About this site

Welcome to "The Big Tree" which shows the facts I've documented about the three branches of my family tree: my mother's, my father's and my step-father's.  My goal is to include only the information for which I've got reasonable documentation.  I manage this information offline using Gramps and periodically upload new versions to the web site.

Due to the time and hosting space required, I do not upload photos or scans of documents.  However, I do maintain copies offline whenever possible.

Interested researchers and family members may request an account in order to see details on living individuals and facts tagged private.  In addition, source citations are currently available only those with accounts, as some of the text associated with a few citations has information on living people.

Note for those of you coming to this web site through links on Find A Grave or other sites: this is not the best way to contact me for things not directly related to the trees presented here.

This family tree was last updated on October 10, 2022. There are 2,704 surnames in this family tree. If you have any comments or feedback please contact Philip Weiss.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 6:16 PM
Ludwig Heigl
Sunday, September 4, 2022 8:34 PM

Ludwig Heigl of Grant County, Wisconsin is known to be the nephew of Anton Weiss, son of his sister Elisabetha.  I've started adding more about his family to the site.  My hope is that a descendant knows more about Elisabetha Weiss and her husband Peter Heigl. I believe they stayed in Germany but know very little about them.

Guy DeLoss Knapp & Jennie Elliott Samms
Saturday, July 30, 2022 4:27 PM

The Big Tree now has descendants of Guy DeLoss Knapp and Jennie Elliott Samms added.

Knapp tree
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 8:18 PM

I've have begun adding people from the Knapp family tree to this site, starting with Guy Deloss Knapp and his descendants.

Abner Hathaway descendants
Saturday, February 5, 2022 11:32 PM

I have completed the initial descendant tree for Abner Hathaway.  A number of errors that found their way into the 1970 Hathaways of America book have been corrected for this web site. 

Schuyler Colfax Hathaway and Benjamin Hathaway added
Sunday, January 31, 2021 11:58 PM

Descendants of Schuyler Colfax Hathaway have been added.  This branch is a bit interesting because the Hathaways of America book did not have any information about his son Vernon Elester except that he'd perished when the St. Francis Dam collapsed near Los Angeles.

Also, coincidentally, Schuyler Colfax and his brother Benjamin died on the same day, 3 Jul 1922. Schuyler in California, and Benjamin in Wisconsin.

Alice Ellen Hathaway
Saturday, October 31, 2020 11:39 PM

As of this update (31 Oct 2020), The Big Tree now has descendants of Alice Ellen Hathaway, wife of John Wesley Rose.

July 2020 Update: James Alexander Hathaway branch
Saturday, August 1, 2020 4:05 PM

All the descendants of James Alexander Hathaway that I could easily verify have been added.

July 2020 update
Sunday, June 28, 2020 11:41 PM

I've uploaded the July 2020 update a couple of days early.  The James Alexander Hathaway tree has more branches now.  And I spent a couple of weeks adding latitude and longitude to places.

June 2020 update
Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:04 PM

For the June 2020 update, the biggest change is that I've upgraded the site to Webtrees 2.0.  Most things should be the same, but the look and feel is slightly different and URLs as well.

The genealogy data includes new descendants of James Alex Hathaway.

May 2020 update: semi-complete Deborah Sheedy descendents
Sunday, May 3, 2020 7:49 PM

The latest update to the tree (uploaded 3 May 2020) includes a pretty complete tree of descendents of Deborah Sheedy.  The last month saw additions of her children with James Carey.  

More Sheedy descendants in latest update
Sunday, April 5, 2020 11:34 PM

The latest update includes significant descendant trees for John Ryan and Catherine Lewis, William Dennis Ryan and both his wives, and Mary Ann Ryan and Walter Hicklin.

William Lewis and Catherine Ryan descendants
Sunday, September 29, 2019 8:30 PM

The newest update (uploaded 29 Sep 2019) includes descendants of William Lewis and Catherine Ryan, 230 in total.

