Appendices to "The WEDEMEYERs of Eastern Australia."
  … section 5. WEDEMEYER name & descendancy.

The "WEDEMEYERs of Eastern Australia" section of this site is divided into 10 chapters and 5 sections containing appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page. Please note the WEDEMEYER photo galleries here.

Do you have information, opinion or a question relating to either this site’s contents or its copyright? Please use the e-mail link available at the bottom of each page. I look forward to corresponding with you.

The appendices are as follows:

… note that this page contains section 5 (WEDEMEYER name and also a Descendancy Report), and that there is a separate page for each section of the appendix.

  1. Appendices Section 1: Your family is my family (?) …early origins of WEDEMEYER families
    1. At Moringen and Fredelsloh, Germany. General A.C. WEDEMEYER’s family and our family came from the same place?
    2. Have we found Friedrich? Search for confirmation of origins & links between our families.
    3. Unrelated(?) WEDEMEYER names near Goslar.
  2. Appendices Section 2: Court Cases
    1. Stabbing at the lodging house, 1862.
    2. Larceny, 1862
  3. Appendices Section 2: Rates
    1. Mt Perry Rate Books; 1880 – 1904.
  4. Appendices Section 3: Inquiry into Hotel Fire, 1885
    1. Statement by George WEDEMEYER
    2. Statements by Elizabeth WEDEMEYER
    3. Statement by Minnie WEDEMEYER
  5. Appendices Section 3: JWH (Harry) WEDEMEYER’s Documents
    1. Report on Selection; 1889.
    2. Correspondence concerning Selection; 1889.
    3. Obituaries
  6. Appendices Section 4: DAVIS documents
    1. Obituary of Elizabeth PAAP (late WEDEMEYER, née DAVIS)
    2. William DAVIS of Gayndah.
  7. Appendices Section 5: WEDEMEYER name
    1. Variants of WEDEMEYER name and DNA.
    2. Pronunciation of WEDEMEYER name.
    3. Origin of WEDEMEYER name.
  8. Appendices Section 5: Descendancy Report of German born WEDEMEYERs
    1. Complete Report.


Section 5: WEDEMEYER names


i) Variants of WEDEMEYER name and DNA.

All the WEDEMEYERs in our Australian family have spelled their names the same way, except our early WEDEMEIER ancestors. We have noted a number of variations of this name in other families, which are now listed:


Are these families genetically related through some ancient WEDEMEYER clan? On the other hand, are they derived from an occupational name… see the discussion of the origin of the name in the section below.

If these families are related, which are more closely related to our family than the others, and where did they come from? DNA can tell us! At the very least, we can solve with some probability such issues as our relationship to the family of General Albert Coady WEDEMEYER (ACW) (discussed in Appendix 1), as well as other WEDEMEYER families with the same spelling! Asking men with the WEDEMEYER SURNAME for Y-DNA samples has not been worthwhile until now, when at last, various WEDEMEYER families have become interested and have provided samples.

Interested males with the WEDEMEYER name (or sound-alike name) are urged to join the “Wiedemeier” (W~D~M~R) Group Project on the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) website, with John Wiedemeier as the Project Administrator. The Project is directed at the many WEDEMEYER name variants, including the 29 families listed above. It is hoped that members of these families might submit cheek cell samples for a Y-DNA test. John provides a link from the FTDNA site to the “Welcome to the W~D~M~R Family DNA Project” page which gives details of the benefits of testing with Family Tree DNA, how to join the project, the distribution of the WEDEMEYER name and its sound-alike names, origins and meanings of the name, notes on genetics, results for current contributors, and the aims of the project.

If you are male, have the WEDEMEYER surname or some "sound-alike" surname, please click on the above links for further information and details of how to participate in this project.

The aims of the W~D~M~R Project are stated:

  1. Find out if families with various spellings of the W~D~M~R name are related.
  2. Find location and earliest date of the W~D~M~R name.
  3. Validate existing research.

I have approached male WEDEMEYERs from ACW’s family (from Fredelsloh - Moringen) and my own Australian WEDEMEYER family (also from Moringen) for samples. I am not eligible, since I am descended from my grandmother, Minnie WEDEMEYER who married a STRONG. Eventually two men kindly volunteered and answered the question of the relationship between our two families.

