klugh.com Header


The desire to compile a family tree started about thirty years ago when my brother and I were discussing who our ancestors were, and after talking about this grand parent and that great grand parent, as well as uncorroborated information about who lived when and where, we both, however independently of each other, started gathering data on our family line. Most of the data was written on bits and pieces of paper that were then stuffed in a book or crammed into another pile of papers, only to be forgotten, and which remained largely unorganized for the next two decades. My brother even went so far as to travel to the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania to investigate the names of some of the early Klughs. Though our immediate family line was in the Butler area (near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), we understood at the time, that they might have originated in the Lancaster County area, just northwest of Philadelphia. Still, the information we each had was sketchy at best and remained in a state of disarray until most recently when I purchased the genealogy program: Family Tree Maker, and began a serious attempt at organizing all the data we had collected. When I started, I had about forty names. Today, after an exhaustive search, and after being an out-and-out annoyance to as many relatives as I could find, I have over 140 names in the Klugh section alone, and this doesn’t even include the other family lines, both of which comes to a total of just under 600 names.

I quickly found out that it was impossible to limit the genealogy to only the Klugh name. Like most people I thought that the only important surname was the last name of the father. Fortunately, I soon left off this patriarchal mentality and accepted the fact that the mother’s side has just as much to offer in ways of genes and information. In fact, when it comes to the Klugh genealogy, much of the information found is taken from the mother’s side, or the mother’s mother, and so on. This, however, lead to a problem. Just how many names from each branch should I include? Theoretically, it’s possible to include everyone alive in the world (some genealogies I found on the internet were so inclusive that the computer program couldn’t bring up the tree, i.e. there were so many names that the program lacked enough memory to list them). Clearly, this isn’t feasible, and so I made the decision, however arbitrary, to include one or two generations that were listed from certain spouses. I found out that the family line could be traced further back if the mother’s line is followed. Someone else did the footwork, as I found ancestors of Elizabeth Hepler, the wife of John Klugh (on my father’s side), as well as those of Cornelia Celeste Van Billiard, the wife of George Oliver Hoch (on my mother’s side), and these lines went back another 200 years beyond John and Oliver. The difference of centuries would not have been there had I limited my search only to the immediate Klugh family.

Another issue was that many families during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had as many as ten to fifteen children. Listing them all, I quickly found, was a monumental task, not to mention a confusing one, and so I decided to limit the list to direct ancestors, if they were distant, but listed all the children I could find if the relatives were recent.

Along the lines of who should be included is the inability to make certain familial connections. There is a family tree of Klughs from the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania that comes to a total of 489 entries. It was compiled by John Mahey, a genealogist descendent of the Lancaster Klugh line. John inspired me greatly in doing my own genealogical research. He impressed upon me the importance of proper documentation and not relying on sentimentalism or hearsay. Prior to his passing in 2010, John was unable to make a connection between the Butler and Lancaster Klughs, of which he spent most of his adult life doing research. It’s not that the Butler Klughs don’t come from the Lancaster Klughs – and I think they do – but until we have documentation to prove it, it’s only speculation. The point is the following:

“Documentation is everything, and everything else is bullshit.”

Brief History

There is information (at least for the Lancaster Klughs) that two brothers named “Klug” arrived from Wittenberg, in northern-eastern Germany in the late seventeenth century. They came in through Philadelphia, and then migrated up into western Pennsylvania (please note some of this is unverified). Some went into Ohio, while others went as far as California. There is even information that a family of Klughs migrated from Germany straight into Canada and another family of Klughs that came into Virginia and migrated to the Carolinas.

