Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: MattNew

As my screen name implies, I have made wine here in Madison, Wisconsin.  In Spring of 1999 I started a new hobby, genealogy, which I have enjoyed since then.  I began studying the branch of our collective family for which I had the most information already - my father-in-law's Louisiana ROME family.  I found it difficult to confine myself to the study of a single family or just his ancestors, however.  In doing Louisiana genealogy, one quickly discovers that all southern Louisiana families are connected.  So my Louisiana genealogies are extensive, and do not confine themselves strictly to Irvin ROME’s ancestors.  They are described further at LOUISIANA ANCESTORS.


It is difficult to ever say one is “finished” with a genealogy.  There’s always more that can be explored, and I intend to continue adding data to my Louisiana genealogies as I acquire it.  But I finally moved on to my mother's family.  My grandmother, Lillian Mae KEFFER WITT, was born in Star Junction, Fayette County, PA.  Many of her ancestors settled in Fayette County after they moved from the East.  My grandfather, Alvy WITT, was born in Youngstown, Ohio, where my parents and I were all born.  His ancestors in America first settled in Butler County, PA.  Their family stories are told at WITT-KEFFER ANCESTORS.


Ancestors of my wife’s mother, Dorothy EMBSHOFF ROME, spent time in many different locations in the East and Midwest – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, New Brunswick, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois.  Dorothy’s father’s family settled in Cincinnati, OH, while her mother was born in Osage, IA, but her parents met in Metaline, WA.  Many of the EMBSHOFF and FRAZEE descendants ended up on the west coast, in Washington, Oregon and California.  Dorothy’s lineage contains both Patriots and Loyalists – her FRAZEE ancestors would not fight against the British in the revolution, but moved to New Brunswick instead.  Other FRAZEEs did remain in the colonies to fight the British.  Eventually, George Timothy FRAZEE returned to the United States and fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War.  Some EMBSHOFF and FRAZEE family pictures can be found at EMBSHOFF-FRAZEE ANCESTORS.


My father’s family is the most recent of our ancestors to come to America.  My great-grandfather, his wife, and their oldest son were born in Eastern Europe, near Kosice, which is now part of Slovakia.  They came to Wisconsin (where I have lived most of my life since 1978) about 1898, and my grandfather and several siblings were born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Sometime in 1903 or 1904, the family moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  My grandmother’s parents were also born in Austria-Hungary; Stephen NOVAK came across the ocean to Johnstown, PA, in 1890 with his first wife.  Anna died in 1901, and Stephen wasted no time in marrying my great-grandmother in late 1901.  My grandmother Mary Jane NOVAK was born in Johnstown, and there she met and married my grandfather, George Emil SANDOR.  They moved to Youngstown, Ohio, before my father, their oldest child, was born in 1929.  Some SANDOR/SANDERS and NOVAK family pictures can be found at SANDOR/SANDERS and NOVAK ANCESTORS.


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Research for these genealogies was done largely at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library in Madison, Wisconsin.  Visit them at  I would like to thank them and recommend to all that you support your local historical society with donations.

A considerable amount of my later work, particularly the EMBSHOFF-FRAZEE and SANDOR-NOVAK databases, has been done using the databases at,, and  Indices to all of the censuses from the earliest to the 1930 United States censuses may be accessed by using the resources at these sites.

This page was last updated on 10/29/2011.