A Note from the Compiler
This project began when I inherited a drawer full of genealogical data from my mother, Ruth D. Watenpaugh. It included bits and pieces of genealogical information and old family photographs. Knowing nothing about Watenpaugh origins, except that the strange name sounded German to me, I set out to trace the roots of my maternal heritage. Utilizing the power of the Information Age via an online computer, I began to accumulate a database of Watenpaughs and, along the way, establish contact with near and distant cousins.
It has been an adventure of the imagination as I tried to visualize the Original Watenpaugh Immigrant, who, if family tradition is correct, came to the New World possibly as a mercenary Hessian soldier. For whatever reason he elected to make the newly formed United States his home. Some of his descendants moved west and broke sod in Iowa and Nebraska. enduring drought and pestilence on the windy prairies. I began to build up a mind picture of a bunch of stockily-built, protestant, Germanic ancestors who stoically contended with a harsh environment to eke out a living from the soil. And, if my Grandfather was an indication of the typical Watenpaugh temperament, the Watenpaughs also loved to contend with each other. My childhood memories are vivid with an atmosphere of raucous, stubborn Watenpaughs wrangling about something, usually political or religious in nature. Perhaps this behavior is a genetic residue of a Celtic warrior heritage, which has become somewhat civilized and sublimated over the centuries. Of course, this is an observation from personal experience. I am sure there are some gentle, even-tempered, Watenpaughs out there somewhere.
Whatever the twists and turns of my genealogical investigations have been, I am a mere compiler of data. I cannot claim much in the way of original research. I am greatly indebted to the "real" Watenpaugh researchers, especially Rolland Lee Watenpaugh who did original research on the early generations. Frances Croff Garren also deserves much credit as a compiler of numerous Family Group Sheets and family data down to the present generation. Toni Norman and Ruth Jenkins, also deserve credit for feeding me information via the internet. And there are many others to whom I am indebted.
This website will forever be a project-in-progress. I am positive that more information will be uncovered as we dig down through the strata of family history. I invite anyone with authentic biographical information about their Watenpaugh ancestors to share with me that information. I am more than willing to add new information and/or correct errors on this web site.
It should be noted that relatives born after 1910 ,and who have no recorded death dates in my data bank, lack other statistical data, such as birth or marriage dates in the web site. This is to protect the privacy of living. If any living relative wishes not to have their given names published, I can change it to simply "Living & Surname." Just let me know.
I am Richard W. Wright, son of Ruth Doris Watenpaugh. I can be contacted at :
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