A source of confusion is the different spellings of names for the same family. In the case of Klugh, I found it to be spelled: Klugh, Kllugh, Klug (this is the original spelling), Kluge, Klough, Klaugh, Clug, and even Clag. In the event that the “gh” is pronounced like an “f” as in the word, “tough”, then someone might have read the family name as Kluff. There was even one entry where the name was spelled Krugh with an “r” in place of the “l”. One census entry had the name spelled as “Krugh”, but then with an “l” hand-written over the “r”. Another spelling is “Clugh” and I offer the following explanation:

"Klugh" vs "Klug" vs "Kluge" "Clugh"

You’ve got to picture the scenario: Either each family was asked to come to a courthouse and line up in order of address, or the census taker came to the home of each person. Either way, it was the census taker who asked for the information and did all the writing. Often times the name could have been heard and hand-written incorrectly, and when the home owner spelled their name, the census taker could have heard differently or not paid attention, hence the incorrect spelling of a person’s last name. This will become evident in the "Census" section of this website (particularly my "NOTE" in the "1870 Census". One example is the following: Whether the name is spelled "Klugh" or "Clugh", the father's and mother's names are the same, as are the names of their children. Also, there are "Klug"s and "Kluge"s listed in the early years in America. The "Klug" group first came into Virginia and then down into the Carolinas, while the "Kluge" group came in through Philadelphia and migrated up into Lancaster PA. Both groups eventually became "Klugh".

Lastly, we must ask why there are two Census' of the same family and for the same period? One answer is that two different census takers may have arrived at different times and a different family member gave out the information. Again, I must stress... this requires further investigation.


Authenticity is of vital importance when looking up one’s family tree. Many times I came upon an entry for the birth date of an individual only to find a different date made by some other investigator. Sometimes the date was different by only one year, and listed as in “1899/1900”. This is acceptable if all other things considered are the same, such as place of birth, spouse, and siblings, and offspring. However, if the date is different by twenty or thirty years, and some of the other demographic data is different, then in all honesty the entry can’t be accepted until a more thorough investigation is made. Other investigators, when faced with this conundrum, entered the birth date with a range of dates, such as: FTM: 1899 – 1945, or entered, “Such and such says that…”. Problems such as these are ever present and must be dealt with on a one to one basis.


In the area of authentication, I found a coat-of-arms for the “Klug” name. It was on a web page that deals with such things. The display is of a shield cut in half diagonally and with a blue left side and a red right side. The blue side has a griffin in it and the red side has an anchor hovering over waves. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is, is it bogus? This is of great concern, and my own investigation confirmed that there was a Wilhelm Von Kluge who was a German Field Marshal and who died in 1944. Still, let’s say that the crest is authentic. The question that still comes to my mind is, why should we want to accept it as ours? After all, the crest was for a specific family at some time in the distant past. Shouldn’t our immediate family line have its own emblem? A more fitting coat-of-arms, at least for my three immediate brothers and I would be a shield divided into four sections. The upper left section would have an anchor superimposed over a ship, the upper right would have a rolling pin and carving knife crossing over each other and superimposed over a chef’s hat. The lower left would have a caduceus, and the lower right would display a blast furnace spewing glowing, molten steel. This makes a lot more sense than the one that was sent to me. The crest I’m suggesting is more original. It would represent our immediate family (my brothers and me) and none other.

Origin of the name "Klug"

The etymology of the base word, “klug”, in “Klugh” means: clever, prudent, or smart. I’m not sure just how this applies to the Klugh line in general, but I’m sure all Klughs will agree - anything is possible. Tradition has it that the name is of a Germanic origin and that the ancient ancestors migrated into Germania from what eventually became Austria. History says that one group of settlers of the Austrian region were the Celts. This is possible as there is an old story about one of the Celtic gods. The Celtic god of war is Lug. His followers were referred to as, “K’lug” or, the followers of Lug. This is certainly food for thought.

File Format

A word or two should be said about the method of categorizing the data. The Genealogy Report Format is called NGS Quarterly (Descendants Ordered). There is a number just to the left of the main entry. This signifies the number of the entry in the database. Then, there is a bold face number that appears to the right of the name (see example below) as well as bold font used to identify the individual(s). A bold superscript number is placed just after (to the right of) the first and/or middle name and is assigned to the generation that the person falls under. Lastly, there is a lower-case Roman Numeral that is used to denote his or her birth order within the nuclear family.

