Wineinger/Wininger: A Close Family

I was trying to clean up my mom’s family tree. We’re using because it is useful for organizing all the relationships and data, but it’s not perfect. I’m still trying to figure out how everything works.

The reason a clean-up is necessary is because somehow extra profile pages were created. A profile page gives the detailed info about one person and shows their immediate family relations. For certain people, multiple profile pages were created. It may have happened in the process of adding data from the family trees of other members.

In getting rid of the clutter, I have to be very careful that I don’t delete something that is important. The same names are often repeatedly used in families, generation after generation after generation. People are named after parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. So, I look at everything very carefully.

I had gone through most of the names when I came to the Wininger/Wineinger family on my maternal grandmother’s side, and initially I was more perplexed than anything else I’d so far come across. I opened up about twenty profile pages in order to see the connections and possible duplicates. I saw the same names with the same birth and death dates, some were centuries in the past while others were in more recent history, but those in the middle were different.

It slowly dawned on me what I was looking at. When I showed it to my mom, she was able to clarify it even further. Several lines of Wineingers descended from the same patriarch, Nicholaus/Nicholas Wineinger. Four and Five generations later, three lines of descent merged again, all of them finally meeting together in the person of my maternal grandmother’s father, Rollie Franklin Wininger.

It sounds kind of incestuous, but the people involved actually weren’t that close of relatives. They were distant cousins, although not extremely distant. In the two marriages of convergence, both involve one spouse’s parent being first cousins of the other spouse’s grandparent. So, that makes the spouses several times removed.

It does look odd when the connections are mapped out on a piece of paper. Only fourteen people of the Wineinger/Wininger Clan are directly complicit in these three lines, including the originating patriarch and the final person of convergence.

Quite fascinating.

In case any genealogists are curious, the following is precisely how it played out:

Nicholaus/Nicholas Wineinger fathered Andrew and John Alexander (Sr.). Andrew fathered Phillip, Phillip fathered George, and George fathered James Klepper. John Alexander (Sr.) fathered John Alexander (Jr.) and William. John Alexander (Jr.) fathered Elizabeth Ellen. James Klepper married Eliabeth Ellen, and from them was born George Alexander. William fathered John, John fathered Sarah, Sarah mothered Eliza Elizabeth. George Alexander married Eliza Elizabeth, and from them was born Rollie Franklin.

Clear as mud, eh?

36 thoughts on “Wineinger/Wininger: A Close Family

    • It took me a while to wrap my brain around it.

      There is another part of my mom’s family that involves the convergence of three lines of Edwards. In that case, I haven’t been able to prove the lines necessarily originate from the same family of Edwards, but there are some hints that it might be the case.

      My moms family comes from Appalachia, and none of this helps dispel certain rumors about that region. Kinship isn’t just about family values. It’s a way of life.

      • Yes, I’ve heard that rumor about Appalachia, too, LOL!
        At least, these family trees are being kept. Even more valuable is pictures, facts, and any writings, letters, etc. which can be attached to the people. Like diaries, in some cases. Those make the names “alive” to the later generations. There were actual full-sized painted portraits of some of my ancestors, and that was wonderful !

        • We have found some pictures of the older generations and some letters, but my mom’s family didn’t leave a lot behind. They were mostly poor people who settled on the frontier and then mostly remained poor.

          • Hey, it’s 4 AM for you and 2 AM for me, so I’ll respond briefly and then catch some zzzzzz’s.
            Your mother must be something of an “outlier” given her background!!

          • My mom and one of her brothers were the first generation to go to college. Before them, few family members got much education at all. In the 19th cent censuses, I noticed that a fair number of my ancestors couldn’t read or write. The family’s prospects seemed to improve as they moved North, mostly from Kentucky to Southern Indiana and then up to Northern Indiana. It’s in Northern Indiana where most of the industrialization developed, Southern Indiana still being an area of much poverty, although also very beautiful like the rest of Appalachia.

