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Home of the Wereley - Savey Family Tree

Beginnings of a Past - Perceived

Relatives! What a drag. Get all dressed up and pile into the car, drive for what seemed like hours - past the swimming pool where all your friends frolicked in the chlorine, the amusement park where you went to do "stuff," the stores where you could get lost in dreams, and your significant other's house where boredom transpired in equal amounts until you returned - you hoped. The flush of freedom from the car at Aunt Whomever or Uncle Who-cares' house was shortly replaced by the hardness of the chair, the sandwich you really didn't want, or yet another piece of cake that might have been good if it wasn't the third one in a row at three different stops. Hour after hour dragged by with everyone babbling about people you never heard of. Old pictures and letters, dripping with dust, littered the table. Worse yet, they hauled each one over to you and showed it off like it was map to the Holy Grail or something. By day's end, you and your siblings were cranky, your parents were muttering things like "When I get you home you'll change your tune" in between growls at each other, and disaster loomed at every curve in the road. There was no way you'd ever, ever get roped into visiting relatives again. Never! Until next time, anyway…. Who cares about relatives? Except for Christmas time, they're worthless!

As the pages of life turn, time both takes its toll and leaves its mark. Childhood visions, limited to an ephemeral past of momentary duration, succumb to a condition wherein a sense of personal history is envisioned. At some point, the organism realizes that it really has a past - a documentable, verifiable period of experience that will forever identify it to the future - and that all who came before have histories as well. At that point, the fading memories of hard chairs and dusty photos and boring family goings-on become multi-faceted gems of illumination without equal. Faces that once mouthed ancient secrets are long gone, and all that now remains is the fleeting delicacy of distant fragile memories and the need to get them written down at once!

And so the fastest growing avocational pursuit in recent history takes its shape and motivates the thinker to be the doer, the lurker to be the worker, and fuels an industry now bursting at the seams with potential. Such historically unprecedented tools as computers, the Internet, and cheap long-distance communications expand the historian's horizons exponentially. Perhaps most significant of all, the science of DNA now promises to illuminate secrets long buried by the sands of time. We have the tools to trace our roots back to the beginnings of mankind. We now stand naked as a species, with our DNA telling the tale of our familial evolution beneath the microscope of the scientist - and that power is becoming affordably available to everyone with the curiosity to wonder, to ponder, and to pursue.
The Wereley Y-Chromosome DNA Project

The Background:

In speculative view, the roots of our branch of the Wereley family extend back to the Palatine Migrations from Germany. Some Palatine immigrants came directly from the Palatinate through Rotterdam; others journeyed farther through Holland and England, then on to the Colonies. They moved to avoid heavy taxation and harsh conditions in their homeland, and by 1750, an estimated 70-80,000 Germans had emigrated. Most sought land grants promised by William Penn and entered the Colonies through the port of Philadelphia. However, land grants were limited in number, and soon ran out, causing many immigrants to move on to the upstate NY area for farmland. Others entered through the ports of New England and New Amsterdam, traveling to the upper Hudson River Valley area to work in the Naval Stores Project, producing pitch for the Royal Naval Fleet, but they were less well documented. Only Philadelphia kept good records of immigrants and ships' passenger lists; other ports kept sparse records if any at all. It was not until 1820 that ports were required to keep records, making non-Philadelphia immigration before that time difficult to track. With the coming of the Revolution, many Palatines who fought against the rebels split off and traveled to Canada, principally to Stormont and surrounding counties in then Canada West, now called Ontario, and pledged loyalty to the Crown. This entitled many to UE land patents from the Crown in return for their support. The history of the Palatine migration is well documented, and visiting the links at the left will provide an evening's worth of good reading for the history buffs among us. Our purpose here is not necessarily to study the movements of the people geographically - but to examine their movements genetically.

