Conrad Updegrove

(Great, great grandfather of Earl Updegrove)

Note from Bob Updegrove:  The following blog post (in black type) was written by Les Updegrove of Schaumburg, IL. The original posting can be found HERE. This appears to be the only post he made on this blog site.

For context, Edward Updegrove’s lineage is directly linked to the original Op den Graeff families that founded Germantown, Pa in the 1600’s. Many genealogies have Conrad Updegrove as Edward’s (twin) brother. If true that would mean Conrad’s lineage (our lineage) can also be traced to Germantown. If not true, then Conrad’s lineage goes in a different and currently unknown direction.

Conrad Updegrove (circa 1770-1870) genealogy - Father is not John William Updegrove

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I would like to share with you why Conrad Updegrove (b. bet. 1766- 1778 d. 1863-72) of Dauphin Co., PA is not the twin of Edward Updegrove (b1771- d. <1850) of Berks Co., PA and his father is not John William Opdengraff(sic) as typically found in many family trees. Throughout the analysis below Conrad is referred to as Conrad of Dauphin County since historically he was among the first settlers in what is now Williamstown, Dauphin County. Edward was born and raised his family in the area around Oley , PA Berks County and therefore he is referred to as Edward of Berks County.

Below is a typical Tree that Conrad Updegrove has been included :

Herman op den Graeff(1585–1642) 

1. Isaac op den Graeff (1616–1679)

1. Hermann Isacks op den Graeff (1642–1708)

2. Derrick Isacks op den Graeff(1646–1697)

3. Abraham op den Graeff(1649–1731)

4. Margaretha op den Graeff (* 1651)

5. Jacob op den Graeff (* 1653)

6. Adolphus op den Graeff (1653–1680)

1. Frederick Opdengraff

1. John William Opdengraff (1732–1800)

1. Fronica Updegrove (* 1756)

2. Anna Magdalena Updegrove (* 1759)

3. Peter Updegrove (* 1766)

4. Conrad Updegrove (1771 ?–1865 ?) - Dauphin Co. PA

1. John Updegrove (1805–1864)

2. Solomon (1809-1884)

5. Edward Updegrove (1771–1850) - Berks Co. PA

1. Thomas Updegrove (1796–1872)

2. Jacob Opdegrove (1798–1873)

3. John Updegrove (1804–1870)

4. Solomon Updegrove (1812–1884)

Note : I added the “?” By Conrad dates as they are part of the analysis below and are questionable.

Since the information and analysis is rather lengthy here is a recap of the conclusions :

1. Edward had a twin probably named Isaac or possibly Conrad born 1771

2. The Conrad found in Dauphin Co records data seems to indicate he was not born in 1771

3. No paper trail connecting Conrad of Dauphin to Edward of Berks

4. DNA convincingly shows that the descendants of Conrad of Dauphin are not related to Edward of Berks descendants and thus Conrad of Dauphin was not the twin of Edward. This unfortunately seems to leave the family genealogy of Conrad of Dauphin ending with him.

Background information :

Edward Updegrove

Born November 27, 1771 in PA Berks County

Baptized Dec 29, 1771 in St Josephs Union Church (aka Oley Hill Church) PA Berks County

Died before before 1850 Berks Co, PA. All well documented and original source documented. He appears on various census, tax and estate records.

From researchers Clyde (Updegraff) Shank and Dr. Franklyn E. Edwards :

Conrad is the earliest ancestor of a large number of descendants in what is now Western Schuylkill, upper Dauphin southern North Cumberland counties. Conrad was among the first settlers in what is now Williamstown, Dauphin county. In a deed on which is name appears it is written “ Updegraff” but his descendants early changed to “Updegrove. The first Conrad record is dated Oct 9, 1803 when he and wife, Elizabeth Angst, were confirmed at Jacob’s Lutheran Church near Pine Grove, Schuylkill county. He was a laborer, a farmer, and a mill operator. He attended St. JohnsLutheran Church, Mifflin Township. He resided in many counties, but mostly

in Dauphin County. Married before 1803 Elizabeth Angst ( b. Jan 1778 ) who was a widow. Died : Circa April 1872 Williamstwon – Age 94.

