Information for those interested in genealogy

The first record about my ancestor William Neff was in Newbury, MA in 1658. It is possible that he was political refugee from William Cromwell whose forces were killing all of the royalist supporters they could find. In any case he was English not Swiss. His date of birth was between 1639 and 1642.

The Neff Family History was compiled by Dorothy Neff Curry who died when it was near completion and Marcelia Neff-Fisher helped to complete the book and it was published privately in 1958. I am not aware of anything more recent that is as complete.

The book has been digitized and is available at

For those who are members of they have searchable copy at

For those who are members of there are a number Neff family trees but many of them are for the Swiss branch not the English branch. The one I think is most complete is by Debra Kittrick the wife of my nephew. In addition Judy Turner has several extensive trees. It is not possible to give links to those trees from this website. To view a tree on you have to be a member and their fees are large.

My mother was a Johnson and her parents were from Norway. Her father was a Revheim and her mother a Vevle and they attended the same church and school. The left for the US about the same time but not together. Evidently they were corresponding and when he and his brothers had established a homestead in South Dakota he sent for her and they married. My grandfather changed his name to Bert Johnson when he entered the US. Later he used Baste Johanneson.  My grand mother used Julia Johnson after her marriage and her children all used the name Johnson.

I have some of the material about the Neffs, Johnsons, Revheims and Vevles in the links to the memorials.

If you need to contact me use the following email.

The Charles S. Neff Collection of Ship Drawings and Photos

Charles S. Neff was born in Oshkosh, WI in April of 1870 and died in Cleveland, OH in 1940. His father Samuel Neff had been involved in shipping on the Fox and Wolf Rivers but moved his business to Milwaukee about 1880 because he did not think he could compete with the railroads. He formed the Neff and Sons Shipping Company with his sons Sidney and Charles. After their father died they tried to keep the partnership going for about a year but then divided the assets and formed separate companies.

Charles lived during the time of sail, steam power and diesel power. He collected photographs and other material of historical interest. Some of his collection is in the Maritime collection of the Milwaukee Public Library. He also made drawings using color pencils and whatever paper that was at hand. Some were drawn from memory, others from life. Some of the original drawings were given to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, WI.

Color slides were taken of all of the drawings and Marcy Neff-Fisher, his daughter, prepared notes for each slide. Digital copies have been made of the slides and notes.

Digital copies of the slides and notes were made by Duane Clemmer the husband of Carolyn Neff-Clemmer and distributed to family members. I thought the material was of historical interest and sent a copy to Walter Lewis and he agreed to put them on the Maritime History of the Great Lakes website.

The link to the collection is [View]

By Paddle-Wheel, Sail, and Steam

The title of the post is the title of a privately published book by Marcelia Neff-Fisher in 1991 that she wrote for her family and friends. The book contains a great deal of information about the history of commercial shipping on Wisconsin rivers and the Great Lakes. It also gives information about the history of the Neff family.

Walter Lewis who manages the Maritime History of the Great Lakes website made a digital copy of the book and posted it on the website.  It can be accessed via the following link [View]