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VOGT Genealogy

          Hermann VOGT (b. UNK, d. UNK) Cloß VOGT (b. 1614, d. 21 Oct 1692) Johann Balthasar VOGT (b. 31 Jul 1657, d. 2 Apr 1716)
          Hermann Cloß Johann Balthasar
          8G-GF 7G-GF 6G-GF
Johann Heinrich VOGT (b. 12 Oct 1682, d. UNK)
Jean Nikolaus VOGT (b. 15 Mar 1710, d. bef. 21 Mar 1801)
Jean Henri Joseph VOGT (b. 28 Jan 1762, d. UNK)
Julius Oscar VOGT (b. 6 Apr 1814, d. 1 Dec 1880)
Paul Albert VOGT (b. 10 Jan 1842, d. 3 Apr 1914)
Lucien Eugene VOGT (b. 16 Feb 1874, d. 15 Nov 1913)
Francis Roland VOGT (b. 17 Mar 1912, d. 25 Apr 1989)
Eugene Francis VOGT (b. 1953, d. not yet)
Johann Heinrich 
 Jean Nikolaus
Jean Henri 
Julius Oscar
Paul Albert
Lucien Eugene
Francis Roland
Eugene Francis
5G-GF 4G-GF 3G-GF GG-GF Great-Grandfather Grand-Father Father me

(click here to view the VOGT Ahnentafel)

The Executive Summary

I have established my VOGT family line back to a group of "metzgers" (butchers) in the village of Lich, near Gießen Germany (40 miles north of Frankfurt). My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather (8G-GF), Hermann VOGT (wife: Dorothea ?????) was a butcher, and was probably born in the late 1500's in or near Gießen. His son, Cloß Vogt (7G-GF, wife: Anna Schmandt), also a butcher, was born in 1614 in Lich, and died October 21 1692 in Lich. Cloß' son, Johann Balthasar Vogt (6G-GF, wife: Juliana Heller), another butcher, was born July 31 1657 in Lich, and died April 2 1716 in Lich. His son, Johann Heinrich Vogt, (5G-GF) was born October 12 1682 in Lich, and moved to Mainz in 1708 as a butcher. His son, Jean Nikolaus VOGT (my 4G-GF), was born 15 March 1710 in Mainz, to Heinrich and his wife Anna Maria WOHMANN.  His son, Jean Henri Joseph VOGT (my 3G-GF) was born 28 January 1762, in Mainz. Jean Henri Joseph married Marie Catherine RETTIG in the village of Alsenborn on 28 March 1801, and they had 12 children, all born in Kaiserslautern. The eleventh was my GG-GF, Jules (Julius) Oscar VOGT.

Julius was a sculptor, and when the Prussians overran the area around Kaiserslautern, he left for Paris. The exact date of his departure from the area is not yet known. Julius married a girl from Paris, Eugenie PICARD, on an as yet unknown date. They had a son, Paul Albert VOGT, born 10 January 1842 in Paris. Paul married Marguerite Isabelle DUPUIS, also from Paris, in Notre Dame Cathedral in October 1873.

Julius, wife Eugenie, son Paul, daughter-in-law Isabelle, and grandson Lucien Eugene (my grand-father, born 16 February 1874 in Paris), emigrated to New York City in 1876, where Julius died in 1880. Sometime between 1888 and 1892 Paul and Isabelle moved their family to Everett MA., where the family blossomed. Lucien married twice; with his second wife Ellen WILSON my father Francis Roland VOGT was born in Everett on 17 March 1912. Francis married Elizabeth Mary McGRATH on 4 July 1940, and from them came four children, of which I am the youngest.

Paul and Isabelle had five more children after Lucien (Marcel, Isabelle, Paul, Harry, and Matilda); among the six children there were 24 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren (of which I am one).

Surnames of these great-grandchildren include BURNS, COLLINS, DERUBEIS, FOX, KOVAL, LITCHFIELD, PERRY, SHEPPARD, and of course VOGT.


The Longer Version...

The Story Backward

For a long time our earliest known VOGT ancestor was Julius Oscar VOGT. Our information about Julius was sketchy at best and came from a number of places; old papers found in our grandmother's possession; birth, marriage, and death certificates obtained from relatives and from various town and city clerks' offices in the Boston and New York areas; U.S. census data information from 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920; and information we have been able to document from older relatives. 

