Too many Vogts in 18th c. Germany! Family Search no help.

+4 votes

HI Cousins,

Another reason to be careful about trees posted to Family Search.... I have an ancestor, Johannes Vogt (called John Fite after he came to the USA from what is now Germany: Frohnhausen, Lahn-Dill-Kreis, Hessen on the profile). I did a search for records on Family Search and came up with a bewildering array of records of different Johannes Vogts. Either 1)dates pared those down or 2) any of the others cold have been him.

In any case, I did find one tree. Anyone want to take a guess how old his parents were when they had Johannes? No, don't go looking; I'll tell you. Seventy for the father and 65 for the mother! Now, I know that with today's science this is possible, but we're talking about 1714!

So, the suggestion I need from my esteemed cousins is how do I narrow down the possibilites for Johannes' parents? Or, do I just live with the fact that there are too many possibilities and move on?

Jocular question of the day: Is the name Vogt in Germany like our name Smith? (I know it's Schmidt, but really, there seem to be a ton of Vogts!)

WikiTree profile: John Fite
in Genealogy Help by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith
Pip:  without exact date of birth,and exact place of death,it can

be daunting.And there religion.

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
"Vogt" is also a profession. Have a look here In case your Johannes Vogt was really named after his job, he could be a Vogt of the Princes of Solms-Greifenstein, as the Castle Greifenstein is only 25 km away from Frohnhausen and the Castle Braunfels, which was the residence of the Princes of Solms-Greifenstein in the 18th century, about 40km. But beware, this is only a speculation!
If you have some more family there in the area (not exactly Frohnhausen, but nearby villages and towns, you might find useful also this website where hundreds of town family books are digitized and quite a lot from the Lahn-Dill-Kreis. I really enjoy that source as I found there thousands of relatives of my extended famiy.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
Jelena, I am becoming dependent on you responding! Such a good, detailed answer with links to boot! Thank you very much!
By the 18th century it would have been just a coincidence if somebody with a family name derived from a profession actually still was working in the profession.  That transition to name happened really in the 16th and early 17th century.

As for narrowing down a search you really need the location and some reasonable time frame. Keep in mind that in 1730 the 13 colonies had about 655,000 inhabitants and in 1740 what later became Germany had 16.3 million.
I'm the second great grand nephew of a John Vogt. His grandfather was also John Vogt.

Vogt-1117 and Vogt-1167
+2 votes
On-line trees should be used to refer you to sources, and the information you add to your tree should derive from the source, not the reference. An un-sourced item in a tree simply cannot be trusted. There are exceptions, of course, if an online tree is one you trust for some good reason, but they are rare.

By the way, "Fite" as a variation of "Vogt" gives you another clue about potential misdirections. My earliest known ancestor (circa 1588) appears in the church book of Lauterecken (not far from Saarbrucken). His name is Feÿ (ending in a y with a double-dot over it). The y-double-dot character is a handwritten form of the letters i and j, so the modern Dutch name Feij, which goes back many centuries, is probably the same name. It may be derived from the same ancient name that developed in France as deFoye and/or Foye. As I'm sure we all know, people at the time the name was first recorded wrote it as it was pronounced, so Foye must have originally have been pronounced something like "Fo-yeh" or "Fu-yeh". Feij might have been "Feh-ee-yeh". In Holland today Feij is pronounced "Fie" as in sky or pie. This theory is supported by the fact that German pastors in the various decades, writing in church books, spelled the family name Veig, Veit, Feig, Feit, Feeg, and Veeg, but most often as Feÿ. Land records in Frederick, Maryland, show the same variability, clerks unfamiliar with the somewhat rare name writing what they hear. Clearly the name as spoken until about 1800 ended with a harder consonant than the soft "y" it ends with now. The point being, as you scour sources, be prepared to investigate even the wilder-sounding variations on the name.
+1 vote
I have this name in my database spelled varously Vogt, Foth, and Voth. There were many in the Vistula Delta villages.
by Henry Hamm G2G1 (1.2k points)

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