The Winters surname was first found in the Rhineland, especially the provinces of Westphalia and the Palatinate, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. The surname is derived from "Winter," an English/German/Danish/Swedish nickname or byname for someone of a frosty or gloomy temperament, from the Middle English, Middle High German, Danish, Swedish term winter (Old English winter, Old High German wintar, Old Norse vetr).
   The family Coat of Arms features a silver shield with a purple and gold checkered bend, and a blue border. Some versions feature a heart in the Crest. The Family Motto is "Majorum servari virtute."
   Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants in America were: Heinrich Winter, who came to New York State in 1710-11; Gerhart Winter arrived in New Jersey in 1769; and Johann Jacob Winter came to Philadelphia in 1752. But according to family tradition, related by Richard A. Winters USAF/geologist (b 1933) via his daughter Julie, and from her great-uncle Alfred as he remembered it being told to him (got that?): "The first Winters in this country was a young Dutchman (German or Dutch) named Vinters or William Penn's colony. He married a German girl named Fredricks from the Maryland colony. Their son married an English girl and had 4 sons. These 4 arrived in Pittsburgh and later moved to Fort Steuben. They then claimed land (4 plots) west of Ft. Steuben, building their cabins at the mutual corners for protection. The four cabins were enclosed by palisades. This later became Wintersville. One of the brothers had a son named Isaiah."
Census Image
Name: Winters, Isaiah
Township: Morgan
County: Green
State: PA
Year: 1800


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1800 United States Federal Census. M32, 52 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC. Roll M32_40, Page 84, Image 106
   The ancestry of our family can be traced to ISAIAH WINTERS, SR., born @ 1750 in Pennsylvania. Isaiah married a woman named RHODA, and had his six sons. The family then made their way from Fermanagh and Milford Twp, Cumberland (Mifflin now Juniata) Co., PA to Ten Mile Creek, Morgan Twp, Washington (now Greene) Co., PA, to Island and Cross Creek Twp, Jefferson Co., Ohio.
   Another tradition states "our progenitor when a young man was in Wm Penn's colony. They kept moving west with each generation. My father and his 3 brothers flatboated down the Ohio River to Ft. Steuben (now Steubenville, OH) and settled on an adjoining section of land for protection against Indians."
   However Isiah and family traveled, we do have records of their movements:

Mifflin County Deeds:

rec 1798 Aug. 16 md-1775 Nov. 28 dower 1775 Nov. 28 * 70 PA 50 acres: Isiah Winters of Fermanagh Twp. Cumberland Co. PA. farmer & wife Rhoda a certain piece of land on which I recently lived on supposing 50 acres unto George Rex of the said Co. & prov. aforesd yeoman lying and adjoining Nathaniel Harts land and is to run from a certain sassafras growing on the river bank and from thence to a Wo along the orchard side and from thence to a marked hickory and from thence to sd Harts line and y1 river to Lukens line and from thence till sd lines meet at y1 upper end of sd line for and in consideration thereof he y1 sd Rex. with Saml Lyons, J. P. and Absalom Styles. Isiah Winters Rhoda X Winters.

rec 1800 Dec. 10 md 1780 Apr. 27 dower 1780 Aug. 23 *2000 PA. 180 acres: Joseph Mc Connel of Milford Twp Cumberland County PA. farmer & wf Susanna to Abraham Styles and Isiah Winters both of Fermanagh Twp. same Co. & State yeomen 2 tracts or parcels situated in Lack Twp. Cumberland Co. PA. #1 adjoining Francis West on the W, and James Gray on the N. being 100 acres Made over by John McConnell Adm of the estate of James McConnell decd late of Cumberland Co. and unto Mary McConnell widow and relict of sd James and now wife of Wm. Kirk of Lack Twp conveyed to sd Joseph McConnell dated 24 Mar. 1773 #2 lying between it (#1) and Tuscarora Mt., being 80 acres. Warranted to Joseph McConnell. Wit John Stewart, Thos. Jordan signed Jos. McConnell Susana "D" (her mark) McConnell

rec- 1804 Aug. 13 md-1796 Dower 1796 Feb 25 *363.15.0 PA 70 acres: Isiah Winters of Washington County PA. yeoman to Abraham Styles of Mifflin Co. yeoman Land divided from Lykes land which he now lives on by a consentable line in presence of Hamilton Grayham and John Miliken beginning at James Gray's line a hickory blazed aBo with 3 notches a B walnut blazed a Wo blazed aBo with 3 notches a sassafras blazed a Wo with 3 notches and ending at Thos Milikan's line deed lying and being situated in Milford Twp. adjoining sd Styles on the N and Amos Hoops on the W and Tuskarawa Mt on the S; containing 70 acres. wit James Hughes George "X" his mark Rex. Isiah Winters Rhoda "X" (her mark) Winters

