Tschudi – Surname Saturday

Darling-Huber-Trümpi-Dürst-Hefti-Böniger-Zopfi-Tschudi Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Forebears indicates that Tschudi means “one who sat in judgment, a judge.” And that it is Swiss in origin.


Forebears indicates there are approximately 1,448 people in the world who share the Tschudi surname. The vast majority of them live in Switzerland. In the United States, the most significant number (51) live in Minnesota, where 1 in 122,569 people share the surname.

There are several variations of the name, the most common of the variations being Tschudy.

Direct Tschudi Ancestors[i]

All of the known Tschudi ancestors were born in Switzerland. None of them emigrated to America.

    • 3951 – 9th Great-grandmother: Margreth Tschudi (1609-1691)
    • 7902 – 10th Great-grandfather: Samuel Tschudi (1564-1629)??
    • 15,804 – 11th Great-grandfather: Johannes Tschudi (1500-___)
    • 31,608 – 12th Great-grandfather: Jost Tschudi (1462-1527)
    • 63,216 – 13th Great-grandfather: Heinrich Tschudi (1427-___)
    • 126,432 – 14th Great-grandfather: Heinrich Tschudi (___-___)

Direct Tschudi Descendants

I have 160 known descendants of Heinrich Tschudi. They include 36 Trümpi, 14 Dürst, 11 Fuchs, 11 Howell, 10 Karch, and only 6 known Tschudi.

I have written about three of these descendants previously. They are:

Famous Tschudi

Aegidius Tschudi, writing c. 1570, “fleshed out” the William Tell legend, which entered the public consciousness as William Tell, the expert crossbow marksman.[ii]



[i] I have NOT independently researched any of the Tschudi ancestors. As such, the names and dates here are speculative.

[ii] Internet – Wikipedia – William Tell- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tell

Fugate – Surname Saturday

Brown-Mannin-Fugate Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry indicates that Fugate is most probably a variant of Fugett. Fugett is perhaps an adaption of Fuget, a topographic name from Fuge, a regional term for fougère ‘fern.’ Neither Forebears nor Genealogy Bank have a meaning for the name either.


According to Forebears, nearly 98% of the World’s Fugates live in the United States. In the United States, the largest incidence and percentage of the population is in Kentucky. The state where my most recent Fugate ancestors lived.

Direct Fugate Ancestors

    • 4th Great-grandmother:  105.  Rachel Fugate (1803-1870)
    • 5th Great-grandfather:    210.  Reuben Fugate (c1783-1833)*[i]
    • 6th Great-grandfather:    420.  Josiah Fugate (1740-1823)*
    • 7th Great-grandfather:    840  Randolph Fugate (1715-1776)*
    • 8th Great-grandfather:    1680.  Josias Fugate (___-c. 1757)*
    • 9th Great-grandfather:   3360.  Peter Fugate (1650-c. 1695)*
    • 10th Great-grandfather: 6720.  James Fugate (1630-1651)*


1840 – In 1840, Rachel had already married Meridith Mannin and had that surname. Her father, Reuben, died in Ralls, Missouri, in 1833; her grandparents had passed also. So, none of my Fugate ancestors were Fugates in 1840.

1650-1675 – Peter Fugate was born in France c. 1650. He died in Maryland sometime after 1695. He married Frances Mould about 1675 in Mosquito Creek, Baltimore County (now Harford County), Province of Maryland. Peter was my Immigrant Ancestor on this line.


