Wolfe family from the northern Indiana / southern Michigan area ?

+9 votes
Anybody else here know about Wolfe family from the northern Indiana / southern Michigan area, from the mid/late 1800's on?

I think my great grandfather was Chris(topher?) Wolfe who came from Germany in that timeframe. There were sons Chris, Paul, Frank, and Ed, and other kids too. Some descendants are still in the Shipshewana area. Ed owned a lot of real estate in the area, and the elevator in Shipshewana up through the 1950's.
WikiTree profile: Frank Wolfe
in The Tree House by Paul Kyzivat G2G1 (1.9k points)
Do you know your great grandfather's wife's full name? What county in Northern Indiana and what county in southern Michigan? Can you narrow the time frame from mid/late 1800's on?
La Grange county in IN, I guess St. Joseph county in MI.

My mother was born in 1912, I'm *guessing* my grandfather was born about 20 years earlier - 1892. I might be able to find details on that with more looking through my mom's papers.) My grandfather was neither the oldest nor the youngest. So I would guess my great grandfather was probably born 30 or 40 years before that - 1850ish. Presumably there will be immigration records, but finding them for "Wolfe" without some way to narrow things down will be hard.

After typing the above, I decided to google for my grand uncle Edward Wolfe because he was the "top dog" in Shipshewana. I hit some pay dirt in a history of northeast Indiana:

Edward A. Wolfe was born Jan 25, 1890 in Van Buren township, La Grange county, IN.
His parents (my great grandfather and great grandmother) were Christian and Rosanna (Schwartz) Wolfe. Both were born in Wurtemburg, Germany in 1850. He died in the fields in 1896 from a lightning strike. (I heard stories about that from my mom.)

3 Answers

0 votes


Edward A. Wolfe

Michigan Deaths and Burials

Name Edward A. Wolfe
Gender Male
Death Date 22 Aug 1969
Death Place Sturgis, St. Joseph, Michigan
Age 78
Birth Date 25 Jan 1890
Birthplace Indiana
Race White
Marital Status Married
Spouse's Name Mrs. Norma Bevington
Father's Name Christian Wolfe
Mother's Name Rosa Schwartz


"Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FHYL-B31 : 9 December 2014), Edward A. Wolfe, 22 Aug 1969; citing Sturgis, St. Joseph, Michigan, reference v 20 cn 20-8-293; FHL microfilm 1,940,927.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
0 votes

Christian G Wolf

United States Census, 1900

Name Christian G Wolf
Event Type Census
Event Year 1900
Event Place Lima Township (incl. Howe Military School), LaGrange, Indiana, United States
Gender Male
Age 24
Marital Status Single
Race White
Race (Original) W
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Son
Birth Date Jun 1876
Birthplace Germany
Immigration Year 1883
Father's Birthplace Germany
Mother's Birthplace Germany






Rosa C Wolf Head F 49 Germany
Christian G Wolf Son M 24 Germany
Rosa E Wolf Daughter F 23 Germany
Lucy M Wolf Daughter F 19 Germany
Frank C Wolf Son M 16 Indiana
William F Wolf Son M 15 Indiana
Earnest P Wolf Son M 13 Indiana
Edward A Wolf Son M 10 Indiana


"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MM1V-B9J : 20 January 2015), Christian G Wolf in household of Rosa C Wolf, Lima Township (incl. Howe Military School), LaGrange, Indiana, United States; citing sheet 9A, family 199, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,383.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)

Christian G Wolfe

United States Census, 1940

Name Christian G Wolfe
Event Type Census
Event Date 1940
Event Place North Liberty, Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana, United States
Gender Male
Age 63
Marital Status Married
Race (Original) White
Race White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Head
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Birthplace Germany
Birth Year (Estimated) 1877
Last Place of Residence Same House






Christian G Wolfe Head M 63 Germany
Aura Wolfe Wife F 63 Indiana
Paul L Wolfe Son M 23 Indiana
Jeannette Wolfe Daughter F 22 Indiana


"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1YB-ZDZ : 17 May 2014), Christian G Wolfe, North Liberty, Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-10, sheet 7B, family 143, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1092.

Frank - Thank you for finding this information for me! How do I learn to find stuff like this myself?
Most of what I find is a result of looking at familysearch.org .  I like it because it's free and extensive.

A) Go to familysearch.org (you may have to do some painless registration)

B) Click on Search (it has a small schematic of a computer screen with a magnifying glass).

C) Enter the first and last name of the person you are searching for.

D) Fill in the rest of the blanks, then press enter.

At first I did searches for my own benefit, but I got more than enough names over time, so now I just try to answer other people's questions.
Good Hunting!  If you have any other questions down the road, just ask.

One free source of surname origin info is surnamedb.com Try it for Wolfe or other surnames. There's a type in the Wolfe info which shows the year 066, but they mean 1066. They have about 50,000 surname origins.

You can also try http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Wolfe

They have a map of the USA showing concentration of Wolfe by state. Click on England & Wales for concentration of Wolfe by county, a you can try clicking on Scotland too. After the clearances the county population in Scotland shifted.
0 votes

To my knowledge none of my Wolfe ancestors were in/from Indiana or Michigan.

Brady W. Wolfe
by Brady Wolfe G2G Rookie (200 points)
My name is Matthew Wolf.  I was born in St. Joseph MI in 1990.  My father is Robert Wolf, my uncle Tom Wolf, My grandfather George Wolf, my grandfathers brother Walter Wolf- his son I believe is Bill Wolf (the politician and my fathers cousin), my great grandfather was Otto Wolf and he came from Germany in the 1880's and started a supermarket in Benton Harbor, MI. My great great grandfathers name was Gustave Wolf.

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