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Duke Mike, Lord of All Things Cable

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I thought this news warranted an update. I’ve been introduced (mostly virtually) to a lot of my birth mother’s family. One of the most interesting is our cousin Ruud Wolff (best name ever) from Amsterdam, who’s been tracing our lineage. As well as learning about some Jewish heritage, we’ve also had some more interesting news regarding another branch of the family.

Apparently, we’re directly descended from folks who lived in Dukedom / Duchy of Gulik in Germany. Here’s the scoop from Ruud:

Hi Guys,

I have linked you to my site on My Heritage.
You should receive a mail message form My Heritage.

On the site select the Wolff-Waterman-Roeper tree to see all the details.

Attached I send you 3 Excel sheets, with the direct lines from Dianne to:
– Emanuel Benjamin Wolff (born sometime around 1740)

– Nephtali Meijer (born sometime around 1740)

– Jacob Goedhart (born sometime around 1790)

– Joseph Jochem Cohen (born sometime around 1710)

– Samuel Salomon Hennepzeel (born sometime in 1790)

– Jan Johannes Vits (born on 21-Nov-1717)

I have more info on the last one (Vits-line). I have attached the Coat-of-Arms that belong to the VITS-family.

Dianne’s and mine grandmother (Jacoba Viets) is a direct descendant from Johan Wilhelm Vits. He was born on 4-Jan-1748 in Rheydt (part of the dukedom / duchy of Gulik in Germany). He was twice married. First to Maria Cürlis (born in Waldniel, also in the dukedom of Gulik). They had two sons. From the first (Jan Vits) come all known descendants in Holland (family name Vits changed in Viets).

The second son (Marinus Vits) has most likely gone back to Germany. He later returned to The Netherlands, because he died on 12-Apr-1874 in Wageningen, Netherlands, age 86 for those times very old. From this second son, Marinus, are no known descendants, but in Germany the name Viets can be found in some places.

The second marriage of Johan Wilhelm Vits was with Breunisse Geurts. They were both over 40 years old and they had no children form this marriage.

In the USA there is also a family Viets, but if this is family … who knows? Probably a Vits ancestor came from Breisach (Germany) to the USA. According to the register of the First Dutch Reform Church of New York this area (Breisach) was in Sweden. During the 30-years war this area was twice attacked by Swedish forces in 1633 and later in 1638. This is probably the reason why Breisach in the New York register is placed in Sweden, rather than in Germany. Since Breisach has been destroyed several time, we can never be sure about this history.

Back to the Coat-of-Arms.

The St.Vitus monastery in München-Gladbach, Germany had an estate in Rheydt, which was called the St.Vitus estate, also known as the Vits farm. This estate was given in hereditary tenure by the abbot of the monastery to Christian ter Heyden. This was on 14-Feb-1471 (Valentine’s Day). The original treaty to this is in the State Archive in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Christian ter Heyden occupied the St.Vitus estate together with his wife Grete. In those times a farm estate was a stronghold and more important than a family name. From that time Christian and his descendants called themselves after the estate and took the name Vits as family name.

Coat-of-Arms (in the archive in Solingen, Germany)


A portrayel os Saint Vitus: A man with brown curly hair and a halo. The saint wears a red with silver tunic. In his right hand a green palm branch. The left hand on his heart.

On his helmet a black lion. In its claws a red stone with a square hole in the middle.

You might be impressed by my research skills in the Coat-of-Arms and this bit of history. In truth this information was give to my father and me in 1991 by Cees Viets, who had researched the Viets name.

Lots of love,

Fancy! I’ve asked when we can collect our treasure and titles. No word back yet. I’m learning how to hold my breath for a very long time. It’s fun to learn where I come from.

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