The Schuerman-Wood-Worden Families


This Schuerman-Wood-Worden tree contains over 11,000 individuals, all of whom are related in some way, sometimes quite distantly, to my father, Lawrence Herman Schuerman.  It contains over 1,800 persons who are Lawrence’s ancestors.  Hence, all of Lawrence’s siblings have the same relationship to these persons and all of their descendants have all of these ancestors and relatives.  These people go back to early medieval times (as early as the 5th Century) and include Charlemagne, a number of kings, and assorted other dukes, earls, and lords.


Most of these individuals are well documented, but controversy surrounds a few.  The database contains, in the notes, information about many of these persons.  However, for historical persons (royalty, earls, dukes, etc.) I have not tried to provide much information.  Accounts of these people may often be found in Wikipedia (Wikipedia varies in the quality of its articles, some are quite good while others have many errors).  Note that many of the more than 1800 ancestors, particularly those of medieval times, are ancestors many times over, because of marriages between related individuals (it is not easy to determine how many “ancestral slots” these persons occupy).


The database contains documentation (sources) for many, though not all of the individuals.  It does not include all of the documentation I have about people, nor do the notes contain all of the information I have about their lives.


The Schuermans


Lawrence Schuerman’s father, William, was of German origin and his ancestors can be traced back to the mid-18th Century in the Duisberg area.  The earliest known ancestor was Matthias Schurmann, born perhaps around 1760 in Germany and his wife Helena Blettgen.  We know little about him.  His son, also Matthias (1780-1843) lived in Duisberg, Germany, where he was a baker.  He became well-to-do, bought a farm and owned a distillery.  He and his wife, Anna Katherine Froren, had seven children. Two sons, Henry (Johann Heinrich, 1818-1877) and Frederick (Frederich Wilhelm, 1812 (15?)-1879) came to the United States in 1848 to settle in Richland County, Wisconsin.[1]  A third son, William (Peter Wilhelm, 1825-1902, Lawrence’s grandfather), came a year later, in June of 1849, shortly after having married Carolina Weegman (1822-1905).


Frederick Schuerman (all of the family changed the spelling of the name after arriving in America) had served in the cavalry in Germany for four years.  He married in Milwaukee (we do not know the name of his wife) and immediately went to Orion Township in Richland County, where he "entered" eighty acres of land and bought eighty more in section 9.  His brother Henry had a large farm next door (perhaps 240 acres, according to the plat map of Richland County, 1880).


William first lived on Ash Creek, probably just west of Sextonville, which is in Buena Vista Township, just east of Orion, where he resided for six years, then moved to Richland Township.  He is shown on the 1880 plat of Richland County as owning land in section 36 of Richland Township, just to the north of Orion, and according to the plat map, had an additional small amount of land just southwest, in section 2 of Orion.  Maps of the Richland County townships may be found at  Schuerman properties are shown on the Orion and Richland township maps for 1860, 1874, and 1880.


            The History of Crawford and Richland Counties, 1882, p. 1182:

William Schurman resides on section 36, and his real estate comprises 400 acres, with as good improvements as can be found in the county. He is engaged in dairying and keeps about 60 cows.  He manufactures cremery butter and Sap Sago.[2]  Mr. Schurman is a native of Germany, born in Duisburg on the river Rhine.  In 1849 he married Caroline Weegmann, soon after emigrating to the United States and became one of the pioneers of Richland county. He first resided on Ash Creek, but his brother had entered a part of Section 36, town of Richland, sometime previous.  Mr Schurman also owns the only one-half share of Sextonville Mills. It can truly be said that his life has been a success.  Mr. and Mrs. Schurman have reared six children, five of whom are now living.  Their eldest son Henry, was killed in the Sextonville mill when about twenty-five years old.  The family are members of the Evangelical Association.  Two daughters have married clergymen, and one son is preaching the gospel.


William and Caroline's children were all born in Wisconsin:[3] Mary (Christina Marie, 1850-1922), Henry (Mathias Heinrich, 1851-1876), Catherine (Eliza Sophia Catharina, 1854-1921), Herman (Mathias Hemann, 1857-1930), William (Friedrich Wilhelm, 1859-1932, Lawrence’s father), and Fred (Gottfried Frederick, 1864-1955).[4] According to Josephine Venard, William sold the farm about 1888 to Henry Unbehaum.  The mill was on Willow Creek,[5] between Twin Bluffs and Sextonville. She also indicates that the mill was bought from J. Krouskop and that it was a grist mill and saw mill. The mill was run from water power from a dam on the creek.  Fred and Henry operated the mill, and as indicated above, Henry was killed in an accident in the mill in 1876. Evidently, the mill expanded its product line over the years.  The Richland Center library has two receipts from the mill.  The first, dated 1894, is headed "Schuerman Brothers, Manufacturers of and Dealers in Flour, Feed, Lumber, etc."  A later receipt is dated 1896.  At the top of the receipt are the names H.M. Schuerman and F.G. Schuerman.  Of course, by that time Henry had been dead for many years, but the mill continued to be called "Schuerman Bros." and Fred kept his brother's name on the header.  The rest of the header of the receipt reads: "Schuerman Bros. Custom and Merchant Millers.  Manufacturers of and Dealers in Lumber, Excelsior and Automatic Stock Waterers."  Sometime in the early 1900s power from the dam was used to generate electricity for Schuerman's Electric Company.  The Richland Observer noted that "In 1925 the Schuerman family sold the plant including the dam on Willow Creek, generating equipment and transmission lines, to the Wisconsin Power and Light Company."[6]



