Winegars in the 1600s

Ulrich Winegar was the patriarch of the Winegar in America.  Almost all of the American Winegars descended from him.  We know very little about his early years.  He was born in 1668 in Zurich, Switzerland, and moved to the Wurttemburg region of Germany along the Rhine River (in the vicinity of Stuttgart and Heidelberg on the map).  Ulrich and Anna lived in the Palatine region where residents were called Palatines.  His first child Anna was born about 1698.

The name Winegar probably comes from Ulrich’s occupation as a vine dresser or worker in the vineyards.  The name may have been pronounced something like Vine-ak-er.  For at least the first four generations there was no uniform spelling of the name.  Since the family spoke German, it was as likely to have been spelled and pronounced with a V as with a W.  Early records show the name also as Weyniger, Winniger, Viniger, and even Von Wegener.

A vinyard on the Rhine River

A vinyard on the Rhine River


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