Hannover-L Nachrichtensammlung, Band 42, Eintrag 18

Liebe Listers,
      Forgive me for writing this in Englisch. It is forty years, since I studied German. I can read and understand it, but I hesitate to write it. At the present time I am trying to help a Family with the research on their ancestor, Henry Area. He came to the United States before 1841. After his arrival he settled in Henderson, Knox County, Illinois. We plan to search all the records for this county. My reason for posting to this list is that he was born in the province of Hannover in 1813. His first name was definitely Heinrich/Henrich, but what do you think that his surname might have been. I am wondering, if he translated the surname Area directly from a German word for that word.
      Thank you for any suggestions.
  Karla Nurnberg

Hi Karla:

Don't feel bad, this is a bilingual list, but there are some English only, German only, and German-English writers. Occasionally, I see French and Spanish. There are a lot of helpful members who will help you regardless of your language status.

You state: "I am wondering, if he translated the surname Area directly from a German word for that word."

It is possible, but probably not unless the German word for Area sounded similar, and I don't think it is. For an instance, my Becker's became Baker's. The translation, and the sounds being almost the same.

However, I do not know of any Schneider's who became Tailor's.

I believe your best bet is a sound alike word.

Remember, there are no absolutes in names. If my name is Peter and I spell it Joe, my name is still Peter. I know this is a far reaching example, but I did it for emphases.


Have you considered surnames such as Arens or Ahrens?

I can find your Henry as early as 1850 in USA census records but the name there is already listed as Area. Same in 1870 when he and his family are in Pottawatomie, Kansas.

Since you have a marriage date (to Diadama Davisson in 1841) you may want to look at Knox County, IL marriages (Family History Library film #1404972) to see whether there's any indication of a more Germanic surname. Sometimes the parents names are listed too.


Dear Karla!
I suppose the surname Area could be Ehrer. If you pronounce it in English it sounds similar.
Greetings, Andrea

And just to throw another complication into the mix, his 1841 marriage record at:


(search on bride's surname Davisson) gives a badly mistranscribed name as "Kenny Arie". We know the first name is Henry, of course, but you'll probably need to look at the film of the certificate to see what the surname really is. Maybe it'll have a town of origin too.


Dear Karla,

If you search Irad marriage index for KNOX county... there are numerous ARIE marriages listed.


If you search the IRAD Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database for ARIE..

There are 4 results for KNOX county.

There is a Henry ARIE, age 18, muster in 28 Sept. 1864 at Peoria. He would not be the Henry you are looking for..but maybe a son??? Online data indicates his nativity is Hamilton County, Indiana...

Perhaps another route of search. Or something to cross off...

3 of the 4 ARIE in the records mention Indiana localities as Nativity..

I will search out Hamilton & Clinton County Indiana county histories to see if something can be found.


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Another idea ...EHRET... ???

Is just a thought and not based on anything factual..

Spelling is close to Ehrer...

Zero results Illinois Marriage Index Ehrer....

Numerous Ehret...though none Knox County...

The marriage partners..

To Ehret .... mostly German names...

The marriages partners Aries........seem to be more English, Scot or Irish..???

Well worth about 2 cents..:slight_smile:


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A silly idea...


Maybe Auer??

I don't know.


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