Surname Saturday: Witherell


019 glenn and bike


(My great-grandpa was part of the motorcycle club in Saginaw, Michigan. I love this picture of him!)


The WITHERELL name is what got me into genealogy. And it’s what frustrates me. Growing up, the only Witherell’s I met were relatives and they were far and few between. My grandpa was the only boy in his family. His dad (above) was one of three boys. Sadly one died young and the other I never knew. We were a small family!

I had an inkling that the Witherell name wasn’t as unique as I thought while growing up. I went to high school with another Witherell (not related!); there was the Witherell street that the now Comerica Stadium is on; then there was the grave that really got me going: Mary Witherell Hay Owen. I found her when I searching for a Witherell plot in a local cemetery. My grandmother’s name was Mary Witherell which immediately piqued my interest. After some research, I found she was named for a family friend (her family was one of the lumber barons of Saginaw)- one of the same Witherells that the street was named after. Neither of those Witherell’s from Detroit are part of my line as far as I have found so far.

Here’s the rundown starting with my great-grandpa:

Glenn WITHERELL born and died in Saginaw MI 1908-1994

Gard Cyrus WITHERELL born and died in Saginaw MI 1882-1952

Gard WITHERELL born in Flint, died in Saginaw MI 1857-1915 – also went by the name of Chas

David WITHERELL born in Richmond, NY and died in Flint, MI 1813-1863

John WITHERELL – now him I’m not sure on. David Witherell I can confirm through documents. His wife was Martha WOLCOTT and there is a published book on her family’s genealogy(1). That book says that David’s parents are John and Judith (BULLARD) Witherell. Another source on the history of Gaines, New York also states that a Judith Bullard married a John Witherell(2).

However, that’s all I can find! I can find items for David: his first wife’s death certificate, his second marriage in a register, even death certificates of his children. But I can’t find things for a John or Judith Witherell. Now Witherell has gone through many spelling changes over the years. A lot of the later documents are WITHERAL, WITHERALL, WETHERALL, etc. Even with that, I’m at a loss. My next step is to contact the county and see if I can find records from there. I would prefer to actually GO to New York though and just haven’t had the chance as of yet.

This is also where I realized that Witherell is quite popular. Especially with a name like John in front of it. A general search on ancestry or familysearch reveals MANY John Witherell’s!

If anyone out there knows of this line, I could always use a hint! :)


1) Rudd, Alice Bohmer. Wolcott Genealogy: The Family of Henry Wolcott, one of the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut. Washington: Guild Pub. Co., 1950.

2) Thomas, Arad. Pioneer History of Orleans County, New York: containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York. 1871. Reprint, Bowie, Maryland : Heritage Books Inc, 1998.

About these ads
Categories: WALCOTT, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.

Bernfeld Family of Galicia & More

A collection of photos, records and stories from Galicia, Germany, New York and more. Tips and stories to help you with your research and to inspire.

The Hanneman Archive

History Preserved. Lives Treasured.

Once a Hoosier...Always a Hoosier

Record your Indiana Ancestors

Planting the Seeds

Genealogy as a profession

If Destroyed Still True

Putting my teenage diaries online is a pretty daft idea but I can't quite bring myself to chuck them on a bonfire after years of writing EVERYTHING down... with diagrams.

My Genealogy Life

Ancestor Hunter

It's all Relative



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers

%d bloggers like this: