Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding the Origin of Names

Paul Harmon has provided me a website you can access by clicking on "Finding the Origin of Names," above, where the meanings of names can be found, and where they originated on earth.

What follows will be of no interested except to my relatives:

It has verified what I had always heard in my father's family, that the Eilers came from a part of northern Germany that borders with the Netherlands.  I could not find the name "Niehaves" (a variation of Neuhaus or Newhouse, perhaps), which was the name of my great grandfather, whose widowed wife and sons were taken in by the Eilers in Michigan and given that family's lat name.  According to this site, the Eilers outside Germany settled mostly in the U.S. and Canada.

Other people, researching my mother's family, the McColleys, have established that they were in the U.S. before the Revolutionary War -- I have wondered if they came as bonded servants, but there is no reason to think so.  They were among the Scots who  came down to northern Ireland, coming to be known as the Scots-Irish -- some say, an immigration arranged by the English to dilute Irish national identity -- that too I cannot verify.  But the odd thing is that any connection with Ireland, or even Scotland, is not indicated on their map; whatever McColleys are still in the British Isles seem to be almost entirely in the lower and mid part of England.
But most McColleys are in the U.S.A., and, according to those who researched the family, were first in New England, but now are concentrated in about ten states, especially Montana and Minnesota.  In my native Indiana, the largest concentration is in Wabash and Owen Counties; next, in level of concentration of McColleys, and where my mother's people lived, was Lake County, and Porter County next to it.  McColleys were also in the counties St. Joseph, Kosciusko, Tippecanoe, Shelby, Rush, and Henry.

1 comment:

mouse (aka kimy) said...

so interesting.

and the photograph is unbelievably rich and fascinating and would make a wonderful contribution to "sepia saturday" (which i occasionally play on the mouse)- sepia saturday players come from around the world and share old photos and stories (as they are) that accompany the stories. players are encouraged to share the link to their sepia posts on the sepia saturday blog.