A Note to Fellow LEYES Researchers


Have you noticed that John Leyes sometimes shows up with a middle name, Adam?


Long story short, this development occurred around October 2009 when a woman who was looking for a John Leyes – to match the John Adam Leyes in her own family tree – found ours.


Her John Adam Leyes was born circa 1817, quite a few years earlier than our John Leyes. We attempted to aid her in examining the available data, primarily census, to determine if there were a connection between our guy and her Leyes family of Mishawaka, St. Joseph county, Indiana. When we turned up multiple other men named John Leyes/Leys/Leies/Leis who could have been the long-lost brother to her great-grandfather (and fit her criteria better), she wasn’t interested.


It is this lady’s privilege to build her own family tree as she wishes, including grafting our entire Leyes branch (and its related families) onto her Ancestry.com family tree. We find it unfortunate, however, that she altered John Leyes’s name at his Findagrave memorial page to include the middle name of Adam. Not only is there no evidence to support this, there is a primary record that refutes it.


Appending a middle name – Adam – to John Leyes renders his birth name as Johan Adam Leyes. On the record of his 1853 marriage to Margaret Seager, John Leyes wrote his first name as Johannes. The use of this form indicates that he had no other given name. Germans were pretty consistent about using full names when vital life events – birth, marriage, and death – were involved. For an excellent description of German naming customs, visit Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.’s website.


The truth is that we have found little about John Leyes’s origins. We have no reason to believe, as this lady does, that he emigrated from Europe to Ohio via Canada. We’re still looking for clues about where John came from. And we’d be pleased to embrace her proposed connection if provided with solid evidence to back it up.


We’d also enjoy the opportunity to compare DNA results with anyone related to the Leyes family of Mishawaka, Indiana. For more information on where you can find our DNA results, please write to us at the email address listed on our home page.