The Dorsey’s Of Norfolk & Annapolis

Edward Dorsey

Much of the information contained here was gleaned from a book on The Dorsey Family, originally published in 1947. Additional information came from a book on the Founders of Ann Arundel and Howard Counties, published in 1905.

My father’s family stretches back to many of the first settlers of America (a.k.a. “First Immigrants” or “Planters”). The roots of his family tree spread back to the early 1600’s in the Norfolk area of Virginia, Port Tobacco in Charles County Maryland, Middletown in Connecticut, and Annapolis in Maryland. Since there are so many roots reaching back to so many places, the number of ancestors who helped found this nation is incredibly large.  The links above list my posts on just three of these branches (Adam Thoroughgood, Gustavus Brown and William Cornell, respectively).

This post highlights a fourth branch back to an American First Immigrant – one Edward Dorsey. Edward was born in England and arrived in the Norfolk Virginia area of around 1637-1642. It is not clear if Edward Dorsey came to America as an indentured servant or not. The first record of him is found in Lower Norfolk County and refers to the sale of cattle in 1642. If he was an indentured servant and served out his 5 years of servitude, he may have began to build is estate in 1642 – thus bringing him to America 5 years earlier. Or Edward Dorsey could have immigrated as a free man of some wealth, enough to begin purchasing land and assets. In any event, there are quite a few records mentioning him as one of the inhabitants who established themselves somewhere between Sewell’s Point and Tanner’s Point.

The following image shows this region from a 1907 map:

Read more

The Cipeks of Slovakia (Part 2)


Note: all images can be clicked on to see the full size version

Update at end

This is an update to an original post from Feb 2015 (see here for original). In that prior post I had been able, for the first time ever, to bridge the Atlantic and discover where my grandmother’s mother was from in Europe (she is pictured on the far left above). She was from a very small village in Slovakia now called Nový Ruskov, which in 2005 still only had under 700 inhabitants (reference this translated Slovakian website for the various names of this village throughout history). This post expands on the prior post with the discovery of more generations and more family. For reference, this was the depth of my knowledge for this branch of the tree two years ago:

Michael Capek to AJJ

Read more

Our Romanian & Transylvanian Family Roots (Pt 2)


This is a very long post, so please bear with me!

Our “Fleger” family line emanates from modern day Rescita, Romania (see red flag in the map above – click map to enlarge). That is the location from where this line left Europe to come to Cleveland, OH and begin a new life here in America. In a prior post (see here) I explored the history of this region of Europe at the time the family emigrated, which was in 1903-1904. At that point in time the region was under the Austria-Hungary Empire:

… the Austro-Hungarian Empire in English-language sources, was a constitutional union of the Austrian Empire (the kingdoms and lands represented in the Imperial Council, or Cisleithania) and the Kingdom of Hungary (Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen or Transleithania) that existed for 51 years from 1867 to 1918, when it collapsed as a result of defeat in World War I.

Emphasis mine. I found it very intriguing in the prior post that the region of Romania where the “Fleger” line is from was at one point part of the Princedom of Transylvania. As was outlined in other prior posts (see here and see here) the “Fleger” line is actually comprised of at least three biological surnames, none of which is “Fleger” (Joseph Fleger was my great grandmother’s second husband, who adopted her children from her first marriage).

Read more

Our Romanian & Transylvanian Family Roots

The Corvin Castle (also known as Hunyad Castle) in Transylvania

Updates At The End

This is a follow-up to a previous post extending our family lineage deep into Romania. This post explores more about our ancestral homeland and what events drew our family to America early in the 20th century, specifically to Cleveland, Ohio. So let’s begin with where the last post left off – the locations in Romania our family lines come from.

