CORRECTIONS TO CIRCULATED INFORMATION ON EARLY PA UMs KNOWN TO BE DESCENDANTS OF HANS PETER'S SON JOHANNES*

 

Introduction - The Special Research Team

Much information on the early UM family has been circulated over the years from various published sources and by many different researchers. These items often disagree with each other, and in some cases disagree with information found in the actual records. We are, however, indebted to those who did this early work, particularly since they did it without the modern technology we employ today.

In early 1998, in conjunction with plans for the reunion, which was held in July, 1999, to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the marriage of Hans Peter's daughter Eve to Heinrich Pannebecker, I began to create the UM Master Family Tree.

Prior to that time, a group of researchers had been searching primary records in PA in an effort to document their ancestors and to see how they might fit into the family of Hans Peter and Johannes UM. They had been sharing information they'd found in the libraries and archives of Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties and surrounding areas of PA, The Library of Congress, and the National Archives in Washington DC, as well as materials available at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City (SLC).

In the process, they found several major discrepancies between the records and the published books and genealogies in circulation.

This group included Elizabeth (Betsy) Coles Umstattd, Clarence Lee, Barbara Wentz (a Koplin researcher) and Eleanor Mayfarth. They joined together, forming a Special Research Team charged with making sure that the first several generations of the descendants of Hans Peter on the Tree would be as correct as possible.

The scarcity of baptismal, marriage, estate, and even recorded land records for the children and grandchildren of Hans Peter made the task even more formidable than they'd anticipated.

They added about 16 additional members to the team and began looking at the WHOLE FAMILY, rather than just single lines. They examined the work of earlier researchers, tracing it back to original sources to determine which circulated "facts" were documented and which were speculation or had simply been copied from the work of others. They contacted those who had sent them undocumented information and asked for sources. Gary Ellis, Ann Whitledge, and Pat Veazey searched the Internet for UM information and contacted submitters to obtain sources. It was discovered that much of what was "out there" was not sourced and, if it had ever been documented, that information often had not been included.

The team picked several of the most often-cited researchers, and used their work as a base for analyzing the validity of existing information. These are listed in the Early PA UM Research Bibliography.

As a result of the findings of the team, the UM Master Family Tree and information found on this site WILL DIFFER FROM and SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AN UPDATE TO some of the information found in libraries and family files!!!

INFORMATION FROM THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL RESEARCH TEAM IS PRESENTED ON THIS SITE WITH DEEP GRATITUDE TO THIS DEDICATED TEAM OF RESEARCHERS.

We do welcome ANY new DOCUMENTED information that will increase our knowledge of the early UMs!!!!!

*The team's research also produced a number of MYSTERIES and "ORPHANS," which is what we call those UMs whose parentage we've not yet proven. They were NOT literally Orphans. These will be discussed elsewhere on this site.

Cris Hueneke
Umstead Family Coordinator

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