|Title:||DeGraffenried Association Collection|
DeGraffenried, Victor, Major
Thomas, Betty Wood, Ms.
|Repository:||ECU Manuscript Collection|
|Abstract:||Collection (1821-2000, undated [bulk: 1989-2000]) of correspondence, family histories, genealogical charts, copies of deeds, cemetery records, Bible records, miscellany and oversized materials relating to Christopher DeGraffenried, also known as Baron Christoph von Graffenried, who established a colony of Swiss and Palatine emigrants at New Bern, North Carolina, in 1710; and also relating to his ancestors and descendants and the DeGraffenried Association, of Gulfport, Mississippi and San Antonio, Texas, which was established to preserve the family history and to maintain contact between family members; in English, German, Italian, and French language.|
|Extent:||1.015 Cubic feet, 2 archival boxes, 1 oversized folder, 307 items, correspondence, family histories, genealogical charts, copies of deeds, cemetery records, Bible records, miscellany and oversized materials|
August 23, 2000, 281 items, 0.1 cubic feet; Papers (1882-2000) of the descendants of Baron Christoph von Graffenried (also known as Baron Christopher de Graffenried) including correspondence, family history, genealogical charts; copies of deeds, copies of cemetary records, Bible records, and miscellany. Donor: Ms. Betty Wood Thomas.
June 30, 2007, 75 items. 0.50 cubic feet, 1 archival box. 651 p. Family group sheets (1982-1995, undated) used to compile a revised genealogy of the DeGraffenried family, from Baron Christopher DeGraffenried, 1661-1743, of Worb, Switzerland and Landgrave of North Carolina, the founder of New Bern, NC, and tracing the migrations of his descendants in North and South Carolina, Virginia and throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe to the 1990’s. Printed forms. See preliminary inventory attached. Recd. 6/30/2007. Note: Printed genealogical / family history forms. Information entered in ink, pencil & typescript. Includes: names; dates & places of birth, death, burial, marriage; parents & children of each couple; additional sheets provide data for descendants; & sources. Donor: Ms. Betty Wood Thomas.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
DeGraffenried Association Collection (#796), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Encoded by Apex Data Services, March 2002; Preliminary inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 12/7/2006 & 7/24/2007; Final inventory by Baylus Brooks, 4/18/2011; Final inventory revised by Leigh Smith, 6/26/2012; Finding aid by Baylus Brooks, 4/18/2011; Finding aid revised by Jonathan Dembo, 6/25/2012; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 6/26/2012; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 7/16/2012.
Swiss nobleman Baron Christoph von Graffenried was also known as Baron Christopher de Graffenried. Baron de Graffenried was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1661. He married Regina Tescharner, the daughter of a respected Swiss politician, Lewis Tescharner. The couple had 11 children, three of which died in infancy. De Graffenried, and his son Christopher, left Switzerland in 1709 in an attempt to make a fortune off the land in the New World. The pair arrived in North Carolina in 1709 with a group of German and Swiss immigrants. The group settled at the intersection of the Trent and the Neuse River in what is today known as New Bern, North Carolina. After the settlement failed to make de Graffenried a fortune, he returned to Switzerland in 1714. De Graffenried later died in 1743.
Christopher de Graffenried, the son of the Baron, remained in North Carolina after his father’s return to Switzerland in 1714. Christopher married Barbra Tempest Needham, and he became the founding member of the American de Graffenried family. The family names associated with the de Graffenried family includes: Boswell, Calhoun, Hobson, Needham, Pattison, Sartor, Vass, Walton, and Woodson.
The Swiss branch of the de Graffenried family still lives in the area around Bern, Switzerland. The collection contains many letters from Colonel Baron Victor de Graffenried and his son, Helmuth de Graffenried. Victor de Graffenried was involved in genealogical research with his American cousin, Thomas Pritchett de Graffenried. Upon his death in 1940, his son Helmuth de Graffenried began corresponding with Thomas P. de Graffenried.
Thomas P. de Graffenried, of New York, is the author of multiple books on the history of the de Graffenried family. He was deeply involved in genealogical research of both the American and the Swiss branches of the de Graffenried family.
Betty Wood Thomas of Gulfport, Mississippi was the head of the De Graffenried Association. She was the coordinator of a de Graffenried family reunion in New Bern in 1992 which was attended by many members of the Swiss branch of the de Graffenried family.
The DeGraffenried Association Collection consists of correspondence (1821-2000) and other documents of the DeGraffenried Association, based first in Gulfport, Mississippi and then in San Antonio, Texas. It was compiled by Betty Wood Thomas who served as Director of the Association. It primarily relates to the history and genealogy of the DeGraffenried family in the United States and Europe but it also includes correspondence relating to the activities of the Association including its membership, publications and reunions. The collection focuses on the descendants and ancestors of Baron Christopher DeGraffenried and includes correspondence with Helmut DeGraffenried of Berne, Switzerland. The collection also includes family history research, genealogical charts, copies of deeds, copies of cemetery records, bible records, miscellaneous and oversized materials.
The collection is arranged in original order in three series:
SERIES I: SERIES I: DEGRAFFENRIED ASSOCIATION CORRESPONDENCE, GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH, AND BIOGRAPHICAL FILES, 1821-2000, undated Box 1 contains files of Thomas P[ritchard] DeGraffenried’s correspondence with Major Victor DeGraffenried (1922-1960) and the correspondence and other files of Betty Wood Thomas’s (1821-2000), who continued Thomas’ work and served as Director of the DeGraffenried Association. It also includes original documents and copies of documents relating to the DeGraffenried family history.
SERIES II: FAMILY GROUP SHEETS, 1991, undated Box 2 contains family group sheets containing genealogical details of the descendants in America of Christopher DeGraffenried and related families. They were probably composed by Betty Wood Thomas. Unless otherwise indicated the information comes from the DeGraffenried Family History.
SERIES III: OVERSIZED MATERIALS, 1971-1991, undated The oversized materials folder contains one large genealogical chart and a few large photocopied documents too large for the smaller containers.
Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.