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Re: Mannedorf and Joseph B. Billiter
Posted by: Jim Billiter Date: June 30, 1999 at 17:34:40
In Reply to: Re: Mannedorf and Joseph B. Billiter by Janette Josserand of 433


Thanks for the very enlightening information. Swiss or English (or other) Billiter Origin? That might need a new thread on this forum at some point.

Can you kindly elaborate on how to find the Yates' information on the Net that you mentioned. I failed to locate it. Thanks.

Here are some random data to add grist to the mill.

1) My Dad said that the Billiters were Swiss-German. He did not do family research; he knew that from family tradition. Many years later, and after we (my brother, Ralph, and I) started genealogy work, interpreted it to mean we were from the German-speaking part of CH. And Canton Zurich fits well.

2) Quoting Julius C Billeter in 'The Billeters from Mannedorf and the Zweifels from Linthal" (1984, Joseph Lyon & Assoc., Salt Lake, pp 68-69): "There is in the city of London a complex of buildings and streets named Billiter. Although the spelling is very similar, no connection with the family name Billeter has been established. ... Although the origin is not known, it suggests the name Billiter might be a derivitive of Bell-zeter - a bell founder."

I think that an English origin for Old Joe (arrived Delmarva 1671) needs serious consideration because MD was a English colony exercising religious tolerance at the time of his arrival.

Bear with me while I transit the five points you made in your response to Dave Gerth.

1) Old Joe is not in Swiss records:

I've only looked in the IGI, and that's true. Has anyone gone deeper? (IGI is far from exhaustive.)

2) His names were English:

He was probably indentured for the crossing and likely married an Englishwoman after or during his period of servitude. It would not be surprising that the children (Joseph, Elizabeth, Thomas, Edward, and Grace) were named with concern for their futures in an English colony. As for his name, Joseph, it may have been Anglisized on immigration, from perhaps 'Josef' or the like. Also, Thomas and Grace were married in the Church of England, though the family was Quaker, probably an effect of the state church's inposition by the crown and Canterbury in the 1690's, an interesting topic itself.

3)Brought by, lived with, dealing (property) with English:

(Was that last Southy Littleton?)

Again, not surprising in an English colony. As far as I know, no immigrant vessels arrived from CH. ;-) Some Swiss certainly arrived on English ships in the 170x's among the thousands of people in the Palatinate migrations for religious survival. Also, do you have a reference for the name of the ship? I do not.

4) Names in English and Old London history:

Yes, I think that a good reason for more basic research. In fact, if Old Joe arrived indentured well before the Palatinate influx, an English origin is quite plausible).

5) Billiter on place names in London:

Yep. As my wife and I were touring London on an omnibus many years ago, she spotted Billiter Street. Subsequently, we found it and Billiter Place on a map of the Old City.
And now, knowing of the existence of English Billiter names (w/variants) in the early 1600's, I'm inclined to disregard Julius C's statement, especially since you and Marsha posited the English origin after much deliberation. Would you post some of the details and please correct my errors?

Best, Jim Billiter -


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