Originally, all we knew was that Julius was born somewhere in the Bavaria of the early 19th century, on or around April 7, 1814, and that he died in New York City on December 1, 1880.  All we had to go on was an entry in the 1880 Federal Census for NYC where he listed his birthplace as BAVARIA. I also had calculated an approximate birth date for him based on the information from his death certificate, which listed him as being 66 years, 7 months, 23 days old.  Based on that, and the date of his death, I had calculated his birth date to be 7 April 1814, plus or minus a day.

1880 NYC Census listing Julius, Eugenie, Paul, Isabelle, Lucien, and Marcel (click for larger view).

It turns out I was off by one day.  I found his birth listing in the International Genealogical Index (or IGI, a massive database of names from all over the world, compiled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the Mormons), and it was quite miraculous that I found anything at all.  I had never used the IGI before, so I started by entering a search using the 5-disk CD-ROM set of disks for Germany.  I searched for the name “Julius Vogt,” with an event year of “1814”  (an event in IGI-speak being a birth, marriage, or death).  I found nothing. I was dropped into a long list of Julius VOGTs, ordered by event date (mostly births), but nothing listed BAVARIA or any date close to 7 April 1814. Since it appeared to be a simple alphabetical list of names (albeit a long one), I tried scrolling backwards to the place where Jules Vogt (the French version of Julius) would likely appear.  Again nothing - no one named Jules at all (not too surprising since these were the German indexes, not the French ones).

So I began scrolling back to where I had begun.  Most of the names between Jules and Julius in this list were Julia - female.  As I was scrolling, something caught my eye, but I had already gone 1-2 screens past it before my eye sent the message to my brain to stop my hand from scrolling.  Scrolling back again s-l-o-w-l-y, I saw it... Julia Oscar VOGT, born in Bavaria, 6 April 1814.This information had been transcribed by a Mormon researcher from the original christening records of Saint Martin’s Catholic Church, in Kaiserslautern!  He was listed in the index as female, but it was the OSCAR that had caught my eye.

You can can re-create this initial discovery of mine on-line now. Go to the on-line version of the IGI by clicking here. Type in Julia Oscar as a first name, VOGT as a last name, choose Birth/Christening as the event, 1814 as the year (you can leave the Year Range blank), Germany as the region, and Bayern (Bavaria) as the state. Then click SEARCH and see what comes up!

I have never seen a female with the middle name Oscar, so I was pretty sure it was him, but I requested a rental of the microfilm that contained images of the original records to confirm it (one should always try to confirm any information with original sources whenever possible).  I also passed the information on to my sister in Denver who was also researching the family line.  From this information she was able to locate his civil birth registration on another microfilm index.

When the microfilm arrived, I anxiously searched for the entry. The church records are very terse, and in Latin, but the reason it was misread as Julia was obvious as soon as I saw the microfilm containing the photo of the original record - there was an ink smudge that obscured the “U S” in Julius (his French name Jules was written in Latin in these Catholic records).

Copy of the original church record for Julius' birth

In the record (luckily, I took Latin in high school) he is clearly listed as a male child, and his parents are listed as Johannis Henrici VOGT and Catherinae RETTIG.  I had found our elusive Great-Great-Great-Grandparents!

The civil birth record was much more elaborate, written in French (that part of Europe was controlled by France during that period of time) and has much more information.

Copy of the original civil birth certificate for Julius (Jules) Oscar VOGT (click for larger view)


With a magnifying glass and a Larousse dictionary, I translated it as follows:


In the year one thousand eight hundred fourteen, April six at two o'clock this legal statement was prepared by me, Jean Gelbert, deputy mayor, Officer of the civil state of the village of Kaiserslautern, township of Kaiserslautern, department of Mount Thunder. Mr. Jean Henry VOGT appeared before me, age 52, Justice of the Peace & Officer of the Criminal Investigation Department of the township of Kaiserslautern, and a resident in the village of Kaiserslautern. He has presented to me a male child today, born six April [unquartaime?] hour of morning. He declared and he and his wife, Madame Catherine RETTIG, want to give to the child the forename of

Jule Oscar

The aforementioned declaration and presentation is made in presence of [licole?] Ferdinand Conrad, age forty five, jr. officer of the justice of the peace in the township of Kaiserslautern, and of Guillaume Caspary, age sixty nine, employed in the office of the mayor, both of them live [ecout?] the [dest?] so-called township of Kaiserslautern

The father and witnesses have signed the present act of birth with me, after reading it and attesting to its truth.