1. Ancestral , surname and geographical considerations :

 There is a lot of of primary and good deal of secondary documentation on the Germantown original Op den Graeff families that would lead to a general hypothesis that all families with similar surnames have common ancestors in the 1650-1750 time frame. Updegrove / Updegraff is a fairly unique surname and the families of both Edward and Conrad trace their individual family lines back into the 1700’s in Pennsylvania with good paper trails. It would be a reasonable assumption that Edward families of Berks Co. and Conrad families of Dauphin Co. are connected and also connected to the Germantown original families.

 Edward was born and established his family in the Oley PA area of Berks County, PA. Conrad while his birth year questionable he established his family in what is now Western Schuylkill, upper Dauphin, and southen Northcumberland counties PA. Geographically Oley PA area and central Dauphin/ adjacent counties are about 50-60 miles distance. It seems reasonable to suggest that these two families lines would be connected.

Clyde Updegraff Shank /Dr. Franklyn E. Edwards in their Eleven Volumes of Family Sheets of Known descendants of Herman Op den Graeff found at PA. State Library and Genealogical Society of Pa. Shank/Edwards were able to find supporting evidence / documentation of several 1000 Updegraff/Updegrove/etc individuals and about 8 family group sheets that all linked back to known Germantown PA original 1683 families. They also documented 4-5 family groups that they could not find a Germantown descendants connection ( aka “unconnected families”.) They were very through even obtaining affidavits where informaton from people were thought to be correct but that they could not find primary source material. As of 2012 several of the Shank/Edwards famlies groups having good paper trails to Germantown descendants had their DNA tested and shown to be related as expected. Two of the “unconnected families” were tested ; one showing positive linkage with the the Germantown known family groups and the other showing no connection.

From this it appears that not all southeastern Updegraff/Updegrove PA families with origins back into the 1700’s or earlier have common ancestral connections even though sharing a unique surname, and geographically co-located.

2. Birth year comparison for Edward of Berks & Conrad of Dauphin Co.

Edward was born and his baptism is documented in Oley Hill Church (St. Jospeh’s) Pike Township Berks County PA . He and his family are well documented through censuses ,tax records, wills etc through 1850. Edward’s birth was recorded as 1771 and his baptism record supports that he was a twin. Conrad’s birth based on census records vary a bit put his birth is the same general time frame as Edward.


While it is difficult to read it appears :

John Oppdegraff born ????

 n’  baptised ? 2 December


_______ n’ Edward

 Conrad Bohem & Magdalene --à Sponsors for Edward

 Carl Weiss , Eva Catharine -à 2nd set of sponsors


First Conrad record Oct. 9, 1803 when he and wife Elizabeth Angst were confirmed at Jacob’s Church (Lutheran) near Pine Grive, Schuylkill co. His age was given as 25 3¾.

è Shank/ Edwards had a copy of the confirmation record and this would represent a primary source document. One that Conrad himself would have likely inputted his information directly. From this confirmation record Conrad’s birth year would have been about 1778 vs Edward’s 1771.

Conrad of Dauphin county possible birth years :

Per 1803 confirmation record - 1778

Per 1850 census - 1773

Per 1860 census – 1766

Per church burial records – 1768

The census and even the church burial records are not considered primary sources and obviously there is a good deal of variation (accuracy) of the records.

In the Schuylkill County Pennsylvania: Genealogy, Family History - 1916 there is a bio of Conrad and some of his descendants but it does not have any information regarding his age or his ancestors.

3. Same man question

Assuming that Edward’s twin was named Conrad and assuming Conrad of Duaphin birth year could be confirmed to be the same as Edward what evidence is there to connect the two men?