          • A very interesting pattern, especially the effects of moving north…. I’ve heard of the pattern before. It all reminds me of a novel which made a big impression on me in younger years: Dollmaker, by Harriet Arnow if I recall the author correctly. Superbly written and insightful, and about some of those cultural patterns. NOT an “upper” book, and that’s an understatement, be forewarned, anyone who tackles it.

  1. I should clarify a point.

    I was looking at the tree again and I realized a difference between my maternal grandmother’s side (Wineinger) and my maternal grandfather’s side (Clouse). Many of the lines of families on the Clouse side lived in Kentucky before moving to Southern Indiana. The Wineinger side, however, apparently maybe just passed through Kentucky on their way to Southern Indiana.

    The Wineinger family partriarch was born in Germany and died in Virginia. One son was born in Germany and another son was born in Pennsylvania. They must have been living on the then border of Virginia and Pennsylvania. From there they went to Tennessee where many others were born, before ending up in Indiana. The whole clan seems to have moved together from place to place which is probably how all three lines merged back together in Southern Indiana.

    I’ve spent so much time looking at the Clouse family that I assumed the Wineingers probably also lived in Kentucky at some point. But they definitely had to pass through Kentucky, unless they took some circuitous route in getting to Southern Indiana.

    Kentucky or Tennessee, the family spent many generations in Appalachia and Hoosier Indiana. It’s the same general culture either way.

      • Why do you recommend Hawkins Co? I still haven’t done much research on that part of the family. I’m not as familiar with the counties outside of Indiana and Kentucky. Do you have some Wininger/Wineinger ancestry?

        • There were 110 deaths and births in Hawkins County, TN from Winegar to Wininger.. John Alexander Jr. was apparently the first recorded Winegar to be born there. He is my fourth great grandfather. If you still don’t have a lot of information on them, I will be glad to share what I have so far.

          • Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I was just now going back to those family lines. I was checking out records, but I still haven’t sorted through much of it. The following is what seems likely by a brief perusal of records.

            I looked at George Alexander Wininger. He was born in 1855. The earliest record I found for him was an 1870 census. He is going by Alexander G. Wininger and so I don’t know what was his original first name. The census lists him as having been born in Indiana and all later censuses say the same thing, but other family trees have him listed as having been born in Hawkins Co. The problem is I haven’t come across any records of his being born there. One person claims the existence of a baptism certificate, but I’m unable to contact the person to find out more about it.

            His father, James Klepper Wininger, according to records I see was also born in Indiana. In that line, it was James’ father, George, who was born in Hawkins Co in 1802. It was George who moved to Indiana where he was married. George’s Father, Phillip, was born in Virginia. So, that line only has a single generation in Hawkins Co.

            On another line, there is Elizabeth Ellen Wineinger who was born in Indiana. Her father, John Alexander Wineinger jr, was born in Hawkins Co. Her grandfather, John Alexander Wineinger Sr, was born in Virginia. All three died in Indiana and so they didn’t spend long in Tennessee.

            The family line that apparently spent the most time in Tennessee was from another child of John Alexander Sr. His son, William, was also born Virginia but died in Hawkins Co. William’s son, John, maybe was born in Tennessee. John’s daughter, Sarah, was born in Tennessee. However, I didn’t see any records precisely saying anything about Hawkins Co. John and Sarah both died in Indiana.

            It’s strange how all the family seemed to move to Tennessee, stayed for about a single generation, and then the entire family seemingly all moved together to Indiana. They were always living close to one another which I suppose explains why the family lines began converging again.

          • This is John Wineinger. I am a descendant of civil war soldier John Alexander Wineinger…….I am in Denton, TX I have spoken with Wineinger’s from Amarillo, TX where there is a Wineinger Rd. Jessica knows about the Pace family connection. There are Wineingers in Greenville, TX, Sherman and Denison and a few here in Denton, TX. Too much but I have alot of stuff handy on my PC.