Julius' father had signed the document and the signature was strikingly distinctive:

Signature of Jean Henri VOGT, Juge de la Paix


I was also able to use comparisons of Julius’ father's magnificent and distinctive signature on that certificate to verify other certificates.  His father’s full name was Jean Henri Joseph VOGT (that’s the French version - in German it was Johannes Heinrich Josef VOGT) and his mother was Marie Cathèrine RETTIGJean Henri was a Justice of the Peace (hence the initials after his signature; jdp - Juge de la Paix) and an officer of the criminal investigation unit in the Kaiserslautern Police Department. They had twelve children in all; Julius was the eleventh.  I was also able to locate (via the same distinctive signature) all eleven other civil birth certificates for his siblings, and the marriage certificate for the parents, which lists even more information about the family!

Jean Henri Joseph VOGT was born in the city of Mayence (now called Mainz in German) on 28 January 1762, to Jean Nicolas VOGT and his wife, whose maiden name appears to be GUILLAMETTE, but the first name isn’t listed.  Marie Catherine RETTIG was born in Kaiserslautern on 20 June 1778, to Conrad RETTIG and his wife Catherine LAY.


Most of my recent progress on the VOGT line came during serendipitous visits to Mainz in January 2001 and Lich in February and August 2007. In 2001 I'd been traveling with a colleague in Germany and England on business. We had a lull in our meetings on a Wednesday, and we had the afternoon free, so my colleague and I drove up to Mainz and Wiesbaden in Germany to find some old American bases that used to be here. Towards the end of the afternoon break time, I went looking for - and found - the Mainz city archives (stadtarchiv, auf Deutsch). The archives were still open, so my colleague dropped me off and I went in about an hour before closing, armed with the knowledge that my oldest known ancestor (at the time), great-great-great-grandfather Jean Henri Joseph VOGT, was born in Mainz 28 January 1762, and in my rusty and flimsy German, I started knocking on doors and asking questions.

I was finally directed to the vital records office, where I explained what I knew and what I was looking for once again (ganz auf deutsche), and the archivist went straight to a wall full of old wooden card catalog drawers (just like the ones in libraries holding 3x5 cards), pulled one out and brought it back to me. In the space of the remaining hour, using that card catalog and some reference books, I learned the following:

First I found GGG-GF Jean Henri Joseph VOGT's birth card, confirmed as being 28 January 1762.

Jean Henri Joseph VOGT's birth card, from the Mainz Stadtarchiv.

His father, GGGG-GF Jean Nikolaus VOGT, was a butcher and was born 15 March 1710, I thought in the village of Lich (near Geißen) to his father Heinrich VOGT (also a butcher - ein metzger) and his mother Anna Maria WOHMANN - our great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. GGGG-GF Jean Nikolaus VOGT was married THREE times; 10 June 1729 to Anna FRITZ from Mainz, 19 February 1740 to Catherine Elizabeth SCHELL, and 6 Dec 1748 to Anna Marguerite Wilhelmina (maiden name not recorded - born 10 Jan 1707 in Frankfurt). The 3rd wife is our great-great-great-great-grandmother.

I was not able to get copies of any of the certificates at that time (they were in storage and it took a number of days to extract them and make negative copies), but I wrote a letter to the archives when I got back, listing the found information and requesting copies of the relevant documents, which were delivered a few months later.

This was by far the most friendly and helpful group of archivists I have encountered in all my searches in the US, Ireland, France and Germany. They were truly excited to see me and help (but not so excited that they wanted to stay after closing and continue! ;) . This was as far as I could go in Mainz anyway (short of getting the copies while I was there), as GGGG-GF Jean Nikolaus VOGT was apparently not born in Mainz, but in Lich.

Then in February 2007, I went back in Germany on business, and had a little bit of spare time for research.  On my free day I drove from Ramstein (near Kaiserslautern) where I was working, up to Lich (about 50 miles north of Frankfurt) to continue the research on the VOGT line.