June Shaull Lutz researcher and publisher of History of the Op Den Graeff Opdegraff Family, 1988 stated the possible connection of Conrad to Edward. In June book she stated :

" Isaac or Edward -/Conrad Optegraff b-twin 11/27/1771, bapt. 12/29/1771, sp: Carl Weiss A Eva. C. The following records were found and are no doubt this same Conrad:Conrad Opdegrove b- census says 1773, Shanks says 1778, but it has been found through much research that these records are not "absolute",andthe author of this book feels this is all the same man.d- 1865 Williamstown, Dauphin Co., Pa.-94y 3m 15d m - after 1751 Elizabeth Angst b-1773, but records for the St. Jacobs Church, Pine Grove twp., now Schuylkill Co., was Berks Co.until 1811, Pa. show that Conrad & Elizabeth were both age 25 A 3/4 when they were confirmed there 10/9/1803, if I am right then these are the same Conrads …”

è Clearly June is stating her conjecture that Conrad of Dauphin Co. is the twin of Edward. She references the Shank/Edwards information (confirmation document) indicating 25+ yrs old in 1803 or birth year abt 1778 not 1771 (Edward’s birth year) so she mention that ages and dates can vary over the years. The confirmation record as stated before would be considered a primary source and more likely correct. But even if the twin was named Conrad and if Conrad of Dauphin birth year could be proven to be the same as Edward & twin there would be only circumstantial evidence to say that the Conrad of Dauphin Co is the same person as Edward’s twin. This is salient in this analysis and needs to stated with emphasized. Simply because there was a man named Conrad Updegrove in Dauphin county documentation it takes more then a leap of faith to assume that he is the twin of a man born in Berks county maybe named Isaac or Conrad.

4. Indexed Church Records of the Oley Hill Church (St. Joseph’s ) Pike Township Berk Co., PA showed both Edward and Conrad. Possibly key source document.

The Reformed Church Index records first edition and then a 1938 revised/updated edition showed Edward without Conrad but a master copy held by the Reformed Historical Society in 1990 had Conrad penciled in. A genealogist in Reading PA found a copy in 1987 that had added Conrad in the typed document in agreement with the penciled version. That begs a couple of questions : who made the changes and what was the source for the changes. When June Lutz passed away her research reords were passed along to me for my direct line (i.e. Edward lineage ) and contained her work with the late Jacob W Updegrove of Hawaii (my 3rd cousin) and stated that per his notes when viewing the English translation of the original German church records Isaac listed as being baptized on the same day as Edward.

The original Pastor who performed the baptism for Edward and his twin only included Edward’s name as noted above. The Church records used of indexing may have additional information and they may have recorded the name of both twins but the first and 2nd Indexed editions did not contain the twin’s name.

Lastly : Shank/Edwards as noted by June never had a Conrad in the family group sheet but did included an Isaac.

5. The LDS file(IGI file ?) with “ Edward + [and ?] Conrad “ seemed to be updated from showing only Edward to including Conrad with [?] By Robin Kornides

è No source documents so using LDS info would be questionable.

Summary and conclusions - what we do know – where does this leave us :

1. The connection of Conrad of Dauphin county to Edward of Berks ( son of father Johann Wilhelm OpdenGraff) relies on Conrad being the twin of Edward. This is not simply whether or not Edward’s twin was named Conrad but if it was then is the the same Conrad found in Williamsburg Duaphin Co early 1800 records.

2. Birth year + :

 a. Edward of Berks Co. born 1771 and had a twin per original pastor baptism records. Twins name did not appear on baptism record.

 b. Conrad of Dauphin Co. birth seems more likley to be 1778 then 1771 based on confirmation record.

3. Church Indexed records:

a. Chruch released about 1920 & then revised/updated in 1938 listed only Edward.

b. Church Indexed records or Master copy found in 1987 included Conrad as twin of Edward

c. Jacob W. Udpegrove in Nov. 1988 communication with researcher June Lutz who published , History of the Op Den Graef / Updegraff Family book said based on his notes taken when he saw an English translation of the original German church records that Isaac was listed as the twin. I have not verified this.

Using the Church Index records is not straight forward as there seems that over time information was added and the original source(s) are not known. The Church records ( indexed or original ) can not be used to prove that the Conrad of Dauphin Co. is the twin of Edward of Berks.

4. Researchers Shank/Edwards in their 11 volume genealogy of the descendants of Herman Op den Graeff family group sheets listed Edward and Isaac as children of Johann Wilhelm Op den Graeff of Oley PA who is the father of Edward of Berks. There was no Conrad in the family group sheet.