2014 – Snapshot in Time (Forebears)

Today, Fugates are mainly in the midsection of the United States, with nearly a third of them living in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Direct Descendants

I have 1187 known descendants of James Fugate in my tree; 111 Mannin/Mannings, 69 Browns, 60 Bryants, 48 Fugates, 43 Barnetts, 28 Horns; 22 Richmonds; 21 Osts, 20 Taylors, and many other surnames. One thousand eighty-six of those descendants are known descendants of Rachel Fugate. I have previously written about 4 of them:

Ancestor Photographs

Richard Earl Brown

Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown

Photo of Enoch Mannin
Enoch Mannin
Grandpa Brown Great-Grandma Brown 3rd Great-Grandpa

Famous Fugates

The Fugates of Kentucky, commonly known as the “Blue Fugates,” are notable for having been carriers of a genetic trait that led to the blood disorder methemoglobinemia, which causes the appearance of blue-tinged skin.[ii]

The Blue People – by Walt Spitzmiller[iii] via 
I have not found any relationship between my Fugate ancestors and the “Blue Fugates.”



[i] I have not had the opportunity to personally research these individuals. As such, their names and dates are tentative and/or speculative.

[ii] Internet Source: Wikipedia: “Blue Fugates.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Fugates

[iii] Internet Source: Facts and History “The Fugate Family.” https://factsandhistory.com/the-fugate-family/

Binford – Surname Saturday

Howell-Pankey-Binford Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

Ancestry indicates that Binford is an English habitational name from Binneford in Crediton, Devon, based upon the personal name Beonna and Old English ford (ford).


Forebears indicates there are only about 3,136 people with the Binford surname globally, with 3,115 of them living in the United States. In the United States, nearly half of the Binfords live in Texas. Virginia, where our ancestors were from, contains 92 individuals with the Binford surname. Interestingly enough, although Binford comes from Crediton, Devon, England, there are no Binfords in England.

Direct Binford Ancestors

    • 5th Great-grandmother: 69 – Betsy Kinsey Binford(1739-ca. 1771)
    • 6th Great-grandfather: 138 – Thomas Binford (____-bef. 1754)*
    • 7th Great-grandfather: 276 – James Binford (____-____)*
    • 8th Great-grandfather: 551 – Anthony Binford (____-____)*

(* = Ancestors of Betsy Kinsey Binford are tentative.)


Our Binford ancestors lived before US censuses were enumerated. Figuring about 25 years between generations, my earliest known Binford ancestor, Anthony Binford, was probably born about 1664. I don’t know which of our Binford ancestors first migrated to the Colonies.

Direct Binford Descendants

We have 284 known descendants of Anthony Binford; 50 Howell, 36 Binford, 33 Pankey, and 16 Boseman. Two hundred three of those descendants are known descendants of Betsey Kinsey Binford. I have previously written about 5 of them.

Famous Binfords

Julien Binford Self Portrait – “Elizabeth Watching” Source: Julien Binford Facebook Page

Among famous Binford’s is Julien Binford (1908–1997), painter and professor of painting. Julien was born in and lived much of his life in Powhatan County, Virginia.

Our Binford family are from  Powhatan County and the counties Powhatan was descended from. So a relationship to Julien is entirely possible. It will be fun to do a “quick & dirty” tree for Julien and see if such a relationship exists.

Julien Binford has a Facebook Page “to celebrate both his life and his amazing art.”


Whitney – Surname Saturday

The surname Whitney – Name Origin, My Whitney Ancestors, Direct Descendants of Benjamin Whitney.

Roberts-Barnes-Taft-Whitney Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

Herefordshire UK locator map 2010Forebears indicates Whitney is derived from a location, “of Whitey,” a parish in Herefordshire. Ancestry suggests that it probably comes from hwit, meaning “white.” However, Genealogy Bank indicates the name probably refers to the River Wye, which runs through the rea of Whitney in Herefordshire. In any event, they all agree that the surname derives from a location in Herefordshire, England. Herefordshire is in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales.


The surname Whitney is predominately in the United States, with 83% of the people in the world with the surname living in the US. It is most common in the Falkland Islands, where one in 224 people have the surname.

In the United States, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas have the largest number of Whitney’s, and Maine had the greatest frequency where one in 1,322 people have the surname.

