Sunday, December 09, 2007

a US general in the family ?

Way back in the early 80s, when Ronald Reagan kindly offered to station lots of Pershing II missiles in Germany, and we were involved in the movement trying to stop that from happening, we used to joke that the general John Joseph Pershing after whom the missiles were named, might be a relative of mine, as my great-grandmother was born Pfersching.

Now I've had a closer look at this, and while I can't quite prove it, the possibility appears to be quite real. The general, like most of the thousands of Pershings in America, is a descendant of Frederick Pershing (1724-1794), born Friedrich Pfersching in Alsace, who sailed from Amsterdam to Pennsylvania on the ship "Jacob" in 1749. While there is lots of information on the lives of Frederick and his descendants, I have found nothing whatsoever on his ancestors. Except that family traditions say they were French Huguenots (as the name Pfershing is definitely German, this tradition may refer to maternal lines?!)

My eponymous ancestor in that generation is Johann Leonhard Pfersching, who married Margaretha NN in Flehingen, Baden (just across the Rhine from Alsace!) in 1759. His father Johannes Pfersching was a cartwright, but I have no further information about him.

So beyond the name and geographic proximity, evidence for any link remains to be found ...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails