Gamerdinger family discovers roots 70 generations deep


The Gamerdinger family Bible, dating from the 1800s, was given to Jim. He discovered it to be a scholar's Bible, and traced it back to a Gamerdinger who studied to be a Lutheran minister. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Like many couples, Jim and Mary Gamerdinger display photos of their children and grandchildren proudly on the walls of their Guttenberg home. With 12 children, 49 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren, photographs overflow from the walls onto quilts and blankets, received as gifts from their many descendants. 

The Gamerdingers have been blessed with a large family, and their interest in learning about their heritage extends far up the family tree. To be precise, it stems 70 generations back – to roughly 500 B.C.  

“My cousin John Gamerdinger got me into this,” explained Jim. John, a Milwaukee resident, worked with the Mormon church to trace the family’s lineage back 56 generations. When John died, Jim received a 169-page document listing names, locations, and sometimes occupations of his ancestors. 

“The first thing I did was buy the biggest flash drive I could find,” chuckled Jim. “My daughter has pursued all this since then.” Using census records and a website called ancestry.com, Mary and Jim’s daughter, Cristina, found links back another 14 generations by using spouses of the Gamerdingers. 

On a list of all 70 generations, Cristina’s grandson, Qayden, is number 70. Number one, dated 502 B.C., is Seisyll ap Gwrwst (Rhegaw), King of Britain. “The oldest ones are from Wales,” noted Jim. Rhwng Gwy a Hafren (translated as between Wye and Severn) was a region of medieval Wales where the family appears to have originated. Eventually these early ancestors of the Gamerdingers moved on to England, then to Germany, before immigrating to the U.S. in the mid-1600s.

Continued in the pages of The Guttenberg Press

 

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