Direct Whitney Ancestors

  • 4th Great-grandmother: Sarah Whitney (1773-1813)*
  • 5th Great-grandfather: John Whitney (1849-___)*
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Joshua Whitney (1712-1751)*
  • 7th Great-grandfather: Joshua Whitney (1687-1771)*
  • 8th Great-grandfather: Benjamin Whitney (___-___)*[i]

* – Individuals marked with “*” have not been independently researched and confirmed by me. The names and dates are tentative and unverified.


Sarah Whitney was born on 11 July 1773 in Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Colony. I have not yet determined who my immigrant ancestor was nor when he arrived in the Colonies. However, Dedham was settled in 1635; my Whitney ancestors could reach back then.

Direct Whitney Descendants

I have 297 known descendants of Benjamin Whitney, including 27 Barnes, 23 Taft, 21 Roberts, and 17 Ransford. Two hundred eighty-nine of them are direct descendants of Sarah Whitney. I have previously written about four of those descendants.

5. – Grandmother:Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982)
11. –  1st Great-grandfather:  Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
Select Newspaper Articles 1884-1921 regarding Joel Clinton Barnes
21. – 2nd Great-grandfather:  Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
42. – 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1840 Census.
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1830 Census.
Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census.

Famous Whitney’s

Probably the most famous Whitney is Eli Whitney, Jr., known for inventing the cotton gin. Daniel Lawrence Whitney, known professionally as Larry the Cable guy, is a well-known comedian. And the little-known Josiah Whitney, the state geologist of California, you may not have heard of; however, Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the 48 contiguous United States, was named for him.



[i] Benjamin’s wife, Jane Poore, is currently the highest Ahnentafel number in my Roberts-Barnes line. (She is my most-distant known ancestor on my paternal side.)


Wolcott – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry indicates that the surname “Wolcott” is a Habitational name for someone from Wollcot in Somerset, England. Possibly so named from the Middle English wolle meaning “spring” and cot, meaning “cottage” or “shelter.” Forebears indicate it is derived from a person from Wollscott in Warwickshire.


Approximately 7,775 people worldwide bear the surname Wolcott, and 7,650 of them live in the United States. With the most living in New York, California, and Florida.

Wolcott Ancestors

I have eight known Wolcott ancestors:

    • 5th Great-grandmother: Mary Wolcott(1767-1857) b. Mass., d. New York
    • 6th Great-grandfather: Samuel Wolcott (1736-1802) – b. & d. Connecticut.[i]
    • 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Wolcott (1713-1800)
    • 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Wolcott (1679-1734)
    • 9th Great-grandfather: Samuel Wolcott (1656-1695)
    • 10th Great-grandfather: Henry Wolcott (____-1680)
    • 11th Great-grandfather: Henry Wolcott (____-1655)
    • 12th Great-grandfather: John Wolcott (____-____)


Mary Wolcott was born in Massachusetts and died in New York.

Her father, Samuel Wolcott, was born and died in Connecticut.

I do not have birth locations for the earlier ancestors; however, Henry Wolcott was one of the founders of Windsor, Connecticut, and was identified as one of the original persons identified in the 1662 Charter of Connecticut (the basis of Connecticut being the “Constitution State”).

Wolcott Descendants

I have 867 known descendants of John Wolcott; 121 Brown, 94 Wolcott, 31 Parsons, 17 Berg, 16 Hanson, 16 Larson, and 15 Briggs descendants. Six hundred eighty of those descendants are known descendants of Mary Wolcott. I have previously written about 5 of them.

Famous Wolcott’s

Wikipedia indicates fifteen famous Wolcott’s, including three governors, two senators, a representative, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Oliver Wolcott. There are also eight places named “Wolcott” in the US.


Ancestry Surname Page: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts.
Forebears Surnames Page: http://forebear       s.io/surnames.
Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown tree on Ancestry.
Wikipedia – Wolcott.


[i] Ancestors before Mary Wolcott (1767-1857) have been potentially identified but not confirmed through my personal research.