Utterback Name Study

Privacy Level: Open (White)

Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Utterback GERMAN_ROOTS
This page has been accessed 1,643 times.


Welcome to the Utterback Family Name Study!

With any luck, this page will become a reference point for Utterback researchers and family members alike.

See also:


How to Join

If you're interested in finding out more about the Utterback surname, please add your name (interests, etc.) at the bottom of this page or contact the project leader Bob Utterback. Below are sections to do with our goals and how you can contribute.

Our Goals

The aim of this study is to work together to establish and compile an accurate family tree of the Utterback Family by using the best possible sources available. We can help in identifying correct and incorrect information, reliable sources, and beginning to connect the family together. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

How You Can Help

  1. Work with other Utterback profile managers to create the best and most accurate Utterback family tree possible. (See list of other genealogists following Utterback and/or add your name to the list of active Utterback researchers.)
  2. Add the category for the Utterback Name Study to profiles using locations to better identify and organize branches of the Utterback tree. There are instructions on how to do this here. Basically, add the narrowest of the following categories above the Biography line:

    [[Category: Germany, Utterback Name Study]]
    [[Category: United States, Utterback Name Study]]
    [[Category: Virginia, Utterback Name Study]] (or any other state - if it doesn't exist, it will appear in red and you can create it yourself)
  3. Adopt Utterback profiles that have no manager.
  4. Search for sources to add to Utterback family profiles. (See Unsourced Profiles list starting with 'Utterback'.)
  5. Check for duplicates, and request merges if needed.
  6. Help with Utterback merges that anyone can complete.
  7. Help with Utterback profiles that are unconnected to the family tree.
  8. View G2G feed of questions tagged "Utterback".


Name Variations



Utterback Name

Coat of Arms for
Otterbach, Germany.

According to the "Utterback Book" (see below), in this old German Name of "Otterbach" (Anglicized to "Utterback") the prefix, "Otter", refers to the aquatic fur-bearing animal of the ermine family which makes its home in a "bach", German word for "brook". [1] It is also seen as Utterbach and Otterbach, the latter being the name of a town in Germany.

The Otterbach (i.e. otter brook) family seems to have taken its name originally from a farm, "in der Otterbach" in the township of Niederfischbach in the county of Sayn, just south of Nassau-Siegen...

"Johann Otterbach of Eiserfeld in the southern part of Nassau-Siegen seems to have been the earliest ancestor of all the American Utterbacks and their kinsmen. He was probably born about 1550-60 and died at Eiserfeld prior to 1599, the special tax list in this year mentioning a debt owed to Johann Otterbach's heirs. Johann Otterbach's wife, who survived him, was living at Trupbach apparently in 1625, when she was godmother of a posthumous child of her son, Johann Otterbach of Trupbach." [2]

Utterback History in the U.S.

There is much evidence that Johann Hermann (Harman) Otterbach immigrated from Trupbach, Germany to Virginia in 1714, along with his wife, Elizabeth Heimbach, and their children Johann Philip, Johannes, Elizabeth, Alice Catherine, Mary Catherine, and Anna Catherine. Also included in that "First Colony" in Virginia was his daughter Anna Margarethe (Otterbach) Holtzclaw, married to Jacob Holtzclaw from Oberfischbach, and his future son-in-law, John Kemper of Müsen. [3] [4] [5] The 1714 Colony from the Siegerland, settled first at Fort Germanna then at Germantown in present day Fauquier County.

Beginning in 1734 several members of the First Colony purchased land across the River from Germantown in the forks of the Rappahannock and Hazel Rivers. This land was located in present day Culpeper County and was purchased for speculation purposes and to encourage other Siegerländers to come to Virginia and purchase this land from their kinsmen. These later settlers became known as the Little Fork Group. Part of this group, also from Trupbach, was Herman/Harman's nephew, Johann Henrich Otterbach (b. 1698), great-nephew, also named Johann Henrich Otterbach (b. 1714), and niece, Maria Clara (Otterbach) Noeh, and her family. [6]

Most early Utterback genealogy information comes from these two major sources:

Unfortunately, W.I. Utterback incorrectly places multiple descendants of Johannes Otterbach (b. 1659 who married Margarethe Dornsieffer), under his brother, Johann Hermann (Harman) Otterbach, [7] in his determination to have Hermann as the single "fountain head" from whom all American Utterbacks descended - thru two of Hermann's sons: John Philip (b. 1692) and John (b. 1702).