Several principal male lines of the Wereley family and their probable progenitor are of particular interest: Hans Jerg Wehrli and his wife Barbara are recorded in 1754 in the Albany NY area with new-born daughter Eva Gertraut and son Pieter, born in 1753 according to KRRNY records. Pieter married Maria Schmitt (Smith) about 1773. Their son Peter begat the The Peter (Psalter) Werley line. Son George Werley Sr. sired George G. Werely Jr. b. 1808, and likely Jacob b. 1811 and Martin Wereley, b. 1815, each of whom founded long lines. Pieter and Maria also apparently begat John Wereley, b. 1778, who established the Schoharie line which stayed in the Schoharie region when the others emigrated to Canada. The John "Hansie" Werely, b. Abt. 1800 line through a branch yet to be discovered.. "Hansie" appears to have moved to Canada and wed Barbara Ann Werley - Peter "Psalter" Werley's daughter. The "Hansie" line later merged with the Martin Wereley line with the union of Hansie's son, Harvey and Martin's daughter, Henrietta Wereley. The various spellings are not typo's - the name began as Wehrli but mutated and was listed in official and anecdotal records variously as Werley, Wereley, Werely, Werlee, Werlie, Wearly, Warely, Warly, and on, often within the same family - same generation. To further stir the witch's brew, genealogists over the ages have innocently and understandably homogenized the name into one or two spellings. John (Schoharie) Wereley's will spells the name multiple ways in the same document! His own daughter likewise waffles between spellings. Sound confusing? You bet! In chart form:

Speculative Wereley Family Origins

1 Hans Jerg Wehrli
.. +Barbara
... 2 Eva Gertraut Wehrli
... 2 Peter Werley
...... +Maria Smith
........ 3 Peter Werley
........... +Margaret Helmer
.............. 4 Peter Henry Wereley
................ +Ester Froom
.............. 4 Mary Wereley
................. +George Fetterly
.............. 4 Barbara Ann Wereley
................. +John Werely
.............. 4 John Wereley
.............. 4 George P Wereley
................. +Catherine Ross
.............. 4 Elizabeth Wereley
................. +Harvey Eligh
.............. 4 Reuben Wereley
.............. 4 James Wereley
................. +Mary Ann Scott
................. *2nd Wife of James Wereley:
................. +Sarah Ann Dickson
.............. 4 Aaron Wereley
................. +Eliza Grisewold
.............. 4 Caroline Wereley
................. +Michael Barney Baker
.............. 4 Ellen "Elsie" Wereley
................. +Archibald Thompson
.............. 4 William Wereley
................. +Eliza Palen
.........3 George Sr. Werley
.......... +Catherine
............. 4 George G. Jr. Wereley
................ +Margaret Empey
............. 4 Martin Wereley
................ +Margaret Wert
......... 3 Margaret Werley
........... +Coons
......... 3 Mary Werley
.......... +Daniel Frederick Poapst
............ 4 John Frederick Poapst
............... +Margaret "Peggy" Wood
............ 4 George Abraham Poapst
............... +Sarah Mattice
............... *2nd Wife of George Abraham Poapst:
............... +Sarah Eve Empey
..........3 John Martin Werley
............+Elisabeth
............. 4 Older Relative Wereley
..............4 John Wereley
..............4 Alexander Wereley
................. +Jane Dibble
........................5 Sarah Wereley
.......................... +John M. Roney
............................... 6 Alace Roney
............................... 6 Floyd Roney
................................6 Minnie Roney
.................................6 Zura Roney
.................................6 Leatta Roney
.................................6 Charlotte Roney
.................................. +Dick Mattice
........................................7 Helen Josephine Mattice
........................................7 Arnold Roney Mattice
............................................ +Elsie Mae Ecker
..................................6 Charles Roney
............................5 Elizabeth Wereley
............................... +William Augustus Crapser
..................................6 Alvah Crapser
................................... +Ella
..................................6 Levi Crapser
..................................6 Charles Crapser
..................................6 Eno Crapser
..................................6 Eunice "Emma" Crapser
.............................5 Abigail Wereley
................................ +George Roney
...................................6 Irvin Roney
...................................6 .Leibbie Roney
...................................6 Elda Roney
...................................6 George Roney
...................................6 Emma Roney
...................................6 Wereley Roney
...............................5 Amelia Wereley
...............................5 Harriet A. Wereley
...................................+Robert Schafer
............................... 5 Levi Wereley
........... 4 William Wereley
........... +Unknown
...................... 5 Mary Wereley
...................... 5 Alanson Wereley
...................... 5 Mary E. Wereley
....................... +W. Albert Coons
................................. 6 William Coons
................................. 6 Chauncey Coons
................................... +Ferol I. Ruff
....................... 5 Amanda Wereley
....................... 5 Anna Wereley
........... 4 Benjamin Wereley
........... 4 Elizabeth Wereley
........... 4 Elisha Wereley
........... 4 Anna Werley
.... Unknown Werely
...... +Unknown wife
........... 2 John "Hansie" Werely
........... + Barbara Ann Wereley
.............. 3 Aaron Wereley
................. +Margaret Rupert
.............. 3 Alexander Wereley
................. +Melissa Jane Poapst
.............. 3 John J. Wereley
................. +Mary Gray
................. *2nd Wife of John J. Wereley:
.................. +Jane Collins
............... 3 Harvey E. Wereley
................. +Henrietta Wereley
............... 3 William Giddeon Wereley
.................. +Marion Ault
............... 3 Peter (Blind) Wereley

