Wednesday, December 7, 2022

According to the Family's Story . . .


If a product bore your ancestor's surname, you'd want to know the connection, wouldn't you? After all, even if an invention now seems commonplace, at one time it would have been an ingenious development, something possibly worth bragging rights for your own family. I'm always up for discovering connections like that to bolster my family history.

When I first learned about the connection between my Uncle DeMilt's family and the Eggert chronometer, the cousin who told me wasn't entirely sure about the story passed down from the generations before him. He knew the device was an important piece of navigating equipment and now a valued collectible, but the story of how the Eggert family came to claim a version of that invention as their own product was not as clear.

Somewhere in the midst of the story was a fuzzy report of a name change linked to the acquisition of the manufacturing rights. After all, a number of marine chronometers of the late 1700s through the 1800s were produced by British businesses, such as the Charles Frodsham marine chronometer. When New York City manufacturers began offering American versions, again, a number of businesses—including some of English origin—began vying for sales in that port city.

Somewhere in the midst of the American competition, the manufacturing details were passed to some ancestral member of my uncle DeMilt's family. Only problem was, the family was not clear as to whether that ancestor was actually named Eggert. There was a family story about a possible name change embedded in the details of the acquisition.

Well, there's only one way to find out for sure: do a little genealogical work of our own on this Eggert line. We'll begin our search to see what can be found about the Eggerts in New York City, tomorrow.  

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