The following are tips for navigating the site and explanations of abbreviations and icons used throughout the site:

This site is organized as a set of individual narratives. With over 14,000 persons on the site, it can be quite a challenge to utilize the information provided To help you navigate through the data, there are a number of aids available to you:

  • Extensive use is made of hypertext links, which allow you to quickly move back and forth in the pages. Items that are linked will appear in underlined text when the cursor is moved over the text. Most person and place names are linked.
  • For all individuals, clicking on the the Family Tree icon provides a pop up pedigree chart showing three generations of ancestors, as well as spouses, children, and siblings. You can click on any of the persons in the chart to navigate to the narrative for that person.
  • The Index tab offers a choice of these indices into the data:
    • The Master Index provides an alphabetical index to all individuals included in the web site.
    • The Surname Index provides quick access to a list of indviduals having a given surname. Married women will usually be listed under both their married and maiden names.
    • The Place Index contains a list of geographic place names. Clicking on a place name will open a list of individuals who are linked to an event occurring in that place. If additional information is avaialble for a place, an information icon will appear behind the place name. Click on the icon to see the information. If there is a capital G icon for a place, click on the G to see the location on a map.
  • The Images tab provides a list of image galleries of documents. Current choices include portraits of individuals, marriage documents, death documents, obituaries and gravestone photographs.
  • The Charts tab displays the list of available pedigree and descendant charts. The pedigree charts are for my grandparents and my wife's grandparents. The descendant charts are for selected end-of-line ancestors. At the bottom of each individual narrative, there is a list of charts that the individual appears on. Clicking on the link to the chart will bring up the chart, with the box for that individual situated in the upper right of the view.
  • The Key Persons tab provides a list of annotated indices to key individuals based on selected criteria. For example, one choice is an index of key individuals from my Velten line, including immigrants to the US from various locations in Germany.
  • The Albums tab provides a list of family photo albums I have placed online.
  • The Search tab provides a choice of two search pages: one for a general search, and one for a search by Person Id number.
  • If source images are provided with a citation or source, their presence is indicated by an icon (see descriptions below). Clicking on the icon will display the image. Some of the source images are in Adobe Acrobat format, so be sure you have installed the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.


Some abbreviations that may be used in narratives and charts include:

b Born
bap Baptized
bur Buried
c Circa (date of event is estimated to be close to this date)
chr Christened
d Died
marr Married


Icons used in this site may include:

Click to see additional information
Click to view a photograph or document image
Click to view a text document
Click to view a document in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
A photograph of this individual is provided
Child was a twin
Child was a triplet
Direct ancestor of Dave
Direct ancestor of Martha
End-of-line ancestor
Immigrant to USA
Individual born in Austria
Individual born in Belgium
Individual born in Canada
Individual born in Germany
Individual born in England
Individual born in France
Individual born in Hungary
Individual born in Ireland
Individual born in Luxembourg
Individual born in Mexico
Individual born in Scotland
Individual born in Switzerland
Individual born in USA


Over the past fifteen plus years, I have been assisted and inspired by a large number of relatives and fellow researchers, whose help I would like to acknowledge. At the risk of leaving someone out and in random order, thanks to June Velten, Karen Porter, Sharon and John Deering, Edith Alten Ruffing, Loretta Gerber, Bob Oprisch, Jim Daniel, Cheryl Hamm, Dick Velten, Ed Velton, Jürgen Velten, Marian Dietrich, Lucille Deering, Marjorie Bardeen, Linda Andersson, Pam Poland, Suzanne Kelly, Mary Twigger, Marilyn Hahler, Michelle Boger, Joyce Ritchie, Denise Pitzen, Judy Kelble, Beth Walliser, Mary Lu Eldred, Steve Herman, Ralph Yost, Dave Kuntz, Allan Koch, Larry Gerhardstein, Larry Vredenburgh, Steve Frank, Johann Feith, Klemens Ranker, Kurt Brehmer, Andreas Stephan, John Thess, Andrew Velten, Joan Williams, Chris Brown, Adam Hosang, Glenda Darnall, Patricia Morris, Stephen Fritz, James E. Velten, Chad Stodden.