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Welcome! This website was created on 03 May 2007 and last updated on 19 Oct 2018. The family trees on this site contain 6891 relatives and 48 photos. If you have any questions or comments you may send a message to the Administrator of this site.

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About From Across the Pond - The Welcher (Witcher) family and more...
Christchurch, Hampshire County, England, 1838, the birth of 
William Whitcher. William's story is partly fact and partly legend. 
William was apparently born out of wedlock, or became an orphan at a very young age.Legend has 
it that his father died while serving in the British Navy. At the age of 12 William was 
abandoned by his mother to a "Workhouse" where he had to work or beg for his keep. The 1851 
census lists William, and a John Whitcher age 9 (possibily a relative) as inmates in a 
workhouse in Christchurch. 

Its not known how long he served in the workhouse,but at the age of 22, according to legend, 
William's life was about to change forever. It's 1860 Scotland.  William is a labourer working 
on the docks in Dundee harbor. It was there that he met and befriended Capt. William Kean of 
Pool's Island, Newfoundland. Kean is in Dundee to take possession of the S.S. Wolf for its new 
owners, Grieve & Co. from St. John's. The Wolf would become the first steam ship to be used in 
the Seal hunt of the coast of Newfoundland. Ironically, the Wolf was the first steamer to sink 
while prosecuting the seal hunt.It was crushed by an iceberg in 1871. William wanted to travel 
to Newfoundland along with Kean on the Wolf, but the Captain of the vessel, Capt. Givens, would 
not allow it. On a cold dark night,in January, 1861, William, not one to give up easily, crept 
silently and unnoticed aboard the Wolf and hid below in the stores. His new journey was about 
to begin. 2 days out in the cold north Atlantic, crew members found William cold and hungry 
hiding below. Capt. Givens placed William in the care of Kean until they reached Newfoundland. 
William moved to  Pool's Island and worked as an apprentice for Kean and eventually moved to 
Flower's Island where he met and married Maria(Mariah) Sturge. William and Maria had 12 
children and relocated to Nor Wes Arm in the late 1880's. He died there in 1915 at the age of 
77.


Surname: Witcher
One obstacle researchers may have to contend with while doing genealogy is the various 
spellings of the same surname.  For example, Kean has been spelled Caine, Kane and Keanes. The 
name Welcher, is no different.  Over the decades it has been spelled, Whitcher, Wiltshire, 
Wilsher, Witcher, and finally Welcher. For the purpose of this site, when referring to the more 
modern day name, you will see it spelled Welcher... for the earlier names, Witcher or Whitcher 
will be used. In either case, it refers to the same family line.

 This interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two distinct 
possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Whitcher may be an 
occupational name for a maker of chests deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century 
"hwicce", chest, with the addition of the agent suffix "-er". Early examples of the name 
include: Robert le Wiccher and Robert le Whicchere, noted respectively in "Middle English 
Surnames of Occupation", Sussex (1285), and Hampshire (1333), and the synonymous William le 
Wyccewrichte (Somerset, 1256). As the Olde English "wic", hamlet, dairy-farm, dwelling, became 
both "wike" and "wiche" in Middle English, the surname may also be topographical in origin for 
a dweller at a dairy farm, the "-er" in this case, implying "dweller at". Alternatively, the 
name may denote "dairy farmer", as in Peter le Wycher (Worcestershire, 1327). In the modern 
idiom the surname is variously spelt: Whitcher, Whicher and Witcher. On June 5th 1615, Thomas 
Whitcher and Elizabeth Newby were married at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London. The first 
recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wicher, which was dated 
1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The 
Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames 
became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known 
asPoll Tax. 

This site contains information on a variety of people and topics.  While I have endeavoured to 
verify all sources, there is always the possibility of human error.  If you find something here 
that you believe to be inaccurate, please contact me either by email or through my guess book 
with the correct information and I will make the necessary changes.

All input regarding the content of this site is welcome.
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Getting Around
There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.

In addition to the charts and reports you have Photo Albums, the Events list and the Relationships tool. Family photographs are organized in the Photo Index. Each Album's photographs are accompanied by a caption. To enlarge a photograph just click on it. Keep up with the family birthdays and anniversaries in the Events list. Birthdays and Anniversaries of living persons are listed by month. Want to know how you are related to anybody ? Check out the Relationships tool.


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