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Derenberger Genealogy

My purpose:

The reason I am putting my family tree on the internet, is to display my own collection of Derenberger fact and fiction, so that it may be compared with information that other researchers may have.

I hope every researcher of the Derenberger name and anyone else with information, who reads this will contact me so that we may put it all together and clear up all the mysteries.

What's in a name?

One question that bothered me at first was, "Why are there so many different spellings of the Derenberger name on the various documents I am finding?".

I eventually realized that Germans just arriving from the old country probably could not read or write english and when their names are found on documents, those names are spelled phonetically, the way the person writing them down thought they should be spelled. DERENBERGER, DERENBURGER, DURRENBURGER, DERNBERGER, DURNBERGER, etc., all sound pretty much the same when spoken and could have been spelled any of the above ways.

As future generations learned to read and write, they had to choose one spelling or another.

In my own family, my father spelled our name DERENBERGER, while my grandfather and all my various aunts and uncles spell it DERENBURGER.

Does this mean that everybody with the last name of Derenberger, or one of its variations, is related to every other person named Derenberger, or one of its variations? Not necessarily, but I am betting that most are related because the name is just too unusual.

In my genealogy database, I have used the spelling of the name just as it was found on the document I found it on. That is why you will see members of the same family with different spellings of their last name.

The Derenberger Story

According to information I have found on the internet, Johann Peter Von Derenburg, his wife, whose name is unknown, and their children, George, Mary, Catherine, Sarah, John Peter Junior (Born during the ocean crossing) and Christina, came from Dresden, Germany by ship to an unknown port in the United States in either 1802 or 1803.

I don't know if all of that is correct but I do know that they settled in what was then the territory of Western Virginia along the Ohio river, in an area called Ravenswood, now a part of Jackson County, West Virginia.

As you are looking at this file, take note of the source. Only some of this information has been verified. Anything with INTERNET as the source is unverified information unless backed up by another source.

Please enjoy and feel free to use anything you find.
If you find that I have some of this information wrong please let me know.

Skip Derenberger
July 24, 1999






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