 

The Wereley family history is becoming increasingly well documented through wills, church records and land records in both the US and Canada, and their genesis is a brick wall that soon will crumble. Determining their origins in the Old World is the next great frontier. Unfortunately, written records will only go so far to prove or disprove an actual relationship to a common ancestor. Time consumes the footsteps of mankind, and in the end, takes man himself. His genetic footprints, however, are carried on the winds of time, and it is to these indelible markers of remarkable tenacity that we must look for confirmation of our view of our past.

 

The Project:

The Y chromosome is passed from father to son, unchanged but for a mutation occurring about every 500 generations. Testing the Y chromosome can provide a genetic fingerprint consisting of 12,25 or 37 numbers. By comparing this fingerprint with other Wereley males, we can determine if they are related. The 25 and 37 marker tests allow us to determine the Most Recent Common Ancestor (the MRCA). DNA testing allows us to break down brick walls, circumvent the problem of missing documentation, prove or disprove theories like the one above and validate existing research. Heretofore unknown adoptions come to light, indescretions are exposed and old guilts assuaged. Our ancestors take on the all-too-human characteristics that make our present day culture so exciting.

We need to enlist the aid of at least one Wereley male from each of the five lines described above; two or three per line would be even better. The project is now under way!

Each participant will be dealing directly with FamilyTreeDNA during the testing, and will be sent a kit. The test is a simple buccal swab - a swab of the inside of the cheek. It is fast and painless - less complicated than brushing your teeth. The analysis results are returned to each participant, who will then transmit the results to the Eden's Tree website for charting and comparison. Identities need never be revealed in the comparison unless so desired. Security and privacy are paramount at both FamilyTreeDNA and at Eden's Tree Genealogy.

The discounted cost is $99 per test for a 12 marker test, $169 for a 25 marker test, and $229 for a 37 marker test. FamilyTreeDNA also compares the sample with others in their database to see if any hidden relatives are present. Eden's Tree makes nothing on this; you deal directly with FamilyTreeDNA. However, it is imperative that you CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW and join the Wereley Family DNA project in order to get the discounted price. Otherwise, you will be charged full price by them.

Join the Wereley Family DNA Project by clicking here to JOIN the Wereley Family DNA Project.

Project results and news will be posted here and at FamilyTreeDNA on the Wereley Surname Project page.

Those who have questions, comments can email me by clicking billwereley@edenstree.com (or simply leaving feedback to the webmaster below accomplishes this as well).

For information regarding FamilyTreeDNA, click here.

For a list of other Y chromosome DNA surname projects, click here.

For another list of Y chromosome DNA surname projects, click here.

To see message archives for other DNA involved genealogists on Rootsweb, click here.

Thank you for your help in shattering the brick walls that have kept our lines from knowing their true roots for so long. Perhaps we all can meet soon, just as in 1300 A.D. or before in Northern Europe, and know that we're the same old cousins that we used to be.

 

Eden's Tree Genealogy is home for the Wereley - Savey family tree, including
Savy, Vail, DeKay, Humiston, McDonald, Smith and associated surnames,
and is a portal for information regarding DNA based genealogy.

 

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Eden's Tree Genealogy
www.edenstree.com

 

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