DeWitt and Ostfriesland Links

Here are some of the sites where I found good information about DeWitts, East Frisia and old maps:

Dick Rose's Rose Family Genealogy includes Dick's Ahnentafel and a page on DeWitt ancestors, including a few of my own (Andries, Tjerck and, presumably, Claes). It was from Dick's page (the one on Tjerck) that I started gathering clues to lead me to East Frisia, although, as you can see from the pictures posted on my site, the surmise about a misreading of the word Zúnderlant was not correct. Still, there's a lot of solid substance and meaty background in the descriptions he gives of the family origins. I'd like to trace a few more of the leads he offers.

Michael Recke's Maps of East Frisia pages are, as he says, "probably the largest Internet-source for historical maps of East Frisia." Michael lives in Emden and has a real trove of maps. I had communicated with him and his family and had hoped to stop in and see some of these maps when I was in Ostfriesland, but I was unable to because of car trouble. I couldn't find Grootholt or Zunderlant on any of his online maps, but that doesn't mean they're not there somewhere. (Many of his maps online are too small to be readable.) Michael also provides links to other online sources for ancient maps. One I've found useful is Manfred Becker's page of old Ostfriesland maps. I’ve also posted some maps of my own, paying specific attention to place names in the area of which we speak.

East Frisia Genealogy (also available in German, or if these links don't work, try this one to see where they may have moved). This is from a mirrored site (servers in two German cities and in California) devoted to German genealogy. It's broken down by geographical sections, plus it includes general information on German immigration to the U.S., and links to other genealogy sites. The East Frisian section includes good information on East Frisian land and customs, as well as links to other resources, both on and offline (some are addresses right in East Frisia, for those who are headed there). This page describes a little about East Frisian political structure and also how East Frisians finally started using family names in public records in 1813 under French rule.

DeWitt Families of North America. Mary Lou Chipman runs this list of queries about DeWitts, going back to 1997 or before. You can post a query on her page, but very few of them have answers right there. She says she has an extensive database of DeWitt info, and she will write back to you.

The Official East Frisian Home Page. How's your German? This whole site is in German. It does, however, include plenty of information about the area, mainly targeting the modern traveler or business. If your German is as bad as mine, you might also be interested in AltaVista's translation service, Babelfish, which can translate words and phrases or even entire Web pages for you, into English that's at least intelligible if not perfect. This can be useful even when a German site is available in English. Sometimes the different versions actually include different information.

The University of Texas has a big ole map collection. Haven't had time yet to scan it for East Frisian info.

There's a good page available on Dutch names and customs for naming children. (The same site has more on names, including patronymics, nicknames and family names.)

The register of marriages in the New Amsterdam (Manhattan) Dutch Reform Church from 1639 to 1701 is available online. Someone else has posted the entire list of baptisms from the same church from 1639 to 1730. I have put together an excerpt from the list of Manhattan baptisms, including various entries of interest to my family, as well as a few conclusions to be drawn from the information listed.

Lots of books of interest to the genealogist, including reprints of old records, are available from Higginson Book Company.

I've assembled some of my genealogy, including more about DeWitts, on my home site ( Specifically, you can check out my family tree index ( for genealogical info, and my page on Tjerck ( for specifics on him.

This page last modified Wednesday, May 23, 2001.

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