Greene County, PA. Deeds

1;1672 md 8 Sep 1802 rec. 10 Feb. 1803 185 ac 67p $800: Isiah Winters & wife Rhoda of Greene County PA. to Thomas Hughes Esq of same Warrant was granted by the Commonwealth of PA for a tract of land to Wiilliam Tolwood 6 June 1776 on the South fork of ten mile Creek in Greene Co. PA. to Stephen Woodruff 23 Mar. beginning at a walnut tree on the bank of a run by land of Nicholas Wathen N 50 E 50 paces post. N 59E 50 P post N 76E 18 P Post S77 E 45 P post hence by lands of Jacob Rush N 71E35 1/2 Wo thency by lands of Reed & Froid * S12E 48 P WoS60 E 46.2 P sugar tree (missing) N60W 46 P rock N 45 W 60 P to beginning. 185 acres Witness You Amirs, George (his mark) Rex signed Stephen Woodruff Catherine "X" her mark Woodruff Dower before John Heaton J. P. 23 Dec 1795

   In between moves, Isiah increased his family as he increased his land:


  • BENJAMIN WINTERS, b. Bet. 1760 - 1765; married JANE and had seven children, listed below. d. 1840, Monroe Township, Muskinghum County, Ohio.
  • ABRAHAM WINTERS was born in 1768. He married MARGARET and had a son, Eli, on 14 Mar 1803.
  • WILLIAM WINTERS was born in 1770. She married a woman named MARTHA. No further information.
  • ISAIAH WINTERS, JR., was born in 1771. He married CATHERINE FREDERICK. No further information.
  • JOHN WINTERS was born in 1773. He married a woman named HANNAH. No further information.
  • ISAAC WINTERS was born in 1775. He married a woman named Polly T., born in 1780. No further information.
  •    Isaiah's eldest son, BENJAMIN WINTERS (1765 - 1840), was the County Clerk of Green County Waynesburg, the County seat of Green County Pennsylvania. At one point Benjamin Winters did own land in Ohio County, Virginia, now Marshall County, West Virginia. The land was adjoining land owned by Benjamin Manning, who married his daughter Jerusha Winters.
       Benjamin's will reads: "In the name of God Amen. I Benjamin Winters of Monroe Township, Muskingum County, Ohio, being of sound mind and memory, but weak in body, thanks be to God for the same, do make and publish this to be my last will and testimony to wit. First, it is my will that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid. Second item, I will to my two sons Lewis and Brice Winters all my real estate of land in Monroe Township, Muskingum County, Ohio. That is to say the north west quarter of the south east quarter of Section Ten in Township Three of Range Five in the unappropriated lands in the Military District subject to sale at Zanesville, Ohio containing Forty acres. Also 20 acres it being the south half of the South west quarter of the northeast quarter of Section No. 10, Township No. 3 of Range No. 5 (one line of the will is unreadable at this point) Third item, I will that at the decease of my son Lewis Winters all the land that is in this will is to be Brice Winters if the said Lewis deceases (wi he livin??) of his body. Fourth, I will that my beloved wife Jane Winters shall have her maintenance of the land as long as she lives. Fifth item, I will my son Rees Winters one dollar. Item, I will my daughter Jerusha one plow. Item, I will to my daughter Rebecca one calf. Item, I will to my daughter Hannah two sheep. Item, I will to my daughter Jane one bed and bedding and one heifer. Item, I will all the rest of my personal property to my wife Jane for her use and to divide at her decease as she may think proper and Lastly, I nominate my wife Jane as executor of my last will and testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand January the 29th AD 1840."
       The children of Benjamin and Jane are:


  • BRICE WINTERS was born in (?). He married CATHERINE MORENT in 1841.
  • REBECCA WINTERS was born in 1822. No further information.
  • JERUSHA WINTERS was born in 1803. She married BENJAMIN MANNING and had six kids: Reuben S., Lewis, Melison, a boy, Lavina, and another girl.
  • REES WINTERS was born in 1806 in Ohio. He married REBECCA (or MARY) CANE in 1821, and had seven kids, listed below. He died in 1867 in Cameron, West Virginia.
  • LEWIS WINTERS was born in 1810. No further information.
  • HANNAH WINTERS was born in 1812. She married JAMES ABISON or ACHISON. No further information.
  • JANE WINTERS was born in 1816. She married CHRISTOPHER CORNELIAS. No further information.
  • Information
    Census Image
    Name:Rees Winters
    Township:Not Stated


