Girdler Family Genealogy, USA.

The Voyage!

Dear reader,

I hope you have some enjoyment reading these pages. Myself, as well as others that have contributed to these works, have made a start giving such information that we have and believe reasonably accurate, others who now live, or come after us can accept the challenge and do a better job, using any or all the information we are trying to pass on. Please bear in mind, my intent is that none of our family information be sold "for any purpose whatsoever" and  I sincerely hope no one will discredit our family by doing so.  I would like to credit all family members who have compiled and contributed their family information and to the writers of reference books used. Also to the many who had the foresight to record this information, as they have allowed us to visit for a short time the past and have preserved it for the future. I would like to dedicate our works to "those that came before".

During my working career I had the opportunity to travel to many cities and states and finding myself staying overnight in a hotel or motel. To fill idle time I made a habit of looking through the local phone books and periodicals for a listing of another person named "Girdler" but not one did I ever find except in the Somerset, Kentucky directory area. It appears I just never made it to the right place at the right time.

After I retired, during a visit to the local library, I happened to find a review listed for a "Tom Mercer Girdler" it stated that Tom had written an autobiography "Boot Straps", and also made mention of Tom being proud of his American heritage. I obtained Tom's book and it influenced me to start my research of the American Girdler families. I take time to thank and honor the late Tom Mercer Girdler for his book which opened a door to the Girdler genealogy.

Old England was populated with Girdler families nationwide as their records are to be found in almost every Shire (County) and I would imagine there are many there today. With so many in England it is only natural that one would migrate, as many of his countrymen before him, to an English settlement in this new land. The Girdler name first appears in Marblehead, Massachusetts which was founded in 1629 and was governed by the Salem community for several years. The original founders of Marblehead were fishermen who for many years were believed to have migrated from the Island of Guernsey which is situated in the English Channel. The history of Essex Co., Mass. refers to the probable origin of the first settlers. "Authorities differ as to the exact part of England from which these settlers emigrated, though all agree that they were English, and that they made their settlement in the northeastern part of the town, near the headland now known as Peach's Point. From their manners and customs, but more especially from their peculiar dialect, it seemed that they were natives of the Island of Guernsey or Jersey in the British Channel".

More modern research has determined  those early settlers were possibly Cornish Fishermen from the British County of Cornwall. Cornwall was occupied by Romans, Saxons and Celts before the Norman conquest in 1066. Reference is made to the fact that the Cornish spoke a Celtic language that became extinct late in the 18th century. This is probably the peculiar dialect referred to in the early Essex Co. records.

The first of our name appears in Marblehead records Nov. 16, 1657, "Michell Girdle", there is only one notation on him and I have no knowledge as to his connection with our lineage. The next notation on record, November 1667, Debory Garlier [Deborah Girdler]. September 7, 1671, Fra. Godler [Francis Girdler]. 1672, Fransis Gater [ Francis Girdler]. March 14, 1673, Francis Grodler [Girdler]. October 24, 1673, Francis Godlar [Girdler]. June 21, 1681, Deborah Girdler. July 1, 1685, Deborah Girdler. etc., etc.,  Although several name misspellings are found, subsequent findings verify the correct spelling. Several documents, Salem Church, baptismal records, Town records, Marblehead Church, vital statistics, freeman's oath, estate settlement, etc; provide information on this first family and their descendants. I have attempted to compile and reconstruct these early Marblehead families from the many sources available.

For those with a military point of view, the Girdler name is found throughout. From , "The French and Indian Wars", Through those on the high seas, Bunker Hill, Glover's Marblehead Regiment, with Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware River, and on the Western Frontier at Fort Pitt, etc.  all during the "American Revolution", "War of 1812", "Civil War", "WW I", "WW II", "Korean War", "Vietnam War", and the "Persian Gulf War".

Reading some of the history of our country and seeing the Girdler connection with many of these historical events is quite inspiring. I agree with Tom Mercer Girdler and his statement that we can be proud of our "American Heritage".

Robert Joseph Girdler


                                   Anna- Ahnentafel                      Robert- Ahnentafel

                                  Girdler Lineage-

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