, who married Elbridge Lee Winder.
Christopher Myers was born in Pennsylvania, then made his way to North Carolina. His descendants migrated to Tennessee and to Iowa. My closest Myers ancestor is my great grandmother Mary Jane Elizabeth Myers.
Henry Hiestand, a Mennonite, migrated from Switzerland. He and his descendants migrated to Shenandoah County, Virginia, where my closest ancestor, Magdalena Hiestand, my 3rd great grandmother, met and married Frederick Tisius.