Wayne Van Leer Jones compiled information on the history and genealogy of his ancestors and those of his wife, Elizabeth Rieke Jones. Research data extends as far back as the 16th century for some surnames. He compiled information and wrote the following family histories for private publication: The Bergstresser Family in America, Jacob Woodward Colladay and His Descendants, The Rieke Family of Bavenhausen and America, and The Ancestry of Wayne Van Leer Jones.
Information from calendar rolls, census data, probate records, church records, military records, published pedigrees, county histories and biographies, and other records can be found in the collection on these families. Countries represented by the data include the United States, England and Wales, Germany, and Switzerland. Other surnames with extensive data include branches of the Docker, Eveland, Fischer, Jones, Longenecker and Langenegger, and Van Leer families.
Note on processing the Wayne Van Leer Jones Genealogy Collection:
Mr. Wayne Van Leer Jones' collection of black binders contained source materials used for the research he conducted on his own and his wife's (Elizabeth Rieke Jones) family ancestry to compile, write, and privately publish The Bergstresser Family in America, Jacob Woodward Colladay and His Descendants, and The Rieke Family of Bavenhausen and America. He also had begun a manuscript for a volume that would eventually be titled The Ancestry of Wayne Van Leer Jones.
Most of Mr. Jones's black binders were labeled according to family surname and/or type of materials contained [ex. Alderson (Biographies)]. In the process of organizing these materials, each black binder's contents were transferred to a corresponding folder(s), retaining the text from the original labels, unless it was unclear or unlabeled. In this small number of cases, a label was created that seemed to match the binder's contents by family and/or document type. All of these folders were then transferred to 115 manuscript boxes, alphabetized by last name. Where there were several variations on the family name, the boxes were filed together under the earlier name in the alphabet. Also, some black binders contained data on two or more families that were related by marriage, and these were filed under the first family. Manuscript boxes #112-115 contain materials which could not be classified by family, either because they concern more than one family or no particular family. These were categorized as “Miscellaneous” and alphabetized by their labels.
Depending on the depth of information that Jones was able to collect for each family branch, each folder may include photocopies, transcriptions, or original documents collected from primary and secondary sources such as: genealogical inquiry worksheets completed by family descendants, brief biographies, notes taken from conversations, correspondence with family members and other genealogists, reports and summaries written by collaborating genealogists/archivists, copies of articles on family and county history from published books and journals, pedigree charts, drawings of coats of arms, tax records, estate records such as wills and land deeds, census records, ship lists, civil records for marriages, births, and deaths, church registers and records, accounts of gravestone inscriptions, maps, and photographs of people, places, and gravestones. On this list, brackets contain added information on the contents of the folders that may be helpful by speeding up the research process, especially for families for which the materials occupy several manuscript boxes.
An explanation of the numbers for the Bergstresser family (excerpted from page “v” of The Bergstresser Family in America, Vol. 1 by Wayne V. Jones)
“The sources for all volumes of The Bergstresser Family in America, excepting only Chapters 1 to 5 of this volume, were developed in a single master source list. To attempt to change these more than 4,000 source numbers in order to have them start with 1. and be in continuous numerical order in each volume or chapter would have been very time-consuming and probably would have led to mistakes in numbering. As a result the original numbers were retained and Chapter 14 is an example of the result. The numbers are in numerical order but not in continuous numerical order. The omitted numbers apply to subsequent volumes.”
Given the voluminous amount of materials Jones collected on the Bergstressers, when looking for information on a particular branch of the family or for particular documents, one should consult the lists of references (in which the sources are numbered and identified) after various chapters of Volumes I and II of The Bergstresser Family in America. –Karen Elizabeth Kushner, 10 September 2003