There are three family names which we traced through Romanian marriage records to specific cities or towns in modern Romania:

  • Herczog: From Tirol (Romanian), also known as Kiralye-Kegye (Hungarian) and Koenigsgnad (German). The family used the Hungarian variant in their marriage certificate, possibly indicating Hungarian roots.
  • Naszt: From Lugoj (Romania), also known as Lugos (Hungarian) and Lugosch (German). The family used the Hungarian variant in their marriage certificate, possibly indicating Hungarian roots
  • Hollendschwandner: From Valiug (Romanian), also known as Ferencalva (Hungarian) and Franzdorf (German). The family used the German variant in their marriage certificate, possibly indicating Germanic roots.

Lugoj Tirol is located in the Romanian County of Timis, while the others are located in the Romanian County of Caras-Severin. All three lines converge in Rescita, Romania where all the marriages took place from which we traced back the family “origins”.

The following map lays out these four locations in modern day Romania (click to enlarge):

Read more

Williams Family Ancestor’s “Near-Neighbor“: Pocahontas

It is always exciting when your genealogy research brings your family in (near) contact to major historical events and individuals. This post is about such a discovery!

Note: throughout this post are links to Wikipedia pages which are worth exploring in their entirety.  I only capture here the elements required to provide context. I would review these in detail after reading this post.

The end of this post has links to two documents that were used to trace the family back to the origins of Virginia.

Read more

Previously Unknown “Fleger” Generations

Major Update:

As I continued to investigate the new Romanian records on, a fact that I should have known by now jumped out at me when I read the Birth Certificate for my great grandmother:


What we have is a set of twins – Hermine and Felix Naszt – born January 2nd, 1880.  As everyone in our family knows my wife and I are proud parents of a set of identical twins. So having this fact elude me for years is actually quite funny (yes, I have had the correct birth dates for Hermine and Felix, just never noticed they were identical).

End Update

As I noted in a previous post about my grandfather – Anthony Alfred Fleger – my mother’s maiden name (Fleger) is not her biological grandfather’s surname. Her biological grandfather was Antonin Herzcog.  We know this from my grandfather’s birth certificate my mother still has in her possession.


The birth certificate, issued in 1936, clearly lists my grandfather’s birth name as “Antonin Herczog”, his father as “Antonin Herzcog” and his mother as “Hermine Naszt”. The birth location is Rescita, Caras-Severin, Romania:

Resita_Map Read more

Our Williams’ Family Lineage: Part 1

Spirit Mound Historic Park

Part 2 of this series can be found here

One of the challenges with genealogy on my wife’s side of the family is the over abundance of common names like White, Smith, Jones, etc. Her maiden name is no exception of course, being “Williams”.

This post is to capture what I have been able to find in terms of the lineage of her family name. I suspect it will have some errors since the post is a birthday surprise for her father, who would be the one best in a position to find and fix my errors.  So expect a major update in the not too distant future once he gets his eyes on it.

Update 6/17/15: I have changed the path forward and will be releasing this in stages as I complete a generation. So there will not be a major update, but a series of updates and corrections.

My wife is from the San Francisco Bay Area originally. Her father Dell Peyton Williams III  was born in Spokane Washington, where I will begin the march back in time, with his father.

Read more

Our Williams’ Family Lineage: Part 2

The above image represents the Indian Tribes of Indiana:

The treaties concluded between 1821 and 1832 at Chicago, Mississinewa, Carey Mission, and Tippecanoe focused on the lands in northern Indiana. In the 1826 negotiations of the Mississinewa agreements, the Miamis and Potawatomies were further isolated on reservations in the north-central part of the state and provided with hunting rights on their ceded lands.

It is during this time the Williams family migrate to Tippecanoe. Much more about these times can be found at this site, representing the Native American perspective.

Part 1 of this series can be found here.

Read more

Famous Virginia Place Names & Our Family

It is amazing when you come across a branch of the family that not only left a huge imprint on history, but on your own life as well. It is even more amazing when that ancestor was one of the first to colonize the New World.

I have posted previously on a similar ancestor who came to New England in 1632 (see here for Part 1 of the 5 part series). Today I cover another ancestor who arrived a decade earlier in 1621, landing in Virginia.

Read more