The Gongwer/Gongaware Family Tree

Home to 585 Gongwer family members, 57 Gongaware descendants, 20 members of the Balliet family and family histories of 87 other surnames; this website was created on Nov 28 2008 and last updated on Apr 25 2017. The Family Trees on this website contain 2070 relatives and 160 photos. If you have any questions or comments you may send a Message to the Administrator of this site.

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  • Gongwer
  • Gongaware
  • Balliet
  • Miller
  • Baker
  • Hobby
  • Fike
  • Haas
  • Holdeman
  • Koenig
  • NOTE FROM THIS SITE'S CREATOR/ADMINISTRATOR: In 2014 I stopped updating this tree. I copied it over to, which is the site that I now use. If you'd like to view (and even Edit) the Gongwer tree, just drop me a note at this site's Guest Book, and I'll send you an invitation to access that tree. Thx. Geoff “This Family Tree sprouts from immigrant Jacob Gangwyer, born 1677 (possibly son of Heinrich (Gangwyer)), who came from Rotterdam, Germany to Philadelphia, PA on the ship "James Goodwill" in 1727. Jacob settled in Northampton Co., PA. In the 1850’s, one of his sons, Michael, moved to Westmoreland Co., PA, where the family name became known as "Gongaware". The family lived near the site of the Battle of Bushy Run ( see Links), and there is a Gongaware Road that runs along the edge of the battlefield present-day park, in Jeannette, PA. Subsequently, one of Michael’s sons, Joseph, and one of Michael’s grandsons, Philip* (son of Philip G. Gongaware) moved to Columbiana County, OH, and Richland County, OH, around 1803 and 1823, respectively. In their new lands, ~100 miles apart, both Joseph’s and Philip’s family’s last names began being spelled "Gongwer", thus giving birth to this new spelling of the family name. Some researchers believe that the original family name (Gangwyer) itself was made up by Jacob, since there is no known record of such a name in Germany [Personal observation from this site's administrator: This theory, together with the translation of the name, would tie together with Jacob having possibly been a soldier in Germany]. UPDATE (2013): suggests that immigrant Jacob's last name may have been Ganghofer, a common name in Bavaria, possibly indicating residence in or near the city of Gangkofen]. One important note regarding the given names of early Gangwehr/Gongaware family members: In church records, it was the tradition of the Reformist religion to preceed males' given name with the name "Johan". For example, a Phillip Gongaware's baptismal record may list his name as "Johan Phillip Gongaware". This seems to have led to much confusion in genealogical research regarding the given name of many of our male Pennsylvania ancestors in the 1700's and early 1800's, as such a name seems to have often been interpreted as a given name of "John". A true given name of "John" was "Johannes". The information in this Family Tree has come from tireless efforts by many sources. Primary sources which deserve prominent recognition are: Helen Ruth (Gongaware) Lindsay (Jeanette, PA); Mrs. Margaret Gongwer Gault; The document "Early Members of the Gongwer,Gongaware,Ganger Families, by Harry C. Hershey (1/72), with contributions by Paul Gongaware (Greensburg, PA), Goldia Gangwer Winter (Muskegon, MI), and Robert Gongaware (Latrobe, PA); and "Descendants of Jacob Gangwehr", by Gordon Koerner, published c. 1990; Warren Arthur gongwer (b.1918); Louis Elton Gongwer (b.1923); and contributions by *MANY* other Gongwers, too many to mention here, who have provided additional information over the years. [As of 2013]: A *fabulous* genealogical work by Mr. Koerner can be found at, with several generations of the descendants of immigrant Jacob Gangwere found starting at page 255. I hope that you enjoy the site. And if you don't mind, please sign our Guest Book, and include in your comment where you live. Thx!

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