May update - Starting on Ryan descendents
Thursday, May 30, 2019 11:52 PM

May's update concludes the major work I plan to do on the descendants of Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy.  I will fill in here and there when I learn new facts, but I don't plan to spend much effort filling out the branch.  There's enough in there now that nearly all descendants should be able to recognize a parent or grandparent to see if they connect.

I have started on similar work for the descendants of Deborah Sheedy and her two husbands, John Ryan and James Carey.  I'm hoping that somewhere in this research as well I will find clues as to where in Ireland the Ryans came from.    I've seen locations attached to them on internet published trees, but no evidence to back those up.  I hope to find some.

March update
Monday, April 1, 2019 8:17 AM

Continuing to add more Parker descendants.  Frank Parker's branch is relatively complete, and the update includes more descendants of Julia Parker Kenefick.

New Iowa Parker updates
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 5:30 PM

The December 2018 update fills out a lot of details on descendants of Patrick Parker and Carrie Ulrich who lived in Iowa.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018 5:38 PM

The latest update includes more information on James Leland Parker's family and descendants, who moved to Saskatchewan about 1911.  Newspapers.com has a pretty good run of the the Leader-Post, which most of this latest information is pulled from.

James Parker
Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:03 PM

September I continued to work on the descendants of James Parker.  Those records are now updated.

More data from James Parker branch
Sunday, September 9, 2018 11:44 AM

James Parker is the son of Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy who went west to California.  I've added a fair number of people to his branch, now that I have documentation.

However, I still do not have information on what happened to his wife, Ellen Neagle Parker. If any researcher has information or documentation on her, please contact me.

New host
Saturday, August 25, 2018 7:51 PM

This past week I moved hosting for this site to a new provider.  There shouldn't be much difference, but the new host supports Let's Encrypt certificates.  That means logging in here is more secure, and it's a lot harder to snoop on web traffic.

Data refreshed
Monday, May 30, 2016 8:49 AM

New data covers a lot of difference parts of my tree, but the largest part of the update is in the descendants ot Frank Parker and Ellen Kenefick.


Data refreshed
Sunday, December 27, 2015 6:07 PM

I've refreshed the data again.  No specific focus this time.  Just adding more people and events that have solid sources.  I still have quite a few documents that need to be processed before I really start researching again.


Data refreshed
Monday, June 29, 2015 5:10 AM

I've refreshed the data again today.  It includes information gathered from a couple of free weekends using ArkivDigital's Swedish church records.

New data uploaded
Saturday, November 29, 2014 7:59 PM

I've uploaded new data.  Approximately 400 more people are added.  They aren't fully documented, but the citations that exist are pretty solid.

New data
Saturday, August 2, 2014 8:13 PM

I have begin the process of adding people and events from the old tree based on verified sources and have uploaded the first batch.  "New" data is primarily in the Parker and Ryan lines.

Birth: calculated 1806
Burial: after August 22, 1871Saint Johns Cemetery, Patch Grove Township, Grant, Wisconsin, United States
Birth: estimated 1802 Ireland, United Kingdom
Death: April 28, 1874Iowa, United States
Birth: April 20, 1831 36 32 Port Jefferson, Salem Township, Shelby, Ohio, United States
Death: December 23, 1901Abner Hathaway farm, Spring Brook Township, Dunn, Wisconsin, United States
Birth: December 23, 1872 28 22 Pittsville, Wood, Wisconsin, United States
Death: July 18, 19481850 Washington Ave, Enumclaw, King, Washington, United States
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Top 10 given names


Given names
Given name Individuals
John 251
William 219
James 211
Robert 142
Michael 122
Thomas 113
Joseph 103
David 98
Charles 95
Richard 82


Given names
Given name Individuals
Mary 194
Ann 186
Marie 158
Elizabeth 114
Anna 108
Maria 73
Jean 69
M. 64
Lynn 61
Margaret 60
Top 10 surnames
Surname Individuals
Jensen Jorgensen
Parker Cates
Otterness Smith