Updated June 2008
Please send your corrections or comments to Cheryl Wygle Hilliard
John Wigle, Robert Wigle, Mary Wigle Carr,
Maria Wigle Armentrout, Thomas Wigle
Wigle-Wygle Related Websites
For Fun: Wigle Coat of Arms
Holiday Letter 2008
Earliest Wigles in Pennsylvania were most likely of German descent
It appears that the Armentrout's, Carr's and Wigles were all closely associated families and followed the same immigration pattern (PA to Hardy Co., VA).
On 27 August 1739 the English ship, Samuel, docked in Delaware Bay with 340 passengers on board, mostly Palatine Germans. The passengers included the Armentrouts, who were German born immigrants. (see http://www.ehrma.de/, a German website for the Armentrouts). Christopher Ermentraudt [the senior] arrived in Philadelphia, PA, on 27 Aug 1739 with his mother Anna (Hain) Ermentraudt and six other siblings. Christopher Ermentraudt was born about 1724-1725 in the Palatinate (present day Germany along the Rhine River). He married (1)1748 Lancaster (now Berks) County, PA to Elizabeth Schmehl. He married (2) 1760, Augusta County, VA to Susannah (Gallet) Powers, born 1734 and died 1814 Hardy County, Va. Source: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/5971/armentr.html. The Armentrout website linked here indicates that the Armertrouts were Mennonite and members of the Church of the Brethren.
The Wigles in Canada were also very likely German. John Wendel Wigle was born about 1753 in Hesse, Germany, and died Abt. 1816 in Gosfield South, Essex County, Ontario. He married Julianna Romerin on 1776 in Little York, PA, daughter of John Frederick Roemer and Catherina Lanius. Source: http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/d/e/w/Faye-M-Dewhurst-ON/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0043.html So far, we have not found proof that we are connected to the Wigles in Canada.
Our Direct Wigle Ancetors
The earliest direct Wigle ancestor we know of is John, Robert, Mary, Maria, and Thomas's parents, but we do not know their names. From the 1880 census, we know that Robert's father was born in PA and his mother was born in VA. If Robert's father was 25 years old when Robert was born, then our oldest ancestor was born about 1771 in PA, just prior to the Revolutionary War.
It appears the Wigles in Pennsylvania split up, some stayed, some moved south to West Virginia or Virginia and others moved north to Canada.
Robert Wigle has an older woman living with his family in 1820 Hardy County, WV, census. Catherine's father and stepmother, Michael and Mary Gilmore Carr, were still alive at that time, so the older woman may be Robert's mother. Robert does not have an older woman living with him in the 1830 census and neither does John or Thomas.
John, Robert, Mary, Maria & Thomas
John, Maria, Mary, and Robert were all married in Hardy Co., WV, in 1817-1825: (Source: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~wvhardy/harmarw.htm)
Weigle, John Patrick, Sarah 2/13/1817 Valentine Powers Weigle, Maria Armentrout, Chris. 1/27/1825 Samuel Brison Weigle, Mary Carr, Jacob * 2/25/1818 Valentine Powers Weigle, Robert Carr, Catherine * 11/12/1818 Valentine Powers
* From http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=pnoble66&id=I15682, we find that Jacob Carr was born about 1798 and Catherine Carr Wigle, born 1800, are brother and sister as they are the children of Michael Carr and his first wife Hannah Coberly Carr (source: Jeff Carr, Texas). So Robert and Mary, who are brother and sister, married Jacob and Catherine, who are brother and sister, which was not uncommon.
From The History of Union County, Ohio, pages 676 and 679, we John and Robert move to Union County, Ohio, in 1839-40 with John's oldest son, Jacob, and Robert's oldest son, Archibald. We believe Thomas is related to John, Robert, Mary, and Maria (most likely a brother) since Thomas lived with Robert's third son, Michael, in the 1870 census. Corban Wigle is Robert's second son:
"John McNeal, from Ross County, settled in 1832-33... Samuel Wheeler came from Knox County, about 1836-37, and settled on what was known as the "cotton slash." He was the second Assessor of Taylor Township. Thomas Scott settled about 1838-39. Samuel P. G. Brown, a native of the State of New York, settled in 1837-38. Jacob Wigle, in 1838-39. In 1839-40 came Robert Wigle, Archibald Wigle, John Wigle and Benjamin Welch; also George Laughrey and Oliver Simpsonů"
"... Below we give additional names of persons who settled prior to 1856, and before its erection as Taylor Township, to wit: ... Simon Shirk, Joseph Simpson, Daniel Shirk, Tellatiah Safford, Daniel Sanders, Jesse Taylor, John Turner, William Taylor, Corbin Wigle, Thomas Wigle, ..."
Name Change to Wygle about 1860-1880
Our name gradually changed from Wigle to Wygle sometime between 1864 and 1880. Most likely those that wanted to change the spelling to Wygle were using that spelling by 1880. There must have been some correspondence between brothers Corban in Iowa and Archibald in Ohio and cousin Jacob in Nebraska about the spelling of their last name.
John Wigle's descendants: the 1870 and 1880 censuses for Jacob and Electa 'Wygle' in Kansas lists Jacob and Electa Wygle. Jacob died in 1889 in Kansas and has Wygle on his tombstone.
Robert Wigle's descendants: the first recorded spelling of the name Wygle were tax documents from the Treasurer's Office, Butler Co., IA, for Robert's son Corban for $7.60 have the name 'Wygle' dated 28 Feb 1864. The next tax document for $14.31 on 29 Jun 1864 is for Corban 'Wigle'; for $19.85 on 17 Feb 1865 for Corban 'Wygle'; and for $30.42 on 5 Sept 1868 to Corban 'Wygle'. Corban's son Franklin Wygle, Clarksville, IA, signed his name 'Wagle' in a letter dated 30 Mar 1877. Robert's first son, Archibald, who died in 1897 in Marysville, Ohio, has Wygle on his tombstone.
My best guess is that other people see the first 3 letters as 'wig' and were mispronouncing the name as Wig-le (as in wiggle). I don't know why or how they came up with Wygle, instead of Wagle or Weigle; maybe they wanted to give us a unique last name?
Not everyone in the family went along with changing the spelling to Wygle. John's second son, Jesse, who died in 1893 and is buried in Nebraska, kept Wigle as his surname. My guess is that he kept this spelling because of the legacy he left there. He was the first white settler in Dakota County (arriving in 1856) and Wigle Creek, Wigle Creek Road, and Wigle Creek School were named after him. It was probably difficult to change his surname and the places named after him.
Also, Archibald Wygle's will in Ohio in 1897 shows that nephew Hiram spelled his last name Wigle, nephew Harvey spelled his last name Wiggle, however, nephews Oscar and Jesse and Archibald's sister, Sarah, all spelled their surname as Wygle.
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