22. Herman Levere4 Klugh (William Francis3, John2, Klugh1) was born August 1899 in Butler, Pa. He married Mary Bernice Nolan, daughter of William Nolan and Marian Maude Monroe (There's always been a bit of confusion about Marian Maude Monroe. One opinion is that she married a Nolan. The other is that she married a Christley. As it turns out, she was married twice: once to a Nolan and once to a Christley).

Children of Herman Klugh and Mary Nolan are:
+ 55 i. Carl Dean5 Klugh, born July 26, 1926 in Butler, Pa; died July 1985 in Butler, Pa.
+ 56 ii. Herman Eugene Klugh, born November 21, 1922 in Butler, Pa; died March 1998.
+ 57 iii. Duane Regis Klugh, born November 08, 1927 in Butler, Pa.
58 iv. William Klugh, died in infancy.

When an individual is introduced in his/her separate sketch, the name appears in boldface letters. The names of all the direct ancestors are found within parenthesis and can be used to follow the listed name all the way back to the starting individual. A superscript number follows each name in the parenthesis. When a (+) appears, it means that more will be described about this individual and that their children will be listed, if any. Next to this is the ID number, followed by the order of birth, and then the name, birth date, and death date. The wife appears under her maiden name.

Errors in Research

There were two John Klughs and two William F. Klughs back then; both living in western Pennsylvania and all living around the mid 1800s. Oftentimes, well-meaning but amature genealogists get them mixed up. The one John Klugh (from the Butler, Pa line) was married to Elizabeth Hepler. The other John Klugh (from Lancaster, Pa) was a Captain during the Civil War and was married to Henrietta Ritter. The one William F. Klugh (from Butler County) was married to Margaret Irvin, while the other William F. Klugh (from Armstrong County) was married to Agnes Fairlie. Great care should be taken when doing genealogical research.

Personal Info

I'll try to give some biographical information on each person. Most entries consist of only the dates of birth and death and possibly the towns or origin. A few have a bit more information such as occupation, religious affiliation, military history, education, and cause of death. The family – Hepler – has a rather long bio. Only a few bits of information will be included about them. For example, one family member of the Heplers died while sailing to the “New World” and was buried at sea. Another interesting side note is that three of the Van Billiards (on my mother's side), a father and his two sons, died on the Titanic! The father was Austin Van Billiard, a second cousin to Frances Matilda Hoch, my maternal grandmother. I decided, with all this in mind and since we have a tendency to romanticize about our ancestors, that it's important for our descendants to know their ancestors were normal people with normal desires and frailties. I, therefore, extended an invitation to the other immediate Klughs to give them a chance and expand on their bios. Some responded; others did not. One problem that cropped up was that a person’s bio would appear in every genealogy report that that person was connected to. As this can be tedious reading, I decided to limit a few notes for each person as that person appears in each genealogy report, but the more personal and expanded bios appear only in the section of the surname under which that person appears. The bios of some relatives are included herein; others will appear as they're submitted. Enough said.


I love finding new contacts. In fact, I get giddy when I find someone new. The thought of obtaining new information or old photos gives me the shivers.
One of the first things I do is introduce myself and give the contactee some background information on who I am and how we might be related. I explain how I found them. I give them my name, phone #, and website name. I then ask them if they would like to contribute to the database. Some people are eager to do so; others not so keen. If they express a desire to contribute that same day or ask to be called back some other time, I'll do as they ask. Unfortunately, people sometimes feign interest and never respond to phone calls or emails. If, after a couple attempts at contact they don't respond or say they don't want to continue, I'll respect their wishes. That's the way it is with genealogical research. If you would like to contribute, or make a suggestion or any corrections, don't hesitate to Contact Me.

(c) July 4, 2011: (All rights reserved)