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About Us

History of Greathouse Point & Guild Greathouse

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"Chronology is the soul of history." -- John Jeremiah Jacob, 1833.

"Without chronology, history would lose its most valuable characters of truth and consistency, and scarcely rise above the level of romance." -- Dr. William Hales.

"With those to whom the computation of the times is unconnected, not even the facts of history can be verified." -- Tatian.

"A twisted cord of many threads will not easily break." -- Rev. Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg, August 15, 1748. View @ Google Books

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How was the "Greathouse Cousins Data Exchange" founded?

Greathouse descendants have always been interested in their family history. In 1997, two people, seeking to learn the history of the Greathouse family in America and Europe, became the pioneers, who brought "Greathouse Cousins" together, when they began exchanging Greathouse family research by E-mail. Later, in December 1998, the Greathouse Mailing List at was adopted to share their research with others, as well as collect new information from others, both new and veteran, who were sharing their research of the Greathouse family with the "Greathouse Cousins Data Exchange".

The Greathouse Mailing List at, appears to have been created about January 1983, but had either been left idle; or any E-mails posted were lost, probably due to a server failure at, between February 1983 and December 1998.

The group was founded in 1996, by Patricia Dodd Greathouse, when she started searching for documentation to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

When interviewed by E-mail, in late 1998, about how the group came to be founded, Pat stated, "I wrote for the records of Harmon Greathouse from the DAR and received 3 different copies stamped "error". I got on the internet and found that there were several sites that also reported these errors as fact... I just wanted the facts recorded correctly for future descendants. The "Greathouse Cousin" network started with the exchange of information. I was trying to inform all the Greathouse relatives to find accurate and factual information."

The group of Greathouse family researchers, who were sharing the history of the Greathouse family, continued to grow under the leadership of Patricia Dodd Greathouse, "our fearless leader". Pat voluntarily served with interest and enthusiasm for about seven years through her death, which occurred on February 7th, 2003, in Columbus, GA. We mourned her passing and miss her very much.

In 1997, Daniel Franklin "Frank" Neher volunteered to serve as the record keeper of research collections gathered by the group, which had been named the "Greathouse Cousins Data Exchange", as related in the Emails Frank used to recruit new members for the project.

Pat stated "she and Frank were tied by a common interest in correcting past inaccurate published Greathouse information, and that their goals were to:

1.  Collect and share documented facts about the descendants of Herman Groethausen (ca 1670-1743), Springfield Manor, Germantown, Pennsylvania.

2.  Share all research that was collected and to enable future generations to find accurate information.

3.  Help others to tie their loose links to the main family tree."

After his 85th birthday on April 27, 2002, Frank Neher retired as Records Coordinator/Custodian of the Greathouse family research collections, which he had so diligently and tirelessly compiled and donated to Greathouse Point, between 1998 and 2002. Frank continued to serve in an advisory role for the project, while he also helped many others with their Greathouse family research endeavors. For his continued service, Frank was granted the title of "Records Coordinator Emeritus", which he retained through his death. Franklin Daniel Neher died on 27 May 2004 in Wenatchee, Chelan County, WA. We mourned his passing and miss him very much.

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How did "Greathouse Point" and the "Greathouse Cousin Network" begin?

Pat continued, "Another Greathouse cousin, Rick Greathouse, joined the two of us and created the outstanding web page called Greathouse Point."

Greathouse Point was first published on the Internet on 4 June 1998, as the website for the "Greathouse Cousins Data Exchange", which was renamed to "Greathouse Cousin Network", shortly after the website was published online... where Geathouse Point has continuously served those seeking their Greathouse family history, for over twelve years.

On 27 Apr 2002, which was Frank Neher's 85th birthday, Frank announced his desire to retire from his role as Records Coordinator/Custodian of the Greathouse family datase and hard copy file collections of Greathouse Point, which he had originally compiled and maintained, during his tenure as a volunteer for our project between 1997 and 2002.

Frank's retirement anouncement also included his request for a volunteer from our group to serve in the role as Records Coordinator and as Custodian, over the collections of the project. The position was filled on 12 May 2002, when Frank announced that Lynn Leonard had volunteered to serve as the new Records Coordinator and Custodian, for Greathouse Point and "Greathouse Cousin Network".

Lynn Leonard served honorably, as a volunteer in the role of Records Coordinator and as Custodian, over the digital database and hard copy file collections of Greathouse Point and "Greathouse Cousin Network" from 12 May 2002 to 12 Jan 2008.

On 12 Jan 2008, Lynn Leonard and Sandy Taylor, who were also serving as volunteer board members for the project, both announced their resignations from their volunteer roles with Greathouse Point and "Greathouse Cousin Network".

Also on the same day, Lynn and Sandy published their new website online, which they called the "Greathouse Cousins", where they began sharing the same database collections, which Lynn had volunteered to continue compiling additions and updates for, as a project of Greathouse Point since 12 May 2002.

The database collections available at the "Greathouse Cousins" are an authorized derivative work published from the database collections, which were compiled and maintained as a project of Greathouse Point, between 4 Jun 1998 and 12 Jan 2008.

Even though Lynn resigned from the role of Records Coordinator/Custodian of the Greathouse family database and hard copy file collections for Greathouse Point on January 12, 2008, she has retained custody of the hard copy file collection, which was donated to Greathouse Point by Frank Neher, who was a co-founder/co-owner of the project, when Greathouse Point was founded on June 4, 1998.