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    View blank 1840 census form
     (PDF 136K)
    SOURCE: 1840 United States Federal Census. M704, 580 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC
       REES(E) WINTERS was born in 1802 in Jefferson County, Ohio, and died on September 10, 1867. He married (1) REBECCA CANE. She died about 1834.
       Nelle Winters Pritchard's half sister "Aunt Ret" remembers when she was young they had a special chair for him as he was very fat or large. He is in the 1840 Marshall County WV Census as a head of household. James, John and Samuel are also heads of households. Rebecca died in 1834. Then Rees remarried, to PRISCILLA MARSHALL, in 1835 in Marshall, Fauquier, Virginia, and had TEN MORE KIDS!
       TAKEN FROM THE MARSHALL COUNTY REPUBLICAN, HENRY, IL, October 24, 1867: "Roes Winters, an old resident of this county, age 61, died in West Virginia, October 8th of apoplexy. The statesmen said he had gone there to attend an important land suit and was taken with a fit and died without a struggle. He leaves a large family of sons and daughters, mostly grown up and married to mourn his loss. He has been a resident of this county for 13 years."
       Anyway, the children of Rees and Rebecca are:


  • REBECCA WINTERS was born in 1822. No further information.
  • ROBERT S. WINTERS was born July 19, 1825, and died January 18, 1915 in WV, Interred in Rock Lick Cemetery, Marshall County, West Virginia. He married MARY J. UNKNOWN. She was born April 16, 1829 in Pennsylvania, and died January 14, 1908 in WV, Interred in Rock Lick Cemetery, Marshall County, West Virginia.
  • ABRAHAM CANE WINTERS (farm shown at top of page) was born on 04 Mar 1829. He married three times, the last being to LOUISA EDITH POTTER on 16 Oct 1883. He died on 13 Aug 1893 in Saunemin township, Illinois.¹
  • MATILDA WINTERS was born in 1831. No further information.
  • MARY ANN WINTERS was born on 26 Jun 1832. She married DAN BLODGET. No further information.
  • JAMES WINTERS was born in 1833. No further information.
  • ELLEN WINTERS was born in 1834. She married RICHARD HOBBS. No further information.

  • Abraham Cane Winters
       "A.C. Winters (pictured at right), farmer and stock raiser, Sec 32; P.O.Pontiac; he owns 320 acres of land, valued at $40 per acre, is finely watered and well adapted to stock raising; he is a native of West Virginia; was born in Marshall Co., March 4, 1829; at the age of 21 he came to Marshall Co., Illinois, where he remained engaged in farming until 1864, when he settled where he now resides." (In Saunimin township, Illinois, pictured at the top of this page.)
       "In May 30, 1852, he married Miss Frances Miller; she died Sept 25, 1854, leaving one child—Alfarata F., and on Feb 19, 1856, he married his second wife—Miss Eliza A. Malone; she was born Feb 16, 1835; they are parents of eight children—Elbridge and Eldridge, born Aug 23, 1857; Eldridge deceased; Ida B., born Nov 20, 1858; Emma R., born March 18, 1860; Clarence II, and Clarissie B., born Jan 6, 1862, Clarissa deceased; Ira M., born Dec 13, 1869; and Jesse Eugene Winters (1 Oct 1872 - 30 Sep 1938).
       During the Civil War, he registered for military duty in Illinois on 21 Aug 1863, and according to pension records filed by second wife Eliza, he served in the 6th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery. (The company might have been combined because so many men were killed or wounded.²) This Battery was organized November 20, 1861, under Captain Cullen Bradley, and attached to the Sherman Brigade. Abraham entered the service as a private and rose to Artificer (Film Number: M552 roll 119). The unit fought on 19 and 20 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA; on 29 May 1864 at Near Dallas, GA; on 18 Jun 1864 at Near Marietta, GA; on 18 Jun 1864 at Dallas, GA; on 30 Jun 1864 at Dallas, GA; on 6 Jul 1864 at Chattahoochee River, GA; and on 30 Nov 1864 at Franklin, TN.
       Abraham Winters would marry once again, and that union would bring us our ancestor in this family line, although the outcome of the marriage was tragic. Abraham would marry a woman from a poor farming family whom was unprepared for the hardships of life with children that were not hers, as well as the death of her infant son.¹

    The descendants of Abraham Cane Winters gather for a reunion in the 1920's.

