Zersen Family History

Descendants of Cord Zersen born about 1623 in Hamelspringe, Germany

Ongoing Research


Ongoing Research

Research on the Zersen family has been going on at a number of levels over a period of many years. Fifty years ago, there was no knowledge on the part of American or German relatives of their mutual existence. The story of how they came to discover one another is told on this website on a separate page called Zersen Family History.

Three approaches to Zersen history have been conducted, all of which produced significant information.

1.  Several members of the family (Dave Zersen, Bill Zersen, Ruth Brown and Doris Hanneman) hired Dr. Sylivia Moehle of Goettingen, Germany, to do genealogical research. Dr. Moehle was able to establish that the Haddessen Zersens had originally come from Hammelspringe and their patriarch was Cord Zersen (born 1623). Dr. Moehle continues to work with us to provide information which will seek to include ancestors of Cord Zersen, additional dates and names of children for known Zersen families, and ties to the village of Zersen. Her most recent research (Januanry 2009) provided photocopies of records of the Hamelspringe homestead as well as the names and dates of of Cord Zersen's grandchildren.

2.  The Namensberatungsstelle der Universitaet Leipzig (Office for Name Analysis of the University of Leipzig) was hired by David Zersen to do linguistic research on the name “Zersen.” Their conclusion was that the name derives from the Latin "quo ceresia"; (cherry tree). A further discussion of this theory along with others is provided at the tab on Zersen Family History.

3.  In September of 2008, Juergen Zersen of Hannover and David Zersen of Austin together went to Hammelspringe "to see what they could see"; There they bought a chronicle of the village's history in which information about the early founders of the village was provided. As they were reading the book, a lady asked what they were looking for. When the two cousins told her, she said, "Come with me. I think I can show you something that you will find interesting". Above the front door of her house, carved on the beam, were the words "Hans Hinrich Zertzen and Engel Elisabeth Niemeyer1743". This was the home of their mutual ancestors, their great-great-great-great-great grandparents. They were able to visit the interior of the home of Mrs. von Haaren and hope to be able to visit it again with the attendees at the Family Reunion in 2011.

The next approach to research will employ DNA from American Zersens, German Zersens/Zerssens and German von Zerssens to determine mutual relationships and geographical and ethnic descent over the last centuries.