Since 12 Jan 2008, the digital database collections maintained by Greathouse Point and the "Greathouse Cousins", have continued to be compiled with additions and updates, independently of each other, which has caused those database collections to diverge from each other, such that Greathouse Point's database contains additions and updates which the "Greathouse Cousins" databases do not contain, and vice versa.

This is unfortunate, because... all "Greathouse Cousins" and most certainly both websites, Greathouse Point and the "Greathouse Cousins" are... [as stated by Pat Greathouse, a co-founder/co-owner of Greathouse Point]:

"tied by a common interest in correcting past inaccurate published Greathouse information," and our goals are to:

1. Collect and share documented facts about the descendants of Herman Groethausen (ca 1670-1743), Springfield Manor, Germantown, Pennsylvania.

2. Share all research that was collected and to enable future generations to find accurate information.

3. Help others to tie their loose links to the main family tree.

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Because there was no point in having two Greathouse family websites, which were maintaining similar database collections, which were going to diverge further from each other as "Greathouse Cousins" contributed their research to one website, but neglected to do the same with the other site, in Apr 2008, the digital database collections, which had been published online at Greathouse Point either in Word documents, Family Tree Maker or Legacy Family Tree database collections since 1998, were taken offline. The database collections were merged into one master database, which has continued to be compiled with additions, corrections and updates and used as a reference database to further the goals of the project.

Seeing a niche where documentation of primary or secondary sources for the Greathouse kith and kin of America was lacking between 1700 and 1930, a new vision for our project was revealed, which enabled Greathouse Point, home of the Greathouse Historical Center, to become the website which brings the history of the Greathouse kith and kin from the early 1700s through the 1930s to light, by implementing the Genealogical Proof Standard [GPS] for the research presented in our historical center.

The GPS consists of five elements:

1) a reasonably exhaustive search;
2) complete and accurate source citations;
3) analysis and correlation of the collected information;
4) resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
5) a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

Source: Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogical Proof Standard [GPS].

With this new strategy for research at Greathouse Point in place, the foundation for our "Greathouse County Project" was laid, when our team of researchers published the following article, on 6 May 2008:

This article led to the creation of our "Greathouse County Project", which was debuted online, on 25 Apr 2009. Information contained in this article has been superseded by and expanded upon in the following Greathouse County articles:

"Chronology is the soul of history," and much time and effort has been expended to obtain dates of occurrences noticed and recorded in this work. At Greathouse Point, home of the Greathouse Historical Center, chronology has become the soul of history through our "Greathouse Archives Project".

Another benefit of this new strategy, would be that, it circumvents all the extra work, which is necessary to protect the privacy of the living, when the collections published online in our historical center, only include information about those who were living, and named in the 1930 census. Information on living Greathouse kith and kin after 1930, will continue to be compiled with additions, corrections and updates, but will not be published in the online collections of the Greathouse Historical Center.

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As of 1 Sep 2008, "Guild Greathouse" was chosen as the new name for the group of researchers, who support Greathouse Point.

Why "Guild Greathouse"? What was the origin of "Guilds"?

Excerpt: Lujo Brentano, On the History and Development of Gilds, and the Origin of Trade-unions... 1870.

The Northern historians, in answer to the question, whence the Gilds sprang, refer above all to the feasts of the German tribes from Scandinavia, which were first called Gilds. Among the German tribes, every occurrence among the more nearly related members of the family required the active participation in it of them all. At births, marriages, and deaths, all the members of the family assembled. Banquets were prepared in celebration of the event. At these banquets, the common concerns of the community were deliberated. Every freeman was obliged to attend these feasts, and bring with him whatever food and drink he might require. Hence these feasts were also called Gilds; for "Gild" meant originally the sacrificial meal made up of the common contributions; then a sacrificial banquet in general; and lastly, a society. The essence of the Gild was, "the brotherly banding together in close union, which expressed itself in manifold ways in the mutual rendering of help and support".

Upon the first use of "Guild Greathouse" as the new name for the group of researchers who support Greathouse Point, the phrases, "Greathouse Cousin Network"; "Greathouse Cousin"; and "Greathouse Cousins"; were retired as trademarks which were earned by Greathouse Point, when the website was published online in 1998. At that time, there were no other websites on the Internet, which had earned trademark rights by using those phrases.

This unencumbered the phrase "Greathouse Cousins" so the "Greathouse Cousins" website could be granted permission to establish the phrase, as the trademark for the services they provide to the "Greathouse Cousins" who support their website.

The new name, "Guild Greathouse", effectively removed any confusion, which the presence of two "Greathouse Cousins" websites, having been published online, may have caused.

It also gave the group of researchers who support Greathouse Point, an international identity which includes researchers from Finland; the Netherlands; Sweden; and Germany. Herman Groethausen, immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about 1710 from Bielefeld, Ravensberg, Brandenburg, which is in present-day Germany.

In memory of Patricia Dodd Greathouse and Franklin Daniel Neher, Greathouse Point, home of the Greathouse Historical Center and Guild Greathouse will continue... as stated by Patricia Dodd Greathouse, "to record the facts correctly for future descendants".

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Lujo Brentano, On the history and development of gilds, and the origin of trade-unions..., Trübner & co., 1870. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Jun 19, 2008. Page 3 - 4, View @ Google Books.

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