June 15, 2006 - UPDATED!! My name is Brian DeRoo and I am currently researching the DeRoo, Welcher, DeLong, Lancaster and Castle surnames.
Recently Elizabeth Webley has introduced me to the TRESOAR site, which contains vital records archives from the province of Friesland in the Netherlands, where both of my paternal grandparents came from. It has been a HUGE HELP for me! Thanks Elizabeth!! As a result I've updated my DeRoo online report. A link to the TRELOAR site is included below.
My mother's maiden name is Welcher (originally Wellshear, possibly from Wales; alternate spellings include Welsher & Welker), and they are a genuine pioneer family. Not long after the American Revolution, my branch of the Welchers set out from New Jersey to upstate New York, to settle in what had very recently been Iroquois Indian country. Then in the 1840s and 1850s they set out to settle Michigan, Ohio and Iowa. My particular branch ended up in southwest Michigan.
The DeLong (originally DeLangh) family were "Pennsylvania Dutch" coming from the Palantinate area (Alsace & Lorraine) between France and Germany. They were Protestants who emigrated at the end of the 17th century to escape persecution from the French Catholics.
My late grandmother was always so proud of her English Lancaster ancestry. She had an avid interest in the British royalty and aristocracy. The Lancasters here in southwest Michigan are still close-knit and have annual potluck gatherings.
Henry Castle was originally from England and was one of the first settlers in the New Haven, Connecticut colony in the early part of the 17th century. After staying in that town for several generations, they moved to Vermont, then to the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and my branch eventually ended up in rural Michigan.
I've been researching these family trees for about 10 years now and have accumulated a great deal of information. Hopefully this will be of value and interest to others! Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or are researching the same surnames and/or individuals as I am.