|Beginning in the mid-1600's and continuing thru about
two centuries, we find the surnames Zellhoefer and Wellhoefer.
Both surnames are found during that period ONLY within an area
of about 25 mile radius , roughly bounded by Neurnberg, Fuerth, Bad
Windsheim and Ansbach.
The surname Wellhoefer seems to have originated
somewhat later -- it is NOT found in Austria where the earliest
Zellhoefer's were found, which seems a further indication that this is a
variation of Zellhoefer. This would suggest that the W... perhaps
resulted from a mis-writing on some old document or perhaps from a family
Both surnames are also found in early-day
Austria. It appears that Exulanten had
much to do with a very large exodus to Bavaria in the early 1600's.
Those in Bavaria are exclusively(?) Evangelishe.
Our research now extends to trying to discover just
what happened "way back whenever" that these two surnames now
appear together, and also seeks to learn the connection, if any, between
the two surnames.
As of July 2003 no connection has been discovered,
but it seems certain to me that as research continues, it will be
found. Of course this will become a HUGE additional branch of
ZellTree, something I cannot manage without help!
The beginnings of including the Wellhoefer surname in our
ZellTree research came from this marriage certificate for John
Wellhafer and Elizabeth Pfeffer.
This was included amongst the few documents
contained in the works of Myron Klotz, with his insistence that this
document "proved" the marriage of my g.g.grandparents.
After relying on this for several years, but finding
it impossible to track either of them, nothing could be made to fit other
"facts" of either family lore, nor of additional records
unearthed in this very long and intense research.
Finally, this couple was disproven, having no
connection whatsoever to John Michael Zellhoefer, the true
g.g.grandparent. The coincidences are truly amazing, however, so
perhaps somehow we must forgive the wasted years!