       Abraham Cane Winters married LOUISA EDITH POTTER on 16th Oct 1883, in Saunemin township, Livingston County, Illinois. Abraham was seventeen years older than Louisa, and had already been married twice, with nine kids! But more were on the way...
       Louisa gave him two more children, starting with NELLE WINTERS on 24 Feb 1885. But their youngest, EARLE AMESY WINTERS, died before his second birthday on 16 Aug 1889. Louisa must have taken this hard, as she died from a dose of London Purple, taken with suicidal intent, two years later on 28 Nov 1891. Her body was laid to rest in the Five Mile Cemetery, Saunamin township, Illinois.
       Abraham died two years later, but he was survived by his daughter Nelle, who was now orphaned at eight years old. But Nelle had a large extended family for support, and was raised by her adult half-siblings. Despite the tragedies of Nelle's childhood, she appears in pictures to have been a happy child. She is pictured below in some photo booth shots, posing with her niece, Ruth. On 17 Feb 1909, she married WILLIAM PRITCHARD, a born jokester, who made sure that she continued smiling for many more years.


  • NELLE WINTERS was born on 24 Feb 1885 in Saunemin township, Illinois. She married WILLIAM PRITCHARD on 17 Feb 1909 in Saunemin, Illinois, and they moved to Chelsea, Michigan and farmed on the land that is now used as the Chrysler Proving Grounds (there's even a Pritchard Road there). They had two daughters, Dorothy (15 Apr 1918 - 3 Sep 2010) and Helen (6 May 1919 - 1 Aug 2001 ). Nelle lived a long, happy life and died on 15 Dec 1974 at the Cedar Knoll Rest Home, Grass Lake, Michigan.
  • EARLE AMESY WINTERS was born on 21 Dec 1887. He died before his second birthday, on 16 Nov 1889. He shares a headstone with his mother Louisa in Five Mile Cemetery, Saunemin, Livingston County, Illinois. Thanks to Katelyn Swartz for the only known photo of Nelle and Earle.¹

    ISAIAH WINTERS, SR. (1750 - 1800) married a woman named RHODA and begat...

    BENJAMIN WINTERS (1765 - 1840) married JANE (1782 - ?) and begat...

    REES WINTERS (1806 - 1867) who married REBECCA CANE (1810 - 1834) and begat...

    ABRAHAM CANE WINTERS (1829 - 1893) who married LOUISA EDITH POTTER (1856 - 1891) and begat...

    Newspaper Article
    Title:Prichard, Mrs. William (Nelle W.) 1187 Chelsea-Manchester Rd. Chelsea
    Original Publication Date:December, 1974
    NELLE WINTERS (1885 - 1974) who married WILLIAM PRITCHARD (1880 - 1958) and begat...

    DOROTHY PRITCHARD (b. 1918) who married ERWIN WENK (1910 - 1982) and begat...

    MARTHA WENK (b. 1940) who married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR. (b. 1939) and begat...

    JEFF (who married LORI ANN DOTSON), KATHY (who married HAL LARSEN), ERIC (who married MARY MOONSAMMY), and MICHELE HAUSE (who married JOHN SCOTT HOUSTON).


    ¹—Winters descendant KATELYN SWARTZ (her great-great-great grandfather is Abraham Cane Winters, and her great-great grandfather is his son, Ira Winters, who was Nelle Winters' half-brother) has created a web page showing the wives and children of Abraham that were found in a family album, and is looking to identify the people in the photos posted there. If your'e also a descendant, take a look!

    ²—Battery lost during service: 1 Officer and 8 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 34 Enlisted men by disease (total of 43). Equipment: 2 4-pdr Parrotts, 2 6-pdr Rodmans; Engagements: The Siege of Corinth, Battle of Perryville, Battle of Stones River, Tullahoma Campaign, Battle of Chickamauga, Siege of Chattanooga, Atlanta Campaign, Battle of Resaca, Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Siege of Atlanta, Battle of Jonesboro, Battle of Spring Hill, Second Battle of Franklin, Battle of Nashville.


  • The Story of the Sherman Brigade. The Camp, the March, the Bivouac, the Battle, and how "The Boys" lived and died, during four years of active service. 64th O.V.V.I, 65th O.V.V.I., 6th Battery O.V.V.A.. McLaughlin's Squadron O.V.V.C.. With 368 illustrations, by Wilbur F. Hinman, Late Lieutenant-Colonel 64th Ohio Regiment. Published by Author. Alliance, O. 1897.

  • Nelle Winters (back row, 2nd from right) at school in Saunemin in the late 1800's.