The Woods and Wordens


Lawrence Schuerman’s mother, Lillian Wood, was entirely of English origin.  The Woods can be traced back to Lewis Wood who died in 1626 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.  Lillian’s mother was Naomi Worden.  Naomi is descended from Peter Worden I, an immigrant to New England from Lancashire in about 1630 (he died in February 1638/9[7] in Yarmouth on Cape Cod).  It is through Peter Worden I that we can trace hundreds of interesting ancestors including Charlemagne, a number of kings and queens of several countries, earls, dukes, and other notables, including several scoundrels. 


The descent from Peter Worden I to Lillian Wood is as follows:


Peter Worden I, b. abt 1569, Clayton, Lancashire, d. Feb. 1638/9 Yarmouth = Margaret Grice

Peter Worden II, b. abt 1609, Clayton, d. 11 Jan 1680/1 Yarmouth = Mary

Dr.  Samuel Worden b. 1646, East Dennis, MA, d. 26 Aug 1716, Stonington, CN = Hopestill Holley

Peter Worden III, b. 1668, Yarmouth, d. 18 Nov 1732 Warwick, RI = Mary Holley

Peter Worden IV, b. 1697, Harwich, MA, d. 1745, Westerly, RI = Rebekah  Richmond

Peter Worden V, b. 5 Jun 1728, Westerly, RI, d. 21 Feb 1808, Cheshire, MA = Mary “Mercy” Moon

Rufus Worden, b. 1759/60, Kent County, RI, d. 30 May 1812 Brutus, NY = Tabitha Cook

Ripha Worden, b. 1791, Shaftsbury, VT, d. 28 Nov 1849, Livonia, MI = Rebecca Ripley

Naomi Worden, b. 23 Aug 1818, Sheldon, NY, d. 20 Jan 1908, Watertown, SD = Rev. David Wood

Lillian Wood, b. 31 Jan 1863, Carimona, MN, d. 4 Aug 1951, Denver, CO = William Schuerman


There is a Worden Family Association ( which is concerned with gathering information about persons with the surname Worden or its variants (Warden, Woerden, Werden, etc.) particularly the descendants and ancestors of Peter Worden I.  Membership is quite inexpensive and entitles one to a subscription to its quarterly newsletter, Wordens Past and to online access to past issues.


I have written a number of articles about our ancestors including many articles in Wordens Past.  Most of these articles are reproduced on this site under Histories.  I have also contributed articles to Chris Phillips’s medieval genealogy website, see


One of these articles also appeared in Foundations, the journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy in January 2009. 



The Tempests


One family I have investigated extensively is the Tempests, also ancestors of Peter Worden I.  The earliest known (to me) Tempest is Roger, who appears in Bracewell, North Yorkshire (near Skipton) in around 1100 (an ancestor of Peter Worden I).  Descendants of Roger still live at Broughton Hall, not far from Bracewell.  Broughton is a large estate with a magnificent manor house.  My wife and I have had the privilege of staying at Broughton Hall several times as a guest of the current lord of the manor, Henry Tempest and his wife Janet.  During those visits I have been able to consult muniments and other documents concerning the family that are held there.  Henry’s grandmother, Eleanor Blanch Tempest, compiled extensive information on the family which she documented in a wonderful manuscript of over 20 large sheets full of miniscule handwriting.  This manuscript is held in the British Library and a copy is at Broughton Hall.  I have arranged for a transcript of this manuscript which may be found at:

In my database undocumented Tempests and their spouses and children are from this source.



[1] Richland Republican and Observer, July 23, 1953: "The first white settlers of Ash Creek were William Thompson, Green Mayfield, Carlos Joslin, Henry Sigrist, Henry and Frederick Schuerman, Dr. Jacob Brimmer, Henry Demmer, the Enshoffs, the Hurds, and others."

[2] Webster's Tenth defines "sapsago" (a single word) as "a very hard green skim-milk cheese flavored with the powdered leaves of an aromatic legume (Trigonella coerulea)."

[3] Josephine Venard, daughter of Fred, in her "Schuerman Family History, Memories of Josephine Venard," says the first five were born in Germany, but that cannot be the case, since they were all born after William and Caroline came to Wisconsin.  Josephine also has the order of the children wrong.

[4] Children from family Bible.

[5] Willow Creek runs into the Pine River at Twin Bluffs and Pine River runs into the Wisconsin River further south.

[6] Clipping in the Schuerman file in the Richland Center library.  Unfortunately, the clipping is not dated.

[7]  During Medieval times, the calendar used was the Julian calendar in which the legal year started on March 25.  Most of Europe adopted the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we now use) in the mid-1500s.  Britain and its colonies did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752.  Hence, dates between Jan 1 and March 24 (and before 1752) are often shown as double year dates (1638/39, called old style/new style).  At the time the Gregorian calendar was adopted a number of days were also dropped, in order to bring the calendar in line with solar time (the Julian calendar did not adequately deal with leap years).