The creation of this Kilts book has been an exciting event in my life! And the first person I wish to thank is my wife, Doris, who has been so patient and understanding as I spent hundreds of hours at the computer keyboard to create this Schäffer book and the literally thousands of hours that I spent to create my family file of over 65,000 people. I retired from a full time job to retirement and my hobby, genealogy. I have kept busy, at times spending 35 to 40 hours per week at the computer. I don't regret the time spent as it has been a labor of love.
In 1996 I published a book on my wife's family, the Waltermires, WALTERMIRE FAMILY TREE, THE DESCENDANTS OF GEORGE (JURY) WALDENMEYER, EMIGRANT TO AMERICA. It includes 1,193 descendants of George (Jury) Waldenmeyer, and, if you count spouses too, there are 1,692 people listed in the book. The book is soft cover, spiral bound, 269 pages, indexed and there are still some copies available for sale, $25.00, plus $5.00 postage.
My next publication effort, in 1998 was in cooperation with Barbara Empie Greene, THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHAN ERNST EMICHEN, EMIGRANT TO AMERICA, which included 3,915 of his American descendants. The Canadian side of the family is to be Volume II and published in a couple years. The book is soft cover, perfect bound, 800 pages, indexed, and there are still some copies available for sale, $35.00, plus $5.00 postage.
My third publication, 1999, was THE DESCENDANTS OF MARIA ELIZABETH SCHÄFFER, EMIGRANT TO AMERICA, 2 volumes, soft cover, perfect bound, over 1500 pages, indexed, which included in 14 generations 8,168 descendants and if you count spouses, too, there are 12,241 descendants listed. A limited number of copies are still available for sale, $55.00, plus $5.00 postage (American).
And now this, my fourth publication, THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHANN CONRAD KILTS, EMIGRANT TO AMERICA, 1999, 2 volumes, soft cover, perfect bound, over 1400 pages, indexed, which includes in 15 generations 6,468 descendants and if you count spouses, too, there are 9,872 descendants listed.
Family members who have been most helpful, in addition to my wife, Doris, and daughter, Melissa, are my three sisters, Florence, Ruth and Martha. Florence and Martha have edited over 500 pages of this Kilts book and have contributed many editorial suggestions so that the final effort is a professional product of which we are all proud! And I thank my neighbor, Annette De Lyser, for proof reading and editing all of the reports in this book.
My first cousin, Henry Lyker, (our mothers were sisters) and I spent many enjoyable days visiting Kilts and Schäffer relatives in Montgomery and Schoharie Counties, NY, getting their family trees. He died 9 November 1994, and I miss him sorely.
Another who has been most helpful is Helen Nellis, Stone Arabia, Palatine, Montgomery Co., NY. She has always encouraged me to continue my research, record my findings and to publish them.
A special debt of gratitude is to Carolyn Sidenius, A-7 Valley View Courts, Little Falls, NY 13365, for her careful research and recording of the many Kilts's found in her publications: DESCENDANTS OF LIEUT. HENRY TIMMERMAN of Herkimer County, New York, 1988; DESCENDANTS OF PETER AND ANNA KILTS SNELL, 1992 (a listing of over 3,00 descendants of Ann Kilts); DESCENDANTS OF GEORGE TIMMERMAN (1734-1800) of Mohawk Valley, New York, 1995;
One of the first to research and record information on the Kilts family was Harry Stamm who was a school principal in Brooklyn, NY. His printed record still lives on.
My mother was also an avid genealogist for over 70 years and spent most of her time researching the Kilts family. She was commended by Henry Z. Jones, Jr., in his publication, MORE PALATINE FAMILIES, 1991, page 149: "Florence Zula Shafer Witthoft of Chatham, N.Y. - an early supporter of my Palatine investigations".
Henry Z. Jones, Jr., inscribed my copy of his book, MORE PALATINE FAMILIES, with this tribute to my mother:
"To Herman Witthoft, Sr. - With best personal regards. So much of your mother's wonderful spirit is in this book, as she was such a valued supporter of my research in the early stages of my Palatine project! I hope you enjoy the Kilts material especially. Cordially - Henry Z. ("Hank") Jones, Jr., 8 Jul 1991".
Another who contributed to the Kilts research was Milford Decker in his creation of his "Five Books" about the family.
Also, additional research by David Kendall Martin culminated in his publication, THE MOHAWK VALLEY KILTS FAMILY IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY (West Chazy, 1985). Henry Z. Jones, Jr. says it is "an excellent source to be studied regarding this family".
Others who have contributed to my efforts are Fannie Cooper Dart and Ralph Kilts. There are many, many other who have been helpful too, but they are too numerous to mention here. Without repeating the information, their names are listed in the Correspondents listing which follows.
I thank all of you; you too can be proud of this publication, THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHANN CONRAD KILTS!
July 1999 Herman Wellington Witthoft, Sr.
Table of Contents, Kilts
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