          • I’m trying to make sense of all of this in my Paternal side. My father was Richard H. Wineinger. Supposedly my Great Grandfather after being transported by horseback by two deputies to be questioned about something and was lost in a snow storm and presumed dead by his family. It appears he changed the spelling and possibly the order of first and middle names. David Layfette Wineinger or Lafayette David. I attended a reunion with my father at Aunt Rita and Pete Andrews near Milan, Michigan years ago while my children were young but didn’t know the ramifications of that reunion. Now I wish I had taken names etc. Is there anything out there documenting the story or that knows what really happened?
            Nancy Fussell 1955

          • @Nancy Fussell – “Is there anything out there documenting the story or that knows what really happened?”

            None of the names you mentioned sound familiar. Also, none of my family was ever in Michigan. I was doing most of my genealogical research for my mother’s family in Indiana and Kentucky, along with some nearby states such as Tennessee and North Carolina. Do you know where your Wineinger family came from?

  2. I recently contacted a lady who married into the Wineinger family and they’ve done a lot of research. Here is something that was added to that tree on

    Nicholaus Wininger arrived in Philadelphia on 12 Sep 1750 aboard the ship “Priscilla” with 210 other immigrants. It is speculated that this Nicholaus Wininger who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1750 is the progenitor of the Wininger families that settled in Scott County Virginia and Hawkins County Tennessee. There is evidence that Nicholaus Wininger of Pennsylvania migrated to Augusta County, Virginia. Additionally, there are several documents that establish the presence of several Winegar families in Augusta County, Virginia as well as several documents that link the Augusta County, Virgina Winegar’s to the Scott County Virginia and Hawkins County, Tennessee Winegar’s despite the spelling of their last name. The connection of the Wininger’s of Pennsylvania to those in Augusta County, Virginia is through Nicholaus and Catrin Wininger.

  3. The Wininger/Wineinger surname looks like it might have originated from Switzerland as Winegar. Barbara Wineinger’s family tree shows Nicholaus Wineinger’s father as Dr. Uldrick “Priscilla” Winegar/Wininger:

    Ulrich Winegar, his wife Ann B. Arnoldt and family came to America as part of the Palatine Migration from Germany in 1710. Stopping first in England. The Palatine region in Germany was attacked by the French durng The Thirty Years War over religious and political issues. The final blow came in the winter of 1708 when much of the farming and vineyards were destroyed, the livihood of the inhabitants of the region. This instabilitywas probably a major factor in Ulrich’s decision for leaving Palatine and joining a group of emigrants leaving for England. They fled to England but the British government soon sent them onward to America in 1710. The Winegar’s were one of these families in this group.
    Ulrich Winegar’s name has many different spellings.

    • Hello, Everything written is what I have also viewed in many an internet search. It seems accurate. My father has alot of info. You can email me at I will give you my fathers info as he has alot of information as well.

        • Hello, Try to call my father and tell him who you are sometime soon. They bowl a lot.LOL. Bobby Jean Wineinger 8179447165 I am sure he will talk to you. I will give you his email.

          • Thanks! Maybe I’ll contact him. But I’m not sure what I know or need to know. Has your father done a lot of genealogical research? I’m not extremely familiar with this line of my family. I have a second cousin who did most of the research on that side of my mom’s family. I am doing genealogical research right now, but my focus is mostly on the other side of my mom’s family. It is hard to keep all the names and dates straight in my head.

  4. A lot of my mom’s family, both on her father’s and mother’s side, came from the area surrounding the constantly shifting border of France and Germany. These are often referred to as Palatinate Germans, but some of my family would be identified as French or German, depending on which census you looked at.

