Recently, I received a comment on my blog from Debi Lasher, a descendant of Anna Engel Winegar and Conrad Lasher. She had found records that Anna had married Sebastian Lasher but was looking for other Winegar/Lasher marriages. That got me reviewing historical records, and I was amazed at what I found. My records showed that Ulrich Winegar and Anna Arnoldt had three children, Anna Marie, Elizabeth, and Garrett and that the family came to America in 1710. Passenger records showed that the family came with two daughters and a son. Garrett married Anna Catherine Snyder, Anna Marie married Johan Christian Dietrick, and Elizabeth married Sebastian Lasher. The last of these was based on the genealogical writings of Ira Winegar.
In 1978, Helen Beazer published findings from her search of original documents in New York state in The Winegar Newsletter, Vol 1, No:3, July 1978. Based on her research, it appears that Ira had been wrong when he stated that Elizabeth Winegar married Sebastian Lasher. It was actually Elizabeth Coen who married Sebastian. Engel Winegar had married Conrad Lasher and apparently Elizabeth Winegar and Engel were the same person. She is also sometimes called Anna.
In the process of exploring this topic I followed some of the leaves on Ancestry.com. I found that most of the trees that included Ulrich showed that he had 8 to 10 children. Most showed duplicate information with minor modifications, and many were inconsistent with known facts. For instance, Anna Margaretha was shown born in Germany in 1690, 11 years before the marriage of Anna and Ulrich. Anna Arnoldt was 13 in 1690. Anna Margaretha is shown dying in New York, but there is no record of her traveling to New York. She did not travel with Ulrich. One tree shows Anna Maria as born in New York in 1700, 10 years before Ulrich and family arrived. Many of the trees show between 3 and 5 daughters born in 1705. This would be Elizabeth/Anna/ Engel, but I am sure that there was only one daughter born that year. Most trees show Conrad born in 1700 but with no marriage or death record. Most trees also erroneously show a son Hendrick born in 1723. Hendrick would actually be the son of Garrett and the grandson of Ulrich.
I still believe that Ulrich and Anna had only three children and would love to hear from anyone with documentation to support any additional children. I wrote in the past about the ease of genealogical research in the modern era. It is much easier and faster to find information than ever before, but it is also too easy to spread errors. It is easy to follow leaves on Ancestry and click to add a person to my tree. A single error thus becomes duplicated and its source is difficult to track down. Sometimes I come across information in a tree that I don’t have, and I would love to add this information to my tree. I have followed up with everyone that showed that info and have been disappointed that no one could remember where it came from.
Please excuse my ranting on this topic, but it is a serious concern, and careless acceptance of erronious data makes it difficult to establish what is correct. In the meantime, I would like to hear from anyone who can document additional children for Ulrich and Anna Arnoldt.