5. Researcher June Lutz in her book listed “Issac or / Conrad” as the twin. She stated that Shank/Edwards research had give the Conrad of Dauphin Co. a birth year of 1778 based on Conrad’s confirmation records. She also stated that one census had an estimated birth of 1773 for Conrad Updegrove of Williamstown Dauphin Co. PA and that she “ “feels” that this Conrad of Williamstown was the same person found in the Oley church records” (i.e. twin of Edward).

 Copied directly from her book :


6. Many Internet family researchers have picked up from one another that Conrad of Dauphin Co. was the twin of Edward of Berks. It is now very pervasive and included in many genealogies , Wiki postings , international family histories, etc. The few that have a reference source usually trace back to another person who referenced another person etc without any even secondary source(s) actually provided. After following up several of these it seems like the most likely source trace back to June Lutz’s book which as stated above does not provide any source for the connection of Conrad of Dauphin Co. to the Edward of Berks family. It was just her feeling.

7. Regardless whether Edward’s twin name was Isaac or Conrad which remains very questionable the more important aspect is that there is no known evidence to link the Conrad found in Dauphin Co records to Edward of Berks. Searching for additional documentation and hopefully being able to find non-disputable source(s) after all these years did not seem the way to go. Using modern DNA testing was proposed to see if it could support or reject the hypothesis that the Conrad OD Dauphin Co. and Edward of Berks families were related and had a common ancestor in the time frame supported by the known facts.

8. DNA testing

In 2011 and 2012 two 3rd cousins and known descendants of Conrad of Dauphin Co through his son Solomon(1809-1884) took Y-DNA 37 marker test. Also three 4th cousin descendants of Edward of Berks family took the same Y-DNA 37 marker test. Two from an Edward brother branch and another was from Edward’s direct descendant line.

The Results were very straight forward :

 The Conrad of Dauphin Co 3rd cousins matched very closely as expected.

 The three Edward of Beks 4th cousins matched very closely as expected.

è Conrad cousins did not match the Edward cousins . The genetic distance a measure of how far apart two individuals are when comparing DNA was 19 indicating if there was a common ancestor it would have had to be thousands of years before. The DNA supports that the Conrad line of Dauphin county is not related to Edward family of Berks. This results supports the lack of source documentation ( primary or secondary) tieing the two family groups together. It does not exist because the families are not related.

Could a challenge still be made ? – of course but it would have to overcome the DNA data which is very, very strong. One always could ask if there was an adoption or out of wedlock event. Since both 3rd cousins were descendants from Conrad’s 4th and last known child, Solomon, it is possible that Solomon was adopted or the illegitimate child of Conrad’s wife. If someone has reason to suspect either of these cases then Conrad’s first son, Johann , who has at least one known male living descendant and he could be tested but if either of these scenarios happen then the descendants still would not genetically be related to the family descendants of Edward. Conrad and his wife were married and then confirmed in 1803 and the family children births begin about 1 year later and continued every 2 years through Solomon’s birth in 1809 it all fits a typical family scenario for that era.

Conclusions :

1. Edward had a twin probably named Isaac or possibly Conrad born 1771

2. The Conrad found in Dauphin Co records data seems to indicate he was not born in 1771

3. No paper trail connecting Conrad of Dauphin County to Edward of Berks County.

4. DNA convincingly shows that the descendants of Conrad of Dauphin are not related to Edward of Berks descendants and this supports that Conrad of Dauphin was not the twin of Edward of Berks.

This unfortunately seems to leave the family genealogy of Conrad of Dauphin ending with him. Until other evidence is found the trail of the Updegrove family who are descendants of Conrad end with him. Researchers Shank/Edwards did say that maybe Conrad was the son of Peter “OBTIGRAV” whose name is in the first US census , Pinegrove Twp, Berks Co. – now Schuykill Co. but they could not find any sources to support this. The 1790 census for Peter shows 2 males under the age of 16 which fits the birth year range of 1775 to 1790 and fits the Conrad of Dauphin estimated 1778 based on his confirmation record.

I have additional material including Edward’s descendants DNA test comparison to known Germantown family groups which support their connection.