Geesey Family Genealogical Research

Click here for a list of Related Surnames.

History of Geesey Research

While biographies written in the early 20th Century mentioned some influential Geeseys in York County, Pennsylvania, genealogical research into the Geesey family tree began in earnest with Titus Cornelius Geesey in the 1920s. In 1931, 1932, and 1933 he, among others, hosted Geesey family reunions in York Co. I have acquired a list of attendees at the 1932 reunion. From the information gathered during these meetings, coupled with his investigations into the York County archives, Titus was able to publish a small booklet in 1935 entitled The Giese/Geesey/Keesey Family in America. This booklet laid out the core of his research into the descendants of our Geesey immigrant ancestor, Johann Conradt Giese, Sr.

In the 1950s Titus continued his research and commissioned a study in Europe to find our German and Swiss ancestors. Titus died in 1969 and left a wonderful legacy for the rest of us to build upon. Several of us had been working independently through the 1970s and 80s to develop our individual family trees, but with the advent of the internet we have been able to meet, communicate, and share our resources to an extent never before realized. In 1998 Werner Hug wrote a booklet detailing the early Gÿsi/Gysin historical records from Switzerland. I have transcribed an English translation of his work.

Current Geesey Research

Most of our current research involves finding the descendants (both living and passed) of our common immigrant ancestor, Johann Conradt Giese, Sr., who was born in Pfalz in 1718 and came to America in 1741. As our research develops we are also exploring the descendants of related immigrants from Germany and Switzerland.  David Geesey of Marana, Arizona has been one of the key researchers. He has sifted through volumes of primary records in our attempt to link numerous Geeseys to our family tree. Bruce Geesey of Dover, York County, Pennsylvania has access to local information and has been able to visit local cemeteries to gather more details of people's lives. I (Mark) have been pouring over the Federal Census records (1790-1930) for Pennsylvania, especially York County, and for Frederick County, Maryland to find any listings of Geesey/Keesey descendants. Several other individuals have donated their time and research to fill in gaps and add to the family tree. We hope you are able to find the fruits of our research valuable. This is very much an ongoing project and new information is added regularly. Please contact us if you find that you are related or if you have any questions.  We are happy to share the information we have collected with our fellow Geesey genealogists.

 

Genetic Genealogy Research

Ziggy Cartoon

We have begun a project to genetically trace our Gysi/Geesey/etc. lineage. By having Geesey (et al.) males tested for markers on our Y-chromosomes we can determine the amount of relatedness between known branches of the Gysi family tree and currently unknown (broken) branches. We would like to understand whether the descendants of other Swiss Gysi immigrants are truely closely related. Currently four of us (all descendents of Johann Conradt Giese, Sr.) have been tested and our genetic profiles are very close. For more information on our Gysi genetic genealogy project please see our Gysi family page at FamilyTree DNA. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

I have recently had some additional tests conducted to further analyze the genetic characteristics of my Y-chromosome. From the results of these tests we can establish the general locations and migratory patterns of our distant ancestors over the last 50,000 years or more. I have written a page summarizing the current understanding of this very new endeavour in scientific research - link. Much of what has been learned from human genetics about ancient human migrations over the past 100,000 years has been realized in the past few years (since 2008). It's very exciting to be on the cutting edge of a new field of science.

Conradt Giese's 5 sons:

Many of the descendants of Conradt Giese, Sr. remained in the area around Dallastown, York Township, York County, Pennsylvania where Conradt had established his farm in the 1740s. The early records of the family centered around Blymire's Church and Cemetery which was located across the road from Contradt's farm. The search of census records between 1790 and 1930 found an abundance of descendants living in the area. Even today, the Geesey, Giesey, and Keesey listings in the York County phone book occupy several pages.

Jacob's descendants generally remained in York County up until the end of the 19th Century. Titus Cornelius Geesey was a descendant of Jacob.

Christian's descendants have been very difficult for us to find. We are slowly piecing together his family, but it has involved a lot of guesswork and false leads. They may have left York County in the early 1800s making it difficult for us to find records pertaining to this family.

Conrad's descendants include a branch lead by Conrad's son, John Conrad Giese III, who moved to Blair County, Pennsylvania in the 1820s and 30s and founded the town of Geeseytown in Frankstown Township. Geeseytown has a modest-sized cemetery and a beautiful Lutheran Church along the main highway through town.  David Geeey is in the process of preparing a history of Geeseytown that he will share with us upon completion.

John's descendants include a Keesey branch who migrated to Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa during the 1800s. Another Keesey branch remained in York County. An additional York County variation of the surname is Giesey. Mark's branch of this family moved to Frederick County, Maryland after the Civil War.

Henricus moved to Dauphin County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800s and then on to Ohio with his eldest son, John, about 1832.  We have few records of his other children, but they likely remained in Dauphin and the nearby counties.

Questions?    Comments!   Write to Mark Geesey: geesey.mmkc93(at)knology.net

Related Surnames

As I get time to create the files I will be adding other family lineages for our related ancestors. I've listed these lineages by the US county in which they settled:

Lancaster County, PA Diefendoerffer, Hershey, Holl/Hull, Holbruner
Northampton/Adams Counties, PA Dellone, Eckenroth, Felix, Felty, Kuhn
Northumberland County, PA Bondura, Kolego
York County, PA Bär, Bauersachs/Bowersox, Bleymeier/Blymire, Breighner, Bringman, Flinchbaugh, Müller/Miller
Frederick County, MD Bowers, Derr, Ledwidge, Smith
Connecticut Harrison, Pierson
New Jersey Frischknecht, Harrison, Howell, Maass, Milburn, Pierson

Geesey Resources on the Internet

Geesey Family Genealogy Forum at Genealogy.com

RootsWeb Geesey Message Board

The Frees and Geesey Family Home Page

This page was last updated April 8, 2012.

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