2005: European origin of Devilbiss family found!

After about three years of research, I was able to solve one of the big mysteries in early 18th century immigration research.

A family, spelled "Debelbesin" in the ship passenger list, arrived with ship "Britannia" in Philadelphia in 1731. The family consisted of a number of siblings: Michael, Hans, Georg, Magdalena, and Caspar, being between 22 and 10 years of age in that year.  The family settled in Monocacy, Frederick Co., MD, from 1736 onwards. Michael, Georg and Caspar have numerous descendants, who go by a wide diversity of family name spellings: Devilbiss, DeVilbiss, Divelbiss, Divelbliss, and many more. Anyone in America with a family name like this is descended from the 1731 immigrant family.

Three years of intensive research on the European side finally led to the discovery of Caspar's baptism entry in 1721. His parents were named Samuel Teuffelbess and Magdalena. Unfortunately, it turned out that Samuel was a cow-herder and seems to have moved around quite a bit. We can be reasonable sure of their place of living between 1721 and 1731, but we do not yet know where the family lived before 1721. This also means that the baptism entries for the other children have not yet been discovered, but there is no doubt at all that we finally found the right family.

Back to News