My first stop was at the Rathaus (city hall) to see if they had an archive or clerk’s office equivalent where vital records from the 1700’s could be found.  They did not, and I was told that the civil authorities didn’t record such records back then so none existed. BUT… the church did (an evangelical protestant church).  The lady at the city hall office called over to the church office to ask if I could stop by, which was allowed.  After buying a heritage book about Lich (“Licher Heimatbuch”) and getting a map and some other brochures for free, I headed up the street to the Marienstiftskirche office.  There I met Fraü Richtsmann, and she pulled out the original record book from the 1680-1720 range, to look for Jean (or Johann) Nikolaus VOGT, born 15 March 1710.  Nothing.  No record for any child (never mind a VOGT child) born in the village in all of March 1710. February and April, but not March.

She then pulled out note cards that went back before 1700, organized by last name, looking for a Heinrich VOGT.  Still nothing. That was the extent of her records for that time period, and she said that there were no other churches in the village at that time – everyone in town was evangelical protestant.

She then told me that there was a teacher in town who was also a genealogical researcher and she had an enormous amount of information on the VOGT name, as it was a very common name back then, as well as now.  She gave me her name, address, and phone number, but said that she would be in school now (it was then about 1 pm) and would not be at home until a little after 3 pm when school got out for the day.

I thanked her for her help, walked back to my car and put the books and brochures in the trunk, took my camera and walked around the city center (VERY old buildings in traditional half-timbered style) taking pictures and looking for a place to grab a bite for lunch.  I found the street where the teacher/genealogy person lived, found her house, and had a bowl of potato goulash soup in a café near her house.

After eating, I called her number to see if she was home, but she was not, so I walked back to the car to call occasionally and wait until 3 pm or so.  I called every 20-30 minutes, but there was no answer, even up to 3:30 pm.  I decided to have one last walk around the town center before driving back to Ramstein (2+ hours drive).

While I was walking, she called me back on my cell phone (caller ID works in Germany too). She had bumped into Fraü Richtsmann from the church, so she knew I was looking to talk to her.

I walked to her house, and we talked for 2+ hours.  It turns out, she specializes in researching VOGT genealogy, and has an 18,000 name database of various VOGTs and VOGT descendants.  She had no record of Jean (or Johann) Nikolaus VOGT being born in Lich (she claims to have all recorded VOGTs from Lich in her database – she’s been collecting them for a long time).  It is likely that I read the birth card in Mainz incorrectly back in 2001, and that Jean Nikolaus was born in Mainz, not Lich.  BUT, she did have Nikolaus’ father, listed as Johann Henrich Vogt, (previously mentioned GGGGG-GF, born October 12 1682 in Lich; baptized October 17 1682 in Lich; Profession: Metzger [butcher] in Mainz 1708). His parents were Johann Balthasar Vogt (GGGGGG-GF, born July 31 1657 in Lich; baptized August 4 1657 in Lich; died April 2 1716 in Lich; Profession: butcher) and Juliana Heller (GGGGGG-GM, born July 30 1662 in Lich; baptized August 2 1662 in Lich; died December 10 1715 in Lich). Johann Balthasar Vogt's parents were Cloß Vogt (GGGGGGG-GF, born 1614 in Lich, died October 21 1692 in Lich; Profession: butcher) and Anna Schmandt (GGGGGGG-GM). Cloß Vogt's parents were Hermann Vogt (GGGGGGGG-GF, Profession: butcher) and Barbara ????? (GGGGGGGG-GM).  This adds three more generations to our VOGT line, five if I include the non-VOGT branches!

In August 2007 I returned to Lich for another visit, and obtained from Fraü Steul a series of photographs of original birth (6), marriage (2), and death (4) records for twelve of my ancesters. This example image (with highlight, German transcription from the old German handwriting, and rough German to English translation added) is the 1657 birth record for Johann Balthasar VOGT, my great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-father.

So after having spent four years living in Germany (1991-95) and working at my company's Stuttgart site, I found out all this information after I moved back to the states; that my Great-Great-Grandfather Julius was born in Kaiserslautern on 6 April 1814 and christened in Sankt Martin Catholic Church (along with his eleven brothers and sisters).  Also, his parents Jean Henri VOGT and Marie RETTIG were married in the Evangelical (Protestant) Church in a village called Alsenborn, on 21 March 1801 (Marie was also born in Alsenborn, on 20 June 1778). Further, The VOGT line went through Jean Henri to his father Jean Nikolaus, to Heinrich VOGT of Lich.



The Story Forward

Julius Oscar is no longer the earliest known ancestor, but he holds the link from Europe to the United States. He was born 6 April 1814 in Kaiserslautern, and he died 1 December 1880 in New York City. What happened in the intervening 66 years and 238 days, and the connections we possess to him and each other, is still the subject of our continuing study.  Where he came from in Bavaria is no longer a mystery, but why he left his home twice (first leaving Kaiserslautern for Paris, and then leaving Paris for America) is still unknown.  And what of his eleven brothers and sisters? Are there eleven other family trees out there, as big or bigger than ours, just waiting to be found?

Sometime in Julius’ early years (perhaps with his parents, perhaps on his own) he moved to Paris, where he lived until 1876.  He was a sculptor by trade, a profession that was handed down to his son and at least two grandsons.  He married Eugenie PICARD from Paris, and had one son that we know of - Paul Albert VOGT.

Son Paul married Marguerite Isabelle DUPUIS sometime during October 1873 in Paris (in Notre Dame cathedral), and they had a son Lucien Eugene VOGT, born on 16 February 1874 in Paris.

The three generations (Julius, Eugenie, Isabelle, and Lucien, but apparently missing son Paul) boarded the S.S. France at the French port of Le Havre in mid-August 1876, and sailed to New York City, arriving on September 7, 1876, mysteriously sailing under the name BRAUN, but all first names, ages, and occupations were correct. Current speculation was that they were the steamship equivalent of standby passengers and were allowed to take the four places vacated by the BRAUN family for that voyage.  Paul later listed his arrival date on his naturalization papers as September 18, 1876, but we have not yet found his arrival listing.  We suspect that, like the other members of his family, he traveled under another name as a standby passenger.

The ship on which the VOGTs emigrated to the US.


Copy of the Ship Manifest from the SS France voyage of August-September 1876


All five VOGTs (Julius, Eugenie, Paul, Isabelle, and Lucien) were listed in the 1880 U.S. census as living at Fordham RR Ave., in New York City. 

1880 NYC Census listing Julius, Eugenie, Paul, Isabelle, Lucien, and Marcel (click for larger view).

We have not yet found a record of exactly where that street was in NYC.  Julius died that same year, after having apparently moved to Madison Ave. and 173rd St., where his death certificate states he was living at the time, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. 

We visited Woodlawn Cemetery on a family visit to NYC a few years ago. The section of the cemetery where Julius is buried is the oldest part of the cemetery, and the few headstones that once were there are no longer visible - upright soapstone headstones have worn away to almost nothing, and flush headstones have sunk below the surface.

Sometime between 1888 and 1892, Paul took his family (now up to five children; Lucien, Marcel, Isabelle, Paul and Harry) to Everett MA, where one more daughter (Matilda) was born.  They lived the rest of their lives in Everett, and Paul and his wife Isabelle both died there; Paul on April 3, 1914, and Isabelle on January 12, 1939.  Paul and Isabelle are buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Everett MA, along with their children Lucien, Paul, Marcel, Isabelle, Harry, and other members of the family.

VOGT Family Headstone in Glenwood Cemetery, Everett MA


In May 1997, as part of a 2nd VOGT Family Reunion I hosted, my sister and I put together and self-published a book titled A Work In Progress . . . . .; A Register Report Of the Descendants of Jean Nicolas VOGT. It is a modified New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Register-Style Report of the descendants of Jean Nicolas VOGT, and spans nine generations. There are 240 direct descendants of Jean Nicolas listed in the book (more would be included if the book were written now), along with spouses.  Each direct descendant is listed by generation in the Table of Contents at the beginning of the report, and alphabetically in the Index in the back of the report.

There is a copy on file at the New England Historical Genealogical Society, which can be viewed by members at their Newbury Street, Boston facilities.

To find the book in the NEHGS card catalog, click here, enter VOGT in the search field, and click SEARCH. Currently the book comes up as entry #1.





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