B. C. Holtzclaw corrected these mistakes in his 1964 book, [8] showing that these Utterbacks in Virginia came from a different son of Johannes, Johann Henrich Otterbach (b. 1698), and a grandson, also named Johann Henrich Otterbach (b. 1714). In this uncle-nephew team that were in the 1734 Little Fork, Virginia group, the uncle is known as Henry "the elder" and the nephew as Henry "the younger". [6]

See the W.I. Utterback Book Source Corrections page for detailed information on these corrections.

Utterback Families in the U.S.

Utterback Families in 1840
Virginia 27% (19 of 70)       
Indiana 27% (19 of 70)
Kentucky          24% (17 of 70)
Missouri 9% (6 of 70)
Ohio 9% (6 of 70)
Illinois 4% (3 of 70)

Utterback Families in 1880
Iowa 23% (204 of 904)    
Indiana 19% (171 of 904)
Kentucky 17% (150 of 904)
Missouri 15% (135 of 904)
Virginia 9% (81 of 904)
Illinois 7% (60 of 904)
Ohio 4% (34 of 904)
West Virginia    3% (30 of 904)
Texas 1% (13 of 904)
Kansas 1% (9 of 904)
Nebraska 1% (7 of 904)
Mississippi 1% (5 of 904)
Colorado 0% (3 of 904)
California 0% (1 of 904)
Georgia 0% (1 of 904)

Utterback Families in 1920
Indiana 18% (111 of 632)
Iowa 12% (77 of 632)
Kentucky 10% (66 of 632)
Missouri 10% (66 of 632)
Illinois 8% (49 of 632)
California 7% (44 of 632)
Virginia 5% (31 of 632)
Ohio 4% (27 of 632)
Kansas 3% (19 of 632)
Oklahoma 3% (17 of 632)
West Virginia 3% (16 of 632)
Nebraska 2% (13 of 632)
Washington 2% (13 of 632)
Maryland 2% (10 of 632)
Montana 1% (7 of 632)
Oregon 1% (7 of 632)
Pennsylvania 1% (6 of 632)
Colorado 1% (5 of 632)
Texas 1% (5 of 632)
Wisconsin 1% (5 of 632)
Idaho 1% (4 of 632)
Michigan 1% (4 of 632)
New York 1% (4 of 632)
New Mexico 0% (3 of 632)
Maine 0% (2 of 632)
South Dakota 0% (2 of 632)
Tennessee 0% (2 of 632)
Wyoming 0% (2 of 632)
Florida 0% (1 of 632)
Louisiana 0% (1 of 632)
Rhode Island 0% (1 of 632)
Massachusetts    0% (1 of 632)
Minnesota 0% (1 of 632)
Utah 0% (1 of 632)

Utterback Name Researchers

  • Bob Utterback - 5th gr-grandson of Johann Henrich "Henry" Otterbach (b. 1698 in Germany), called "Henry the elder" (the uncle of the uncle/nephew pair of Henry Utterbacks), who immigrated to the United States (in Virginia) in 1734. That means I'm also the 9th gr-grandson to Johann Otterbach (b. ca. 1550 in Germany).


  1. Utterback, William Irvin. Utterback history and genealogy of the Utterback family in America, 1622-1937: Family record of Herman Utterback and his descendants, (1622-1937) (West Virginia, Gentry Bros, 1937), page 1.
  2. Holtzclaw, B.C. Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia 1714-1750 (Harrisonburg, Virginia: The Germanna Foundation, 1964), p. 477.
  3. Germanna Foundation, List of Original Germanna Settlers, "The First Colony (1714)", published September 10, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Utterback. Utterback history, page 1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Holtzclaw. Ancestry.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Germanna Foundation, List of Original Germanna Settlers, "The Little Fork Group", published September 10, 2013.
  7. Utterback. Utterback history, page 15.
  8. Holtzclaw. Ancestry, pp. 491-492; see also the "Corrections in the Utterback Genealogy in America" section, pp. 488-491.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: One Name Studies WikiTree and Bob Utterback. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.