    I wrote a post where I discussed this history and how strange it is that many of these border people then sought the border territory here in America:

  5. Ben, as an aside, it seems you are pretty adept at this family research game. Can you advise me as to the best way to locate a copy of my mother’s birth certificate? As I’ve mentioned before, she has Alzheimer’s and is unable to remember the name of the small town in Illinois where she was born. I have gotten to the point of almost signing up with both and that other commercial site that many states contract with to provide birth certificate copies (for a couple hundred bucks), but I’m afraid that if I go ahead and pay them I’m not going to get anywhere without the name of the town or hospital where she was born. Any recommendations on how to go about discovering this info would be very much appreciated!

    • That is a tough challenge. It is much harder finding official records on living people. You wouldn’t be able to find her birth certificate on However, I can think of some possible avenues that might give you leads.

      If your mother is old enough, the government might have already released the census records from her childhood. I could look at the census records on if you’d like.

      Or there might be a genealogical library, university library or public library near you that would allow you free access to I initially did most of my research in a genealogical library. Also, you could go to your local Mormon family center where they can help with genealogy.

      Do you have much info about her immediate family? For example, the census records of her parents would show you where they were living which might give you a clue about possible birthplaces.

      Another route would be to try to find relevant family trees on Many people have their trees open to other members. It’s easy to do a search.

      My mom and I have discovered distant relatives that way. In some cases, they knew more about our faily tree than we were able to figure out on our own. There are a lot of people out there doing genealogical research and they tend to be helpful people.

      I guess it depends if you want to spend the money on or not. You can’t know what you might find until you look. But if you’re tight on money, I’ll offer you my services by doing some searches for you on I enjoy looking for info and I have time on my hands.

  6. Thanks for the article–that helps clear up a snag I was running into. I’m a descendant of the James Klepper Elizabeth Ellen marriage. I will have to make a trip to Cane Creek Cemetery to see John Alexander’s grave.

    • I’m glad to be of service.

      I visited some family cemeteries in Southern Indiana and Kentucky. It was a lot of fun to see places where ancestors once lived. In Kentucky, some of the farm buildings on the family homestead from the 1800s are still standing. That same part of my mom’s family later on lived at Spring Mill, of course before it became a park. My great grandfather was born in one of the restored buildings there. It is strange visiting there because it is now a tourist destination, although the cemetery doesn’t attract many tourists.

      Do you have a family tree on I’ve found the site helpful. I’m not sure how much longer I will remain a member. That is the problem with it. You have to be a paid member to use the service. You can download all the info, but in the future they are discontinuing the software for some reason. That is irritating.

      I haven’t looked at the Wineinger/Wininger line in a while. I actually have been not doing much with genealogy work at all this past year. At the moment, I’m about to start to do more work on the entire other side of my family, that is my dad’s ancestry. I want to get a lot of work done this coming year.

  7. Ben, my maternal grandmother was Mary Katherine Wininger. Her mother Elsie Pashell (something like that) married John Wininger. Is that any relation?

    • I have multiple people in my tree by the name John Wininger or some variation thereof. But the other names you mentioned aren’t to be found.

      That isn’t to say we might not be related. Many people married multiple times in the past, especially men since women often died in childbirth. It’s highly likely that not all marriages are included in my family tree.

      Have you used That site has been a major help in my own research. I recommend it.

      If you give me a bit of info, I’d be glad to do a quick search to see what comes up. What basic info do you have about Mary and Elsie (dates of birth, marriage, or death; known locations of birth, emigration, or residence; etc)?

  8. Found this site through a Google search. I’m interested if you have found any information in your searches on a Solomon Wininger (Winegar)? His wife’s name was Nancy. The Ancestry records are all over the place with both a Nancy Strong and a Nancy Loughmiller showing up with a Solomon Wininger who was about the same age. Just curious if you might have the answer in your tree.

    • I don’t know much if anything about those names. There is a Solomon Winingar in my family tree. He would be my 3rd great uncle, the sister of my 2nd great grandmother. That is about all I know him. I have no documents attached to his profile. And I have no info about his wife or wives. In doing a quick search on, I came across some family trees with apparently the same guy. One of those family trees for the Adkins I assume is yours. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

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