• Stop Press!!

What great news! The table below shows there is a 100% match in a 37 marker Y-DNA test. The significance of this 100% match is shown in the second table below. We are related!

Y DNA matches Exact DNA 37 marker matches between a male WEDEMEYER from our Australian WEDEMEYER family
& a direct descendant of the General Albert Coady WEDEMEYER.


John Wiedemeier has kindly provided the following table, which shows the probabilities of sharing a common ancestor within 1-10 generations if there are exact matches with 37 marker Y-DNA tests:

Chance of sharing a Common Ancestor?
Generations % Probability


The remaining question is: what is the significance of the R-M512 Haplogroup? Just recently Ashkenazi Levites are identified as belonging to Y-DNA haplogroup R-M512! Then there are people in Ireland, Germany, England and Finland with this haplogroup. Haplogroup names have changed over time as the understanding of the DNA has advanced. It seems a little hard for me at the moment. Time for a bit of a think about this and a bit more reading! Any definite suggestions? E-mail link at the bottom of this page.

ii) Pronunciation of WEDEMEYER name.

†Descriptions of pronunciation presented difficulties, and the method used is discussed in the note at the end of this section.

The unusual pronunciations in our family could be due to an apparent Y umlaut which GHL used in his signature in official correspondence, and which was also used in Goslar and Moringen church registers when he was baptised, when his parents married and also when his grandfather died. See here for images of these records and a discussion of the Y umlaut.

† Note: Description of pronunciation presented difficulties. The International Phonetic Alphabet would be the least ambiguous, though some symbols could not be reproduced in HTML, and the phonemic notations would create difficulties for many readers. Accordingly, I have described the length of vowels with short " ĭ " and long " ī " symbols, simultaneously referring to words with known pronunciation … eg. "-mī-ur" as in "mire". Any suggestions for better presentation would be gratefully received.

iii) Origin of WEDEMEYER name.

A "Meyer" was a farmer who owned land as a "Bauernlehen" under feudal law in the German Middle Ages. "Bauernlehen" is an old word, meaning a farm lease with obligations of honour and duty to the feudal lord (or owner). "Bauerngut" is a similar word, perhaps meaning a farm where the "Bauernlehen" obligations have been completely fulfilled. The transmission of the "Meyer’s" property was not straightforward. His son or daughter did not automatically receive the land, but had to apply for it. In earlier times, this involved an oath to be faithful and devoted to the feudal lord. By the end of the 1400’s the arrangement was documented in the "Meierbrief", and the occupancy varied between real possession & forms of tenancy. This Meier document spelled out the "Meyer’s" obligations to his feudal lord, which might be money, a number of days labour, or goods… perhaps including seeds, sheaves, manure, a "meat tithe" or a tenth of the new-born foals, calves, piglets, lambs as well as of chickens, geese and bees, and so on.

If we consider the range of spellings of the sound-alike WEDEMEYER names which are detailed earlier in this appendix, then the "Wede" part of the name could come from the presently used word "die Weide" or pasture. Thus, a WEDEMEYER could mean a pastoralist with some sort of an arrangement with a feudal lord, which also gives a broad range of occupational possibilities. On the other hand, AncestryCom takes the narrower view in both the range of spellings and occupations when they suggest this origin: "North German: from the (archaic) Middle Low German wede ‘wood’, ‘forest’ + meier ‘steward’, ‘tenant farmer’, hence either an occupational name for a woodland bailiff or a distinguishing name for a tenant farmer living by a wood or forest". Similarly, Bahlow also puts forward "der Wede" as the origin of names such as WEDEMEYER, WEHMANN, WEHMEYER, WEDEMAN, WEDDE, WOGELWEDDE etc.

Source: Bahlow, H. Dictionary of German names (Deutsches Namenslexikon; transl., ed. Gentry, E). Max Kade Institute for German American Studies, Madison Wisconsin; 2002.


Section 5: Descendancy Report of German-born WEDEMEYERs

This is the complete report.

The Story Continues

Please browse the research that has been done on families that are related to the WEDEMEYERs, all contained on this web site: