This website contains genealogical stories of the family of Charles Nelson Loeb, and is written primarily for the family. However, I am happy for everyone to browse here, and will try to be as entertaining as possible.


The author in 2004 with an unfolding genealogical story

Most genealogies start out with a question. Where did my name come from? Am I descended from anyone famous? Do I have any connection to some romantically desirable but relatively rare ethnic group?

In the case of this author, I had two questions when I started researching the family history in about 2000: first, is “Loeb” a Jewish name; and second, am I descended from Pocohontas? The claims were made by my father’s and mother’s families respectively, but I had never seen any evidence that they were more than just legends. The family possessed nary a menorah or any hint of a Jewish tradition, nor did we bear any resemblance to a Native American, Pocohontas or otherwise. A suspicious number of high school friends had the same legend about Pocahontas in their families.

After years of research, I was able to answer both questions conclusively: first a “yes” to the Loeb Jewish ancestry and then a “no” to the connection to the legendary Native American princess. But the research into family origins did not stop. In fact, it didn’t even proceed in a straight line to these answers, instead following many a fascinating digression. As with any field of inquiry, the answer to one question simply raised a host of others for follow-on research (e.g., I now know where the name “Loeb” came from, but how about “Nelson”? Did we have any ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War? When did our earliest ancestors come to North America?). And I must confess falling into the same trap as many a genealogist — becoming a collector. While some people collect baseball cards or coins, others of us collect names….names of distant ancestors and remote relatives. While there are many possible justifications for such a collection, for me it is mostly a fun hobby that complements and enhances my much-loved study of history.

However, having spent untold hours pouring over old records, visiting libraries, and trying to tease information out of the Internet, I did want to pass along the knowledge gleaned from my hobby in case it is of interest to future generations. This blog will allow me to gradually write up and publish the material.

A quick note for readers: I will be placing on this site material gathered over many hours of research by myself and others in my family. I am happy if you find information here that is helpful to you. However, please do not copy and upload any of it to Ancestry.com or other commercial sites. I have no issue with these sites and I use them for research, I just don’t want to give my material to them. If you wish to cite something from here, please just provide a link to this site within your family tree. You can also send a message to me in the comments if you have a specific request. Thanks!

Charles Nelson Loeb, 2016

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