Desch, Dasch, Tesch family of Pennsylvania

+7 votes
I am looking for the parents of my ggg grandmother Sarah Dasch, Desch or Tesch born in PA in about 1776 died in Hancock, WV in 1867. Her husband was Alexander Cunningham (1777 Ireland ?-1838 Hancock WV).  Have been unable to trace either of these people backwards but their descendants are well documented.
in Genealogy Help by Living Lewis G2G Crew (490 points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
West Virginia officially became a state in 1863 half way through the Civil War. Alexander Cunningham b 1777 Ireland, d 1838 in Virginia.

I have done more research trying to solve this puzzle.  Last name has many different variations including iDasch, Daesch,Desch or even Tesh, Test or Tesch. There are public records that have various spellings for the same person on the same document.  The most prevalent seems to be Desch. One descendant has a family Bible which she said states the last name is Dasch. However other researchers who have these individuals in their trees use various spellings of the name which seems to have evolved down through the generations.  Most of the people with these surnames are from the PA area where in the 1700's the names are relatively common.  Subsequent generations seem to have migrated to the surrounding areas such as NJ, NY, VA, WV, IL etc. Still trying to get a definitive answer where my ancestor fits in with them all!

Hi Frank. I understand where you are coming from, historically and you are correct.  However, Alexander Cunningham did die in VA.  However where he died is Hancock, WV now and that is where the cemetery where he and his wife are buried is located.  Many of his children ended up in Hancock WV although it was just VA back then. Thanks for your input.  However it does not solve the puzzle that this G2G queried.


From my research so far, it appears to me that the spelling became whatever whomever was writing it wrote. I see it written all sorts of different ways in the original records so even back in the 1799's they were unsure how to spell it.  I even saved a record where it documents this.

Looks like the primary DASH/ DESH/ DESCH/ DASCHSKY/ TESH/ TESCH/ TEST ancestors in America were Methodist, Lutheran (?) Dutch Reform Church members who were Dutch and/or German pioneers who originally arrived in the US through the Port of Philadelphia then spread out settling pretty much all over the surrounding states including NY, NJ, IL, VA, WV etc.  I have also seen people with these variations of the name coming from Bavaria, Switzerland, Prussia (part of modern day Germany was at one time part of Prussia) and the Ukraine (Russia at the time)

I think they were mostly women because the name is relatively uncommon is later years; the females married and the name was different through subsequent generations becoming rather uncommon in the 1800's down to the present.  On the other hand, the bulk of the records are men because in those days, well, sometimes women were just kind of ignored/not included or counted.

Since it appears that the descendants of this name really have rather little information about their origins or the actual spelling, it might be a good project for WikiTree.  I have adopted one Desch orphan profile, Johannes Desch-3 with that in mind.  Anyone else interested in collaborating on this?

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