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It is believed that the ERBLAND and APLAND surnames have their roots in southern Alsace, France, and that most (if not all) of the ERBLAND/APLAND’s who now live in North America have ancestors who emigrated from Alsace. It is known that a substantial number of ERBLAND’s still live in southern Alsace and it is hoped that this project will have participants from both North America and Alsace. To the extent that ERBLAND’s have emigrated to other areas of the world, it is hoped that they will also consider participation in this project.

Some ERBLAND’s are known to have emigrated from Alsace shortly after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. A fe families may have left for the U.S. in the early 1800's. Emigration continued over the last couple decades of the nineteenth century. It is known that there were at least two principle centers where the first ERBLAND immigrants settled in the United States. One was the area around Rochester, New York and the other was the area around Canton, Ohio. The descendents of these first groups are known to have moved as far afield as Alaska, Arizona, Florida and other locations. The APLAND variation seems to be centered in Minnesota.

A significant number of ERBLAND’s with U.S. addresses still live around Canton, Ohio, and, particularly, around Rochester, NY.. Many genealogists who are studying the ERBLAND surname believe that both of these two clusters are descended from a common ancestor in Alsace. Unfortunately, there is no known proof of this. One of the first goals of this project is to prove or disprove this conjecture. A similar situation exists in Canton, where there are known to be two distinct lines of ERBLAND’s, each descended from an AUGUST ERBLAND, both of whom were born in Alsace, but one of these AUGUST’s was born in 1836 and the other was born in 1864. A second goal of this project is to prove or disprove if these two lines of ERBLAND’s share a common ancestor. The project’s third goal is to find a genetic link between the ERBLAND’s now living in North America and ERBLAND’s who still live in Alsace. A refinement of this goal is to try to narrow the area of Alsace that was the home of the North American emigrants. It is thought that in the mid-19th century, the area around Sondersdorf was (and still is) home to the largest cluster of ERBLAND’s in the world.